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Popo: The Morning Rush for Wednesday Aug. 31

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Posted at 7:20 AM, Sep 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-02 07:20:14-04

It's the last day of August in 2016.

AUG. 31, 1991: Houston quarterback David Klingler set an NCAA record by throwing six touchdown passes in the second quarter against Louisiana Tech. Klinger was the Bengals No. 1 pick in the 1992 college draft.

AUG. 31, 2010:  Aroldis Chapman joins the Reds bullpen and hits 102 mph on the radar gun in throwing a perfect inning against the Brewers. He threw four pitches clocked at 100 mph or better.

CUT DAY: Paul Brown used to tell players that "it's time to get on with your life's work." In other words, you're not good enough to make our football team, but it's not the end of the world. You need to find satisfaction doing something else. All NFL teams had to reduce their rosters to 75 players by Tuesday.

SO LONG, BRANDON: The Bengals released Brandon Tate who has been returning kickoffs and occasionally catching passes here since 2011. He is the Bengals all-time leader in punt return yards and stands second in kick return yards. He caught 57 passes with six touchdowns. He had a knack for catching passes at key moments.

WHY? The numbers finally got to Tate. You would think that with the departures of Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu, a veteran pass catcher like Tate would be coveted. However, draft picks Tyler Boyd and Cody Core have both shown promise as receivers. And Alex Erickson came out of nowhere to distinguish himself as a receiver and a return man.

SURPRISED? You bet. Even the coaches were taken off guard. Special teams coach Darrin Simmons told reporters "Not that Brandon lost it, but I think Alex earned that spot with his playmaking ability. You saw it. Everyone was kind of surprised week one. I was too, and then it just kept happening week after week after week and there's something there. I have a great deal of faith in him."

MORE CUTS AHEAD: Unlike what Rod Stewart used to sing, the LAST cut is the deepest. The Bengals roster currently is at 75. They have to reduce it to 53 by Saturday afternoon. There's still a lot of work to be done.

MOROSE IN MINNESOTA: There was great optimism in Minnesota where the Vikings were coming off a playoff appearance and moving into a new stadium. Then came Tuesday at practice. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater dropped back in a non-contact drill, and tried to plant his left foot. It didn't plant, it collapsed. It was later revealed that Bridgewater suffered a dislocated left knee and a complete tear of his ACL. He will have surgery in the coming days.

MIKE ZIMMER: A certified no-nonsense tough guy. And a genuinely good guy. When he was the defensive coordinator he came to Channel 9 late on Sunday night three or four times to do Sports of All Sorts live with me. Players kidded me that we'd have to use a delay system to bleep Zimmer's legendary salty language. It never was a problem. He's a coach's kid who knows this is a tough game for tough guys. So while Zimmer put on his toughest face Tuesday, it was clear he was upset by Bridgewater's injury. "We're going to grieve today and be upset about it" Zimmer told reporters. "We're not looking for excuses. We're going to go out and fight like we always do."

MORE ZIM: Zimmer has faced adversity like this before. You'll recall that his wife Vikki died unexpectedly in 2009 when he was coaching with the Bengals. He remembered that moment on Tuesday. "It was a tough day. The sun came up the next day. The world kept spinning and people kept going to to work. That's what we're going to do."

ONE AND DONE: Withrow football coach Ryan Drake was fired after one game this season for insubordination. Mike Dyer has the complete story on this here. According to Mike, Drake was told not to play a certain kid against Dayton Dunbar because his eligibility was in question. Drake played the kid anyway. Withrow has to play Mason this Friday.

NEVER MIND: FC Cincinnati goalkeeper Mitch Hildebrandt was hit with a red card over the weekend against New York. That would have made him ineligible to play tonight against Charlotte. But the team appealed his red card and the USL rescinded it, allowing Hildebrandt to play tonight.

Have a great Wednesday.

jpopovich@wcpo.com