Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was cleared under the NFL’s coronavirus protocols and is expected to start Sunday night against the Los Angeles Chargers in Inglewood, Calif., the Steelers announced Saturday. Roethlisberger is poised to return after missing one game following a positive test for the coronavirus. The Steelers announced through a spokesman that Roethlisberger will travel separately from the rest of the team to Los Angeles “with the expectation of starting” Sunday’s game. Roethlisberger, as a vaccinated player, was able to clear the protocols developed by the league and the NFL Players Association if he was symptom-free and had two negative tests 24 hours apart. That enabled him to rejoin team activities without being subject to the full 10-day isolation period following a positive test that applies to unvaccinated players, as well as to those vaccinated players who do not test out of isolation in that manner. Allen Sills, the NFL’s chief medical officer, said last week that a significant number of vaccinated players have been able to return to team activities sooner than 10 days following a positive test. Roethlisberger missed the Steelers’ 16-16 tie against the winless Lions last Sunday. Roethlisberger’s positive test reportedly came last Saturday after he reported symptoms. Sills, when asked about Roethlisberger last week, did not directly address the case but praised those who self-report symptoms. “I applaud all of our players and coaches and staff who report their symptoms and raise their hand and get a COVID test,” Sills said. Chargers linebackers Joey Bosa and Drue Tranquill were activated off the reserve/COVID-19 list. Both are expected to play against the Steelers. Tranquill entered protocols last week after testing positive. Bosa was placed on the list on Tuesday as the result of being an unvaccinated close contact after defensive linemen Jerry Tillery and Christian Covington tested positive.
Ravens QB Lamar Jackson questionable
The Baltimore Ravens listed quarterback Lamar Jackson as questionable on their injury report on the eve of Sunday’s game at Chicago and ruled out receiver Marquise Brown with a thigh injury. The Ravens star quarterback missed practice Wednesday and Thursday, because of an illness but was a full participant Friday. Coach John Harbaugh said Wednesday the illness wasn’t COVID-19. Jackson has occasionally missed practice time this season but has played in every game. Brown has been his top target, with 52 catches for 719 yards and six touchdowns . . . The Tennessee Titans put linebacker Bud Dupree on injured reserve with an abdominal injury that sent him to the locker room early in last week’s game. Tennessee (8-2) already declared Dupree out Friday for the game against Houston (1-8). Dupree will miss a minimum of three games. With the Titans’ bye Dec. 2, the earliest he could return would be Dec. 19 when they visit his old team, Pittsburgh . . . The Kansas City Chiefs activated running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire from injured reserve, giving him a good chance of playing for the first time since Week 5 when Kansas City faces the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. The move was widely expected after Edwards-Helaire, who hurt his ankle against the Bills and designated to return but sat out against the Raiders last week, spent most of the past two weeks practicing . . . Defensive back Logan Ryan, the New York Giants leading tackler, will miss Monday night’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers because of COVID-19. The Giants (3-6) ruled Ryan out on Saturday along with linebacker Lorenzo Carter (ankle/illness), wide receiver Sterling Shepard (quad) and defensive back Nate Ebner (knee).
Will Novak Djokovic play at Australian Open?
The Australian Open will require players to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus when it opens in January, event director Craig Tiley confirmed Saturday. The mandate invites continued questions about the status of defending champion Novak Djokovic as he pursues the men’s Grand Slam singles title record. Djokovic has expressed uncertainty about whether he would play in the Australian Open because of coronavirus restrictions, after Daniel Andrews, the premier of the state of Victoria, warned players in October to get vaccinated. “Obviously there’s a lot of speculation around vaccination” Tiley said in an Australian television interview, responding to a question about Djokovic’s participation. “The good news is most of the tennis players both on the men and the women side are fully vaccinated and Novak, as he’s previously said, it’s a private issue for him.” Djokovic, the top-ranked men’s player in the world who lost to Alexander Zverev 7-6 (9-7), 4-6, 6-3 in the semifinals of the ATP Finals in Turin, Italy, has repeatedly declined to share his vaccination status. He reiterated his stance on vaccination earlier this week, saying, it “doesn’t really matter whether it’s vaccination or anything else in life. You should have the freedom to choose, to decide what you want to do.” . . . US Open champion Daniil Medvedev is one win away from another big trophy. The second-ranked Russian beat first-time qualifier Casper Ruud, 6-4, 6-2, to advance to the championship match against Zverev at the ATP Finals.
BC women prevail at Providence
Marnelle Garraud scored a team- and season-high 17 points and four teammates also scored in double figures for the Boston College women in an 85-73 victory at Providence that marked the Eagles (3-1) first road win of the season. Maria Gakdeng had a career-high 15 points while Cameron Swartz (15 points), Makayla Dickens (14 points), and Taylor Soule (11 points) rounded out BC’s double-digit scorers . . . The BC men absorbed their second consecutive loss with a 68-61 setback against Utah at the Sunshine Slam in Daytona Beach, Fla. Jaeden Zackery led the Eagles (3-2) with a game-high 15 points while Makai Ashton-Langford added 11 . . . Freshman guard Kyrell Luc, of Dorchester, scored a team-high 15 points for the Holy Cross men but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Crusaders (1-3) from suffering a 72-53 loss to Air Force at the Sunshine Slam . . . In a feat not seen since Dec. 28, 2013, the Harvard men had six players reach double figures in a 98-52 win over MIT at Lavietes Pavilion. Chris Ledlum and first-year Samuel Silverstein each scored 16 points to lead the Crimson (3-1). Kale Catchings had 15, Noah Kirkwood finished with 12, while Luka Sakota and Idan Tretout each had 11 . . . Tyrese Martin had 15 points and 11 rebounds to help the University of Connecticut men shake off a slow start during an 87-63 victory over Binghamton in Hartford, Conn.
NU men get by BU in eight-round shootout
Junior forward Aidan McDonough continued his hot streak, scoring two goals as the Northeastern men (9-4-1, 5-3-1 Hockey East) beat Boston University (4-8-2, 3-5-2) in an eight-round shootout in Matthews Arena, after the overtime period ended with a score of 2-2. Sophomore goaltender Devon Levi stopped 33 of the 35 shots he faced. Levi was also incredible for the duration of the shootout, stopping seven of eight Terrier attempts … Senior Jackson Pierson scored the winning overtime goal as the New Hampshire men (5-7-1, 3-5-1 Hockey East) defeated No. 8 and defending national champion UMass (7-4-1, 5-2-1 ), 2-1, at the Whittemore Center in Durham, N.H. … Northeastern’s women (12-2-1, 11-2-1 Hockey East) posted a come-from-behind victory against UConn (11-3-2, 6-3-2) at Matthews Arena. UConn took a 2-0 before Northeastern started its comeback in the second period. Goals from Chloé Aurard and Maddie Mills on the power play, and a late goal from captain Brooke Hobson propelled the Huskies to their 11th straight game without a loss in conference and non-conference play.
O’Hara lifts Spirit to NWSL title
Kelley O’Hara scored in the 97th minute as the Washington Spirit won the National Women’s Soccer League championship with a 2-1 extra-time victory over the Chicago Red Stars in Louisville, Ky. O’Hara, a defender who was on the US national team, that won the World Cup in 2015 and 2019, scored her first goal of the season. Her game-winning, back-post header came off a pass from Trinity Rodman, the NWSL Rookie of the Year and the 19-year-old daughter of basketball Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman. The championship game closes a tumultuous season for the Spirit, who had to forfeit a pair of games because of coronavirus issues. The team also played under interim coach Kris Ward after Richie Burke was fired in September for violating the league’s anti-harassment policy . . . Jakob Glesnes scored from distance in the 123rd minute as the host Philadelphia Union beat the New York Red Bulls, 1-0, in the opening match of the MLS playoffs . . . Manchester City’s Champions League game at Leipzig looks set to be played without fans next month because of soaring coronavirus infection rates. Saxony’s government unveiled plans Monday to exclude spectators from all professional sporting events through Dec. 12 in a bid to reduce infection rates across the state. It means the Ski Jumping World Cup in Klingenthal Dec. 9-12 will take place without spectators, while soccer teams Leipzig, which plays in the Bundesliga, and second division Dynamo Dresden and Erzgebirge Aue will have to play home games in empty stadiums . . . Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen qualified 1-2 for the inaugural Qatar Grand Prix, setting up a showdown between the Formula One championship contenders at the start of Sunday’s race. Hamilton won the 102nd pole of his career, fourth of the season, and first since the Hungarian Grand Prix in August. Hamilton trails Verstappen by 14 points in the championship fight with three races remaining . . . Haywood Highsmith was added to USA Basketball’s World Cup qualifying roster, replacing Orlando Johnson. Highsmith, like most of the players in this camp for the US, is coming from the G League. He’s playing with the Delaware Blue Coats. The team opened training camp on Saturday in Houston, in advance of games later this month in Mexico against Cuba (Nov. 28) and Mexico (Nov. 29).