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Steelers activate T.J. Watt off COVID-19 list

By BROOKE PRYOR PITTSBURGH -- Less than a week after he tested positive for COVID-19, Steelers edge rusher T.J. Watt was activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list ahead of Sunday's game against the Baltimore Ravens. Watt tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday and exited the protocols with a second negative test Saturday morning. Watt's return is critical for a reeling defense that will already be without cornerback Joe Haden (foot). Defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs (ankle) and inside linebacker Robert Spillane (COVID-19) are also out, while defensive linemen Cam Heyward and Isaiahh Loudermilk missed practice Friday because of illness. Neither was given an injury designation in the final practice report, but the Steelers are monitoring each throughout the weekend. Watt has 12.5   ... Read More

Seahawks to activate RB Adrian Peterson

By The Seattle Seahawks have activated running back Adrian Peterson off the practice squad for Sunday's game against the San Francisco 49ers, the team announced Saturday. The Seahawks had signed the 36-year-old Peterson to their practice squad earlier this week as a reinforcement for their banged-up backfield. Peterson was waived last week by the Tennessee Titans, who signed him after losing star Derrick Henry to a broken foot. He carried 27 times for 82 yards and a touchdown in three games. Peterson ranks fifth in NFL history with 14,902 career rushing yards. He spent his first 10 seasons with Minnesota and then had stints with Arizona, New Orleans, Washington and Detroit before his most recent one in Tennessee. The   ... Read More

No. 9 Baylor Bears stun No. 5 Oklahoma State Cowboys to capture Big 12 football championship

By ASSOCIATED PRESS Dezmon Jackson came up inches short on a desperate, fourth-down dive with 24 seconds remaining and fifth-ranked Oklahoma State fell to ninth-rated Baylor 21-16 in the Big 12 championship game Saturday, knocking the Cowboys out of contention for a playoff spot. Blake Shapen threw three TDs while completing his first 17 passes as Baylor (11-2) took a 21-3 lead. The Cowboys (11-2, CFP) rallied back, then went 89 yards on 17 plays on their final drive. But their Big 12 and national championship hopes wound up just shy. After having first-and-goal from 2 following a pass interference penalty, Jackson gained a yard and was held for no gain before an incomplete pass by Spencer Sanders. On fourth   ... Read More

Texas assistant football coach, girlfriend sued after monkey allegedly bites child

By MARK SCHLABACH A couple has sued Texas assistant coach Jeff Banks and his girlfriend, Danielle Thomas, saying Thomas' monkey bit their child in the backyard of Banks' house on Halloween night. The lawsuit was filed in Travis County District Court in Austin on Thursday on behalf of Amy and Casey Clinkenbeard and their child. It seeks damages for gross negligence and defamation. According to the lawsuit, the child, identified as C.C., was trick-or-treating with two friends on Halloween and was invited to attend a haunted house. The lawsuit says that, after completing the haunted house, the child and his friends were taken to a monkey that Thomas kept in the backyard. According to the complaint, the child was told   ... Read More

Giants QB Daniel Jones not cleared for contact, out vs. Miami

By EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants will be without quarterback Daniel Jones for at least this Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins, coach Joe Judge told reporters Friday. Jones has not been cleared for contact after suffering a neck strain during last week's win over the Philadelphia Eagles. Jones was believed to be injured while running the football on the second play, but he had said there wasn't really soreness until after the game. He was moving and throwing well at practice as a limited noncontact participant throughout the week. "At this point, he has not been cleared for contact, so we're going to go ahead and hold him out of this game," Judge said. "At   ... Read More

Trail Blazers fire GM, president of basketball operations

By The Portland Trail Blazers fired general manager and president of basketball operations Neil Olshey on Friday following an independent investigation that determined he violated the team's code of conduct. "Out of respect for those who candidly participated in that privileged investigation, we will not release or discuss it," the Trail Blazers said in a statement. "We are confident that these changes will help build a more positive and respectful working environment." Joe Cronin will serve as interim general manager during the Trail Blazers' search for a permanent replacement, the team said. The Trail Blazers announced earlier this month that law firm O'Melveny & Myers was conducting an independent investigation into "concerns around workplace environment by non-player personnel at   ... Read More

Bears to start Andy Dalton at quarterback vs. Arizona

By JEFF DICKERSON LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears veteran quarterback Andy Dalton will start instead of rookie Justin Fields (ribs) on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, coach Matt Nagy announced on Friday. "As far as for the game, Andy Dalton's going to start on Sunday, Nick Foles will be the backup," Nagy said after practice. "Justin's making good progress, just not there yet medically for the clearance." Fields has not played since he injured his ribs against the Baltimore Ravens on Nov. 21. Despite a short turnaround last week, Dalton played well in Chicago's victory over the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving. Dalton passed for 317 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He became the first Bears quarterback to throw   ... Read More

Saints QB Taysom Hill to play through finger injury

By MIKE TRIPLETT METAIRIE, La. -- New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill will try to play through a mallet finger injury that he suffered in Thursday night's loss to the Dallas Cowboys without having surgery, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Saints doctors determined that Hill suffered a mallet finger (the name for a ruptured extensor tendon at the tip of the finger), according to the source. However, Hill's injury was not as extensive as the one that Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson suffered earlier this year, which did require surgery. Wilson suffered both a mallet finger and a a fracture-dislocation on a separate joint in the same finger. ESPN injury analyst and physical therapist Stephania Bell said it is   ... Read More

MLB, MLBPA fail to reach new labor agreement; league in 1st lockout since 1990

By JEFF PASSAN IRVING, Texas -- Major League Baseball locked out its players early Thursday morning, certifying the game's first work stoppage in more than a quarter-century after months of talks yielded little progress toward a new labor contract. The long-anticipated lockout, which the league told the players' union it would initiate once the previous collective bargaining agreement expired after 11:59 p.m. ET Wednesday, ends the transaction frenzy that led up to its imposition and sends the industry into a dark period with scant light in sight. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred expressed disappointment in the lockout but said he believes it is "the best mechanism to protect the 2022 season." "Despite the league's best efforts to make a deal with   ... Read More

IOC says it has held second video call with Peng Shuai

By REUTERS The International Olympic Committee has held a second video call with former doubles world number one Peng Shuai amid concerns about the Chinese tennis player's wellbeing, the IOC said in a statement on Thursday. The IOC said it held the call just before the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) announced an immediate suspension of all tournaments in China due to concerns about the player's wellbeing. The IOC and its president Thomas Bach first talked to Peng on Nov. 21. "We share the same concern as many other people and organisations about the wellbeing and safety of Peng Shuai. This is why, just yesterday, an IOC team held another video call with her," the IOC said. "We have offered her   ... Read More

Coyotes deny report that team is for sale, moving to Houston

By KRISTEN SHILTON The Arizona Coyotes say they're staying put. The team vehemently denied a Forbes report on Thursday citing an unnamed banking source that the Coyotes are up for sale "with the idea of [a] buyer eventually moving the team to a new arena in Houston." Arizona quickly issued a statement in response. "This is false. Totally false," the statement read. "We're not selling. We're not moving. The Coyotes are 100 percent committed to playing in Arizona." This was the latest in a string of relocation rumors surrounding the Coyotes, and not the first involving a potential move to Texas. Back in 2018, Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta reportedly met with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to have "preliminary talks"   ... Read More

Addazio out as Colorado State football coach after two seasons

By CHRIS LOW Steve Addazio is out as Colorado State football coach after two seasons, the school announced Thursday. Colorado State finished 3-9 this season and lost its last six games. Addazio was ejected from the season-ending, 42-point loss to Nevada because of two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. "The decision we have made today is not one we take lightly," Colorado State athletic director Joe Parker said in a statement. "I am grateful to Steve Addazio and his coaching staff for their steadfast commitment to our student-athletes, both athletically and academically, to developing men of high character, and reinvigorating our locker room with a culture of toughness and accountability. However, after a thorough review of where our program stands today and   ... Read More

Brittney Griner hopes to erase distance from Baylor, see jersey retired

By MECHELLE VOEPEL Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner says it would mean a lot to her to have her jersey retired at Baylor despite not attending a game at the school since her falling out with former Bears women's basketball coach Kim Mulkey more than eight years ago. "I've seen that special moment with a lot of my teammates and friends at their schools where they gave their all," Griner said Thursday of the thought of getting her jersey retired. "I met my wife at Baylor. Baylor's in my blood. I love the school. I love Waco. And it would mean a lot to me, honestly. It's something I would definitely cherish and love." Griner, speaking from Ekaterinburg, Russia, where   ... Read More

Buccaneers WR Antonio Brown suspended 3 games for COVID-19 violation

By Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown has been suspended three games for violating the NFL-NFLPA COVID-19 protocols, the league announced Thursday. The league and players' union found that Brown was among three players who misrepresented their vaccination statuses. A former personal chef of Brown's said earlier this month that the wide receiver had obtained a fake COVID-19 vaccination card over the summer. Also suspended for three games were Buccaneers backup safety Mike Edwards and free-agent wide receiver John Franklin III, whom Tampa Bay waived in August. All three players accepted their discipline and will not appeal, according to the NFL. Brown's and Edwards' suspensions are without pay. Both will be eligible to return to the Buccaneers' lineup   ... Read More

Bronco Mendenhall to step down as Virginia Cavaliers football coach

By ANDREA ADELSON Virginia football coach Bronco Mendenhall is stepping down after the team's upcoming bowl game, he said Thursday. Mendenhall, 55, said it was solely his decision to leave. "I would love to say there's been this buildup and a long amount of epiphanies and thought, but clearly this week there was a sense of clarity to me that I needed to step back from college football and reassess, renew, reframe and reinvent -- with my wife as a partner -- our future and the next chapter of our lives," he said. "I was requested to stay by our athletic director. I was requested to stay by our president. It's my decision only." The Cavaliers have gone 36-38 in   ... Read More

Texans cancel practice with players not feeling well

Texans cancel practice with players not feeling wellBy KRISTIE RIEKEN AP Sports Writer HOUSTON -- The Houston Texans canceled practice and all other in-person activities Wednesday on the advice of their medical team because some players weren’t feeling well. Coach David Culley said they have not had any positive COVID-19 tests. Culley, speaking to reporters via Zoom, said that the team would resume normal operations Thursday. “We’ve got a few players that are under the weather right now, a little sick, and our medical team just felt like that it’d be best for us for precautionary reasons just to keep them home, and then we’ll be back to business as usual (Thursday),” Culley said. Players were told to stay home Wednesday and all team meetings were to   ... Read More

Rookie Nahshon Wright joins Cowboys’ crowded COVID-19 list

FRISCO (AP) — Dallas Cowboys rookie cornerback Nahshon Wright has tested positive for COVID-19 and is the eighth player or coach to be sidelined by the coronavirus for Thursday’s game at New Orleans. Coach Mike McCarthy and five members of his staff won’t make the trip because of positive tests. Wright and right tackle Terence Steele are the two players out. McCarthy tested positive Monday and said he was experiencing more symptoms a day later. The coach is participating in virtual meetings.   ... Read More

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