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Report: Raiders, Gruden fined for COVID-19 protocol violations – TSN

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The Las Vegas Raiders and coach Jon Gruden have been fined a total $650,000 and docked a sixth-round draft pick for repeated violations of the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols.

A person familiar with the punishment said Thursday the team has been fined $500,000, Gruden has been docked $150,000 and the draft pick has been stripped because of how the team handled Trent Brown’s positive coronavirus test last month. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no announcement had been made.

Yahoo first reported the punishments.

The Raiders have been penalized several times already this season for violating coronavirus protocols with the punishments leading to a total of $1,215,000 for the team, Gruden and players.

While several teams have been fined so far this season, the Raiders are the first to be penalized a draft pick following multiple violations.

The latest punishment stems from Brown’s positive test last month when the Raiders were already supposed to be in “intensive” protocols following teammate Damon Arnette’s positive test.

At a practice on Oct. 19 a day before Brown tested positive, he was not wearing a mask as required and didn’t socially distance with teammates. That led to four other starting offensive linemen to be placed on the COVID-19 list as “high-risk” contacts. They missed the rest of the practice week before returning the morning of a 45-20 loss to Tampa Bay on Oct. 25.

Safety Johnathan Abram was forced to miss that game because he spent time with Brown the following day and wasn’t cleared to return until Oct. 26.

Brown was activated from the COVID-19 list last week but missed the game at Cleveland after a reported mishap with an IV sent him to the hospital before the game. Brown went back on the COVID-19 list Thursday when he had more symptoms.

Gruden had the coronavirus in July and has praised the team’s handling of the issue despite repeated violations.

Gruden was fined $100,000 and the team docked $250,000 after the coach didn’t wear his mask properly during a Week 2 win over New Orleans. The team also was fined $50,000 for allowing an unauthorized employee in the locker room after the game.

Tight end Darren Waller was fined $30,000 and nine teammates, including quarterback Derek Carr, were fined $15,000 for attending an indoor charity event held by Waller’s foundation that violated local coronavirus protocols. Players were seen at the event not wearing masks or social distancing.

The team didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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NFL Odds & Picks for Ravens vs. Steelers: Sharps Finding Betting Value in Wednesday Afternoon’s Spread – The Action Network

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Russell is leading contender to replace Hamilton for Sakhir GP – F1i.com

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Williams’ George Russell has emerged as the leading contender to replace Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes for next weekend’s Sakhir GP according to multiple reports out of Bahrain.

Talks are apparently ongoing in Bahrain between Mercedes and Williams management to reach an agreement for the Grove-based outfit to release its driver for a one-off with the championship winning outfit following Hamilton’s unavailability after testing positive for COVID-19.

Should the negotiations reach a successful outcome, Williams reserve Jack Aitken, who has yet to race in F1 but who holds a super licence, is Russell’s most likely replacement.

If the talks are not successful, Mercedes is likely to rely on Stoffel Vandoorne to fill Hamilton’s seat, as the Belgian is the Brackley team’s official reserve and is race-ready having wrapped up his campaign in Formula E with the German manufacturer.

While racing for Williams, Russell remains contracted to Mercedes who backed the young Briton and 2018 Formula 2 champion during his formative years.

Williams is likely to demand a financial compensation from Mercedes for releasing its driver, but the prospect of lending Russell to the Black Arrows squad could entail some interesting marketing benefits for the team if the 22-year-old wins next weekend – hardly a far-fetched hypothesis – and then returns to Grove a Grand Prix victor.

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SIMMONS: Are Raptors being hypocrites in handling of Terence Davis? – Toronto Sun

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By definition, a person is found guilty of assault in the third degree in New York, if they intentionally or recklessly cause injury to another person or if they are criminally negligent with a weapon.

The Raptors waited a few days after the Davis arrest before making any comment at all. Their initial silence was uncomfortable. Then they released a rather innocuous statement, not really saying anything that mattered. In Webster’s availability on Tuesday he was asked a limited number of questions about the Davis situation, including whether he thought the team was acting hypocritically by bringing him back for his second season.

Webster’s answers weren’t exactly clear — with this proviso, his background is in basketball, not in social matters such as this.

He was clear, though, that in his mind the Raptors had done their due diligence on the matter, which is now in the hands of the NBA and the NBA Players’ Association. “We’ve done as much due diligence as we can,” he said. “That may feel a bit unsatisfying but we need to be respectful of the process.”

No one in Toronto seemed to care much about the process when Osuna won a World Series with the Astros. It wasn’t thought about as a lost opportunity. It was more like: who cares about Osuna anymore?

Most people seemed more pleased that he was no longer associated with Toronto or the Blue Jays.

It’s entirely possible the Raptors won’t play any games in Toronto this season, having been forced to move elsewhere as COVID-19 continues to play havoc with our lives and their lives. And Davis won’t have to worry about crossing the border with legal restrictions of any kind.

Potentially, Davis is another undrafted find for the Raptors, having scored 31 points and 20 points in games last February and having shown great energy and athleticism on the court. He has considerable talent. The basketball court works for him.

And that isn’t the court that matters right now. His next court date in New York is Dec. 11. Maybe then the Raptors will say something or do something that matters. Maybe then, maybe not.

ssimmons@postmedia.com

twitter.com/simmonssteve

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