Update on the latest sports
Titans’ outbreak now at nine; QB Ryan Tannehill on COVID list
UNDATED (AP) — The Tennessee Titans’ coronavirus outbreak has grown to nine people. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill is among three players added to the reserve/COVID-19 list Thursday.
General manager Jon Robinson says Tannehill, tight end Geoff Swaim and linebacker Justin March-Lillard are joining four other players on the reserve/COVID-19 list. That makes three Titans starters out, along with coach Mike Vrabel and special teams coordinator Craig Aukerman.
Robinson says the Titans are close to being either 97% or 98% vaccinated or with antibodies present, indicating a person recently or previously had COVID-19. Tannehill said at the start of training camp he was in the process of being vaccinated.
The Titans host Chicago in the preseason finale Saturday night.
In other NFL news:
— Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott has expressed frustration with his team’s relatively low vaccination rate while saying there’s little more he can do to persuade his players to get the shot. The Bills are considered to be at the lower end of the NFL scale in having about 80% of their players vaccinated. McDermott’s comments came two days after four unvaccinated Bills players were required to go into five days of self-isolation after having contact with a team trainer who tested positive for COVID-19. And he spoke shortly after receiver Isaiah McKenzie revealed he faces NFL discipline for violating the league’s COVID-19 protocols for unvaccinated players by failing to wear a mask inside the team’s facility.
— Odell Beckham Jr.’s comeback is closer to completion. Beckham, who has slowly increased his activities since the Browns opened training camp last month, took his first snaps in team drills during Thursday’s practice — a major step in his return from season-ending knee surgery. Beckham suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in Week 7 last season against Cincinnati and wasn’t a part of Cleveland’s run to the playoffs.
— New York Giants running back Saquon (SAY’-kwahn) Barkley participated in 7-on-7 drills for the first time this preseason during the final day of joint practices between the Giants and Patriots. It was the latest step in his nine-plus months of rehabilitation from surgery after he suffered a torn ligament in his right knee. Patriots quarterback Cam Newton also returned for the first time since what coach Bill Belichick called a “misunderstanding” of NFL COVID-19 protocols last week.
— The Chicago Bears have waived receiver Javon Wims. He had 28 receptions for 266 yards and two touchdowns in three seasons. The NFL suspended Wims for two games in November for punching New Orleans Saints safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson. And in the Bears’ 21-9 playoff loss at New Orleans, Wims dropped a touchdown when he let a pass go right through his arms and bounce off his jersey number after he raced into the end zone behind defenders on a trick play.
Flyers sign center Sean Couturier to $62M, 8-year extension
UNDATED (AP) — The Philadelphia Flyers have signed top center Sean Couturier (koo-TOOR’-ee-ay) to an eight-year contract extension worth $62 million.
Couturier counts $7.75 million against the salary cap with his contract that begins after next season and runs through 2029-30. He won the Selke Trophy in 2020 as the NHL’s best defensive forward. Couturier had 18 goals and 23 assists last season.
The eighth pick in the 2011 draft has 443 points in 692 regular-season games and 22 more in the Stanley Cup playoffs. The 28-year-old has earned a reputation as a 200-foot player who excels at faceoffs and plays through significant injuries.
In other NHL news:
— The Carolina Hurricanes have agreed to terms on an eight-year contract with forward Andrei Svechnikov (SVEHCH’-nih-kahv). That deal is set to keep the No. 2 overall draft pick from 2018 with the franchise through the 2028-29 season. It will also pay the 21-year-old an average annual value of $7.75 million per season. Svechnikov has been a fixture and physical presence on Carolina’s top line alongside Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen (TOO’-voh tehr-uh-VY’-nehn). He was a restricted free agent and the team had long been in talks with him about an extension. The Hurricanes have reached the playoffs in all three of Svechnikov’s seasons.