Vikings OL Dru Samia tests positive for COVID-19
Vikings offensive lineman Dru Samia has tested positive for COVID-19. Contact tracing is being performed, and Samia and anyone deemed a high-risk contact will not be permitted to travel with the team for tomorrow night’s game against the Bears. © Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports Samia, a 2019 fourth-rounder, started four games for Minnesota earlier this year before returning to a reserve role. But the Vikings just released Pat Elflein and now find themselves without their top backup at guard. Plus, there is a good chance that there will indeed be high-risk contacts given the nature of O-line/D-line play.
The NFL news cycle has been dominated by COVID-19 outbreaks this season as teams struggle to play football amid the coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately for the NFL, with the playoff race heating up, bigger problems could be looming. © Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Before training camp began, the NFL and NFL Players Association agreed to daily testing of all players and personnel. While the numbers started out promising this season, they’ve taken a concerning turn with 52 new cases of COVID-19 found from Nov. 8-14. Now, things are about to get even worse.
According to CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones, the NFL is bracing for a significant post-Thanksgiving spike in COVID-19 cases across the league. There is a fear that with the surge in the virus, it will have an impact on the remaining regular-season games.
Broncos DC Ed Donatell back home recovering after COVID-related hospitalization
Broncos defensive coordinator Ed Donatell required hospitalization after contracting the coronavirus, according to the team. The second-year Denver DC was hospitalized last week but discharged Sunday. Donatell, 63, has been battling COVID-19 symptoms since Oct. 31 and has missed the past three games. Donatell, who is in his third stint with the franchise, is one of a few Broncos staffers to have contracted the virus. Running backs coach Curtis Modkins did so in October, and offensive line coach Mike Munchak was in the team’s COVID protocol.
The NFL has every reason to be concerned. Cases of COVID-19 are spiking across the United States, with the country exceeding 100,000-plus new positive tests every day since November began. It’s also a trend that reflects in the NFL’s testing of players and personnel, with 47 percent of cases in the regular season coming in November.
- Oct. 4-10: Eight new cases among players, seven confirmed positives among personnel
- Oct. 11-17: Eight new cases among players, 11 confirmed positives among personnel
- Oct. 18-24: Eight new cases among players, 11 confirmed positives among personnel
- Oct. 25-31: Eight new cases among players, 17 confirmed positives among personnel
- Nov. 1-7: 15 new cases among players, 41 confirmed positives among personnel
- Nov. 8-14: 17 new cases among players, 35 confirmed positives among personnel
Just this week, with cases surging, the NFL put all 32 teams into the league’s intensive protocol. Despite the measures taken, there have been outbreaks across the country. The New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles are among a handful of teams that had players or personnel test positive for COVID-19 this week.
Zoom-ing for Thanksgiving dinner this year? Here's how to make the most of it
People around the country plan to turn to video calls for Thanksgiving dinners this year. Here's how to improve your Zooms-giving plans.Whether it's a full Thanksgiving dinner to be shared virtually or just a quick FaceTime to check in, people around the country plan to turn to video calls to catch up with family and friends they'd otherwise visit during the recent COVID-19 surge.
Problems really began for the NFL in October, when the Tennessee Titans had a massive coronavirus outbreak. The league launched an investigation, which determined the team often failed to follow basic COVID-19 safety protocols. However, the organization avoided significant discipline.
Since that time, the NFL hasn’t taken repeated violations nearly as lightly. After warning teams that failing to meet basic safety precautions would lead to severe consequences, the league started dropping the hammer.
The NFL handed down harsh penalties to the Las Vegas Raiders for repeated violations. It came after a pattern of negligent behavior at every level, and discipline followed. Jon Gruden was fined for not wearing a mask during a home game against the New Orleans Saints. Shortly after that, the NFL fined Raiders’ players for COVID-19 violations at a charity event.
We could see the New Orleans Saints headed for a similar punishment, following repeated violations of the COVID-19 protocols.
I'm going to visit family for Thanksgiving. Should I get a COVID test before I go?
As people consider traveling home for the Thanksgiving holiday, many are getting COVID-19 tests to figure out whether its safe to visit lived ones.As people consider Thanksgiving travel amid a fall surge in COVID-19 cases around the U.S., lines to get tests in some places have grown longer.
There’s a reason the NFL is fearful its cases will spike in the two weeks after Thanksgiving. According to CBS Sports, a high-ranking league source indicated the overwhelming majority of COVID-19 cases among players happened because they had people over at their homes.
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it’s easy to expect that players and team personnel will be spending time with their families. With countless people traveling, exposed to the virus’s potential carriers, the odds of COVID-19 spreading spike dramatically.
The NFL hasn’t been forced to reschedule or postpone a game since Week 7, when it moved the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Las Vegas Raiders game from Sunday afternoon to "Sunday Night Football." Continuing to push through with games, even amid sizable outbreaks, has been due to the NFL’s desire to avoid massive changes.
With that said, preparations are already being made for future postponed games. The NFL is willing to host a Week 18 slate for makeup games, which would result in Super Bowl LV being pushed back.
It’s not the only option being considered. The league recently approved a plan for a 16-team playoff, part of a contingency plan if a COVID-19 outbreak affects the regular-season schedule.
Some governors ignore CDC advice on Thanksgiving gatherings
Coronavirus infections are ravaging South Dakota, where more than half of tests have come back positive for weeks. Yet Gov. Kristi Noem won't require masks or take other measures to curb the spread, including urging families to limit Thanksgiving gatherings. Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt said he'll attend a college football game over the weekend and spend the holiday with his parents, noting that, "Oklahomans should be with their loved ones over Thanksgiving.”And in Tennessee, where hospital beds are filling up and some hospitals struggle to find enough nurses, Republican Gov.
The NFL is already in danger of losing billions of dollars in revenue because of the pandemic. If it doesn't handle things correctly for the rest of the year and during the playoffs, it will be far worse.
Subscribe to Yardbarker's Morning Bark, the most comprehensive newsletter in sports. Customize your email to get the latest news on your favorite sports, teams and schools. Emailed daily. Always free! Sign up now ▸
- NFL teams must go into intensive COVID protocols for remainder of season
- NFL considering bubbles for conference championships amid rising COVID concerns
- The 'Most interceptions thrown' quiz
Related slideshow: COVID-19 and sports: Latest updates across all leagues (Provided by Yardbarker)
COVID-19 and sports: Latest updates across all leagues
It's been nearly three months since sports in the United States came to a screeching halt after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the novel coronavirus and the NBA, MLB and NHL seasons suddenly were put on hiatus.While recent UFC bouts, WWE matches, NASCAR races and golf tournaments offer a glimmer of hope that major sports may resume, the timelines still remain up in the air. With news breaking so often, we’ve gathered the latest stories fans need to know.
JUNE 11NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported the league is considering allowing teams to replace players who don't show up with "substitution" players. "Players deciding against participating in Orlando could be replaced by a substitution player," Wojnarowski tweeted. "NBA plans to allow replacements for players who test positive for COVID-19 or suffer injuries. Replaced players become ineligible for the rest of 2019-2020 season." Read more here.Woj also relayed that the NBA has slightly adjusted its target date for the first games of the resumed 2019-20 season, moving it up to July 30. The league had previously been targeting July 31. Read more here.Shams Charania of The Athletic reported the league will allow teams to carry 17 players in Orlando, which includes two-way players. Additionally, players who are currently unsigned and available may sign with teams. Read more here.ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Bobby Marks reported 14 of 22 teams will be eliminated within 53 days after players arrive in Orlando. It's expected that six teams will be bounced from the competition within 40 days at the most. Additionally, just four teams will be left after 67 days. Read more here.Wojnarowski reported there is a "growing number of players" who are considering sitting out the NBA's resumption, particularly among players on teams that don't have much of a chance to win the title. They simply do not want to live in a bubble for that long and want to see "quarantine elements" loosened. Woj also notes the Black Lives Matter movement might be "playing a role in the conversation." Count Carmelo Anthony among the players who are hesitant to play in Orlando. Read more here.JUNE 10Longtime TNT announcer Kevin Harlan shared some details about how the network will handle the unprecedented challenge of televising games that will be held in a bubble format in which broadcasters initially will not be allowed to be on site for contests: “We will be in the studios in Atlanta, and they will set up as close to possible a broadcast table like we would have courtside,” Harlan said this week on SiriusXM NBA Radio, according to Richard Deitsch of The Athletic. “We will have, I’m assuming, crowd noise pumped into our headsets.” Read more here.In a follow-up, Yahoo's Keith Smith reports that broadcasters probably won't be able to call games from Walt Disney World. If they're allowed to, it'll be very few, he adds. Read more here.As the season's resumption approaches, Woj reported there is a "faction" of NBA players who aren't fully onboard with continuing play. They question whether it's a "good idea or not out of concern for their health and safety. As such, the league will not be penalizing players who choose not to participate. However, Woj says "players would lose a portion of salary for those games missed." Read more here.JUNE 9Hawks GM Travis Schlenk provided some insight on the 2020-21 NBA season, saying next year's campaign could be condensed due to this year's halt. Schlenk said that could include "more back-to-backs and sets of four games in five nights for teams next season." Read more here. JUNE 8League insider Adrian Wojnarowski says that there is expected to be a period that would allow teams to sign potential free agents to their rosters. With this latest update, it sounds like the league will allow teams to sign players and that "there are expected to be no limitations on the number of players a team could sign to replace those lost." Read more here.Further, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported: "The NBA and NBPA have agreed to conduct performance-enhancing drug testing during resumed 2019-20 season in Orlando — but tests for recreational drugs will remain suspended." Players will also be tested frequently for COVID-19, but will not be forced to remain in the “bubble” that the NBA has set up at Walt Disney World. Read more here.Charania also reported the tentative dates for the playoffs and Finals: The play-in tournament will be held Aug. 16-17 with the first round of the playoffs set to begin on Aug. 18. The second round of the playoffs will start on Sept. 1, with the conference finals to begin on Sept. 15. Game 1 of the NBA Finals would begin Sept. 30 and run no later than Oct. 12. Read more here. JUNE 7ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Bobby Marks reported the league is developing a system for how to replace injured or sick players, specifically players who may come down with the coronavirus. The NBA is not expected to limit how many replacement players a team can sign once the season resumes. Read more here.JUNE 5On June 5, Charania reported the NBPA voted to approve the league's return plan, as expected. As such, the league will be resuming play on July 31 in Orlando with 22 teams. Read more here.Furthermore, Wojnarowski provided details on safety protocols the league will be installing. For one thing, players families will be allowed in the Orlando bubble, but they will arrive after the first round of the postseason and just three at a time. Additionally, neither players nor their family members will be allowed to go to Disney World parks. Marc Stein of the New York Times added players' family members will have to quarantine for one week after arriving in the bubble. Read more here.JUNE 4ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the NBA has set an Aug. 25 Draft Lottery date and Oct. 15 NBA Draft date, according to sources. Read more here.In addition, the NBA’s Board of Governors approved the league’s proposal to resume the 2019-20 NBA season under a 22-team format this summer, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. While there were likely other teams that disagreed with the 22-team format, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports the Blazers were the only organization to do so openly. In addition to the top eight teams in each conference, an additional six teams will join them in Orlando. The New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, Phoenix Suns and Washington Wizards will all play eight games to help determine playoff seeding. Read more here.As far as safety is concerned, ESPN's Tim Bontemps and Brian Windhorst reported the league does not intend to shut down if a player or staffer were to test positive for the virus. However, more questions remain, as the league does not currently have a plan in place if an outbreak were to occur on a team. Read more here.Further, the NBA also informed the Board of Governors that it’s targeting Oct. 18 for the start of free agency, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic. As Charania details, the NBA is tentatively targeting Nov. 10 for the opening of 2020-21 training camps and Dec. 1 for next season’s opening night. Read more here.Although the NBA season will resume, the same can't be said for the G League, which announced it will cancel the remainder of the campaign. Read more here.JUNE 1ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe reported that small-market NBA teams are concerned that not playing any games until next season would have a major impact on their ability to develop players, land sponsorship deals and sell tickets. During NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s conference call with the Board of Governor’s on Friday, Oklahoma City Thunder owner Clay Bennett delivered an emotional speech about the league needing to find ways to help smaller-market teams that may be left out of the resumption and thus go nine months — March to December — without any competitive games. Read more here.MAY 27NBA Hall of Fame chairman Jerry Colangelo confirmed the 2020 induction ceremony will be postponed to 2021. The hope is that the ceremony will take place at some point in the spring. The 2020 class includes Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan. Read more here.Additionally, this long hiatus will also have a profound effect on the league's offseason. We already know the draft will be postponed — and hopefully take place in September — but free agency could also see changes. Along with a lowered salary cap, teams may also have work with a free-agency period that begins before the draft. Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported the league is considering starting free agency before the postponed draft. It will change teams' strategies and dynamics if they have their rosters set before the draft even begins. Read more here.
JUNE 11According to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, one owner has already heard from several of his team’s players that they will sit out if Manfred imposes a shortened season. Even knowing they would forfeit their salaries and lose a year of service time, which counts toward becoming a free agent, players are still willing not to take the field. Read more here.JUNE 10USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported that multiple executives expect Manfred to implement a shortened season without the MLBPA’s approval if a deal can’t be reached, and that the decision could be made within a week. Read more here.Later in the day, MLB Network insider Jon Heyman tweeted he understands the two sides aren't close to putting pen to paper on a deal. One ownership source told Heyman: "We're nowhere." The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich also heard from an ownership source on Tuesday who told them the recent proposal from the players was "a waste of time." Read more here.That said, commissioner Rob Manfred said there will "100 percent" be baseball in 2020, with the season ending by November. Manfred could enforce an agreement between the players and owners that lets him dictate the season's length and provide players with prorated salaries. Read more here.JUNE 9As loss of revenue continues to be an issue, Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic reported MLB is considering expanding the playoff field, with six additional teams and perhaps a "best-of-three opening round." Read more here.Later that day, ESPN's Jeff Passan reported the MLBPA submitted a new proposal to owners, which included an offer for 89 games, prorated salaries and an expanded postseason. Passan noted the 89 games offer is 25 fewer than the union's previous offer, but the league is still expected to reject the offer. Read more here.Because the situation has become dire, commission Rob Manfred may have no choice but to push the red button and implement a 50-game season, as three league execs told USA Today Sports. Since MLB's most recent offer allows players to opt out of playing during the pandemic, we may see some of the league's biggest stars skip this season, not wanting to risk their lives for so little money, comparatively speaking. Read more here.JUNE 8MLB reportedly sent a proposal for a 76-game season that would, according to ESPN’s Karl Ravech, give players 75 percent of their prorated salary for the 2020 season. Read more here.The league asked for 2020 postseason fields to expand even beyond the previously discussed 14 teams, adding another team per league and bringing the total to 16 playoff clubs as well. Read more here.MLB understands that some players will test positive for the coronavirus upon their return and during the season, which could also put their family members and teammates at risk. As a result, per USA Today‘s Bob Nightengale, MLB required players to sign a risk waiver in the latest proposal. The MLB Players Association already rejected Monday’s offer, viewing it as another attempt by MLB to put even more of the risk from resuming the season on the players. Read more here.As the league and MLBPA continue to squabble over the length of the 2020 season, ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel reports that whatever length is determined could well impact the state of the 2021 draft. Essentially, the commissioner could modify the draft order if the teams play fewer than 81 regular-season games. With a short enough season, even a poor couple of weeks could be enough to make a club set its sights on the 2021 season, which could impact the 2020 season in a variety of ways. Read more here.JUNE 7William Davis of the New York Daily News provided an update on how the league would test players if or when the season resumes. While the NBA and NHL are planning to test players daily, MLB is not. That's according to Milwaukee Health Department commissioner Dr. Jeanette Kowalik, who told Davis MLB's plan concerns her, as a player could test negative one day but become positive the next. Read more here.JUNE 6Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported hope for a July 4 resumption is "all but gone." An August start is looking increasingly likely — if there's a season at all. Rosenthal noted how toxic the situation between the league and union has become. Read more here.JUNE 5ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that MLB is looking for a 48-game season with prorated salaries for players, while the MLBPA is seeking the same deal over 82 games. An 82-game season would allow players to collect slightly more than half of their regular salaries. Sources told Passan that MLB has not come out and proposed a 48-game schedule yet, but discussions among owners have focused on that number. Read more here.The Star-Ledger's Bob Klapisch reported that pessimism is growing around negotiations to start the season, saying it will "take a miracle to save" the campaign. With both the owners and players unwilling to budge, things aren't looking promising. Read more here.JUNE 4Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported on Thursday that he has been hearing “great confidence” that there will be an MLB season in 2020 even after the owners rejected the latest proposal from the players this week without a counter-offer. Part of that confidence stems from the fact that MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has the power to launch the start of the season even without an agreement between the league and the MLBPA. Read more here.In addition, the players have rejected the latest proposal from the owners. The MLBPA issued a scathing statement, saying that players will not be making anymore concessions to the owners. Read more here.Furthermore, players and owners are at odds over when the season should end. MLB Network's Jon Heyman reported that owners are "steadfast" in ending the season by Nov. 1 in order to avoid a second wave. However, players don't understand that point since other sports like football and basketball would (hopefully) be playing in the fall. There's no question that football and basketball have players in closer proximity than baseball. Read more here.JUNE 3After Major League Baseball turned down the MLBPA’s counterproposal for a 114-game season, the two sides were left back at square one in terms of negotiating. That has led to a significant decrease in optimism, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, who has heard from individuals on both sides who are increasingly doubtful that a deal will be completed. Read more here.JUNE 2Karen Kasler of Ohio's Statehouse News Bureau tweeted that 1,146 Progressive Field employees have been impacted by "a notice of indefinite layoff." Kasler was unable to immediately answer what that could mean for the state of big-league baseball as of early June. Read more here.During a radio interview with the “Burns and Gambo Show,” Arizona Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick said the league would not approve a plan that involves baseball being played in November. Read more here.JUNE 1The Washington Nationals backed away from a plan to cut minor leaguers’ weekly stipend after the team’s MLB roster publicly called out the decision. Nationals ownership originally intended to drop the weekly pay for minor leaguers from $400 to $300. It’s worth noting that, while the full stipend has been restored, Nationals minor leaguers have still not received any assurances that they will be paid beyond the end of June. Read more here.MLB owners relayed they are willing to grant a major concession to players in negotiations about playing the season — but there’s a major caveat. MLB intends to propose a shorter season in which it would pay players a full prorated share of their salaries, sources told ESPN. Read more here.MAY 31The finances are such a concern that ESPN's Buster Olney reported there is a contingent of team owners who are "perfectly willing" to scrap the entire season to cut their monetary losses that would happen during a shortened season played without fans in attendance. There's no question negotiations have gone poorly thus far, but this would be an extreme outcome — as well as a bad look for the league and players during a time when many Americans are having difficulty surviving on far less money than what MLB players and personnel make. Read more here.Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle announced that he and his teammates are contributing to a fund to pay minor leaguers in the Washington organization. Read more here.MAY 29The MLBPA has demanded financial details from the league. The owners are justifying the players' substantial pay cuts by saying that the organizations are incurring a massive financial hit due to the shortened season and crowdless games. The union likely wants to make sure the owners' assessment is accurate. Read more here.MAY 27MLB Network's Jon Heyman reported that players are upset with the league's economic offer. Some players reportedly referred to the offer as "disrespectful," and they may not even submit a counter proposal. Read more here. This situation led to Marcus Stroman saying the 2020 is "not looking promising."MAY 26Team owners proposed a sliding scale regarding salary reductions. The league’s highest-paid players would take the biggest hit. A player making $35 million would get 44.3 percent of prorated pay. On the other end of the spectrum, a player making $563,500 would get 91.9 percent. Read more here.MAY 21Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper reported the 2020 MiLB season will be scrapped entirely. Read more here.
JUNE 11The league announced that training camps will begin on Friday, July 10, after reaching an agreement with the NHLPA. Recently, teams were allowed to open their practice facilities, although not all of them have yet taken advantage of that. Some are in the process of getting their rinks compliant with new safety protocols, while others have encouraged their players to remain where they are outside of the club city as long as they’re able to skate and work out. Read more here.JUNE 10Many players returned to the ice in limited capacity as the league moved in to Phase 2 of its return-to-play plan. A maximum of six players can skate at once with no coaches or team personnel allowed. Players also must wear face coverings when they aren't exercising or on the ice. Participation in these practices is voluntary, and many players have decided to continue isolating in their self-quarantine locations instead of returning to the team's city. Read more here.JUNE 8We got a better idea of the league's playing timeline. The Montreal Gazette's Stu Cowan wrote the league is "hoping" to begin training camp in mid-July at two hub cities, but a more realistic start date may be in August. This would see the postseason start in September and run through November. Read more here.JUNE 4The NHL released more information about its 2020 playoffs. There will be four playoff rounds that follow the qualification round, and they will be best-of-seven. The qualification round, played between seeds five through 12, will still be best-of-five series. The playoffs will be reseeded after each round instead of using a bracket format. That will allow the top four teams in each conference to retain their advantages, though it also puts more importance on the round-robin they will play to determine final seeding. Those teams will play three games each, with the winner of the round-robin receiving the top seed. Ties will be resolved by regular-season points percentage. Read more here.The Pittsburgh Penguins confirmed via an official club statement that one player has tested positive for COVID-19. As has been the case with teams around the world, the team didn't identify the player. Read more here.MAY 31Daly gave us some insight on the safety protocols the league plans to install. Daly said there will be "rigorous daily testing" every night, with the results coming back before anyone has the opportunity to leave the hotel the next morning. If the NHL needs 25,000-35,000 tests at $125 a pop, this will be a costly endeavor for the league but a worthwhile one. Read more here.MAY 28We got a little bit of clarity regarding the league's return. Training camps will start on July 10 at the earliest and are expected to last three weeks, putting the resumption of the season around Aug. 1. Read more here.MAY 27NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the league would like to have a hub city in Canada to ensure that "Canadian clubs are well-represented" once play resumes. However, this idea does not come with difficulties. The Canadian government requires anyone entering the country to undergo a two-week isolation period. Read more here.Bettman stated that the league hasn't eliminated the possibility for teams to play postseason games at their home arenas. Of course, this plan is contingent on coronavirus cases drastically improving in the coming months. Read more here. Bettman announced details for roster breakdowns. Teams will be allowed to carry 28 players and unlimited goaltenders on their rosters, but organizations are limited to 50 personnel in the hub cities. Barring setbacks, training camp won't start until early July. Read more here.MAY 26On May 26, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced a return-to-play plan. The league will forgo the remaining regular-season games and jump right into the postseason. The top 12 teams from both conferences (as determined by points percentages) will proceed, with the top four seeds from each conference participating in a round-robin tournament to determine seeding. The other teams will play in a best-of-five series to determine seeding. Each conference will play in its own “hub city.” Those cities have yet to be determined, but the league has narrowed it down to 10 potential locations, including Vegas, Chicago, Dallas and L.A. An exact date hasn’t been set to resume play, but the NHL is aiming to reopen facilities in early June and have small group workouts. Read more here.
JUNE 10Brian Wacker of Golf Digest wrote that “multiple caddies/players” have told him “they’re not listening to any of the tour’s protocols and will eat out, stay wherever they want, etc.” This comes after the PGA released a memo outlining safety protocols for players, caddies, their families and everyone involved in the tournaments in May. Read more here.JUNE 7Rob Oller of the Columbus Dispatch provided some insight on how many fans will be allowed to attend the Memorial Tournament. Fans will be capped at 8,000 — which is 20 percent capacity. Read more here.JUNE 5Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine told reporters spectators would be allowed at the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club. This will be the first sporting event in the state to allow spectators since the pandemic began. The tournament takes place on July 13-19. Read more here. JUNE 4U.S. Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker commented on the prospect of playing golf without a crowd in attendance. Stricker said such a scenario would produce "a yawner of an event." Read more here.JUNE 3The fate of the Ryder Cup will be decided later this month, chief executive officer Keith Pelley told the McKellar Journal podcast. The Ryder Cup is still scheduled to be played from Sept. 25-27 at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin despite the schedule disruption from the coronavirus pandemic, but that could change. Read more here.JUNE 2On June 2, ESPN's Bob Harig wrote that Jack Nicklaus' Muirfield Village Golf Club, located outside of Columbus, Ohio, will host a tournament in place of the Classic July 9-12. A full field of 156 players will be invited to participate in the event. Spectators will not be welcomed. Read more here.MAY 28ESPN's Bob Harig confirmed that the PGA has canceled the 2020 John Deere Classic that was scheduled for July 9-12 at TPC Deere Run in Illinois. The Tour is looking to return to action on June 11 with the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas. Read more here.MAY 24Americans got a taste of live golf, but it was in the form of a charity match. Peyton Manning and Tiger Woods took on Tom Brady and Phil Mickelson, with the former pairing coming out on top to raise millions of dollars for charity. Read more here.MAY 21A day later, Australian golfer Adam Scott announced he wouldn’t be playing in PGA Tour events until July, citing concerns over adequate testing. "They are being fairly thorough, but my initial reaction was I was surprised it wasn't tighter than it is," Scott said in an interview with AAP." Read more here.MAY 20English golfer Lee Westwood said that he would not be participating in PGA Tour events due to the two-week quarantines that are mandated after international travel. "It's six weeks for two tournaments, and to me that's just not worth it," Westwood said. Read more here.MAY 18Going forward, the USGA announced qualifiers for the U.S. Open, scheduled in the U.S., Canada, Japan and England, would be canceled, citing traveling as well as testing rules as the main hang-ups. The U.S. Open was to take place on June 18-21 but it is now tentatively scheduled for Sept. 17-20, assuming a second wave doesn’t make that impossible. It has not yet been determined if fans will be allowed to attend. Read more here.MAY 17The TaylorMade Driving Relief gave us live on-course golf for the first time in more than two months, albeit without spectators. Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson went against Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff and raised money for charity. Read more here.
JUNE 9NASCAR announced fans will be allowed to attend races on a limited basis starting on Sunday, June 14. There will be 1,000 military members invited to attend Sunday's Dixie Vodka 400 in Miami, while 5,000 fans can sit in the grandstand at the GEICO 500 at Talladega on June 21. NASCAR will implement numerous safety guidelines at the first sporting events with fans in attendance since the pandemic began. Read more here.JUNE 1Sports Business Journal's Adam Stern reported NASCAR executives recently had discussions about allowing fans to return to the stands as early as some time in June. Stern cites Homestead-Miami Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway as tracks that could be among the first to welcome fans (in a limited capacity) back to the stands. Read more here.MAY 17NASCAR returned with the Real Heroes 400 at Darlington Raceway. The race, which was won by Kevin Harvick, featured increased safety measures, including social distancing, limited team members and temperature checks. The event drew over 6.3 million viewers. The Xfinity Series resumed on May 21 in Darlington. Chase Briscoe won the race.
JUNE 11Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel reported the NCAA Football Oversight Committee announced a recommendation for coaches to begin formally working with players by July 13, which would open up film study and strength workouts. Following that two-week period, programs would are cleared to begin 20-hour weeks with football players July 24 — in an effort for an OTAs-style pre-camp period. August 7 serves as the training camp target date. Read more here.The Alabama football team may have an outbreak on its hands. Three more Crimson Tide players have tested positive for the virus. This comes after five players tested positive. All these players were among a group of 50 who practiced together this week. Read more here.JUNE 8Longhorns Wire reported the NCAA is set to approve a six-week calendar to get the season to begin on time. Teams can start their summer activities on July 13 and have their first day of practice being on Aug. 7. Read more here.JUNE 6Packers CEO Mark Murphy confirmed the scheduled Wisconsin-Notre Dame game will still take place at Lambeau Field. The game was in question due to concerns over the coronavirus. Read more here.JUNE 5Patrick Murphy of 247Sports reported that at Ohio State, Buckeyes football players will be able to return to facilities for voluntary workouts on Monday, June 8. Other fall athletes can return to campus over the following two Mondays. Among the safety protocols, athletes will have to take courses on social distancing practices and undergo daily temperature checks. Read more here.JUNE 4Arkansas State announced a COVID-19 outbreak. In a statement, via KAIT 8 in Arkansas, chancellor Kelly Damphousse announced that seven student-athletes have tested positive for the coronavirus. Read more here.The Bama Insider staff also reported that up to five Alabama Crimson Tide football players tested positive for COVID-19 upon their returns to campus for voluntary workouts. Simone Eli of CBS 42 added nearly 50 Bama players "should" quarantine as a result of their exposure. Player identities were kept anonymous to respect their privacy. Read more here.ESPN's Heather Dinich reported on safety precautions Notre Dame will be taking for its football players, including housing players in an on-campus hotel during the summer and encouraging them to wears masks during indoor workouts. Read more here.JUNE 3Five of Oklahoma State’s players have now tested positive for the coronavirus. As a result, freshmen who were expected to arrive on Tuesday were told to stay home, reports SiriusXM’s Gabe Ikard. Read more here.In addition, just two days after Marshall University announced two of its athletes tested positive for the coronavirus, another athlete will now be quarantined due to COVID-19. Marshall already started to take steps to isolate the two student-athletes and a university employee who tested positive earlier this week. At this time, health officials do not believe the cases are related, and all four people to test positive are asymptomatic. Read more here.Amid the uptick in positive test results for student-athletes, Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley said he was worried that coaches will be pushing the limits on "voluntary" workouts and practices. Safety guidelines will vary in different locations, and coaches turning "voluntary" practices into mandatory could be a reality as the season approaches. Read more here.JUNE 2Notre Dame announced that the game vs. Navy scheduled to take place in Ireland has been moved to Maryland. At this point, it’s not yet known whether the game will even go on as planned. Everything remains up in the air as it relates to the start of the 2020 college football season. Read more here.In addition, South Carolina men's basketball coach Frank Martin announced via the university's website that he tested positive for COVID-19 and recovered. Read more here.Oklahoma State star linebacker Amen Ogbongbemiga said that he tested positive for COVID-19 after attending a protest in Tulsa. Read more here.MAY 22The University of Alabama in Huntsville announced it would be eliminating its hockey and men’s and women’s tennis programs due to financial problems caused by the pandemic. Read more here.MAY 20Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports reported that the NCAA would allow football and basketball players back on campuses starting June 1. The universities are tasked with ensuring the students’ safety as well as testing. Read more here.MAY 12California State University announced campuses would remain closed through the fall semester, suggesting football is in jeopardy. San Jose State and San Diego State are among universities whose campuses will be closed in the fall. Dr. Anthony Fauci echoed those sentiments, saying that he didn’t see students on campuses this fall as a possibility. However, that same day, ESPN analyst Paul Finebaum said ADs and coaches expect a college football season to happen. Read more here.MAY 9NCAA president Mark Emmert announced there won’t be fall sports if universities don’t allow students on campus, saying that student-athletes deserve the same safety as other students. Read more here.
JUNE 8Novak Djokovic expressed concerns about participating in the U.S. Open in August due to the extreme restrictions that are expected to be put in place due to the coronavirus. Djokovic noted that players would only be able to bring a single person to the club, which he was skeptical about. Read more here.JUNE 2On June 2, as the United States Tennis Association pondered proposals for how New York can host the 2020 US Open during the uncontrolled and unpredictable virus outbreak, one plan mentioned by Christopher Clarey of the New York Times on Tuesday involves the USTA relocating a tournament just for this year. Read more here.MAY 19The USTA released guidelines for how players should return to the court. Like in any sport, due to the hiatus, players could be more susceptible to injury. The organization recommends “players ease their way back into play” before participating in any competition. Read more here.APRIL 20Novak Djokovic said he was opposed to a coronavirus vaccination that would be mandatory to play and travel. Rival Rafael Nadal said that Djokovic “will have to be vaccinated” if he wants to play. However, Nadal is not optimistic about tennis in 2020. He said on May 5 that he believes this year’s tennis is “lost” and that he is instead focusing on 2021. Read more here.MARCH 30Wimbledon, originally scheduled for June 29 to July 12, was canceled for the first time in 75 years. Wimbledon was supposed to occur June 29 to July 12. Read more here.
MAY 31Dave Meltzer reported on "Wrestling Observer Radio" that WWE cut the pay of many staffers — including referees and producers — by 20 percent. Meltzer noted that the highest-level personnel hold stock in WWE, and that is where they make the most money. Even though they personally took a pay cut earlier, they were largely unaffected. WWE still continues to produce content, but the events take place in empty arenas. Listen to Meltzer's interview here.MAY 21AEW vice president and in-ring talent Cody Rhodes said in the event of a positive test, the organization would not shut down production. Read more here.MAY 6The AEW also continues to tape and broadcast live matches. The organization moved to Florida and conducts matches from an amphitheater in Jacksonville. Ahead of “Dynamite” on, all wrestlers and personnel were given COVID-19 tests, and everyone tested negative. Read more here.APRIL 15WWE was forced to lay off wrestlers as a money-saving measure due to the pandemic. Luke Gallows, Heath Slater and Eric Young were among the cuts. Executive board members are also taking pay cuts. Read more here.APRIL 14News broke that American First Action, Linda McMahon's super PAC, would be spending $18.5 million in the Tampa and Orlando markets. The spending will come in the form of advertising for the election from Labor Day through Election Day. The spending will help those communities because it goes to local businesses, therefore helping economies in Florida. Read more here.APRIL 13Florida announced professional sports would be considered "essential," thereby paving the way for all WWE shows to take place in the state. Read more here.APRIL 4-5WrestleMania 36 still took place and featured NFL star Rob Gronkowski, who took home the 24/7 Championship belt. Read more here.
MAY 28SI's Chris Mannix reported the third installment of Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin will be postponed. The fight was originally scheduled for Sept. 12 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, but the promoters did not want the bout to go on unless fans can attend. Canelo won the first fight, but the second bout came to a draw. Read more here.MAY 27The Associated Press reported Top Rank Boxing got the green light to return to Las Vegas, with the organization intending to hold multiple events on June 9 and 11 at the MGM Grand. Read more here.MAY 26Tyson Fury said he was offered an exhibition fight against Iron Mike that would raise money for charity. A 31-year-old Fury vs. his 53-year-old namesake? Yes, please. But unfortunately, Fury said that nothing "materialized" from the talks. Read more here.MAY 21Although Mike Tyson has not boxed professionally in around 15 years, Iron Mike said on that he would be willing to take on Evander Holyfield in a charity bout. Tyson infamously bit off part of Holyfield's ear when they fought in 1997. Read more here, and check out Holyfield's response.
2020 Summer Olympics
May 20IOC president Thomas Bach echoed those sentiments, saying, “You cannot have the athletes being in uncertainty,” according to the BBC.APRIL 28Tokyo Games president Yoshiro Mori said these Olympics would be canceled entirely if they can’t take place on the new date. Read more here.MARCH 29The 2020 Summer Games were set to take place in Tokyo July 24 through Aug. 9 but now are tentatively scheduled for July 23 through Aug. 8, 2021. The sad truth is that no one knows what the world will look like a year from now and whether the games can take place then either. Read more here.
JUNE 11We now have a better idea of MLS's tournament schedule. Inter Miami CF vs. Orlando City is among the July 8 tournament fixtures. Kickoff time and the TV broadcaster of the match aren't known. Read more here.JUNE 10MLS, in conjunction with Walt Disney World, announced Wednesday that the "MLS Is Back Tournament" will take place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex from July 8 to Aug. 11. The tournament will include all 26 clubs competing in a continuous schedule of 54 total matches that will be played nearly every day. These matches will count toward the 2020 MLS regular-season standings, and the tournament winner will earn a spot in the 2021 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League. Read more here.MLS commissioner Don Garber said he's hopeful teams will be able to host some fans in their home stadiums later in the year after the tournament ends. Several states have started allowing small gatherings, as local governments continue loosening guidelines. Read more here.JUNE 3MLS and the MLS Players Association agreed to terms for an amended collective bargaining agreement that will likely include a July return to action. All 26 clubs could report to the Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World by June 24, and there will be a tournament held in Orlando. Read more here.JUNE 2Former player and current ESPN analyst Taylor Twellman and Jeff Carlisle of ESPN both reported the two sides are close to avoiding a work stoppage. Read more here.JUNE 1Major League Soccer reportedly sent a counteroffer to the MLSPA and wants a decision by Tuesday or the league will sanction a lockout, according to NBC Sports' Joe Prince-Wright. According to Jeff Carlisle of ESPN. MLS says it's already given the MLSPA its best offer and are hesitant to budge. Read more here.After the MLS owners threatened a lockout, The Athletic's Paul Tenorio reported that all MLS players agreed to skip voluntary practice sessions on Monday and that owners were using the current sports landscape to alter the collective bargaining agreement between the two sides past 2020. Read more here.MAY 30Paul Tenorio and Sam Stejskal of The Athletic reported the MLS Players Association approved a return-to-play plan that will be sent to team owners. Under the plan, players would fly to Orlando on June 24, undergo a two-week training camp and then compete in a three-game group stage and knockout rounds. However, an agreement on player pay cuts is not included in the plan and must still be negotiated. Read more here.MAY 27The National Women's Soccer League announced it will return to play with the NWSL Challenge Cup, which will take place from June 27 to July 26 in Utah. Every team will play in a 25-game tournament in empty stadiums. Read more here.On May 27, ESPN's Jeff Carlisle reported MLS is eyeing a return-to-play tournament in Orlando. MLS started to allow teams to resume training so long as they followed local guidelines. MLS is considering allowing teams to stay in their home cities until June 21 and then travel to Orlando for the tourney. Read more here. MAY 19On May 19, MLS announced the cancellation of the All-Star Game, Leagues Cup and Campeones Cup. Read more here.
JUNE 9Manchester United's friendly vs. Stoke City was canceled on Tuesday after a Stoke player tested positive for COVID-19. Stoke players had already traveled separately to United's training base and were told to return home. United players played an intersquad match instead. Read more here.JUNE 8ESPN's Mark Ogden reported that UEFA is considering staging a mini-tournament at a neutral site to complete the Champions League season. UEFA is expected to make a decision when its executive committee meets later in June, according to Ogden. Read more here.JUNE 5Fixtures for the English Premier League were announced for the first three rounds of the restarted season. The league will kick off with Aston Villa vs. Sheffield United and Manchester City vs. Arsenal to open the resumed season. The first full round of fixtures will begin with Norwich vs. Southampton on June 19 and the leagues' chief executive officer couldn't be more excited for matches to resume. Read more here.JUNE 4Miguel Delaney of The Independent and other outlets confirmed that the Premier League will increase the number of substitutes clubs can use during a match from three to five for the remainder of the campaign. Clubs will also feature 20-man squads and increase the substitutes bench from seven to nine men to ease concerns regarding player fitness following a layoff that will have lasted roughly three months once games resume. Read more here.Premier League outfit Tottenham Hotspur confirmed they borrowed £175 million from the British government as part of the COVID Corporate Financing Facility amid the coronavirus pandemic. Read more here.JUNE 3Sky Sports reported that the English Premier League recently conducted 1,197 coronavirus tests among players, managers and other personnel leading up to the June 17 resumption of the season, which was halted in March. Tottenham Hotspur were responsible for the only positive as part of the league's latest round of testing. Read more here.JUNE 2John Percy of The Telegraph explained that teams can schedule exhibition warmups vs. other clubs as long as sides from England's top flight travel no more than 90 minutes from home stadiums, players agree to drive to and from venues in their personal vehicles, and they arrive to games in their full kits and ready to perform. Read more here.MAY 29Spain's National Sports Council announced La Liga will officially return to action on June 11. Matches will be played behind closed doors as outlined by the league's health and safety protocols. Read more here.In addition, Miguel Delaney of The Independent reported that UEFA intends to complete all Champions League and Europa League fixtures in August leading up to those two Finals. Delaney added the Champions League Final could be moved from Istanbul because Turkey's capital won't earn a return on investment for a Final that will be played behind closed doors and without fans due to the virus outbreak.Hours after Delaney's story dropped, Tariq Panja of The New York Times confirmed Instanbul won't host the Final. Panja added that "a number of alternative venues" are being considered by UEFA, that a decision regarding the two European tournaments may not be made until June 17, and that Istanbul could be awarded a future UCL Final once supporters are welcomed back to stadiums. Read more here.Sky Sports News reported the FA Cup quarterfinals are tentatively scheduled for the weekend of June 27-28, with the Final planned for Saturday, Aug. 1. Venues and kickoff times for the quarterfinals weren't announced. The semifinal matches and Final will occur at Wembley Stadium. It's believed all games will occur behind closed doors and without supporters. Read more here.MAY 28On May 28, the Premier League's "Project Restart" was approved, and the EPL will pick back up June 17. On that date, Aston Villa will face Sheffield United, and Manchester City will play against Arsenal. Read more here and check out the resumed schedule here.The same day the Premier League announced it will return amid the coronavirus pandemic on June 17 with a pair of fixtures, Italy sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora confirmed his country's top-flight competition, Serie A, is set to resume play on June 20. Read more here.The Austrian Bundesliga penalized club LASK for violating social distancing guidelines. LASK was docked 12 points and fined €75,000. The other teams in the league felt LASK was creating an unfair advantage for itself by conducting full training sessions, against league rules, while the rest of the clubs were following the protocols. LASK was previously in first place in league standings, but the points reduction knocked the club down to second. Read more here.MAY 16Over in Germany, the Bundesliga resumed on May 16. Typical safety protocols are in place, and the teams play in empty stadiums, which pipe in sound to mimic crowds for the television audience. Read more here.
JUNE 5ESPN's Mechelle Voepel reported the WNBA is looking to play a 22-game regular season at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, next month. The normal 36-game regular season was set to begin on May 15 but was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Read more here.APRIL 3The WNBA announced it would be postponing training camp and the 2020 season, which was supposed to begin on May 15. The WNBA draft occurred on schedule on April 17, and Sabrina Ionescu was selected with the No. 1 overall pick by the New York Liberty. The WNBA paid tribute to Gianna Bryant, Payton Chester and Alyssa Altobelli, naming them honorary draft picks.
MAY 19Esports’ popularity has experienced an uptick on both sides of the remote, as CNBC’s Bob Woods reported on May 19 that streaming website Twitch experienced a “23% surge in viewership in March,” coinciding with the time frame when much of the country started to stay home.MAY 4While the pandemic is having a negative effect on the sports world, it’s been business as usual for eSports and gaming. Participants can easily play while maintaining social distancing guidelines since gaming takes place online. In fact, eSports has been flourishing. Texas A&M head eSports coach Travis Yang told KSAT.com that there has been a “noticeable increase” in gamers and tournaments as people were forced to stay at home.
MAY 28The Boston Marathon, originally scheduled for April 20 but postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic, was canceled and converted into a virtual experience. It's the first time in 124 years the Marathon won't run. Read more here.
Ravens WR Willie Snead tests positive for COVID-19 Sunday .
Watch some quick efficient passing by Louisville. As soon as David Johnson catches the ball he tosses it up to the hoop for Jae'Lyn Withers to throw it down for the ACC Must See Moment.