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New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley back with team after false positive COVID-19 tests, but likely to sit vs. Las Vegas Raiders

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley and safety Xavier McKinney returned to the team after spending several days away because of false positive COVID-19 tests. They were activated from the reserve/COVID list on Friday morning.

McKinney was at practice and is expected to play Sunday vs. the Las Vegas Raiders. Barkley was in the building but didn’t practice because of an ankle injury that sidelined him the past three games. He is almost certainly going to miss another game in part because the false positives limited his opportunities to get on the field this week.

“A guy who’s been out for several weeks like that, yeah, we’d like to see him on the field and making sure we can assure how he’s moving and get out there and do it safely and stay on the field,” coach Joe Judge said before practice.

The Giants (2-6), who have a bye next week, are expected to get back wide receiver Kenny Golladay (knee) against the Raiders. Golladay also missed the previous three games. He practiced for the first time since the injury on Thursday.

Barkley’s likely absence caps a wild week in which coaches and players were in and out of the building because of false positives. Running back Gary Brightwell remained away from the team Friday as it awaits confirmation that his result was incorrect.

The Giants did have one confirmed positive case, running backs coach Burton Burns, earlier this week. But 12 of 13 positive tests Tuesday were later deemed false. Results for Barkley, McKinney and starting left guard Matt Skura turned out to be false positives on Wednesday, and there were a “good amount” more on Thursday, according to Judge.

Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL’s chief medical officer, said Thursday in an interview with the NFL Network that the league was looking into irregularities with the lab handling the Giants’ testing. The Giants eventually stopped using the rapid tests that kept producing incorrect results.

“Bio-Reference Laboratories (BRL) is experiencing an unusually high number of false positives using the Rapid Mesa Test at our facility. With the exception of one individual, all of the positive Mesa test results over the last two days have come back negative through PCR testing,” the Giants said in a statement on Thursday. “The laboratory is working with experts to determine the source of the problem.

“The NFL and BRL are monitoring this situation closely. We are temporarily halting the use of the Rapid Mesa Test and administering PCR tests only.”

The time lost was still too much for Barkley to overcome. He wasn’t able to rehab the ankle at the facility for several days or get onto the field for practice.

Barkley was at practice working on the side with trainers last week. He did not even get to that point this week because of his false positive, instead spending an inordinate amount of time at home.

“He’s assured us that he’s moving in the right direction,” Judge said. “But again, he’s a very competitive player, he wants to be out there, he wants to be out there competing on the field with his teammates.”

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Detroit Lions get first win of season with walk-off TD to beat Minnesota Vikings

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DETROIT, Mich. — Inside Ford Field on Sunday, Detroit Lions fans experienced something that hadn’t happened there in over a full calendar year: a win.

First-year Lions coach Dan Campbell will no longer have to field questions about a winless season, as Detroit upset Minnesota, 29-27, for their first regular-season win since Dec. 6, 2020, behind a walk-off, game-winning touchdown by rookie wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown from Jared Goff as time expired.

It also marked their first victory at home since Nov. 15, 2020.

Even without their dynamic running back D’Andre Swift (shoulder), the Lions were playing inspired football on the heels of the Oxford High School shooting on Tuesday where four teenagers were killed by a fellow student. The school is located a little more than 30 miles outside of Detroit. The Lions honored the victims with a moment of silence ahead of the kickoff, while also wearing T-shirts and helmet decals as a tribute.

At halftime, the Lions held their largest lead of the season after going up 20-6 and ended their drought of going 10 straight games of being held under 20 points. Quarterback Jared Goff controlled the offense, going 25-for-41 with 296 passing yards and three touchdowns.

“Those guys are on our minds. We want to represent them on Sunday,” Lions coach Dan Campbell said during Friday’s practice. “I know there will be a group of those students and kids and people that have been affected that will be watching this game. Right now, that’s the best way to help them.”

Detroit (1-10-1) also snapped an eight-game losing streak against the Vikings, dating back to 2017.

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Chargers’ Michael Davis makes wild interception in back-and-forth game with Bengals

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CINCINNATI — A potential touchdown turned into a big turnover for the Cincinnati Bengals.

In the first quarter of Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow threw a deep ball to wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase down the sideline with Chargers cornerback Michael Davis trailing behind Chase.

From there, it all went south for Cincinnati. Chase bobbled the pass and deflected it behind him, which allowed Davis to not only make up the distance between them but also give him a chance at an interception.

When the two players went to the ground to pluck the ball out of the air, Davis was the one holding it. He gave the Chargers their second turnover in as many defensive drives and compounded Cincinnati’s woes in a game with playoff implications.

For Chase it was the sixth drop of the season and the second that resulted in an interception, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

Things got worse from there for the Bengals. The Chargers turned the turnover into points when quarterback Justin Herbert found Keenan Allen for a 7-yard touchdown pass, giving Los Angeles a 16-0 lead with 1:34 left in the first quarter.

The Chargers extended their lead to 24-0 after a trick play in which Allen found Herbert for 2-point conversion.

Turnovers on three straight possesions by the Chargers allowed the Bengals to claw back to within 24-22 when Cincinnati running back Joe Mixon scored midway through the third quarter.

But a fumble by Mixon at the start of the fourth quarter allowed the Chargers to extend their lead again. It was the sixth turnover of the game.



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Los Angeles Chargers lose star DE Joey Bosa in second half with potential head injury

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Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa, long considered the best defender on the team, left the game vs. the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday.

Bosa was being evaluated for a head injury he suffered in the second half as the Chargers attempted to hold off a Bengals’ rally.

Bosa has battled injuries through much of his career, and usually plays through them. This one was a different story, and the Chargers defense struggled in the third quarter without him.

This season, the 6-foot-6, 280-pound Bosa has 36 solo tackles and 19 assists to go along with 7.5 sacks. In his absence, Kyler Fackrel took over. No further word on Bosa was immediately available.

The Chargers, at one point up 24-0 over the Bengals, saw their lead shrink to 24-22 in the third.

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