Since that moment, though, Shazier has been determined to frame his circumstance in the most positive light. He FaceTimed with the Steelers from his hospital bed a week later, after they clinched the AFC North championship with a victory over Baltimore. He made a surprise appearance for the team’s big showdown with New England, surrounded — and no doubt protected — by family and the glass separating the luxury box from the regular fans at Heinz Field, the whole of his situation still a mystery to those who follow the team and the league.
McNabb allegedly sent Cantor sexually inappropriate text messages. She accused Davis of rubbing his body against her and using lewd and sexually suggestive talk.
But a lot of well-documented things happened as Manziel’s college days wound down and his NFL career began as the Browns’ second first-round pick (22nd overall) in 2014. He became an out-of-control, unmanageable mess who thought partying regardless of the tabloid headlines that followed was more important than his NFL career. He had come from a wealthy family, appeared spoiled and immature and got in trouble with the law (in a domestic violence incident with his girlfriend that recently was dismissed after Manziel abided by several court-ordered steps). He became the latest poster child for wasted potential. His own father stated publicly that he was worried his son won’t live to see his 24th birthday after Manziel refused to go to rehab in early 2016.
Plugging that manpower into Shurmur’s rhythmic attack and pairing it with the league’s best defense, the Vikings earned a playoff bye for the first time since 2009—even with career backup Case Keenum at the helm following Sam Bradford’s Week 1 knee injury. Credit to Keenum: With the previous previous QB, Teddy Bridgewater, pacing the sidelines, ready to reclaim the job after recovering from his own knee injury, Keenum took an offense that finished 27th, 29th and 28th in total yards over the past three seasons and turned it into a top-11 unit.
Is all this enough for the horn-helmeted denizens of lakes Minnetonka and Minnewaska to start dreaming big? Can the Vikings become the first team to reach the Super Bowl at its home stadium and then end the franchise’s 57-year titleless drought?
Maybe such talk feels premature. Or perhaps Diggsy and Thielen, shimmying in their chairs, can turn this vision into reality too.
It was a rough way for the Rams to end the drive, after going 16 plays and 73 yards only to fall short.