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New England Patriots place Sony Michel, Shaq Mason, Derek Rivers on reserve/COVID-19 list

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots have placed starting right guard Shaq Mason, reserve defensive end Derek Rivers and running back Sony Michel on the reserve/COVID-19 list, a source tells ESPN’s Field Yates.

Those placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list either have tested positive for COVID-19 or are a close contact to someone who tested positive.

On Friday, the Patriots canceled practice after a positive COVID-19 test. Later that day, the club placed center James Ferentz on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

The Patriots host the Denver Broncos on Sunday (CBS, 1 p.m. ET), and Ferentz, Mason and Rivers will not play in the game. Michel wouldn’t have played anyway as he is on injured reserve.

Starting defensive tackle Byron Cowart is also on the reserve/COVID-19 list, and will not play in the game.

The NFL’s rules for 2020 accounted for teams having to fill voids like this, starting with an increased practice squad of 16 players, in addition to two waiver exceptions when moving players between the practice squad and active roster as part of a “standard elevation.” Teams also have the option to elevate players as specific COVID-19 replacements for players who land on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Along those lines, the Patriots elevated offensive lineman Caleb Benenoch from their practice squad Saturday as part of a “standard elevation.”

In addition, defensive end Rashod Berry, receiver Isaiah Zuber and defensive tackle Nick Thurman have been elevated as specific COVID-19 replacements for Sunday’s game.

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Ex-49er Dana Stubblefield sentenced to 15 years to life for rape of disabled woman

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SAN JOSE, Calif. — Former San Francisco 49er Dana Stubblefield was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison Thursday for raping a developmentally disabled woman who prosecutors said he lured to his home with the promise of a babysitting job.

The sentence was issued by a judge in San Jose after denying a defense motion for a new trial, the Mercury News reported. Last week, the Sixth District Court of Appeal denied a related petition filed on behalf of Stubblefield by his attorneys.

A jury in July found Stubblefield, 49, guilty of raping the woman with the threat of a gun. He was also convicted of forcible oral copulation and false imprisonment. He has been held in the Santa Clara County Main Jail since the verdict.

Stubblefield began his 11-year lineman career in the NFL with the 49ers in 1993 as the league’s defensive rookie of the year. He later won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors in 1997 before leaving the team to play for Washington. He returned to the Bay Area to finish his career, playing with the 49ers in 2000-01 and the Raiders in 2003.

A day before the April 2015 assault, Stubblefield contacted the then 31-year-old woman on a baby-sitting website and arranged an interview, prosecutors said.

According to a report by the Morgan Hill Police Department, the interview lasted about 20 minutes. She later received a text from Stubblefield saying he wanted to pay her for her time that day, and she went back to the house.

After raping her, Stubblefield gave her $80 and let her go, according to the report. The woman immediately went to police and reported the rape. DNA evidence matched that of Stubblefield, the report said.

Defense attorneys argued that there was no rape and that the woman consented to sex.

Allen Sawyer, one of Stubblefield’s trial attorneys, said the defense team was precluded from showing the jury strong evidence that would have supported the contention.

After the sentencing Thursday, Sawyer emphasized that the jury rejected two felony charges alleging that Stubblefield exploited a woman who was mentally incapable of providing consent to sex.

“We proved it, and the jury found that was not true,” Sawyer said. “That false narrative corrupted this trial from start to finish.”

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Daniel Jones drops 39-yard TD to Golden Tate to put Giants on scoreboard

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It took the New York Giants all of one play with good field position to tie Thursday night’s game at 7-7 in the first quarter at the Philadelphia Eagles. The Giants did it with a tough, contested catch by Golden Tate down the seam that turned into a 39-yard touchdown.

Giants quarterback Daniel Jones gave his receiver a chance to make a play. He saw Tate, working out of the slot, matched against Eagles cornerback Cre’Von LeBlanc and let it fly despite 0.39 yards of separation, according to NFL Next Gen Stats.

But Tate, who is also known as the YAC (yards after the catch) King, leapt over LeBlanc on the play to make the grab. LeBlanc didn’t turn his head and was unable to make the tackle after the catch.

Tate ran the final 16 yards into the end zone. It evened the score with 4:13 remaining in the first quarter. It was Tate’s first receiving touchdown of the season and Jones’ fourth touchdown pass this season.

It was Jones’ eighth “dime” throw for a TD since the start of last season, the most by any QB in the league. NFL Next Gen Stats defines a “dime” as a pass with 30-plus yards of air distance that was thrown into a tight window (less than one yard of separation).



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Follow live: Wentz; Eagles seek home win against Giants

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