AP Source: Chargers agree to 1-year deal with LB Nick Vigil

The Los Angeles Chargers have agreed to a one-year contract with free agent linebacker Nick Vigil.

A person familiar with the deal says it was finalized Tuesday. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team hasn’t announced the move since it is pending a physical.

Vigil has spent the past four seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, who drafted him in the third round in 2016, and where he made 37 career starts. He started every game last year and was second on the team in tackles with 111.

Depth at linebacker has been an issue for the Chargers the past two seasons. They were also looking to get younger at the position after releasing 15-year veteran Thomas Davis Sr. before the start of free agency.

Vigil is the third free agent addition Los Angeles has made on defense. It has agreed to deals with cornerback Chris Harris Jr. and defensive tackle Linval Joseph, but those are also pending physicals. 

NHL extending isolation period for players and staff

The NHL is extending its recommendation for players and staff to self-isolate and stay away from team facilities during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Multiple people with knowledge of the recommendation told The Associated Press on Tuesday the NHL has asked that players and staff extend their self-quarantine 10 days beyond the original March 27 timeline to April 6 — further pushing back the earliest team facilities can reopen. The people spoke to The AP on condition of anonymity because the the NHL hadn’t formally announced the change in protocol.

The league over the past two days has held conference calls with its Board of Governors and general managers to update them on and take questions regarding the current situation. There is still no clarity on when the NHL might resume its season.

Commissioner Gary Bettman said recently the decision to resume play would be made in accordance with health officials. He has also said the league is working on various scenarios about what a potential return to play could look like. 

The league remains optimistic about resuming this season and awarding the Stanley Cup, even if it means playing games deep into the summer or early fall.

The NHL plans to stage a full 2020-21 season, even if it means starting as late as November.

Two Ottawa Senators players tested positive for COVID-19, and six others were tested with results pending. The league has said its medical experts do not recommend mass testing for players or staff unless they exhibit symptoms.

Red Sox minor leaguer tests positive for virus, complex shut

BOSTON — A minor league player for the Boston Red Sox has tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting the team to close down its training complex in Fort Myers, Florida.

The Red Sox made the announcement Tuesday, a day after the positive diagnosis. The team didn’t identify the player, but said he was doing well.

Earlier this month, the New York Yankees said two of its minor leaguers had the virus. Those were the first two players affiliated with a big league organization known to test positive.

Major League Baseball has postponed opening day until at least mid-May because of the virus outbreak.

NASCAR orders pay cuts for employees of the racing series

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — NASCAR informed its staff Tuesday that pay cuts will be imposed across the company until the series returns to racing.

NASCAR President Steve Phelps announced the moves in a memo to employees, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press from a person who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation. The memo said series executives, including the presidents of NASCAR-owned tracks, will see a 25% reduction in salary, while all other employees will have their salary reduced by 20%. Budget expenses and capital improvements have also been frozen, and employees were told to use one week of vacation over the next five weeks.

Packers holding on to veteran tight end Marcedes Lewis

GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Green Bay Packers are keeping veteran tight end Marcedes Lewis as he gets ready for his 15th NFL season.

Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst announced Tuesday that they’ve signed Lewis, who is back for a third year in Green Bay.  The 35-year-old Lewis caught 15 passes for 156 yards and one touchdown last season. 

He started each of the Packers’ two playoff games.

Lewis, a 2006 first-round pick from UCLA, played 12 seasons with Jacksonville before coming to Green Bay. Lewis ranks third in Jaguars history in receptions (375) and second in touchdown catches (33).

Chiefs sign XFL quarterback Ta’amu to 1-year contract

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs have agreed to a one-year contract with Jordan Ta’amu, the highest-rated quarterback during the abbreviated XFL season. He will compete with veteran Chad Henne for a backup job next season. The 22-year-old Ta’amu was undrafted out of Mississippi last year and spent time in training camp with the Texans. 

He was released in August and signed with the St. Louis Battlehawks, where he led the XFL with an 82.8 passer rating and 72.4% completion percentage and was third with 1,050 yards passing in five games.

The Chiefs signed Henne last week to a $3.25 million, two-year contract that includes $2.75 million guaranteed, making it unlikely that Ta’amu will beat him out for the backup job. But failing that, he should press developmental quarterback Kyle Shurmur for a spot on the practice squad heading into the season.

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