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Decade’s best No. 9: Jersey Shore defeated Selinsgrove in close 2013 district final in high school football

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a series looking back at the Top 10 high school football teams, coaches, games and players from the last decade.

Its mascot is a bulldog, but Jersey Shore adopted a second one as it practiced throughout the 2013 preseason. Defensive coordinator Alex Jackson created the slogan “Dog Soldier Football.” Players quickly gravitated toward it and started wearing dog chains bearing those words.

Dog Soliders were a society of Cheyenne Native Americans known for their tenacity, fighting spirit and ability to stick together no matter the situation.

It was the perfect name for this program-changing team.

Jersey Shore went from rags to riches that year, dramatically altering the program’s trajectory and setting the stage for all the greatness which has followed that breakthrough season.

The Bulldogs entered 2013 riding a 13-game losing streak, but they left it as District 4 champions. Fittingly, Jersey Shore had to rely on all the Dog Soldier qualities to win the program’s first district title since 1997, defeating Selinsgrove, 20-16, in this Week 12 championship classic.

“We have a lot of young men with character,” Jersey Shore coach Tom Gravish said. “They are some of the finest young men I’ve ever been associated with and I’m really proud to be associated with the Jersey Shore football team.”

“We have a Wall of Fame in our school and we’ll be up there for all the years ahead and we’ll always remember this,” defensive end Zach Miller said after returning an interception for a second-quarter touchdown and recording 1 1/2 sacks. “It’s just an overwhelming feeling to be on this long journey and be a part of this.”

Jersey Shore traveled quite a journey on the road to this district final. The Bulldogs went 0-10 in Gravish’s 2012 debut season and were 3-37 over the previous four years, not recording a winning season in the 2000s. Still, that 2012 team was young and there were bright spots that season. A dedicated group of incoming seniors quickly went to work almost as soon as the 2012 season ended, determined to leave their mark.

Jersey Shore snapped its 13-game winning streak when it beat Shamokin, 33-14, and added a comeback 21-14 win against Bloomsburg in Week 4. But it then lost four straight games, including in Weeks 7 and 8 to Shikellamy and Selinsgrove. Jersey Shore was a few plays from victory nearly every week and changed their season’s course when they went to current District 4 Class AAA top seed Milton. Minutes from losing again, Jersey Shore put together a season-defining, game-winning touchdown drive and rallied for a thrilling 42-39 victory. The Bulldogs closed the regular season with an emphatic 36-20 victory against rival Central Mountain before making a statement in the district semifinals.

The fourth team in a four-team field, Jersey Shore showed how far it had come in a few weeks, erasing a 14-point halftime deficit and beating top-seeded Shikellamy, 24-14. Up next was defending champion Selinsgrove, a team which had lost just once to Jersey Shore in the 2000s.

Selinsgrove had won at Jersey Shore, 14-6, four weeks earlier but that felt like it was eons ago with the rapid development the Bulldogs had been showing. Proving that, senior Jordan Tawney ran for a 64-yard first-quarter touchdown and Miller added his pick-six as Jersey Shore went up, 14-3, in the second quarter.

An Isaiah Rapp to Mason Pope eight-yard touchdown pulled Selinsgrove within five at halftime and it took a 16-14 lead late in the third quarter on Angelo Martin’s four-yard touchdown run. This was a comeback season so it only made sense that Jersey Shore would have to come back and win this championship.

The defense led the way, forcing five turnovers and collecting three sacks. Miller, Brody Smith and Boone Costa intercepted passes while Miller, Ethan Kutza, Bryce Charles, Dominic Loffredo, Colton Winchester and Utoah Agae-Naipo played a critical role in holding Selinsgrove to 81 yards on 45 carries.

The defense kept Jersey Shore in the game and the offense won it late. Agae-Naipo, the program’s first 1,000-yard rusher since 2000, broke off a 38-yard run and Jersey Shore had a first-and-goal at the Seals 6. The next two plays, however, lost seven yards. At this point, Jersey Shore had thrown for one yard all night, but with the season on the line, Logan English and Troy Rowan connected on one of the most important touchdowns in program history. Rowan made an outstanding play on the 1-on-1 coverage, English put the ball where it needed to be and Rowan rolled into the end zone as Jersey Shore went up, 20-16.

Four minutes remaining what once seemed impossible became reality as the defense stoned Selinsgrove one last time. Jersey Shore was a district champion. It was a victory not just for Jersey Shore, but underdogs everywhere.

“Coming a year after we didn’t win at all and when we had three wins in four years, it shows other athletes that it doesn’t matter how far down you are or what your record is,” Agae-Naipo said. “As long as you stick together and play hard and believe, anything can be accomplished.”

These Dog Soldiers proved it that night in Selinsgrove and throughout the 2013 season. Three more district championships and three league titles have followed since then and Jersey Shore played in the Class AAAA state semifinals last fall. And that championship win at Selinsgrove started it all.

“It’s unreal. Coming so far from where we were at before and now achieving the goals we have is absolutely unbelievable,” Rowan said. “It’s right out of a book.”

Turns out this was just Chapter 1.

NFL jersey sales: 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo, George Kittle among top-10

If you live in the Bay Area, you’d be hard-pressed to be out on an NFL Sunday without seeing a plethora of red No. 10 Jimmy Garoppolo jerseys.

The 49ers Faithful have embraced their franchise quarterback, and continue to support him in spite of the national media’s criticism.

It appears that Jimmy G fever isn’t unique to just the Bay, as both Garoppolo and All-Pro George Kittle were among the NFL’s top 10 players in jersey sales.

Rookie phenom Nick Bosa also led all rookies in jersey sales after amassing 9.0 sacks and recovering two fumbles for the Niners.

Don’t be surprised if Bosa sneaks his way into that top 10 over the next few seasons, as the 49ers slowly return to being one of the NFL’s most popular franchises.

Hope and optimism for Orioles future plentiful at caravan event

Quinn Seidenman’s friends and family were busy Friday afternoon. So he came to see Adley Rutschman by himself.

Seidenman, a 17-year-old from Baltimore, said a handful of his friends and family couldn’t make the Orioles caravan event. So he headed out to White Marsh Mall on his own to get a glimpse of what he hoped was the future of Orioles baseball, wearing a custom black No. 35 jersey with Rutschman’s name gracing the back.

The Orioles hosted an event and visited various schools and locations around Baltimore on the first of a three-day tour. Among the attendees Friday were Rutschman, manager Brandon Hyde, Gunnar Henderson, Richie Martin and Cedric Mullins.

Two of the heartiest rounds of applause from Orioles fans came for Rutschman and Henderson, the Orioles first and 42nd picks from last June’s MLB Draft. After back-to-back 100-plus loss seasons for the Orioles, those two are now some of the biggest faces of the rebuild. It’s why Seidenman chose Rutschman’s jersey over anyone else’s, too.

“We’re (his family) Orioles season ticket holders,” Seidenman said. “We got some points for having the seats — one of the promotions was to get a custom jersey. I wasn’t super inspired by the current players. I thought it’d be cool to get an Adley jersey.”

With Rutschman not expected to break the major league roster out of spring training in March, there’s still months, and perhaps over a year, until he makes his MLB debut. So much, including his jersey number, is still in the air.

“I’m hoping he wears No. 35,” Seidenman said with a grin. “They’re expensive…I really hope he wears 35.”

For the fans that showed up, there wasn’t talk of the two previous seasons — despite the fact the Orioles will likely be one of, if not the, worst teams in baseball in 2020.

Instead, fans played cornhole with Mullins and watched Hyde and Rutschman pour beer for fans. For an evening, fans like Eric Breach were able to appreciate what the future could look like in Baltimore.

“It’s exciting that there’s young talent, that there’s young prospects, that there’s something to root for and hoping there’s a good future,” Breach said, while his three-year-old daughter, Nora, sat on his lap. “You’re hoping the young kids are able to grow together like Adley and Gunnar and DL Hall and Grayson Rodriguez, all of them coming up. It seems like there is a bright future.”

Breach added he’s hopeful that, one day, he’ll be able to show his daughter pictures from Friday’s event down the line when all of the Orioles prospects have graduated to the majors.

“It’s fun because you know they’ll be here for a long time,” Breach said. “We just took our picture with Gunnar, so it’ll be something where if we have the picture, we can show her as they’re growing and get better, ‘Look, we met Gunnar at The Greene Turtle. And Adley was here. And Richie Martin. They’re all here.’ It gives her something to grasp on to.”

Rutschman, 22, is just one member of the Orioles’ farm system, which has three top 100 prospects according to MLB.com. With a second overall pick coming in June, more help is on the way, too.

Which is why Orioles fans packed The Greene Turtle to get a glimpse at what they hope will be the start of a rebuild well worth it.

“Really cool,” Hyde said. “Visited a few places before here. It’s really rewarding for not only the players and coaches to see the community. Being out in the community and seeing the passion for Orioles baseball, you lose sight of that sometimes when you’re in the grind of a six-month season.”

While the Orioles will struggle to stay clear of triple-digit losses once again in 2020, the appearance of Rutschman and Henderson made things better for at least one day.

Seidenman did eventually get what he came for and was able to get his picture with Rutschman.

“He told me he wants to wear No. 35,” Seidenman said with a smile, and a bit of relief.

Hope for the Orioles showed their faces on Friday, and they came in the form of a pair of prospects and handful of major leaguers still looking to earn their full-time spot. And for a few fans in attendance, they’re already ready.

“It’s going to make it worth it,” Seidenman said. “We’ve all sat through some tough seasons, but there’s always been hope. And I think this year, it’s starting to feel more real.”

NBA’s Sacramento Kings to auction game-worn jerseys using Ethereum blockchain

The Sacramento Kings haven’t had a winning season since 2006, but with a roster of young stars like Buddy Hield and De’Aaron Fox, it thinks there’s a market for its authenticated memorabilia.

The Kings today announced a new auction platform for bidding on sports jerseys and apparel during games. The auctions are made possible by Treum, a ConsenSys product for blockchain-backed supply chains, and will take place during each Sacramento home game. (Disclosure: ConsenSys funds Decrypt.)

The first auction will be held tonight during Sacramento’s game against the Dallas Mavericks, with Hield’s game-worn jersey going to the winner.

This isn’t a sign that the Kings are cash-strapped—look no further than Harrison Barnes’ four-year, $85 million contract for proof. Everything raised during the auction is going to charity. The team says the proceeds from tonight’s auction will go to Hurricane Dorian relief efforts and that future proceeds will go to its non-profit foundation.

It’s not the first time the Kings have innovated using blockchain
tech. In fact, it’s been well ahead of the curve compared to other North American sports teams. It accepted Bitcoin
for payment in 2014, started mining cryptocurrency in 2018, and began selling physical crypto-collectibles last year. The Kings even have their own ERC20 token to reward fans.

Its latest venture works like this: From tipoff until midnight, fans in the arena or at home can bid on the live auction item. The highest bidder gets the gear, complete with a certificate of authenticity and a time-stamped Ethereum
token showing how the memorabilia has changed owners.

In a press release, the Kings said that despite the American sport memorabilia market being worth more than $5 billion annually, “there are no industry standards for authenticating items and protecting fans from purchasing counterfeit merchandise. Through this partnership, the Kings and ConsenSys are effectively increasing the resale potential for authenticated merchandise on secondary markets.”

And who knows? The resale value for that Buddy Hield jersey could be pretty high when he leads Sacramento to its first NBA title next year, eh Kings fans?

What Steve Young believes is 49ers’ biggest concern entering NFL playoffs

After roaring to an 8-0 record, the 49ers became wounded down the stretch this season, looking more vulnerable as the injuries piled up.

Still, the 49ers were able to secure a win in Week 17 against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field, giving them a first-round bye in the playoffs and home-field advantage throughout.

As the No. 1 seed at 13-3, coach Kyle Shanahan’s team is seen as the presumptive Super Bowl favorite coming out of the NFC. But that doesn’t mean there are no red flags, according to 49ers legend and Hall of Famer Steve Young.

“This defensive line, I thought was top in the league, maybe top two,” Young told KNBR’s “Tolbert, Krueger and Brooks” during the 49ers’ bye week. “Remember the game where they just mauled Aaron Rodgers and he put the white flag up? That’s what those defenses like Denver, when Peyton Manning couldn’t raise his arm and they still won the Super Bowl, or Seattle, Baltimore had a group like that. There are teams that have had these ferocious defensive lines, and we’ve lost that.

“I understand there were injuries and so forth, but that’s my greatest concern. Without that, our defense becomes something where everyone has to stand out on their own and a ferocious defensive line can kind of mask a lot of stuff, and that’s my concern. You run into these teams that can put up big points, and you don’t pull it out 48-46, you lose a game because you’re not putting the pressure on the quarterback that you need to.”

The 49ers’ defensive line was one of the most dominant units in all of football through the first 10 weeks of the season, But injuries to a number of players, including Dee Ford and D.J. Jones, has put a lot of pressure and wear on the likes of Nick Bosa, DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead.

Ford is a game-time decision for Saturday’s NFC Divisional Playoff Game against the Minnesota Vikings, but the 49ers will get linebacker Kwon Alexander and safety Jaquiski Tartt back, which should help solidify the second and third levels of the defense.

The 49ers will have to bottle up running back Dalvin Cook on Saturday and force Kirk Cousins to make accurate throws into tight windows to beat them. If they can do that, they should punch their ticket to the NFC Championship Game.

A fully healthy defensive line will provide a big lift to a 49ers team that will need to get the Vikings behind the sticks and turn up the heat on Cousins on third-and-long.

If the defensive front isn’t whole, Young worries that some of the 49ers’ other issues could be exposed at some point in the playoffs.

“There’s other issues that we know the team has, but we haven’t had to worry about them,” Young said. “… I really believed this defensive line was supposed to be the best in the league, and if I have that, the rest of it is going to fall into place. If I don’t, then I’m at risk.”

Miami Heat to celebrate Dwyane Wade’s jersey retirement over three days between Feb. 21-23

There isn’t a more celebrated player in Miami Heat history than Dwyane Wade.

For 15 seasons in South Beach, he donned the No. 3 jersey while dazzling fans on a nightly basis as he hit career milestones, won championships and repeatedly claimed Miami as his city. His farewell tour last season was emotional, as he swapped jerseys with a different player on the opposing team following every game, was named an honorary All-Star for his final season alongside Dirk Nowitzki and ended his career by putting up 30 points in his final home game inside American Airlines Arena.

Wade has made a huge impact on the NBA and basketball as a whole, and when the time comes will undoubtedly be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. However, before that happens the Heat are making sure that no one else will ever wear the No. 3 jersey in Miami as the team has plans to retire Wade’s jersey on Feb. 22 against the Cleveland Cavaliers, as originally reported by Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

The celebration will take place over three days, with a more expansive ceremony happening the night before on an off day for the Heat, which will be for season-ticket holders only. The raising of Wade’s jersey to the rafters will happen during halftime of Miami’s game against the Cavaliers the next day, and on Feb. 23 there will be a debut screening of Wade’s documentary inside the arena, as reported by Winderman. Wade will become the fifth player in franchise history to have his jersey retired, the most recent being Wade’s former teammate Chris Bosh who was honored in March 2019.

Wade retired with the Heat as the franchise’s all-time leader in points (21,556), assists (5310) and steals (1.492), and led the charge to help Miami win its first championship in franchise history in 2006, by overcoming a 2-0 NBA Finals deficit against the Dallas Mavericks. After LeBron James and Bosh joined Wade in 2010, the three formed one of the most fearsome Big 3s in NBA history, making the Finals four straight times, and winning back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013.

LSU vs Clemson: Key facts and storylines one week before the national championship

It will be all about the Tigers when No. 1 LSU faces off against No. 3 Clemson in the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship game in New Orleans.

The game kicks off at 7 p.m. on Jan. 13 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. LSU is anywhere from a 5.5-to-6.5-point favorite to win.

The undefeated LSU Tigers beat Oklahoma 63-28 in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. Undefeated Clemson managed a 29-23 win over Ohio State during the Playstation Fiesta Bowl.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the big game.
What are the biggest stories to watch?

The quarterback battle will be a highlight of the match. Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow will face off against Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence.

The two quarterbacks have combined for more than 8,000 yards passing and more than 80 passing touchdowns this season.

Burrow is on track to break a number of major FBS records in his final game with the LSU Tigers.

Who will take the field for LSU?

The LSU Tigers are expected to have a number of key players back and at full strength for the national championship.

Senior Linebacker Michael Divinity will make a major return to the field. Divinity left the team on Nov. 4 to “focus on a personal matter” and returned to practice on Nov. 18. LSU cleared Divinity to play in games Tuesday morning.

Previously limited by a hamstring injury, Clyde Edwards-Helaire is expected to be at full strength for the national championship. He practiced with “no limitations” last week.

Safety Grant Delpit has battled through injuries this season, but his once sprained ankle is feeling healthier. He hopes to cement his legacy during the game.

Who’s on LSU’s injured list?

Wide receiver Terrace Marshall and Damien Lewis have missed several practices since LSU coach Ed Orgeron announced they were recovering from injuries sustained in the Peach Bowl.

Redshirt freshman running back Chris Curry practiced in a gold non-contact jersey last week. The 6-foot, 215-pound Florida native started in place of Edwards-Helaire in the Peach Bowl and rushed for 90 yards on 16 carries.
How expensive are tickets?

Data shared by StubHub last week showed their average price of tickets sold was hovering in the range of $1,719, with the cheapest tickets available in the range of $1,275.

TicketIQ, which tracks prices of secondary market tickets, projected prices to rise above $3,000 with LSU making it to the championship game that will be played about 70 miles from its campus.

To help Clemson fans get to Louisiana, multiple airlines added additional direct flights to Louis Armstrong International Airport.

A number of people in the news will be making it to the game, including President Donald Trump.

LSU superfan Colton Moore was gifted tickets to the national championship game. The 9-year-old spina bifida patient from Alabama had the chance to meet Coach Ed Orgeron earlier this year.

A fellow LSU fan who won big on a bet that Joe Burrow would win the Heisman Trophy donated some of his winnings to a fundraiser to buy Moore a new wheelchair-accessible van.
How can I watch the game if I can’t make it to New Orleans?

The game will be broadcast on ESPN and on the ESPN “megacast.”
Where can I get an LSU jersey?

LSU merchandise was a hot seller across Baton Rouge during the holidays. And those strong sales are expected to carry on into early 2020, with the Tigers facing Clemson in the College Football Championship game on January 13.

The increased demand for LSU products has meant some items have been hard to find, such as replica jerseys for the Tiger’s Heisman trophy-winning quarterback Joe Burrow. Nike, which makes the officially licensed adult LSU jerseys, only produces one run of replicas that stores order a few months in advance of the season. Because no one could predict the record-breaking season Burrow would have this year, number 9 jerseys have been sold out.

Marin County teen on quest to find fallen teammate’s jersey after car break-in, theft

A basketball player for Marin County’s Branson High School Bulls is desperately trying to find a jersey stolen out of his car that belonged to his fallen classmate.

The team held one last practice on Thursday morning before yet another big game. And while they will have five men on the court, this team will still go into battle feeling one man short.

“Kwentyn was like our distributor, scorer, playmaker, he was everything,” said teammate Mike Keefe. Hence the words on their shoes, which read, “All For You.”

The former #11, Kwentyn Wiggins, died in a late-night, solo car crash on Highway 101 in Corte Madera last June.

“There were 10 to 11 colleges on his list,” said Kwentyn’s mother, La Tanya Wiggins.

When asked how you go from such promise to such pain, his mother said, “It’s the hardest thing to deal with. I have no idea how I keep going.”

Now Wiggins wears her son’s image around her neck and carries his image permanently on her left arm.

She did have his #11 home jersey, but gave it back to the team, where his best friend Peyton Mullarkey opened the season wearing it.

“We wanted his jersey out there for senior year,” Wiggins said. “We felt that we needed Peyton to wear that jersey.”

Mullarkey added, “He’s like our sixth man. Always with us.”

Bad luck intervened after a game in Oakland last month when someone broke into the Mullarkey family car and took the backpack containing that jersey.

“When we came back and saw that glass, my heart dropped,” he told us.

Getting that jersey back has become as important for the team and family as winning a championship. Branson High School had planned to retire it this year.

“You know, having a duplicate jersey is not the same as the one he sweated in, won a championship in, played with his team in,” Wiggins said.

Sports jerseys. Those of us who get attached to them do so because of feelings and memories. Their value transcends cloth and numbers. To the rest of the world, and probably the thief, it’s just like any other high school jersey.

In this case, friends and Wiggins want it back, no questions asked.

“It means everything,” she said. “It is absolutely priceless. It is one of a kind.”

As is every child.

Good luck finding a Joe Burrow jersey: LSU’s dream football season has merchandise flying off shelves

John Lett has been an LSU football fan for decades, ever since he moved from Missouri to Baton Rouge to get his degree from the college. And even though he’s seen some great Tiger teams that won college football national championships, he said he’s never seen anything like this year’s roster.

Because the Tigers have been so good this season, Lett said he’s been buying more purple and gold merchandise. He recently bought a new home in Ponchatoula, so he’s been decorating his “man cave” with LSU football gear.

“I don’t want to know how much I’ve spent this year,” he said. “For Christmas, I spent $700 on things for my wife, my five grandsons and my two daughters.”

LSU merchandise was a hot seller across Baton Rouge during the holidays. And those strong sales are expected to carry on into early 2020, with the Tigers facing Clemson in the College Football Championship game on January 13.

About 500 businesses are licensed with LSU to produce official products, ranging from T-shirts and caps to original artwork.

Brian Hommel, director of LSU Trademark Licensing, said the team’s 14-0 record has contributed to an increased demand for purple and gold items. But the exact size of that increase won’t be known for a while.

“At this time we are only one quarter into the current fiscal year and will not be able to compare our fall 19 sales and royalty data until early 2020,” Hommel said in an email.

In fiscal 2019, LSU generated $4.8 million in gross royalties from merchandise sales. In contrast, in 2011, the last time the team played in the college football championship game, gross royalties topped $5.6 million. And in 2007, the last time the Tigers won the national championship, gross royalties were $5.3 million, Hommel said.

The increased demand for LSU products has meant some items have been hard to find, such as replica jerseys for the Tiger’s Heisman trophy-winning quarterback Joe Burrow. Nike, which makes the officially licensed adult LSU jerseys, only produces one run of replicas that stores order a few months in advance of the season. Because no one could predict the record-breaking season Burrow would have this year, number 9 jerseys have been sold out.

“Those jersey items can’t be restocked,” said Patrick Wilkerson, who owns Bengals & Bandits, an LSU clothing store. “We get 30 calls a day from people looking for jerseys.”

Bengals & Bandits doesn’t carry licensed adult jerseys because it concentrates more on unique, retro items. But the store has been producing T-shirts that look like Burrow’s jersey. “Those are our big seller this year,” Wilkerson said.

At Tiger Mania, an LSU merchandise store near Interstate 12 and Drusilla Lane, manager Melana Barton said the biggest sellers have been anything with Burrow’s number 9 on it – such as T-shirts and caps. The store does custom embroidery, so they put the number on anything, she said.

Tiger Mania wasn’t able to get any officially licensed Heisman Trophy items, commemorating Burrow being named as the top player in college football. But the store did produce purple and gold caps that said “He is the Man”.

Barton took over management of Tiger Mania earlier in 2019. She said sales have increased 190% over the previous year because of LSU’s historic season.

“It’s been extremely good,” she said.

At Purple & Gold Sports Shop, a Siegen Lane store that specializes in LSU merchandise, co-owner Sara Sanders said this year’s sales are “blowing away” the business from previous years.

“We’re definitely seeing a higher volume of sales now than we have in years,” she said. “And while the season is normally coming to an end after Thanksgiving, it’s been starting all over again. We’re looking forward to a longer season than we typically have.”

Detroit Lions’ Darius Slay gets Aaron Rodgers’ jersey in swap: ‘It touched me’

Darius Slay wasn’t happy about the Detroit Lions’ loss to the Green Bay Packers. But he was ecstatic about his parting gift from Aaron Rodgers, the quarterback whose virtues Slay has extolled for years.

After a 23-20 loss, the Lions cornerback found Rodgers on the field and received a signed No. 12 jersey.

Slay proudly showed off the jersey in the locker room and read Rodgers’ message, though he had some difficulty reading the writing.

“He basically just said — because he kind of got sloppy handwriting here — ‘I always loved competing against you. You’re one of the greatest in this generation. Thanks for making me a better player,’ ” Slay said. “Which he is one of the better players in this generation for sure, one of the Hall of Fame best quarterbacks.

“And coming from him, my heart drops. You could hear, ‘doop,’ a pin drop. So for me, coming from (someone like) that, feel great. It’s Aaron Rodgers, so he’s just letting me know I’m one of the greatest, I felt great. It touched me. It touched me.”

Slay left the game briefly and returned with a noticeable limp. He played a few series and struggled to match speed with receivers, including when he gave up a 28-yard touchdown pass to Allen Lazard. He didn’t play the final few series.

“Yeah, just trying to fight man,” Slay said. “I wanted to bring a win for the team, for Marvin (Jones), his family, myself. Just trying to fight. I should’ve stayed down. That last drive was special, but I should’ve stayed down. I don’t know what the results would have been, but I should’ve stayed down.”