NBA proposes new set of strict rules for unvaccinated players
ESPN 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." Unvaccinated players will also be subject to testing on practice days as well as game days and could be potentially be checked twice ahead of games. Other bullet points, as mentioned above, regarding the limited contact unvaccinated players can have with their inoculated teammates.
FRISCO, Texas — The Cowboys opened their season against the Buccaneers with a starter sidelined due to COVID-19.
They face the possibility of missing another first-team lineman when traveling to Los Angeles this week to face the Chargers.
Defensive end Randy Gregory tested positive for COVID-19 and was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Gregory is fully vaccinated and asymptomatic, a person with knowledge of his symptoms told USA TODAY Sports on Monday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the situation. “Trying to get back ASAP,” the person added.
Red Sox place Danny Santana on COVID-19 IL as outbreak continues to worsen
Shortly after announcing that right-hander Nick Pivetta had been placed on the COVID-19-related injured list, the Red Sox announced that infielder Danny Santana has also been placed on the list. The #RedSox today placed INF/OF Danny Santana on the COVID-19 Related Injured List. To fill Santana’s spot on the active roster, the Red Sox recalled OF Franchy Cordero from Triple-A Worcester.
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Gregory cannot rejoin the team until he tests negative on consecutive COVID-19 tests, 24 hours apart while asymptomatic.
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Gregory started at right defensive end in the Cowboys’ 31-29 loss to the Buccaneers. He played in 57% of defensive snaps (37 snaps total), recovering a fumble forced by left defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence. Gregory also pitched in on a second-quarter tackle of Leonard Fournette.
“I felt like we gave up too many explosive plays,” Gregory said from Raymond James Stadium after the game. “We turned over the ball, which is good, but we need to cut down on the explosive plays. We go out there with two minutes left, and we need to go out there and get a sack on them.
Winners, losers of Buccaneers' season-opening victory vs. Cowboys: Bad day for Ezekiel Elliott, other RBs
It was only the NFL's first of 272 regular-season games, but the Buccaneers' thrilling win over the Cowboys had important stakes for multiple parties.Given the result, it's pretty obvious to everyone who the primary winner and loser was from Week 1's opening matchup. But let's not stop there! It only takes a little extra digging to reveal several other W's and L's from the first NFL game that counts in more than seven months.
Cowboys DE Randy Gregory has landed on reserve/COVID-19 list. Protocol makes it difficult for players to make game same week but I'm told he's asymptomatic.
"Trying to get back ASAP," source says.
Will require two negative tests, 24 hours apart, while remaining asymptomatic.
— Jori Epstein (@JoriEpstein) September 13, 2021
“We can’t let him go out there and pick us apart like that.”
Missing Gregory against the Chargers would position the Cowboys for an even steeper challenge.
Quarterback Justin Herbert, the 2020 offensive rookie of the year, threatens via different means. He doesn’t bring the decades of experience and processing to expedite his release, with which Tom Brady outdueled the Dallas pass rush. Herbert does possess both a powerful arm and athleticism to extend plays.
“This is a guy who can really rip the ball,” defensive coordinator Dan Quinn said Monday afternoon from Cowboys headquarters. “Outside the pocket, this is a player who can really create on the move, much like Dak does, where he gets outside and how he can rip the ball downfield. So when you have a player who can do that, it’s almost like defending two plays.”
‘We paid a price’: Jerry Jones on Cowboys kicking woes, whether he still supports Greg Zuerlein
Cowboys kicker Greg Zuerlein didn't cost Dallas its game against the Buccaneers. But Jerry Jones says team paid price for not having Zuerlein in camp.Untimely drops, excessive allowance of big plays, always-opportunistic Tom Brady and a stifled run game contributed to the 31-29 deficit the Cowboys flew home with in the wee hours of Friday morning.
I asked Dan Quinn his teaching point on this Brady-Gronk TD w/ safety blitz.
Quinn: "It’s a tough one. A zero blitz so there’s no help inside. It was an exchange in coverage between 2 guys. I would say the best way to teach that would be not to call it.”pic.twitter.com/59RLqAdg2m
— Jori Epstein (@JoriEpstein) September 13, 2021
Defenders must prime themselves to counter both a designed call and on-the-run movement for five, six, seven seconds, Quinn said.
“We’ve got to defend plays longer when you’re defending a quarterback like that,” Quinn said.
That additional effort has the possibility to wear on defensive linemen, so Quinn opts to employ a deep line rotation to keep his players fresh in the trenches. Without Gregory, the Cowboys would lose their key piece to complement Lawrence in pass-rush situations. Fourth-year pro Dorance Armstrong would be among the top candidates to start in Gregory’s place, with snaps also likely split between defensive ends Tarell Basham and Bradlee Anae.
Gregory’s status put a damper on the Cowboys’ announcement the team could now activate six-time Pro Bowl right guard Zack Martin from the reserve/COVID-19 list. Martin, also vaccinated, had mild symptoms and did not clear protocol in time to face the Buccaneers. Backup swing man Connor McGovern started in Martin’s place. Martin and tackle Brandon Knight, who was initially announced as a high-risk close contact to Martin, rejoined the Cowboys’ active roster on Monday.
Bills GM Brandon Beane: It's a competitive disadvantage to not be 100% vaccinated
Only three teams in the NFL have reportedly reached 100% vaccination: the Falcons, Buccaneers and Raiders.Beane was asked by John Kryk of the Toronto Sun whether it's a competitive disadvantage not to have a fully vaccinated roster. He said it is, especially when going up against a team that is fully vaccinated.
The Cowboys need the help after losing right tackle La’el Collins to a five-game suspension for violation of the league’s policy on substances of abuse. The team has yet to determine whether it will keep Martin at right guard with Ty Nsekhe or Terrence Steele at right tackle, or if Martin will kick out to right tackle alongside McGovern at right guard. Discussions about keeping players at their most natural positions versus suiting up the best five linemen simultaneously are ongoing.
“We’re used to being flexible with our game plans, with our approach to things,” offensive coordinator Kellen Moore said of losing Collins, who will next be eligible to play Oct. 31 in Minnesota unless he wins an appeal. “Being aware of whatever matchups may present itself through this game, hopefully put ourselves in a good situation.”
The Cowboys designated receiver Michael Gallup (calf strain) for injured reserve, sidelining him for at least three games.
Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Jori Epstein on Twitter @JoriEpstein.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Cowboys DE Randy Gregory tests positive for COVID-19; what that means vs. Chargers
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.