The Latest: Cardinals place WR Christian Kirk on COVID list

The Associated Press
·9 min read
Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski keeps watch before an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, in Cleveland. After days of positive COVID-19 tests, disruptions and delays, the Browns found some normalcy and got to re-open their facility on Friday, Jan. 1, 2021, to resume getting ready to play the Pittsburgh Steelers and possibly end a postseason drought stretching back to 2002.(AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:

---

The Arizona Cardinals have placed receiver Christian Kirk on the reserve/COVID-19 list, leaving them without a key offensive player heading into Sunday's game against the Rams.

Kirk is Arizona's fourth-leading receiver with 48 catches for 621 yards and six touchdowns.

The Cardinals elevated linebacker Terrance Smith and cornerback Jace Whittaker from the practice squad to the active roster as COVID-19 replacements. Defensive lineman Stacy McGee also was elevated from the practice squad.

The Cardinals need to beat the Rams to earn a playoff spot.

---

Drexel's first two scheduled Colonial Athletic Association men's basketball games have been postponed due to COVID-19, the school announced Saturday.

The Dragons were scheduled to host UNCW on Saturday and Sunday.

A positive test occurred in the Seahawks' program.

A decision on rescheduling the games will be made at a later date.

---

The Dallas Cowboys say three assistant coaches won't make the trip to New York for the regular-season finale against the Giants after the club had already placed two players on the COVID-19 reserve list.

Assistant head coach Rob Davis, assistant specials teams coach Matt Daniels and offensive assistant Scott Tolzien stayed home to adhere to NFL protocols related to the coronavirus. Defensive tackle Justin Hamilton and safety Darian Thompson were already on the reserve list.

The winner between the Cowboys and Giants on Sunday can win the NFC East and host a playoff game if Washington loses to Philadelphia later in the day. Washington makes the playoffs with a win.

The Cowboys have managed to avoid any significant COVID-19 issues. The biggest was quarterback Andy Dalton missing a game after testing positive.

---

No. 6 Wisconsin's scheduled men's basketball game Sunday at Penn State has been postponed.

The two schools have announced that they've mutually agreed to postpone the game due to health and safety concerns. Neither school offered specific details.

Both schools are working with the Big Ten to reschedule the game.

---

Saints running backs coach Joel Thomas won't be traveling or coaching in Sunday's game at Carolina.

The team says his duties will be assumed by the offensive coaching staff.

The move comes after star running back Alvin Kamara tested positive for COVID-19 and was ruled out of the season finale.

The Saints also placed four players on the reserve/COVID-19 list - running backs Latavius Murray and Dwayne Washington, fullback Michael Burton, and safety D.J. Swearinger.

The moves leave the Saints very thin in the backfield and at safety as they try to secure the top seed in the NFC and the home-field advantage that goes with it.

The Saints also activated five players from the COVID-19 list - wide receivers Tommylee Lewis and Lil'Jordan Humphrey, running back Tony Jones, Jr., tight end Garrett Griffin, and linebacker Andrew Dowell.

---

The Atlantic Coast Conference announced that the women's basketball game featuring Florida State at Wake Forest scheduled for Sunday has been postponed.

The postponement follows positive tests, subsequent quarantining and contact tracing within the Florida State women's program.

Saturday's men's game featuring No. 20 Duke at No. 18 Florida State also was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test in the Florida State program, as well as contact tracing and other protocols.

The FSU men are scheduled to travel to Syracuse on Wednesday to face the Orange, who have been on an extended pause.

---

A pair of weekend men's hockey games between Sacred Heart and Army have been postponed due to COVID-19 concerns within the Sacred Heart program.

No make-up dates have been announced for the home-and-home, which was slated for Sacred Heart on Saturday and West Point on Sunday.

---

The Pittsburgh Steelers have placed cornerback Joe Haden, tight end Eric Ebron and reserve linebacker Cassius Marsh on the reserve/COVID-19 list, putting their status for the playoffs in jeopardy.

The move also leaves the AFC North champions further depleted for their regular-season finale in Cleveland on Sunday. The Steelers (12-3) are already assured of finishing no worse than third in the AFC while Cleveland (10-5) can end an 18-year playoff drought with a victory.

The team announced quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, outside linebacker T.J. Watt, defensive end Cam Heyward, center Maurkice Pouncey will not make the trip to give them additional rest ahead of the postseason. Kicker Chris Boswell and safety Terrell Edmunds are also out due to injury.

Mason Rudolph will start at quarterback in place of Roethlisberger with J.C. Hassenauer likely filling in for Pouncey at center. Matthew Wright will kick for Boswell, who will miss his third game in a month with hip/groin issues. Justin Layne or Cam Sutton could fill in for Haden at cornerback.

To provide some depth, the Steelers promoted offensive Anthony Coyle and wide receiver Deon Cain to the active roster and elevated Wright and tight end Kevin Rader and Wright to the from the practice squad as COVID-19 replacements.

Per NFL COVID-19 protocols, a player placed on the reserve list due to contact tracing can return after five days provided they continue to test negative. A player who tests positive for the novel coronavirus but does not show symptoms needs to wait 10 days to return to football activities or test positive twice within a 24-hour period. A player who tests positive and is symptomatic must wait at least 10 days from the time symptoms first appeared, and at least 24 hours since last experiencing symptoms before returning to football activities.

---

Both head coaches were absent when the No. 7 Baylor women played at TCU on Saturday.

TCU said coach Raegan Pebley missed the game due to a quarantine period after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. The school said Pebley tested negative but was following medical protocol to isolate.

Baylor coach Kim Mulkey also wasn't at the game, though the school didn't immediately say why. A school spokesman said associate head coach Bill Brock would address questions after the game. Brock was coaching in Mulkey's place.

Associate head coach Hanna Howard was handling head coaching duties for the Horned Frogs.

---

The Seattle Seahawks placed offensive tackle Brandon Shell and safety Damarious Randall on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Saturday.

It's the first time this season the Seahawks have put players currently on the active 53-man roster on the COVID-19 list.

Seattle coach Pete Carroll said Friday that Shell had a close contact with someone who tested positive but that Shell had tested negative. Carroll said on Friday the team was still trying to determine if Shell would need to go on the COVID list.

Shell has started 11 games at right tackle, but had missed time recently with an ankle injury.

Randall had missed the past two games due to a foot injury.

Seattle also activated cornerback Tre Flowers from injured reserve and downgraded running back Carlos Hyde to out for Sunday's game against San Francisco. Hyde had been unable to practice this week due to a non-COVID related illness.

---

The men's basketball game Saturday between DePaul and St. John's has been postponed due to a COVID-19 issue within the Red Storm program.

St. John's athletic director Mike Cragg called it ''unequivocally the right thing to do'' and thanked DePaul coach Dave Leitao and the school's administration and Big East Conference for their cooperation.

The contest will be rescheduled for a later date.

---

Miami Dolphins reserve linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill will miss Sunday's game at Buffalo because of an illness not related to COVID-19, the team said.

Backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick went on the reserve-COVID-19 list Thursday and will miss the game as Miami tries to clinch an AFC wild-card berth.

Every player on the active roster practiced Thursday and Friday, and coach Brian Flores expressed optimism about the likelihood Fitzpatrick's infection was an isolated case within the team.

---

A second Cleveland Browns coach has tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the team's big game with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The team has not yet identified the coach, who will miss Sunday's game. Cleveland has again closed its headquarters to conduct contact tracing, which has been the norm all week.

Wide receivers coach Chad O'Shea previously tested positive and will be replaced by team chief of staff Callie Brownson.

The Browns, who can clinch their first playoff berth since 2002 with a win on Sunday, have had seven players and two coaches test positive in the past week.

The team practiced Friday after cancelling their workout Thursday and getting just an hour on the field Wednesday because of new COVID-19 cases and protocols.

Coach Kevin Stefanski had planned a walk-through for Saturday, but that has been delayed. A week ago, the team was preparing to leave for the New York area when a positive test led to several players, including the top four wide receivers being held out of a loss to the Jets.

Top cornerback Denzel Ward, linebackers B.J. Goodson and Malcolm Smith, safety Andrew Sendejo and tight end Harrison Bryant will miss the Steelers game after testing positive.

---

Virginia Commonwealth postponed its men's basketball game Saturday against Davidson because of COVID-19 protocols.

The school said it is pausing all team activities, which will resume once all personnel clear coronavirus protocols. No decisions have been made on further Rams games.

The school says it is following guidelines from the Atlantic 10 Conference, the university and Virginia Department of Health to protect the safety of players, coaches, staff and the VCU community.

---

Fulham's game scheduled Sunday at Burnley has been postponed after the London club discovered more positive coronavirus cases.

The Premier League's announcement follows the postponement of Fulham's game on Wednesday against Tottenham.

As a result, Fulham's players and staff then underwent more testing which resulted in ''a further increase in positive COVID-19 cases.''

The League said it ''continues to have confidence in its COVID-19 protocols, fully backed by the government, to enable fixtures to be played as scheduled.''

---

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports