BALTIMORE (AP) — Lamar Jackson ran for 94 yards and a touchdown as the focal point of a relentless rushing attack that amassed 294 yards, and the Baltimore Ravens emerged from a COVID-19 outbreak to beat the Dallas Cowboys 34-17.
Returning from a one-game absence after testing positive for the potentially deadly virus, Jackson carried 13 times and threw for two scores. He was one of 23 Ravens to spend time on the reserve/COVID-19 list while four different strains of the virus swept through the organization.
The game was played on Tuesday night because Baltimore’s previous game – against Pittsburgh last Wednesday – was pushed back three times while the Ravens had at least one player test positive for 10 consecutive days.
Gus Edwards ran for 101 yards on just seven carries and rookie J.K. Dobbins – who also missed time on the COVID-19 list – added 71 yards rushing with a TD to help Baltimore (7-5) break a three-game skid and stay alive in its quest to reach the postseason for a third straight year.
NEW YORK (AP) – The NFL players believe the season can be completed on time without the league moving into a version of a postseason bubble like other sports have as long as everyone follows the rules already in place meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
NFLPA President JC Tretter and Executive Director DeMaurice Smith held a virtual news conference to discuss the challenges the players have felt this season while playing during a global pandemic and address how things will change in the future.
Both Tretter and Smith said that the rules in place requiring players and staff to be tested daily, wear masks, socially distance and have tracers for contact tracing have helped prevent the spread of the virus.
They believe if everyone adheres to those rules over the next two months there would be no need for teams to sequester in hotels to avoid contact with the public.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Jalen Hurts will start for the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, sending Carson Wentz to the bench.
Eagles coach Doug Pederson made the announcement on the team’s website.
Pederson insisted Monday the decision was his, even though Wentz’s $128 million, four-year contract begins in 2021. Hurts replaced Wentz in the third quarter of a 30-16 loss to Green Bay and completed 5 of 12 passes for 109 yards, one touchdown, one interception and took three sacks.
NEW YORK (AP) – For the third straight week, Alabama, Notre Dame, Clemson and Ohio State held on to the top four spots in the College Football Playoff rankings.
The selection committee’s second-from-last rankings had only a little movement in the top 10. Texas A&M is still fifth and Florida held at sixth.
Iowa State moved up a couple of spots to seventh after earning a spot in the Big 12 title game. Cincinnati slipped a spot to eighth after an idle week because of COVID-19 issues in the program.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) – Citing a rising number of COVID-19 cases in its program, Michigan canceled its annual showdown with Ohio State as college football lurches toward the end of the season without one of its cornerstone rivalry games.
The season-ending grudge match known as ”The Game” won’t be played for the first time in 102 years.
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said his players were ”very disappointed” to not face the third-ranked Buckeyes, who would be heavily favored:
Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel said the spread of the coronavirus has not slowed since last week’s outbreak began and the team was not expected to be cleared to practice by the end of the week.
NEW YORK (AP) – NCAA President Mark Emmert hopes lessons learned through navigating the pandemic will lead college sports leaders to be more open to future reform and to prioritize opportunities for athletes when it comes time to cut costs.
In a 25-minute interview with The Associated Press, Emmert said the NCAA and its member schools have shown an uncommon ability to be nimble and responsive in addressing issues of eligibility, scheduling, recruiting, transfers and conducting championship events.
It has been a grim 2020 for college sports just the same. Between the cancellation of last season’s lucrative NCAA basketball tournaments and the loss of football ticket revenue because of limited attendance, athletic departments big and small have been forced to make steep cuts.
NEW YORK (AP) – NHL players have balked at changing the collective bargaining agreement and the league is preparing to open the season Jan. 13 after starting training camp on New Year’s Day, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press.
Owners and players, with the hopes of getting back on the ice next month, have moved past financial negotiations in light of the CBA extension reached over the summer, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because talks between union and the league are private.
The two sides are discussing scheduling, testing protocols and some of the other obstacles that need to be overcome to start the season after revenue concerns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic briefly stalled progress.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – The Kansas City Royals and first baseman Carlos Santana have agreed to a $17.5 million, two-year contract that plugs one of their biggest offensive holes while providing some clubhouse leadership for a rebuilding club.
The 34-year-old Santana was an All-Star two years ago in Cleveland, when he hit a career-best .281 with 34 homers and 93 RBIs. But he slid to .199 with eight homers and 30 RBIs while playing 60 games during the shortened 2020 season, resulting in the Indians declining his $17.5 million option for the upcoming season.
He gets $7 million next season and $10.5 million in 2022, and his salary would escalate by $250,000 each time he becomes an All-Star or wins a Gold Glove or Silver Slugger.
Santana could earn $250,000 in performance bonuses next year: $25,000 for 300 plate appearances and each additional 25 through 525. He could earn $750,000 in performance bonuses for 2022: $75,000 for 300 plate appearances and each additional 25 through 525.
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) – Jalen Wilson hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 42 seconds remaining, then watched as Marcus Zegarowski missed the last of three free throws after fouling him with 1.1 seconds left, allowing fifth-ranked Kansas to escape with a 73-72 victory over No. 8 Creighton.
Wilson finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Christian Braun scored 14 points, missing a foul shot that could have clinched the game with 12.5 seconds to go, and David McCormack contributed 13 points as the Jayhawks (5-1) won their fifth straight against the Bluejays.
Denzel Mahoney gave Creighton (3-1) a chance down the stretch. He hit a 3-pointer with 1:22 left to get the Bluejays within 70-68, then picked the pocket of Bryce Thompson and coasted for the tying layup with just over a minute to go.
Zegarowski was fouled by Wilson on his tying 3-point attempt and hit the first two free throws before missing. He finished with 16 points. Mahoney led the Bluejays with 19 points.