NASHVILLE — The positive test results keep coming for the Tennessee Titans in the NFL’s first outbreak of COVID-19.
If the positive results don’t stop, the Titans’ next game, against Buffalo (3-0) on Oct. 11, could be at risk, forcing the NFL into even more rearranging of the schedule.
The NFL postponed Sunday’s game between New England and the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs after “positive COVID-19 tests on both teams.” ESPN reported on Saturday that Patriots quarterback Cam Newton was among those testing positive. The league also pushed the Colts-Bears game from an early kickoff to 4:25 p.m. to fill the slot left open by the Patriots-Chiefs.
On Saturday, another Titans player and two staff members tested positive for COVID-19, raising the team’s total to 18 since Sept. 24, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because neither the NFL nor the Titans had announced the latest results.
This is the fifth straight day that at least one member of the Titans’ organization has had a positive test result return. The outbreak seemingly started Sept. 24 when the Titans placed cornerback Greg Mabin from their practice squad on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Since outside linebacker coach Shane Bowen’s test result came back positive on Sept. 26, the Titans have had now eight players and seven other team personnel test positive. Bowen didn’t travel with Tennessee (3-0) to Minnesota for their 31-30 win last week.
The Titans now on the reserve/COVID-19 list include: defensive captain DaQuan Jones, long snapper Beau Brinkley, wide receiver Adam Humphries, outside linebacker Kamalei Correa, and rookie cornerback Kristian Fulton, their second-round pick out of LSU, with receiver Cameron Batson and tight end Tommy Hudson from the practice squad.
Offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson, Tennessee’s first-round pick out of Georgia, has been on the reserve/COVID-19 list since Sept. 6.
The NFL first postponed, then rescheduled the Titans’ game set for Sunday against Pittsburgh to Oct. 25 during Tennessee’s bye. The league also moved Baltimore’s bye to Week 7, so the Ravens now can play Pittsburgh on Nov. 1.
Officials from the NFL and its players’ union met with the Titans on Friday reviewing the situation.
The Minnesota Vikings (0-3) again had no positive test results from Friday’s tests, and they remain scheduled to visit Houston (0-3) on Sunday as scheduled. The Vikings went back to work inside their facility Thursday.
The Titans had hoped to return to work inside their own building Monday or Tuesday. The league has new protocols for teams dealing with an outbreak or exposed to a team with an outbreak to follow that include two different daily tests and gloves and face masks for everyone, including players, during practices.
With each day bringing more positive results, that return is in jeopardy.
The NFL announced Friday that the league and its players’ union agreed to extend daily testing for the foreseeable future. That includes teams during bye weeks, requiring players to stick around.
Virtanen signs two-year, $5.1 million contract with Canucks – NHL.com
Jake Virtanen signed a two-year, $5.1 million contract with the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday. It has an average annual value of $2.55 million.
The 24-year old forward was a restricted free agent and avoided a salary arbitration hearing scheduled for Oct. 28. He scored 36 points (18 goals, 18 assists) in 69 games with the Canucks last season and three points (two goals, one assist) in 16 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
“Obviously there’s a bright future with the Canucks organization, so many young, talented players coming in and the moves that we’ve made, I think it’s going to be just a brighter future for our team moving forward,” Virtanen said. “I’m excited to see how it all pans out and how our team’s going to do and super excited to get things going.
“[Contract negotiations] felt like a long time but obviously super excited to get this done and be back with the Canucks for two more years. Just happy to get it done and get it over with and just focus on training and skating and the whole thing, being ready to go.”
With forward Tyler Toffoli signing a four-year contract with the Montreal Canadiens on Oct. 12, it opened up a spot on one of the top two lines, and Virtanen is hoping he’ll get a chance to play there.
“Obviously I’d love to play top six and have a bigger opportunity, more responsibilities,” Virtanen said. “That’s what I really hope I get. I want to be able to prove that to the team and my teammates that I can play up there and be consistent every night, making sure that I can play night in and night out. It’s an opening for me to try to jump up there. I’ve got to make sure I’m coming to camp ready to go.”
Selected by Vancouver in the first round (No. 6) of the 2014 NHL Draft, Virtanen has scored 95 points (50 goals, 45 assists) in 279 regular-season games and three points in 16 playoff games.
“Jake has continued to make progress on his two-way game and remains a contributor offensively, using his speed and size to generate chances,” Canucks general manager Jim Benning said. “We look forward to him taking additional steps in his growth this year to help our team be successful.”
NHL.com staff writer Tim Campbell contributed to this report
NHL postpones Winter Classic, All-Star Game – TSN
The NHL has announced the postponement of the 2021 Winter Classic and the All-Star Game. The annual outdoor game was scheduled for Jan. 1 at Target Field in Minnesota. The All-Star Game was scheduled for Jan. 30 in Sunrise, FL.
The postponements were expected as the dates were scheduled prior to beginning of the current COVID-19 pandemic. The NHL concluded the 2020 playoffs in September — over three months later than originally scheduled — as part of the league’s negotiated Return To Play format. The regular season concluded on Mar. 11, after the league was forced to its season on pause due to the pandemic.
“Fan participation, both in arenas and stadiums as well as in the ancillary venues and events that we stage around the Winter Classic and All-Star Weekend, is integral to the success of our signature events,” said NHL Senior Executive Vice President & Chief Content Officer Steve Mayer. “Because of the uncertainty as to when we will be able to welcome our fans back to our games, we felt that the prudent decision at this time was to postpone these celebrations until 2022 when our fans should be able to enjoy and celebrate these tentpole events in-person, as they were always intended. We are also considering several new and creative events that will allow our fans to engage with our games and teams during this upcoming season.”
Both events will be rescheduled, according to the league.
The NHL also announced that the postponement of the events doesn’t change their target date of Jan. 1 to begin the 2020-21 season.
Thursday Night Football Picks: Philadelphia Eagles vs New York Giants NFL Predictions 10/22/20 – Sports Chat Place
New York Giants (1-5) at Philadelphia Eagles (1-4-1)
NFL Football: Thursday, October 22, 2020 at 8:20 pm (Lincoln Financial Field)
The Line: Philadelphia Eagles -3.5 — Over/Under: 44
Click Here for the Latest Odds
The New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles meet Thursday in week 7 NFL action at Lincoln Financial Field.
The New York Giants have a chance to win back-to-back games for the first time since December of last year. The New York Giants have lost eight of their last nine road games. Daniel Jones is completing 61.2 percent of his passes for 1,223 yards, three touchdowns and six interceptions. Jones has one touchdown pass in his last five games. Darius Slayton and Evan Engram have combined for 583 receiving yards and three touchdowns while Golden Tate has 19 receptions. The New York Giants ground game is averaging 87.8 yards per contest, and Jones leads the way with 204 yards on 27 carries. Defensively, New York is allowing 25.3 points and 342 yards per game. Blake Martinez leads the New York Giants with 64 tackles, Leonard Williams has three sacks and James Bradberry has two interceptions.
The Philadelphia Eagles need a victory here to rebound from a rough 1-4-1 start to the NFL season. The Philadelphia Eagles are winless in five of their last seven home games. Carson Wentz is completing 58.7 percent of his passes for 1,401 yards, eight touchdowns and nine interceptions. Wentz has two or more touchdown passes in six of his last 11 games. Travis Fulgham and Greg Ward have combined for 475 receiving yards and five touchdowns while Zach Ertz has 24 receptions. The Philadelphia Eagles ground game is averaging 122.3 yards per contest, and Miles Sanders leads the way with 434 yards and three touchdowns. Defensively, Philadelphia is allowing 29.2 points and 355.2 yards per game. Nathan Gerry leads the Philadelphia Eagles with 49 tackles, Brandon Graham has five sacks and Alex Singleton has one interception.
The Giants are 19-7 ATS in their last 26 road games, 17-5 ATS in their last 22 games as a road underdog and 0-4 ATS in their last 4 Thursday games. The Eagles are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 Thursday games, 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games as a favorite and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The over is 9-4 in Giants last 13 road games. The under is 8-2 in Eagles last 10 home games. The road team is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 meetings.
The New York Giants continue to compete, as five of their six games this season were decided by 10 or less points, and they finally were able to close the deal last week with a win over Washington. The Philadelphia Eagles have just one win this season as well, but they went toe-to-toe with the Steelers and Ravens in back-to-back weeks and have to feel better about the way they’re playing. The Eagles are the better team, they’re playing the better football and they’ve won each of the last seven meetings against the Giants. While they won last week, the Giants still feel like a bottom feeding team that’s going to be climbing uphill most weeks. There’s still flashes of promise with the Eagles and you feel like they can climb out of this whole with the roster they have.
I’ll take the Eagles in this game by a touchdown.
Philadelphia Eagles -3.5
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