Update on the latest sports
No. 2 Notre Dame visits No. 25 UNC in key ACC matchup
UNDATED (AP) — No. 2 Notre Dame visits No. 25 North Carolina on Friday in a key matchup in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The Fighting Irish are unbeaten and have won 14 consecutive games dating to last season. Notre Dame is closing in on a spot in next month’s ACC championship game after beating then-No. 1 Clemson earlier this month.
UNC is trying to keep its hopes alive of reaching the ACC title game with two league losses. The key matchup will be Notre Dame’s defense, which ranks among the nation’s best, trying to slow a UNC offense that averages more than 43 points.
Also Friday, No. 15 Iowa State visits No. 20 Texas in a matchup of teams trying to get to the Big 12 championship game. Both have three-game winning streaks. The 6-2 Cyclones can plan their trip to the Dec. 19 championship game in Arlington, Texas, if they win in Austin. The 5-2 Longhorns were in that game two years ago and are still in the running to make it this season. There are only four games in the league this weekend after No. 14 Oklahoma’s game at West Virginia was postponed until Dec. 12 because of COVID-19 issues.
The rivalry between Oregon and Oregon State is no longer called the Civil War, but it’s still heated. The two teams will meet Friday night for the 124th edition of the rivalry, which dates back to 1894. This season’s game is important to the ninth-ranked Ducks, who are undefeated and potentially vying for a spot in the College Football Playoff if everything breaks their way. Oregon was ranked No. 15 in the first CFP rankings released this week.
Reports: Ravens’ Lamar Jackson among latest COVID-19 positives
UNDATED (AP) — Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has tested positive for COVID-19, according to multiple media outlets.
Last year’s NFL MVP is the biggest star to become infected by the virus.
The Baltimore Sun and ESPN both cite unidentified sources in reporting that Jackson was among four more Ravens players to test positive Thursday. Outside linebacker Pernell McPhee was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday, joining running backs Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins and defensive tackle Brandon Williams.
Baltimore was supposed to play the unbeaten Steelers Thursday night, but the game was postponed until Sunday. The latest round of positive tests could jeopardize the game being played this weekend.
In other virus-related NFL news:
— The Denver Broncos canceled practice Friday after another player and two staff members tested positive for COVID-19. It’s the third time this season the Broncos have had to scrap practice because of the coronavirus. And it comes a day after No. 3 quarterback Jeff Driskel went on the reserve/COVID-19 list. The Broncos informed players early Friday that their facilities are closed and meetings will be held remotely leading to Sunday’s home game against the New Orleans Saints. The Broncos previously canceled practices on Oct. 30 and Nov. 4 after a player either tested positive or came in close contact with an infected individual.
— Larry Fitzgerald and fellow Arizona Cardinals receiver Trent Sherfield have been placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list three days ahead of their road game against the New England Patriots. The 37-year-old Fitzgerald is in his 17th NFL season and hasn’t missed a regular-season game since 2014. He’s started all 10 games this season and has 43 catches for 336 yards.
— The Browns have placed defensive end Porter Gustin on the COVID-19 list, further weakening a group already without star Myles Garrett. Cleveland continues to be one of the NFL teams hit hardest by the virus. Gustin, Garrett, fullback Andy Janovich, linebacker Sione Takitaki and defensive end Joe Jackson will miss Sunday’s game against the Jaguars.
Bills lose OL Ford to season-ending injury; Brown sidelined
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Buffalo Bills starting left guard Cody Ford will miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury, and receiver John Brown has been ruled out from playing against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.
Coach Sean McDermott says Ford was hurt in practice this week after the AFC East-leading Bills returned from their bye. He has missed three of the past four games due to separate injuries to his right knee and ankle.
Brown also has been bothered by a knee injury and is sidelined due to an ankle injury sustained in a 32-30 loss at Arizona two weeks ago. Brown, who has scored twice this season, is part of Buffalo’s three-receiver starting set, and ranks third on the team with 29 catches and 386 yards.
PGA Tour gets share of European Tour TV as part of alliance
UNDATED (AP) — The PGA Tour has acquired a minority stake in the European Tour’s media production company as part of an alliance announced Friday, a first step toward developing a more unified golf schedule around the world.
The deal effectively makes the two leading tours more partners than rivals. The tours said in a statement it would allow them to collaborate on commercial opportunities and global media rights in certain territories.
While seen as a pivotal first step, any notion of a world tour — which golf executives have contemplated for more than a decade — remains some years away. The immediate goal is to figure out a schedule that keeps the tours from competing against each other and strengthening events on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond.
As part of the agreement, PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan will join the European Tour board.
Keith Pelley, the chief executive of the European Tour, said the partnership grew out of golf organizations having to work together at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to rearrange the major championship season for men and women.
The announcement comes toward the end of a devastating year financially for both tours.