Bills fans to get testing, no tailgating
Steelers 2021 opponents named
Some fans of the NFC North Division will get a chance to see their team this fall when the Pittsburgh Steelers open up play.
Pittsburgh will play host to the Detroit Lions and the Chicago Bears, while getting road games at Green Bay and Minnesota.
The 2021 schedule was officially released on Wednesday, but times and days will be released this spring.
The Steelers’ home schedule also includes the Ravens, Bengals, Browns, Broncos, Raiders and Titans. They go on the road for the Ravens, Bengals, Browns, Bills, Chiefs and Chargers.
The Associated Press
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Testing is replacing tailgating in the Bills Stadium parking lot, with a limited number of fans being allowed to attend Buffalo’s wild-card playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts Saturday.
Before that can happen, New York state guidelines require the approximate 6,700 fans, plus 200 employees and members of the media, first test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of kickoff. Each person must show his or her ID and proof of a negative test before being allowed in the outdoor facility, which seats about 70,000.
The tests will be held Wednesday and Thursday and conducted by New Jersey-based BioReference Laboratories.
The company is converting a portion of the expansive stadium lots into a drive-thru testing site. Tests will be done over 14-hour periods both days, feature 30 lanes to accommodate the number of people showing up and have the results returned within close to a 24-hour period.
“We have approximately 150 staff who are in Buffalo to pull this thing off, who were arriving Saturday, Sunday, training and getting everything set up and ready to go,” BioReference executive chairman Jon Cohen said Tuesday.
Though the company has conducted more than 10 million COVID-19 tests since May, including NFL and NBA players and staff, this will be BioReference’s largest drive-thru event and the first mandatory fan-testing program in the country, Cohen said.
The state considers the program a test run in granting the Bills permission to have fans attend a home game for the first time this season. Should all go well, the program has the potential of being used to open other New York venues, such as indoor sports arenas, music halls and even Broadway theaters.
Though a Bills’ win would guarantee them playing at home again the following week, there have been no discussions as to whether fans would be allowed to attend a second game, Cohen said.
In Buffalo, there’s relief that members of the so-called Bills Mafia can finally see their AFC East champions in action up close. It will be Buffalo’s first home playoff appearance since a 30-27 loss to Jacksonville on Dec. 28, 1996, in what proved to be Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly’s final game.
Miami OC retires
MIAMI — Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator Chan Gailey has resigned one season after coming out of retirement.
The announcement was made Wednesday, one day after Gailey’s 69th birthday and one day after coach Brian Flores said he expected all of his assistant coaches would return in 2021.
With Gailey calling plays, the Dolphins scored 404 points, their highest total since 1986. He had a major role in the development of rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who struggled at times but went 6-3 as a starter.
The Dolphins finished 10-6 with one of the NFL’s youngest teams. A blowout loss Sunday at Buffalo kept them out of the playoffs.
Gailey’s resignation means Flores will have his third offensive coordinator in as many seasons in 2021.
If Flores decided to promote Gailey’s successor from within the organization, candidates include tight end coach George Godsey and running backs coach Eric Studesville. Godsey was offensive coordinator for the Houston Texans in 2015-16.
Adams has no doubt
RENTON, Wash. — Jamal Adams said Wednesday there’s no question he’ll play in his first career playoff game Saturday despite a shoulder injury.
Adams was emphatic he would be on the field for the Seahawks’ NFC playoff opener against the Los Angeles Rams after leaving Seattle’s Week 17 win over San Francisco in the second half with a shoulder injury.
Adams appeared angry and dejected on the sideline after being examined by Seattle’s medical staff Sunday. By Wednesday, he was jovial and excited to play in the game.
“Look, as long as these legs are moving man, as long as my faith is with the man upstairs, which is very strong, I’m gonna be out there,” Adams said. “So there was never no doubt in my mind that I wasn’t playing so let’s get that out there. I’m full-go.”
Adams missed four games earlier in the season because of a groin injury. He said he played with one arm during the first meeting with the Rams in November after injuring his right shoulder in the opening minutes of the game.
This time it’s his left shoulder. Adams declined to specify what was injured on the play when he was blocked by San Francisco’s Jerick McKinnon.
Few Bears hurting
The Chicago Bears got the help they needed to make the playoffs for the second time in coach Matt Nagy’s three seasons.
They might not have the health they need to stick around.
The Bears could be down two important players when they visit Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints for a wild-card game on Sunday, with inside linebacker Roquan Smith and receiver Darnell Mooney injured.
Both players missed the team’s walkthrough on Wednesday after leaving last week’s loss to Green Bay, and coach Matt Nagy had little to say about their status.
The Bears (8-8) would be hard-pressed to win at the NFC South champion Saints (12-4) even at full strength. But with Smith and Mooney out, their task will be tougher.
Chargers’ search on
COSTA MESA, Calif. — Los Angeles Chargers general manager Tom Telesco hasn’t given a timetable on when he expects to hire a coach.
However he did say he would be patient if their preferred candidate was on a team that advanced to the Super Bowl.
Telesco spoke two days after the Chargers fired Anthony Lynn as coach. Lynn had a 33-31 regular-season mark in four years, including 1-1 in the postseason.
Lynn led the Chargers to the playoffs in 2018, but they were 12-20 the past two seasons. Los Angeles was 3-9 at one point before ending the season on a four-game winning streak.
The Chargers are expected to interview offensive coordinators Eric Bieniemy (Kansas City), Joe Brady (Carolina), Brian Daboll (Buffalo) and Jason Garrett (New York Giants) and Arthur Smith (Tennessee).