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Five Cannons players withdraw from Major League Lacrosse championship because of coronavirus concerns

Boston Cannons coach Sean Quirk will be without five of his players in Sunday's Major League Lacrosse championship.
Boston Cannons coach Sean Quirk will be without five of his players in Sunday's Major League Lacrosse championship.RON CHENOY

Boston Cannons midfielder Frank Brown withdrew from the Major League Lacrosse tournament on Saturday, citing concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason he will not play in the league championship game Sunday.

“COVID-19 is terrifying,” Brown wrote on Twitter Sunday morning. “The thought that I could contract the virus or give it to someone else while not knowing is terrifying. That being said, I made the decision to leave Annapolis yesterday and not compete in today’s game.”

Brown is not alone – four of his teammates will also skip the championship game. Brown is the only player to publicly confirm his absence, but according to a tweet from the team’s reporter, Jason Brewster, Bryan Cole, Matt Gilray, and Randy Staats will not play.

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The Cannons were originally scheduled to face the top-seeded Denver Outlaws in the semifinals Saturday, but the game was postponed after an unidentified MLL player tested positive for COVID-19. The league immediately placed all players on the four remaining teams into quarantine and tested all at-risk individuals Saturday morning.

The other semifinal teams, the Chesapeake Bayhawks and Connecticut Hammerheads, dropped out of the tournament after receiving results of tests conducted Saturday morning, meaning the Cannons would face Denver in the championship.

Brown, who had four goals in the shortened MLL season played July 18 through Sunday, was drafted by the Cannons during this year’s supplemental draft. He had previously appeared in three games for the Ohio Machine in 2018, after playing four seasons at Hobart.

Boston defeated Denver during the regular season, 10-8, on Friday. Brown scored three goals in the win.

The title game begins at 2 p.m. on Sunday, televised on ESPN.