The Tennessee Titans have won a battle of unbeatens. The Titans showed no rust after a two-week layoff caused by two dozen positive COVID-19 tests within the organization, cruising to a 42-16 win over the Bills.
Derrick Henry ran for a pair of touchdowns and had a scoring grab for the 4-0 Titans. Ryan Tannehill rushed 10 yards for a touchdown and completed 21 of his 28 passes for 195 yards and three TDs. Tannehill wasn't intercepted or sacked. Henry finished with 57 yards on the ground in addition to his three touchdowns. Josh Allen threw for 263 yards and two scores but was picked off twice as the Bills fell to 4-1.
In NFL news:
The NFL will begin PCR testing for COVID-19 on game days starting Sunday. The league's latest COVID-19 protocols also call for mandatory use of masks in walkthroughs and only play-callers will be permitted to wear face shields in lieu of masks or gaiters on the sideline.
The Jets have released disgruntled running back Le'Veon Bell, who has clashed with head coach Adam Gase during their two years together. Bell's latest frustrations were evident when he liked a few Twitter posts in which some suggested he should be used more in the passing game. The Jets have also placed wide receiver Chris Hogan on the injured reserve list with a high ankle sprain. Hogan will be sidelined at least the next three games after being injured in New York's 30-10 loss to Arizona on Sunday.
The New Orleans Saints are mulling over an offer to play their home games at LSU's Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, where they would be able to have fans in attendance. Saints' senior vice president for communications Greg Bensel confirmed the school's offer to host the team's home games, saying the NFL is aware of the exploration of such an option. The Saints had place a request with New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell to allow ticketed fans to occupy about 25% percent of the Superdome's 73,000 seats while wearing masks and following other social distancing guidelines. That request was made before Monday night's game against the Los Angeles Chargers, but Cantrell denied that request.
The Rams have placed promising rookie safety Jordan Fuller on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. Fuller unexpectedly won a starting job out of training camp with the Rams, who picked him in the sixth round out of Ohio State.
A person familiar with the situation says Dolphins defensive tackle Davon Godchaux is expected to miss the rest of the season with a biceps injury. The injury will end Godchaux's streak of 41 consecutive starts Sunday when Miami plays the Jets.
Florida football coach Dan Mullen wanted a full house in The Swamp for Saturday's game against LSU. Now there's the possibility that the Gators won't be able to show up. The Gators have paused all team activities following "an increase in positive COVID tests among players." That puts Saturday's home game against defending national champion LSU in jeopardy. A person familiar with the situation told the Associated Press the Gators had 19 positives following Tuesday morning testing. Athletic director Scott Stricklin said the situation will be re-evaluated by UF Health and the athletic department's sports medicine staff Wednesday. The shutdown came three days after Mullen's eyebrow-raising comments about wanting 90,000 fans at Florida Field to create a better home-field advantage against the Tigers.
Also, former Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden says he's recovering from COVID-19. The 90-year-old Bowden told the Tallahassee Democrat he's "doing good." Bowden has been hospitalized for a week in Tallahassee. He said the virus hit him hard, giving him a fever, but that is now behind him. Bowden coached Florida State for 34 years, retiring after the 2009 season. He's second on the career victories list in major college football with 357, behind only the late Joe Paterno of Penn State. He won national championships in 1993 and 1999.
The Tampa Bay Rays are one victory away from their first World Series appearance in 12 years after grabbing a three-games-to-none lead in the AL Championship Series. The Rays posted a 5-2 victory over the Astros by erupting for five runs in the sixth inning with help from another error by second baseman Jose Altuve. Joey Wendle put Tampa Bay on top with a two-run single and pinch-hitter Hunter Renfroe came through with a two-run double to close out the rally. Ryan Yarbrough picked up the victory, leaving the game after Michael Brantley led off the bottom of the sixth with a home run. Altuve also homered in the first for the Astros, but his third miscue in two games helped Tampa Bay take command of the series. Diego Castillo issued one-out walks to Abraham Toro and George Springer before fanning Altuve. Brantley's fly ball to center allowed Castillo to pick up the save. Losing pitcher Jose Urquidy left the game during the Rays' rally, charged with one earned run and four hits over five-plus innings.
The Atlanta Braves have taken a two-games-to-none lead in the National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Freddie Freeman homered and had three RBIs as the Braves built a seven-run lead before holding off the Dodgers, 8-7. The Braves went ahead on Freeman's two-run homer in the fourth, one inning before a four-run rally put them in control. Dodgers emergency starter and loser Tony Gonsolin was sailing until Ronald Acuna Jr. led off the fourth with a walk and scored on Freeman's second homer of the postseason. Gonsolin was charged with five runs on three hits and three walks over 4 1/3 innings. Clayton Kershaw was supposed to start for L.A., but he was scratched due to back spasms. Manager Dave Roberts hopes to use his ace in Game 4. Things got worse for the Dodgers in the fifth as Cristian Pache laced an RBI double and scored on Freeman's single. Travis d'Arnaud followed with a bases-loaded walk against Pedro Baez, who also surrendered a sacrifice fly by Ozzie Albies. Cody Bellinger made a great catch to prevent Albies' ball from clearing the bases. Albies later belted a ninth-inning home run to make it 8-3. The round-tripper proved to be the winning margin after the Braves' bullpen surrendered four runs in the ninth. The Dodgers trailed 7-0 until Corey Seager blasted a three-run homer in the seventh. Seager also doubled home a ninth-inning run before Max Muncy's two-run blast off Josh Tomlin got Los Angeles within 8-6. Braves closer Mark Melancon entered to pick up the last out, but he surrendered an RBI triple by Cody Bellinger before retiring A.J. Pollock to end the game. Braves starter Ian Anderson was lifted after throwing 85 pitches and allowing just one hit over four innings. Tyler Matzek followed Anderson and worked two innings of shutout relief to pick up the win. Game 3 is Wednesday, but the Braves will play the rest of the postseason without left fielder Adam Duvall. He was put on the injured list with an injury to his left side, the result of a swing during the second inning of Game 1. Johan Camargo has replaced Duvall on the roster.
The Boston Bruins could be without two-thirds of their top line when the next NHL season starts. The team says David Pastrnak isn't expected to play until mid-March following an operation to repair a torn labrum in his right hip Sept. 16. Brad Marchand won't be good to go until roughly mid-February after having a sports hernia repaired Sept. 14. Pastrnak led the Bruins with 48 goals and 95 points last season. Marchand paced the club with 59 assists and was second with 87 points.
In other hockey news:
Patrick Marleau is back with the San Jose Sharks as he tries to break Gordie Howe's NHL record for games played. The 41-year-old Marleau has accepted a one-year, $700,000 package that returns him to the Sharks for a third time. The 22-year veteran has scored 562 goals and 1,188 points in 1,723 games since being taken second overall by San Jose in the 1997 NHL draft. Marleau needs to take the ice for 45 more games to break Howe's NHL mark. Howe also played 419 games in the WHA. San Jose also brought back forward Matt Nieto on a one-year, $700,000.
U.S. women's hockey captain Meghan Duggan has announced her retirement after a career in which she won the 2018 Olympic gold medal and seven world championship golds. Duggan was a central figure in the team's 2017 boycott over wages and equitable support that led to a new contract with USA Hockey. On the ice, Duggan was a star forward who had eight points in 15 Olympic games and 20 points in 39 games at world championships. She helped the U.S. bounce back from a gut-wrenching loss to archrival Canada in the gold-medal game at the 2014 Olympics and led a culture change that helped the team win in 2018.
Dustin Johnson has withdrawn from the CJ Cup at Shadow Creek because of a positive test for the coronavirus. The world's top-ranked golfer is the 11th player and the biggest name to receive a positive test since the PGA Tour resumed its schedule in June. Johnson is the reigning PGA Tour player of the year after winning the FedEx Cup in early September. He has not played since a tie for sixth in the U.S. Open a month ago.
Cristiano Ronaldo has become the latest international soccer soccer star to test positive for the coronavirus. The Portuguese soccer federation says Ronaldo tested positive while with his country's national team. Portugal's coach says Ronaldo is "doing great" and has no symptoms. He has been dropped from the country's Nations League match against Sweden on Wednesday.
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