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November 30

Third Florida State football game in row nixed; Duke to host Miami instead

Florida State has had its scheduled game nixed for the third straight week, the ACC announced Sunday. The Seminoles were scheduled to play at Duke on Saturday, but after issues with COVID-19 and contact tracing hit the team last week, the league opted to adjust that game and will have Miami play at Duke instead. Florida State postponed each of its previous two games just hours before kickoff, including a Nov. 21 date with Clemson that resulted in a public spat between the two schools regarding coronavirus protocols.   After Clemson traveled to Tallahassee, Florida, for that game, the school learned that one player had tested positive for COVID-19. Although the ACC suggested that it was acceptable for the game to be played and said that Clemson had not violated protocols, Florida State's medical advisors disagreed, and the game was postponed out of what FSU called an abundance of caution. A week later, Florida State fell victim to the same Friday testing protocols,...
November 30
November 29

Sources: Mike Minor, Kansas City Royals agree to 2-year deal

Left-handed starter Mike Minor and the Kansas City Royals are in agreement on a two-year deal that is pending a physical, sources confirmed to ESPN's Jeff Passan. With the deal, Minor returns to the city where he revitalized his career as a reliever in 2017. Minor, who turns 33 on Dec. 26, has since become a rotation stalwart. He was traded from the Texas Rangers to  Oakland for the stretch drive as the Athletics wrapped up the American League West title last season. Minor went 1-1 with a 5.48 ERA in his four starts in Oakland after the trade, in which Texas received two players to be named later and international slot money. Overall, he went 1-6 with a 5.56 ERA and 62 strikeouts for both teams in 2020. His fastball velocity took a step back last season, and his propensity for giving up fly balls showed in his allowing 11 home runs in 56 2/3 innings. His average of 17.7 pitches per inning was his highest rate since his rookie season in 2010 with...
November 29
November 29

Tyreek Hill finishes with 269 yards, 3 TDs in dominant display by Kansas City Chiefs' offense

The game began with quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs seeing something unusual: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were single-covering wide receiving Tyreek Hill early and often. The Chiefs took advantage to the point that Hill had one of the best receiving games in NFL history before the Bucs adjusted and consistently sent safety help his way. But by then, Hill was the fifth receiver ever to get 260 yards and three touchdowns and the Chiefs were well on their way to a 27-24 victory that pushed their record to 10-1. Cornerback Carlton Davis was often the victim on Hill's 13 catches, which gained 269 yards and included touchdowns of 75, 44 and 20 yards. "I don't think it was necessarily [about] a matchup,'' Mahomes said. "It was man coverage with no one over the top. We don't get that a lot, especially with [Hill] and his ability, and whenever we do, we try to take advantage of it.'' Mahomes had his fifth career...
November 29
November 29

San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan 'very disappointed' over suddenness of Santa Clara County's sports ban

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The San Francisco 49ers found out that they had become NFL nomads for at least the next three weeks the same way the rest of the world did on Saturday afternoon: via a news conference. The team was on its plane heading to Los Angeles to play the Rams when word spread that Santa Clara County had announced new COVID-19-related restrictions that put a three-week ban on all contact sports within county lines. Word spread quickly on social media, and soon, Niners coach Kyle Shanahan was inundated with players, coaches and family members wondering what it means. He wasn't pleased with the lack of a heads-up from the county. "For us to be heading out here [Saturday] and the relationship we have with them and for our players and coaches and everyone on that plane and our wives to find that out while we're getting on a plane and no one to tell us, it was just extremely disappointing," Shanahan said. "I get it: They made that decision, and we've got to deal...
November 29
November 29

Denver Broncos safety Kareem Jackson: NFL making example of us by not moving game

DENVER --  Broncos safety Kareem Jackson conceded that the team's quarterbacks made a mistake by not following the league's COVID-19 protocols, but he also said that he believes the NFL sent the Broncos out to play Sunday's game with a practice squad wide receiver lined up at quarterback much of the time as an example to the league's other 31 teams. The Broncos, with Kendall Hinton at quarterback for just more than half of the team's snaps, lost 31-3 to the New Orleans Saints at Empower Field at Mile High. "I feel like maybe [the game] could have been moved, but at the same time, maybe the league was making an example of us as far as maybe not doing the things we needed to do in that particular room, that quarterback room,'' Jackson said. "Obviously, the guys didn't follow their protocols, and for [the NFL] to see that, I guess they felt like they had to make an example, so at the end of [the] day, it is what it is. "... Obviously, it's our...
November 29
November 29

Tyreek Hill finishes with 269 yards, 3 TDs in dominant display by Kansas City Chiefs offense

The game began with quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs seeing something unusual: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were single-covering wide receiving Tyreek Hill early and often. The Chiefs took advantage to the point that Hill had one of the best receiving games in NFL history before the Bucs adjusted and consistently sent safety help his way. But by then, Hill was the fifth receiver ever to get 260 yards and three touchdowns and the Chiefs were well on their way to a 27-24 victory that pushed their record to 10-1. Cornerback Carlton Davis was often the victim on Hill's 13 catches, which gained 269 yards and included touchdowns of 75, 44 and 20 yards. "I don't think it was necessarily [about] a matchup,'' Mahomes said. "It was man coverage with no one over the top. We don't get that a lot, especially with [Hill] and his ability and whenever we do, we try to take advantage of it.'' Mahomes had his fifth career 400-yard...
November 29
November 29

Quarterback-less Denver Broncos rolled by Saints as Kendall Hinton finishes 1-for-9

DENVER -- Just over 24 hours after the Denver Broncos pulled all three of their quarterbacks off the practice field because of COVID-19 contact tracing protocols, they opened a game with running back Phillip Lindsay taking a direct snap and spent most of the day with a practice squad wide receiver as their quarterback. And then things went about as expected in a 31-3 loss to the New Orleans Saints at Empower Field at Mile High, as the Saints emptied the bench in the closing minutes. Head coach Vic Fangio said after the game that he was disappointed in the quarterbacks -- Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles -- who put the team and the league in a position in which Denver had to play without a QB. He explained that the quarterbacks came in on an off day to watch film and were lax about mask and social distancing protocols, leading to them being deemed "hisk-risk" close contacts to quarterback Jeff Driskel, who tested...
November 29
November 29

Baltimore Ravens mark eighth straight day of outbreak as WR Willie Snead IV tests positive

OWINGS MILLS, Md. --  Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Willie Snead IV tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, a source told ESPN. Snead will become the seventh projected starter on offense to go on the reserve/COVID-19 list in the past week and will miss the Ravens' next two games: Tuesday at the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dec. 7 against the Dallas Cowboys. It's the eighth straight day of at least one positive test for Baltimore. "We are in a midst of a trial but we are built for this!" Snead tweeted Saturday. "Keep pressing on!"  Snead, 28, is Baltimore's third-leading receiver this season, catching 28 passes for 379 yards. His three touchdown catches rank second on the team. Over the past four games, Snead had been the Ravens' most productive wide receiver, totaling 17 catches for 230 yards and two touchdowns while the rest of the Ravens' wide receivers have 19 catches for 217 yards and two touchdowns over that span. The Ravens have added...
November 29
November 29

NFL fines two teams, investigating two others over COVID-19 violations

The Saints and Patriots were hit with fines; Broncos and Ravens under scrutiny.
November 29
Adrian Phillips #21 celebrates with his teammates after intercepting a ball thrown during the game at Gillette Stadium, Nov. 29, 2020, in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
November 29

Jacksonville Jaguars fire GM Dave Caldwell after 10th straight loss

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars have fired general manager Dave Caldwell after a third consecutive season of double-digit losses. Caldwell has been the Jaguars' GM since January 2013 and has presided over only one winning season. The Jaguars are 39-86 in his tenure and have lost 10 or more games in every season under Caldwell except 2017. Sunday's 27-25 loss to the Cleveland Browns dropped Jacksonville to 1-10 this season. "I've met with Dave Caldwell to express my appreciation for his service to the Jacksonville Jaguars as our general manager," owner Shad Khan said in a statement. "Dave was exceptionally committed and determined to bring a winner to Jacksonville, but unfortunately his efforts were not rewarded with the results our fans deserve and our organization expects. Our football operation needs new leadership, and we will have it with a new general manager in 2021." Head coach Doug Marrone and his staff will continue to serve the team through...
November 29
November 29

New York Giants QB Daniel Jones leaves game with hamstring injury

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones left with a hamstring injury in the third quarter of Sunday's 19-17 victory over the  Cincinnati Bengals. Colt McCoy took his place as the Giants held on for the win, leaving them tied for first place in the NFC East with the Washington Football Team. The Giants (4-7) have already beaten Washington twice this season. Jones was injured at the end of a 7-yard run. He briefly reached for the back of his right leg while on the ground, but remained in the game. Two plays later, Jones could hardly drop back and made an awkward third-down throw while limping. He went to the ground and again grabbed at the back of his leg, before being taken off the field and being sent to the medical tent for treatment. Jones returned the following drive for two plays. After limping onto the field, he threw one pass before being removed from the game. He was unable to drive the ball with the leg clearly a problem. The Giants were...
November 29
November 29

Charlotte Hornets complete sign-and-trade with Boston Celtics to acquire Gordon Hayward

The Boston Celtics have traded Gordon Hayward and second-round draft picks in 2023 and 2024 to the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for a conditional 2022 second-round draft pick. The sign-and-trade agreement creates a $28.5 million trade exception for the Celtics, the largest in NBA history. The Celtics will get Charlotte's draft pick only if the Hornets finish in the top five in the league next season, so it's unlikely they will get anything in the deal other than unloading Hayward's contract. Hayward, 30, declined his $34.2 million player option with Boston earlier this month, ending a tumultuous three-year run with the team, then agreed to a four-year, $120 million deal with the Hornets. "We are thrilled to welcome Gordon and his family to the Hornets organization and Charlotte," general manager Mitch Kupchak said in a statement. "Gordon is an NBA All-Star, a proven scorer and playmaker and a tough competitor that will fit well into the needs of our team....
November 29
November 29

Denver Broncos QB Drew Lock sorry for 'slip' in following COVID-19 protocols

DENVER -- As former practice squad wide receiver Kendall Hinton warmed up inside Empower Field at Mile High to start at quarterback Sunday for the Denver Broncos, the team's usual starting quarterback, Drew Lock, took to social media to apologize for a "mistake'' in following the NFL's COVID-19 protocols. Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles, who was on the practice squad, were all removed from Saturday's practice and told to isolate after being designated as "high-risk'' close contacts to quarterback Jeff Driskel, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday.   Lock admitted Sunday the quarterbacks had not followed the league's guidelines for masks when the quarterbacks had been in a meeting together. "In a controlled and socially distanced area, we let our masking slip for a limited amount of time. An honest mistake, but one I will own," Lock wrote in a statement. "I sincerely apologize and I fully understand why these safety...
November 29
November 29

Vanderbilt fires football coach Derek Mason during 0-8 campaign

Vanderbilt fired football coach Derek Mason on Sunday, one day after a 41-0 loss at Missouri dropped the Commodores' record to 0-8. Mason had a 27-55 record in his sixth season at Vanderbilt. He is the sixth-winningest coach in program history and only the second to lead the Commodores to two bowl games. In a statement on Twitter, Mason wrote, "It has truly been my honor to have been given the opportunity to teach, mentor, champion and coach hundreds of Vanderbilt young men and one courageous female." "On behalf of the entire Vanderbilt community, I want to extend my deepest gratitude to Coach Mason for his many years of dedication and service leading our football program," athletic director Candice Storey Lee said in a statement. "Derek cares deeply about the student-athletes under his charge. His tenure at Vanderbilt will be remembered for his steadfast commitment to our student-athletes, not only on the field, but in the classroom and as young...
November 29
November 29

Denver Broncos QB Drew Lock sorry for letting 'masking slip'

DENVER -- As former practice squad wide receiver Kendall Hinton warmed up inside Empower Field at Mile High to start at quarterback Sunday for the Denver Broncos, the team's usual starting quarterback, Drew Lock, took to social media to apologize for a "mistake'' in following the NFL's COVID-19 protocols. Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles, who was on the practice squad, were all removed from Saturday's practice and told to isolate after being designated as "high-risk'' close contacts to quarterback Jeff Driskel, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday.   Lock admitted Sunday the quarterbacks had not followed the league's guidelines for masks when the quarterbacks had been in a meeting together. "In a controlled and socially distanced area, we let our masking slip for a limited amount of time. An honest mistake, but one I will own," Lock wrote in a statement. "I sincerely apologize and I fully understand why these safety...
November 29
November 29

Carolina Panthers rookie Jeremy Chinn returns back-to-back fumbles for touchdowns

Sunday's game at U.S. Bank Stadium was hyped for Carolina Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater returning to Minnesota as a franchise quarterback, but rookie linebacker/safety Jeremy Chinn stole the show with two touchdowns in 10 seconds. Carolina's second-round pick out of Southern Illinois picked up a strip sack by defensive tackle Zach Kerr and raced 17 yards for his first NFL touchdown on the third play of the second half. On Minnesota's next play, Chinn helped strip the ball from running back Dalvin Cook on a run up the middle and went 28 yards for the score that made it 21-10. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Chinn is the third player in NFL history with multiple fumble return touchdowns in a game. Al Nesser had three for the Akron Pros in 1920 and Fred Evans had two for the Chicago Bears in 1948. Chinn is also the first player to score two defensive touchdowns in the same game since Samson Ekuban for the  ...
November 29
November 29

Cameron Heyward says Pittsburgh Steelers to keep rolling with COVID-19 woes

PITTSBURGH -- Steelers captain Cameron Heyward understands that in this strange season, one played amid the COVID-19 pandemic, schedules are going to shift, and plans must be fluid. It's a message he's imparted to his teammates as the Steelers faced not one, but two postponements because of a COVID-19 outbreak in the Baltimore Ravens organization that left the team with a total of 22 players on the reserve/COVID-19 list. "This is just a chapter in our book," Heyward told teammates. "This is something we will be able to write down in the future and hopefully it is along with a Super Bowl, but for this group, we just keep rolling with it. "We understand that every team is going through something like this. Not to this extent, but we have to be ready for any situation. I think Coach [Mike Tomlin] has laid out the plan. It's up for us to follow it and it's up for us to bounce back with it." The Steelers were back on the practice field Sunday after...
November 29
November 29

Vanderbilt fires coach Derek Mason during 0-8 campaign

Vanderbilt fired football coach Derek Mason on Sunday, one day after a 41-0 loss at Missouri dropped the Commodores' record to 0-8 this season. Mason had a 27-55 record in his sixth season at Vanderbilt. He is the sixth-winningest coach in program history and only the second to lead the Commodores to two bowl games. In a statement on Twitter, Mason wrote, "It has truly been my honor to have been given the opportunity to teach, mentor, champion and coach hundreds of Vanderbilt young men and one courageous female." "On behalf of the entire Vanderbilt community, I want to extend my deepest gratitude to Coach Mason for his many years of dedication and service leading our football program," athletic director Candice Storey Lee said in a statement. "Derek cares deeply about the student-athletes under his charge. His tenure at Vanderbilt will be remembered for his steadfast commitment to our student-athletes, not only on the field, but in the classroom and as...
November 29
November 29

Vanderbilt parts with Derek Mason as coach during 0-8 campaign

Vanderbilt has parted ways with coach Derek Mason as the Commodores are winless in 2020, the school announced Sunday. Mason was 27-55 at the school, including a 0-8 mark this season against only SEC opponents. The Commodores have lost 12 straight SEC games, the longest active streak for a Power 5 school. "On behalf of the entire Vanderbilt community, I want to extend my deepest gratitude to Coach Mason for his many years of dedication and service leading our football program," athletic director Candice Storey Lee said in a statement. "Derek cares deeply about the student-athletes under his charge. His tenure at Vanderbilt will be remembered for his steadfast commitment to our student-athletes, not only on the field, but in the classroom and as young people." Vanderbilt was Mason's first head-coaching job, following a notable tenure as Stanford's defensive coordinator. Offensive coordinator Todd Fitch will serve as the interim head coach.
November 29
November 29

Sarah Fuller plans to stick with Vanderbilt football, addresses halftime pep talk

Vanderbilt kicker Sarah Fuller says she plans to stay with the football team as long as it will have her, even after the other kickers on the roster clear coronavirus protocols and return to practice. On Saturday, Fuller became the first woman to play for a Power 5 football team when she kicked off to open the second half against Missouri. A senior goalkeeper on the Vanderbilt soccer team, Fuller said Sunday during a Zoom call that playing in the game made her want to keep going. "I would love to learn more, so if those guys come out of quarantine, I would love to learn from them and their experience," Fuller said. "I've been having a lot of fun doing this. It's a challenge for me, but it's something I know I can do. It's applicable from doing a goal kick to a field goal kick, so I want to continue learning, and if those guys can help me, I'm all for it." Fuller said she planned to attend meetings on Sunday and added, "I'm sticking around until someone...
November 29
November 29

Sources: Baltimore Ravens-Pittsburgh Steelers game still on for Tuesday despite COVID-19 outbreak

Baltimore's game at Pittsburgh is still on for Tuesday night and the NFL intends for it to be played, according to sources. As of Sunday morning, there have been at least 11 Ravens players and eight staffers who have tested positive for COVID-19, sources said. Baltimore had two new cases from Saturday's testing as Pro Bowl tight end Mark Andrews and Pro Bowl outside linebacker Matthew Judon tested positive, a source told ESPN. Andrews, one of two current NFL players with Type 1 diabetes, said in early August that he was always committed to playing during the coronavirus pandemic. "I'm a healthy person and I've worked really hard since a very young age of keeping my body in the best shape and keeping tight control of my blood sugar," Andrews said on Aug. 10. "At the end of the day, that's the most important thing. I'm treating myself as a normal person. If I would get COVID, it would interact just like anybody else because I treat myself like anybody else...
November 29
November 29

Haas driver Romain Grosjean involved in huge fiery crash at Bahrain GP

Haas driver Romain Grosjean escaped serious injury after being involved in a massive crash at the Bahrain Grand Prix that ripped his car in half and engulfed it in flames.  The incident occurred when Grosjean made contact with AlphaTauri's Daniil Kvyat, which pitched him straight into a barrier in an impact registered at over 50 G-forces. Grosjean's car was ripped apart and immediately burst into flames. Grosjean was stuck in the flames for nearly 10 seconds. The FIA medical car, which follows the pack on the first lap, was quickly on the scene to help Grosjean from what was left of his car and its survival cell. The French driver, 34, who looks set to leave F1 at the end of the year, was immediately taken to the circuit medical centre. He needed to be helped to the medical vehicle.  Haas said the Frenchman has at least one suspected broken rib.  "Romain is doing okay, I don't want to make a medical comment but he had light burns on his hands and ankles," Haas team principal...
November 29
November 29

Sources - Baltimore Ravens-Pittsburgh Steelers game still on for Tuesday despite COVID-19 outbreak

Baltimore's game at Pittsburgh is still on for Tuesday night and the NFL intends for it to be played, according to sources. As of Sunday morning, there have been nine Ravens players and eight staffers who have tested positive for COVID-19, sources said. Baltimore had two new cases Saturday as Pro Bowl tight end Mark Andrews and Pro Bowl outside linebacker Matthew Judon tested positive, a source told ESPN. Andrews, one of two current NFL players with Type 1 diabetes, said in early August that he was always committed to playing during the coronavirus pandemic. "I'm a healthy person and I've worked really hard since a very young age of keeping my body in the best shape and keeping tight control of my blood sugar," Andrews said on Aug. 10. "At the end of the day, that's the most important thing. I'm treating myself as a normal person. If I would get COVID, it would interact just like anybody else because I treat myself like anybody else would." This marks the...
November 29
November 29

Sources: Denver Broncos' bid to start assistant coach at QB denied by league

The Denver Broncos are starting undrafted rookie practice squad wide receiver  Kendall Hinton at quarterback Sunday against the New Orleans Saints, but the team wanted their starting QB to be Rob Calabrese, their offensive quality control coach for the past two years, sources told ESPN on Sunday. Denver felt that Calabrese had the strongest command of its offense and he could run the system better than anybody, sources told ESPN. The league denied those requests that were made throughout the day Saturday, saying that the Broncos could not activate a coach to their active roster. The league doesn't want coaching staffs being storage areas for potential players, sources said. While the team and some of its players took to social media to make light of the quarterback situation for Sunday's game, Hinton, who was the quarterback at Wake Forest for three seasons, was elevated from the practice squad as a COVID-19 replacement. As a quarterback at Wake...
November 29
November 29

Sources: Philadelphia Eagles rookie Jalen Hurts getting first-team reps at QB

Rookie Jalen Hurts has been getting first-team reps at quarterback ahead of the Philadelphia Eagles' Monday Night Football game against the Seattle Seahawks, sources told ESPN. Carson Wentz is still expected to start, but there's been a noticeable increase in Hurts' snaps with the first team at QB, signaling the likelihood of a more expansive role as Wentz's struggles continue. Hurts, the team's second-round pick in April, has been used primarily as a gadget player to date, with just two of his 31 snaps resulting in him throwing a pass. But signs point to more opportunities with the ball in his hands Monday night. Coach Doug Pederson hesitated last week when asked about potentially making a quarterback change before ultimately saying Wentz would remain the starter. Wentz is in the midst of his worst season as a pro. He is first among all players in interceptions (14), fumbles (10) and sacks (40), ranks 32nd in completion percentage (58.4), 31st in yards...
November 29
November 29

Sources: Baltimore Ravens-Pittsburgh Steelers game still on for Tuesday despite outbreak

Baltimore's game at Pittsburgh is still on for Tuesday night and the NFL intends for it to be played, according to sources. As of Sunday morning, there have been nine Ravens players and eight staffers who have tested positive for the coronavirus, sources said. Baltimore had two new cases Saturday. Pro Bowl tight end Mark Andrews was one of two Ravens players who tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, a source told ESPN. Andrews, one of two current NFL players with Type 1 diabetes, said in early August that he was always committed to playing during the coronavirus pandemic. "I'm a healthy person and I've worked really hard since a very young age of keeping my body in the best shape and keeping tight control of my blood sugar," Andrews said on August 10. "At the end of the day, that's the most important thing. I'm treating myself as a normal person. If I would get COVID, it would interact just like anybody else because I treat myself like anybody else would." The...
November 29
November 29

Sources: Philadelphia Eagles rookie Jalen Hurts getting first team reps at QB

Rookie Jalen Hurts has been getting first team reps at quarterback ahead of the Philadelphia Eagles' Monday Night Football game against the Seattle Seahawks, sources told ESPN. Carson Wentz is still expected to start, but there's been a noticeable increase in Hurts' snaps with the first team at QB, signaling the likelihood of a more expansive role as Wentz's struggles continue. Hurts, the team's second-round pick in April, has been used primarily as a gadget player to date, with just two of his 31 snaps resulting in him throwing a pass. But signs point to more opportunities with the ball in his hands Monday night. Coach Doug Pederson hesitated last week when asked about potentially making a quarterback change before ultimately saying Wentz would remain the starter. Wentz is in the midst of his worst season as a pro. He is first among all players in interceptions (14), fumbles (10) and sacks (40), ranks 32nd in completion percentage (58.4), 31st in yards...
November 29
November 29

Sources: New Orleans Saints fined $500K, lose pick for not wearing masks during Week 9 postgame celebrations

The NFL fined the New Orleans Saints $500,000 and took away a seventh-round draft pick because they didn't wear masks during their postgame celebrations after beating Tampa Bay 38-3 in Week 9, league sources told ESPN on Sunday. The Saints, who were not happy about the discipline, have appealed the league's decision. The Saints believe other teams across the league also have celebrated victories without masks, but none has been been hit the way New Orleans has. Saints players and the team itself posted celebration videos from their postgame locker room, and it immediately gained the attention of the NFL. Coach Sean Payton, linebacker Demario Davis and quarterback Jameis Winston, who made his season debut in the victory over his former team, were among those seen dancing and celebrating in the video posted to Instagram by receiver Tre'Quan Smith. Davis and C.J. Gardner-Johnson also posted videos of the postgame ...
November 29
November 29

Mike Tyson, 54, vows to fight again after bout against Roy Jones Jr., 51, ruled a draw

Mike Tyson shared a hug with Roy Jones Jr. once the final bell sounded. Making his much-anticipated boxing return, the former heavyweight champion's exhibition fight against fellow legend Jones on Saturday night was unofficially ruled a draw. After the eight-round bout at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Tyson, who last fought in 2005, said he would "absolutely" do another exhibition. "I could've done everything better," Tyson said. "Everything I was doing I could've done it better, so God willing, I'll be better the next exhibition." Both fighters showed flashes of their former glory, but ultimately Tyson overwhelmed Jones with his heavy hitting, breaking down Jones after the fourth round. Tyson outlanded Jones 67-37, according to CompuBox. Tyson also had a 57-28 advantage in power punches, including 35 to the body. Jones admitted afterward that the body shots "took a toll" on him. "I like him, but the dude is so strong, man," Jones said afterward. "I understand why they say...
November 29
November 28

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...
November 28
November 28

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...
November 28
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

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