The Latest: No fans at Predators games to start season

The Nashville Predators will start their season Jan. 14 without fans for the foreseeable future with COVID-19 cases surging in the area

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The Nashville Predators will start their season Jan. 14 without fans for the foreseeable future with COVID-19 cases surging in the area.

The Predators announced the decision Wednesday, noting they want to support the Nashville community and not be a detriment.

The team had been working on a plan for reopening for months with the local board of health, the Nashville mayor’s office and the NHL. The Predators hope to allow limited numbers of fans inside Bridgestone Arena, but they say in a statement they know the landscape can change by the day.

That’s why the Predators won’t share plans too far ahead while giving as much notice as possible when those change. The arena has a capacity of 17,159 fans.

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The Atlantic Coast Conference says the women’s basketball game between No. 2 Louisville and Virginia scheduled for Sunday has been postponed.

The announcement Wednesday comes amid positive COVID-19 tests, quarantining and contact tracing for the host Cavaliers.

In addition, the Cardinals’ game against visiting North Carolina has been rescheduled for Tuesday. That game was originally postponed from Dec. 13 due to coronavirus issues within the Louisville program and later rescheduled for Friday, though it was pushed back again due to what the league described as travel-logistics issues for the Tar Heels.

Louisville hasn’t played a game since a 73-49 victory over Duke on Dec. 9. The Cardinals later paused all team-related activities after there was a positive COVID-19 test within their program while the Blue Devils decided to end their season due to safety concerns.

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New York Jets rookie running back La’Mical Perine is being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list after testing positive for the coronavirus.

Coach Adam Gase says the team is conducting contact tracing among the other players and team staff.

“There haven’t been a lot of people around the last few days, player-wise, because of the rules,” Gase said, referring to the NFL’s intensive protocols for all teams. “But we have a lot to go through right now.”

Perine is the first Jets player to test positive this season.

“Not great timing,” Gase said. “I can say that.”

The Jets will be short-handed at the running back spot for their season finale at New England on Sunday. Frank Gore will be out with a bruised lung, leaving only Ty Johnson and Josh Adams as healthy players at the position. Gase sounded confident that neither Johnson nor Adams will be affected by Perine’s health situation.

Perine, a fourth-round pick out of Florida, returned last Sunday after missing four games with a high ankle sprain and had nine carries for 30 yards in New York’s 23-16 victory over Cleveland. He also had a 14-yard reception.

Perine, who missed the season opener after suffering a high ankle sprain in training camp, finishes with 232 yards on 64 carries and two touchdowns. He had 11 catches for 63 yards.

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The Cleveland Browns have two more positive COVID-19 cases — another player and a staff member — as they prepare for Sunday’s finale against the Steelers.

The team closed its facility on Wednesday after being informed of the test results. The Browns have not yet announced the identity of the player or added him to their COVID-19 reserve list.

The Browns already have nine players on the list, including their top four wide receivers. Those players and others are eligible to return Thursday as long as they test negative.

On Tuesday, safeties Andrew Sendejo, Karl Joseph and tight end Harrison Bryant were added to the list.

Cleveland (10-5) can make the playoffs for the first time since 2002 with a win over Pittsburgh (12-3) on Sunday.

Sendejo will miss the game, as will starting linebacker B.J. Goodson; they have to be out 10 days after testing positive.

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———More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

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