Effects of coronavirus outbreak on sports around world – 41 NBC News

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The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world

Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Vance McDonald has tested positive for COVID-19, the first player from the NFL’s last unbeaten team to be diagnosed with the novel coronavirus since the start of the regular season.

Team spokesman Burt Lauten says the club was notified of the positive test on Monday morning, hours after the Steelers improved to 8-0 with a 24-19 win over the Dallas Cowboys. McDonald immediately self-quarantined and the Steelers remain in the NFL’s intensive protocol.

McDonald missed Friday’s practice with an “illness” according to the team’s injury report, but traveled to Dallas with the team and played 24 snaps total against the Cowboys, 20 on offense and four on special teams.

The Steelers have notified the league and have been in contact with medical advisors to begin contact tracing. Pittsburgh announced last week that an unidentified staff had been diagnosed with COVID-19.

The team had been COVID-19 free during the first half of the season but have still been dealing with the virus. Their game at Tennessee originally scheduled for Oct. 4 was pushed to Oct. 25 due to an outbreak among the Titans. Hours after winning in Baltimore on Nov. 1, Ravens defensive back Marlon Humphrey tested positive, forcing the team to spend last week in the league’s intensive protocol program.


The Chicago Bears activated backup offensive tackle Jason Spriggs from the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday.

Spriggs was one of two Bears players to test positive last week. Starting right guard Germain Ifedi was also placed on the list because of a close contact, and the Bears shut their facility and canceled practice last Thursday. Ifedi was cleared to play against Tennessee on Sunday.

The Bears also removed defensive back Michael Joseph from the COVID list on Monday, but he’s on injured reserve,


The Green Bay Packers have activated linebacker Kamal Martin and running back Jamaal Williams from the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Martin and Williams both sat out the Packers’ 34-17 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday night.

The reserve/COVID-19 list is for players who either test positive for COVID-19 or who have been in close contact with an infected person.


Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo has tested positive for COVID-19.

The school’s athletic department made the announcement Monday.

Associate head coach Dwayne Stephens will lead the Spartans’ practices while the 65-year-old Izzo is in isolation for 10 days.

Izzo, who was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016, says he has minor symptoms and will stay connected with his coaching staff and players virtually.


The Southeastern Conference has postponed Saturday’s game between No. 20 Auburn and Mississippi State because of positive COVID-19 and quarantining within the Bulldogs’ program that the school says left the team below the minimum threshold of 53 available scholarship athletes.

The game is tentatively rescheduled for Dec. 12 in Starkville, Mississippi.


No. 5 Texas A&M paused in-person activities on Monday after a player and a staff member tested positive for COVID-19 after the team returned from its weekend trip to South Carolina.

Coach Jimbo Fisher said the Aggies would not do anything on campus Monday and would instead conduct all work through Zoom. He said the team was undergoing additional testing and contact tracing to see if the coronavirus had spread any further.

Fisher said he hoped his team could return to campus on Tuesday. He was also confident that his team would be able to play on Saturday at Tennessee, but said he wouldn’t know for sure until they had completed testing and contact tracing.


The inaugural service academy cross country championships have been canceled due to upward trends of COVID-19 cases.

The event, dubbed “America’s Race,” was to have been the first tri-meet featuring all three service academies, Army, Navy and Air Force and was scheduled for Veterans Day on Wednesday at West Point. It would have been the first major athletic event staged on the parade grounds of The Plain since the opening of Michie Stadium in 1924.

The competition was to have included a women’s 6K race and a men’s 8K, and attendance was to have been limited to the Corps of Cadets.

Army’s men’s and women’s cross country teams will instead hold an intra-squad meet Wednesday on The Plain, the original grounds of the academy and the site of the first Army-Navy game in 1890.

Air Force’s football game at Army two days ago also was canceled because of a virus outbreak in and around the Air Force Academy in Colorado.


Arkansas football coach Sam Pittman has tested positive for COVID-19 and could miss the Razorbacks’ game at No. 6 Florida on Saturday.

The university made the announcement Monday in a news release.

Pittman was tested Sunday as part of the team’s regular protocol and learned Monday that his test came back positive. SEC protocol for asymptomatic positives will require him to isolate for at least 10 days from the date of the positive test. Pittman was tested again Monday morning and was awaiting those results.

Defensive coordinator Barry Odom will serve as the team’s interim head coach. Pittman will take part of team meetings virtually while in isolation.

The Razorbacks are off to a 3-3 start in Pittman’s first year, a significant jump from last year’s 2-10 campaign. Arkansas has won two of three and is coming off a 24-13 victory over Tennessee.


Olympic sports federations have shared concerns about completing qualifying events for the Tokyo Games during the coronavirus pandemic.

World Rowing official Matt Smith says during an online meeting of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations that “it is really getting urgent that we start to make decisions.”

About 57% of more than 11,000 places in the Tokyo Olympics had been secured in March when the games were postponed. But many of the 33 sports on the Tokyo program now have challenges staging international events.

ASOIF director general Andrew Ryan says the group is “very, very concerned” that “we present (athletes) with an equal opportunity to qualify.”

Smith says “we need help and we need to exchange information.”

Talks are expected between the governing bodies and with the IOC.

World rankings and past performances could be used to allocate entries for Tokyo if qualifying events cannot be organized.


The Hungarian soccer federation says fans will no longer be allowed to attend the national team’s European Championship playoff game on Thursday.

About 18,000 fans could have been in the 67,000-capacity Puskas Arena in Budapest for Hungary’s match against Iceland. A Euro 2020 place is at stake. But the Hungarian government has announced new restrictions to cope with the worsening coronavirus pandemic.

An official attendance of 18,531 watched Ferencvaros host Juventus last week in a Champions League game at the national stadium.

Budapest is among 12 host cities scattered across the continent for Euro 2020. Hungary will have two home games in Group F if it qualifies for next year’s postponed tournament.

The Hungarian soccer federation says the new restrictions “have a significant impact” on soccer and it will pay refunds for tickets bought.

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