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Ravens-Steelers game in more doubt; 49ers banned by county – The Associated Press

https://apnews.com/article/nfl-sports-stephon-tuitt-football-coronavirus-pandemic-b532f835cd680b84eb6032fcaf8393e1

Ravens-Steelers game in more doubt; 49ers banned by county - The Associated Press

The Pittsburgh Steelers placed running back James Conner on the COVID-19 list on Saturday, while their scheduled opponent next Tuesday, the division rival Baltimore Ravens, added six more players to the list.

Conner is joining three teammates already on the list along with 20 Ravens — Baltimore is down to three defensive linemen — casting further doubt on the ability to pull off a game rescheduled from Thanksgiving night to Sunday to Tuesday night.

Conner, who leads the unbeaten Steelers (10-0) with 645 yards rushing and five touchdowns, joins defensive end Stephon Tuitt, defensive tackle Isaiah Buggs and reserve offensive lineman Kevin Dotson on the COVID-19 list.

The Steelers also announced special teams coordinator Danny Smith will not coach on Tuesday due to what the team described as an “illness.” Quarterbacks coach Matt Canada will also be unavailable because he is ill.

The announcement came on the same day the Ravens put outside linebacker Jaylon Ferguson, right tackle D.J. Fluker, defensive lineman Broderick Washington and offensive lineman Will Holden on the COVID-19 list. Two others — defensive backs Khalil Dorsey and Tavon Young — were on injured reserve before also joining the list Saturday.

The Ravens already had several starters on the list, including quarterback Lamar Jackson and running backs Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins.

Ferguson has played every game this season at outside linebacker and Fluker was coming off three straight starts at right tackle.

The NFL has few options should the game need be further delayed. The league also moved Thursday night’s matchup between Baltimore and Dallas to Dec. 7.

Elsewhere in the league, the San Francisco 49ers may need to find a temporary new home after Santa Clara County on Saturday banned all contact sports from holding games and practices for the next three weeks. County officials issued the directives in response to rising cases of the coronavirus in the area. The rules take effect Monday and will last for three weeks.

The 49ers have home games scheduled for Dec. 7 against Buffalo and Dec. 13 against Washington at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. The team also practices at that site in the county.

“We are working with the NFL and our partners on operational plans and will share details as they are confirmed,” the team said in a statement.

Also Saturday:

— Denver Broncos quarterbacks Drew Lock, his backup Brett Rypien and practice squad member Blake Bortles were pulled off the practice field and sent home over concerns about their contact with QB Jeff Driskel, who is infected with COVID-19, a person with knowledge of the situation told the Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team hasn’t addressed the situation publicly. The Broncos (4-6), who are scheduled to host the New Orleans Saints (8-2) on Sunday, were working with the NFL to resolve the situation.

Denver had returned to work Saturday after canceling the previous two days of practice. In addition to Driskel, kick returner Deontae Spencer has tested positive.

— The Saints placed starting left tackle Terron Armstead on their COVID-19 list, leaving him ineligible for Sunday’s game at Denver.

— The Indianapolis Colts will be without running back Jonathan Taylor on Sunday. He is one of three Indy starters sitting out because of COVID-19 when Indianapolis hosts Tennessee for the AFC South lead.

Pro Bowl defensive tackle DeForest Buckner went on the COVID-19 list earlier this week and defensive end Denico Autry has not yet been activated after going on the list last week.

— The Las Vegas Raiders said running backs coach Kirby Wilson won’t coach this week because of COVID-19-related reasons. He will miss the game at Atlanta. Senior offensive assistant John Morton will handle Wilson’s duties on Sunday against the Falcons.

The Raiders currently have three players on the COVID-19 list: running back Theo Riddick, tackle Trent Brown and defensive back Lamarcus Joyner.

___

AP Pro Football Writers Josh Dubow and Arnie Stapleton contributed to this report.

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

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Lillard & McCollum Combine For 68 PTS & 23 AST! – NBA

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Lillard & McCollum Combine For 68 PTS & 23 AST! - NBA

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Alabama appears set to hire Bill OBrien – Rivals.com – Alabama

https://alabama.rivals.com/news/nick-saban-hints-at-hiring-of-bill-o-brien-as-alabama-s-next-oc

Alabama appears set to hire Bill OBrien - Rivals.com - Alabama

It appears as though Alabama has narrowed in on its next offensive coordinator. After reportedly making multiple trips to Tuscaloosa, Ala. this month, former Houston Texans and Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien looks set to take over the Crimson Tide’s offense next season.

While O’Brien’s hiring has yet to be announced, Alabama head coach Nick Saban hinted at the move during a Zoom call about the Paul Bryant Award on Wednesday.

“I think he’ll do a great job with our players here,” Saban said during the call. “I’ve always tried to have the best knowledge and experience I can for our players and their development, and I certainly think he can contribute to that in a very positive way.”

O’Brien was fired by the Texans in October after leading the team to an 0-4 start. Before his dismissal, he spent six full seasons as the head coach of the organization, winning the AFC South four times. Prior to that, O’Brien spent two seasons as head coach at Penn State. He earned the Paul “Bear” Bryant Award and Maxwell Coach of the Year Award in 2012 after he rallied the Nittany Lions to an 8-4 season despite an 0-2 start and NCAA sanctions. O’Brien also spent five seasons with the New England Patriots from 2007-11 where he worked under Saban’s close friend, Bill Belichick.

O’Brien served as the Patriots offensive coordinator in 2011. He also coached quarterbacks in 2009 and 2010 after coaching running backs in 2008. The 51-year-old also has offensive coordinator experience at the college level, leading Georgia Tech’s offense from 2001-02 and Duke’s offense from 2005-06.

“I’ve known Bill O’Brien for a long, long time, all the way back when he was an assistant at Georgia Tech with George O’Leary,” Saban said during the call. “I think when he was with Bill Belichick at the New England Patriots — who I think everybody knows the relationship that we have with Bill — he was the offensive coordinator there. Went to Penn State in probably the most trying times of any great program, coming off of a lot of crazy stuff, and he did an outstanding job of sort of rebuilding that program, getting players to stay there, having a real representative positive program.

“And I think he did a really good job in Houston when he was the head coach. I think when he became the general manager maybe things didn’t go exactly like he would’ve liked, trying to have both roles. But having been a head coach in that league, I know how difficult it is to do both of those things — probably impossible. So based on the body of work up until then, I think he’s an outstanding coach and a really good person.”

If hired, O’Brien will replace Broyles Award winner Steve Sarkisian, who accepted the head coaching job at Texas earlier this month. O’Brien would take over an Alabama team that ranked in the top five in scoring (48.5 points per game), total offense (541.6 yards per game) and passing offense (358.2 ypg). However, he’ll likely be missing several key components of that group, including Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith, Davey O’Brien Award winner Mac Jones and Doak Walker Award winner Najee Harris as well as the majority of an offensive line that earned the Joe Moore Award.

During O’Brien’s last full season in charge of Houston last year, the Texans ranked 13th in the NFL in total offense averaging 362 yards per game. Before the 2020 season, he handed over playcalling duties to offensive coordinator Tim Kelly after taking on the general manager role in addition to his head coaching job.

Over the past four seasons, O’Brien has coached dual-threat quarterback Deshaun Watson. At Alabama, the newly-named coordinator will oversee another mobile passer as former five-star recruit Bryce Young is set to take over the reins behind center. O’Brien helped Watson develop into one of the top passers in the league as the former Clemson star led the NFL with 4,823 passing yards en route to his third Pro Bowl this season. Alabama will hope he has a similar effect on Young as the Tide looks to reload its offense for another title run this season.

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Lillard & McCollum Combine For 68 PTS & 23 AST! – NBA

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Lillard & McCollum Combine For 68 PTS & 23 AST! - NBA

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NHL Game Highlights | Canucks vs. Oilers – Jan. 13, 2020 – SPORTSNET

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NHL Game Highlights | Blues vs. Avalanche – Jan. 13, 2020 – SPORTSNET

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NHL Game Highlights | Blues vs. Avalanche – Jan. 13, 2020 - SPORTSNET

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