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Broncos’ Bradley Chubb at full strength heading into showdown at Chiefs: “I knew I had to get back to make this playoff push.”

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Broncos’ Bradley Chubb at full strength heading into showdown at Chiefs: “I knew I had to get back to make this playoff push.”

With the Broncos in the thick of the playoff race, Bradley Chubb is back at full strength just as the team needs him most. And that timing is not lost on the outside linebacker heading into the primetime showdown Sunday in Kansas City, with the divisional lead up for grabs.

“Being the position that we were in (when I got hurt), I knew I had to get back to make this playoff push,” Chubb said.

Chubb played 42.3% of Denver’s defensive snaps in Sunday’s win over the Chargers, his first full game of action after his season debut in Week 2 in Jacksonville was cut short after 19 snaps due to a left ankle injury. A few days later, Chubb had arthroscopic surgery on his ankle to remove a bone spur, the same issue he had surgically corrected in his right ankle this past offseason.

“My ankle feels amazing (after Sunday’s game), so I couldn’t be more ready for the upcoming week,” Chubb said Monday. “(Along with the trainers) we’ll go out there during practice and manage it and see how it feels throughout the week, then hopefully Sunday it will be a full workload.”

He’s ready to make a bigger impact. Chubb didn’t register any sacks, tackles or pressures in the 28-13 victory over Los Angeles.

Chubb made the Pro Bowl with 7.5 sacks in 14 games last year but sat out the final two games with his right ankle injury. He tried to battle through the pain in his offseason training but ultimately had bone spurs surgically removed in May. That kept Chubb out of most of the offseason program, then he injured his left ankle in practice ahead of the Aug. 28 preseason finale. He tried to push through that injury as well, but to no avail.

“To have the same thing happen to the other ankle was frustrating, but I kept my head down and I kept working,” Chubb said. “(That made rehabilitation) fun, because everyone’s rallying behind me and I’m rallying behind everybody else.”

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Gophers without two more starters vs. Rutgers on Saturday

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Gophers without two more starters vs. Rutgers on Saturday

The Gopher men’s basketball team announced an hour before Saturday’s tipoff that two more starters will be out against Rutgers at Williams Arena.

Leading scorer Jamison Battle and EJ Stephens joined Eric Curry (ankle) as absences due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols, illness or injury, the school said. But Sean Sutherlin, the U’s regular sixth man, participated in pregame warmups and appears likely to play.

The U still has seven scholarship players and, per Big Ten rules, will be able to play the Scarlet Knights at 11 a.m. Saturday from The Barn.

Curry has been out since hurting his leg in the Michigan State loss on Jan. 12, but missing Battle and Stephens further weakens a U team struggling to play games. Wednesday’s game against Penn State was postponed due to U absences.

On top of those three key players being out Saturday, the U said walk-on forward Will Ramberg was questionable with a hand injury.

The Gophers had seven scholarship players available for the loss to Iowa on Sunday, with four players out due to pandemic protocols, injury or illness, including Curry. They were below that mark for the Nittany Lions game Wednesday.

Head coach Ben Johnson talked about Curry playing Rutgers in doubtful terms on Friday, saying he wanted him healthy for later this season.

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Soucheray: In St. Paul schools, who is running the show?

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Soucheray: In St. Paul schools, who is running the show?

Jerome Treadwell, the director of the nonprofit MN Teen Activists, led his fellow Highland Park High School students on a walkout of school earlier this week to support a two-week shift to remote learning. The students have COVID concerns up to and including Treadwell’s fear of dying while trying to receive an education.

If a scorecard might be created, it would feature students favoring, however temporarily, remote learning, the St. Paul district’s superintendent, Joe Gothard, favoring in-school learning and a divided school board that voted 4-3 to support Gothard’s plan to at least keep buildings open on a school-by-school basis.

Not only did Treadwell lead a walkout — walkouts also occurred at other schools — but the students had a list of demands including the district doing more to educate the students about the importance of getting vaccinated and properly wearing a mask in school. That’s when Treadwell said, “we do not want to die trying to receive our education.” That’s certainly a dreadful proposition, if not wildly implausible. Not to mention that if you keep walking out or opt for remote learning, you aren’t getting much education to start with.

Other demands include more adult supervision, more consistent bus service and a metric for temporarily closing schools, due to staff shortages, and improving the quality of remote instruction. If 25 percent of teachers at a given school are expected to be absent for extended periods of time, that school could temporarily shift to online instruction.

Gothard, with the favorable vote from the board, wants to keep the schools open, which is the current plan, while also apparently juggling the various student demands. Gothard, to his credit, believes virtual learning to be substandard. He doesn’t want it. He wants kids in school. Good for him, but who is running this show, the super, the board, the students?

It gets even more confusing, which was bound to happen after years of the chain of command losing its grip on the troops, commonly referred to as the inmates running the asylum. The problem is we don’t even know who the inmates are. Could be the kids. Could be the teachers union.

In any event, or in all events, schools will be open, even if instruction goes online. A state law forbids kids from being forced into participating in online learning. The schools must be open and they must provide transportation and meals. Kids who show up might get lucky and actually find a teacher. Who knows?

It does seem disingenuous that students would demand more education about the importance of getting vaccinated and properly wearing face masks. To this struggling nation’s great dismay, that’s all we’ve talked about for two years. Two years now! How much more information do you need?

By all accounts, Treadwell, a senior, is a well-rounded student who has had success in academics, music and athletics. A young fellow with his gifts can certainly come up with something less inflammatory than the fear of dying while trying to receive an education. Not even Ferris Bueller would have come up with that one.

COVID has taken a terrible toll, but gratefully there have been no reports of a kid keeling over at his desk during a class.

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Working Strategies: Interview mistakes to avoid (modern version)

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Working Strategies: Gift-giving to job seekers, 2021-style

Welcome back! It’s still January, so we’ll continue our theme of job search and mistakes to avoid in your modern-day process. While résumés were the focus last week, today’s column turns the glassy eye of the Mistake-o-Meter to interviews in the COVID era. (Mistake-o-Meter? Bet you can guess who’s been binge-watching kitschy sci-fi movies from the ’50s … )

Amy Lindgren

Following are common missteps people make as they meld old practices with new when meeting with potential employers. As a guide, the first four mistakes relate to remote interviews, the second four to in-person interviews, and the final tips concern universal aspects of the interview.

ONLINE

1. Taking virtual meetings for granted. Even though you’ve had way too many Zoom meetings already, pretend you haven’t and treat your next tele-interview as if it’s your first. Check the camera, audio, background, lighting and everything else you can think of to ensure a good presentation.

2. Messing up the eye contact. Guilty. I’m so confused by this my eyes practically go googly during some of my meetings. But I’m committed to figuring it out and you should be too. Good eye contact is fundamental for communication and human bonding, both critical elements of successful interviews.

3. Not using the technology fully. Did you know you can share a document on most video platforms, if the host enables that feature? Consider making that request if you have graphs or other visuals that demonstrate your accomplishments or skills.

4. Not confirming the time zone. Oops. Enough said on that one.

IN PERSON

5. Being shy about safety. If your interview will be in-person, you may have concerns about COVID safety. No need to be overly explicit, but don’t be shy either. For example, if the chairs feel too close together, just ask to move them for better social distancing.

6. Not having a mask strategy. Masking is essential for in-person meetings, whether that request is made clear or not. It demonstrates respect for the other person, while also providing protection for you. But what kind of mask? Whether you choose an N95 or cloth or something in between, be sure it fits and doesn’t bop around while you’re speaking. If you wear glasses, practice with the mask in the mirror so you can see how they go together. Logos and brands? Probably not. Giant hoop earrings? Definitely not, unless you want to spend time disentangling them.

7. Trying to shake hands. Sticking your hand out and not finding a taker is just about as awkward as flailing around with your elbows or fists, looking for something to bump. The best alternative might be a polite nod, accompanied with a hearty, “So glad to meet you.”

8. Not maximizing the in-person opportunity. As long as you’re there, would a tour be possible? Maybe you have duplicate portfolio pieces you can leave behind. Heck, bringing a potted plant or flowers might not be over the top. Just kidding, but not by much. People seem starved for company these days, so it’s smart to maximize this in-person time.

UNVIERAL TIPS

9. Being unprepared for the conversation. This is a boo-boo at any time, but it’s worth remembering for modern-era interviews as well. When the meeting is scheduled, ask who else will be there, whether remote or in-person. Your pre-meeting preparation should include researching the positions held by your interviewers, the products or services of the organization, their position in the industry, and anything else that seems relevant.

10. Assuming too much leverage. Right, right, the Great Resignation. It’s true that employers are anxious to fill jobs, but they can still get stubborn about candidates who seem to want so much more than they’ll give. Stay focused initially on what you can do for them, and then you can turn the conversational tables in later meetings.

11. Over-emphasizing WFH. If working from home isn’t essential to you, then don’t focus there. Learn about the job and the people first, and explore this aspect more fully as you get closer to an offer.

12. Not sending a thank-you note. Can’t believe we’re still teaching this, but … do thank the interviewer! Send by email for remote meetings, and by U.S. Post for in-person conversations.

As a final tip, be kind. Burned out, busy, under-staffed, overwhelmed — at least one of these likely describes your interviewer. Expect responses to be slower than normal, and show compassion about dropped balls. Better yet, maintain contact proactively but continue to explore conversations elsewhere as well. Then you’ll have all the bases covered.

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