1st Down: The NBA regular season is less than a week away from tipping off, and the New Orleans Pelicans find themselves in all-too-familiar position: having an injury-stricken Zion Williamson to worry about. The big man, this time, is said to be day-to-day following an ankle injury sustained in his team’s 120-103 preseason loss to the Miami Heat on Wednesday. The moment occurred in the second quarter, and it of course sparked the typical responses on social media. We’ll so how it goes, but it doesn’t seem serious at this time. Prior to the departure, he had scored 11 points in just 11 minutes of action.
2nd Down: The NHL season got underway for many of the teams on Wednesday, including the defending champion Colorado Avalanche as they raised their banner and took down the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2 to doubly please the home crowd. Mikko Rantanen was sublime in the contest, dishing out four assists while Artturi Lehkonen had two goals and an assist and Valeri Nichuskin notched two goals. Lehkonen scored both of his in the second period as the Avs went from 2-1 up to 4-1, putting them firmly in control. Elsewhere, the Anaheim Ducks beat Seattle 5-4 in overtime on Troy Terry’s winning goal. He also scored the opener in the first to get his team off to a successful start to the campaign.
3rd Down: More bad news came down for fans of Alex Bowman on Wednesday as the driver of the #88 car announced that he would be missing the next three races of the NASCAR Cup Series season due to his concussion issues. Bowman sustained the injury at Texas on September 25th and has been sidelined since. That crash knocked him out of the playoffs as he missed the next two races in the round. The Hendrick Motorsports driver said he was focusing on his health currently, and that his doctors would make the call about when he should return to the track.
4th Down: The UEFA Champions League group stage is just two games from completion after Wednesday night’s results across Europe. Three more teams qualified for the round of 16 on the evening as they joined Real Madrid and Manchester City who had done so on Tuesday night. Napoli were one of them, winning 4-2 at home over Ajax as four different players scored goals in Naples over the Amsterdam club. Another team that moved on was Bayern Munich after they demolished Viktoria Plzen 4-2 behind two Leon Goretzka goals. Club Brugge also clinched a knockout round place, doing so for the first time in club history, by drawing 0-0 in Spain with Atletico Madrid. Liverpool, meanwhile, won 1-7 in Glasgow over Rangers, getting a hat trick from Mo Salah and two goals from Bobby Firmino.