Ravens-Steelers game moved from Thanksgiving night to Sunday
UNDATED — The Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens were supposed to provide the only decent matchup on the NFL’s Thanksgiving Day schedule.
That game has been pushed back to Sunday due to coronavirus issues with Baltimore. NBC will still air the big AFC North contest.
Baltimore placed outside linebacker Pernell McPhee on the reserve/COVID-19 list, joining running backs Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins and defensive tackle Brandon Williams. The Ravens also have been doing team work virtually.
In other virus-related NFL news:
— The Browns are practicing in shifts and holding players out as a precaution while dealing with a new round of COVID-19 issues. The team temporarily closed its headquarters in Berea, Ohio, after another player tested positive. Coach Kevin Stefanksi said practice ahead of Sunday’s game at Jacksonville will be spaced out to reduce the risk of possible spread. Star defensive end Myles Garrett is among four players on the reserve/COVID list.
— The Jaguars will be without three defensive coaches against Cleveland this weekend because of COVID-19 testing and contact tracing. Coach Doug Marrone says defensive coordinator Todd Wash, defensive line coach Jason Rebrovich and defensive assistant Dwayne Stukes will not be available.
— The Bengals have added receiver Auden Tate and offensive lineman B.J. Finney to the Reserve/COVID-19 list. Also Wednesday, the team returned cornerback Winston Rose to the practice squad from the COVID-19 list.
— The Falcons have activated defensive end Dante Fowler from the COVID-19 list. Fowler was placed on the list Nov. 14 during the team’s bye week and didn’t play last Sunday in a loss to the New Orleans Saints. Receiver Laquon Treadwell is now the only Atlanta player on the COVID-19 list.
— Dolphins defensive lineman Christian Wilkins practiced Wednesday after being activated off the reserve/COVID-19 list. Wilkins missed the past two games after playing more than half of the team’s defensive snaps in the first eight games.
Jags bench rookie Luton for Glennon
UNDATED — The Jacksonville Jaguars are going with quarterback Mike Glennon against Cleveland, giving the NFL journeyman his first start in more than three years.
Coach Doug Marrone made the announcement Wednesday, three days after he considered benching rookie Jake Luton during a 27-3 loss to unbeaten Pittsburgh. Luton completed 16 of 37 passes for 151 yards and four interceptions against the Steelers.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Saban tests positive for virus, will miss Iron Bowl
UNDATED — Saturday’s Iron Bowl will be without its biggest star. Alabama coach Nick Saban has tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the Crimson Tide’s game with No. 22 Auburn.
Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian will oversee preparations within the football building and lead the team on game day.
Team physician Dr. Jimmy Robinson and head trainer Jeff Allen said in a joint statement that the positive test came Wednesday.
Saban said he has had a runny nose, but no major symptoms. When he tested positive last month before a game with Georgia, he didn’t have any symptoms. Saban ended up being cleared to coach in that game after subsequent tests leading up to the game came back negative.
In other virus-related college football news:
— No. 7 Cincinnati’s game at Temple this weekend has been canceled as both teams deal with COVID-19 issues. The American Athletic Conference said the game scheduled for Saturday could not be made up on Dec. 5 because the league’s protocols “would not allow for a sufficient number of players to be available for competition on that day.” The unbeaten and conference-leading Bearcats’ next game is scheduled for Dec. 12 at No. 24 Tulsa.
— It appears the Big Game between Cal and Stanford was going to go on as planned Friday. The rivalry game between Oregon and Oregon State, formerly known as the Civil War, was also still set for Friday.
— The Apple Cup between Washington and Washington State has been canceled. The Huskies scrambled to schedule a game with Utah for Saturday night, made possible because the Utes’ Sunday meeting against Arizona State was also canceled.
Transfers lead No. 4 UVa to rout of Towson in Bubbleville
UNDATED — The men’s college basketball schedule is in full swing despite the coronavirus pandemic, although a few season openers were either postponed or canceled.
Fourth-ranked Virginia opened with an 89-54 rout of Towson behind Trey Murphy III’s 21 points. Murphy was in action a day after learning he was cleared to play for the Cavaliers.
Fellow transfer Sam Hauser added 19 points and Jay Huff added 14 points for the Cavs, who never trailed and led by 23 at halftime.
In other Top 25 season openers:
— Ayo Dosunmu scored a career-high 28 points and freshman Adam Miller also scored 28 as eighth-ranked Illinois ripped North Carolina A&T, 122-60. Dosunmu had 10 rebounds for his second career double-double, and Miller was 6 of 8 from 3-point range as Illinois fell five points short of its record scoring total.
— Marcus Sasser scored 25 points and Tramon Mark added 22 with eight rebounds for 17th-ranked Houston in an 89-45 pounding of Lamar. Sasser shot 9 of 11, including 7 of 9 on 3-pointers.
— Justice Sueing scored 19 points and No. 23 Ohio State opened on a 22-0 run before completing a 94-67 dismantling of Illinois State. E.J. Liddell had 16 points, while Duane Washington and Zed Key each scored 12 for the Buckeyes.
— Second-ranked Baylor’s game against Arizona State was canceled, as were ninth-ranked Duke versus Gardner Webb and No. 20 Oregon against Eastern Washington.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Pandemic leaves opening week of college hoops in disarray
UNDATED — No. 15 West Virginia will play top-ranked Gonzaga in the Jimmy V Classic on Dec. 2 in Indianapolis. The Mountaineers announced the scheduling addition Wednesday, saying it will be the opening game of a men’s basketball doubleheader.
In other men’s basketball scheduling changes:
— Oklahoma’s men’s basketball team has paused organized team activities due to positive COVID-19 tests and contact tracing. Oklahoma’s first two games have been postponed, including Wednesday’s clash with Texas-San Antonio.
— Monmouth has paused team activities following a positive COVID-19 test result and will enter a 14-day quarantine period. The unnamed person is among the team’s athletes, coaches, and support staff. Games against Maryland on Dec. 1 and Saint Francis of New York on Dec. 4 also have been canceled.
Islanders’ Boychuk retires
UNDATED — New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk has decided to retire as a result of an eye injury sustained last season.
The 36-year-old Boychuk required stitches and plastic surgery after being cut across his right eyelid by the skate of Montreal Canadiens forward Artturi Lehkonen on March 3. It was the second injury to the same eye in Boychuk’s career.
Boychuk returned for the playoffs in August before sustaining a head injury in the preliminary round series opener against Florida.
In other NHL news:
— The Stanley Cup champion Lightning have re-signed defenseman Mikhail Sergachev to a three-year, contract worth about $4.8 million per season. The 22-year-old skated in 70 games last season, scoring a career-high 10 goals and finishing with 34 points.
Argentine soccer great Diego Maradona dies at 60
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Argentine soccer great Diego Maradona has died.
Maradona’s spokesman, Sebastián Sanchi, said he died Wednesday of a heart attack, two weeks after being released from a hospital in Buenos Aires following brain surgery.
The office of Argentina’s president said it will decree three days of national mourning.
Maradona was among the best players in history and led his country to the 1986 World Cup title before later struggling with cocaine use and obesity.
One of the most famous moments in the history of the sport, the “Hand of God” goal, came when the diminutive Maradona punched the ball into England’s net during the 1986 World Cup quarterfinals.
Ahead of his 60th birthday in October, Maradona told France Football magazine that it was his dream to “score another goal against the English, this time with the right hand.”
Although his reputation was tarnished by his addictions and an ill-fated spell in charge of the national team, he remained idolized in soccer-mad Argentina as the “Pibe de Oro” or “Golden Boy.”