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Sports Log

Deshaun Watson maintains innocence in introductory news conference with Browns

New Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson showed little emotion while saying he’s done nothing illegal.Ron Schwane/Associated Press

Deshaun Watson maintained his innocence and strongly denied committing any sexual misconduct despite allegations made by 22 women against the Browns’ new starting quarterback. Wearing a dark pinstriped suit and orange tie at his introductory news conference Friday at Berea, Ohio, Watson showed little emotion while saying he’s done nothing illegal. “I’ve never assaulted or disrespected or harassed a woman in my life,” Watson said. “That’s not how I was raised. I’ve never done these things people are alleging.” It was the first time Watson has answered direct questions about the allegations, which first surfaced in March 2021. Watson didn’t play last season for the Houston Texans as the cases mounted.

NFL overtime format to change?

The chairman of the NFL’s competition committee said there is “a lot of momentum” within the league for changing the sport’s overtime format. But Rich McKay, also the president of the Falcons, acknowledged that summoning the support necessary for an overtime modification to actually be enacted “is not easy to get.” NFL owners will consider two overtime-related proposals when they meet at the annual league meeting in Palm Beach, Fla., beginning Sunday. One proposal, made by the Colts and Eagles, would guarantee each team at least one offensive possession in overtime. The other, made by the Titans, would require a team to get a 2-point conversion as well as a touchdown to win the game on the opening possession of overtime.

Bills closer to getting $200m in NFL funding for new stadium

The Bills moved closer to landing $200 million in NFL funding to help finance their bid to build a new stadium, a person with direct knowledge of the situation told the Associated Press. The NFL’s stadium and finance committee backed the Bills’ request for what’s called a G4 loan, by recommending the team’s application be presented at the league’s owner meetings for final approval, the person said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the decision was made privately.

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Soccer

US men’s team close to clinching World Cup berth

Christian Pulisic pounded the ground three times just past Mexico’s goal line after his point-blank shot was blocked in the 35th minute. The United States was frustrated yet pleased with a gritty 0-0 draw Thursday night in the thin air of a half-full Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. The point pushed the Americans in place to all but clinch a World Cup berth with a victory against Panama Sunday night at Orlando, Fla.

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Miscellany

Record set in ice rhythm dance

Olympic ice dance champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron shattered their own rhythm dance world record to take the lead over two American teams at the world championships in Montpellier, France. With the backing of their home crowd, Papadakis and Cizeron scored 92.73 points to beat their score from the Beijing Games by nearly 2 points. It also left Papadakis and Cizeron more than 3 points ahead of Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue heading into Saturday’s free dance.