Opinion: Bill Belichick irresponsible to mislead about efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines
Bill Belichick pushed back when asked whether Cam Newton being unvaccinated played a role in the Patriots' decision to release the quarterback.In this case, it was downright dangerous.
There’s a decent chance that the COVID-19 pandemic will play more of a role during the 2021 NFL season than last year. © Cassandra Nist via Imagn Content Services, LLC
We’re seeing relaxed protocols from the league as it relates to fully vaccinated players with Week 1 of the campaign slated to get going Thursday evening.
It has already led to some COVID-related issues for teams. That includes star guard Zack Martin and the Dallas Cowboys with their opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers mere days away. Despite being fully vaccinated, Martin tested positive for the virus and will miss the game.
NFLPA president JC Tretter of the Cleveland Browns touched on this recently. He’s now urging the NFL to go to daily testing for vaccinated players.
Red Sox place right-hander Nick Pivetta on COVID-19 IL as outbreak worsens
The Red Sox now have a combination of 12 players and coaches sidelined due to the coronavirus. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts; utility man Enrique Hernandez; second baseman Christian Arroyo; infielder Yairo Munoz; and pitchers Matt Barnes, Hirokazu Sawamura and Martin Perez tested positive for COVID-19, while left-hander Josh Taylor and first-base coach Tom Goodwin are in quarantine as close contacts. Quality control coach Ramon Vazquez has also tested positive for the virus.
“Since the beginning of training camp, we have been testing our vaccinated players once every 14 days. It has been ineffective as we’ve had significantly more incidents of transmission inside the building this year than last year,” Tretter wrote in an op-ed on the union’s official website. “The NFLPA saw this coming months ago and has been advocating for a return to daily testing because it is more effective way to stop and prevent the spread of the coronavirus in our locker rooms. However, the NFL decided to move to weekly testing; and while that is a step in the right direction, it leaves us open to many of the same problems we’ve been facing.”
Tretter also pointed to an outbreak within the Tennessee Titans’ organization as a recent case study to prove his point.
Florida doctor to refuse in-person treatment for unvaccinated patients
A primary care doctor in Florida sent a letter to patients informing them that she will not allow anyone unvaccinated to be treated in person.Linda Marraccini, a family medicine doctor in South Miami, sent a letter to patients informing them that because the Pfizer vaccine has been approved for general use by the Food and Drug Administration, unvaccinated individuals will no longer be allowed to attend in-person appointments at her practice.
“Recently, Tennessee finished up with 14 positives — and the team was 97% vaccinated at that time,” Tretter explains. “It’s not hard to realize how devastating that would be during a week of the regular season. Yet, incidents like this have flown under the radar because players missing training camp practices or preseason games isn’t big news. That will not be the case moving forward and a few teams are already without, or at risk of being without, key starters heading into this opening weekend.”
There’s a lot of different layers to this. The NFL has been pushing for players to get vaccinated. To an extent, it has worked. North of 90% of players around the league have gotten their shots. The issue here is breakthrough cases among the vaccinated.
Breakthrough COVID-19 cases and the NFL
It was just recently that the league changed its protocols for vaccinated players to get tested weekly rather than every 14 days. The primary reason for this has been the uptick in breakthrough cases around the league.
Bulgaria, EU's least vaccinated nation, faces deadly surge
VELIKO TARNOVO, Bulgaria (AP) — Standing outside the rundown public hospital in Bulgaria's northern town of Veliko Tarnovo.VELIKO TARNOVO, Bulgaria (AP) — Standing outside the rundown public hospital in Bulgaria's northern town of Veliko Tarnovo, the vaccination unit's chief nurse voices a sad reality about her fellow citizens: “They don’t believe in vaccines.
By switching to a daily testing schedule, like we’re seeing with unvaccinated players, the league could prevent an outbreak during the season. On the other hand, daily testing would obviously lead to more players missing action. Just imagine if someone like Tom Brady tested positive immediately ahead of Thursday’s season opener against the Cowboys. It would be one heck of a way to start the season. That’s especially true if it’s a false-positive.
Looking at it through a broader lens, we already know that COVID-19 vaccines are not 100% foolproof. The idea is to prevent serious illness, hospitalizations and death. That has been the case since the vaccine became readily available earlier in the year.
From the NFL’s perspective, they have made it clear getting vaccinated will help the season go on as planned. They have also indicated that teams will have to forfeit games if there’s a major outbreak among the non-vaccinated within their locker rooms. But what happens if there’s an outbreak of breakthrough cases?
This is the issue the league is facing immediately ahead of what promises to be a challenging 2021 NFL season.
Astros right-hander Zack Greinke confirms he tested positive for COVID-19
Greinke has slowly been working his way back to the mound and will start Tuesday's game against the Texas Rangers.Greinke provided an update Saturday, saying he, his wife and two sons all tested positive for COVID-19, adding that all four are fully vaccinated, per Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle.
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Related slideshow: COVID-19 and sports: Latest updates across all leagues (Provided by Yardbarker)
COVID-19 and sports: Latest updates across all leagues
It's been more than a year since sports in the United States came to a screeching halt amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, and the NBA, MLB and NHL seasons suddenly were put on hiatus.The NHL, NBA and MLB resumed and completed their seasons, but outbreaks complicated baseball's return. The NBA's 2020-21 was completed, but the league was forced to postponement many games.The NFL was able to complete its 2020-21 season — despite COVID-19 outbreaks causing schedule reshuffling throughout the campaign. Over in the college ranks, the NCAA was able complete its college football season. On January 11, the Alabama Crimson Tide won the College Football Playoff National Championship Game. However, college basketball programs continue to experience issues.With news breaking so often, we’ve gathered the latest stories fans need to know.
Here is what has happened over the last couple of weeks in the NBA:SEPTEMBER 2ESPN has obtained a memo from the NBA that proposes stringent protocols for the upcoming season for players who are not vaccinated against COVID-19. The memo states that unvaccinated players "will have lockers as far away as possible from their vaccinated teammates and will have to eat, fly, and ride buses in different sections." Read more here.SEPTEMBER 1Shams Charania of The Athletic is reporting that unvaccinated players in certain markets with COVID-19 protocols in place will not be able to play home games this coming season. Said markets include New York City and San Francisco. The new protocols do not include non-vaccinated opposing players, who are exempt from them. Read more here.AUGUST 28The NBA and National Basketball Referees Association reached an agreement that will require all officials to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 for the upcoming season, the league announced Saturday. Referees with a religious or medical exemption will not be required to get the vaccine. Officials also agreed to get any recommended booster shots. Referees who choose not to be vaccinated and are not exempt will not be allowed to work any games during the 2021-22 season. Read more here.AUGUST 27The NBA told teams that non-playing personnel who work within 15 feet of referees and players during games must be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus by Oct. 1. Coaches, front-office members, trainers, broadcasters, scoreboard operators, photographers, and anybody else who has direct contact with players either on or near the court or behind the scenes are named in the league directive. Read more here.AUGUST 20According to The Associated Press (h/t ESPN), a new club policy mandates that all Heat employees must be at least in the process of getting fully vaccinated against the coronavirus by Sept. 1. Employees who refuse by that date and cannot prove "a qualifying medical condition or a sincerely held religious belief" for why they won't receive one of the safe and available shots won't be permitted to work. Those who continue to object will ultimately be deemed to have resigned from their posts. Read more here.AUGUST 13The Brooklyn Nets and home venue the Barclays Center confirmed Friday the will make fans show proof of either a COVID-19 vaccination or a recent negative coronavirus test to attend home games for the upcoming NBA season. "In accordance with the mandate recently announced by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Barclays Center will soon be requiring all employees and guests to be fully vaccinated," information on the arena's website states. Read more here.AUGUST 8The NBA announced Sunday afternoon that the summer league game between the Washington Wizards and Indiana Pacers had been postponed due to health and safety protocols. Because the Wizards have several players in contact tracing, they didn't have enough of them available to play Sunday night against the Pacers. Read more here.AUGUST 4According to the Associated Press, 491 people deemed confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases could be linked with Milwaukee playoff games. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services does note, however, that it can't be determined how many individuals caught the virus either at the arena or at viewing gatherings. Read more here.JULY 6Adam Silver admitted that the compressed schedule could have had an effect on the unusually high number of severe injuries this season, saying “I have no doubt the physical stress and mental toll has contributed to injuries,” according to USA Today’s Mark Medina. He admitted that, considering the extraordinary circumstances, it’s hard to say whether the choices they made were the right ones, per Medina. “Quite frankly,” Silver said, “we might not know for quite a while after this pandemic is over, whether we made the right decision or not.” Read more here.JUNE 10The NBA’s 2021-22 regular season will tip off on Oct. 19, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic. In addition, training camps begin Sept. 28, the playoffs start April 16, 2022, the NBA Finals tip off Jun 2 and the 2022 draft will take place June 23. Read more here.
Here is the latest MLB news from the past couple of weeks:SEPTEMBER 5The Boston Red Sox have placed right-hander Nick Pivetta on the COVID-19-related injured list, the team announced prior to Sunday's game against Cleveland. Read more here.Then the Red Sox announced that infielder Danny Santana has also been placed on the COVID list. Read more here.SEPTEMBER 3The Cubs confirmed ahead of their Friday afternoon game versus the Pittsburgh Pirates that manager David Ross and president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer both tested positive for the coronavirus. Fortunately, both men are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and currently feeling fine. Both are quarantining for a minimum of 10 days per health and safety protocols. Chicago bench coach Andy Green will serve as interim manager in Ross' absence, beginning with Friday's matchup at Wrigley Field. The Cubs have not yet reached the 85% COVID-19 vaccination threshold required by MLB for the loosening of some virus-related restrictions, but all players were cleared to participate in at least Friday's contest. Read more here.Red Sox outfielder Jarren Duran has tested positive for COVID-19, manager Alex Cora told reporters, including Steve Hewitt of the Boston Herald. Read more here.SEPTEMBER 1September is finally here, and MLB Network's COVID-19 vaccine policy is officially in effect. The policy makes it mandatory that all MLB Network employees are vaccinated against the coronavirus, but two members of the team are reportedly unwilling to get the shot. According to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, Al Leiter and John Smoltz, both of whom are analysts for MLB Network, refused the vaccine and will no longer be able to appear in-studio as a result. However, they'll still be a part of the network, making a "compromise" with executives to stay on in their roles while working from home. Read more here.Boston Red Sox infielder Yairo Munoz is the latest player in the organization to test positive for COVID-19, manager Alex Cora announced. The Red Sox now have a combination of 11 players and coaches sidelined due to the coronavirus. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts; utility man Enrique Hernandez; second baseman Christian Arroyo; and pitchers Matt Barnes, Hirokazu Sawamura and Martin Perez tested positive for COVID-19 while left-hander Josh Taylor and first-base coach Tom Goodwin are in quarantine as close contacts. Quality control coach Ramon Vazquez has also tested positive for the virus. The Red Sox were forced to pull Bogaerts from Tuesday's 8-5 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays in the second inning after he returned a positive COVID-19 test. Boston's coronavirus outbreak began last week, and it comes in the home stretch of the regular season as the club continues to fight for a playoff spot. Read more here.AUGUST 31According to The Associated Press (h/t ESPN), Boston manager Alex Cora told reporters ahead of Tuesday's game at the Tampa Bay Rays that right-handed relief pitcher Hirokazu Sawamura is the club's latest player to test positive for the coronavirus. Read more here.The Astros are placing starter Zack Greinke and corner infielder Taylor Jones on the COVID-19 injured list, Mark Berman of Fox 26 was among those to pass along. Read more here.Red Sox star Xander Bogaerts has tested positive for COVID-19, the team informed reporters, including Chris Cotillo of MassLive. He was removed in the second inning of Tuesday evening’s game after the team became aware of the result. Read more here.AUGUST 30The Red Sox are placing closer Matt Barnes on the COVID-19 injured list, reports Jeff Passan of ESPN. Read more here.The Red Sox confirmed that left-handed pitcher Martin Perez tested positive for the coronavirus. Read more here.The Giants announced they’ve placed starting pitchers Alex Wood and Johnny Cueto on the COVID-19 injured list. Wood has tested positive for COVID-19, manager Gabe Kapler told reporters, including Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area. Cueto has not tested positive, but he’s feeling virus-like symptoms. Read more here.AUGUST 29Christian Arroyo, who recently returned to the lineup on Aug. 23, has tested positive for COVID-19, according to MLB.com's Ian Browne. Red Sox strength coach Kiyoshi Momose has also tested positive for the virus, according to The Athletic's Jen McCaffrey. Read more here.New York Mets right-hander Noah Syndergaard has tested positive for COVID-19, according to Tim Healey of Newsday. Read more here.AUGUST 28The Athletics placed Seth Brown on the injured list after a positive COVID-19 test, per Matt Kawahara of the San Francisco Chronicle. Read more here.AUGUST 27The Phillies placed Zach Eflin, Luke Williams and Andrew Knapp on the COVID-19 injured list. The three players were all fully vaccinated but have apparently tested positive for the virus, relays Todd Zolecki of MLB.com. Read more here.Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora confirmed that infielder Enrique Hernandez is out indefinitely after testing positive for the coronavirus. Additionally, second baseman Christian Arroyo was added to the COVID-19 injured list after being deemed a close contact of Hernandez's. Read more here.AUGUST 24The Astros activated outfielder Kyle Tucker from the COVID-19 injured list. Read more here.AUGUST 23The Rangers placed infielder Brock Holt and right-handers Drew Anderson and Mike Foltynewicz on the COVID-19-related injured list, per a club announcement. Texas also scratched catcher Jonah Heim due to COVID protocols, though Heim has not yet been placed on the COVID-related injured list. Monday’s placements come just days after Charlie Culberson was placed on the COVID IL. Read more here.The Rays place Nelson Cruz on he COVID-related injury list Sunday as a precautionary measure since he was feeling ill. However, since Cruz has since tested negative for COVID-19, he should be activated prior to the Rays’ game on Tuesday against the Phillies. Read more here.AUGUST 18The Yankees announced they’ve activated first baseman Anthony Rizzo from the COVID-19 injured list. Rizzo returns 10 days after testing positive for the coronavirus. Read more here.AUGUST 17New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole returned from the COVID-19 injured list Monday, and the Yankees announced additional good news ahead of Tuesday's doubleheader versus the rival Boston Red Sox. The Yankees activated both catcher Gary Sanchez and starting left-hander Jordan Montgomery off the COVID-19 IL on Tuesday morning. Montgomery hit the IL Aug. 3, while Sanchez reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus on Aug. 5. Read more here.AUGUST 15Diamondbacks starter Merrill Kelly has tested positive for COVID-19, per Zach Buchanan of The Athletic. He will now have to go on the IL and quarantine for at least 10 days. Read more here.New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole will start Monday against the Los Angeles Angels after battling COVID-19, manager Aaron Boone announced Sunday, according to Sports Illustrated's Max Goodman. Read more here.In addition to Cole, manager Aaron Boone told reporters, including Kristie Ackert of The New York Daily News, that Jordan Montgomery will be activated from the COVID-related injury list . While Montgomery will face the Red Sox on Tuesday in one half of a doubleheader. Additionally, catcher Gary Sanchez started a Double-A rehab assignment Sunday and could potentially be activated for one of those games against the Red Sox. Read more here.AUGUST 12The Milwaukee Brewers lost nine players to the COVID-19 injured list from July 27 through Aug. 7. Among them were All-Star closer Josh Hader and fellow southpaw Eric Lauer, who kept in shape by catching bullpen sessions for each other during their absences from the team. Hader was reinstated to the active list ahead of Thursday's game against the Chicago Cubs. Lauer, meanwhile, could return Friday if he passes the required tests. Read more here.AUGUST 10The Brewers announced that right-hander Jake Cousins has been reinstated from the COVID-19 injury list. Cousins returns after the mandatory 10-day quarantine period following a positive coronavirus test. The Brewers still have six more players on their COVID list, but between Cousins, Hunter Strickland and Christian Yelich all returning in recent days, the club is slowly starting to make its way back from this outbreak. Read more here.Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly has been away from the team since July 31 when he tested positive for COVID-19 even though he's been fully vaccinated against the virus since mid-April. Mattingly will rejoin the club Friday ahead of a home weekend series against the Chicago Cubs after the 60-year-old experienced mild virus symptoms. Bench coach James Rowson has served as interim manager in Mattingly's absence. Read more here.The Rays reinstated outfielder Randy Arozarena from the COVID-related injury list and placed southpaw Ryan Yarbrough on it. League rules don’t require Yarbrough’s exact situation to be made public, so it isn’t known whether or not the lefty tested positive for the coronavirus himself or if he is being held out as a precautionary measure due to contact tracing or symptoms. (Yarbrough had another brief one-day stint on the COVID-IL earlier this season due to vaccine side effects.) Arozarena returns after just a few days on the COVID-IL for being a close contact to a positive case. Read more here.AUGUST 8New York Yankees star Anthony Rizzo has tested positive for COVID-19, landing him on the COVID list and sidelining him for at least the next week of action. Read more here.AUGUST 7The Boston Red Sox announced Saturday that All-Star slugger J.D. Martinez has been placed on the COVID-19 injured list after he reported to the club that he was not feeling well. Read more here.The Brewers have activated outfielder Christian Yelich from the COVID-19 injury list, manager Craig Counsell told reporters, via Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Unfortunately for the Brewers, right-hander Adrian Houser was officially placed on the COVID list. Read more here.AUGUST 6The Dodgers announced they’ve reinstated Trea Turner from the COVID-19 injured list. The All-Star shortstop came over in the Max Scherzer trade. The 28-year-old tested positive for COVID-19 shortly before the trade, however, so he’s remained in isolation until Friday. Read more here.The Brewers have been dealing with virus spread throughout the clubhouse in recent days, and another pair of players has tested positive. Starter Adrian Houser and reliever Jandel Gustave tested positive and were placed on the COVID IL, manager Craig Counsell told reporters, via Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Read more here.AUGUST 5The Rockies announced they reinstated right-handers Antonio Senzatela and Yency Almonte from the COVID-19 injured list. Senzatela and Almonte landed on the IL on July 16, with the Rockies dealing with coronavirus spread upon their return from the All-Star break. Both players wound up missing a little less than three weeks. Read more here.According to The Associated Press (h/t ESPN), New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone confirmed ahead of Thursday's game against the Seattle Mariners that catcher Gary Sanchez has tested positive for COVID-19. Read more here.AUGUST 3Per Greg Joyce of the New York Post, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman confirmed during a Tuesday appearance on New York sports radio station WFAN that starter Jordan Montgomery has tested positive for the coronavirus. Read more here.AUGUST 2Mariners outfielder Jake Fraley has been activated from the COVID-19 injured list. Fraley tested positive for COVID on July 18, and he’s missed the past two weeks recuperating. Read more here.
Here is what the NHL has been doing over the past couple of weeks to prepare for he league's resumption:SEPTEMBER 3The NHL and NHLPA are reportedly finalizing an agreement with the International Olympic Committee and the International Ice Hockey Federation for participation in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, according to Sports Business Journal. As part of the agreement, NHL players who participate in the Olympics will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. As Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reports, the league retains the right to withdraw participation if the COVID situation worsens or if its regular schedule has been disrupted by outbreaks, leaving no room to reschedule games. Read more here and here.ESPN's Emily Kaplan reported Thursday that the NHL had informed teams of health and safety protocols for the 2021-22 season. One of the guidelines states that anybody with a job that requires being within 12 feet of players must be vaccinated against the coronavirus to participate in the campaign. As an apparent reaction, San Jose Sharks associate coach Rocky Thompson announced he is stepping away from his role with the organization, as he is unable to get the vaccine due to a medical exemption. Read more here.SEPTEMBER 2Gone are the days of bubbles, regional divisions, CPRA lists, and taxi squads, but the NHL won’t be quite back to normal this season. The league will still have a COVID Protocol for the 2021-22 campaign and the details have been released this evening, courtesy of Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman. The biggest piece of the new protocol, and one that is sure to cause at least some controversy among players, is a mechanism for suspending those who unvaccinated. Read more here.AUGUST 14NHL players were "strongly encouraged" by the NHL Players' Association last week to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and warned of potential consequences if they do not do so, according to The Athletic's Michael Russo and Katie Strang. Players could potentially lose out on pay if they are unvaccinated and contract COVID-19 during the 2021-22 season. Teams might also withhold pay if an unvaccinated player can't accompany his team on road trips where local or federal authorities require vaccination to enter, The Athletic adds. Read more here.AUGUST 4Last year was tough for many prospects, but perhaps none quite as much as Marco Rossi. Dealing with complications from COVID-19, Rossi was not only held off the ice but told he couldn’t even train, allowed on only short walks. His account of the situation is absolutely harrowing, as he told Michael Russo of The Athletic that “every time before I went to sleep, I was so scared that I won’t wake up anymore.” For a 19-year-old kid who was selected ninth overall and could have potentially made the jump immediately to the NHL, it was devastating. Now, after a long recovery period, Rossi is ready to return to action. Russo and colleague Scott Wheeler both report that the young forward will take part in the Olympic qualifiers later this month, suiting up for Austria. The games take place between Aug. 26-29, while the training camp will open on Aug. 16 and include two exhibition matches. Read more here.JUNE 20TVA’s Renaud Lavoie was the first to report that Golden Knights GM Kelly McCrimmon has tested positive for COVID-19. Vegas has stated that McCrimmon is self-isolating and will follow the NHL’s COVID Protocol and all other local health policies. Read more here.APRIL 29There will not be a traditional Calder Cup playoffs in 2021, but that doesn’t mean the AHL will forgo postseason contests. Each of the four divisions was given the opportunity to decide a postseason format, and while the Atlantic, North, Canadian and Central will all simply award the divisional champion based on regular-season points percentage, the Pacific Division is going to have a playoff tournament. Also in the announcement comes news on the 2021-22 season, which is set to begin on Oct. 15, 2021, and conclude on April 24, 2022. The divisions will likely be put back to normal, but an announcement will come later this summer. Read more here.APRIL 27As per a report by Elliotte Friedman, the NHL is going to hold teams accountable to their actions when it comes to the COVID virus and doing their part to stop the spread. Specifically, if players break protocols that lead to multiple illnesses during the playoffs, there could be huge consequences. Essentially, if a player(s) breaks the rules when it comes to COVID protocols and it costs their team a number of players because the virus spreads, the NHL won’t first look to reschedule games. Instead, they’ll look at why the breakout and spread of the virus occurred and the team could be penalized by having to pull out of the NHL postseason. Read more here.APRIL 21According to TSN and RDS hockey insider Pierre LeBrun, the tentative date for the start of the 2021-22 NHL season is currently set for Oct. 12, with training camps hopefully able to open Sept. 22. Read more here.APRIL 20Though it had been clear for the last few weeks, Tuesday brought the death knell for the 2020-21 OHL season. The junior league announced the end of its return-to-play plans, stating that the recent extended stay-at-home order in Ontario along with the increasing cases of COVID-19 has made it impossible to hold a season. Read more here.APRIL 19The Western Hockey League, whose teams did not begin regular season play until late February at the earliest, will play no more than their shortened 24-game season this year. The league has announced that there will be no 2021 WHL Playoffs due to “the ongoing challenges with COVID-19.” Read more here.
The latest from the world of golf since competition resumed:AUGUST 17Jon Rahm heads into the FedEx Cup playoffs ranked No. 1 in the power rankings after he had to miss the Olympics due to testing positive for COVID-19. Read more here.AUGUST 4American golf star Bryson DeChambeau missed out on competing at the Summer Olympics after he tested positive for COVID-19. The 27-year-old is set to play in this week's WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational and told reporters Wednesday he doesn't regret remaining unvaccinated against COVID-19. DeChambeau added he lost "eight to 10 pounds" during his quarantine and needs to regain some clubhead speed before he can reclaim his best form on the course. Read more here.With COVID-19 cases surging throughout the United States due to different variants, the PGA Tour is going back to its previous guidelines of mandating that all individuals wear masks indoors at events regardless of their vaccination statuses. Read more here.JUNE 5Jon Rahm was on his way to what looked like a clear victory at the Memorial before being forced to withdraw Saturday under crushing circumstances. Rahm had a six-stroke lead, and after he finished his round, he spoke with officials before becoming visibly emotional. As it turned out, Rahm had tested positive for COVID-19, and was being informed of that fact. Under PGA Tour protocols, the positive test meant Rahm had to withdraw from the tournament despite his huge lead. Read more here.MAY 19ESPN's Bob Harig reports vaccinated golfers won't have to wear proper face coverings indoors at tournaments starting with next week's Charles Schwab Challenge in Texas. Unvaccinated players must continue to wear masks until further notice. Harig added that the PGA scrapped its original plan to discontinue on-site testing in July and will instead maintain its current testing format through at least the Tour Championship in early September. Following that tournament, those not vaccinated will have to conduct at-home testing on their own to compete. Read more here.APRIL 28England's Paul Casey, 43, told reporters on Thursday he's already received both vaccine shots, in part, because he's "willing to do the things necessary to get through" the pandemic. Read more here.
What's the latest from the world of NASCAR:APRIL 25NASCAR will not require drivers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, president Steve Phelps said Sunday, according to the Associated Press (h/t ESPN). "It is important, in my opinion, that people get vaccinated," Phelps said before the race at Talladega Superspeedway. Bubba Wallace and Denny Hamlin are among the few NASCAR drivers who have made it known that they received the COVID-19 vaccine. Read more here.MARCH 11More and more states, cities, and communities are opening outdoor and indoor events to paying spectators despite continued COVID-19 concerns. During a Thursday appearance on ESPN's "First Take," National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci explained that the existence of at least three coronavirus vaccines should permit growing numbers of fans to safely attend sporting events over the next several months. Read more here.
Here is the fallout from the most recent news from the NCAA:SEPTEMBER 4Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss the Rebels' season opener against Louisville Monday, he announced in a statement Saturday morning. Kiffin is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 but said in his statement he began experiencing symptoms Thursday. Read more here.Wisconsin starting linebacker Leo Chenal has tested positive for COVID-19. In addition to missing Saturday's game against Penn State, Chenal will also miss next week's scheduled game against Eastern Michigan. Read more here.SEPTEMBER 1Dabo Swinney was irate when circumstances related to COVID-19 forced the cancellation of one of Clemson’s key games last year, but the coach seems optimistic that things will run more smoothly this season. Swinney shared some of his thoughts on the COVID-19 vaccine while speaking with the media on Tuesday. He said there are “very few” people with the Clemson program who have not been vaccinated, which “gives you a whole lot more comfort level.” Read more here.AUGUST 30"In the event a team is unable to begin or complete a regular season conference event due to the unavailability of participants (due to COVID-19, injuries or other reasons), that team will forfeit the contest and will be assigned a loss in the conference standings," the SEC announced in a release. "The opposing team that is ready to play will be credited with a win in the conference standings. Both teams will be deemed to have played and completed the contest for purpose of the conference standings. If both teams are unable to compete due to the unavailability of participants (due to COVID-19, injuries or other reasons), both teams shall be deemed to have forfeited the game, with a loss assigned to both teams and applied to the conference standings. Both teams will be deemed to have played and completed the contest for purpose of the conference standings." Interestingly, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey can declare a game a "no contest" if "extraordinary circumstances warrant" such a decision. Read more here.AUGUST 27The University of Notre Dame is requiring that all students returning to campus be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Interestingly, individuals attending Notre Dame Fighting Irish home football games won't have to follow similar protocols. Per guidelines announced by Notre Dame director of athletics Jack Swarbrick on Friday, the wearing of masks or other proper face coverings will be optional for guests while outdoors or in non-enclosed spaces of Notre Dame Stadium. All fans are required to wear masks inside indoor areas of the stadium, and unvaccinated guests are "expected" to wear masks at all times. As Joshua Vowles noted for One Foot Down, the university is not requiring proof of vaccination to enter Notre Dame Stadium but added: "We will continue to monitor campus, local, state and national conditions to best protect our students, staff and attendees. On a weekly basis, we will re-evaluate our gameday policies and make applicable changes to protect our community." Read more here.Add the Mountain West Conference to the list of leagues not intending to shift or delay schedules during fall seasons because of issues related to the coronavirus. Any game where both teams can't safely field squads because of COVID-19 will be ruled a "no contest." The Mountain West is not enforcing any minimum roster thresholds. Read more here.AUGUST 25According to Alex Scarborough of ESPN, Auburn Tigers head football coach Bryan Harsin somewhat elaborated on his feelings while speaking with reporters Wednesday as he remains isolated after testing positive for the virus last week. "Let me be clear. I am not anti-vaccine, and any narrative along those lines is misinformed," Harsin said without directly confirming or denying that he's been vaccinated. Read more here.AUGUST 24The LSU Tigers announced fans must show proof of either a COVID-19 vaccination or a recent negative coronavirus test to attend home games. The policy will be in effect when the Tigers host the McNeese State Cowboys in their home opener on Sept. 11. Fans younger than 12 do not need to show proof of a negative test to attend games, but guests between five and 11 years old must wear proper face coverings inside the venue. Children under five are "encouraged" to wear masks. The school added in the release that the football team "has reached 99.1% vaccination." Read more here. Auburn Tigers head football coach Bryan Harsin confirmed last Friday that he was isolating away from team activities after he tested positive for COVID-19. On Tuesday, Auburn defensive coordinator Derek Mason took to Twitter to announce he has recovered from a breakthrough bout with the coronavirus. Mason also used the platform to encouraged those who haven't yet been vaccinated to get their shots. Read more here.AUGUST 23The Big Ten joined the other power conferences on Monday by announcing its COVID-19 policies for the upcoming fall seasons ahead of Saturday's football opener between the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Illinois Fighting Illini. "The conference has determined that if one of its member institutions is unable to play a conference contest due to COVID-19, that contest shall be declared a forfeit and will not be rescheduled," the Big Ten declared in an official statement. "That contest shall be considered a loss for the team impacted by COVID-19 and a win for its opponent in the conference standings. If both of the two competing teams are unable to participate in a scheduled conference competition due to COVID-19 and as a result the competition is unable to occur on the calendar day on which it is scheduled, the competition shall be considered a 'no contest.'" Read more here.AUGUST 20Per Nathan King of 247Sports, Auburn head football coach Bryan Harsin is currently away from the team after testing positive for the virus. "Yesterday I tested positive for the COVID-19 virus," Harsin explained Friday. "I am isolating at home while experiencing no symptoms." Read more here.AUGUST 19Washington State Cougars head coach Nick Rolovich said in July that he was not getting vaccinated against COVID-19 "for reasons which will remain private." That, however, was before Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced Wednesday that employees working in educational roles throughout the state must be vaccinated. According to Sean Quinton of the Seattle Times, Rolovich told reporters following Thursday's practice that he will comply with the updated guidelines. Quinton explained that private and charter school employees have until Oct. 18 to get fully vaccinated unless they can prove medical or religious exemptions. Per reports, Rolovich is the only head football coach in the Pac-12 not vaccinated against the virus. Washington State is reportedly responsible for the conference's lowest vaccination rate among players at 80%. Read more here.The ACC is the latest conference threatening to make football teams and other athletic programs forfeit during upcoming seasons if they're unable to compete because of COVID-19 issues and/or concerns. The conference added that in a situation where both teams involved in a matchup can't play because of coronavirus-related setbacks, both will be charged with forfeits and losses in the conference standings. Read more here.AUGUST 18Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban offered an update for his team's vaccination rate when speaking with ESPN’s Mark Schlabach. "All but one of our guys has been vaccinated, but it could still be an issue," Saban explained. Read more here.AUGUST 17The Big 12 announced its COVID-19 policy on Tuesday. The conference will force forfeits for teams that are unable to field squads because of COVID-19 issues or other setbacks. Read more here.AUGUST 12For the 2021 season, the Pac-12 decided to go back to counting games canceled due to player availability as forfeited losses, regardless of whether COVID-19 plays a role. "Any forfeited contest shall be regarded as a conference loss for the team making the forfeit and a conference win for its opponent," the conference said in a statement obtained by ESPN. "The Pac-12 rule provides the Commissioner with discretion to determine whether an institution is at fault or primarily at fault for an instability to play a contest based on the facts of the situation." The Pac-12 also updated its return-to-play protocols for the season. Read more here.AUGUST 8Ole Miss football head coach Lane Kiffin said Sunday there is a 100% vaccination rate among his players, coaches, staff members and everybody within the program who will be on the practice field, according to ESPN's Chris Low. "It's pretty amazing and great motivation for our fans and the state," Kiffin told ESPN. Read more here.AUGUST 5The Florida Gators endured a serious and concerning COVID-19 outbreak last fall that temporarily threatened their season and reportedly included head coach Dan Mullen, two assistants, and approximately 30 total players testing positive for the virus. According to The Associated Press (h/t ESPN), Mullen told reporters Thursday his team will spend at least part of training camp in a hotel as fall practice begins Friday amid surging coronavirus cases throughout the state. Read more here.JULY 27Washington State Cougars head coach Nick Rolovich spoke during Tuesday's Pac-12 media day session remotely because he is not vaccinated against COVID-19. While the conference required all in-person participants to be vaccinated, Rolovich explained the university's administration is respecting his decision and added he will follow all policies "for the unvaccinated." "I'm not against vaccinations, and I wholeheartedly support those who choose to get vaccinated, including our players," Rolovich said, according to Adam Rittenberg of ESPN. "I urge everyone to consider being vaccinated." Rolovich reiterated he won't publicly share why he's not getting one of the available shots but said roughly 75% of the Washington State roster is either fully vaccinated or has begun the vaccination process. Read more here.JULY 22Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren explained during Thursday's Media Day session that league presidents and chancellors agreed last month individual schools will first determine their own policies regarding COVID-19 and vaccinations among student-athletes. Read more here.Florida State coach Mike Norvell said Thursday his team is "getting closer each day" to reaching the 85% vaccination mark. "That's something we're working through," he added. Norvell explained that former FSU and NFL player Myron Rolle, who currently works as a neurosurgery resident at Massachusetts General Hospital, spoke with players and answered questions they have about the available vaccines. Read more here.New Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff told ESPN's Heather Dinich he's considering adopting a policy that involves forfeits for canceled games due to COVID setbacks among unvaccinated players. Read more here.JULY 21Alabama Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said his team is "pretty close to 90%" for COVID-19 vaccinations. While the legendary coach explained receiving one of the shots is a personal decision for his players, he added the vaccines are the best way to ensure his team can take the field for each scheduled game. Read more here.ACC commissioner Jim Phillips explained during Wednesday's media days session his conference hasn't yet decided on how to handle games impacted by coronavirus-related absences and issues. Phillips strongly encouraged unvaccinated individuals to get their shots but also said the conference is leaving vaccine mandates up to the individual schools. The ACC's medical advisory group is expected to meet in the coming weeks to discuss protocols that could potentially lead to a team being unable to play during a week of the season. Read more here.Per Harry Lyles Jr. of ESPN, Washington State Cougars head coach Nick Rolovich announced Wednesday he will participate in Pac-12 media day next Tuesday remotely because he is not vaccinated against COVID-19. Read more here.JULY 20Georgia Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart said Tuesday that his team is over 85% for vaccinations, which allows for the loosening of some health and safety protocols. That doesn't mean Smart is satisfied. "It's not about a number," Smart explained. "It's not about a threshold. I think everybody wants to write who's over and who's under. What it's really about is being able to save our season. Being able to keep our players safe. We want to keep our players safe. We want to keep our coaches and staff safe. We want to keep our family members safe, and that comes through vaccinations." Smart also said vaccinated coaches have addressed players about why they received the shots. Read more here.JULY 19SEC commissioner Greg Sankey explained during Monday's media days session that six of the conference's 14 football teams have reached at least an 80% COVID-19 vaccination rate and that the "number needs to grow and grow rapidly." Sankey added teams are "expected to play as scheduled" and could be made to accept losses if unable to field a squad during any particular week. "That means your team needs to be healthy to compete, and if not, that game won't be rescheduled," Sankey said. "And thus, to dispose of the game, the 'forfeit' word comes up at this point." As of now, the SEC does not intend to postpone contests for coronavirus-related reasons this fall. While speaking about this plan, Sankey strongly encouraged players, coaches, staff members, and fans to receive COVID-19 vaccine shots if they're not already immunized. Read more here.JULY 14Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby explained players will again be tested for the coronavirus and urged those hoping to participate in the upcoming campaign to receive COVID-19 vaccine shots if they haven't already been immunized. Read more here.JUNE 1Penn State vice president for intercollegiate athletics Sandy Barbour confirmed Tuesday that the lifting of statewide health and safety protocols will allow Beaver Stadium to operate at 100% capacity for the 2021 season. The Penn State announcement added that tailgating and other traditional aspects of football game days will also return. PSU is shifting fully to mobile tickets for all sports and reducing physical contact points at venues. Read more here.MARCH 6The NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and NCAA, unsurprisingly, took a massive hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. When the entire country came to a halt about one year ago, Forbes estimated that the four major American sports leagues and the NCAA would lose a combined $5 billion in revenue. According to Forbes' most recent report, the revenue losses for the NCAA and the four major U.S. sports leagues have now hit at least $14.1 billion. Read more here.
Here is what has happened most recently in the world of tennis:SEPTEMBER 1While speaking with reporters Wednesday, former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka explained she believes it's "bizarre" ATP and WTA players aren't facing a vaccination mandate. "I don't see the point of stalling it, because we all want to be safe, we all want to continue doing our jobs, and I know there is a lot of discussions about it," Azarenka said about governing bodies forcing players to be vaccinated against the coronavirus to be eligible to participate in tournaments, per Aishwarya Kumar of ESPN. Read more here.AUGUST 27The United States Tennis Association announced Friday that fans 12 years of age or older must show proof of at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to attend the U.S. Open. Read more here.AUGUST 12While the main draw for the U.S. Open is scheduled to begin Aug. 30 in New York, the event's qualifying rounds are held the week before and are typically open to the public. However, the United States Tennis Association confirmed Thursday that spectators will not be allowed to attend qualifying matches because of fears and issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.
Pro wrestling news over the past few weeks:JANUARY 11WWE champion Drew McIntyre tested positive for COVID-19 and is now in quarantine. As Joseph Currier of the Wrestling Observer noted, this is the first time that WWE confirmed the identity of a roster member who returned a positive coronavirus test since the start of the pandemic. According to Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful.com, multiple wrestling brands that have national television deals are currently dealing with COVID-19 issues. Read more here.SEPTEMER 24Back in March, Roman Reigns decided to opt out of WrestleMania 36 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During an appearance on "WWE After the Bell" with "SmackDown" announcer Corey Graves, Reigns explained his choice, saying that it was entirely based on keeping his family safe. Read more here.SEPTEMBER 2Legendary wrestler Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson shared on Instagram that he, his wife, and his two baby daughters all tested positive for the coronavirus. The Rock says they got the virus from close family friends. He said overcoming the virus was harder than recovering from injuries he’s dealt with in the past. Read more here.
What's new in boxing:SEPTEMBER 3Oscar De La Hoya tested positive for COVID-19, TMZ reports. Evander Holyfield has agreed to take De La Hoya’s place and fight Vitor Belfort on Sept. 11. The fight will need approval from the California State Athletic Commission. TMZ reports that the fight will be moved to Florida if California will not sanction it. Read more here.De La Hoya shared a video from a hospital bed on Friday. The 48-year-old confirmed that he tested positive for COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated. De La Hoya said in a follow-up tweet that he has been receiving treatment and is confident he will make a full recovery. He is still aiming to fight before the end of the year. Read more here.JULY 8The third match between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder that was scheduled for July 24 has been postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak among Fury’s camp. Fury tested positive for COVID-19 and is experiencing symptoms. The 6-foot-9 heavyweight champion received one COVID-19 vaccine dose but did not get the second shot, according to boxing reporter Dan Rafael. Read more here.
The latest from the IOC:JULY 28Sam Kendricks was expected to earn a medal for Team USA at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, but that won’t be happening. Kendricks tested positive for COVID-19 and will not be able to compete in the Summer Games. Read more here.JULY 23Many people in Japan are unhappy that their nation is hosting the Olympics with the coronavirus pandemic still ongoing, and that resulted in protests taking place outside the Opening Ceremony on Friday. The Opening Ceremony for the Olympic Games was held at the National Stadium in Tokyo on Friday evening. Outside the stadium, hundreds of people gathered for a march during which they chanted things like, “Go to hell, Olympics!” Read more here.
MLS and NWSL most recent developments:JULY 20For the second straight year, there will be no U.S. Open Cup due to COVID-19. The U.S. Soccer Federation confirmed on Tuesday that this year's edition of the competition won't take place "after not finding available match dates shared across the various participating leagues." According to Brian Straus of Sports Illustrated, a proposal to hold an altered U.S. Open Cup format with 24 clubs in May and June was abandoned, and the federation explained Tuesday it's now planning for next year instead of for the fall months. U.S. Soccer said Tuesday its board of directors will address the automatic berth for the 2022 Champions League in the coming weeks. Read more here.
Most recent news from international soccer circles:SEPTEMBER 7The United States men's national soccer team will play Honduras Wednesday without the help of midfielder Weston McKennie, who was sent back to his club after breaking COVID protocols. ESPN reported McKennie was initially suspended for Sunday's 1-1 draw against Canada but could potentially play against Honduras. On Monday, the decision was made to send him back to Juventus instead. Read more here.SEPTEMBER 5Sunday's World Cup qualifying match between Brazil and Argentina was suspended moments after kickoff because Brazilian health officials objected to the participation of four Argentinian players who allegedly broke quarantine rules, according to Reuters (h/t ESPN). Brazilian rules state visitors who have been in England in the 14 days before entering the country must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. The four players allegedly put false information on their immigration forms, stating they had not been in the UK. Read more here.AUGUST 25The Premier League declared Tuesday that its teams will not release players for September World Cup qualifiers held in countries on England's "red list" because footballers would miss multiple club contests due to COVID-19 quarantine restrictions upon their returns to England. According to Sky Sports, the British government currently has "no plans" to change its policies even after FIFA president Gianni Infantino requested exemptions for players in a message written to United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Since Tuesday's news, the English Football League and Spain's La Liga have both backed the Premier League's stance. Read more here.AUGUST 24The English top-flight confirmed Tuesday that none of its clubs will release players scheduled to participate in upcoming international fixtures held in red-list countries. Read more here.AUGUST 23Liverpool will not allow Mohamed Salah to play in Egypt's upcoming World Cup qualifying matches because of COVID-19 restrictions, the country's football association said Monday. Egypt is on England's red list, which means Salah would be required to quarantine upon his return to the country and miss two Premier League games. Read more here.The English Premier League hasn't yet had to postpone a match because of COVID-19 this season, but the top-flight nevertheless continues to encounter coronavirus-related issues this summer. On Monday, the league confirmed that it recorded 16 new positive COVID-19 tests from Aug. 16-22. Read more here.AUGUST 20Chelsea winger and United States men's national team star Christian Pulisic tested positive for COVID-19, Blues manager Thomas Tuchel confirmed Friday. The 22-year-old has been absent from training this week as Chelsea prepares for a Premier League clash against Arsenal on Sunday. Pulisic will miss that match. Read more here.AUGUST 19Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and forward Alexandre Lacazette were both unavailable for last Friday's Premier League opener at Brentford due to what were, at the time, unspecified illnesses. Ahead of this Sunday's league clash with Chelsea, Arsenal confirmed Thursday that both players tested positive for COVID-19. "Auba is now negative on COVID-19 testing, is well and following all protocols for return to play," Arsenal explained. "He will return to training and be assessed prior to Sunday’s match." Lacazette, meanwhile, is still recovering and won't be available for selection through the weekend. Additionally, Alex Runarsson and Willian also tested positive for the coronavirus. Runarsson has been ruled out for Sunday's match, while a final decision on Willian's status hasn't yet been made. Read more here.AUGUST 16The English Premier League returned Friday with Brentford upsetting Arsenal, and fans were back inside stadiums despite continued concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The English top-flight reminded everybody Monday that the health crisis is not over. "The Premier League can today confirm that between Monday 9 August and Sunday 15 August, across two rounds of testing, 3,231 players and club staff were tested for COVID-19," the league explained in its latest update. "Of these, there were 11 new positive tests." Read more here.JULY 29COVID-19 continues to impact sports leagues located around the world. Manchester United announced Thursday that Saturday's friendly versus Preston North End has been canceled due to positive COVID-19 cases within the team. Read more here.JULY 21On Tuesday, Premier League club Arsenal confirmed the cancellation of their preseason United States tour because of "a small number" of positive COVID-19 cases within their traveling party. Reigning Serie A champions Inter Milan were originally scheduled to face Arsenal in Orlando this coming Sunday as part of the Florida Cup competition but announced Wednesday they also won't be making the trip. Read more here.JULY 20Arsenal canceled their USA tour due to "a small number" of positive COVID-19 cases within members of their traveling party. Read more here.JULY 16Istanbul will be hoping the third time's the charm. Reuters (h/t ESPN) noted Friday that UEFA has confirmed the locations for the next four Champions League finals. Notably, Istanbul was given the 2023 title match after losing a pair of such games because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.
WNBA's latest developments:JUNE 28The WNBA announced Monday that an astonishing 99% of its players are considered fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. "All 12 teams have met the threshold for being considered a fully-vaccinated team," the Association added in its brief statement. No players have tested positive for the virus since the regular season started on May 14. Read more here.APRIL 13The 25th WNBA season will have a much more normal feel to it than its 24th. On Tuesday, the WNBA announced the upcoming regular season will begin May 14 and feature the league's 12 teams playing at their home venues. The league will temporarily pause from July 15 through Aug. 11 due to the Summer Olympics, and teams will play a total of 32 games through the final day of the regular season scheduled for Sept. 19. The 2020 campaign was shifted to the bubble site at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. due to concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fan attendance for upcoming games will be determined and announced by individual clubs, and all teams will follow local health and safety recommendations. Read more here.
esports carries on:MAY 19Esports’ popularity has experienced an uptick on both sides of the remote, as CNBC’s Bob Woods reported on May 19 that streaming website Twitch experienced a “23% surge in viewership in March,” coinciding with the time frame when much of the country started to stay home.MAY 4While the pandemic is having a negative effect on the sports world, it’s been business as usual for esports and gaming. Participants can easily play while maintaining social distancing guidelines since gaming takes place online. In fact, esports has been flourishing. Texas A&M head esports coach Travis Yang told KSAT.com that there has been a “noticeable increase” in gamers and tournaments as people were forced to stay at home.
Most recent developments among other sports:AUGUST 21After hoping to allow a decreased percentage of spectators to the 146th running of the Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs Incorporated announced on Friday afternoon that no fans will be welcomed to the event postponed from May 2 to Sept. 5 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Read more here.AUGUST 4Indianapolis Motor Speedway has once again reversed course and declared that the Indianapolis 500 held on Aug. 23 will occur without fans in the stands due to the worsening coronavirus pandemic. Read more here.JULY 1The 2020 Mexico City Marathon announced that the race scheduled for Aug. 30 is canceled. According to Mexico News Daily, the event drew roughly 30,000 runners last year. Read more here.JUNE 26The Indianapolis 500, set for Aug. 23, became the latest American sporting event to welcome fans amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Indianapolis Motor Speedway President J. Douglas Boles confirmed the news, stating, "We will be limiting attendance to approximately 50 percent of venue capacity." Per Shanna McCarriston of CBS Sports, Indianapolis Motor Speedway carries a capacity of around 235,000. The official announcement also explained that individuals who do not wish to attend, such as those considered high-risk, will receive credits. Safety items such as masks and hand sanitizer will be distributed to all race attendees. Read more here.JUNE 24The world's largest marathon in New York City has officially been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to Jackie Salo of the New York Post. The five-borough race, which hosts more than 50,000 runners from across the globe, would've celebrated its 50th anniversary on Nov. 1. It is now set to take place on Nov. 7, 2021. Read more here.JUNE 23The Haspa Marathon Hamburg, which was postponed from April, is set to occur on Sept. 13. The race is expecting 10,000 to 14,000 runners. However, Americans might not be among thm. Action Network's Darren Rovell reported that runners from "higher-risk COVID areas" will not be allowed to participate. A higher-risk area could include the United States. Read more here.JUNE 13Approximately 20,000 rugby fans in New Zealand packed the stands to watch the Otago Highlanders take on the Waikato Chiefs in the Super Rugby Aotearoa competition. New Zealand lifted nearly all of its coronavirus restrictions earlier in the week, as no new cases have been reported for more than 20 days and the death toll is at just 22 in the country since the pandemic started. Read more here.MAY 28The Boston Marathon, originally scheduled for April 20 but postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic, was canceled and converted into a virtual experience. It's the first time in 124 years the Marathon won't run. Read more here.
Report: Buccaneers' Antonio Brown positive for COVID-19, unlikely to play at Rams .
Brown is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, meaning he can return to team activities if he stays asymptomatic and produces two negative virus tests 24 hours apart. Nevertheless, Arians added he's preparing as if both Brown and Minter won't be available against the Rams. Brown leads Tampa Bay with 23.0 yards per catch on six receptions and is second on the team with 138 receiving yards this season. He caught one touchdown over the first two games of the campaign, both Tampa Bay wins. The Rams are also 2-0 on the campaign. Subscribe to Yardbarker's Morning Bark, the most comprehensive newsletter in sports.