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VIRUS OUTBREAK NHL
Two more NHL teams close
UNDATED (AP) – More than a quarter of the NHL teams have been closed until at least the weekend because of the pandemic.
The Columbus Blue Jackets and Montreal Canadiens were the eighth and ninth teams whose activities were suspended due to multiple positive COVID-19 test results among players. A total of 43 games have been postponed this season due to coronavirus-related reasons after the Devils-Penguins game scheduled for Tuesday was added to the list. About 10% of the league’s players are in the virus log.
The proliferation of Delta and Omicron variants across North America has resulted in the NHL postponing all cross-border games over the Christmas holidays, making participation in the Olympics unlikely.
NFL BRAUNS RAIDERS
Mayfield can’t get clearance
CLEVELAND (AP) – Baker Mayfield was running out of time. The Browns quarterback tested negative for COVID-19 today and will have to watch Cleveland’s postponed game against the Las Vegas Raiders from home as his teammates try to keep their post-season hopes alive.
With Mayfield and his backup, Case Keenum, third string player Nick Mullens kicked off the Browns, who were hit hard by a string of positive tests last week and with no coach Kevin Stefanski and up to 12 regulars for an important game. Cleveland has 22 players on the COVID-19 reserve list.
The NFL has postponed the game – and two others – for multiple teams in response to a surge in cases.
The Browns also went into the game because of a concussion without starting cornerback Greg Newsome. The Raiders were without star tight end Darren Waller, who missed his third game in a row with knee and back injuries.
NFL BEAR VIKING
Desai clears logs before Monday night’s game
CHICAGO (AP) – Chicago Bears Defensive Coordinator Sean Desai has approved COVID-19 protocols and is scheduled to call games against the Minnesota Vikings tonight. Desai tested positive last week, as did offensive coordinator Bill Lazor and special team coordinator Chris Tabor. It was unclear whether Lazor or Tabor would make the game work. The Bears said Saturday’s quarterback coach John DeFilippo would act as the offensive coordinator if Lazor is out, and Brian Ginn, the assistant special-team coordinator, would stand in for Tabor if not cleared. The bears also had 14 players on the reserve / COVID-19 list on Monday afternoon.
The Vikings will attempt to stabilize after an almost epic collapse while visiting the fighting bears. The Vikings held on to beat Pittsburgh 36-28 on a Thursday night after nearly losing a 29-0 lead. The Vikings have lost four times with three points or less. Minnesota is part of a tight field that is vying for one of the NFC’s seven playoff spots.
Bridgewater of the Broncos released from hospital
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) – The Denver Broncos’ playoff hopes will likely rest in Drew Lock’s hands for at least a week. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was released from the hospital Monday morning and entered the NFL’s concussion log. Manager Vic Fangio says Bridgewater is “very unlikely” to play the Las Vegas Raiders next weekend and ruled out the idea of third-party singer Brett Rypien despite Lock having three appearances this season had to fight. Fangio says he trusts that with a week of practice, Lock can lead the Broncos back to the Victory Column.
Elsewhere in the NFL:
– Tampa Bay recipient Chris Godwin has an anterior cruciate ligament tear in his right knee and is out for the remainder of the season. Godwin was injured in a 9-0 loss to New Orleans early in the second quarter on Sunday night and was hit directly on the knee by Saints cornerback PJ Williams. The tackle threw Godwin into the air and the receiver stayed on the ground for a moment before he helped to his feet and left the field on its own. He was later seen running on the Buccaneers sideline but did not re-enter the game.
NFL LAWRENCE TAYLOR ARREST
Lawrence Taylor is charged with failing to report a new address
PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. (AP) – Authorities say NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor is on trial in South Florida after failing to report a change of address as required due to his registered sex offender status.
Court records show that Taylor was sent to Broward County Jail on two counts Thursday for failing to notify authorities of a change of address. He turned himself in after Pembroke Pines police notified him of an active warrant. Taylor was released on $ 500 bail shortly after booking.
Taylor’s attorney says Taylor has followed all of the rules and regulations regarding his legal status for the past decade.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL SURVEY
Baylor Remains No. 1 in the AP Top 25; Arizona rises to number 6
UNDATED (AP) – Defending champion Baylor has maintained his top spot in the Associated Press college basketball poll for men, but not without casting a # 1 vote to Arizona as the six remaining undefeated continue their ascents.
Duke remained number 2 after finishing a two-week hiatus with three easy wins. Purdue finished third while Gonzaga and UCLA flipped their seats, with the Bruins rounding out the top 5 while on a COVID-19 break. Arizona jumped two places to 6. Providence and Wisconsin moved into the AP Top 25, while UConn and Arkansas were eliminated.
No. 21 Kentucky-Louisville men’s game postponed by COVID
UNDATED (AP) – This week’s basketball showdown between the number 21 in Kentucky and arch-rival Louisville in Lexington has been postponed due to multiple positive COVID-19 tests from the Cardinals program. Louisville interim sports director Josh Heird stated in a press release that team-related activities have been suspended indefinitely.
The bluegrass rivalry showdown, scheduled for Wednesday between the schools 80 miles apart, has been held annually since the 1982-83 season.
The Kentucky Sports Department is looking for a substitute game for the Wildcats in the Rupp Arena on Wednesday or Thursday.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL-NCAA-NC STATE
The NC state has placed an NCAA probation order following an investigation
UNDATED (AP) – North Carolina state’s men’s basketball program has been suspended for one year for violations of NCAA recruitment after an independent investigation.
It was the first decision passed under the Independent Accountability Resolution Process that emerged from proposals by the commission, led by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in 2018 to reform college basketball amid the federal corruption investigation against the sport .
On Monday, the Independent Resolution Panel announced that it was cutting scholarships and reducing penalties for violations by a former Wolfpack head coach and assistant for violations related to the recruitment of final player Dennis Smith Jr.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL LADIES POLL-UCONN
UConn made the AP top 10 women for the first time in 16 years
UNDATED (AP) – UConn’s record of 16 years in the top 10 is over. The Huskies fell four places to 11th in the Associated Press college basketball poll the day after losing to Louisville.
UConn was among the top 10 teams for 313 straight weeks in the poll, which dates back to March 2005 when the team also finished 11th. # 10 Baylor now has the longest active streak with 136 consecutive weeks.
South Carolina remained the unanimous top pick, receiving all 29 first-place winners from a national media body. The Gamecocks take on the number 2 at Stanford on Tuesday in the second 1v2 showdown of the season.
MLB MINOR LEAGUE TEAMS SUIT
MLB sued by 4 former partners over minor league cuts
NEW YORK (AP) – Four minor league teams that lost their big league membership prior to the 2021 season have filed an antitrust lawsuit against Major League Baseball.
The parent companies of the Staten Island Yankees, Tri-City Valley Cats, Norwich Sea Unicorns and Salem-Keizer Volcanoes have filed a lawsuit in the US District Court in Manhattan alleging that the baseball commissioner’s office has violated the Sherman Antitrust Act. They used a law firm that represented players’ unions.
MLB ended the Professional Baseball Agreement, which governed the relationship between the majors and minors, in late 2020. The number of affiliates has been reduced from at least 160 to 120.
MLB PADRES TROLLEY
Bob Melvin adds Matt Williams and Bryan Price to Padres
SAN DIEGO (AP) – New San Diego Padres manager Bob Melvin has hired former all-star third baseman and manager Matt Williams and former manager Bryan Price to complete his coaching staff.
Williams, best known for his 10 seasons with NL West rivals San Francisco Giants, will be the third base coach. Price, a former executive of the Cincinnati Reds, becomes senior advisor to the coaching staff.
Melvin was hired on October 28 to replace the fired Jayce Tingler. Pitching coach Ruben Niebla was hired by General Manager AJ Preller a few days before the announcement of Melvin’s hiring.
TENNIS CHINA PENG SHUAI
Peng Shuai denies that she was attacked
BEIJING (AP) – Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai has denied having been sexually assaulted despite a social media post attributed to her in November accusing a former top Communist Party official of forcing her to have sex.
Lianhe Zaobao newspaper published a video of Peng, allegedly taped in Shanghai on Sunday, saying she stayed mostly at home in Beijing but was free to come and go as she pleased.
Peng disappeared from sight after the allegation against former Vice Prime Minister Zhang Gaoli briefly surfaced on Chinese social media before quickly being removed. Screenshots of the post became widespread, leading to widespread concern about Peng’s safety.
TENNIS NADAL VIRUS
Nadal says he tested positive
MADRID (dpa) – Rafael Nadal says he tested positive for the corona virus after playing at an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi.
Nadal writes on Twitter that the positive result came from a PCR test he did after arriving in Spain. Nadal says he endures “uncomfortable moments” but hopes to “gradually” improve. He is isolated at home and everyone who has been in contact with him has been informed of his positive outcome. Nadal says he was tested every other day while he was away and all results were negative. Nadal says he now has to be flexible with his game plan.