Tight end Matt LaCosse has become the eighth New England Patriots player to opt out of the 2020 season because of COVID-19 concerns.

LaCosse’s wife, Jessica, is pregnant with a baby boy and her due date falls within the upcoming season, according to a source.

LaCosse was the projected starter at tight end. The only other experienced tight end on the roster is Ryan Izzo, who has six career receptions. The Patriots added Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene in this year’s draft and signed undrafted free agents Jake Burt and Rashod Berry.

Linebacker Dont’a Hightower, safety Patrick Chung, tackles Marcus Cannon and Najee Toran, running back Brandon Bolden and fullback Danny Vitale previously opted out.

During a conference call with reporters Sunday, safety Devin McCourty criticized the NFL for reportedly considering moving up the deadline for players to make their decisions about the upcoming season.


“I think it’s an absolute joke that the NFL is changing the opt out period, mainly because they don’t want to continue to see guys opt out,” he said. “I’m sure they’re shocked about how many guys have opted out. But it’s the same thing when we sign a (collective bargaining agreement), sometimes some of those things that we think are good sometimes backfire.”

McCourty declined to say whether he will play. But he said it was disingenuous for the league to expect players to make informed decisions, with Monday marking the first time he and his Patriots teammates will fully experience the safety protocols that have been put in place at the team facility.

• Patriots running back Sony Michel, wide receiver Mohamed Sanu and special teams player Brandon King will start training camp on the physically unable to perform list, according to ESPN’s Field Yates.

Michel had a foot procedure done in May, while Sanu had ankle surgery in March.

• Philadelphia Eagles Coach Doug Pederson has tested positive for COVID-19.

The Eagles released a statement Sunday night saying Pederson hasn’t experienced any symptoms, is feeling well and is under self-quarantine.


• The New York Jets released right guard Brian Winters, the team’s longest tenured player.

The Jets will save $7.28 million on the salary cap.

Winters, 29, had been mostly a solid starter in his seven seasons with the Jets, but he finished the past two seasons on injured reserve.

• Cleveland Browns star wide receiver Jarvis Landry has been placed on the active/physically unable to perform list following offseason hip surgery.

Landry, who has not missed a game during six NFL seasons with Miami and Cleveland, has said he expects to be back on the field sometime in August.

• New York Giants defensive tackle Leonard Williams has been designated with a non-football injury as the team made several moves to get to the 80-player limit.


• Atlanta Falcons outside linebacker Foye Oluokun became the sixth player to go on the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list since the start of training camp.


NHL: Chicago forward Drake Caggiula was suspended by the NHL for Game 2 of the Blackhawks’ qualifying round series against the Oilers for an illegal check to the head of Edmonton’s Tyler Ennis.

The hit occurred in the second period of Chicago’s 6-4 Game 1 victory Saturday. Ennis returned after a brief absence and finished the game.

• Nazem Kadri scored a buzzer-beating power-play goal at the end of regulation to give the Colorado Avalanche a 2-1 victory over the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues in a seeding game.

• Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored the first of Arizona’s three first-period goals, a healthy Phil Kessel had two assists and the Coyotes held on to beat the Nashville Predators 4-3 to open their Stanley Cup qualifier series.


• Joonas Korpisalo stopped 28 shots in his first playoff start, Cam Atkinson scored early in the third period and the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-0 in Game 1 of their qualifying series.


FOOTBALL: A group of Pac-12 players on Sunday threatened to opt out of the coming season unless its concerns about competing during the COVID-19 pandemic and other racial and economic issues in college sports are addressed.

The players posted a statement and list of demands on The Players’ Tribune website and social media with the hashtag @WeAreUnited and sent out a news release to reporters. The release listed the names of 13 Pac-12 players from 10 schools, including Oregon star safety Jevon Holland, and provided a statement from each one.

Arizona State offensive lineman Cody Shear told The Associated Press the players began connecting about a month ago and have been communicating through the text messaging app GroupMe. He said the number of players in the group has grown to more than 400, though it’s impossible to gauge everyone’s level of commitment.

MEN’S BASKETBALL: Big Ten player of the year Luka Garza announced he is withdrawing from the NBA draft and will return to Iowa for his senior season.



WNBA: Bria Hartley scored a career-high 27 points and the Phoenix Mercury beat the New York Liberty, 96-66.

• Kelsey Mitchell was 4 of 5 from 3-point range and finished with 23 points, and the Indiana Fever erased an early double-digit deficit to beat the Atlanta Dream, 93-77.

• A’ja Wilson scored 19 points to lead five Las Vegas players in double figures, and the Aces beat the Dallas Wings, 79-70.


FORMULA ONE: Lewis Hamilton held on to win the British Grand Prix despite a puncture on the last lap, earning his 87th career win to move within four of Michael Schumacher’s Formula One record.

Hamilton finished six seconds ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who unexpectedly moved up a place after Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate, Valtteri Bottas, sustained a puncture with three laps left.

With Hamilton so far ahead, Verstappen went in for a tire change in a bid to gain an extra point for the fastest lap, but that pit stop ultimately cost him victory because Hamilton’s front left shredded with half a lap to go. Verstappen swallowed up most of the 25-second gap but ran out of time.

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