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Source — Las Vegas Raiders to activate 7 off reserve/COVID-19 list

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HENDERSON, Nev. — The Las Vegas Raiders will activate seven of the 10 players on their reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday, ESPN has learned. Those players will be eligible to suit up and play against the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night at Allegiant Stadium as long as they continue to test negative.

Safety Johnathan Abram, defensive tackles Maliek Collins, Johnathan Hankins and Kendal Vickers, defensive end Arden Key and cornerback Isaiah Johnson were considered high-risk close contacts to defensive end Clelin Ferrell, who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week. But since the six players tested negative throughout the week, they will be elevated back to the 53-man active roster. Defensive end David Irving, meanwhile, will come off the practice squad/COVID-19 list, revert to the practice squad and then be elevated to the 53-man active roster.

Defensive back Lamarcus Joyner, who went on the list Tuesday, was activated from it on Friday.

The Raiders (6-3) handed the Chiefs (8-1) a 40-32 defeat at Arrowhead Stadium on Oct. 11, but Las Vegas defensive coordinator Paul Guenther lamented having so many players miss practice this week in advance of facing Kansas City again.

“I don’t know how we can beat these guys with a full lineup at practice, let alone three-fourths of your lineup not here all week,” Guenther said Thursday. “What don’t they have? We’re playing the world champs. What don’t they have? They have a great quarterback, great receivers, great tight ends, line is physical. And they’re coming off a bye, so it’s a daunting task.

“I know one thing, we’re going to show up at 5:20 and we’re going to give 100 percent, because that’s what we do. We’ll get these guys ready to play. Whoever is out there at 5:20, they’ll be ready to go.”

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What did Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill first think of Patrick Mahomes? ‘Trash’ – Kansas City Chiefs Blog

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Kansas City Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill already has more touchdown catches this season (13) than at any point during his career. But he didn’t always have confidence in the man throwing him the ball.

In an interview with Showtime’s “Inside the NFL” that aired Tuesday, Hill made it clear he didn’t think much of then-rookie quarterback Patrick Mahomes during Mahomes’ first training camp.

“I thought he was trash,” Hill told Showtime. “I ain’t gonna cap.

“I was like, ‘this is who y’all drafted?'”

Since that first impression, Mahomes has thrown for 12,909 yards with 106 touchdowns. Hill has been the biggest beneficiary, having led the Chiefs’ wide receivers in yards and touchdowns each season that Mahomes has been the starter. This season Hill has 1,021 yards and 13 touchdowns in 11 games played already.



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Sources — Baltimore-Pittsburgh game still on for Wednesday despite 2 more Ravens positive for COVID-19

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OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens are headed to Pittsburgh and Wednesday’s game is still on, but Baltimore had two more positive COVID-19 tests before departing Tuesday, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Sources told ESPN the positive tests belong to Ravens safety Geno Stone, a rookie seventh-round pick who has played two games this season, and an equipment manager.

The results are “not unexpected and not a concern for the game,” a source told Schefter.

The two positive tests were deemed no risk to others because, a source told ESPN’s Dan Graziano, the Ravens “operated the last few days acting as though everyone is positive.” Walk-through workouts were masked, distanced and outdoors to reduce risk, basically eliminating close contacts.

The Ravens will be tested again Wednesday before the game with point-of-care tests that return results within 30 minutes and are seen by the league as more accurate than the point-of-care tests they were using earlier in the season. If the point-of-care tests are negative, the game is on, a source told Schefter.

The Ravens have had 10 straight days of positive tests as they prepare to play the undefeated Steelers in a game that has been postponed three times because of the outbreak in Baltimore. At least one dozen Ravens have tested positive, including reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson.

Baltimore practiced early Tuesday and then awaited the latest test results. The Ravens headed to the airport around 5 p.m. ET Tuesday, a source told ESPN’s Dianna Russini.

The news came hours after Baltimore activated nose tackle Brandon Williams, quarterback Trace McSorley and injured cornerbacks Tavon Young and Khalil Dorsey from the reserve/COVID-19 list.

However, Williams was ruled out for Wednesday’s game with an ankle injury. He hasn’t practiced since injuring his ankle in a 23-17 loss in New England on Nov. 15.

The Ravens also announced that two assistant coaches — Joe D’Alessandris (offensive line) and Matt Weiss (running backs) — did not travel to Pittsburgh due to illness.

The Ravens have trimmed the number of players on the reserve/COVID-19 list to 16 players, which marks the first time they have reduced the number of players on this list since the outbreak in Baltimore began on Nov. 22.

It’s possible the Ravens will get down to 14 players before they play the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers on Wednesday afternoon. Running backs J.K. Dobbins and Mark Ingram are both eligible to come off the list after completing a 10-day quarantine.

McSorley, who was on the reserve/COVID-19 list for 10 days, gives Baltimore two quarterbacks on the active roster. Robert Griffin III is expected to start in place of Jackson, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Thanksgiving. If McSorley is unable to back up Griffin, Baltimore would promote undrafted rookie Tyler Huntley from the practice squad.

Young and Dorsey revert to injured reserve after coming off the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Baltimore is in the midst of one of the biggest outbreaks in professional sports.

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Indianapolis Colts’ Rigoberto Sanchez says surgery to remove tumor ‘went well’

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INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Colts punter Rigoberto Sanchez said surgery to remove a cancerous tumor went well.

The four-year veteran, who doubles as the Colts’ kickoff specialist, made the announcement in a Twitter post Tuesday night, one day after he revealed the diagnosis on social media.

“Surgery went well,” he wrote. “Overwhelmed by all the love and support everyone sent my way.”

Sanchez first learned he had a cancerous tumor late last week, and after consulting with doctors decided to play Sunday in a key AFC South showdown with Tennessee. The Colts (7-4) lost 45-26, falling one game behind the division-leading Titans.

Sanchez punted five times, but turned over his usual kickoff chores to rookie Rodrigo Blankenship.

Special teams coordinator Bubba Ventrone said that was because Sanchez was having discomfort with his leg swing on kickoffs. The Colts also made accommodations for Sanchez’s punts.

“Some of the ball placement things we would normally do in a game, we were unable to do this past game, because of the inability to do it because of the pain tolerance.”

Among those offering supportive messages was former Colts coach Tony Dungy, who led the Colts to their only Super Bowl title in the Indianapolis era.

“That is awesome to hear,” Dungy wrote. “Please keep us posted on your recovery and we will@keep praying!”

Sanchez is one of the most popular players in the Colts’ locker room and is averaging a career-high 47.2 yards on punts this season.

The Colts have not said when they expect Sanchez to return. Indianapolis plays at Houston this weekend.



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