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2 hours ago

All Denver Broncos QBs ineligible vs. New Orleans Saints because of coronavirus

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- In the on-field scenario many in the league feared the most with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Denver Broncos plan to play the New Orleans Saints on Sunday with no available quarterbacks for the game. The Broncos' three eligible quarterbacks -- Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles -- were each deemed to be high-risk COVID-19 close contacts and none of the three can be in uniform for Sunday's game, the team announced on Saturday night. Denver's statement didn't say who the players came in contact with but sources told ESPN it was quarterback Jeff Driskel. Driskel tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday and was moved to the team's reserve/COVID-19 list later that day. The Broncos will not be forfeiting Sunday's game, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Lock, Rypien and Bortles, who is on the practice squad, were pulled off the field early in Saturday's practice and told to isolate at home after contact-tracing...
2 hours ago
4 hours ago

Nick Saban lauds Alabama coaching staff for win vs. Auburn during his COVID-19 absence

Alabama football coach Nick Saban found himself in the uncomfortable position of feeling out of control as he watched Saturday's game against Auburn while isolating from home following a positive COVID-19 test earlier in the week. Saban said the coaching staff did a "marvelous job" of handling the situation, and he singled out Steve Sarkisian for managing dual roles as offensive coordinator and interim head coach. No. 1 Alabama cruised to a 42-13 home win over No. 22 Auburn as quarterback Mac Jones threw for 302 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions. Despite that, Saban admitted he found himself feeling "a little helpless" at times, yelling at things and unable to do anything about it because rules prohibited him from contacting his coaching staff during the game. "I think I did yell at the TV a couple of times today," Saban said. "A couple of times when we made some mistakes in coverage. A couple of times when we missed some tackles. A...
4 hours ago
November 28

49ers not allowed to play in stadium under new COVID-19 restrictions

Stanford's football program will also be affected by the measures.
November 28
Fan cutouts are seen in the stands as the San Francisco 49ers warm up before their NFL game against the Green Bay Packers at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., Nov. 5, 2020.
November 28

FBS sets postseason plans, ensuring final CFP rankings to be set Dec. 20

Every FBS conference has a contingency plan for determining its winner this season in the event its conference championship game can't be played during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, almost ensuring the College Football Playoff selection committee will determine its final ranking as planned on Dec. 20 without delay. "The management committee decided earlier this month not to lengthen the regular season," CFP executive director Bill Hancock told ESPN on Saturday evening. "As folks know, many games have already been played and many others are on tap for the next three weekends. The selection committee will set the CFP pairings Dec. 20." The Pac-12 will hold its title game on Dec. 18, and the other Power 5 conference championship games are currently scheduled for Dec. 19. But as COVID-19 cases throughout the country escalate and games are canceled or postponed each week as a result, uncertainty continues to engulf the sport. ESPN.com reached out to the Big 12, Big Ten, SEC, Pac-12...
November 28
November 28

Power 5 set postseason plans, ensuring final CFP rankings to be set Dec. 20

Every Power 5 conference has a contingency plan for determining its winner this season in the event its conference championship games can't be played during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, almost ensuring the College Football Playoff selection committee will determine its final ranking as planned on Dec. 20 without delay. "The management committee decided earlier this month not to lengthen the regular season," CFP executive director Bill Hancock told ESPN on Saturday evening. "As folks know, many games have already been played and many others are on tap for the next three weekends. The selection committee will set the CFP pairings Dec. 20." The Pac-12 will hold its title game on Dec. 18, and the other Power 5 conference championship games are currently scheduled for Dec. 19. But as COVID-19 cases throughout the country escalate and games are canceled or postponed each week as a result, uncertainty continues to engulf the sport. ESPN.com reached out to the Big 12, Big Ten, SEC,...
November 28
November 28

Power 5 sets postseason plans, ensuring final CFP rankings to be set Dec. 20

Every Power 5 conference has a contingency plan for determining its winner this season in the event its conference championship games can't be played during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, almost ensuring the College Football Playoff selection committee will determine its final ranking as planned on Dec. 20 without delay. "The management committee decided earlier this month not to lengthen the regular season," CFP executive director Bill Hancock told ESPN on Saturday evening. "As folks know, many games have already been played and many others are on tap for the next three weekends. The selection committee will set the CFP pairings Dec. 20." The Pac-12 will hold its title game on Dec. 18, and the other Power 5 conference championship games are currently scheduled for Dec. 19. But as COVID-19 cases throughout the country escalate and games are canceled or postponed each week as a result, uncertainty continues to engulf the sport. ESPN.com reached out to the Big 12, Big Ten, SEC,...
November 28
November 28

Baltimore Ravens add six more to reserve/COVID-19 list; total up to 18 this week

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- The Baltimore Ravens placed six players on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Saturday, causing some to wonder whether they can field a competitive team for Tuesday's game against the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers. In the midst of one of the biggest outbreak in sports, the Ravens have now put 18 players on the reserve/COVID-19 list this week, including reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson. Baltimore has had seven straight days with at least one positive test, including at least one on Saturday, according to a source. The Ravens have 20 players total on the reserve/COVID-19 list, as quarterback Trace McSorley and injured cornerback Iman Marshall had been on the list since before this week.    The coronavirus has decimated Baltimore's roster to the point where the Ravens are left with two quarterbacks, six offensive linemen and three defensive linemen on their current active and practice squad rosters. Baltimore has 52...
November 28
November 28

Sources: Denver Broncos QBs ruled ineligible vs. New Orleans Saints

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- In the on-field scenario many in the league feared the most with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Denver Broncos plan to play the New Orleans Saints on Sunday with no available quarterbacks for the game. The Broncos' three eligible quarterbacks -- Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles -- were each deemed to be a "high-risk" close contact to quarterback Jeff Driskel, and none of the three can be in uniform for Sunday's game, sources told ESPN. Driskel tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday and was moved to the team's reserve/COVID-19 list later that day. The Broncos will not be forfeiting Sunday's game, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Lock, Rypien and Bortles, who is on the practice squad, were pulled off the field early in Saturday's practice and told to isolate at home after contact-tracing concerns had arisen, sources told ESPN. The three were discovered to have not worn masks at one point during contact...
November 28
November 28

Baltimore Ravens add six more to reserve/COVID-19 list; total up to 18

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- The Baltimore Ravens placed six players on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Saturday, causing some to wonder whether they can field a competitive team in Tuesday's game against the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers. In the midst of one of the biggest outbreak in sports, the Ravens have now put 18 players on the reserve/COVID-19 list this week, including reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson. Baltimore has had seven straight days with at least one positive test, including at least one Saturday, according to a source.   The coronavirus has decimated Baltimore's roster to the point where the Ravens are currently left with two quarterbacks, six offensive linemen and three defensive linemen on their current active and practice squad rosters. Baltimore currently has 52 available players, 38 on its 53-man roster and 14 on the practice squad. "We are in the midst of a trial but we are built for this!" wide receiver Willie Snead IV tweeted....
November 28
November 28

Contact sports ban leaves San Francisco 49ers, other Bay Area teams in limbo

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- For at least the next three weeks, the San Francisco 49ers are a team without a home. That's because Santa Clara County, home of the 49ers and Levi's Stadium, issued enhanced COVID-19 guidelines for professional, collegiate and youth sports on Saturday afternoon that effectively put a three-week ban on any contact sports taking place in the county. Saturday's announcement comes in the wake of rising COVID-19 cases in California and the Bay Area. The ban and other related guidelines, including a 14-day quarantine for anyone traveling to the county from more than 150 miles away, are set to begin Monday. "All recreational activities that involve physical contact or close proximity to persons outside one's household, including all contact sports, will be temporarily prohibited," the order said. "People can continue to engage in outdoor athletics and recreation where social distancing can be maintained at all times." The 49ers currently have two home...
November 28
November 28

Buffalo Bulls RB Jaret Patterson (409 rushing yards) ties FBS mark with 8 TDs

Buffalo's  Jaret Patterson had to wait a couple of extra months to run the ball this season, as the Bulls didn't start playing until November because of the coronavirus pandemic. Talk about making up for lost time. Patterson, a junior from Glendale, Maryland, tied the FBS record for rushing touchdowns in a game and had the second highest single-game rushing total with 409 yards and eight scores in a 70-41 victory over Kent State on Saturday. Patterson tied former Illinois star Howard Griffith's FBS record of eight rushing touchdowns, set against Southern Illinois in 1990. "Obviously, he's very special," Buffalo coach Lance Leipold said. "Some of those big plays, it's the patience. It's the vision once he sees it. Today, even more so, I think there were some broken tackles for either first downs or ones that ended up being huge gains or even touchdowns. Now you start adding his speed, quickness and balance, that's what makes him one of the best in...
November 28
November 28

Sarah Fuller becomes 1st woman to play in Power 5 football game

The soccer champ was recruited for Saturday's game vs. Missouri.
November 28
Vanderbilt Commodores place kicker Sarah Fuller warms up before a game against the Missouri Tigers at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium, Columbia, Mo., Nov. 28, 2020.
November 28

Detroit Lions fire coach Matt Patricia, GM Bob Quinn

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- The Detroit Lions fired head coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn on Saturday after two straight seasons under .500 and a third season where the team was again under .500 at midseason. Patricia's record was 13-29-1 since taking over as the Lions coach in 2018. Quinn had been the team's GM since 2016, and the Lions were 31-43-1 during his tenure. "It was a hard decision because they are both terrific people and worked very hard and tirelessly for this organization," owner Sheila Ford Hamp said Saturday. "It just clearly wasn't working. It wasn't what we had hoped for when we hired them, and so I don't know if there was an exact moment. "It was something that we had been thinking about for several weeks and going back and forth and deciding." Lions offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell will be the team's interim head coach. A combination of front-office executives Kyle O'Brien, Mike Disner, Rob Lohman and Lance Newmark will handle general...
November 28
November 28

Tua Tagovailoa doubtful with thumb injury, Ryan Fitzpatrick expected to start for Miami Dolphins

DAVIE, Fla. -- Miami Dolphins rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was downgraded from questionable to doubtful for Sunday's game vs. the New York Jets because of a left thumb injury that he sustained during practice this week. Veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick is expected to start for Tagovailoa. The Dolphins elevated rookie practice squad quarterback Reid Sinnett to the active roster for the first time this season, another sign that Tagovailoa is expected to be inactive Sunday. Sinnett would serve as Fitzpatrick's backup in his first NFL game. Tagovailoa jammed the thumb on his left throwing hand on a teammate's helmet during Wednesday's practice, which limited him throughout the week, although he was seen throwing and practicing every day. Dolphins Brian Flores initially said Thursday morning he wasn't "too worried" about Tagovailoa's thumb but Friday he noted he would have to watch his effectiveness in practice film before deciding if he could play...
November 28
November 28

Vanderbilt Commodores K Sarah Fuller makes history with second-half kickoff

Sarah Fuller became the first woman to play in a Power 5 football game on Saturday when she delivered the opening kickoff of the second half for Vanderbilt against Missouri. Fuller, a senior goalkeeper on Vanderbilt's SEC championship soccer team, sent the low kick to the 35-yard line where it was downed by Missouri. Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason said Fuller executed the so-called squib kick exactly as it was designed. "Honestly, it's just so exciting," Fuller said after the team's 41-0 loss. "The fact that I can represent all the girls out there that have wanted to do this or thought about playing football or any sport really, and it encourages them to be able to step out and do something big like this, it's awesome." Fuller said she was calm as she took the field in Missouri, adding that playing in the SEC championship game was more stressful. But seeing the reaction to her making history on social media has been far more than she imagined. She said she...
November 28
November 28

Vanderbilt kicker Sarah Fuller suits up vs. Missouri on Saturday, can make history

Sarah Fuller is poised to become the first woman to play in a Power 5 football game when Vanderbilt plays at Missouri in an SEC contest Saturday. Fuller made the trip to Missouri and is in uniform for the game. If she sees game action Saturday, Fuller will make Power 5 history. "Let's make history,'' Fuller, a senior, wrote Friday on Twitter. Fuller, a goalkeeper on Vanderbilt's SEC championship soccer team, tried out and was added to the football roster this week. Vanderbilt had a grad transfer kicker opt out before the season, and this week several of its specialists had to go into quarantine due to COVID-19 testing. Only two women have played football at the FBS level: Katie Hnida of New Mexico and April Goss of Kent State. "I think it's amazing and incredible," Fuller told Vanderbilt's website. "But I'm also trying to separate that because I know this is a job I need to do and I want to help the team out and I want to do the best that I can. Placing that...
November 28
November 28

Sources: Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner, coach test positive for coronavirus

A day after placing three players on the reserve/COVID-19 list, the Pittsburgh Steelers have more positive tests, including one from running back James Conner, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter on Saturday. They are awaiting the results of a rerun test, but Conner is in good health at this time, the source said. He was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday afternoon, the team announced. According to the NFL's COVID-19 protocol, Conner, a cancer survivor, would be out for at least 10 days, unless he is asymptomatic and receives two consecutive negative PCR virus tests at least 24 hours apart and receives permission from the team doctor and infection control for sports. A 10-day isolation would put him out for both Tuesday's game against the Ravens and the following Sunday's game against  Washington. The team will conduct contact tracing to determine Conner's contacts. With Conner out, the Steelers will likely turn to second-year back ...
November 28
November 28

Ohio State Buckeyes not ruling out playing game vs. Michigan State Spartans

Ohio State officials aren't ruling out a return to the field next week after pausing team activities and canceling Saturday's game at Illinois after a rise in COVID-19 cases within the program. The team, which was scheduled to fly to Illinois on Saturday morning for the noon ET game, announced the cancellation late Friday night. Team physician Dr. Jim Borchers on Saturday said No. 4 Ohio State, which "essentially had no cases of COVID-19" all season, initially saw an increase on Wednesday and exceeded the Big Ten's threshold for population positivity rate after Friday's results. Head coach Ryan Day is among those who tested positive for COVID-19. Ohio State declined to reveal specific numbers or names about who tested positive, saying only that players, coaches and support staff in its 170-member Tier 1 congregant group all have been impacted. Athletic director Gene Smith on Saturday repeatedly cited the rise in COVID-19 cases in Columbus and surrounding Franklin County in...
November 28
November 28

Baltimore Ravens sign Dez Bryant to 53-man roster

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Wide receiver Dez Bryant announced that he was officially signed to the Baltimore Ravens' 53-man roster Saturday, another step in his unlikely comeback. Bryant, 32, was originally signed to the practice squad on Oct. 27 after being out of football since 2017. The three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver has been elevated to play in two games, making four catches for 28 yards this season. By joining the active roster, Bryant would be available to play in Tuesday's game against the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers as well as a much-anticipated reunion against the Dallas Cowboys on Monday, Dec. 7. Bryant starred for the Cowboys from 2010 to 2017. "Beyond thankful," Bryant posted on Twitter. He is the second Pro Bowl wide receiver to miss two full seasons and return to the NFL since the 1970 merger, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Josh Gordon was the first. Bryant's determination to get back to this point has been...
November 28
November 28

NBA outlines COVID-19 safety protocols in 134-page guide

Ahead of training camps opening up across the NBA next week, the league has compiled a comprehensive health and safety protocol for the 2020-21 NBA season and sent it to its teams. The document, which was obtained by ESPN, is 134 pages long, and is similar to the one the league created to govern everything that happened inside the bubble it created at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, this summer. This time, however, the league will be attempting to combat the coronavirus without the benefit of being inside a bubble where it was able to be successfully sealed away from the outside world. And, like in that first document, the league has constructed a rules system for what will happen when someone tests positive for COVID-19. Under such a scenario, there are two potential paths to return: a "time-based" resolution, and a "test-based" resolution. Under the time-based resolution, the infected person would have to either have gone at least 10 days since the date of...
November 28
November 28

Virginia Cavaliers-Florida State Seminoles football game postponed amid coronavirus issues

The Virginia- Florida State football game was postponed on Saturday morning after positive coronavirus tests and contact trace quarantines within the Seminoles -- the second straight week they had a game postponed hours before kickoff. "Our team underwent the mandated third-party testing yesterday and learned late last night that we had one positive test. Contact tracing this morning determined that, with opt-outs and injuries, we had just 44 scholarship players for the game, with some position groups depleted almost entirely," Florida State athletic director David Coburn said in a statement. "We deeply regret that many Florida State and Virginia fans have already traveled to the game as well as Virginia's team. We simply had no way of knowing we would not be playing until this morning. We made every effort to play, but we could not do so in a way that was safe for the players." Florida State's ability to face Duke on Dec. 5 is uncertain at this time, a source told...
November 28
November 28

Virginia Cavaliers-Florida State Seminoles game postponed amid coronavirus issues

The Virginia- Florida State game was postponed on Saturday morning after positive coronavirus tests and contact trace quarantines with the Seminoles -- the second straight week they had a game postponed hours before kickoff. Last Saturday, the Clemson-Florida State game was also postponed after the chief medical officers from both schools could not agree about whether it was safe to play the game -- unleashing a torrent of criticism from Clemson coach Dabo Swinney -- who said Florida State should have to forfeit the game. In that case, Clemson traveled to Tallahassee with a player who ultimately tested positive for the coronavirus. In this case, Florida State is the program with the coronavirus issues. Neither the Clemson-Florida State nor the Virginia-Florida State games have been rescheduled at this time.
November 28
November 27

No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes cancel Saturday's football game vs. Illinois Fighting Illini

Ohio State has canceled Saturday's football game at Illinois because of a COVID-19 outbreak within the No. 4 Buckeyes' program and has paused all team-related activities indefinitely after additional positive tests were revealed Friday evening, the school announced. Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith, university president Kristina M. Johnson and head team physician Dr. Jim Borchers made the decisions to cancel the game and pause activities in consultation with the Big Ten. The game was canceled just hours after Ohio State announced that coach Ryan Day had tested positive for COVID-19 and was in isolation. "We have continued to experience an increase in positive tests over the course of this week," Smith said in a statement Friday night. "The health, safety and well-being of our student-athlete is our main concern, and our decisions on their welfare will continue to be guided by our medical staff." The program will resume its team activities when its medical...
November 27
November 27

No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes cancel Saturday's game vs. Illinois Fighting Illini

Ohio State has canceled Saturday's game at Illinois because of a COVID-19 outbreak within the No. 4 Buckeyes' program, and has paused all team-related activities indefinitely after additional positive tests were revealed Friday evening, the school announced. Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith, university president Kristina M. Johnson and head team physician Dr. Jim Borchers made the decisions to cancel the game and pause activities in consultation with the Big Ten conference. The game was canceled just hours after Ohio State announced that coach Ryan Day had tested positive for COVID-19 and was in isolation. "We have continued to experience an increase in positive tests over the course of this week," Smith said in a statement Friday night. "The health, safety and well-being of our student-athlete is our main concern, and our decisions on their welfare will continue to be guided by our medical staff." The program will resume its team activities when its...
November 27
November 27

NFL closing team facilities Monday and Tuesday amid coronavirus spike, holiday guests

Team facilities will be closed to all in-person activities Monday and Tuesday, the NFL said Friday in a leaguewide memo. The ban does not apply to teams scheduled to play on Monday or Tuesday. The NFL cited the spike in coronavirus cases around the country as well as the "understanding that a number of players and staff celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday with out-of-town guests" as reasons for closing facilities. All activities will be conducted virtually except essential medical treatment and rehab, according to the memo. The NFL Players Association also instructed players to alert teams if they had guests over the past several days for the purposes of additional testing when facilities reopen.
November 27
November 27

Iowa's Kirk Ferentz scoffs at Nebraska's gripe over clapping from sideline

Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz took issue with Nebraska attributing center Cameron Jurgens' snapping issues during Friday's game to clapping from the Hawkeyes' sideline. After the Cornhuskers' 26-20 road loss Friday, Nebraska coach Scott Frost was asked about Jurgens, who had five snaps go awry in the first half. Frost told media members he believed clapping from Iowa's sideline was confusing his center and causing mishandled snaps. "The issue with snaps today, I don't think had anything to do with [Jurgens'] technique," Frost said. "There was clapping going on on their sideline and Cam heard that clap and thought it was the quarterback clapping. We discussed it with the officials, and it didn't happen in the second half." Ferentz was made aware of Frost's comments during his postgame news conference. "Never heard of that," Ferentz said. "If a player was on the field doing it, I get that. But what are we talking about? The next thing you know, we're...
November 27
November 27

NBA releases preseason schedule for Dec. 11-19

As the NBA continues to move toward starting its 2020-21 season on Dec. 22, a slate of 49 preseason games will be played from Dec. 11 through Dec. 19 to allow teams to prepare for the upcoming campaign. Each NBA team will play at least two preseason games -- one at home and one on the road -- and none will play more than four. The preseason schedule will begin with a five-game slate on Dec. 11 -- highlighted by a meeting between the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers and their co-tenants at Staples Center, the LA Clippers. Other games of interest: Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks facing two-time reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks on Dec. 12. Kevin Durant presumably suiting up for the Brooklyn Nets for the first time at Barclays Center against the Washington Wizards on Dec. 13. Doc Rivers coaching his first game for the ...
November 27
November 27

Ravens-Steelers Thanksgiving Day game postponed again due to COVID-19 outbreak

The move comes after "multiple" members of the Ravens tested positive.
November 27
J.K. Dobbins #27 of the Baltimore Ravens runs the ball against the Philadelphia Eagles, Oct. 18, 2020, in Philadelphia.
November 27

Ohio State coach Ryan Day among those in football program to test positive for COVID-19

Ohio State football coach Ryan Day has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not travel with the No. 4 Buckeyes for Saturday's game against Illinois, the school said in a statement. Assistant head coach/defensive line coach Larry Johnson will serve as interim head coach on Saturday while Day is in isolation. Ohio State has confirmed "an increased number of positive tests this week for the coronavirus," but it continues to prepare for its noon game in Champaign, Illinois. The Buckeyes completed another round of daily testing on Friday morning, and everyone associated with the team -- including coaches and support staff -- will also take PCR tests on Friday afternoon "out of an abundance of caution to ensure that everyone on the trip is confirmed negative for the coronavirus," according to a news release. Because of the additional PCR testing, the team will fly to Champaign on Saturday morning instead of Friday afternoon. A school spokesman told ESPN that Day informed the...
November 27
November 27

Baltimore Ravens-Pittsburgh Steelers game moved to Tuesday; Ravens-Dallas Cowboys game moved to Dec. 7

The COVID-19 outbreak in Baltimore has led the NFL to postpone the Baltimore Ravens- Pittsburgh Steelers game for a second time. The Ravens will now play at the undefeated Steelers on Tuesday night at 8 ET, the NFL announced. Baltimore was scheduled to play host to the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday night, but that game also has been moved, to Monday, Dec. 7, at 5 p.m. ET. "We appreciate the efforts of the NFL and Pittsburgh Steelers throughout this process, while we all work to create an environment that keeps the health and safety of everyone involved at the forefront of each decision," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said in a statement. "Our organization has a plan in place, and we will be prepared to play the Steelers. We thank everyone for their adaptability and look forward to the challenge of facing a very good football team at Heinz Field on Tuesday night." This is the third time in the Super Bowl era that an NFL game will be played on a Tuesday. It...
November 27
November 27

Chicago Bears to start Mitchell Trubisky at QB with Nick Foles hurting

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Fourth-year Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky will return to the starting lineup when Chicago (5-5) faces the Green Bay Packers (7-3) on Sunday night, head coach Matt Nagy announced Friday. "Right now, we're excited. Mitch is ready," Nagy said. "This is an opportunity for him." Veteran Nick Foles, who took over for Trubisky in Week 3, was unable to practice all week because of a hip injury he suffered near the end of Chicago's loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Nov. 16. Foles officially is listed as doubtful for Sunday. Nagy said that the plan is for Foles to travel to Green Bay but that all signs point to Tyler Bray being Trubisky's backup Sunday night. Trubisky's health had until recently been a concern. The young quarterback spent several weeks nursing a right shoulder injury that occurred on a designed quarterback keeper -- Trubisky's lone snap since the benching -- against the New Orleans Saints on...
November 27
November 27

Vanderbilt kicker Sarah Fuller to suit up vs. Missouri on Saturday, can make history

Sarah Fuller is poised to become the first woman to play in a Power 5 football game when Vanderbilt plays at Missouri in an SEC contest Saturday. A Vanderbilt official confirmed Fuller made the trip to Missouri and will be in uniform for the game. If she sees game action Saturday, Fuller will make Power 5 history. "Let's make history,'' Fuller, a senior, wrote Friday on Twitter. Fuller, a goalkeeper on Vanderbilt's SEC championship soccer team, tried out and was added to the football roster this week. Vanderbilt had a grad transfer kicker opt out before the season, and this week several of its specialists had to go into quarantine due to COVID-19 testing. Only two women have played football at the FBS level: Katie Hnida of New Mexico and April Goss of Kent State. "I think it's amazing and incredible," Fuller told Vanderbilt's website. "But I'm also trying to separate that because I know this is a job I need to do and I want to help the team out and I want to...
November 27
November 27

Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa questionable with thumb injury

DAVIE, Fla. -- Miami Dolphins rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will be listed as questionable for Sunday's game at the  New York Jets because of an injury to his left thumb suffered during Wednesday's practice. Coach Brian Flores said he will have to watch Tagovailoa's practice film to judge his effectiveness with that thumb before making a final decision on if he will play Sunday. Tagovailoa did practice every day this week in a limited capacity and wants to play Sunday. "Anytime there's anything, you have to make a declaration," Flores said. "We have to watch the film and see what he looks like. We just figured 'questionable' was the best declaration for him." It's worth noting that there is no longer a "probable" injury designation, so as Flores alluded to, if there's any chance that Tagovailoa could miss Sunday's game because of the thumb injury the Dolphins would need to list him with an injury designation, with "questionable" being the lightest...
November 27
November 27

Philadelphia Eagles RT Lane Johnson to undergo season-ending ankle surgery

Philadelphia Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson announced Friday that his season is over as he awaits ankle surgery. "It's like the inside of my ankle is collapsed," Johnson said, "so a lot of my power and my push-off that I normally have isn't there." Johnson said a stress fracture was forming from the tightrope surgery he had to repair a lingering high ankle sprain a couple of weeks before the start of the season. He felt he was making progress physically, but the leg was rolled up on a few times in the ensuing weeks, setting him back. The surgery is a repair of the deltoid ligament, Johnson said, damaged from "all of the high ankle sprains and damage I had done to my ankle." He expects a recovery period of four to five months. Johnson indicated Matt Pryor will take over at right tackle and veteran Jason Peters will move to right guard. Jordan Mailata would then get the nod at left tackle. Johnson, 30, has already missed three games this season...
November 27
November 27

Alabama Crimson Tide vs. LSU Tigers likely to be played Dec. 5, source says

The SEC is shaking up its football schedule once again as it attempts to reschedule a previously postponed Alabama- LSU game. A source confirmed that No. 1 Alabama is expected to travel to LSU on Dec. 5 as long as this weekend's slate of games goes off as planned. Yahoo Sports was first to report the change to the game, which was originally scheduled for Nov. 14 but was called off after results of COVID-19 testing left LSU's number of available scholarship players below the SEC threshold for postponement. The shake-up would push Alabama's regular-season finale against Arkansas to Dec. 12. LSU-Florida and Ole Miss-Texas A&M would take place on the same day. LSU's previously scheduled Dec. 5 game against Ole Miss would then be moved to Dec. 19 -- the day of the SEC championship game.
November 27
November 27

Sources: Curtis Blaydes tests positive for COVID-19, fight vs. Derrick Lewis called off

COVID-19 has knocked out this weekend's UFC main event. The Curtis Blaydes vs. Derrick Lewis heavyweight contender bout scheduled for UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas on Saturday is off due "to a positive COVID-19 test," the promotion announced, without specifying who it was that tested positive. Sources told ESPN's Ariel Helwani, however, that it was Blaydes who tested positive for the coronavirus. The UFC is hoping to reschedule Blaydes vs. Lewis for UFC 256 on Dec. 12, sources told ESPN, but no deal is done yet. ESPN has Blaydes ranked No. 3 and Lewis ranked No. 5 in the world at heavyweight. The scheduled UFC Fight Night co-main event -- a light heavyweight bout between Anthony Smith and Devin Clark -- has been moved up to feature-fight status and will be five rounds instead of three (prelims on ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET; main card starts on ESPN2/ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET). ESPN's Brett Okamoto contributed to this report.
November 27
November 27

New York Jets QB Sam Darnold returns from injury, to start vs. Miami Dolphins

After missing two games with an injured throwing shoulder, quarterback Sam Darnold will start for the winless New York Jets on Sunday -- their first game with the entire group of starting skill-position players. "I think these guys want to see what maybe it could've been from the beginning of the year," coach Adam Gase said Friday while confirming that Darnold is poised to face the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium. Darnold, who suffered an AC joint sprain in Week 4, has impressed the coaches this week in practice. Gase spoke confidently of Darnold's arm strength, saying only a setback in Friday's practice would keep him out of the lineup. "Which I don't anticipate," Gase said. "Everything looks good to go." Darnold has missed four of the past six games because he aggravated the injury in Week 8 against the Kansas City Chiefs. He tried to play the next week against the New England Patriots, but he didn't feel right and pulled himself out...
November 27
November 27

Buffalo Bills' O-line suffers hit as Cody Ford lost for season with knee injury

Buffalo Bills offensive lineman Cody Ford will miss the remainder of the season, the team announced Friday, after he suffered a knee injury in practice. A league source confirmed Ford tore his meniscus, which was first reported by NFL Network. Ford has started in 22 of his 23 career games since the Bills drafted him in the second round in 2019. He switched positions from right tackle to right guard to begin the 2020 season before switching again to left guard in Week 3. The Oklahoma product missed games in Week 7 and Week 8 before returning to the field in Week 9, but he played only 14 snaps before leaving with an injury and has not played since. NFL Network reports that Ford's timeline to return is three to four months but that he is expected to make a full recovery. Coach Sean McDermott also announced that wide receiver John Brown would miss his third game of the season, against the Chargers in Week 12, with an ankle injury, and that center Mitch Morse...
November 27
November 27

Texas Longhorns unveil statue of first Black letterman Julius Whittier

Texas unveiled a new 12½-foot statue of trailblazer Julius Whittier, the Longhorns' first Black letterman, outside the north end of Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on Friday. Whittier, who died in September 2018, arrived at Texas as one of the school's first Black scholarship athletes and played on the 1970 team that won a national championship. He played offensive line and tight end on three teams that won the Southwest Conference and was on the freshman team when Texas won the 1969 national title. After Whittier graduated with a degree in philosophy, President Lyndon B. Johnson encouraged him to continue his studies at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at Texas. Whittier went on to get his graduate degree and law degree in Austin and worked most of his life as a senior prosecutor in the Dallas County District Attorney's office before retiring in 2012. Honoring Whittier was among the list of changes that Texas athletes pushed for in June as a social justice...
November 27
November 27

Denver Broncos close facility after player, two staffers test positive for coronavirus

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Denver Broncos have canceled Friday's practice and the players and coaches will meet virtually after one player and two staff members tested positive for COVID-19. The Broncos were informed of the test results early Friday morning. That is in addition to quarterback Jeff Driskel, who was moved to the reserve/COVID-19 list Thursday. It is not known whether Driskel tested positive for the coronavirus or was designated as a close contact of someone who has. The Broncos are scheduled to face the New Orleans Saints on Sunday at Empower Field at Mile High. The Broncos were cleared to practice on Thanksgiving by the NFL's medical staff after moving Driskel to the reserve/COVID-19 list. When asked Thursday morning whether he had concerns that other players, including any of the team's other quarterbacks, would show up as positive tests, Broncos coach Vic Fangio said: "No, the other quarterbacks were only on there minimal amounts [as...
November 27
November 26

Dallas Cowboys mourn strength and conditioning coach Markus Paul amid loss

ARLINGTON, Texas --  Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy did not know Markus Paul long, but he quickly learned Paul's impact went beyond being a strength and conditioning coordinator. Paul died Wednesday evening after being rushed to a local hospital on Tuesday after suffering what the team termed a medical emergency in his weight room office. Less than 24 hours after Paul's death, the Cowboys had to play the Washington Football Team at AT&T Stadium, and they suffered their second-worst loss of the season  41-16.   "Markus was a special man," McCarthy said. "He was definitely someone, when I think of him, obviously had a lot of success in his professional life; but if you really look at the mark of a man, it's more about significance than success. I can't tell you the impact he's made on our football team, really the whole organization. I obviously only worked with Markus since January, but it was clearly evident through these last 48 hours, 72 hours,...
November 26
November 26

Sources: Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson tests positive for COVID-19

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, sources confirmed to ESPN. The reigning NFL MVP is the biggest star player to become infected in what has become one of the largest outbreaks in the NFL. Jackson is among the four latest Ravens players and one staff member to test positive on Thursday, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. The Ravens now have had at least a dozen players test positive for the coronavirus this week. This latest round of positive tests could threaten Sunday's game between the Ravens and the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers, which already was postponed from Thursday night. Ravens coach John Harbaugh told players that they would not be allowed back to the team facility until Monday at the earliest in the interest of safety, a source said. As of Friday morning, there has been no change in the status of the game and the league continues to monitor the situation, a source told ESPN's Jeremy Fowler. The NFL...
November 26
November 26

Football game between No. 18 USC and Colorado canceled due to COVID-19 protocols

No. 18 USC's football game against Colorado (2-0) that was scheduled for Saturday has been canceled, the Pac-12 announced Thursday. The conference said USC (3-0) did not have enough scholarship players available in a position group because of positive COVID-19 tests and contact tracing. The position group is the offensive line, a source told ESPN's Kyle Bonagura. The game will be declared a no contest. Colorado will instead host San Diego State on Saturday (3 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network) at Folsom Field.  "We are disappointed for our players and fans and those from Colorado that Saturday's game will not be played, but the health and safety of everyone in both programs is of the utmost priority," Trojans coach Clay Helton said in a statement.  USC canceled in-person activities on Thursday and was preparing virtually for Colorado after a player showed symptoms for COVID-19, the school said earlier Thursday. Two players tested positive for COVID-19...
November 26
November 26

Colorado football at No. 19 USC canceled due to COVID-19 protocols

No. 19 USC's game against Colorado (2-0) that was scheduled for Saturday has been canceled, the Pac-12 announced Thursday. The conference said USC (3-0) did not have enough scholarship players available in a position group due to positive COVID-19 tests and contact tracing. The position group is the offensive line, a source told ESPN's Kyle Bonagura. The game will be declared a no-contest. Colorado will instead host San Diego State on Saturday (3 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network) at Folsom Field.  "We are disappointed for our players and fans and those from Colorado that Saturday's game will not be played, but the health and safety of everyone in both programs is of the utmost priority," coach Clay Helton said in a statement.  USC canceled in-person activities Thursday and was preparing virtually for Colorado after a player showed symptoms for COVID-19, the school said earlier Thursday. Two players tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week and another five were in...
November 26
November 26

Colorado at No. 18 USC football canceled due to COVID-19 protocols

No. 18 USC's game against Colorado (2-0) that was scheduled for Saturday has been canceled, the Pac-12 announced Thursday. The conference said USC (3-0) did not have enough scholarship players available in a position group due to positive COVID-19 tests and contact tracing. The position group is the offensive line, a source told ESPN's Kyle Bonagura. The game will be declared a no-contest. Colorado will instead host San Diego State on Saturday (3 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network) at Folsom Field.  "We are disappointed for our players and fans and those from Colorado that Saturday's game will not be played, but the health and safety of everyone in both programs is of the utmost priority," coach Clay Helton said in a statement.  USC canceled in-person activities Thursday and was preparing virtually for Colorado after a player showed symptoms for COVID-19, the school said earlier Thursday. Two players tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week and another five were in...
November 26
November 26

Colorado at No. 18 USC canceled due to COVID-19 protocols

No. 18 USC's game against Colorado (2-0) that was scheduled for Saturday has been canceled, the Pac-12 announced Thursday. The conference said USC (3-0) did not have enough scholarship players available in a position group due to positive COVID-19 tests and contact tracing. The position group is the offensive line, a source told ESPN's Kyle Bonagura. The game will be declared a no-contest. Colorado will instead host San Diego State on Saturday (3 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network) at Folsom Field.  "We are disappointed for our players and fans and those from Colorado that Saturday's game will not be played, but the health and safety of everyone in both programs is of the utmost priority," coach Clay Helton said in a statement.  USC canceled in-person activities Thursday and was preparing virtually for Colorado after a player showed symptoms for COVID-19, the school said earlier Thursday. Two players tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week and another five were in...
November 26
November 26

Source: Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson tests positive for COVID-19

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, a source confirmed to ESPN. The reigning NFL MVP is the biggest star player to become infected in what has become one of the biggest outbreaks in the NFL. Jackson is among the four latest Ravens players and one staff member to test positive on Thursday, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. The Ravens now have had at least a dozen players test positive for the coronavirus this week. This latest round of positive tests could threaten Sunday's game between the Ravens and the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers, which already was postponed from Thursday night. Ravens coach John Harbaugh told players that they would not be allowed back to the team facility until Monday at the earliest in the interest of safety, a source said. Baltimore is down to two healthy quarterbacks: backup Robert Griffin III and practice squad player Tyler Huntley. No. 3 quarterback Trace...
November 26
November 26

Arizona Cardinals add WR Larry Fitzgerald to reserve/COVID-19 list

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Arizona Cardinals wide receivers  Larry Fitzgerald and  Trent Sherfield were added to the reserve/COVID-19 list ahead of Sunday's game at the New England Patriots. They join safety Deionte Thompson, who was placed on the list earlier this week. "It appeared that there wasn't much contact tracing with [Thompson]," coach Kliff Kingsbury said Wednesday. "I think a lot of the timing had to do with it since we had the weekend off and that probably played in our favor. We feel good about where we're at right now." Arizona now has just four healthy receivers on the roster heading into Sunday's game:  DeAndre Hopkins, Christian Kirk, Andy Isabella and KeeSean Johnson. Fitzgerald, who is second on the NFL's all-time career receptions and receiving yards lists behind Jerry Rice, has 43 catches for 336 yards through 10 games this season. The Cardinals (6-4) are third in the NFC West and holding onto the...
November 26
November 26

Cowboys offensive linemen Zack Martin, Cam Erving go down with injuries

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Plagued by injuries on the offensive line all season, the Dallas Cowboys lost right tackle Zack Martin and left tackle Cameron Erving within four plays of each other on the first drive of Thursday's game against the Washington Football Team. Martin is out because of a calf injury, while Erving is questionable to return because of a knee injury. Erving went down with a right knee injury at the 10:27 mark of the first quarter.  Martin appeared to suffer a left calf injury with 8:33 left in the quarter. Both players went directly to the locker room. Martin was on the injury report last week because of a calf injury but he was not on it this week. Brandon Knight took over for Erving and the Cowboys have Terence Steele, who started the first nine games at right tackle, taking over for Martin. Martin moved to starting right tackle for the first time in his career last week against the Minnesota Vikings after earning Pro Bowl...
November 26
November 26

No. 1 Gonzaga men's basketball swarms No. 6 Kansas for season-opening win

Drew Timme scored 25 points, Jalen Suggs had 24 and Corey Kispert added 23 as No. 1 Gonzaga pulled away from No. 6 Kansas for a 102-90 victory Thursday in the men's basketball season opener for both teams. The Bulldogs built a double-digit lead in the first half at the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off then saw the Jayhawks tie the game twice in the second half before putting them away. Gonzaga went on a 22-7 run to go up 96-78. Suggs, who got in foul trouble in the first half, scored 17 of his 24 points in the second half. Marcus Garrett led Kansas with 22 points, and Ochai Agbaji added 17 points. Agbai picked up his fourth foul midway through the second half, which hurt the Jayhawks. When he left, Kansas trailed 70-67. With Gonzaga leading 29-15, Kansas made a couple of runs to cut the deficit to as little as five. However, Kispert heated up and kept the Jayhawks at bay. Gonzaga led 54-46 at the half. The Bulldogs showed great...
November 26

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