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DJ Turner’s Splash and Dash Highlights Rookie’s Growth on Otherwise Disappointing Bengals Defense

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CINCINNATI — Sunday certainly didn’t feel like August, with the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers playing in 40-degree rain, but at times it looked like it.

Three times, to be exact.

Rookie cornerback DJ Turner II wasted no time turning heads in training camp by consistently making splash plays against the likes of Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins while playing with the first-team defense as Chidobe Awuzie worked his way back from ACL surgery.

Rookie DJ Turner a Bright Spot on Bengals Struggling Defense

While Turner has played well enough to start seven consecutive games, forcing Awuzie into the shorter side of a platoon, Sunday marked the first time the rookie second-round pick turned in big plays in bunches.

MORE: Does Tee Higgins Have a Chance To Play in Week 13?

The Michigan product made two plays to prevent Pittsburgh touchdowns in the 16-10 loss and had another one that led to a Cincinnati score when — one play after breaking up a would-be touchdown pass in the end zone — he recovered a Jaylen Warren fumble and returned it 28 yards.

“That’s why you never give up on a play,” Turner said. “Both of those plays was me not giving up on the play.”

Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett threw a strike to Diontae Johnson for what appeared to be a 15-yard touchdown. Pickett and his teammates were running to congratulate Johnson when they realized the referee had signaled an incomplete pass. Turner jarred the ball free from Johnson after he had taken a couple of steps and was going to the ground.

“I saw the ball when it came in,” Turner said. “I definitely was trying to punch the ball out.”

MORE: Bengals Run Game Craters to Historic Depths

The play might have been reversed to a touchdown had Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin challenged it, but he didn’t. On the next play, defensive tackle Zach Carter punched the ball out of Warren’s arms just before the running back’s knee hit the ground.

There were a lot of players standing around as the ball bounced on the turf, but Turner was one of the first to react, scooping it up and taking off, ultimately coming within one Steeler — fullback Connor Heyward — of taking it 89 yards for a touchdown.

“He had the angle, so I couldn’t just keep running straight,” Turner said. “I was trying to spin him up and hit the sideline, but he did a good job.”

The Bengals converted the turnover into their only touchdown drive of the game to take a 7-3 lead.

Turner’s third big play came in the fourth quarter with Pittsburgh leading 10-7. The Steelers had third-and-6 at the Cincinnati 16-yard line when Pickett again tried to hit Johnson in the end zone. However, Turner had good coverage and was able to reach his hand in and deflect the pass at the front pylon, forcing them to settle for a Chris Boswell field goal and a 13-7 lead.

“I had the better position,” Turner said. “He ran an out, I broke on it, drove on it. I just believed what the film told me throughout the week.”

Cincinnati has believed in what Turner has shown them since camp, which is why defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo has backed away from his stance on playing rookies.

Turner is one of the least targeted rookie corners in the league, per Pro Football Focus, seeing one every 8.8 snaps. Only the New York Giants’ Tre Hawkins III has been targeted less often (9.4).

The lack of action has Turner with only four passes defensed, and he’s still looking for his first interception. Yet, the fumble recovery and return were every bit as big.

“If I see the ball, I’m gonna get it,” Turner said.

Want to predict the rest of the 2023 season with our FREE NFL Playoff Predictor? Looking for the most up-to-date NFL standings? What about a breakdown of team depth charts or the NFL schedule? Pro Football Network has you covered with that and more! 

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Taylor Swift Is Shown Chugging a Beer on the Jumbotron at Super Bowl 58

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Global superstar Taylor Swift made it to the big game to support her boyfriend, Kansas City Chiefs star tight end Travis Kelce. In the second quarter, it was evident that she was having a good time at the Super Bowl after taking a 12-hour flight from Tokyo the night prior.

Taylor Swift Seen Chugging Beer at Super Bowl

Swift’s attendance has been highly anticipated, as many fans questioned whether she would be able to make it to the big game since she had been in Japan until Saturday for her Eras Tour.

Sure enough, she made it to the Super Bowl and was seen making a grand entrance alongside Blake Lively and Ice Spice.

Swift made it back to the States with plenty of time to make it to Allegiant Stadium to support Kelce. After a leg of her Eras Tour, where she performed several nights in Japan, the singer appeared to let loose.

In a box full of friends, Swift was shown chugging a beer with Ashley Avignone. She was shown on the jumbotron and slammed her cup down after she finished her beer.

There was a mix of cheers and boos as Swift was shown on the big screen, and a long pass to Mecole Hardman was the only highlight of the first half for Swift and her friends. The 49ers led the Chiefs, 10-0, late in the second quarter.

On social media, Swift garnered plenty of support from NFL fans.

If you’re hating on her you can kick rocks man she’s the best,” one user posted on X

“The one thing I learned this season is that she is actually fun,” another said. 

“Booing Taylor Swift chugging a beer is so soft. She’s just one of us now and I respect it ,” another posted. 

At the time of the beer chugging, Kelce, Taylor Swift’s boyfriend, has had one catch for a single yard. It came on the first possession, which ended up being a three-and-out. The Kansas City Chiefs hadn’t done much otherwise.

They did have a deep pass play to Hardman, which put them in the red zone, but Isiah Pacheco fumbled on the very next play — one that Kelce was surprisingly on the sideline for.

Swift and Kelce have garnered much media attention as their romance has taken off throughout this NFL season.

Swift was able to support her boyfriend at many of his games throughout the final stretch of the season, as her Eras Tour was on a break. But starting on Feb. 7, she went back on the road.

MORE: NFL World Reacts to Unbelievable Super Bowl Trick Play

Despite performing in Tokyo the night before the Super Bowl, she was able to make it in time to support her boyfriend due to the time difference and is having a good time doing so.

As the 2023 NFL season comes to a close, the 2024 NFL Draft is on the horizon. Pro Football Network has you covered with everything from team draft needs to the Top 100 prospects available. Plus, fire up PFN’s Mock Draft Simulator to put yourself in the general manager’s seat and make all the calls!

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What Happened to the 49ers Linebacker?

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The San Francisco 49ers sustained a massive blow during the second quarter of Super Bowl 58, as linebacker Dre Greenlaw left the game on a medical cart.

CBS Sports confirmed that the veteran Greenlaw suffered an Achilles tear, ruling him out for the rest of the game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

What Happened to Dre Greenlaw?

The outside linebacker, who had already been battling past injuries to his hamstrings and calves, left with what appeared to be a leg injury.

And somehow, his left leg looked like it buckled as he tried to trot onto the field with the Niners’ defense.

Greenlaw clutched his left leg in agony before being helped off the field.

CBS Sports sideline reporter Evan Washburn reported that the outside linebacker left with what was ruled as a lower leg injury. He was later determined to sustain an Achilles injury.

Greenlaw was declared out for the rest of the game.

Greenlaw Carted Off in Passenger Seat

Even more noticeable was where Greenlaw sat on the cart.

He ended up leaving not in the back of the medical vehicle but ended up riding shotgun with his leg injury.

One would think that with an injury like an Achilles ailment, medical officials would try to make the player as comfortable as possible before they leave. It wasn’t the case here.

MORE: San Francisco 49ers Depth Chart

Regardless, Greenlaw was replaced by Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles for the rest of the first half. Greenlaw became the most significant injury of the game.

As the 2023 NFL season comes to a close, the 2024 NFL Draft is on the horizon. Pro Football Network has you covered with everything from team draft needs to the Top 100 prospects available. Plus, fire up PFN’s Mock Draft Simulator to put yourself in the general manager’s seat and make all the calls!

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NFL World Reacts to Epic Super Bowl Intro From CBS

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Super Bowl 58 is here and it’s going to be exciting. The San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs are facing off in the final game of 2023.

CBS is broadcasting the game and the opening was nothing short of amazing. How is the NFL world reacting to the electric Super Bowl-opening video?

Epic CBS Super Bowl Intro Garners Reaction From NFL World

The video, which spanned four minutes and 19 seconds, featured players from both teams talking about the big game and what it means to them. It also featured their families talking about their journeys to this point.

“Amazing intro! Reminds me of my dad! Bravo on the intro!,” one NFL fan said on X (formerly known as Twitter)

Additionally, Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” played in the background, giving it a near-movie feel. “This was incredible.,” another person said on X. “And so, the @49ers and @Chiefs face that final curtain,” CBS Sports said.

The 49ers finished the regular season as the top seed in the NFC with a 12-5 record. After their first-round bye, they defeated both the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions to earn their trip to Las Vegas for the Super Bowl. Both of their victories came in comeback fashion, including an NFC Championship-record 17-point comeback.

The Chiefs, on the other hand, had a more uphill battle. Entering the playoffs as the AFC’s third seed, they finished the regular season with an 11-6 record. In the playoffs, they defeated the Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills, and Baltimore Ravens to punch their ticket.

Super Bowl 58 is a re-match of Super Bowl 54 when the Chiefs defeated the 49ers 31-24. The win was the first in Patrick Mahomes career, as he also won Super Bowl MVP. Four years later, the Chiefs have made three more and won another. For the 49ers, this is their first trip back to the big game since.

The game kicked off at 6:30 p.m. ET with the 49ers receiving the opening kick. In addition to being broadcast on CBS, the game is also being streamed on Paramount+.

As the 2023 NFL season comes to a close, the 2024 NFL Draft is on the horizon. Pro Football Network has you covered with everything from team draft needs to the Top 100 prospects available. Plus, fire up PFN’s Mock Draft Simulator to put yourself in the general manager’s seat and make all the calls!

Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast

Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Fantasy Podcast on our Fantasy YouTube channel.





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