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#SportsReport: Falcons Down Panthers; Giants Have Positive COVID-19 Test

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The Atlanta Falcons are 2-1 under interim coach Raheem Morris since opening 0-5 for Dan Quinn. Matt Ryan threw for 281 yards and ran for a touchdown in the Falcons' 25-17 victory over the Panthers at Carolina. Ryan's favorite target was Julio Jones, who racked up 137 yards receiving.

Younghoe Koo hit four field goals and Todd Gurley scored his eighth rushing touchdown to help Atlanta drop the Panthers to 3-5. Carolina had a chance to tie it until Blidi Wreh-Wilson intercepted Teddy Bridgewater near the Falcons' 10-yard line with 1:04 remaining. Bridgewater was limited to 176 yards passing and was knocked out of the game for two possessions with a neck injury following a late hit.

In NFL news:

An unidentified New York Giants player has tested positive for COVID-19 and gone into isolation. On Tuesday, Giants coach Joe Judge said he had spoken with quarterback Daniel Jones and several other players about a video taken last weekend in which they were shown without masks in public. Judge said the team would handle the matter internally. Jones, injured running back Saquon Barkley, receiver Sterling Shepard and other players had dinner at a New York City restaurant in private. Afterward, some went to a closed bar at the invitation of the owner. They were filmed there without masks.

Meanwhile, the Chargers have placed guard Ryan Groy on the league's COVID-19 reserve list. The team also identified the player's close contacts, and they remained away from the complex. All team meetings were held virtually in preparation for Sunday's game at the Denver Broncos before coach Anthony Lynn canceled practice, which was supposed to be just a walkthrough.

The Lions have released linebacker Elijah Lee in a move that could make room for cornerback Justin Coleman to return from injured reserve. Coleman has been out of the lineup with a hamstring injury since he was hurt in the season-opening loss to Chicago. The Lions for the first time this season will allow a limited number of fans for a game at Ford Field. The team says capacity for guests of coaches and players will be capped at 500 for the game Sunday against the Colts.

The Cardinals will be allowed to have 4,200 fans in the stands for their next two home games. That's an increase from the 1,200 that were allowed to attend the Cardinals' 37-34 win over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. The seats will be available for season ticket-holders and be sold in groups of two.


Clemson's bid for another undefeated regular season just took a major hit. Quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate Trevor Lawrence will miss Saturday's game against Boston College after testing positive for COVID-19. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said in a statement released by the school Thursday night that Lawrence is in isolation with mild symptoms. Since players are required to isolate for a minimum of 10 days, Lawrence may have to sit out the Tigers' Nov. 7 matchup against fourth-ranked Notre Dame. Lawrence led the Tigers to a national championship as a freshman and back to the College Football playoff title game last season. Clemson's loss to LSU in the title game is his lone setback in 32 starts.


The Yankees plan to plan to exercise two option years on reliever Zack Britton worth $27 million and to decline options on outfielder Brett Gardner and pitcher J.A. Happ. Britton was 1-2 with a 1.89 ERA in 20 appearances, getting eight saves and filling the closer role when Aroldis Chapman was sidelined by COVID-19 at the start of the season.

In other MLB news: 

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio deflected questions Thursday about whether he wants to block the sale of the Mets to hedge fund manager Steve Cohen. Asked about the proposed sale at a news briefing, de Blasio said the city law department is legally obligated to review the sale because Citi Field, where the Mets play, is on city land. A provision in the city's lease agreement says any new owner of the team cannot have a felony conviction. Cohen's former company pleaded guilty in an insider trading case in 2014 and paid $1.8 billion in fines. Cohen himself was not charged in that case.

Tony La Russa is back where he started as a major league manager. The 76-year-old Hall of Fame skipper has been re-hired by the Chicago White Sox. La Russa began his major league managing career with the White Sox in 1979 and guided them to an AL West title four years later. He was fired in 1986, a move team owner Jerry Reinsdorf has long regretted. After Chicago, La Russa won the 1989 World Series with the Athletics and guide the Cardinals to a pair of Fall Classic wins. La Russa was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2014 after winning 2,728 games and six pennants over 33 seasons with Chicago, Oakland and St. Louis. The hiring makes La Russa the oldest current manager in the majors by five years over Houston's Dusty Baker.

The Brewers have declined to exercise a $15 million mutual 2021 option on veteran outfielder Ryan Braun as the franchise's career home run leader ponders whether to continue playing. The 37-year-old has spent his entire career in Milwaukee and has a franchise-record 352 career home runs. Braun batted a career-low .233 with seven homers and 27 RBIs in 39 games this season while working through a back issue.

Darren O'Day's $3.5 million club option for 2021 has been declined by the Braves, making him eligible for free agency. O'Day was 4-0 with a 1.10 ERA in 19 relief appearances this season, striking out 22 and walking five in 16 1/3 innings.

The Mariners have re-signed right-handed pitcher Kendall Graveman to a one-year contract after initially declining his $3.5 million option for the 2021 season. Graveman made nine appearances out of the bullpen in September and was 1-1 with a 3.60 ERA in 10 innings pitched.


Minnesota Timberwolves guard Malik Beasley has been charged with using a rifle to threaten a family who was house hunting in his neighborhood in suburban Minneapolis. Beasley was charged Thursday in Hennepin County District Court with threats of violence and drug possession. His wife, Montana Yao, was charged with a felony drug count. According to a criminal complaint, a couple on a Parade of Homes tour last month with their 13-year-old child pulled up to the Plymouth home rented by Beasley and Yao, but saw it was roped off. Prosecutors say Beasley tapped on the window of the family's SUV, pointed a rifle at them and told them to get off his property. The criminal complaint states that Beasley continued to train the rifle at the SUV as it drove off.


The Sabres avoided an arbitration hearing with Victor Olofsson by signing the forward to a two-year, $6.1 million contract. The 25-year-old finished third on the team with 20 goals and 42 points in 54 games as a rookie last season. Olofsson most notably set an NHL record in being the first player to score his first seven goals on the power play.

In other hockey news: 

The NHL says an independent investigation has cleared former Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon of any wrongdoing. The league had received an anonymous report that he made inappropriate racial, religious and ethnic comments while with the Panthers. The NHL says those claims were not substantiated. A law firm was hired to investigate after the NHL was told of Tallon using racially derogatory language in August in the Toronto playoff bubble. The firm interviewed more than a dozen Panthers employees and established the allegations were "neither corroborated nor substantiated" and were inconsistent with Tallon's longtime conduct.

The Stars have officially removed the interim tag from Rick Bownes, the coach who led them to the Stanley Cup Final. The 65-year-old Bowness is the Stars' 24th head coach, their ninth since moving to Dallas in 1993. He was in his second season as a Stars assistant when Jim Montgomery was fired.

The Lightning have re-signed two depth players from their Stanley Cup-winning team. Forward Patrick Maroon signed a two-year deal worth $1.8 million and defensemen Luke Schenn gets $900,000 for next season.

The Coyotes have renounced their rights to their top 2020 draft pick after learning more about his bullying of a Black classmate four years ago. The team parted ways with Mitchell Miller after taking heat for selecting him in the fourth round earlier this month despite knowing of his 2016 assault conviction.

Former Boston University hockey player Travis Roy has died at age 45, according to the school's athletic department and the Travis Roy Foundation. Roy became a motivational speaker and advocate for the disabled after being paralyzed just 11 seconds into his first college shift. Roy was a 20-year-old freshman making his debut for the reigning NCAA champions in the 1995-96 season opener when he crashed headfirst into the boards after checking a North Dakota opponent, leaving him a quadriplegic.


Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. received permission from California's athletic commission to return to the boxing ring next month because their fight would be strictly an exhibition of their once-unparalleled skills. Promoters of the pay-per-view spectacle announced that Los Angeles' Staples Center will be the site of the 54-year-old Tyson's return to boxing on Nov. 28 for an eight-round main event against the 51-year-old Jones. These 50-something former champions say they're taking this showdown far more seriously than any exhibition.


The pit crew for NASCAR driver William Byron has been benched because of multiple positive tests for COVID-19. The regular Hendrick Motorsports crew for Byron's No. 24 did not participate in Wednesday night's race at Texas Motor Speedway and will also miss Sunday's race at Martinsville Speedway. The crew for Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was used on Byron's car at Texas and will again service the car at Martinsville. Stenhouse's No. 47 is staffed by Hendrick Motorsports employees.


Peter Malnati birdied nine holes in an 8-under 63 that gives him a one-shot lead in the Bermuda Championship. It was the third time in as many events that he's posted a 63 or lower. Malnati was runner-up at the Sanderson Farms Championship in Mississippi and followed that with a tie for fifth in Las Vegas. Doug Ghim birdied his final two holes to grab a share of second place with Ryan Armour. The tournament is the first to allow limited fans since the opening round of The Players Championship on March 12. No more than 500 fans will be allowed at Port Royal for each round.

© The Associated Press 2020. All Rights Reserved.