Update on the latest sports
NFL players to be tested daily for COVID-19 first 2 weeks
UNDATED (AP) – NFL players will be tested daily for the coronavirus for at least the first two weeks of training camp per the league’s new testing protocols. The new policy was approved by the NFL and the players’ union.
Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL chief medical officer, said more than one negative test is required before players initially enter the building to begin physical exams or any form of team activity.
After two weeks of daily testing, if the rate of those positive tests falls below 5% among players and Tier I and Tier II individuals, as described in previously NFL protocols, testing would go to every other day. If the rate of positive tests doesn’t fall below that threshold, daily testing would continue until it drops.
The new protocols were announced as rookies for Houston and Kansas City were set to report to camp Monday. Rookies for other teams begin arriving Tuesday.
Chiefs won’t take the field for a while
KANSAS CITY (AP) – The Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs began the intake process for first-year players Monday after the NFL gave them the go-ahead along with the Houston Texans, their opponent in the season opener Sept. 10.
But it could be quite a while before they get on the field for training camp. All players must test negative twice before they are admitted to the facility, then they will spend a couple of days doing the more routine physicals and getting their equipment sorted out.
Veterans are due July 28, and coach Andy Reid said it could be 10 days after that before full practices begin.
No fans at Jets or Giants games
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) – The New York Jets and Giants announced they will not have fans at home games this season “until further notice” because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The teams, who play at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, and have separate training facilities in the state, released a joint statement Monday after Gov. Phil Murphy announced an executive order limiting outdoor public gatherings to 500 people.
The Jets and Giants say the decision to not have fans – at least for now – was reached after discussions with Murphy, with the health and safety of fans, players and staff being considered.
The teams also announced that “out of an abundance of caution,” fans will not be able to attend training camp practices this summer.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-MLB-BLUE JAYS
Blue Jays talk to other teams about sharing ballpark
TORONTO (AP) – The Toronto Blue Jays are talking to the Pittsburgh Pirates about sharing a major league ballpark this season after Canada’s government barred them from playing in their home stadium amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Pirates President Travis Williams confirmed the talks and sounded ready to welcome the Blue Jays. Williams calls it a challenge but says if the Pirates are able to safely accommodate the Blue Jays, it will bring international attention to Pittsburgh.
Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins says the team is focused on getting into a major league facility and has more than five backup plans.
In other MLB news:
-San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler knelt during the national anthem along with several of his players before first pitch of an exhibition game against the Athletics in Oakland. Right fielder Jaylin Davis and first base coach Antoan Richardson also took a knee, with shortstop Brandon Crawford standing between them with a hand on each of their shoulders. Davis held his right hand over his heart and Richardson clasped his hands in front of him.
– The Atlanta Braves have removed a “Chop On” sign that sat near an entrance to Truist Park as the team considers its stance on fans’ tomahawk chop chant. The removal of the wooden sign came as the team changed its slogan from “Chop On” to “For The A” for the 2020 season.
-The Kansas City Royals have placed right-hander Jakob Junis on the injured list to allow him to continue preparing for the season. He missed the first part of summer camp following a positive test for the coronavirus. The Royals said he was cleared about a week ago to return to baseball activities. Junis went 9-14 with a 5.24 ERA in 31 starts last season.
-Major League Baseball has doubled the isolated camera angles available for video review from 12 to 24 and arranged for high-frame rate cameras to stream directly to the new replay operations center and ballpark video rooms. The time each manager has to decide whether to challenge an umpire’s call has been cut from 30 seconds to 20.
– Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease expert, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the first game of Major League Baseball’s pandemic-delayed regular season. The Washington Nationals announced Fauci accepted the team’s invitation to have the pregame honor Thursday. He is a self-described fan of the reigning World Series champions. The Nationals host the New York Yankees to open the season nearly four months after it originally was scheduled to begin.
– Major League Baseball is adding on-field advertising this season, both real and virtual. Allowed locations include the back of the pitcher’s mound, behind home plate, on tarps in the stands and in the grass in foul territory down the first-base lines. Teams have the choice whether to make the ads real or project them virtually during telecasts. In addition, physical ads can be put on the on-deck circle.
– Oakland Athletics left-hander A.J. Puk has been placed on the 10-day injured list with a shoulder strain. He planned to travel to Los Angeles to be examined. The injury also bothered him during spring training. Right-hander Daniel Mengden will move into the rotation in Puk’s place.
Two players test positive during early days of training camp
UNDATED (AP) – The NHL says only two players tested positive for COVID-19 during the first five days of training camp last week.
The league, in consultation with its players, is not revealing the identity of players who test positive, or their teams. The two players who tested positive are self-isolating per national and local health protocols.
A total of 2,618 tests of more than 800 players from July 13-17 were done by the league. Training camps opened July 13, with 24 teams preparing to compete in an expanded playoff format in Toronto and Edmonton, Alberta, starting on Aug. 1.
Teams are scheduled to travel to both hub cities on Sunday.
The NHL reported it had 33 players test positive during the period after the league paused its season in March to the start of camps.
In other NHL news:
-New York Rangers forward Brendan Lemieux has been suspended by the NHL for the first two games of the team’s preliminary-round series against Carolina because of an illegal check that injured Colorado forward Joonas Donskoi in March. The NHL waited until return to play guidelines were in place before making a ruling. The suspension means Lemieux will miss the first two games of the Rangers’ best-of-five series against Carolina, which opens in Toronto on August 1.