12/17/21 Sports Update

— The Wild dropped a third straight game last night, this time to the Sabres in overtime, 3-2. Jon Merrill opened the scoring in the first period and Kirill Kaprizov gave the Wild a one-goal lead going into the third period, but they allowed the tying goal in the latter half of the third period. Cam Talbot stopped 38 shots in the loss. They host the Panthers tomorrow afternoon.

— The Vikings were without four coaches when they returned to practice yesterday as COVID-19 sweeps through NFL locker rooms again. Senior defensive assistant Paul Guenther and three strength coaches are away from the team. They’ve placed 16 players on the reserve-COVID list since November 4th. They did not add any players to the list yesterday, but Adam Thielen and Eric Kendricks both missed practice due to injuries. Christian Darrisaw participated in a limited fashion. The team visits the Bears on Monday.

— The Timberwolves take on the Lakers tonight looking to snap their three-game home skid. They won both games on their brief western road trip, including Wednesday’s 124-107 win over the Nuggets. Five Lakers are in the league’s health and safety protocol, including Russell Westbrook, while LeBron James and Anthony Davis are both probable to play with injuries.

— The NFL and the NFLPA came to an agreement for the league’s new COVID-19 protocols. Effective immediately is the return of intensive COVID protocols for all 32 NFL teams, which means required mask wearing in team buildings, social distancing, grab-and-go meal service in team cafeterias, all-virtual meetings, and limits on the amount of people allowed inside weight rooms. The NFL and NFLPA also negotiated new return-to-play rules that make it easier for vaccinated and asymptomatic players to get back on the field. Unvaccinated players will have to continue to be tested daily under the new rules.

— The NCAA took another step towards establishing a new constitution to govern college sports. The board of governors unanimously agreed yesterday to accept the final recommendations from the constitutional committee, which was tasked with proposing a new governance model. The new constitution would give each of the three NCAA divisions more freedom in governing themselves and would emphasize student-athletes’ physical and mental well-being. A vote will be held January 20th.

— Jake Paul says he’s experiencing mood swings, memory loss and slurred speech after almost two years of boxing. The YouTube star talked about his mental issues with journalist Graham Bensinger ahead of his fight tomorrow with Tyron Woodley. He says he’s had around 20 to 30 concussions in his life, some from playing football as a kid but many from boxing. Before he picked up the gloves, Paul said a brain scan revealed there were already issues with blood flow to his frontal lobe, which regulates emotions and deals with memory. Paul said doctors have told him to stop stepping into the ring, but he’s been taking psychedelics like toad venom to help.