There’s a bit of positive news coming out of the Los Angeles Lakers camp this Tuesday.
After completing the team’s 14-day isolation period, all Lakers players currently are “symptom-free of COVID-19,” according to Spectrum SportsNet’s Mike Trudell. That said, the team will continue to follow the guidelines outlined by the government as the coronavirus outbreak continues nationwide.
The Lakers players today completed the 14-day home isolation that was prescribed by team physicians, and the players are all currently symptom-free of COVID-19.
The health and safety guidelines set by government officials will continue to be followed by the Lakers.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) March 31, 2020
At least two Lakers players tested positive for the virus a week after the NBA indefinitely suspended the 2019-20 season March 11. It’s still unclear which players contracted the virus and how severe their symptoms were.
L.A. was the sixth NBA team to report members of the organization had contracted the coronavirus.
Though they’re free of isolation, any players residing in California still are subject to the state’s current stay-at-home order.
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Mitch Moreland is getting creative.
The Boston Red Sox first baseman, like many of us, is finding ways to keep busy during the COVID-19 outbreak that’s sweeping the globe.
Many states have stay-at-home orders or advisories while healthcare professionals work to get the pandemic under control.
Major League Baseball, like many other professional sports leagues, has indefinitely postponed their seasons. But Moreland found a good way to stay in shape and get batting practice in when he converted his barn into a batting cage.
Check it out:
Let’s check in with Mitch & his newly converted barn batting cage! pic.twitter.com/07mxt3DlK3
— Red Sox (@RedSox) March 31, 2020
Lookin’ good, Mitch.
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The NFL remains optimistic about its upcoming season through the coronavirus pandemic.
NFL general counsel Jeff Pash told reporters Tuesday on a conference call that the league still is planning on playing a full 16-game season in 2020.
“Our planning, our expectation, is fully directed at playing a full season starting on schedule and having a full regular season and a full set of playoffs,” Pash said, according to NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero. “Am I certain? I’m not certain that I’ll be here tomorrow. But I’m planning on it.”
The NFL schedule will be announced a little later than usual this offseason, however.
The rest of the sporting world has been put on hold while COVID-19 spreads throughout the globe. The NFL continued with free agency, as planned, and it intends on holding its draft in late April, as well.
The NFL season begins in September. Owners voted Tuesday to extend the postseason from 12 to 14 playoff teams.
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With the sports world halted as the coronavirus outbreak has altered life as we know it, many professional athletes have found entertainment in video games.
The NBA is even planning a player-only ‘NBA 2K20’ tournament to air on ESPN.
You can imagine the competitiveness that drives those athletes to reach their fullest potential translates in much of what they do, including video games.
Naturally, the trash talk comes along with that as well.
Steattle Surge captain Josiah “Slacked” Berry, a “Call of Duty” League pro shared highlights from his weekend, including streams of him playing with San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman and Philadelphia Eagles corner Darius Slay.
Watching Slacked and Slay’s interaction on Twitter, Kansas City Chiefs’ receiver Tyreek Hill decided to get involved, bragging about his Fortnite skills.
“Slacked you’re so washed, play me if you kill me once on fortnite I’ll give you 100 bucks,” Hill wrote Monday.
Patrick Mahomes stepped in to back up one of his favorite targets.
“Promise you he is washed up these days,” the Super Bowl MVP said.
Promise he is washed up these days
— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) March 31, 2020
The pro gamer was unfazed, proclaiming he could defeat both the quarterback and wideout with one hand.
Hopefully, the Chiefs players hold him to that and we get to see it on a Twitch stream. If there’s one thing Mahomes and Hill can’t do together, it might be defeating the Seattle Surge captain in a first-person shooter game.
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All signs point toward the New England Patriots regressing in 2020.
Not only did they lose the greatest quarterback in NFL history, Tom Brady, who signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency after 20 seasons in New England. The Patriots also appear poised to hand their offensive keys to either an inexperienced sophomore, Jarrett Stidham, or a career journeyman, Brian Hoyer.
Still, Max Kellerman isn’t ready to write off the Pats, winners of 11 consecutive AFC East titles under Bill Belichick.
“Could Stidham come in and win double digits with a team that may have had lesser success under a sliding Tom Brady? You have to acknowledge the possibility,” Kellerman said Tuesday on ESPN’s “First Take.”
Kellerman’s skepticism regarding Brady is well documented. He said several years ago he expected Brady’s production to fall off “a cliff” in short order — he was wrong — and has remained adamant Belichick is most responsible for the Patriots’ dynasty over the past two decades.
So, when Stephen A. Smith said definitively Tuesday there’s no way the Patriots will be better this season without Brady, Kellerman couldn’t help but fire back with a somewhat convoluted take in which he referenced Jimmy Garoppolo’s departure and expressed faith in Belichick’s ability to maintain a competitive organization moving forward.
“The Patriots Way is actually the Belichick Way. If there’s some kind of discontinuity, an interruption in this Patriots dynasty, it’s because the cupboard is bare because the Patriots Way was circumvented when Tom Brady went to the owner (Robert Kraft) and the owner gave Belichick his marching orders and (Jimmy) Garoppolo got sent out of town (in 2017), according to reports,” Kellerman said. “So that’s when the Patriots Way was disrupted. But why is that relevant — Belichick being the Patriots Way, the GM and coach? Because what we’re saying is, ‘Well, the way the team was constructed last year, if it’s the same thing this year, no, they won’t be as good.’ Wait a minute. But if they are as good or better, then Stephen A. turns around and says, ‘That’s only because now there are additional weapons.’ Stephen A., that’s a religious point of view in the sense that you have an undisprovable hypothesis. No matter what, you can’t be wrong.
” … The point is, Belichick as GM constructs a team where he allocates resources — ‘This is how I can best put us in a position to win the most games’ — and then as a coach puts those pieces in position. When you have an expensive and aging quarterback, there’s only so much you can do. Now there’s an upcoming draft. They don’t have a lot of money to spend in free agency. Let’s see what Belichick does. If he even comes close to his win total from last year, based on what you guys are saying, that’s amazing, right? Because according to you guys, there’s no way it can happen. Let’s see what happens, because the Patriots Way is still in Foxboro.”
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It appears Kellerman is arguing that Belichick can take the money saved — as well as whatever fresh start moving on from Brady provides — to build the Patriots in a manner that will allow them to remain successful. This might be an overly optimistic outlook, though, especially with the number of key contributors New England lost this offseason in addition to Brady.
It’s also worth noting the Patriots went 12-4 last season before losing to the Tennessee Titans in the wild-card round of the NFL playoffs. Regardless of who succeeds Brady as New England’s starting quarterback in 2020, it’ll be a tall task for the franchise to achieve similar results without widespread improvements in the coming months.
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David Andrews is itching to return to the field for the New England Patriots.
In an interview with 247 Sports’ Georgia site earlier this month, the Patriots center said he’s “ready to get back” after missing all of last season with blood clots in his lungs.
It wasn’t clear whether Andrews was indicating he’s been medically cleared or simply expressing his desire to contribute after a long year on the sideline, but he did say earlier this offseason he was “optimistic” he’d be good to go by the time the 2020 season begins.
During the interview, Andrews spoke in detail about his health scare. He recalled experiencing “chest pains and troubling breathing” and coughing up blood during training camp last summer. But only after suffering in-game memory loss during New England’s third preseason game did he see a doctor.
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“All of this was partly my fault, just being dumb and pushing through it,” Andrews told 247 Sports. “I thought I was sick and I really did not feel like myself. It was not like I was having a bad camp. I just was not having a consistent camp. … (Then the) specialist comes out and says I have blood clots. I had no idea what that meant. I told the doctor I needed to get back home to let my dogs out, and from that point on, I knew it was serious. They would not let me leave and I spent five nights there.
“My first call was to my dog walker, actually. Then I had to call my wife and try to explain all of this. She was out of town. I actually called my former UGA teammate Clint Boiling next. He was actually dealing with these this offseason, so I called him immediately because I knew he had dealt with that. He was great and introduced me to a doctor as well. Clint was just great to me. I really had no idea how dangerous it was.”
Andrews, who’s been with the Patriots since 2015, maintained his captaincy during his absence from the active roster, serving as a pseudo-coach while backup Ted Karras filled in at center. With Karras signing with the Miami Dolphins earlier this month, New England would have a glaring hole at the position if Andrews is unable to return.
“The Patriots were so good to me,” Andrews told 247 Sports. “It was really a frustrating year because athletes want to compete. I was limited on what I could do but I really focused on rebuilding my body and trying to turn a negative into a positive. I got to be a part of the team, got to watch film with the guys. I got to lead a pass-rushing meeting each week. I was still a captain and got to attend those meetings. I got to spend more time with my wife. It has been a different year. I am ready to get back.”
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All major sports leagues have found themselves with more questions than answers due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
Another unusual scenario seems like it could be in the works in connection with both IndyCar and NASCAR, according to RACER’s Marshall Pruett.
“The last scheduling item of interest for IndyCar could be an increase in combined events with NASCAR,” Pruett wrote Tuesday.
“Despite taking place on separate weekends on their original 2020 schedules, RACER has learned additional venues where both organizations make stops — including Richmond, Iowa, Road America, Texas, Mid-Ohio, and Gateway — could feature open-wheel and stock car racing on the same weekend if more postponements are made.”
Both NASCAR and IndyCar cancelled events dating back to March 13. IndyCar, specifically, suspended its season through the end of April.
In response to the coronavirus outbreak, NASCAR has implemented an unprecedented, but seemingly successful, measure with their eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series. Timmy Hill won the second race in the series Sunday.
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Over the last six years, Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones have exchanged blows inside the octagon and engaged in verbal warfare outside of it.
But even though the two UFC legends are bitter rivals, Cormier wasn’t ready to celebrate after hearing about Jones’ recent DWI arrest in New Mexico.
When asked about Jones’ latest downfall by Ariel Helwani of ESPN, Cormier took the high road and exuded class and sportsmanship toward his rival.
“Seeing him get into trouble again, a lot of people in my circle text me almost celebratory, but that’s not me,” Cormier said, as transcribed by MMA Fighting. “I didn’t celebrate the kid getting into trouble again. I don’t think you should celebrate or dance on someone’s grave in their darkest moments. Because you don’t do that to people.
“It’s not just him. He’s got daughters. He’s got a fiancée. He’s got so many things at home that are affected by this and affected by his actions and his behavior.”
Cormier also painted a grim picture for the future of Jones, who has a history of run-ins with the law throughout his professional fighting career. This was Jones’ third vehicular arrest in the last eight years. In 2012, he was charged for driving under the influence and in 2015, he was arrested after being involved in a hit-and-run.
“This kid has a problem. Regardless of how I feel, it’s not going to change until somebody takes a drastic action … It’s only going to continue to escalate until it’s something that he cannot recover from.”
Cormier and Jones have fought twice. The first time was at UFC 182 in 2015 when Jones defeated Cormier via unanimous decision for the light heavyweight belt. The rematch took place at UFC 214 in 2017, but Jones’ knockout win was ruled a no contest after a positive drug test.
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Unfortunately, we never got the chance to see Dale Earnhardt Sr. attempt virtual racing. Given “The Intimidator’s” personality, it probably would’ve been a tractor pull to get him into a simulator rig.
His son, however, is totally different story.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. long has been a fan of iRacing, the world’s leading online racing simulator. So, it’s no surprise the retired NASCAR legend has been at the center of iRacing’s major uptick in popularity and public exposure over the last few weeks.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, racing fans have been able to scratch their collective itch by watching weekly broadcasts of the new eNASCAR Pro Invitational Series. Featuring past and current NASCAR stars (including Earnhardt), the virtual racing series is exciting and entertaining to watch on TV — no surprise to those who are familiar with iRacing’s incredible realism.
“It’s as close to the real thing as your gonna get without feeling the car in the seat of your pants,” Earnahrdt said during an appearance on Sunday afternoon’s “SportsCenter” episode. ” … To be honest with you, the iRacing software that we use is the best, most realistic that you’ll find. And they don’t pay me a cent — I’ve been using that software for 20 years. I used it in my career to get better, and it is as close as I will ever get to the real thing.”
When asked what his father would think about all of this, Earnhardt offered an amusing story before justifiably patting himself on the back.
“He would be doing something else, I’m sure,” Earnhardt said. “I was trying to buy my first computer in 1996 because I wanted to race online. They had a PC NASCAR game, actually made by the same people that are making iRacing today. And I wanted that game. I didn’t have any credit, so I had to get my sister to go with me to the store to buy a computer and she put it on her credit. So, I had to pay her back. And when dad saw that sitting in my house, he was like, ‘Those things are a waste of time; computers are a waste of time.’ I was like, ‘How could you say that?’
“And look at it now. I would probably be rubbing that in his face. There’s not many times you got one over on dad, but that was definitely one of his misjudgments.”
The next iRacing Pro Invitational Series race is scheduled for Sunday afternoon at the virtual Bristol Motor Speedway.
Following a scheduled break for Easter Sunday, participants will compete April 26 at the virtual Talladega Superspeedway.
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Not only did Mookie Betts and David Price fire up their teammates in short order, they also had a similar effect on their boss.
Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts explained Tuesday on Sirius XM MLB Network Radio why the team’s new right fielder and starting pitcher excited him fully during their earliest days with the team. After joining Los Angeles from the Boston Red Sox last month in a blockbuster trade, Price and Betts quickly integrated themselves with their new team and assumed leadership roles in the clubhouse, as Roberts describes.
“I knew David was a great teammate, and everybody talked about that, but for him to jump in with both feet as a Dodger from Day 1 was very exciting,” Roberts said. “Because guys that are veterans and are superstars and are former Cy Young winners, they tread lightly and they don’t really jump in with both feet coming to a new place and a new environment. But David did just that.
“And I think for Mookie, who’s very private, very great worker, and … knowing he’s a great teammate, plays the game the right way, his acumen off the charts, the way he just took a lot of our young guys under his wing and hosted a dinner at his place, got up in front of our guys and challenged us all in a good way, I thought that was really good. Just to see guys on a day-to-day work and see how guys gravitate toward them was really exciting for me.”
The leadership from David Price and Mookie Betts was already having an effect.
Roberts: "The way guys gravitate towards them was really exciting to me."@Dodgers | #Dodgers pic.twitter.com/rjvSxc8OhQ
— MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (@MLBNetworkRadio) March 31, 2020
Dodgers outfielder A.J. Pollock in early March discussed the “positive” impact Betts speech had on the team, and the scene still resonates with Roberts nearly a month later.
Having fallen agonizingly short of winning the 2017 and 2018 World Series, the Dodgers went for broke in trading for Price and Betts.
No one knows exactly how they’ll fare, given Major League Baseball’s suspended spring training and delayed start to the 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the signs in Los Angeles certainly are promising.
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