Dallas Cowboys star running back Ezekiel Elliott said his recovery from a coronavirus diagnosis has been going well and he expects to resume working out soon.

Reports surfaced last week that Elliott was among a number of Cowboys players who had tested positive for COVID-19 and was in self-quarantine at his home. The two-time NFL rushing champion said in an interview on his Twitch channel he experienced some minor symptoms that have since subsided.

"I would say maybe one or two days where I felt symptoms, and even then, it wasn't too bad," he said. "I had a cough and a little bit of shortness of breath. Now I feel good, I feel normal."

Elliott added he plans to get retested next week to be cleared to resume individual workouts, which the Cowboys have had to conduct virtually along with the rest of the NFL under the league's offseason safety protocol.

He said: "I could have gotten retested this week; I just decided it won't hurt just to wait another week and give myself more time to rest up. But I feel good."

Elliott's mother said on Twitter her son was around someone who tested positive three days after they met. Both she and Elliott's sister were also in the presence of that person, but both returned negative tests.

The four-year veteran is expected to be fully cleared in time for training camp, which the NFL still hopes to allow teams to begin on time in late July while it continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation.

The Washington Redskins continue to distance themselves from former owner George Preston Marshall, now removing his name from their Ring of Fame. 

The decision on Wednesday to get rid of the name of the known racist from inside the Redskins' stadium of FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, as well as the history wall at the team's training facility in Ashburn, Virginia, comes four days after a section of seating that bore Marshall's name at FedEx Field was renamed after late Hall of Famer Bobby Mitchell, the franchise’s first Black player.  

A day before that name change at FedEx Field, Washington officials ordered the removal of a statue of Marshall that stood outside the Redskins' one-time home of RFK Stadium.  

Marshall had a long-standing policy of refusing to sign black players for the majority of his ownership of the Redskins, which lasted from the franchise's inception in Boston in 1932 until his death in 1969. The Redskins did not sign a black player until 1962 after being pressured by both the city and national government. 

"We believe that injustice and inequality of all forms is reprehensible and we are firmly committed to confronting unequal treatment and working together toward healing our city and country," Events DC, the convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia, said in a statement last week.

"Removing this statue is a small and an overdue step on the road to lasting equality and justice."

Tom Brady and his Tampa Bay Buccaneers team-mates once again got together for a training session on Tuesday, despite the NFL Players Association advising players to stop working out in groups with coronavirus cases on the rise.

Brady led a two-hour workout with at least a dozen Buccaneers colleagues at a private school. Tight end Rob Gronkowski and wide receivers Chris Godwin and Scotty Miller were among the participants, along with defensive backs Jamel Dean, Sean Murphy-Bunting and Mike Edwards.

Center Ryan Jensen and back-up quarterbacks Blaine Gabbert and Ryan Griffin also attended. 

Brady has been regularly working out alongside some of the rest of the Bucs' roster with NFL facilities still closed to players amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Tuesday's training session, however, came just days after the NFLPA medical director Dr. Thom Mayer asked players to stop the workouts after a number of players contracted the coronavirus - including at least two Bucs players and an assistant coach. 

"Please be advised that it is our consensus medical opinion that in light of the increase in COVID-19 cases in certain states that no players should be engaged in practicing together in private workouts," Mayer said Saturday in a statement.

"Our goal is to have all players and your families as healthy as possible in the coming months."

Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians also took part in a local public service announcement on Saturday asking the community to practice the proper safety measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19.  

Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has yet to see his franchise quarterback throw a football but reports from his medical team on Ben Roethlisberger's injured throwing elbow are encouraging.  

The 38-year-old underwent surgery on his right elbow in September last year after appearing in just two games of the 2019 season. 

Roethlisberger will be entering his 17th NFL season and ranks fifth among active quarterbacks with 363 passing touchdowns and fourth with 56,545 yards. 

"It's hearsay because I have not witnessed his workouts," Tomlin said of the 2004 first-round pick during a Zoom media call. 

"I have communicated with him consistently throughout. He's comfortable and pleased with where he is. 

"Some of the people that have had an opportunity to work out with him have been impressed and are pleased with where he is. 

"The medical experts are comfortable with where he is in the rehabilitation process and the overall trajectory of his readiness for 2020. Those things being said, I'm comfortable with where he is." 

With Roethlisberger absent, Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges struggled in his place. 

The two combined for 18 touchdowns and 17 interceptions, the Steelers averaging 186.3 passing yards from Week 3 through the end of the season – ranking them 31st in the NFL. 

The Steelers are due to play their first preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys on August 7 as part of their preparations ahead of a Week 1 trip to the New York Giants.

That opener is due to take place on September 14 and while the coronavirus pandemic has cast doubts over the planned schedule, Tomlin has a positive outlook over the 2020 season.

"I'm hopeful. I am always an optimistic person," said Tomlin, who also said he expects to play preseason games.

"I have been a part of the process. When you are a part of the process, I sit on committees, I've had intimate conversations with logistical people and professionals.

"There is probably greater comfort when you are part of the process than when you are on the outside, so it allows me to be optimistic about both things."

Martha Firestone Ford is stepping down as principal owner of the Detroit Lions, the team announced on Tuesday.

The 94-year-old Ford had been in charge of the team since her husband, William Clay Ford, died in 2014. Ford's daughter, Sheila Ford Hemp, will take over as the team's principal owner and chairman. 

''It has been a great honour for our family to be associated with the Lions and with the National Football League,'' Ford said in a statement. ''I am gratified that this family tradition, which my husband and I began almost six decades ago, will continue under Sheila's guiding hand.” 

Ford has been associated with the Lions since her husband purchased the franchise for about $6million in 1963, on the day United States President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. 

Since Martha Firestone Ford took over ownership, the Lions have gone 45-50-1 with a pair of playoff berths. 

"Martha Ford has led the Lions with skill and grace for the past six seasons," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement.

"I have appreciated her business insights, her love of the game, her deep commitment to the NFL, and her personal kindness. We are pleased that the Ford family will continue to own and operate this historic franchise. 

"Sheila Hamp has become increasingly involved in team and league affairs over the past several years and we look forward to working with her and the rest of the club's executive team."

Hemp has been highly involved with the team since her mother took over, attending home and road games and weighing in on significant organisational decisions. 

''My mother has inspired all of us since taking on leadership of the Lions over six years ago,'' Hamp said.

''She has been a tireless leader to our family, our team and our community. Her smart decisions have given me a solid foundation to take the team forward.'' 

Dak Prescott signed his $31.4million franchise tender with the Dallas Cowboys for the 2020 season on Monday, according to reports.

Tagged back in March, Prescott and the Cowboys could still try to work out a multi-year contract extension, and the two sides have until July 15 to work out a long-term deal.

If no deal is worked out by then, they will have to re-negotiate next offseason or the quarterback will hit free agency, although the Cowboys could also choose to franchise him again.

The 26-year-old is entering his fifth season in the NFL and is coming off his best year, finishing second in the league with a career-high 4,902 passing yards and fourth in the league with a personal-best 30 touchdown throws.

Since being drafted in the fourth round in 2016, Prescott has never missed a game, while his 15,778 passing yards ranks sixth in the NFL and his 97 touchdown passes are tied with Carson Wentz for ninth.

Despite being one of the league's top passers, the two-time Pro Bowler has made just $4.9 million through his first four seasons in the NFL.

Brett Favre believes Colin Kaepernick will reach "hero status", comparing the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback to Pat Tillman.

Kaepernick has been out of the NFL since the end of the 2016 season, during which the quarterback attracted controversy by kneeling for the United States national anthem in protest against racial injustice and police brutality.

He filed a grievance against the NFL in 2017, accusing owners of colluding to keep him out of a job. Kaepernick settled that grievance in February.

The 32-year-old, who was involved in an NFL workout in November last year, and his message have received renewed attention amid nationwide protests after the death of George Floyd in police custody on May 25.

NFL Hall of Famer and Super Bowl champion Favre feels Kaepernick will be held in high regard because he was willing to sacrifice his career to strive for equality.

Arizona Cardinals safety Tillman cut short his NFL career to join the army in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks in 2001. He was killed in 2004.

"I can only think of – right off the top of my head, Pat Tillman's another guy who did something similar, and we regard him as a hero," Favre told TMZ Sports.

"So I'd assume that hero status will be stamped with Kaepernick as well."

"It's not easy for a guy his age, black or white, Hispanic, whatever, to stop something that you've always dreamed of doing, and put it on hold – maybe forever – for something that you believe in," Favre said.

Kaepernick has been linked to the Los Angeles Chargers among others and Green Bay Packers great Favre added: "I think from a football sense – I can't imagine him being that far out of shape or that far out of touch with football that he doesn't deserve a shot.

"And he's still young, and hasn't been hit in several years. So there's no reason to think that he's lost that much of a step."

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have closed their training facility for sanitation after employees tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the team said in a release on Saturday.  

The team did not reveal the names of the infected individuals and did not say if players were among them.  

Employees who tested positive – along with those who were deemed to be at risk through contact-tracing – have been told to self-quarantine for 14 days.  

While the training facility has been closed for sanitation, the Buccaneers will keep some employees working in their team office, which remains open.  

The news comes one day after NFL Network reported that a San Francisco 49ers player has tested positive for COVID-19 after training with team-mates in Tennessee.  

All players who were on that workout trip are reportedly to be tested.  

The NFL still plans on starting the 2020 season on September 10, despite a recent rise in COVID-19 cases in the United States.

Some states, including Florida, have seen their largest number of new cases since the start of the pandemic.  

Florida broke its own record for most new cases in consecutive days, with the Florida Department of Health reporting 3,822 positive tests on Friday and showing 4,049 positive tests on Saturday.  

Florida has reported nearly 94,000 confirmed cases and 3,144 deaths from the virus.  

While some other states have seen a recent rise as well, Florida’s numbers are ominous for the U.S. sporting world, with three NFL teams calling the state home and the NBA set to resume its season in Orlando in late July.  

The NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning shut down their practice facility after several employees, including three players, tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday.  

Clemson announced on Friday that 23 football players have tested positive for coronavirus since returning to campus this month.

Schools spokesman Jeff Kallin said that in all 28 people were found with COVID-19 since testing began for athletes and other personnel on June 8.

Two football staffers and three athletes from other sports also tested positive. 

Those known to have close contact with those that tested positive have been asked to quarantine for at least 10 days. The athletic department said most of the total cases have been asymptomatic and no one has been hospitalised.

Clemson is the latest program to see positive test results from athletes returning to school. Texas, Houston and SMU have all had football players test positive since voluntary workouts resumed.  

On the day the United States commemorated the liberation of slaves following the American civil war, statues of two former owners of prominent professional sports teams were taken down due to previous acts of racial injustice. 

The Minnesota Twins removed a monument of Calvin Griffin from the grounds of their home stadium of Target Field as a response to insensitive remarks he made about African-Americans during a speech in 1978. In the nation's capital, Washington officials ordered the removal of a statue of George Preston Marshall that stood outside the Redskins' former home of RFK Stadium. 

Marshall had a long-standing policy of refusing to sign black players for the majority of his ownership of the Redskins, which lasted from the franchise's inception in Boston in 1932 until his death in 1969. The Redskins did not sign a black player until 1962 after being pressured by both the city and national government.  

"We believe that injustice and inequality of all forms is reprehensible and we are firmly committed to confronting unequal treatment and working together toward healing our city and country," Events DC, the convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia, said in a statement. "Removing this statue is a small and and overdue step on the road to lasting equality and justice. 

"Allowing the memorial to remain on the RFK campus goes against Events DC's values of inclusion and equality and is a disturbing symbol to many in the city we serve." 

The Marshall monument had previously been vandalised by protesters advocating the Redskins change the team name, viewed by many as disparaging towards Native Americans. 

Griffith, who moved the Washington Senators to Minnesota in 1961 and remained the Twins' principal owner until 1984, was quoted by the Minneapolis Tribune as saying he relocated the franchise "when I found out you only had 15,000 blacks here." The comments were made during a speech at a Lions club event in Waseca, Minnesota in 1978. 

"While we acknowledge the prominent role Calvin Griffith played in our history, we cannot remain silent and continue ignoring the racist comments he made in Waseca in 1978," the Twins said in a statement. "His disparaging words displayed a blatant intolerance and disregard for the Black community that are the antithesis of what the Minnesota Twins stand for and value. 

"Our decision to memorialise Calvin Griffith with a statue reflects an ignorance on our part of systemic racism present in 1978, 2010 and today. We apologise for our failure to adequately recognise how the statue was viewed and the pain it caused for many people - both inside the Twins organisation and across Twins territory. We cannot remove Calvin Griffith from the history of the Minnesota Twins, but we believe removal of this statue is an important and necessary step in our ongoing commitment to provide a Target Field experience where every fan and employee feels safe and welcome." 

The Twins' actions come amid still-heightened tensions in the Twin Cities following George Floyd's death while in custody of Minneapolis police last month, and took place on Juneteenth - a holiday commemorating the day the U.S. government publicly declared slaves to be free on June 19, 1865. 

United States president Donald Trump suggested Drew Brees caved "under the PR pressure" as he doubled down on his criticism of the New Orleans Saints quarterback.

Earlier this month, Brees issued an apology for comments he made about kneeling during the national anthem, a gesture first made in the NFL by Colin Kaepernick in 2016 when he was protesting racial injustice and police brutality.

The 41-year-old initially said he disagreed with sports stars who take a knee while the anthem is playing, remarks which were made in the wake of the death of George Floyd, who died in police custody in Minneapolis last month, prompting demonstrations across the United States and beyond.

Brees' comments sparked responses of outrage, including from team-mates Michael Thomas and Malcolm Jenkins.

He later asked for forgiveness, saying he "completely missed the mark", an apology that drew condemnation from Trump on Twitter.

Trump, speaking in a video with his son Donald Trump Jr. on the Team Trump YouTube page, delved further into the issue, claiming Brees "hurt himself very badly".

"I was shocked, because I consider him a great football player, but I consider him a champion and a star and I didn't understand what was going on," Trump said. 

"And he took it back and I've never seen anything like it and I think he hurt himself very badly. 

"I was going to put out that he'll regret that in the future years because you stand for the flag. You have to stand for the flag and the anthem. Our national anthem, you have to stand. I think the NFL's gonna have a lot of problems if they don't."

Trump suggested Brees does not necessarily believe his own apology and merely acted to stem the wave of criticism coming his way.

"A lot of warriors, they cave under PR pressure because his manager said, 'Oh this isn't right', and his team-mates said, 'This isn't right', and all of a sudden he's out there disclaiming about the flag and the country," Trump added.

"I don't believe he believes his second statement, by the way. He may believe it, but what he should be doing is not talking about the second, he should have stuck with his first."

Frustrated New York Jets safety Jamal Adams is done waiting for a contract extension and has formally asked for a trade.

His request to be traded on Thursday came hours after he vented his displeasure via Instagram with the lack of headway on a new deal.

"I'm [going to] protect myself just like an organisation will look out for themselves at the end of the day," the two-time Pro Bowler wrote.

"And, if you guys don't respect that, cool. It's all [love]. Maybe it's time to move on!"

While Jets general manager Joe Douglas has maintained he wants Adams to be a Jet for the rest of his career, the 24-year old is fed up with the contract talks going nowhere and Thursday's post was his second Instagram rant in five days.

"I can't even get my first proposal that they said they would send over in January," Adams wrote on Saturday. "I was called 'selfish' tho! Lol A lot of talk no action."

The sixth overall pick of the 2017 draft, Adams is entering the fourth year of his five-year rookie deal. He is under contract for $3.6million this season and $9.9m in 2021.

Adams, who was named an All-Pro last season after finishing with a career-best 6.5 sacks, is likely looking to be one of the highest-paid safeties in the NFL.

The San Francisco 49ers will hope to have one of their top playmakers fit for the start of the regular season after wide receiver Deebo Samuel broke his foot while working out with a team-mate. 

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that Samuel suffered a Jones fracture and is expected to be out for between three and four months. A 12-week recovery puts his return in the first few weeks of the season. 

The team later confirmed the receiver underwent surgery on his left foot on Thursday. While they did not indicate a timescale for his return, Samuel tweeted: "10 weeks I'm back better than the Deebo you seen before".

A rookie in 2019, Samuel was second on the 49ers in receptions and receiving yards, finishing with 57 catches for 802 yards, and caught three touchdown passes. 

In the playoffs, the 24-year-old emerged as Jimmy Garoppolo's favorite target with team highs of 10 receptions and 127 yards.

He had five catches for 39 yards in the 49ers' Super Bowl loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Miami.

Dr. Anthony Fauci is not convinced there will be a 2020 NFL season the way it is currently scheduled with the coronavirus pandemic still prevalent.

The NFL's chief medical officer, however, says the league could alter the way it is planned. 

Players are scheduled to arrive in training camps in another month, and the season is set to kick off on September 10, with the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Houston Texans.

The season is then set to proceed with the normal travel schedule as all games are slated to take place in each team’s own stadiums without fans.

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is not sold on that plan. 

"Unless players are essentially in a bubble - insulated from the community and they are tested nearly every day - it would be very hard to see how football is able to be played this fall," Fauci said Thursday on CNN. 

"If there is a second wave, which is certainly a possibility and which would be complicated by the predictable flu season, football may not happen this year."

The NBA is resuming with a “bubble” of 22 teams converging on the Walt Disney Resort near Orlando next month. All games will be played there, and the players will be tested regularly and must adhere to strict physical distancing and mask-wearing policies. 

NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills responded to Fauci’s comments later on Thursday, saying the league is addressing tsafety concerns and is open to changes. 

"Dr. Fauci has identified the important health and safety issues we and the NFL Players Association, together with our joint medical advisors, are addressing to mitigate the health risk to players, coaches, and other essential personnel," Sills said in a statement. 

"Make no mistake, this is no easy task. We will make adjustments as necessary to meet the public health environment as we prepare to play the 2020 season as scheduled with increased protocols and safety measures for all players, personnel, and attendees. We will be flexible and adaptable in this environment to adjust to the virus as needed."

One major obstacle for the NFL is dealing with the spread of the coronavirus within a sport that involves constant contact among humans. Sills acknowledged last month that with all the physical contact, there will be positive tests of COVID-19 among players. 

Both Fauci and Sills' remarks came one day after Denver Broncos safety Kareem Jackson became the latest NFL player to test positive for the coronavirus. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci is not convinced there will be a 2020 NFL season the way it is currently scheduled with the coronavirus pandemic still prevalent.

The NFL's chief medical officer, however, says the league could alter the way it is planned. 

Players are scheduled to arrive in training camps in another month, and the season is set to kick off on September 10, with the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Houston Texans.

The season is then set to proceed with the normal travel schedule as all games are slated to take place in each team’s own stadiums without fans.

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is not sold on that plan. 

"Unless players are essentially in a bubble - insulated from the community and they are tested nearly every day - it would be very hard to see how football is able to be played this fall," Fauci said Thursday on CNN. 

"If there is a second wave, which is certainly a possibility and which would be complicated by the predictable flu season, football may not happen this year."

The NBA is resuming with a “bubble” of 22 teams converging on the Walt Disney Resort near Orlando next month. All games will be played there, and the players will be tested regularly and must adhere to strict physical distancing and mask-wearing policies. 

NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills responded to Fauci’s comments later on Thursday, saying the league is addressing tsafety concerns and is open to changes. 

"Dr. Fauci has identified the important health and safety issues we and the NFL Players Association, together with our joint medical advisors, are addressing to mitigate the health risk to players, coaches, and other essential personnel," Sills said in a statement. 

"Make no mistake, this is no easy task. We will make adjustments as necessary to meet the public health environment as we prepare to play the 2020 season as scheduled with increased protocols and safety measures for all players, personnel, and attendees. We will be flexible and adaptable in this environment to adjust to the virus as needed."

One major obstacle for the NFL is dealing with the spread of the coronavirus within a sport that involves constant contact among humans. Sills acknowledged last month that with all the physical contact, there will be positive tests of COVID-19 among players. 

Both Fauci and Sills' remarks came one day after Denver Broncos safety Kareem Jackson became the latest NFL player to test positive for the coronavirus. 

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