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Matthew Paras

Matthew Paras

Matthew Paras is a digital sports writer for the Washington Times, covering the Washington Capitals and whatever else is needed. Originally from Chicago, he attended DePaul University and was the editor in chief of the student newspaper, The DePaulia. He had previous internships with the Richmond Times-Dispatch and the Northwest Herald. He can be reached at

Articles by Matthew Paras

Washington Football Team wide receiver DeAndre Carter, left, scores a touchdown in front of Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive back Dee Delaney during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) **FILE**

DeAndre Carter leads Pro Bowl voting for return specialists

Washington wide receiver DeAndre Carter leads the NFL in Pro Bowl voting for kick return specialists after the first batch of votes were publicly released Wednesday -- a reflection of the strong year the 28-year-old has had for the Burgundy and Gold on special teams. Published November 24, 2021

Carolina Panthers defensive end Morgan Fox (91) tackles Washington Football Team running back Antonio Gibson (24) during an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)

‘Grind it out’: Washington’s newfound success comes with rise in time of possession

As Washington rides a two-game winning streak ahead of Monday's matchup with the Seattle Seahawks, the Burgundy and Gold's newfound success can be attributed partly to drives like the one used to finish off the Buccaneers. Over the last few weeks, Washington has controlled time of possession -- including in the team's most recent win over the Carolina Panthers. Published November 24, 2021

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) celebrates with wide receiver Amari Cooper (19) after Cooper caught a 21-yard touchdown reception during the second half of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Scott Audette)

As COVID-19 affects teams, frustration over NFL skeptics heats up

As an unvaccinated player, Amari Cooper must miss at least 10 days following a positive test because of NFL protocols -- which differentiate the procedures for when vaccinated and unvaccinated players can return. And since the Cowboys are on a short week, the three-time Pro Bowler had no shot at playing on the holiday classic under the league's guidelines. Published November 23, 2021

Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura (8) during the first half of an NBA basketball Eastern Conference Play-in game, Tuesday, May 18, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) **FILE**

Squeezing Hachimura, who’s closer to season debut, into Wizards’ rotation will be challenge

Wizards coach Wes Unseld Jr. said there's still no timetable for when Rui Hachimura might make his season debut. But the conversations among Unseld's staff on how to incorporate Hachimura have already started, the coach said. After all, the Wizards (11-6) have a deeper team than past years -- and Unseld will have to sort through a logjam at the forward position when Hachimura is cleared. Published November 23, 2021

Washington Football Team quarterback Taylor Heinicke is tackled by Carolina Panthers cornerback Stephon Gilmore during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)

‘Saved our season’: Win over Panthers prompts comparisons to last year

This weekend was sold as a homecoming for Ron Rivera, the former Panthers coach who, in a special twist, got to face quarterback Cam Newton. But Washington's latest win proved to be about much more than a Rivera-Newton showdown. Rather, the victory was an indication that this season might not be lost just yet for the Burgundy and Gold. Published November 21, 2021

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton scores against the Washington Football Team during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)

Heinicke tops Newton as Washington squeezes past Carolina

Heinicke, a former Panthers backup, led Washington to a 27-21 victory over Carolina in arguably his best performance for the Burgundy and Gold. Heinicke threw for 206 yards and three touchdowns as Washington improved to 4-6 on the season. Published November 21, 2021

FILE - In this Dec. 19, 2020, file photo, Carolina Panthers' Curtis Samuel reaches for a pass that fell incomplete during the first half of the team's NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers in Green Bay, Wis. Washington has filled an important void at wide receiver after coming to terms with a quarterback and cornerback. Samuel has agreed to sign with Washington, according to a person with knowledge of the move. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Wednesday, March 17, 2021, because the team had not announced the deal. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer, File)

Curtis Samuel out against Panthers

Wide receiver Curtis Samuel was ruled out of Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers when the team's inactives were released 90 minutes before kickoff. Published November 21, 2021

Head coach Matt Rhule of the Carolina Panthers coaches against the Arizona Cardinals in an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. Panthers defeated the Cardinals 34-10. (AP Photo/Jeff Lewis)

Life after Rivera: Aggressive Panthers’ rebuild a stark contrast with Washington

Sunday's game against the Panthers will be a reunion for Rivera and many others who are now with the Burgundy and Gold. Washington has more than 30 coaches, executives and players who hold Carolina ties -- including Rivera, executive Marty Hurney, offensive coordinator Scott Turner and quarterback Taylor Heinicke. But the faces they'll recognize on the opposing sideline won't be as many as one might expect. Published November 17, 2021

FILE - Washington Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard smiles at an NBA basketball press conference, Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019, in Washington. Sheppard has received a contract extension amid Washington's fast start to the season. Monumental Sports & Entertainment announced Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. that Sheppard and Sashi Brown signed multiyear extensions and received promotions. Sheppard now becomes president and GM of the Wizards. Brown, who has served as a chief planning and operations officer, is now president of Monumental Basketball and special advisor to the office of the CEO at Monumental Sports & Entertainment. (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)

Wizards extend general manager Sheppard

The Washington Wizards gave general manager Tommy Sheppard a contract extension and promoted him to team president Wednesday amid the franchise's best start in 47 years. Sheppard will also retain his title of general manager as part of the deal. Published November 17, 2021

Washington Wizards coach Wes Unseld Jr. gestures during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans, Monday, Nov. 15, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Savvy coaching, stingy defense spur Wizards’ best start in 47 years

The improved record and defense speak to the depth the Wizards have this year. But just as responsible for Washington's strong start is Wes Unseld Jr. -- the first-year coach who has crafted Washington's successful defensive schemes and been able to adapt to players coming in and out of the lineup. Published November 16, 2021

Washington Football Team defensive end Chase Young uses crutches on the sideline during the second half of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Washington looks to maintain pass rush without Young

Washington finally had the breakout performance that players and coaches insisted was coming when the team toppled the defending Super Bowl champions. But it came at a cost: Defensive end Chase Young indeed suffered a season-ending knee injury against Tampa Bay, coach Ron Rivera said Monday. Published November 15, 2021

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf walks off the field after being ejected in the fourth quarter during an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers, Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette via AP)

DK Metcalf tried to reenter game after ejection

Seattle Seahawks receiver DK Metcalf was ejected in Sunday's 17-0 loss to the Green Bay Packers, but he tried to reenter the game in the fourth quarter. Published November 15, 2021