Chiefs' Tyrann Mathieu tests positive for COVID-19, could return for Week 1
Mathieu is fully vaccinated, which means he could return to team activities without completing an isolation period of at least 10 days if he produces two negative virus tests taken 24 hours apart. McDowell added Mathieu was asymptomatic as of Wednesday afternoon. In a corresponding roster move, Kansas City re-signed wide receiver Marcus Kemp. For now, Mathieu is on track to be available for the regular-season opener against the Cleveland Browns held at Arrowhead Stadium on Sept. 12.
Dion Dawkins has not participated in team drills throughout Bills training camp, and Sean McDermott said the team’s starting left tackle is not close to being ready to return to full work. Dawkins landed on the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list July 28 and required hospitalization after contracting the virus, Marcel Louis-Jacques of ESPN.com reports.
The 6-foot-5, 320-pound lineman was hospitalized for four days after developing severe COVID-19 symptoms. Dawkins lost 16 pounds and might have an uphill battle to be ready by the time the Bills begin their season.
Red Sox place right-hander Nick Pivetta on COVID-19 IL as outbreak worsens
The Red Sox now have a combination of 12 players and coaches sidelined due to the coronavirus. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts; utility man Enrique Hernandez; second baseman Christian Arroyo; infielder Yairo Munoz; and pitchers Matt Barnes, Hirokazu Sawamura and Martin Perez tested positive for COVID-19, while left-hander Josh Taylor and first-base coach Tom Goodwin are in quarantine as close contacts. Quality control coach Ramon Vazquez has also tested positive for the virus.
“He’s not close to where he needs to be to play and help us,” McDermott said. “So he’s got a long road here. … He’s going to control what he can control, and so are we. He’s got to continue to work hard to get himself back to where he’s — I mean, this is what, going on Week 4 of training camp at this point, so he’s missed a lot of time.”
The Bills activated Dawkins off their reserve/COVID list late last week, and he has begun doing conditioning work. Dawkins, 27, was not considered fully vaccinated at the time of the hospitalization. Dawkins’ hospitalization marks another rough step for the Bills on the virus front. Tight end Tommy Sweeney missed all of the 2020 season after developing myocarditis, a heart condition associated with COVID-19.
Video: Can Prescott be ready for start of regular season? (NBC Sports)
Oregon, once a virus success story, struggles with surge
Dawkins’ status, of course, will have a bigger impact on the Bills. He is in the first season of a four-year, $68M extension and has been the team’s left tackle starter since 2017. Buffalo has given third-round rookie Spencer Brown the bulk of its left tackle reps during camp. The team drafted Brown out of Northern Iowa with the No. 93 overall pick.
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Josh Allen reveals big change he's trying to make this season
Luke Kuechly makes surprise appearance at Bills practice
The 'AP First-Team All Pro tight ends' quiz
Related slideshow: COVID-19 and sports: Latest updates across all leagues (Provided by Yardbarker)
Chiefs enter 2021 season as Super Bowl LVI favorites despite SB loss to Buccaneers
The Chiefs are more motivated than ever to hoist the Lombardi Trophy after being embarrassed by Tampa Bay in the big game last season. Tight end Travis Kelce recently told reporters that the team didn't expect to lose the way it did and that he felt like he couldn't show his face around Kansas City following the loss. That feeling alone should be all the motivation the Chiefs need to bring another title home this season. The Chiefs lost to the Bucs in the last Super Bowl because they could not protect Patrick Mahomes.
COVID-19 and sports: Latest updates across all leagues
It's been more than a year since sports in the United States came to a screeching halt amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, and the NBA, MLB and NHL seasons suddenly were put on hiatus.The NHL, NBA and MLB resumed and completed their seasons, but outbreaks complicated baseball's return. The NBA's 2020-21 was completed, but the league was forced to postponement many games.The NFL was able to complete its 2020-21 season — despite COVID-19 outbreaks causing schedule reshuffling throughout the campaign. Over in the college ranks, the NCAA was able complete its college football season. On January 11, the Alabama Crimson Tide won the College Football Playoff National Championship Game. However, college basketball programs continue to experience issues.With news breaking so often, we’ve gathered the latest stories fans need to know.
Here is what has happened over the last couple of weeks in the NBA:AUGUST 13The Brooklyn Nets and home venue the Barclays Center confirmed Friday the will make fans show proof of either a COVID-19 vaccination or a recent negative coronavirus test to attend home games for the upcoming NBA season. "In accordance with the mandate recently announced by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Barclays Center will soon be requiring all employees and guests to be fully vaccinated," information on the arena's website states. Read more here.AUGUST 8The NBA announced Sunday afternoon that the summer league game between the Washington Wizards and Indiana Pacers had been postponed due to health and safety protocols. Because the Wizards have several players in contact tracing, they didn't have enough of them available to play Sunday night against the Pacers. Read more here.AUGUST 4According to the Associated Press, 491 people deemed confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases could be linked with Milwaukee playoff games. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services does note, however, that it can't be determined how many individuals caught the virus either at the arena or at viewing gatherings. Read more here.JULY 6Adam Silver admitted that the compressed schedule could have had an effect on the unusually high number of severe injuries this season, saying “I have no doubt the physical stress and mental toll has contributed to injuries,” according to USA Today’s Mark Medina. He admitted that, considering the extraordinary circumstances, it’s hard to say whether the choices they made were the right ones, per Medina. “Quite frankly,” Silver said, “we might not know for quite a while after this pandemic is over, whether we made the right decision or not.” Read more here.JUNE 10The NBA’s 2021-22 regular season will tip off on Oct. 19, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic. In addition, training camps begin Sept. 28, the playoffs start April 16, 2022, the NBA Finals tip off Jun 2 and the 2022 draft will take place June 23. Read more here.
Here is the latest MLB news from the past couple of weeks:AUGUST 17New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole returned from the COVID-19 injured list Monday, and the Yankees announced additional good news ahead of Tuesday's doubleheader versus the rival Boston Red Sox. The Yankees activated both catcher Gary Sanchez and starting left-hander Jordan Montgomery off the COVID-19 IL on Tuesday morning. Montgomery hit the IL Aug. 3, while Sanchez reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus on Aug. 5. Read more here.AUGUST 15Diamondbacks starter Merrill Kelly has tested positive for COVID-19, per Zach Buchanan of The Athletic. He will now have to go on the IL and quarantine for at least 10 days. Read more here.New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole will start Monday against the Los Angeles Angels after battling COVID-19, manager Aaron Boone announced Sunday, according to Sports Illustrated's Max Goodman. Read more here.In addition to Cole, manager Aaron Boone told reporters, including Kristie Ackert of The New York Daily News, that Jordan Montgomery will be activated from the COVID-related injury list . While Montgomery will face the Red Sox on Tuesday in one half of a doubleheader. Additionally, catcher Gary Sanchez started a Double-A rehab assignment Sunday and could potentially be activated for one of those games against the Red Sox. Read more here.AUGUST 12The Milwaukee Brewers lost nine players to the COVID-19 injured list from July 27 through Aug. 7. Among them were All-Star closer Josh Hader and fellow southpaw Eric Lauer, who kept in shape by catching bullpen sessions for each other during their absences from the team. Hader was reinstated to the active list ahead of Thursday's game against the Chicago Cubs. Lauer, meanwhile, could return Friday if he passes the required tests. Read more here.AUGUST 10The Brewers announced that right-hander Jake Cousins has been reinstated from the COVID-19 injury list. Cousins returns after the mandatory 10-day quarantine period following a positive coronavirus test. The Brewers still have six more players on their COVID list, but between Cousins, Hunter Strickland and Christian Yelich all returning in recent days, the club is slowly starting to make its way back from this outbreak. Read more here.Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly has been away from the team since July 31 when he tested positive for COVID-19 even though he's been fully vaccinated against the virus since mid-April. Mattingly will rejoin the club Friday ahead of a home weekend series against the Chicago Cubs after the 60-year-old experienced mild virus symptoms. Bench coach James Rowson has served as interim manager in Mattingly's absence. Read more here.The Rays reinstated outfielder Randy Arozarena from the COVID-related injury list and placed southpaw Ryan Yarbrough on it. League rules don’t require Yarbrough’s exact situation to be made public, so it isn’t known whether or not the lefty tested positive for the coronavirus himself or if he is being held out as a precautionary measure due to contact tracing or symptoms. (Yarbrough had another brief one-day stint on the COVID-IL earlier this season due to vaccine side effects.) Arozarena returns after just a few days on the COVID-IL for being a close contact to a positive case. Read more here.AUGUST 8New York Yankees star Anthony Rizzo has tested positive for COVID-19, landing him on the COVID list and sidelining him for at least the next week of action. Read more here.AUGUST 7The Boston Red Sox announced Saturday that All-Star slugger J.D. Martinez has been placed on the COVID-19 injured list after he reported to the club that he was not feeling well. Read more here.The Brewers have activated outfielder Christian Yelich from the COVID-19 injury list, manager Craig Counsell told reporters, via Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Unfortunately for the Brewers, right-hander Adrian Houser was officially placed on the COVID list. Read more here.AUGUST 6The Dodgers announced they’ve reinstated Trea Turner from the COVID-19 injured list. The All-Star shortstop came over in the Max Scherzer trade. The 28-year-old tested positive for COVID-19 shortly before the trade, however, so he’s remained in isolation until Friday. Read more here.The Brewers have been dealing with virus spread throughout the clubhouse in recent days, and another pair of players has tested positive. Starter Adrian Houser and reliever Jandel Gustave tested positive and were placed on the COVID IL, manager Craig Counsell told reporters, via Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Read more here.AUGUST 5The Rockies announced they reinstated right-handers Antonio Senzatela and Yency Almonte from the COVID-19 injured list. Senzatela and Almonte landed on the IL on July 16, with the Rockies dealing with coronavirus spread upon their return from the All-Star break. Both players wound up missing a little less than three weeks. Read more here.According to The Associated Press (h/t ESPN), New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone confirmed ahead of Thursday's game against the Seattle Mariners that catcher Gary Sanchez has tested positive for COVID-19. Read more here.AUGUST 3Per Greg Joyce of the New York Post, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman confirmed during a Tuesday appearance on New York sports radio station WFAN that starter Jordan Montgomery has tested positive for the coronavirus. Read more here.AUGUST 2Mariners outfielder Jake Fraley has been activated from the COVID-19 injured list. Fraley tested positive for COVID on July 18, and he’s missed the past two weeks recuperating. Read more here.
Here is what the NHL has been doing over the past couple of weeks to prepare for he league's resumption:AUGUST 14NHL players were "strongly encouraged" by the NHL Players' Association last week to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and warned of potential consequences if they do not do so, according to The Athletic's Michael Russo and Katie Strang. Players could potentially lose out on pay if they are unvaccinated and contract COVID-19 during the 2021-22 season. Teams might also withhold pay if an unvaccinated player can't accompany his team on road trips where local or federal authorities require vaccination to enter, The Athletic adds. Read more here.AUGUST 4Last year was tough for many prospects, but perhaps none quite as much as Marco Rossi. Dealing with complications from COVID-19, Rossi was not only held off the ice but told he couldn’t even train, allowed on only short walks. His account of the situation is absolutely harrowing, as he told Michael Russo of The Athletic that “every time before I went to sleep, I was so scared that I won’t wake up anymore.” For a 19-year-old kid who was selected ninth overall and could have potentially made the jump immediately to the NHL, it was devastating. Now, after a long recovery period, Rossi is ready to return to action. Russo and colleague Scott Wheeler both report that the young forward will take part in the Olympic qualifiers later this month, suiting up for Austria. The games take place between Aug. 26-29, while the training camp will open on Aug. 16 and include two exhibition matches. Read more here.JUNE 20TVA’s Renaud Lavoie was the first to report that Golden Knights GM Kelly McCrimmon has tested positive for COVID-19. Vegas has stated that McCrimmon is self-isolating and will follow the NHL’s COVID Protocol and all other local health policies. Read more here.APRIL 29There will not be a traditional Calder Cup playoffs in 2021, but that doesn’t mean the AHL will forgo postseason contests. Each of the four divisions was given the opportunity to decide a postseason format, and while the Atlantic, North, Canadian and Central will all simply award the divisional champion based on regular-season points percentage, the Pacific Division is going to have a playoff tournament. Also in the announcement comes news on the 2021-22 season, which is set to begin on Oct. 15, 2021, and conclude on April 24, 2022. The divisions will likely be put back to normal, but an announcement will come later this summer. Read more here.APRIL 27As per a report by Elliotte Friedman, the NHL is going to hold teams accountable to their actions when it comes to the COVID virus and doing their part to stop the spread. Specifically, if players break protocols that lead to multiple illnesses during the playoffs, there could be huge consequences. Essentially, if a player(s) breaks the rules when it comes to COVID protocols and it costs their team a number of players because the virus spreads, the NHL won’t first look to reschedule games. Instead, they’ll look at why the breakout and spread of the virus occurred and the team could be penalized by having to pull out of the NHL postseason. Read more here.APRIL 21According to TSN and RDS hockey insider Pierre LeBrun, the tentative date for the start of the 2021-22 NHL season is currently set for Oct. 12, with training camps hopefully able to open Sept. 22. Read more here.APRIL 20Though it had been clear for the last few weeks, Tuesday brought the death knell for the 2020-21 OHL season. The junior league announced the end of its return-to-play plans, stating that the recent extended stay-at-home order in Ontario along with the increasing cases of COVID-19 has made it impossible to hold a season. Read more here.APRIL 19The Western Hockey League, whose teams did not begin regular season play until late February at the earliest, will play no more than their shortened 24-game season this year. The league has announced that there will be no 2021 WHL Playoffs due to “the ongoing challenges with COVID-19.” Read more here.
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Here are updates from around the NFL:AUGUST 17The Las Vegas Raiders made headlines Monday by becoming the league's first team to require fans show proof of vaccination to attend games. New York Giants co-owner John Mara admitted Tuesday he wishes all personnel required for completing games this season would be vaccinated against COVID-19. "I’d prefer that everybody be vaccinated," Mara told reporters. "I would’ve preferred that it would’ve been mandatory for players to get vaccinated. But the Players Association did not share that view, so we are where we are, which is not a bad spot to be in. Obviously, I’d like it to be 100% [of players vaccinated], because I think it’s the right thing to do." Mara added the Giants aren't following in the footsteps of the Raiders and requiring fans prove they are vaccinated to attend home games, but he didn't entirely rule the notion out. Read more here.AUGUST 16Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera is getting tired of people spreading misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine. In an interview with Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer, Rivera expressed his frustration about Americans listening to people other than their doctors regarding the vaccine. Read more here.Football fans planning on attending Saturday's preseason game between the Detroit Lions and Pittsburgh Steelers at Pittsburgh's Heinz Field will need to bring proper face coverings. "The Steelers and Heinz Field Management are requiring that all guests, staff and vendors at Heinz Field, regardless of their vaccination status, wear a mask while visiting all indoor areas of the stadium," the Steelers told ticket holders via an email shared on the club's website. "Regardless of vaccination status, all guests, staff and vendors at Heinz Field will be required to wear a mask while visiting any of the indoor areas of the stadium. Indoor areas include Club lobbies and lounges (UPMC Club, West Club, PNC Champions Club and North Club), Steelers Pro Shop locations, Restrooms, Elevators and other enclosed areas." The Steelers also added fans don't have to wear masks in the seating bowls or any other outdoor seating or concourse areas. Read more here.AUGUST 13While touching upon the subject of the NFL and NFLPA potentially agreeing to mandatory player vaccines, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported "'a ton' of star players are opposed to the vaccine." Florio added that a source from "the management side of the ledger" told him mandatory player coronavirus vaccines "won’t happen and can’t happen, that the union would never approve of it." Read more here.Per Kevin Patra of the league's website, the Bears activated starting defensive tackle Eddie Goldman off the reserve/COVID-19 list Friday. Read more here.AUGUST 12NFL teams such as the Buffalo Bills and Philadelphia Eagles are requiring patrons to wear proper face coverings in indoor areas of their stadiums because of fears related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Fans of the New Orleans Saints will have to go one step further to see their team in person this season. According to a NOLA.com report, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell is expected to declare that individuals will have to show proof of either a COVID-19 vaccination or a recent negative virus test to enter New Orleans public places such as bars, restaurants, concert venues and the Caesars Superdome, home of the Saints. Read more here.On Thursday, Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio updated that five clubs were still below an 88% vaccination rate as of Wednesday morning. One team had reached only 74% heading into the first full weekend of preseason games. Read more here.AUGUST 10NFL Network's Tom Pelissero tweeted on Tuesday that the league is once again allowing for an unlimited number of players to return from the injured reserve list for the upcoming campaign. Additionally, players will be eligible to return from IR after missing a minimum of three games instead of eight. Read more here.AUGUST 9Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson still is undecided on receiving the COVID-19 vaccine despite being infected with the virus twice in the past eight months. "I just got off the COVID list," Jackson said after Monday's practice when asked if he would get the vaccine, according to ESPN's Jamison Hensley. "I got to talk to my team about this and see how they feel about it. Keep learning as much as I can about it. We'll go from there." Jackson returned to training camp Saturday after being sidelined for 10 days following a positive COVID-19 test. According to Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said Jackson was experiencing "a lot of COVID symptoms" while he was out. The former MVP added that he was not worried about the long-term effects of getting the virus. Read more here.Nicki Jhabvala of The Washington Post tweeted Monday that 86% of WFT's players are now at least partially vaccinated against the coronavirus, up from 36% as of early July. 59.3% of players are fully vaccinated. Read more here.AUGUST 7Since doubling down on his stance regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, a hospital Kirk Cousins partners with in his hometown of Holland, Michigan, cut ties with the Minnesota Vikings quarterback, according to ESPN's Courtney Cronin. Read more here.AUGUST 6Cam Newton missed time during the 2020 season due to testing positive for COVID-19, and he said in February that his brief absence set him and the entire Pats offense back through the remainder of the campaign. Knowing Newton could be sidelined at any time due to the league's COVID-19 protocols, a reporter reasonably asked him Thursday if he has been vaccinated against the virus, but the QB refused to answer. Read more here.AUGUST 5The NFL Players Association released new guidance on Thursday for vaccinated individuals, and Chicago Bears tight end Jimmy Graham seems frustrated by it. In a new memo that was circulated, the NFLPA announced that COVID-19 testing will be increased for vaccinated players and staff members. The number of tiered staff allowed in the locker room is also being reduced. The release cited the fact that 32 players and staffers who are vaccinated have tested positive for COVID-19. Vaccinated individuals will now be tested each day they enter their team’s facility. Graham shared a copy of the new guidance on Twitter and said he is “confused” by it. The veteran says he was essentially “forced” into getting vaccinated to begin with. Read more here.AUGUST 4According to Courtney Cronin of ESPN, Minnesota starting signal-caller Kirk Cousins and backup Nate Stanley are expected to return to practice Thursday after spending five full days on the COVID-19 list. Both were deemed high-risk close contacts when rookie quarterback Kellen Mond tested positive for the coronavirus. Read more here.AUGUST 3Vikings owner Mark Wilf told reporters on Tuesday he is worried about only 70% of players having at least one of their COVID-19 shots and is putting in the effort to make that number go up. Read more here.Maryland Governor Larry Hogan was asked on Tuesday about Lamar Jackson’s positive test, and he urged the former MVP to get vaccinated. Read more here.Eight-time Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson signed with the Vikings this past offseason and, per Judd Zulgad of SkorNorth.com, urged his teammates to complete their vaccination processes as soon as possible during his "All Things Covered" podcast. Read more here.AUGUST 2According to Ben Fischer and John Lombardo of Sports Business Journal, the NFL is mandating coronavirus vaccines for league employees who don't have qualifying disabilities or "sincerely held religious belief or practice" that would keep them from getting one of the shots. Those who aren't vaccinated are to begin the process Monday and be fully vaccinated by Sept. 6 or apply for an exception by Monday. The league's attorneys and human resources staff will review each request. Over 90% of the NFL’s employees in its New York City office are already vaccinated. Read more here.AUGUST 1The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the defending Super Bowl champions, and according to head coach Bruce Arians, they are nearly 100 percent defended against COVID-19. Read more here.JULY 31WFT head coach Ron Rivera sent a warning to his team after two more players were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Saturday, per ESPN's John Keim. Washington now has six players on the reserve/COVID-19 list, including Brandon Scherff, David Sharpe, Curtis Samuel and Matt Ioannidis. If this had been the case one day before the team's season opener against the Chargers, then Scherff and Sharpe would also have missed the second game because it occurs on Thursday, Rivera noted. Read more here.JULY 30Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey told reporters Thursday that he will not pressure his teammates to get the COVID-19 vaccine ahead of the 2021 season despite the consequences the deadly virus could have on the team's season. Ramsey's comments come after he tweeted last week that the NFL is "pressuring" players to get vaccinated. Read more here.Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill told reporters this week that he was originally not planning to get the COVID-19 vaccine. But when he found out how limited he would be under the NFL’s protocols for unvaccinated players, he decided to get the shot. Read more here.JULY 29NFL Players Association president and Cleveland Browns center JC Tretter had harsh words for teams that are forcing unvaccinated players to wear identifying wristbands. "So what it really comes down to is the NFL wanted to put a policy in place to try to shame unvaccinated players publicly about their status and make that known to everyone on the field," Tretter said Thursday. "It shouldn't be the case because it's unnecessary. We all know who's vaccinated and who's not, and it doesn't need to be a scarlet marking on people's helmets or wrists." Tretter also called the decision to wear wristbands "nonsensical" since unvaccinated players already need to wear masks. "No other sports league uses any sort of scarlet marking or helmet decal or wristband, because they know it's not necessary and the teams know who's vaccinated, who's not vaccinated," he said. Read more here.JULY 27The NFL community was surprised to learn this past Friday that Minnesota Vikings offensive line coach/run game coordinator Rick Dennison was parting ways with the organization after he refused to receive one of the available and safe COVID-19 vaccines, but the Vikings later shared a statement with Pro Football Talk explaining the two parties were still having "discussions" on the subject. PFT's Mike Florio now reports Dennison and the Vikings have reached an agreement that will allow him to remain with the club. Florio added that Dennison previously requested to be exempt from receiving one of the shots. Coaches can gain an exemption based on legitimate health or religious reasons, and it's unclear if Dennison agreed to get vaccinated or is working as an unvaccinated coach who won't be permitted to have direct interactions with players per the terms agreed upon by the NFL and NFL Players Association. Read more here.Baltimore Ravens running back Gus Edwards won't be a participant in the early days of training camp. Edwards tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss at least the first 10 days of camp due to the league's coronavirus-related protocols. Read more here.JULY 26Terrelle Pryor has not played since the 2018 season, but he said a team has offered a workout. This will come to pass only if he has received the COVID-19 vaccine, which Pryor indicated he has not done as of this past weekend, via Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio. Read more here. Read more here.JULY 25Chad Speck, the president of Allegiant Athletic Agency, tweeted on Saturday that an NFL team showed interest in one of his clients. However, the team dropped interest upon learning the player was unvaccinated. Read more here.A player's vaccination status appears to be crucial for free agents looking for new homes. According to NFL reporter Aaron Wilson, agents for several free-agent players said clubs are immediately asking if their clients are vaccinated. Read more here.JULY 24Bruce Arians told Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times that he will fine any unvaccinated player $14,000 for not wearing a mask when he is supposed to or violating any of the NFL's other COVID-19 protocols. The Bucs head coach added that players will not receive warnings, just fines on the spot. Read more here.We now have a better idea of why Arians made those comments. Unvaccinated NFL players will be subject to a $14,650 fine every time they violate COVID-19 protocols, league spokesperson Brian McCarthy confirmed to ESPN's Jenna Laine. Read more here.JULY 23According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, NFL chief football administrative officer Dawn Aponte said Friday teams haven't been incentivized to cut players who won't get vaccinated. Read more here.According to Courtney Cronin of ESPN, the Minnesota Vikings and assistant coach Rick Dennison have parted ways after Dennison refused to get vaccinated. Per Cronin, Dennison served as Minnesota's offensive line coach/run game coordinator over the past two seasons before Friday's development and is believed to be the first coach to leave a club over COVID-19 vaccinations. Read more here.However, Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio shared a statement from the Vikings later in the day showing that may not be the case. "The Vikings continue to hold discussions with Offensive Line Coach Rick Dennison regarding the NFL-NFLPA COVID-19 Protocols for training camp and preseason games," the team explained. Read more here.ESPN's Mike Reiss reports New England Patriots co-offensive line coach Cole Popovich won't be with the organization for at least the 2021 NFL season because of the league's protocols regarding COVID-19 vaccinations and unvaccinated personnel. Read more here.The Cardinals confirmed they've placed cornerback Lorenzo Burns on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Read more here.The NFL came out on Thursday and laid down the law when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine. Former nine-year defensive back Darius Butler tweeted Thursday that the league was “dead a– wrong” for the memo. He says the memo is so heavy-handed that it comes off as the league effectively forcing vaccines. Read more here.JULY 22In a memo that was issued to teams on Thursday, the NFL outlined its plans for dealing with coronavirus outbreaks during the 2021 season. The biggest takeaway was that teams could be forced to forfeit if a game cannot be played due to a COVID-19 outbreak among unvaccinated players. The NFL has no plans to add a 19th week to accommodate games that need to be rescheduled, which means any game that is rescheduled will have to be played at some point in the 18-week season. Otherwise, the team with the outbreak will be credited with a loss. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero shared more from the memo, which states that teams with outbreaks could also face disciplinary action and be responsible for financial losses. Players also will not receive their game checks if a game cannot be played. Read more here.According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, an email sent to union members Thursday in response to the memo reads: "We remind you that the same basic rules applied last year." Read more here.Arizona Cardinals All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins was among the players to react negatively to the development, although he apparently had second thoughts and deleted an initial tweet suggesting he could consider retiring to avoid receiving a COVID-19 vaccine shot. Read more here.JULY 21Although Cowboys living legend Michael Irvin recently slammed his former team for not reaching the 85% COVID-19 vaccination threshold among players, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was more optimistic about the situation, per Kevin Patra of the NFL's website. Read more here.According to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield wore a mask inside the team's facility during June's mandatory minicamp, which hinted he wasn't yet fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. While speaking with reporters at his youth football camp Wednesday, however, Mayfield indicated his situation has since changed. Read more here.JULY 17The NFL and NFLPA are working on a way to identify unvaccinated players during games and practices, according to a report. Pro Football Talk says the two groups are working out the details for providing visual proof of who has not received the COVID-19 vaccine. Read more here.
The latest from the world of golf since competition resumed:AUGUST 17Jon Rahm heads into the FedEx Cup playoffs ranked No. 1 in the power rankings after he had to miss the Olympics due to testing positive for COVID-19. Read more here.AUGUST 4American golf star Bryson DeChambeau missed out on competing at the Summer Olympics after he tested positive for COVID-19. The 27-year-old is set to play in this week's WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational and told reporters Wednesday he doesn't regret remaining unvaccinated against COVID-19. DeChambeau added he lost "eight to 10 pounds" during his quarantine and needs to regain some clubhead speed before he can reclaim his best form on the course. Read more here.With COVID-19 cases surging throughout the United States due to different variants, the PGA Tour is going back to its previous guidelines of mandating that all individuals wear masks indoors at events regardless of their vaccination statuses. Read more here.JUNE 5Jon Rahm was on his way to what looked like a clear victory at the Memorial before being forced to withdraw Saturday under crushing circumstances. Rahm had a six-stroke lead, and after he finished his round, he spoke with officials before becoming visibly emotional. As it turned out, Rahm had tested positive for COVID-19, and was being informed of that fact. Under PGA Tour protocols, the positive test meant Rahm had to withdraw from the tournament despite his huge lead. Read more here.MAY 19ESPN's Bob Harig reports vaccinated golfers won't have to wear proper face coverings indoors at tournaments starting with next week's Charles Schwab Challenge in Texas. Unvaccinated players must continue to wear masks until further notice. Harig added that the PGA scrapped its original plan to discontinue on-site testing in July and will instead maintain its current testing format through at least the Tour Championship in early September. Following that tournament, those not vaccinated will have to conduct at-home testing on their own to compete. Read more here.APRIL 28England's Paul Casey, 43, told reporters on Thursday he's already received both vaccine shots, in part, because he's "willing to do the things necessary to get through" the pandemic. Read more here.
What's the latest from the world of NASCAR:APRIL 25NASCAR will not require drivers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, president Steve Phelps said Sunday, according to the Associated Press (h/t ESPN). "It is important, in my opinion, that people get vaccinated," Phelps said before the race at Talladega Superspeedway. Bubba Wallace and Denny Hamlin are among the few NASCAR drivers who have made it known that they received the COVID-19 vaccine. Read more here.MARCH 11More and more states, cities, and communities are opening outdoor and indoor events to paying spectators despite continued COVID-19 concerns. During a Thursday appearance on ESPN's "First Take," National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci explained that the existence of at least three coronavirus vaccines should permit growing numbers of fans to safely attend sporting events over the next several months. Read more here.
Here is the fallout from the most recent news from the NCAA:AUGUST 12For the 2021 season, the Pac-12 decided to go back to counting games canceled due to player availability as forfeited losses, regardless of whether COVID-19 plays a role. "Any forfeited contest shall be regarded as a conference loss for the team making the forfeit and a conference win for its opponent," the conference said in a statement obtained by ESPN. "The Pac-12 rule provides the Commissioner with discretion to determine whether an institution is at fault or primarily at fault for an instability to play a contest based on the facts of the situation." The Pac-12 also updated its return-to-play protocols for the season. Read more here.AUGUST 8Ole Miss football head coach Lane Kiffin said Sunday there is a 100% vaccination rate among his players, coaches, staff members and everybody within the program who will be on the practice field, according to ESPN's Chris Low. "It's pretty amazing and great motivation for our fans and the state," Kiffin told ESPN. Read more here.AUGUST 5The Florida Gators endured a serious and concerning COVID-19 outbreak last fall that temporarily threatened their season and reportedly included head coach Dan Mullen, two assistants, and approximately 30 total players testing positive for the virus. According to The Associated Press (h/t ESPN), Mullen told reporters Thursday his team will spend at least part of training camp in a hotel as fall practice begins Friday amid surging coronavirus cases throughout the state. Read more here.JULY 27Washington State Cougars head coach Nick Rolovich spoke during Tuesday's Pac-12 media day session remotely because he is not vaccinated against COVID-19. While the conference required all in-person participants to be vaccinated, Rolovich explained the university's administration is respecting his decision and added he will follow all policies "for the unvaccinated." "I'm not against vaccinations, and I wholeheartedly support those who choose to get vaccinated, including our players," Rolovich said, according to Adam Rittenberg of ESPN. "I urge everyone to consider being vaccinated." Rolovich reiterated he won't publicly share why he's not getting one of the available shots but said roughly 75% of the Washington State roster is either fully vaccinated or has begun the vaccination process. Read more here.JULY 22Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren explained during Thursday's Media Day session that league presidents and chancellors agreed last month individual schools will first determine their own policies regarding COVID-19 and vaccinations among student-athletes. Read more here.Florida State coach Mike Norvell said Thursday his team is "getting closer each day" to reaching the 85% vaccination mark. "That's something we're working through," he added. Norvell explained that former FSU and NFL player Myron Rolle, who currently works as a neurosurgery resident at Massachusetts General Hospital, spoke with players and answered questions they have about the available vaccines. Read more here.New Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff told ESPN's Heather Dinich he's considering adopting a policy that involves forfeits for canceled games due to COVID setbacks among unvaccinated players. Read more here.JULY 21Alabama Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said his team is "pretty close to 90%" for COVID-19 vaccinations. While the legendary coach explained receiving one of the shots is a personal decision for his players, he added the vaccines are the best way to ensure his team can take the field for each scheduled game. Read more here.ACC commissioner Jim Phillips explained during Wednesday's media days session his conference hasn't yet decided on how to handle games impacted by coronavirus-related absences and issues. Phillips strongly encouraged unvaccinated individuals to get their shots but also said the conference is leaving vaccine mandates up to the individual schools. The ACC's medical advisory group is expected to meet in the coming weeks to discuss protocols that could potentially lead to a team being unable to play during a week of the season. Read more here.Per Harry Lyles Jr. of ESPN, Washington State Cougars head coach Nick Rolovich announced Wednesday he will participate in Pac-12 media day next Tuesday remotely because he is not vaccinated against COVID-19. Read more here.JULY 20Georgia Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart said Tuesday that his team is over 85% for vaccinations, which allows for the loosening of some health and safety protocols. That doesn't mean Smart is satisfied. "It's not about a number," Smart explained. "It's not about a threshold. I think everybody wants to write who's over and who's under. What it's really about is being able to save our season. Being able to keep our players safe. We want to keep our players safe. We want to keep our coaches and staff safe. We want to keep our family members safe, and that comes through vaccinations." Smart also said vaccinated coaches have addressed players about why they received the shots. Read more here.JULY 19SEC commissioner Greg Sankey explained during Monday's media days session that six of the conference's 14 football teams have reached at least an 80% COVID-19 vaccination rate and that the "number needs to grow and grow rapidly." Sankey added teams are "expected to play as scheduled" and could be made to accept losses if unable to field a squad during any particular week. "That means your team needs to be healthy to compete, and if not, that game won't be rescheduled," Sankey said. "And thus, to dispose of the game, the 'forfeit' word comes up at this point." As of now, the SEC does not intend to postpone contests for coronavirus-related reasons this fall. While speaking about this plan, Sankey strongly encouraged players, coaches, staff members, and fans to receive COVID-19 vaccine shots if they're not already immunized. Read more here.JULY 14Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby explained players will again be tested for the coronavirus and urged those hoping to participate in the upcoming campaign to receive COVID-19 vaccine shots if they haven't already been immunized. Read more here.JUNE 1Penn State vice president for intercollegiate athletics Sandy Barbour confirmed Tuesday that the lifting of statewide health and safety protocols will allow Beaver Stadium to operate at 100% capacity for the 2021 season. The Penn State announcement added that tailgating and other traditional aspects of football game days will also return. PSU is shifting fully to mobile tickets for all sports and reducing physical contact points at venues. Read more here.MARCH 6The NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and NCAA, unsurprisingly, took a massive hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. When the entire country came to a halt about one year ago, Forbes estimated that the four major American sports leagues and the NCAA would lose a combined $5 billion in revenue. According to Forbes' most recent report, the revenue losses for the NCAA and the four major U.S. sports leagues have now hit at least $14.1 billion. Read more here.
Here is what has happened most recently in the world of tennis:AUGUST 12While the main draw for the U.S. Open is scheduled to begin Aug. 30 in New York, the event's qualifying rounds are held the week before and are typically open to the public. However, the United States Tennis Association confirmed Thursday that spectators will not be allowed to attend qualifying matches because of fears and issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.
Pro wrestling news over the past few weeks:JANUARY 11WWE champion Drew McIntyre tested positive for COVID-19 and is now in quarantine. As Joseph Currier of the Wrestling Observer noted, this is the first time that WWE confirmed the identity of a roster member who returned a positive coronavirus test since the start of the pandemic. According to Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful.com, multiple wrestling brands that have national television deals are currently dealing with COVID-19 issues. Read more here.SEPTEMER 24Back in March, Roman Reigns decided to opt out of WrestleMania 36 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During an appearance on "WWE After the Bell" with "SmackDown" announcer Corey Graves, Reigns explained his choice, saying that it was entirely based on keeping his family safe. Read more here.SEPTEMBER 2Legendary wrestler Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson shared on Instagram that he, his wife, and his two baby daughters all tested positive for the coronavirus. The Rock says they got the virus from close family friends. He said overcoming the virus was harder than recovering from injuries he’s dealt with in the past. Read more here.
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Here's the latest from the MMA world:APRIL 5While speaking on Ariel Helwani's MMA Show, UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski (22-1-0) revealed that he was hospitalized with pneumonia while battling COVID-19 after he tested positive for the virus on March 19. He had been scheduled to defend his title versus Brian Ortega on March 27 but had the fight scrapped due to his positive result. Read more here.
What's new in boxing:JULY 8The third match between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder that was scheduled for July 24 has been postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak among Fury’s camp. Fury tested positive for COVID-19 and is experiencing symptoms. The 6-foot-9 heavyweight champion received one COVID-19 vaccine dose but did not get the second shot, according to boxing reporter Dan Rafael. Read more here.
The latest from the IOC:JULY 28Sam Kendricks was expected to earn a medal for Team USA at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, but that won’t be happening. Kendricks tested positive for COVID-19 and will not be able to compete in the Summer Games. Read more here.JULY 23Many people in Japan are unhappy that their nation is hosting the Olympics with the coronavirus pandemic still ongoing, and that resulted in protests taking place outside the Opening Ceremony on Friday. The Opening Ceremony for the Olympic Games was held at the National Stadium in Tokyo on Friday evening. Outside the stadium, hundreds of people gathered for a march during which they chanted things like, “Go to hell, Olympics!” Read more here.
MLS and NWSL most recent developments:JULY 20For the second straight year, there will be no U.S. Open Cup due to COVID-19. The U.S. Soccer Federation confirmed on Tuesday that this year's edition of the competition won't take place "after not finding available match dates shared across the various participating leagues." According to Brian Straus of Sports Illustrated, a proposal to hold an altered U.S. Open Cup format with 24 clubs in May and June was abandoned, and the federation explained Tuesday it's now planning for next year instead of for the fall months. U.S. Soccer said Tuesday its board of directors will address the automatic berth for the 2022 Champions League in the coming weeks. Read more here.
Most recent news from international soccer circles:AUGUST 16The English Premier League returned Friday with Brentford upsetting Arsenal, and fans were back inside stadiums despite continued concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The English top-flight reminded everybody Monday that the health crisis is not over. "The Premier League can today confirm that between Monday 9 August and Sunday 15 August, across two rounds of testing, 3,231 players and club staff were tested for COVID-19," the league explained in its latest update. "Of these, there were 11 new positive tests." Read more here.JULY 29COVID-19 continues to impact sports leagues located around the world. Manchester United announced Thursday that Saturday's friendly versus Preston North End has been canceled due to positive COVID-19 cases within the team. Read more here.JULY 21On Tuesday, Premier League club Arsenal confirmed the cancellation of their preseason United States tour because of "a small number" of positive COVID-19 cases within their traveling party. Reigning Serie A champions Inter Milan were originally scheduled to face Arsenal in Orlando this coming Sunday as part of the Florida Cup competition but announced Wednesday they also won't be making the trip. Read more here.JULY 20Arsenal canceled their USA tour due to "a small number" of positive COVID-19 cases within members of their traveling party. Read more here.JULY 16Istanbul will be hoping the third time's the charm. Reuters (h/t ESPN) noted Friday that UEFA has confirmed the locations for the next four Champions League finals. Notably, Istanbul was given the 2023 title match after losing a pair of such games because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.
WNBA's latest developments:JUNE 28The WNBA announced Monday that an astonishing 99% of its players are considered fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. "All 12 teams have met the threshold for being considered a fully-vaccinated team," the Association added in its brief statement. No players have tested positive for the virus since the regular season started on May 14. Read more here.APRIL 13The 25th WNBA season will have a much more normal feel to it than its 24th. On Tuesday, the WNBA announced the upcoming regular season will begin May 14 and feature the league's 12 teams playing at their home venues. The league will temporarily pause from July 15 through Aug. 11 due to the Summer Olympics, and teams will play a total of 32 games through the final day of the regular season scheduled for Sept. 19. The 2020 campaign was shifted to the bubble site at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. due to concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fan attendance for upcoming games will be determined and announced by individual clubs, and all teams will follow local health and safety recommendations. Read more here.
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What has happened in international baseball:JULY 8During a recent game against the Rakuten Eagles, the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks employed 20 dancing robots to liven things up. The two kinds of robots, SoftBank’s humanoid robot ‘Pepper’ and others on four legs, engaged in a choreographed dance to the team’s fight song. Read more here.
esports carries on: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.
Most recent developments among other sports:AUGUST 21After hoping to allow a decreased percentage of spectators to the 146th running of the Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs Incorporated announced on Friday afternoon that no fans will be welcomed to the event postponed from May 2 to Sept. 5 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Read more here.AUGUST 4Indianapolis Motor Speedway has once again reversed course and declared that the Indianapolis 500 held on Aug. 23 will occur without fans in the stands due to the worsening coronavirus pandemic. Read more here.JULY 1The 2020 Mexico City Marathon announced that the race scheduled for Aug. 30 is canceled. According to Mexico News Daily, the event drew roughly 30,000 runners last year. Read more here.JUNE 26The Indianapolis 500, set for Aug. 23, became the latest American sporting event to welcome fans amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Indianapolis Motor Speedway President J. Douglas Boles confirmed the news, stating, "We will be limiting attendance to approximately 50 percent of venue capacity." Per Shanna McCarriston of CBS Sports, Indianapolis Motor Speedway carries a capacity of around 235,000. The official announcement also explained that individuals who do not wish to attend, such as those considered high-risk, will receive credits. Safety items such as masks and hand sanitizer will be distributed to all race attendees. Read more here.JUNE 24The world's largest marathon in New York City has officially been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to Jackie Salo of the New York Post. The five-borough race, which hosts more than 50,000 runners from across the globe, would've celebrated its 50th anniversary on Nov. 1. It is now set to take place on Nov. 7, 2021. Read more here.JUNE 23The Haspa Marathon Hamburg, which was postponed from April, is set to occur on Sept. 13. The race is expecting 10,000 to 14,000 runners. However, Americans might not be among thm. Action Network's Darren Rovell reported that runners from "higher-risk COVID areas" will not be allowed to participate. A higher-risk area could include the United States. Read more here.JUNE 13Approximately 20,000 rugby fans in New Zealand packed the stands to watch the Otago Highlanders take on the Waikato Chiefs in the Super Rugby Aotearoa competition. New Zealand lifted nearly all of its coronavirus restrictions earlier in the week, as no new cases have been reported for more than 20 days and the death toll is at just 22 in the country since the pandemic started. Read more here.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.
Report: Buccaneers' Antonio Brown positive for COVID-19, unlikely to play at Rams .
Brown is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, meaning he can return to team activities if he stays asymptomatic and produces two negative virus tests 24 hours apart. Nevertheless, Arians added he's preparing as if both Brown and Minter won't be available against the Rams. Brown leads Tampa Bay with 23.0 yards per catch on six receptions and is second on the team with 138 receiving yards this season. He caught one touchdown over the first two games of the campaign, both Tampa Bay wins. The Rams are also 2-0 on the campaign. Subscribe to Yardbarker's Morning Bark, the most comprehensive newsletter in sports.