Friday Sports in Brief

Sports

NFL

The NFL has moved three games because of COVID-19 outbreaks: Las Vegas at Cleveland from Saturday to Monday; and Seattle at the Los Angeles Rams and Washington at Philadelphia from Sunday to Tuesday.

The Browns could have been without as many as 16 regulars on Saturday, so the game is now scheduled to kick off at 5 p.m. EST Monday. It will be televised by NFL Network.

Washington and Philadelphia will play at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, as will the Seahawks and Rams. Both games will be televised by Fox and available on Sunday Ticket.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP)The Jacksonville Jaguars are trying to set the record straight about owner Shad Khan’s firing of embattled coach Urban Meyer.

A spokesman for Khan told The Associated Press on Friday night that the decision to move on from Meyer was made following Jacksonville’s 20-0 loss at Tennessee on Sunday. A conversation Khan and Meyer had in the locker room after that shutout – Meyer had few answers for the team’s woes or how he planned to fix them – sealed a decision Khan had been mulling for weeks.

The Jaguars ended up firing Meyer early Thursday, hours after former kicker Josh Lambo accused Meyer of kicking him during an August practice.

NHL

NEW YORK (AP) – The NHL on Friday postponed all games for the Colorado Avalanche and Florida Panthers through at least the Christmas weekend amid worsening COVID-19 test results across the league.

The NHL cited ”concern with the number of positive cases within the last two days as well as concern for continued COVID spread.” It also said the hard-hit Calgary Flames would remain shut down at least through the holiday break. The training facilities for all three teams have been closed.

The move was announced hours after Saturday’s game in Montreal between the Canadians and Boston was postponed.

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) – Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice has resigned, saying his longtime team needs to hear a ”new voice.”

The Jets announced Maurice’s decision on Friday, and said it was effective immediately. Dave Lowry, an assistant under Maurice and the father of Jets forward Adam Lowry, agreed to serve as the interim coach for the rest of the season, general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said.

Winnipeg (13-11-5) has lost four of its last five games, including a 5-2 decision to the Washington Capitals on Friday night. The Jets lost 4-2 to the lowly Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday.

NBA

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis sustained two different injuries in the game at Minnesota on Friday night, first hurting his right ankle and then his left knee.

Coach Frank Vogel said Davis would get an MRI exam on Saturday. He had just nine points and one rebound in 20 minutes of the 110-92 loss to the Timberwolves.

Late in the first quarter, Davis landed on the leg of Minnesota’s Naz Reid and fell to the floor in obvious pain while clutching his right ankle. Davis was able to walk gingerly off on his own into the locker room for further examination. He had six points in 11 minutes before getting hurt.

Late in the second quarter, Davis jogged back to the bench and re-entered the game. But midway through the third quarter, the eight-time All-Star center collided with Minnesota’s Jaden McDaniels and couldn’t put weight on his left knee. He left the floor again, this time for the rest of the night.

NEW YORK (AP) – Kyrie Irving is rejoining the Brooklyn Nets, who need help and will settle for it on a part-time basis.

The Nets decided Friday that Irving would come back to practice and play in road games, even though he remains unable to play at home because he doesn’t meet New York City’s vaccine mandate.

The Nets originally determined that Irving wouldn’t play with them at all until he could play in all games. But worried about the heavy workload on Kevin Durant and short-handed with seven players unavailable because of the NBA’s health and safety protocols, the Nets figured they couldn’t pass up the chance to add the All-Star guard.

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

NEW YORK (AP) – No. 21 Kentucky will now face North Carolina on Saturday in the CBS Sports Classic in Las Vegas after each of their opponents had to drop out due to COVID-19 issues, while No. 16 Seton Hall’s second cancellation in as many days will lead to a forfeit in the Big East Conference standings.

The worsening coronavirus situation in the U.S. forced another schedule scramble across college basketball Friday. The new matchup was announced after fourth-ranked UCLA canceled its game against the Tar Heels. The Bruins have paused team-related activities, and the status of their future games is undetermined.

The other game that was part of the Vegas event, a matchup between No. 15 Ohio State and Kentucky, was canceled because of positive COVID-19 results within the Buckeyes program.

At least 20 men’s basketball games and 36 women’s basketball games have been canceled or postponed this season due to COVID-19 protocols as of Friday afternoon. It is a number that seems sure to grow as the nation grapples with a surge in coronavirus cases.

OLYMPICS

The U.S. Olympic team’s airline partner will charter a flight from Los Angeles to Beijing to bring about half the American athletes to the Winter Olympics.

U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland said Friday that the federation had reached a deal with Delta Air Lines to bring between 80 and 100 Olympians straight to Beijing at the end of January.

This is a major breakthrough for the U.S., which had been dealing with logistical challenges because of the shutdown of routes between the U.S. and Beijing. Those flights all but stopped in the wake of schedule changes prompted by COVID-19, and haven’t resumed.

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

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