VIRUS OUTBREAK-COLLEGE SPORTS-BOWL GAMES CANCELED
Virus outbreaks at UVa, BC scuttle Fenway, Military Bowls
BOSTON (AP) — The Fenway Bowl and Military Bowl have been canceled due to the pandemic as coronavirus outbreaks at Virginia and Boston College forced them to call off their postseason plans. The game scheduled for Fenway Park was to pit the Cavaliers against SMU on Wednesday. The Military Bowl scheduled for Monday at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium between Boston College and East Carolina was canceled because of positive COVID-19 tests at BC.
The Fenway Bowl was supposed to bring a college football postseason game to the century-old home of the Boston Red Sox, but those plans have been stymied twice by the pandemic. It was to be the last game for Virginia coach Bronco Mendenhall, who announced his resignation after the Cavaliers concluded a 6-6 regular season.
But leading up to the team’s planned departure on Christmas Day, players began showing symptoms of COVID-19 and tested positive. The full team was tested in the morning, and additional positive results came back on Sunday.
The BC players voted not to go to a postseason game last year because of the emotional toll the pandemic season had taken. This year’s team went 6-6 to gain bowl eligibility and had already traveled to Washington, D.C., for Monday’s game.
Ravens without top two QBs
UNDATED (AP) — The Baltimore Ravens will be without star quarterback Lamar Jackson and backup Tyler Huntley at Cincinnati today. Huntley has been the starter the last two weeks while Jackson has been out with an ankle injury. Huntley was put on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Saturday.
Josh Johnson is expected to start for the Ravens, giving the 35-year-old quarterback his first start since 2018 and the ninth of his career. He played for San Diego Fleet in the Alliance of American Football in 2019 and for the XFL’s Los Angeles Wildcats last year.
The Ravens lost 31-30 to the Packers last Sunday after failing to convert a 2-point conversion attempt with 42 seconds remaining.
The Ravens and Bengals, both 8-6, are tied atop the AFC North.
The second matchup of the season between the Bills and Patriots has huge playoff implications. The Patriots can clinch the AFC East title with a win and Miami loss or tie at New Orleans. If the Bills win they’d be back in first place in the division, hold tiebreakers over the Patriots and Dolphins and be in position to win their second straight title.
Bills receiver Cole Beasley won’t play after landing on reserve/COVID-19 list. Patriots running back Damien Harris sat out last week’s loss to Indianapolis with a hamstring injury and was limited in practice this week.
Meanwhile, the Rams said Cam Akers won’t play today at Minnesota, but he’ll likely to be in uniform at some point this year for the Rams. The Rams are now atop the NFC West after the Cardinals failed to clinch a playoff spot for the third straight week in a Christmas Day loss to the Colts.
The Kansas City Chiefs have ruled out Pro Bowl tight end Travis Kelce, starting linebacker Nick Bolton and starting right tackle Lucas Niang today against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The three players tested positive for COVID-19 last week and missed every practice, but the Chiefs had activated each from the list by the Saturday afternoon deadline to give them a chance of playing at home against Pittsburgh. All three needed to pass protocols on Sunday morning, though, and none did.
The Chiefs did get some good news Saturday when wide receiver Tyreek Hill tested out of protocol. He didn’t practice all week and is expected to start as usual.
The Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets each lost key defensive players a few hours before kickoff of their game at MetLife Stadium.
Jacksonville linebacker Myles Jack and defensive lineman Quinnen Williams are on the COVID-19 list.
Jets coach Robert Saleh was ruled out for the game because he didn’t clear COVID-19 protocols Saturday. Tight ends coach Ron Middleton is assuming the head coaching duties.
Clippers without George for Nuggets matchup
UNDATED (AP) — The Clippers are without Paul George for tonight’s matchup with the Denver Nuggets. George has a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow and will be out up to a month. The Los Angeles Clippers announced George’s injury Saturday. He will rest and be re-evaluated in three to four weeks.
George was injured at Portland on Dec. 6 and missed five straight games with what the team said was a sprained right elbow. He returned to play against San Antonio and Sacramento this week. UCL tears are more common in baseball and often lead to Tommy John surgery. George leads the Clippers in scoring with a career-high 24.7 points, 5.5 assists and two steals per game. He’s second on the team in rebounds at 7.1.
In another blow to the Miami Heat’s frontcourt depth, center Dewayne Dedmon is out for today’s afternoon game against the Orlando Magic. Dedmon is expected to miss a week or two with a sprained ligament in his left knee. He suffered the injury Thursday in Miami’s win over Detroit. Dedmon appeared to injure the knee as he planted for a shot near the rim. He tumbled to the floor in pain, writhing for a few moments before limping off.
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