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Sunday March 7th, 2021 9:28PM

The Latest: 'A number' of Blue Jackets held from practice

By The Associated Press
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The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:

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The Columbus Blue Jackets said “a number” of players were held out of Friday’s practice because of COVID-19 issues.

The decision was made “out of an abundance of caution and in accordance with NHL COVID-19 protocols,” a team statement said.

The team did not say how many players were held out or if there had been positive tests. The Blue Jackets open their season Thursday at Nashville.

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The Georgia State men’s basketball team postponed games against Troy on Friday and Saturday and paused all team activities following multiple positive COVID-19 tests. The games have not yet been rescheduled.

Georgia State says players, coaches and staff members have received positive test results. All team activities will be paused for at least seven days while those who tested positive will remain in isolation.

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For the third straight day, the Cleveland Browns can’t get in their facility to practice as COVID-19 testing continues.

The team has not been able to practice this week leading to its playoff game Sunday night in Pittsburgh. The Browns were awaiting final test results and permission from the NFL to practice Friday.

The league maintains the game will be played as scheduled.

On Thursday, NFL chief medical officer Allen Sills said there was evidence of “some spread from one individual to another” among the Browns’ latest positive tests.

Browns coach Kevin Stefanski tested positive with the virus Tuesday and will not be on the sideline for Cleveland’s first playoff game since the 2002 season.

Stefanski is allowed to communicate with players and coaches in the locker room until they leave for kickoff, but he can’t have any on-field contact with them from 90 minutes before the game until afterward.

The Browns have nine players and six coaches isolating at home due to COVID-19 protocols. Quarterback Baker Mayfield said Thursday he hasn’t thrown a football since last Sunday, when the Browns beat the Steelers to end their playoff drought.

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A men’s basketball game between UConn and Villanova, scheduled for Jan. 15 in Connecticut, has been postponed because of COVID-19 issues within the Villanova program.

No makeup date has been announced. This will be the fifth game Villanova has had to postpone since coach Jay Wright tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Dec. 26.

Several other members of the program have also tested positive. It’s the seventh UConn game canceled or postponed this season for coronavirus-related issues.

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

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