Colts close facilities after positive COVID-19 tests, plus what Le\'Veon Bell means for the Chiefs

Create: 2020-10-16
Update: 2020-10-16
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Friday, October 16, 2020
Welcome to the weekend, my friend. OK, we may not technically be there just yet but we're on the one-yard line. You and me, we're gonna punch it in together today.
We wake up with some more rough news from the NFL. Earlier this morning the Colts announced that "several individuals" within the organization have tested positive for COVID-19 and, as they work to confirm those tests, the team has shut down their facilities. That puts the team (and league) in a tough spot as Indy is scheduled to host the Bengals on Sunday afternoon. That story is just breaking at this point, so Tom Fornelli will catch you up as the situation develops later in today's PM Edition.
We've got plenty of more things to discuss as well, from the Kansas City Chiefs' newest weapon to the Dodgers' fading World Series hopes. Steam those beans, pour a cup and let's get to business.
📰 What you need to know
1. What adding Le'Veon Bell means for the Chiefs 🏈
Can you imagine receiving the merciful gift of no longer having to play for the Jets, then also receiving the gift of getting to play for the Chiefs a day later? That's the reality for Le'Veon Bell this week. Bell signed a one-year deal with the reigning Super Bowl champion Chiefs on Thursday, meaning he's gone from arguably the worst team in the NFL to arguably the best. Some things to know about the signing:
  • Bell chose the Chiefs over the Dolphins, who offered him a two-year deal in an attempt to lure him to Miami. Ultimately, it seems like he's prioritizing winning
  • He'll join rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire in KC's backfield, giving the Chiefs two legit backs (and pass-catching options) out of the backfield
So, what does this mean for Edwards-Helaire's fantasy value in his first season? That's a good question, especially since the kid has played pretty well through the Chiefs' first five games (he's rushed for 344 yards and is averaging 4.2 yards per carry). Our Chris Towers has a great in-depth breakdown of the fantasy implications, but here's a taste of what to expect
  • Towers: "How much of Edwards-Helaire's role is Bell coming for? My guess would be something like 10 touches per game for Bell to start, leaving around 17 for Edwards-Helaire. If that's the case, you're probably still viewing Edwards-Helaire as a top-20 running back, while Bell would be a solid flex, with more value in PPR formats — ironically, not unlike the situation [Kareem] Hunt has found himself in with the Browns over the last year."
But enough about your fake internet team. What kind of implications does this signing have on the real life Chiefs and the rest of the NFL? Our Cody Benjamin says it's a perfect fit and KC should be able to repeat as champions. 
  • Benjamin: "This union pretty clearly benefits all parties: Bell gets his best supporting cast since his All-Pro Pittsburgh days, Edwards-Helaire gets less wear and tear for the playoff run, and an already-potent contender gets a battle-tested veteran capable of filling in as a lead ball-carrier."
The rich get richer, and the Jets get... to keep Adam Gase? 
2. Braves one win away from World Series ⚾
You know what they say... you can't lose in the World Series if you don't play in the World Series. (Do they say that? I think they do.) That seems to be the strategy that the Dodgers are employing this year.
They entered the season as heavy World Series favorites but now Los Angeles is one loss away from being knocked out in the NLCS. They fell to the Braves again last night and now trail 3-1 in the series. So, what happened? The great Katherine Acquavella has us covered with takeaways:
  • Bryse Wilson provides much-needed outing: Wilson was strong as the Braves' Game 4 starter. The bullpen needed a break after a disastrous and taxing Game 3 loss on Wednesday. The rookie threw six solid innings on 74 pitches (50 strikes) and only gave up one run on one hit -- a solo homer from Edwin Rios
  • Dodgers offense goes silent: Los Angeles' offense has been real streaky lately. They scored one run through the first 15 innings of the series, then exploded at the end of Game 2 and at the beginning of Game 3. They went quiet again last night, scoring just two runs on three hits. Mookie Betts, Corey Seager, Max Muncy and Joc Pederson all finished the game without a hit
  • Clayton Kershaw takes first L vs. Braves: After being scratched in Game 2 due to back spasms, Kershaw got the Game 4 start for the Dodgers and things fell apart late. He gave up four runs on seven hits in five innings pitched and took his first career loss against the Braves (regular season and postseason)
Poor Kershaw, huh? It seems like he's destined to never escape the narrative that he stinks in October. He wasn't great on Thursday but he also got almost no help from his offense or bullpen. Oh, and Marcell Ozuna? He finally had a LOUD game for Atlanta, coming up with four hits, including two home runs and four RBI, in the victory. Make no mistake about it... if Los Angeles doesn't even play for the World Series with the roster they've got, this year should be considered a big-time failure for them.
On the other side of the league, the Astros are STILL alive and making the ALCS increasingly interesting. Carlos Correa hit a dramatic walk-off home run in the ninth inning yesterday to give Houston a second straight win and cut the series deficit to 3-2. I'm really torn between wanting more baseball/an entertaining ALCS and wanting to see the Astros fall flat on their face. I guess the solution is to root for them to force a Game 7 before then having their hearts ripped out.
3. How will the rest of the SEC season play out? 🏈
As we discussed yesterday morning, the SEC season is becoming messier and messier. This week was an especially tough one for the conference, as three schools  -- including two top programs in Florida and Alabama -- have been significantly impacted by coronavirus. (Ole Miss is the other, by the way.) The Gators have already had to postpone their game, the Rebels may not have enough players to field a team and the Crimson Tide will be without their legendary coach Nick Saban.
So, now what? Where do we go from here? 
Dennis Dodd penned a column this week questioning whether the SEC can (and should) finish the season if things continue to snowball like they currently are:
  • Dodd: "...Should they be playing? They've (players) have been told the game is safe enough. They're assuming that risk. But the stakeholders created that risk by staging a season... For now, the game may be spiraling down toward the FBS commissioners' second-biggest fear -- having to shorten or cancel this season in the middle of it. (The biggest fear was not playing at all in 2020-21.) Once again, COVID-19 doesn't give a damn either way."
For what it's worth, the SEC isn't the only conference having problems right now, either. There have been a total of five college football games postponed this weekend, bringing the season total up to 31 this year.
Oh, and another quick note: This weekend's Alabama game vs. Georgia will count towards Saban's record even though he's not coaching. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense, I know, but it is significant considering Saban has a perfect career record against his former assistants (21-0) and the Bulldogs are coached by Kirby Smart, who worked under Saban with LSU, Alabama and the Miami Dolphins.
4. Cyborg dominates Blencowe at Bellator 249 👊
We had ourselves some MMA on the menu last night as Bellator 249 was held inside Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut. Cris Cyborg was featured in the main event as she defended her women's featherweight title for the first time. 
Spoiler: It went well! for her.
  • Cyborg delivered a dominant performance against top contender Arlene Blencowe and won via rear-naked choke in the second round 
  • It was the first submission of Cyborg's MMA career
  • The next challenger to Cyborg's title could come from the winner of a proposed (but not signed) bout between Budd and former UFC bantamweight title challenger Cat Zingano 
Cyborg, 35, has showed that she's willing to adapt and evolve, and as a result she continues to find success deep into her career. Between Strikeforce, UFC and now Bellator, she's got quite an impressive resume that she continues to build upon. 
My guy Brian Campbell has you covered with the rest of the Bellator 249 results right here.
📝 Odds & Ends
  • Fred Dean, Hall of Fame DE for the 49ers and Chargers, died at 68 after being hospitalized with COVID-19
  • American tennis player Sam Querrey fled Russia in a private plane after testing positive for coronavirus
  • Are the Van Gundy brothers both primed for a return to the NBA?
📺 What to watch this weekend
Friday
⚾ Astros vs. Rays, 6:07 p.m. | TB -135 | TV: TBS
⚾ Dodgers vs. Braves, 9:08 p.m. | TV: FS1
Saturday
🏈 No. 3 Georgia vs. No. 2 Alabama, 8:00 p.m. | BAMA -4.5 | TV: CBS
Sunday
🏈 Browns vs. Steelers, 1:00 p.m. | PIT -3.5 | TV: CBS
🏈 Packers vs. Buccaneers, 4:25 p.m. | TB +1 | TV: FOX
📝 Top scores from last night
 Astros 4, Rays 3
Carlos Correa played hero for Houston as he hit a walk-off solo homer in the ninth inning.
💵 Winning Wagers: HOU +119, Under (9.5) 
⚾ Braves 10, Dodgers 2
Marcell Ozuna went 4 for 5 with two home runs, three runs scored and four RBI in the win.
💵 Winning Wagers: ATL +189, Over (9)
 
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