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NFL reschedules 3 games, NHL shuts down 3 teams due to COVID-19 surge

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NFL reschedules 3 games, NHL shuts down 3 teams due to COVID-19 surge
Free safety John Johnson III and the Cleveland Browns will now play Monday instead of Saturday due to the team's recent issues with COVID-19. File Photo by David Tulis/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 17 (UPI) -- The NFL postponed a trio of games due to recent surges in COVID-19 cases among players and coaches from several teams, the league announced Friday.

Meanwhile the NHL has postponed games because at least three teams have reported outbreaks of the pandemic.

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The Cleveland Browns will now host the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday in Cleveland. The Los Angeles Rams will host the Seattle Seahawks, and the Philadelphia Eagles will host the Washington Football Team on Tuesday.

"We have made these schedule changes based on medical advice and after discussion with the NFLPA as we are seeing a new, highly transmissible form of the virus this week resulting in a substantial increase in cases across the league," the league said in a news release.

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"We continue to make decisions in consultation with medical experts to ensure the health and safety of the NFL community."

The Browns and Raiders were schedule to play Saturday. The Rams, Seahawks, Eagles and Washington were schedule to play Sunday.

The Browns and Raiders will now kick off at 5 p.m. EST Monday on NFL Network. Washington, the Eagles, Seahawks and Rams each kick off at 7 p.m. Tuesday on Fox.

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News of the postponements came hours after Browns backup quarterback Case Keenum tested positive for COVID-19, joining more than 20 teammates on the reserve/COVID-19 list, That group also includes starting quarterback Baker Mayfield and several other starters.

Like the Browns, the Rams and Washington placed at least 20 players apiece on the reserve/COVID-19 list so far this week.

The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Los Angeles Chargers 34-28 in the first game of Week 15 on Thursday in Inglewood, Calif.

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The week continues when the Indianapolis Colts host the New England Patriots at 8:15 p.m. EST Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

In hockey, All Colorado Avalanche, Florida Panthers and Calgary Flames games have been postponed through the NHL holiday break, which runs Dec. 24 to 26.

Colorado has five players in NHL COVID-19 protocol; Florida has seven players in the protocol, and the Flames added a forward and a member of the support staff to COVID-19 protocol Friday, bringing their total to 19 players, three coaches and nine support staff members.

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