Latest Sports Update | National News from the Associated Press


Steelers take on stumbling Vikings in rare visit to Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The Pittsburgh Steelers face the Vikings tonight on their first visit to Minnesota in 16 years. Both teams are outside of the playoff image in their respective conferences.

The Vikings have spent the entire season on the wire, with every game except one decided by a score. The NFC wild-card race that was so inviting recently will require some extra work to come back. Minnesota are 5-7 after losing to Detroit by two points last week. The Vikings are in ninth place in the NFC, one game behind Washington and San Francisco and half a game behind Philadelphia.

The Steelers are 6-5-1 after beating Baltimore by a point last week and face a tough schedule on the home stretch. They’re in eighth place in the AFC, but the three teams currently holding wild card spots – the Chargers Los Angeles, Cincinnati and Buffalo – are only a hair ahead of them at 7-5. .


Packers’ Cobb to be out ‘for a while’ with heart injury

NO DATE (AP) – Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb has a heart injury that will keep him from playing on Sunday and could keep him from playing any longer. Packers coach Matt LaFleur said Cobb had a “pretty significant injury” and was “going to be out for a while.”

The 31-year-old has caught 28 passes for 375 yards and five touchdowns this season. This is Cobb’s single-season high total for touchdown receptions since he had six for Green Bay in 2015.

The Packers, leaders of the NFC North, host the Chicago Bears on Sunday night.

In other NFL news:

–The Tennessee Titans have claimed inside linebacker Zach Cunningham on waiver of the Houston Texans in a move they hope will strengthen their injury-ridden squad. Cunningham, 27, was released by the Texans on Wednesday after being late and missing meetings this season. Cunningham, who played for Vanderbilt in Nashville, is familiar with the Titans’ defense, having played for coach Mike Vrabel when Vrabel was the Texans linebacker coach and later defensive coordinator.

– The Browns could miss two more key players for Sunday’s vital game against the Baltimore Ravens. Cleveland placed starting linebacker Anthony Walker Jr. and punter Jamie Gillan on the COVID-19 reserve list on Thursday, making it unlikely that they will be able to play. Earlier this week, the Browns placed tight end David Njoku, who leads the team in yards, on the COVID-19 roster.

– Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy says his team will beat Washington when they return from a 10-day absence due to a positive COVID-19 test. McCarthy’s confidence in Sunday’s victory comes after a long offensive response from the team. Washington is reacting as expected. Defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor said “the only guarantee in this world is death and taxes.”


Virus issues cause Pacers and Raptors to cancel training

WITHOUT DATE (AP) – The Indiana Pacers and Toronto Raptors canceled their Thursday practice, citing an abundance of caution with COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

Both teams made the announcements on Twitter and made it clear that it was a precautionary measure.

Indiana has won twice this week – beating Washington on Monday and knocking out the New York Knicks on Wednesday. Pacers goaltender Justin Holiday has not played since entering health and safety protocols on November 30. Team officials were not due to provide further details on Thursday. Indiana is scheduled to host Dallas on Friday.

The Raptors lost to Oklahoma City at home on Wednesday night and are scheduled to host the Knicks on Friday. Toronto has not had a positive COVID-19 test since the start of the season and team officials have said all players are fully vaccinated.

In other NBA news:

– Basketball fans hoping to purchase something from Bill Russell’s memorabilia collection should expect some big name competition. Hall of Fame members Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley say they are interested in bidding on items Russell is selling. Russell is selling two of the rings he got from winning 11 NBA titles in 13 seasons. Also on the block are his Olympic gold medal, his latest Celtics jersey, and a scrapbook page with a signed letter from Jackie Robinson thanking Russell and four black teammates for refusing to participate in a 1961 show in Kentucky. isolated. The auction has started online and will end with a live event at the TD Garden on Friday.


Khaira was released from hospital after Trouba’s stroke

WITHOUT DATE (AP) – Chicago Blackhawks forward Jujhar Khaira (JOO’-jehr KEHR’-ah) was released from hospital after being equalized by Jacob Trouba in a 6-2 loss to the New York Tuesday night.

Team doctor Michael Terry says Khaira has undergone “extensive testing”. Terry says Khaira should make a full recovery, but it’s too early to set a schedule for her return to the ice. After Khaira was released from the hospital, the Blackhawks put him on the injured list, citing the NHL concussion protocol.

Khaira has 26 goals and 39 assists in 276 career games.

In other NHL news:

—The Blackhawks acquired forward Kurtis Gabriel from the Toronto Maple Leafs in return for defenseman Chad Krys. Gabriel, 28, has one goal and one assist in 13 games for the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League. He is expected to join the Blackhawks in Toronto ahead of their game against the Maple Leafs on Saturday night. Krys, 23, a 2016 second-round pick from Chicago, is looking for his NHL debut.

– The Arizona Coyotes are all caught up by their bills. The hockey team paid their overdue bills a day after learning the town of Glendale was going to kick them out of the Gila River Arena if they didn’t get caught. Glendale City Manager Kevin Phelps sent a letter advising the Coyotes they owed $ 1.3 million, including $ 250,000 to the city. The Coyotes released a statement saying the unpaid bills were an unfortunate human error and they would rectify the situation quickly. They did, avoiding what would have been an embarrassing situation.

—The Vancouver Canucks have hired NHL veteran Jim Rutherford as their team president. Rutherford will also serve as the interim managing director while leading the search for a new managing director. The Canucks cleaned up the house on Sunday, firing general manager Jim Benning, coach Travis Green and other front desk staff. The team hired Bruce Boudreau as their coach for a two-year contract and have gone 2-0 since. Rutherford, 72, was most recently general manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2014-21. The team won back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017.


Alabama quarterback Bryce Young named AP Player of the Year

NO DATE (AP) – Alabama quarterback Bryce Young was named College Football Player of the Year by the Associated Press. This gives the Crimson Tide their second consecutive winner.

Young received 42 of 53 first-place votes from the PA’s top 25 voters to easily finish ahead of Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson, who had four first-place votes. Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett was third, followed by Alabama linebacker Will Anderson Jr. and Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud. Last season, Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith became the first Alabama player to win AP Player of the Year.


Washington cancels game with No.5 Gonzaga due to COVID

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) – No.5 Gonzaga’s game against Washington scheduled for Sunday has been called off due to COVID-19 protocols within the Huskies program.

The game will not be caught this season. Both schools say they will work to find a date for the game to be played in Spokane next season. Gonzaga’s game is the third game in a row to be postponed or canceled for Washington since a COVID-19 outbreak hit the Huskies last week.

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