Browns facility closed; team awaits test results
CLEVELAND (AP) — For the third straight day, the Cleveland Browns can’t get in their facility to practice as COVID-19 testing continues. The Browns are awaiting final test results and permission from the NFL to practice Friday.
The team hasn’t been able to practice this week ahead of its playoff game Sunday night in Pittsburgh. The league maintains the game will be played as scheduled.
The Browns have nine players and six coaches isolating at home due to COVID-19 protocols. Quarterback Baker Mayfield said Thursday he hadn’t thrown a football since last Sunday, when the Browns beat the Steelers to end their playoff drought.
Browns coach Kevin Stefanski tested positive with the virus Tuesday and will not be on the sideline for Cleveland’s first playoff game since the 2002 season. Stefanski is allowed to communicate with players and coaches in the locker room until they leave for kickoff, but he can’t have any on-field contact with them from 90 minutes before the game until afterward.
On Thursday, NFL chief medical officer Allen Sills said there was evidence of “some spread from one individual to another” among the Browns’ latest positive tests.
AP source: 76ers quarantine in New York after positive test
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia 76ers are quarantining in New York because of a positive COVID-19 test for guard Seth Curry.
A person familiar with the situation says the Sixers stayed overnight after the team learned of Curry’s positive result during Thursday’s loss to the Nets. The person spoke to The Associated Press Friday on condition of anonymity because the team has not made Curry’s condition public. The person said as of Friday morning Curry was the only positive test on the Sixers.
Curry sat out Thursday’s game because of a sore left ankle and appeared to wear a mask as he sat on the bench for part of the first half. Curry hit six 3-pointers and scored 28 points in Wednesday’s win over Washington.
The Sixers are scheduled to play Denver in Philadelphia on Saturday.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-COLLEGE BASKETBALL
COVID-19 forces more postponements
UNDATED (AP) — A men’s basketball game between UConn and Villanova, scheduled for Jan. 15 in Connecticut, has been postponed because of COVID-19 issues within the Villanova program.
No makeup date has been announced. This will be the fifth game Villanova has had to postpone since coach Jay Wright tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Dec. 26.
Several other members of the program have also tested positive. It’s the seventh UConn game canceled or postponed this season for coronavirus-related issues.
In other virus-related developments:
— The Georgia State men’s basketball team has postponed games against Troy on Friday and Saturday and paused all team activities following multiple positive COVID-19 tests. The games have not yet been rescheduled. Georgia State says players, coaches and staff members have received positive test results. All team activities will be paused for at least seven days while those who tested positive will remain in isolation.
— No. 25 Florida State’s visit to Pittsburgh scheduled for Saturday has been postponed due to COVID-19 testing issues within the Seminoles program. The postponement is the third this week for Florida State. Duke’s visit to Tallahassee, Florida, last Saturday was postponed, as well as a trip to Syracuse scheduled for Wednesday. The Panthers ended up playing the Orange instead, rallying for a 63-60 victory. Meanwhile, Pitt’s game against Georgia Tech set for Tuesday, Jan. 12 has been shifted forward one day. The Yellow Jackets are having COVID-19 issues of their own. Games against Notre Dame and Louisville scheduled for this week have already been postponed.
NFL-SOCIAL JUSTICE GRANTS
NFL awards 13 new grants under Inspire Change initiative
UNDATED (AP) — The NFL expanded its social Justice initiative Inspire Change on Friday by awarding 13 new grants to nonprofit organizations across the country.
The league and teams, who now have committed more than $95 million in the initiative, also will provide funding to support closing the digital divide. Also being addressed are the gaps the league has witnessed between African American communities and other groups going into technological education.
One grant partner, Per Scholas, will be funding a software engineering course to help open doors in economic advancement and job placement.
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