Tuesday Sports in Brief

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NFL

NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL is taking several new steps to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

The league will begin PCR testing for COVID-19 on game days starting this week, use of masks in walkthroughs are now mandatory and only play-callers will be permitted to wear face shields in lieu of masks or gaiters on the sideline.

The updated protocols sent to teams Monday night also require anyone identified as a “high risk” close contact to be isolated and not permitted to return to the team’s facility for at least five days.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans has begun discussions with LSU about holding future Saints home games at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, a team spokesman said Tuesday.

“LSU has been gracious and enthusiastic regarding hosting our future games and we very much appreciate their partnership,” said Greg Bensel, the Saints’ senior vice president for communications. “We have also discussed the possibility of moving our home games to LSU with the NFL and they are aware of our exploring this option.

The Saints have played three of eight scheduled regular season home games in the Superdome so far this season with no ticketed fans in attendance.

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Jets surprisingly released disgruntled running back Le’Veon Bell on Tuesday night, ending a disappointing tenure after less than two full seasons.

The team issued a statement from general manager Joe Douglas in which he said the Jets made the move after having several conversations with Bell and his agent during the last few days and exploring trade options.

“The Jets organization appreciates Le’Veon’s efforts during his time here and we know he worked hard to make significant contributions to this team,” Douglas said. “We believe this decision is in the best interests of both parties and wish him future success.”

In a post on Twitter shortly after the Jets’ statement, Bell posted only a hands in prayer emoji — implying that the feeling is mutual and his wish was granted.

He later followed that up with another tweet: “Got a lot to prove,” he said. “I’m ready to go.”

As a vested veteran, Bell does not have to clear waivers. He will be available to sign with another team after 4 p.m. Wednesday.

MLB

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Clayton Kershaw was scratched Tuesday from his start for the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 2 of the NL Championship Series due to back spasms, though manager Dave Roberts said the likelihood is very good their ace lefty will pitch in the series.

The three-time NL Cy Young Award winner initially felt spasms after a bullpen session Saturday, three days after he went six innings to win Game 2 of the National League Division Series against San Diego. Roberts said Kershaw has felt better each day since but wasn’t ready to make the scheduled start against the Atlanta Braves.

GOLF

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Dustin Johnson became the most prominent player to test positive for the coronavirus since golf resumed in June, forcing him to withdraw Tuesday from the CJ Cup at Shadow Creek.

The PGA Tour said in a statement that Johnson notified officials he was experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and was given another test that came back positive.

Johnson is the No. 1 player in the world and the reigning PGA Tour player of the year after winning the FedEx Cup for the first time. He has not played since he tied for sixth at the U.S. Open last month.

Johnson is the 12th player to test positive at a tournament or at home since the PGA Tour resumed its schedule on June 8.

SOCCER

Cristiano Ronaldo is the latest international soccer star to test positive for the coronavirus.

The Portuguese soccer federation said Tuesday that Ronaldo was doing well and had no symptoms after he tested positive while with his country’s national team.

He was in isolation and was dropped from the country’s Nations League match against Sweden on Wednesday in Lisbon.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — No. 10 Florida paused all team activities Tuesday following “an increase in positive COVID tests among players,” putting Saturday’s home game against defending national champion LSU in jeopardy.

The Gators had 19 positives following Tuesday morning testing, a person familiar with the situation told the Associated Press. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because of privacy laws. The Independent Florida Alligator first reported the total number of positives.

Athletic director Scott Stricklin said the decision to halt meetings and practices was made “out of an abundance of caution.” Stricklin added that coach Dan Mullen has spoken with players and parents and that he told last week’s opponent, Texas A&M, and Saturday’s opponent, the Tigers.

— By AP Sports Writer Mark Long.

COLLEGE ATHLETICS

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio State University will pay $5.8 million to settle lawsuits by about two dozen more survivors over decades-old sexual abuse by a now-deceased team doctor, Richard Strauss — bringing the total settlements so far to $46.7 million for 185 survivors, the university announced Tuesday.

Nearly 400 men have sued the university over its failure to stop Strauss during his two-decade tenure, despite students raising concerns with various school officials as far back as the late 1970s. The claims by more than half of those accusers remain pending in federal court. Many say they were groped during exams at campus athletic facilities, an off-campus men’s clinic or Strauss’ home.

Top OSU officials have apologized for what happened with Strauss and have said the school is working toward “restorative justice” and is committed to a “monetary resolution” for remaining plaintiffs.

OLYMPICS

SYDNEY (AP) — Former Philadelphia 76ers coach Brett Brown has quit as head coach of the Australian men’s basketball team for the Tokyo Olympics.

Brown informed Basketball Australia he could no longer commit to the job because of uncertainties around his professional future and the difficulties of traveling internationally with his family during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 76ers fired Brown a day after his seventh season with the team ended in a first-round postseason sweep in August.

He took the Australian job on a short-term deal in November but the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics to 2021 complicated the arrangement.

INTERNATIONAL HOCKEY

ZUG, Switzerland (AP) — The Champions Hockey League, one of Europe’s leading ice hockey competitions, canceled its 2020-21 season Tuesday because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The CHL was due to begin next month in an already shortened format with a knockout bracket and no round-robin.

League CEO Martin Baumann said the board decided Tuesday to cancel because of quarantine rules for international travelers and the recent rise in coronavirus cases across Europe.

WOMEN'S HOCKEY

NEW YORK (AP) — National Women’s Hockey League founder Dani Rylan Kearney is stepping down as commissioner as part of a restructuring of the league’s governing model.

The NWHL announced the shakeup Tuesday that includes Tyler Tumminia being appointed as interim commissioner. Rylan Kearney will remain involved as president of an ownership group that controls four of the league’s six teams.

SKIING

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Three-time World Cup winner Manuel Osborne-Paradis of Canada announced his retirement Tuesday from competitive racing.

The 36-year-old from North Vancouver, British Columbia, is a four-time Olympian, winner of 11 World Cup medals and a world championship bronze in super-G. He was part of the Canadian Cowboy era on the Canadian men’s Alpine ski team, which produced seven world championship medals, including three gold, from 2009-17.

Osborne-Paradis said he decided to retire for a number of reasons, including a setback in his comeback from a catastrophic knee injury, the COVID-19 pandemic, and two young children at home.

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