Urban Meyer says he will not be Notre Dame’s next head coach.–-

The Jacksonville Jaguars’ coach flatly squashed any speculation about his immediate future when asked by The Associated Press on Tuesday about the vacancy at Notre Dame created by Brian Kelly’s abrupt departure for LSU.

“I’m not a candidate,” Meyer said on a conference call with the beat writers for the Los Angeles Rams, Jacksonville’s opponent on Sunday. “Obviously I spent six years of my life there, so great respect for Notre Dame, and as I do USC, UCLA, like we talked about (earlier in the call). But I’m committed to the Jaguars and doing the best we can to turn this thing around.”

Earlier Tuesday, a person familiar with Meyer’s thinking said the 57-year-old coach is fully committed to the Jaguars and has no plans to return to college football. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Tuesday because Meyer had yet to make his plans public.

The NCAA’s one-time transfer rule, the burgeoning transfer portal and outside compensation for the use of an athlete’s name, image and likeness have altered college football dramatically since Meyer stepped down at Ohio State following the 2018 season.

Meyer shot down speculation about leaving the NFL for Southern California after the Trojans fired Coach Clay Helton in September, and his name was immediately linked to Notre Dame on Monday after Kelly bolted for LSU. Meyer spent five years (1996-2000) as receivers coach in South Bend, Indiana, and even called the Fighting Irish a “dream job” while he was at Florida in 2008.

Meyer was immediately installed as one of the betting favorites to get hired at Notre Dame immediately after Kelly’s departure, given his connections to the program and the spotlight involved.

Instead, Meyer says he’ll spend this week preparing the Jaguars (2-9) to travel cross-country and play the Rams (7-4) at SoFi Stadium.

The Trojans hired Lincoln Riley away from Oklahoma on Monday. Meyer said earlier this season “there’s no chance” he would take the USC job. He insisted he’s in Jacksonville for the long haul.

“I’m here and committed to try to build an organization,” Meyer said at the time.

No one expected it to be the last time Meyer’s name would be connected to a collegiate job opening. After all, he found success at every stop in his three-plus decades in the college ranks. He built winners at Bowling Green, Utah, Florida and Ohio State. He won two national championships with the Gators (2006, 2008) and another with the Buckeyes (2014).

He stepped down after the 2018 season and spent two years working as a college football analyst at Fox Sports. Jaguars owner Shad Khan persuaded him to return to the sideline in an effort to deliver a consistent contender in Jacksonville.

So far, little has gone right for Meyer. Although the Jaguars ended a 20-game losing streak in London in October, they have dropped three in a row and have scored just 57 points in their past five games.

GIANTS: The New York Giants activated defensive back Logan Ryan off the reserve/COVID-19 list and placed cornerback Darnay Holmes on the injured list with a rib injury.

The Giants (4-7) made the moves a day after Ryan returned to the team headquarters after his quarantine ended and two days after Holmes was hurt in a win over the Eagles.

Ryan, who will take Holmes’ spot on the roster, is expected to play Sunday when the Giants travel to Miami to face the Dolphins, the winners of four straight.

Ryan had a team-high streak of 24 consecutive starts and led the Giants with 72 tackles when he went on the list two weeks ago. Linebacker Tae Crowder has since taken over the team tackles lead with 79.

Julian Love has played all 145 defensive snaps against the Buccaneers and Eagles in Ryan’s place.

Holmes has played in all 11 games with four starts this season. He was injured after intercepting Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts two days ago, his first pick of the season and second of his career. He had 29 tackles.

The Giants are hoping some of their other injured players return soon. Wide receivers Sterling Shepard and Kadarius Toney have been out with quad injuries and tight end Kyle Rudolph was out last week with an ankle injury.

COWBOYS: Rookie cornerback Nahshon Wright has tested positive for COVID-19, bringing to eight the number of players and coaches sidelined by the coronavirus for Thursday’s game at New Orleans.

Coach Mike McCarthy and five members of his staff won’t make the trip because of positive tests. Wright and right tackle Terence Steele are the two players out. Wright has played sparingly on defense, working almost exclusively on special teams.

McCarthy tested positive Monday and said he was experiencing more symptoms a day later. He coughed periodically during a phone interview with reporters Tuesday. McCarthy is participating in virtual meetings.

The other coaches who won’t make the trip to New Orleans include offensive line coach Joe Philbin and his assistant, Jeff Blasko; offensive assistant Scott Tolzien; and two members of the strength and conditioning staff, coordinator Harold Nash Jr. and assistant Kendall Smith.

Another strength and conditioning assistant, Cedric Smith, has been in protocols but was expected to be cleared for the game.

Receiver Amari Cooper has been cleared to return to the team’s facility after missing two games following a positive COVID-19 test. But McCarthy said Cooper hasn’t practiced and still wasn’t feeling well. The coach indicated it was unlikely the unvaccinated Cooper would play against the Saints.

BROWNS: All-Pro right tackle Jack Conklin’s season is officially over: The team placed him on injured reserve again two days after he suffered a torn patellar knee tendon in a loss to Baltimore.

Conklin was playing for the first time since coming off the IR after missing three games. He dislocated his elbow on Oct. 31 in a game against Pittsburgh.

PANTHERS: The Carolina Panthers have lost starting cornerback Donte Jackson for the remainder of the season to a groin injury. Jackson was placed on injured reserve Tuesday.

TITANS: The Tennessee Titans added rookie linebacker Monty Rice to an injured reserve list now at 18 with the team at its bye.

The Titans put Rice on injured reserve and released wide receiver Austin Mack from the practice squad.

Rice hurt his right ankle in last week’s 36-13 loss to the Patriots. He was helped off the field in the second quarter and didn’t return.

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