A former Steelers RB is adding to the NFL domestic violence nightmare tonight. Jonathan Dwyer is now charged in a domestic violence case. Dwyer, who now plays for the Arizona Cardinals, is charged with aggravated assault in two incidents from late July involving a 27-year-old woman and an 18-month-old child. The Cardinals said they became aware of the incident on Wednesday, and immediately deactivated him from all team functions. Dwyer’s arrest is the latest in a growing and disturbing trend. Adrian Peterson is now out indefinitely with the Vikings. Today Peterson was placed on the NFL “Commissioner’s Exempt List.” Peterson is off the active roster while he deals with his child abuse charges. The Vikings admitted they “made a mistake” by initially preparing for Peterson to play this week. Meanwhile, the next opponent for the Steelers, the Carolina Panthers, put Defensive Lineman Greg Hardy on the same list, meaning he’s off the Carolina roster. Hardy was convicted in a domestic assault, but is appealing the decision. He has a jury trial scheduled for November.

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Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton is joining those calling for Adrian Peterson to be suspended until his child abuse case is resolved in Texas. Here’s the Governor’s statement:

“Yes, Mr. Peterson is entitled to due process and should be ‘innocent until proven guilty.’… Whipping a child to the extent of visible wounds, as has been alleged, should not be tolerated in our state. Therefore, I believe the team should suspend Mr. Peterson, until the accusations of child abuse have been resolved by the criminal justice system.”

At his weekly news conference, I asked Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin about respecting due process versus disciplining players immediately.

“I focus on our issues to be honest with you…it’s not my job to solve global issues…My job is to solve Pittsburgh issues.”

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This will be an interesting and critical early and mid-season stretch for the Steelers. But watch out for primetime! Funny things can happen at night, and the Steelers will be there in four of the next nine games, with another national television appearance in a late Sunday afternoon game against the Indianapolis Colts. Those next nine games will set up the brutal final five: the New Orleans Saints, the Cincinnati Bengals (twice), the Atlanta Falcons, and the Kansas City Chiefs. The Steelers will have to pile up every win they can get, starting with an important road game one week from tonight on WPXI.

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BREAKING: Former FBI Director Robert Mueller will conduct an independent investigation into the Ray Rice case, and Steelers President Art Rooney II will join Giants owner John Mara in overseeing that investigation. Commissioner Roger Goodell pledges full cooperation.

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A stunning twist in the developing story of the infamous Ray Rice video. A law enforcement official tells Associated Press that he sent the video clip that shows Rice punching his then-fiancee to an NFL executive in April. The NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell have said that they did not see the tape until it was made public two days ago. Goodell said that again last night in a CBS News interview, “We had not seen any video tape of what went on in the elevator…We assumed that there was video…We asked for video…But we were never granted that opportunity.”

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It’s crunch time for the Pirates. Time is getting critical in the race for the playoffs. The Bucs have lost four games in a row, including the sweep at the hands of the St. Louis Cardinals. The Pirates are down, but not out. A win would go a long way in the race for either the National League Central or one of the NL’s two Wild Card spots. Up next, a three-game series in Chicago against the Cubs. Vance Worley takes the mound for the Bucs at 2:20 this afternoon. Saturday’s game is scheduled for a 4:05pm, and on Sunday, the Pirates and Cubs go at it at 2:20pm.

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This afternoon at the Steelers/UPMC South Side complex, LB James Harrison will retire as a Steeler on Friday. Harrison’s two greatest moments: a 100-yd interception return for a touchdown in SB XLIII, and of course, this…

 

HARRISON

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The Steelers will start their season at Heinz Field on Sunday against the Browns in the NFL debut for this year’s first-round pick, Ryan Shazier, who will start at linebacker. Shazier knows it’s very unusual for a rookie to be starting in a Dick LeBeau defense, “It’s exciting to know the type of guys I’m with i’m not worried about me being a rookie starter…I’m just focusing on playing and helping this team.” 

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In the wake of a false report saying that Sidney Crosby had been arrested in Ottawa, I spoke with Sidney Crosby’s local representative for CAA, Dee Rizzo, who offered this statement: Sidney Crosby was not in Ottawa yesterday and has been out west all week, training with other NHL players in Vail, Colorado. These reports are untrue.”

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If you’re in that group that thought there was no way that Josh Harrison could continue what he started early in the season, then take a spot in the line of naysayers. Harrison started the day behind only former Pirate Justin Morneau in the race for the National League batting title. Harrison had 2 more hits today to raise his average to .310. You know who you are if you thought Josh Harrison was a flash-in-the-pan. He’s not. Since 1900, the Pirates have had 25 batting champions. Could Harrison be the 26th? Keep doubting him, and it just might happen.

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