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Falcons working remotely Thursday after positive COVID-19 test



It’s been a rollercoaster week in Atlanta.

Early this week, the team fired GM Thomas Dimitroff and coach Dan Quinn. Now the club’s Week 6 plans have been disrupted by COVID-19.

NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported that the Falcons are working remotely Thursday morning following one confirmed positive COVID-19 test Wednesday. The league is working to confirm one or more positive while contract tracing, Garafolo added. The one confirmed new positive COVID-19 test is an assistant coach, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported, per a source.

The team released the following statement:

“Out of an abundance of caution following one new positive test, we have made the decision to stop all in-person work at IBM Performance Field Thursday and will conduct all operations virtually. This decision was made in consultation with the NFL and medical officials. The health and safety of our team is our highest priority.”

Pelissero added the Falcons had the option to return to the facility Thursday afternoon, but the team decided to operate virtually all day as a precaution. The plan is to return to the facility Friday, barring further issues.

The Falcons placed rookie Marlon Davidson on the reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday. It’s possible that the additional cases Thursday could end up being false positives, which could allow them to return to the facility. Until they are confirmed, Atlanta is taking precautions.

The New York Jets underwent a similar situation last week where the team sent staff and players home after a presumed positive on Friday. Gang Green was still able to play its Week 5 game.

The Falcons are scheduled to travel to Minnesota to face the Vikings in Week 6 on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET. An NFL spokesperson told Garafolo there is no change to Falcons-Vikings at this time.


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Uiagalelei steps into the spotlight as No. 1 Clemson faces Boston College on TSN – TSN



The collective stomachs of Clemson fans sunk on Thursday night after it was revealed that star quarterback – and projected 2021 No. 1 overall NFL draft pick – Trevor Lawrence had tested positive for COVID-19 and would miss this week’s game against Boston College. 

Per guidelines from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), which No. 1 ranked Clemson is a part of, Lawrence must isolate for at least 10 days from the onset of symptoms or a positive test before returning to football activity.

Obviously, Clemson was dealt a big blow losing Lawrence, but there is hope on the depth chart in the form of D.J. Uiagalelei, a highly recruited true freshman who entered Clemson with his own share of hype.

Here’s what you need to know about Uiagalelei ahead of his first career NCAA start – which can be seen at noon ET Saturday on TSN1 – against Boston College.

He was ranked as the No. 1 pro-style quarterback

Uiagalelei, who hails from Bellflower, Calif., was ranked as the No. 1 dropback passer in the recruiting class of 2020 by all the major recruiting services and was viewed as a top 10 recruit overall. Lawrence, who Uiagalelei is stepping in for on Saturday, was also ranked as the No. 1 dropback passer in his class.

Over his high school career, Uiagalelei threw for 10,496 yards and had 127 touchdowns against just 11 interceptions. He also rushed 1,103 yards and added another 18 touchdowns.

He has size

While Uiagalelei (6-foot-4) isn’t quite as tall as the 6-foot-6 Lawrence, he’s bigger than him weight-wise. Lawrence has a slender build, being officially listed as 220 pounds by Clemson, while Uiagalelei is more solidly built, being an eye-popping 250 pounds. People in football circles traditionally prefer bigger quarterbacks as they’re seen as being better equipped to handle the physical punishment that comes with being hit in the pocket.

“He has everything that the great ones we’ve had (had), just bigger,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said of Uiagalelei last December via USA Today. “He’s not 6-6 like Trevor, but none of those guys were 240 pounds, and he can run as well as anybody we’ve had. Just a special young man. Just a very humble young man. No entitlement. No drama.”

He has some NCAA experience

Saturday will be Uiagalelei’s first career start, but the first-year player has already seen action in five of Clemson’s six games this season.

One of the benefits of being a backup on the top team in college football is that Clemson often blows out teams, which affords opportunities for the backups to step in and get some game reps. Uiagalelei has gone 12-of-19 this season for 102 yards passing and has added 32 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.

It also bears noting that the true freshman won the backup job by beating out Taisun Phommachanh, who enrolled at Clemson a year ahead of Uiagalelei. 

He was a high school baseball star

At one point in time during his high school career, it wasn’t clearer whether Uiagalelei’s future laid on the gridiron or on the baseball diamond.  

As a pitcher, he reportedly has a fastball that reaches the mid-90s, and according to recruiting service Perfect Game, Uiagalelei is also capable of playing first base, third base and outfield.

In the past, there was discussion that Uiagalelei could be a top pick in the MLB draft. In September, however, he told reporters that he “most likely” won’t play baseball, choosing instead to focus solely on football.

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Patriots vs. Bills Friday injury report: Stephon Gilmore, J.C. Jackson among New England’s questionable – Pats Pulpit



The New England Patriots will visit the Buffalo Bills without three members of the active roster.

In addition to Julian Edelman, who underwent a knee procedure on Thursday, fellow wide receiver N’Keal Harry and defensive tackle Carl Davis did not return for Friday’s practice inside the Empower Field House.

Neither did reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore.

Gilmore had previously gone from full to limited participation due to a knee issue this week. The former Bills cornerback, whose last missed start came in 2017, is now among 11 Patriots listed as questionable for the inclement AFC East matchup in Orchard Park.

Here’s the final injury report heading into Sunday’s 1 p.m. ET kickoff.


  • Patriots: WR Julian Edelman (knee), WR N’Keal Harry (concussion), DT Carl Davis (concussion)
  • Bills: OT Cody Ford (knee), CB Josh Norman (hamstring)

With Edelman and Harry ruled out, the Patriots stand with three healthy wideouts on the 53-man roster. The elevation options include undrafted rookies Mason Kinsey, Isaiah Zuber and Kristian Wilkerson on the practice squad.

As for the Bills, Ford and Norman remained sidelined for three consecutive practices with knee and hamstring injuries, respectively. Ford has started six games thus far into his sophomore NFL season on Buffalo’s offensive line. And Norman, the 2015 first-team All-Pro, has started two in the secondary since being activated from injured reserve earlier in October.


  • Patriots: RB Damien Harris (ankle), TE Dalton Keene (knee), OT Justin Herron (ankle), G Joe Thuney (ankle), G Shaq Mason (calf), DT Lawrence Guy (ankle), LB John Simon (shoulder), LB Shilique Calhoun (knee), CB Stephon Gilmore (knee), CB J.C. Jackson (knee), S Kyle Dugger (ankle)
  • Bills: G Brian Winters (knee), DT Vernon Butler (groin), DT Quinton Jefferson (knee), DE Jerry Hughes (foot), LB Matt Milano (pectoral), CB Cam Lewis (wrist), S Micah Hyde (concussion)

Gilmore has played 98.6 percent of the snaps this campaign for New England’s defense. And Jackson, who was among the new names to surface on the injury report Friday, has played 72.7 percent while intercepting three passes. The latter Patriots cornerback was limited with a knee ailment of his own. As was Keene, the No. 101 overall pick, at tight end.

At Bills practice, Butler and Hyde finished the week as non-participants. But also questionable on Buffalo’s defensive side of the ball are Hughes and Milano, who accounted for eight tackles and 2.5 sacks combined last Sunday against the New York Jets. Hughes would add an interception and a forced fumble off the edge.

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Dodgers' Kelly: 'Makes sense' Turner tested positive after bubble issues – theScore



Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Joe Kelly isn’t surprised teammate Justin Turner tested positive for COVID-19 after dealing with issues at MLB’s bubble site in Texas.

“It makes sense,” Kelly said, according to Rob Bradford of WEEI. “It’s a secure zone, but it was the first time in my life I have felt insecure. I was insecure in the secure zone.”

Kelly said a big problem was that the hotel had a busy golf course at the location.

“It wasn’t called the bubble,” Kelly said. “It was called the secure zone, for people who don’t know. We were at a nice hotel, a beautiful hotel in Las Colinas, and there is a golf course there and I happened to have a room, a villa, on the 18th green, which is pretty crazy because it’s a secure zone. But my room, I would say, is no more than 20 yards from the green, it’s still open to the public.

“So, it’s a bubble except golfers are hitting golf balls next to my window and then crossing the secure zone tape line.”

The 32-year-old reliever admitted that more members of the team could’ve gotten infected.

“Yeah, we got lucky, I feel like,” Kelly added. “If we weren’t aware as players to try and stay away from getting it and we let our guard down, I’m sure it could have been more than just one.”

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