Update on the latest sports
Garland, Hall each score in 3rd as Coyotes beat Preds 4-1
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Conor Garland and Taylor Hall each scored in the third period and the Arizona Coyotes beat the Nashville Predators 4-1 Wednesday. Now the Coyotes can eliminate the sixth-seeded Predators in Game 4 on Friday in this best-of-five qualifying series. Christian Dvorak scored on Arizona’s first shot, and the Coyotes scored three in the third for the victory capped by Carl Soderberg’s empty-netter. The Predators thought they had a 2-1 lead 1:13 into the third period on a goal by Kyle Turris, but the Coyotes won their challenge of offside with Nashville center Matt Duchene found over the blue line on review.
Elsewhere in the playoffs:
— Mike Hoffman and Brian Boyle scored 2:07 apart in the opening minutes of the third period, and the Florida Panthers avoided elimination with a 3-2 win over the New York Islanders Wednesday in Game 3 of their preliminary round playoff series. Erik Haula also scored and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 20 shots. The 10th-seeded Panthers trail the best-of-five series 2-1 with Game 4 at the NHL’s Eastern Conference hub city of Toronto on Friday. Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Brock Nelson scored for the Islanders, the East’s seventh seed. Semyon Varlamov stopped 19 shots and made a costly error leading to Hoffman’s go-ahead goal 41 seconds into the third period.
Ingles, Jazz keep Grizzlies winless in bubble, 124-115
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — .The Utah Jazz kept the Memphis Grizzlies winless in the NBA bubble with a 124-115 victory. Joe Ingles scored 12 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, and Mike Conley had 23 points and seven assists against his former team as the Jazz improved to 2-2 in the seeding round and nudged ahead of Houston for the fourth spot in the Western Conference standings. Dillon Brooks scored 23 points, while Grayson Allen had a career-high 20 points and six 3-pointers as the Grizzlies dropped to 0-4 in the seeding round.
Elsewhere in hoop action:
— Philadelphia guard Ben Simmons left the 76ers’ game against the Washington Wizards in the third quarter with a left knee injury and won’t return. Simmons grabbed a rebound Wednesday and appeared to tweak his knee. He left the game and hobbled toward the locker room. Simmons had eight points on 2-of-10 shooting before his departure.
No players confirmed positive
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — The NBA’s bubble is still working.
The league released its latest results Wednesday for coronavirus tests performed on players participating in the restarted season at Walt Disney World and the numbers are still perfect.
Of the 343 players tested since results were last announced July 29, none has been confirmed positive. That means no player has tested positive since entering the so-called bubble last month.
COVID-stricken Cards shuffle roster
UNDATED (AP) — The coronavirus-ridden Cardinals are expected to make more transactions after placing six players on the injured list, including confirmed COVID-19 cases Yadier Molina, Paul DeJong, Edmundo Sosa, Junior Fernandez and Kodi Whitley.
St. Louis also put pitcher Carlos Martinez on the injured list and activated reliever Brad Miller from the injured list.
The St. Louis Cardinals have returned to the field for light workouts nearly a week after an outbreak of COVID-19 forced the club and its staff members to quarantine in Milwaukee.
The Cardinals returned 13 positive coronavirus tests in their traveling party, seven of them players, forcing them to suspend their season. They were finally cleared to travel back to St. Louis late Tuesday, when they returned negative tests for the second straight day.
In other MLB news:
— Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez says Juan Soto will start in left field and bat fourth in his season debut. Soto’s first game is Wednesday night against the visiting New York Mets. The slugger failed a COVID-19 test and went on the injured list on opening day last month. He missed Washington’s first eight games of the truncated 2020 season. Soto hit 34 homers and drove in 110 runs last year when he helped the Nationals win their first World Series championship. Martinez says Stephen Strasburg would throw a simulated game Wednesday and that would help determine when the right-hander makes his 2020 debut.
— Cleveland manager Terry Francona remains absent from the team to get rest while dealing with a gastrointestinal issue that he’s battled for months. Team President Chris Antonetti expects Francona to be away for a few more days. Until Francona’s back, third-base coach Mike Sarbaugh will move into the dugout to assist first-base coach Sandy Alomar, who is filling in as manager.
— The Atlanta Braves are facing lineup changes after placing second baseman Ozzie Albies and designated hitter Matt Adams on the 10-day injured list. Also, outfielder Nick Markakis was reinstated from the restricted list. Markakis announced on July 29 that he was returning to the team, three weeks after opting out. Albies was held without a hit in Tuesday night’s 10-1 win over Toronto, leaving him in a 2-for-21 slump as he struggled with a bruised right wrist. Adams hit a second-inning homer before leaving the game with a strained left hamstring.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-COLLEGE SPORTS
UConn becomes 1st FBS program to cancel football over virus
HARTFORD, Conn. — UConn cancels its 2020-2021 football season Wednesday, becoming the first FBS program to do so because of the coronavirus pandemic, after other schools had taken the Huskies off their schedules and the governor was reluctant to allow players to travel to states with high infection rates.
UConn had been scheduled to play its first season as an independent after leaving the American Athletic Conference. The Huskies had already been taken off the schedules of Illinois, Indiana, Maine and Mississippi by those schools, and games against North Carolina and Virginia remained uncertain. Many of the Power Five conferences are playing league-only games this season.
In other college sports news related to the pandemic:
— The Big Ten has released its 10-game conference-only football schedule beginning as early as Labor Day weekend, but cautioned there is no certainty games will be played. The Big Ten had announced a month ago it would shorten the season and eliminate nonconference games because of the coronavirus pandemic. Teams will play conference opponents they originally were scheduled to meet and will have one additional cross-division game. The regular season runs through Nov. 21. The 10 games would be played over at least 12 weeks, with each team having two open dates. If necessary, makeup games can be played during bye weeks.
— The American Athletic Conference says it will keep its eight-game conference football schedule in place and allow its 11 schools to play up to four nonconference games. The AAC also announced it could move the date of its football championship game, scheduled for Dec. 5 at the home stadium of the top-seeded team, back to Dec. 12 or Dec. 19 if needed. The conference championship game could also be moved to accommodate Navy’s annual game with Army, scheduled for Dec. 12. The conference said it hoped to make a determination on the date of the championship game no earlier than Nov. 1.
— The NCAA Board of Governors on Wednesday directed each division of the association to decide independently by Aug. 21 whether it will be able to conduct championship events safely in fall sports such as soccer, volleyball and lower levels of football during the coronavirus pandemic. Within hours of the board’s announcement, the Division III presidents council canceled fall sports championship and determined they will not be made up in the spring.
— Colorado State President Joyce McConnell says she will launch an investigation into how the athletic department handled COVID-19 safety protocols amid a report that players were told not to reveal symptoms. The investigation stems from an article published in the Coloradoan on Tuesday. According to the newspaper, Colorado State football players and members of the athletic staff say coaches told them not to report coronavirus symptoms and threatened players with reduced playing time should they quarantine.
— A newspaper report says Texas Tech women’s basketball players are accusing coach Marlene Stollings and her staff of fostering a culture of abuse that led to an exodus from the program. Players say in USA Today they dreaded a heart monitoring system they said was misused in punitive ways. They say they had to endure demeaning and threatening comments and were subject to sexually suggestive behavior from a strength coach who has since resigned. Players made the claims in season-ending exit interview of both seasons Stollings has been at Texas Tech.
NFLPA president, Browns center Tretter wants daily COVID testing
UNDATED (AP) — Cleveland Browns center and NFLPA President JC Tretter will push for daily COVID-19 testing during training camp as the NFL moves toward the start of the season. He says testing players every day would eliminate some of the lag time in waiting for results that has led to problems during Major League’s Baseball’s start to its season.
Tretter weighed the risks and elected to play in 2020 as his wife expects their first child. He says he has been satisfied with the coronavirus protocols in place but that they will need to evolve as more is learned about the virus.
As part of their agreement to open camps, the league and players decided testing would be done on a daily basis for the first two weeks of camp and revert to every other day so long as teams kept their positive rates low. Tretter said those standards “are not set in stone” and feels there’s a need for more stringent testing.
In other NFL news:
— The NFL is beginning a second phase of reopening its Midtown Manhattan offices and is requiring all employees returning to league headquarters to take a saliva COVID-19 test every two weeks. The league reopened its offices in late June after a three-month lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic. In a memo to staff, Commissioner Roger Goodell noted that with all 32 teams having reopened their buildings it’s time for the league office to do the same. The NFL says any employees who have health concerns or child-care issues will be allowed to continue working remotely.
— Cleveland Browns guard Colby Gossett has opted out of the 2020 season, becoming the fourth player on the team — and third offensive lineman — to decide not to play because of the coronavirus pandemic. Gossett qualifies for the high-risk opt-out agreed to by the NFLPA and will receive a $350,000 stipend for not playing. He was due to make $675,00 this season. Gossett is the second Browns guard to opt out, following Drew Forbes. The team also will be without offensive tackle Drake Dorbeck and defensive tackle Andrew Billings. The deadline for players opting out is Thursday at 4 p.m.
— The Arizona Cardinals have added depth to their roster by signing safety Kentrell Brice and receiver Andre Patton. The 25-year-old Brice was recently released by the Chicago Bears. He played three seasons for the Green Bay Packers from 2016-18 and appeared in 36 games, including 14 starts, after coming into the league as an undrafted free agent from Louisiana Tech. Patton played in 13 games last season, including five starts, for the Los Angeles Chargers. The 26-year-old spent two years on the Chargers’ practice squad before jumping to the active roster last season.
— The Chiefs hope to know soon whether cornerback Bashaud Breeland will be suspended to start the season, but they are confident they’ll be fine either way. Even before the veteran was arrested in South Carolina in April, the Chiefs worked hard to fortify one of the crucial spots in coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s defense. They signed special teams ace Antonio Hamilton, who played for the Giants last season, and used a pair of draft picks on cornerbacks. L’Jarius Sneed was picked in the fourth round and Bopete Keyes was chosen in the seventh.
— Training camp is underway, and the Dolphins believe veteran newcomers Jordan Howard and Matt Breida represent a significant upgrade at running back. They’re expected to provide more punch and versatility for an offense that last year averaged 72 yards rushing per game, worst in the NFL since 2006.
— Titans coach Mike Vrabel wants to start coaching Vic Beasley Jr. A week after rookies and other players got started, Tennessee still is waiting for Beasley to report. And Vrabel said Wednesday he’s not had any communication with Tennessee’s top free agent signee of the offseason, even as the coach made clear he can’t wait to see Beasley. The Titans put Beasley on the Reserve/Did Not Report list on July 28, and the general manager said last week that Beasley’s absence was unexcused with the linebacker planning to report to Tennessee.