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Monday's NFL: Cowboys' Ezekiel Elliott tested positive for coronavirus

Associated Press

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to his agent.

Rocky Arceneaux told the NFL Network on Monday that Elliott was feeling OK and recovering. Arceneaux did not immediately return messages seeking comment, but a person with direct knowledge of the diagnosis told The Associated Press that Elliott had the positive test about a week ago and could be described as symptomatic. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the person wasn’t authorized to discuss Elliott’s diagnosis publicly.

Ezekiel Elliott tested positive for the coronavirus, according to his agent Rocky Arceneaux.

The Cowboys declined to comment, citing privacy laws.

Only players who have been rehabilitating injuries have been allowed inside team facilities during the pandemic shutdown. That hasn’t included Elliott.

The NFL is in the process of establishing protocols for the return of players, including what would happen in the case of positive tests, but there is no timetable for their return. Training camps are supposed to start in a little more than a month.

Several players have gone public with their diagnosis, including star Denver pass rusher Von Miller. Los Angeles Rams center Brian Allen was the first to publicly acknowledge a positive test, on April 15.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up within weeks. But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, the highly contagious virus can cause severe symptoms and even death.

The 24-year-old Elliott has led the NFL in rushing twice in his first four seasons. He missed all of training camp last year in a contract holdout, eventually signing a $90 million, six-year extension a few days before the start of the season.

Judon rips Goodell's speech

Ravens linebacker Matthew Judon criticized the timing of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s assertion that the league believes “black lives matter,” saying that the message should have been delivered long ago.

In the wake of protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck, Goodell said on June 5, “We, the National Football League, believe black lives matter. I personally protest with you and want to be part of the much-needed change in this country.”

Speaking in a video conference call with the Baltimore media, Judon said the comment was long overdue.

“It’s not when Roger Goodell said black lives matter that now everybody can say it,” said Judon, a former Grand Valley State standout. “I think we should have been questioning why Roger Goodell didn’t say black lives matter when he was born, or when he became commissioner or when he was re-elected commissioner.

“It’s something people shouldn’t have to say. Black lives should always matter. I don’t think it’s something that when one person says it, it’s like, ‘Oh now it makes sense.’”

Goodell essentially apologized on behalf of the league for not being more understanding when San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick protested against police brutality and racial injustice by kneeling during the national anthem in 2016.

“We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest,” Goodell said.

Judon’ agreed with that portion of Goodell’s statement.

“There shouldn’t have been pushback,” the four-year veteran said. “It should have been like, ‘OK let’s help this man in his cause.' That was just his way of expressing it.”

Extra points

New Orleans Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins will join CNN as a contributor focusing on racial and social justice, the network announced.

“I believe I can be a voice for other athlete activists and those who have dedicated their lives to changing legislation, policies and reforms for human equality,” Jenkins said, touting his experience addressing “the inequalities of our criminal justice system, educational system and disparate wealth in our marginalized communities” during his 11-year NFL career.

In 2017, Jenkins and retired wide receiver Anquan Boldin created the Players Coalition, a charity that advocates for racial and social equality.

The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation, launched in 2010, focuses on improving educational and other opportunities for students with limited financial resources in New Orleans, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

... The Indianapolis Colts will add career sacks leader Robert Mathis to their Ring of Honor this year.

The team announced the induction ceremony will take place Nov. 22 when the Colts host the Green Bay Packers.

Mathis played his entire 14-season NFL career in Indianapolis and was best known for his chop to jar balls loose from quarterbacks. He finished his career with a franchise-record 123 sacks, 17th all-time, and a league-record 47 strip sacks. He was the inaugural Deacon Jones Award winner in 2013 and was named an All-Pro that season after leading the NFL with 19½ sacks.

He will be the 17th inductee, joining six former teammates, Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy and president/general manager Bill Polian, who traded up to get Mathis in the 2003 draft.

... The 49ers rewarded coach Kyle Shanahan with a new six-year contract after he took the team to the Super Bowl in his third season at the helm.

San Francisco is replacing the three years remaining on Shanahan’s original six-year contract signed in 2017 to keep him under contract through 2025.