Tank Williams explains why the Eagles QB deserves a spot in your starting lineup.
Tank Williams explains why the Eagles QB deserves a spot in your starting lineup.
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Thomas has lost one of his oldest sponsors.
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The Titans' offense was in the top 4 in scoring, yards per game and rushing yards per game.
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BERLIN — Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Nadiem Amiri has accepted an apology from a Union Berlin player who verbally abused him when the Bundesliga teams played Friday. “He came to me in the changing room after the game," Amiri said Saturday on Leverkusen’s website. "There were ugly words on the pitch said in the heat of the moment that he’s very sorry for. He credibly assured me of that and therefore the matter is now dealt with for me.” Union’s late 1-0 win ended with Amiri angrily approaching Union midfielder Florian Hübner and pointing his finger in Hübner's face after the final whistle. Union coach Urs Fischer attempted to console the furious Amiri. Leverkusen defender Jonathan Tah told broadcaster DAZN that Amiri was abused by an opponent who used a racially charged term referring to the Germany midfielder’s Afghan background. “It doesn’t belong on the football pitch, no matter how emotional things get,” Tah said. “It’s the most bitter part of the evening. I hope there are consequences.” Fischer missed the incident. “I heard there were words on the pitch that have no place on the pitch,” Fischer said. Neither Amiri nor Tah referred to the Union player by name. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
More than 621,000 Canadians play in organized hockey leagues, but community hockey has been suspended in most provinces with high COVID-19 infection rates after a series of arena-related outbreaks. Air quality research and a growing understanding of how the virus spreads are helping to explain why facing-off indoors can be risky during the pandemic. In recent months, there have been COVID outbreaks traced to hockey arenas all over the U.S. and Canada. In Saskatchewan there were 20 separate outbreaks tied to arenas. One old-timers hockey team from the interior of British Columbia travelled to Alberta and brought the infection back with them to their families and co-workers. In Ottawa, a single hockey practice in December led to 89 infections as the players unknowingly brought the disease home to their families. Hugh Campbell has been a minor hockey league director in Barrie, Ont., for more than 40 years. In November, he had to deal with a COVID outbreak in a team of 15- and 16-year-olds after one player became ill the day after a practice. "We immediately isolated the whole team for a 14-day period," he said. "During that 14-day period, eight of the boys actually ended up testing positive. It was a good thing that we got on it right away and managed to curtail it just to the one team and one group." Last October, just two weeks after the Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup, the Atlanta Centers for Disease Control issued a little-noticed Morbidity and Mortality Report about the dangers of contracting COVID-19 from playing hockey. The report was based on an amateur hockey game in Tampa Bay last June in which one infected player passed the disease on to 13 of the 22 other players who were on the ice with him, as well as to one rink attendant. All this comes as little surprise to experts who have been studying air quality in hockey arenas for many years. Most of those studies had to do with the exhaust from the Zamboni machines that clean and re-surface the ice before games or between periods. Older versions of those machines have internal combustion engines that pollute the air. Cold air does not rise, and the studies showed that polluted air tends to stay close to the ice level, even when there is building ventilation. That same phenomenon applies to air contaminated with the COVID-19 virus, according to Jeffrey Siegel, a professor of civil engineering at the University of Toronto. "We have a potentially infected player on the ice, and the pollutants get trapped near the ice surface," he said. "Even more respiratory aerosols are being produced because people are working hard, because they're doing this physical activity. Combine that with these higher concentrations near the ice surfaces, people breathing deeply because they're working hard too, and you can end up potentially with some quite high exposures." Professor Qingyan Chen of Indiana's Purdue University has studied the air in hockey arenas in Boston and Halifax. "Suppose you were sick, the particles exhaled by you will be just behind you in the wake of your moving body. We also conducted another study showing this moving wake could carry the particles to different places, and even another player chasing you on the surface could stay in the high concentration zone of the breathed air," Chen said. The risk of infection can be even higher in dressing rooms, and on the bench between shifts when players are often coughing or spitting. Wearing full-length plexiglass face visors that resemble the shields worn by medical personnel doesn't solve the problem, according to professor Siegel. "Plastic visors work great for very large respiratory droplets, but for anything that's small, the air just goes around the visor. And so do they help? Yes. Are they a perfect solution? Absolutely not." Many wonder why the National Hockey League was able to complete its last season and playoffs with relatively few COVID-19 cases. The answer lies at least in part in the strict precautions taken by players and staff off the ice. Infectious disease expert Dr. Issac Bogoch helped to design elaborate testing and strict bubble protocols for the NHL. Players were tested for days before being admitted to the NHL bubble, were quarantined in their rooms upon arrival, and tested daily thereafter. "What you saw at the end of the day were, I think, very tight protocols that took a lot of buy-in and were adhered to by everyone — not just the players, but all the other personnel in the bubble," Dr. Bogoch said. "But of course that takes a lot of resources and a huge commitment. Many of the minor hockey leagues just don't have the resources to do that." One of the few community games still being played in Canada last week was in St. John's, N.L., on Jan. 10. The players had to wear masks in public areas before and after the game. There was no spitting allowed, and plenty of bottles of hand sanitizer were around. Playing in the Newfoundland game was former figure skater Dwan Street, who converted to hockey five years ago. "Hockey's pretty big here. And just being a part of that and the whole hockey culture, you know, it's a huge part of who I am," she said. "It's a social thing as well. Most of my best friends are on the hockey team, and you definitely miss that. I think when it comes down to precautions, we're definitely willing to do what we have to do. Whether that's going back to showing up [for games] fully dressed, where the only thing you had left to put on was your skates, whatever it takes." Air-quality expert Siegel understands that many Canadians are devoted to community hockey. "I really get it," he said. "Physical activity is important, it's important for physical health, it's important for mental health. Playing hockey is really important to a lot of people. But there's kind of a balance here, because it is also a higher risk for infection." So how do you balance those two things? "I think it's going to come down to the individual choices," Siegel said. "If someone lives in a household with a vulnerable family member, maybe someone who's older or someone who's got a respiratory condition that makes them more sensitive to COVID, that might be a good time to say, 'maybe I shouldn't play hockey this season.'" Dr. Bogoch thinks one solution would be to move as many community games as possible to outdoor rinks. "I think you can get out on the outdoor ice and have a safe experience, as long as it's done well," he said. "So rather than saying no, no, no, I think we should say, well, is there a way that we can get around this and do this safely? And if careful and if done right, I think you probably can do it on the outdoor ice in a much safer environment."
CINCINNATI — The Reds reached one-year deals with all six of their arbitration-eligible players on Friday, agreeing with pitcher and outfielder Michael Lorenzen at $4,437,500 and with right-hander Luis Castillo at $4.2 million. Cincinnati also agreed with outfielder Jesse Winker at $3.15 million, right-hander Tyler Mahle at $2.2 million, left-hander Amir Garrett at $1.5 million and right-hander Noé Ramirez at $1,175,000. With Cy Young Award winner Trevor Bauer expected to sign elsewhere and depending on other off-season moves the Reds make, Lorenzen could be a candidate for the starting rotation. The 29-year-old righty is 22-21 with a 3.97 ERA in five seasons with Cincinnati. He can also play outfield and pinch hit. He was 3-1 with a 4.21 ERA in 18 games in 2020. He collected $1,379,630 from a prorated $3,725,000 salary. Castillo, 28, had a breakout season in 2019, earning the nod as opening day starter, making the All-Star team and finishing 15-8 with a 3.40 ERA and 226 strikeouts in 190 2/3 innings. He wasn’t as effective in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, going 4-6 with 3.21 ERA, but was tied for 12th among major league pitchers with 89 strikeouts. He made $245,741 in 2020 based on a prorated salary of $663,500. The left-handed-hitting Winker got consistent playing time as a designated hitter last season and socked 12 home runs in 149 plate appearances after slugging 16 in twice as many at-bats in 2019. The 27-year-old batted .255 with 23 RBIs in 2020. In four seasons with the Reds he has a .280 average with 42 homers and 119 RBIs. He collected $224,074 prorated from a $605,000 salary in 2020. The 26-year-old Mahle has been a starter for the Reds since 2017. He has a career 13-25 record with a 4.68 ERA and 313 strikeouts in 309 1/3 innings. In 2020 he was 2-2 in nine starts with a 3.59 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 47 2/3 innings. Mahle collected $225,849 of a prorated $609,793 salary last season. With Raisel Iglesias traded to the Angels for salary relief, the 28-year-old Garrett will compete to be the Reds' closer in 2021. After breaking in as a starting pitcher with Cincinnati in 2017, he’s been a reliever for the past three seasons with a 3.65 ERA in 158 appearances. He was 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA in 21 games last season. Left-handed batters hit just .043 against him and struck out 12 times. He collected $220,370 in 2020 based on a prorated salary of $595,000. Ramirez, a 31-year-old reliever, came to Cincinnati from the Angels as part of the deal that sent Iglesias to Los Angeles. Ramirez also had a previous stint with the Red Sox. In his six-year career he is 13-10 with a 4.18 ERA in 211 innings. He was 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA for the Angels over 21 innings in 2020. He made $333,333 of a prorated $900,000 salary. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Padres agreed to an $8.9 million, one-year contract with Tommy Pham, avoiding arbitration with the outfielder who was limited to 31 games last season because of injuries. Pham hit .211 with three homers and 12 RBIs after coming over in a trade with Tampa Bay. His 2020 salary of $7.9 million was prorated to $2,925,926. The Padres also avoided arbitration with right-handers Dinelson Lamet ($4.2 million), Dan Altavilla ($850,000) and Emilio Pagan ($1.57 million), and catcher Victor Caratini ($1.3 million). Lamet came out of his final regular-season start with an elbow issue and missed the playoffs. He’s avoided surgery, but the Padres won’t know until spring training how effective his off-season regimen was. He was 3-1 with a 2.09 ERA and 93 strikeouts in 12 starts. His $1.3 million salary was prorated to $481,481. Altavilla was obtained from Seattle just before the trade deadline. He was 1-1 with a 3.12 ERA in 12 appearances with the Padres, and 2-3 with a 5.75 ERA and one save in 22 appearances overall. His 2020 salary of $573,500 was prorated to $212,407. Caratini was obtained along with starting pitcher Yu Darvish from the Chicago Cubs in late December. The switch-hitting Caratini caught Darvish in Chicago and batted .241 with 16 RBIs last season. His salary of $592,000 was prorated to $219,259. Pagán was 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in 22 appearances after coming over in a trade with Tampa Bay. His 2020 salary of $591,000 was prorated to $218,889. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press