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The Sports Report: Chargers lose to Chiefs in OT, but main concern is Donald Parham Jr.

Inglewood,
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes fumbles the ball to Chargers defensive end Jerry Tillery in the second quarter.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
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Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

Jeff Miller on the Chargers: One of NFL’s largest games of the week didn’t quite fit into four quarters Thursday night at SoFi Stadium.

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Much the same way, the Chargers just didn’t have enough to keep up with Kansas City, the Chiefs winning 34-28 in overtime when tight end Travis Kelce divided and conquered a scrambling defense.

Kelce turned a short pass from Patrick Mahomes into a windy, weaving 34-yard touchdown on the opening possession of the extra session.

The score meant Justin Herbert never had an opportunity to answer in overtime, the Chargers falling to 8-6.

With the victory, Kansas City improved to 10-4 and took a firm grasp of the AFC West. The Chargers likely are left to compete for a wild-card spot with three games remaining.

The majority of the game was completed before the backdrop of a scary situation that ended the Chargers’ opening position.

Tight end Donald Parham Jr. was stretchered off the field and taken to a nearby hospital after hitting his head on the turf while attempting to make a catch.

The Chargers later announced that Parham was in stable condition while undergoing testing at Harbor UCLA Medical Center.

After the game, coach Brandon Staley said he had no update on Parham’s condition. He praised his Chargers for the way they played with a fallen teammate on their minds.

“That’s where our thoughts are right now, with him,” Staley said. “That’s one of those things that’s the tough side of the game. He means so much to us and he’s having such an incredible season. I’m hoping if D.P. can hear us, hear me, that we love him and we’re thinking about him.”

Parham dived for the ball and had it briefly but was unable to secure the fourth-down grab upon landing.

He remained motionless on the ground as the game was delayed for several minutes. Parham eventually was encircled by his teammates as medical personnel took him away.

Herbert finished 22 of 38 for 236 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. His touchdowns went to Keenan Allen and Jalen Guyton.

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Former Chargers receiver Vincent Jackson had Stage 2 CTE at time of death

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RAMS

Gary Klein on the Rams: The Rams’ COVID-19 outbreak continued Thursday, with nine more players added to the league’s reserve/COVID-19 list, which could affect the status of Sunday’s scheduled game against the Seattle Seahawks at SoFi Stadium.

Star linebacker Von Miller was among those added to a list that includes 25 Rams from the roster and practice squad, among them star cornerback Jalen Ramsey, star receiver Odell Beckham Jr., starting safety Jordan Fuller and starting offensive lineman Rob Havenstein.

Rams coaches and players were not made available to the media Thursday. But the team has been in contact with the NFL to weigh options — including if they don’t have enough players available for Sunday’s game — a team spokesperson said before the most recent additions to the list were announced.

Miller, linebackers Troy Reeder, Obo Okoronkwo and Christian Rozeboom, offensive linemen Bobby Evans and Tremayne Anchrum, and defensive backs Jake Gervase, Kareem Orr and Antione Brooks were added to the list Thursday.

The Rams are one of seven NFL teams in intensive COVID-19 protocols, which require virtual meetings, mask-wearing and other actions.

LAKERS

Dan Woike on the Lakers: The Lakers’ starting backcourt, Russell Westbrook and Avery Bradley, have entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols according to the team’s latest injury report Thursday.

Neither player traveled with the team to Minnesota.

That brings the total to five Lakers in the NBA’s COVID-19 protocols, with other members of their traveling party also registering positive tests.

The episode mirrors what is happening around the NBA and pro sports at large, where huge spikes in players testing positive have forced teams to play with barebone rosters or, in some cases, postpone games.

The Lakers are scheduled to play Minnesota on Friday and Chicago, who had two games postponed due to their own COVID-19 scares, on Sunday.

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Lakers planning to sign Isaiah Thomas if granted a hardship exception

UCLA FOOTBALL

Ben Bolch on the Bruins: You want options at quarterback? UCLA coach Chip Kelly is going to have them next season.

Option 1 became available Thursday when Dillon Gabriel, one of the nation’s most prolific quarterbacks at Central Florida, announced on Twitter that he had committed to the Bruins as a transfer.

Option 2 is no slouch, redshirt freshman Ethan Garbers having shown in a spot start against Utah that he possesses a strong, accurate arm and immense promise.

Option 3 can’t be discounted either — and would probably supersede the others — if senior Dorian Thompson-Robinson decided to return for the extra season granted by COVID-19 eligibility extensions.

Gabriel made his announcement alongside images of himself in a UCLA jersey amid palm trees and in front of the Hollywood sign while also looking to throw a pass at the Rose Bowl.

One fan tweeted another image of the Rose Bowl with the caption “1/2/23 book it!!!” in reference to the date of the Rose Bowl game after next season.

2022 UCLA football schedule

Sept. 3 – Bowling Green

Sept. 10 – Alabama State

Sept. 17 – South Alabama

Sept. 24 – at Colorado

Oct. 1 – Washington

Oct. 8 – Utah

Oct. 22 – at Oregon

Oct. 29 – Stanford

Nov. 5 – at Arizona State

Nov. 12 – Arizona

Nov. 19 - USC

Nov. 25 – at California

Kickoff times and TV info to be announced at a later date.

USC FOOTBALL

Ryan Kartje on the Trojans: The slate is officially set for Lincoln Riley’s first season at USC, and it appears to set up the new coach for a smooth debut in 2022.

The Trojans will once again avoid Oregon and Washington on their schedule. Riley’s first rivalry meeting with UCLA will come with an extra day’s rest, before the Trojans then face Notre Dame at home in their season finale.

In its most difficult road tilts, USC must travel to Utah (Oct. 15) and Oregon State (Sept. 24) in the first half of the season. But overall, the schedule sets up nicely for Riley to make a statement in his introduction to the Pac-12.

2022 USC football schedule

Sept. 3: Rice

Sept. 10: at Stanford

Sept. 17: Fresno State

Sept. 24: at Oregon State

Oct. 1: Arizona State

Oct. 8: Washington State

Oct. 15: at Utah

Oct. 29: at Arizona

Nov. 5: California

Nov. 11: Colorado

Nov. 19: at UCLA

Nov. 26: Notre Dame

Kickoff times and TV info to be announced at a later date.

KINGS

Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown scored second-period goals and Jonathan Quick had 41 saves to help the Kings defeat the short-handed Florida Panthers, 4-1.

Olli Maatta scored for the first time in 75 games and Arthur Kaliyev added a third-period goal for the Kings, who improved to 3-0-1 in their last four games.

“We just have to keep building,“ Brown said. “We’ve had a very streaky team thus far this year. It’s important to find the momentum and keep the momentum going.”

Matt Kiersted scored his first NHL goal and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 27 of 31 shots for the Panthers, who played with only 16 skaters, instead of the usual 18, because of a virus outbreak and injuries. They expect to remain short-handed at least through their next game, Saturday at Minnesota.

THIS DATE IN SPORTS

1933 — The Chicago Bears win the first NFL championship with a 23-21 victory over the New York Giants. The Bears score the winning touchdown on a 36-yard play that starts with a short pass from Bronko Nagurski to Bill Hewitt, who then laterals to Bill Kerr for the score.

1987 — Chicago’s Michael Jordan scores 52 points to lead the Bulls to a 111-100 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

1991 — The Cleveland Cavaliers turn a 20-point halftime lead over Miami into the most lopsided victory in NBA history, 148-80 over the Heat. The 68-point margin eclipses the mark of 63 set March 19, 1972, when the Lakers beat the Golden State Warriors 162-99.

1993 — Julio Cesar Chavez secures his place in boxing history, retaining his WBC super lightweight title with a fifth-round victory over Britain’s Andy Holligan. It’s the 27th time Chavez fought for a title without a loss since 1984, breaking Joe Louis’ mark of 26.

1993 — Virgil Hill becomes the most successful light heavyweight in boxing history, winning a record 15th title defense with a unanimous decision over Guy Waters of Australia. Hill, the WBA champion for five of the last six years, had been tied with Bob Foster, who held light heavyweight titles from 1968 to 1974.

2000 — Terrell Owens catches an NFL-record 20 passes for 283 yards and a touchdown in San Francisco’s 17-0 victory over Chicago. Jeff Garcia completes 36 of 44 passes for 402 yards and two touchdowns for the 49ers.

2005 — John Ruiz loses the WBA heavyweight title, dropping a disputed majority decision to 7-foot Nikolay Valuev of Russia in Berlin. Valuev, the first Russian heavyweight champion, also becomes the tallest and heaviest (323 pounds) champion of all-time.

2006 — LaDainian Tomlinson breaks Paul Hornung’s 46-year-old NFL single-season scoring record on a 15-yard run in the first quarter of San Diego’s game against Kansas City. The touchdown run gives him 180 points, breaking Hornung’s record of 176 set with the Green Bay Packers in 1960.

2006 — Gilbert Arenas sets a franchise record with 60 points, 16 of them in overtime, to lead Washington to a 147-141 victory over the Lakers.

2013 — Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis scores 21 points on a career-high seven 3-pointers and No. 1 Connecticut beat second-ranked Duke 83-61. Breanna Stewart has 24 points and 11 rebounds for the Huskies as coach Geno Auriemma earns his 850th career win.

2016 — Donnel Pumphrey breaks the NCAA career rushing record in his college finale, running for 115 yards and a touchdown in San Diego State’s 34-10 victory over Houston in the Las Vegas Bowl. Pumphrey passes former Wisconsin star Ron Dayne’s mark of 6,397 yards on a 15-yard run early in the fourth quarter and wraps up his sensational career in his Nevada hometown with 6,405 yards. Pumphrey’s senior total of 2,133 yards rushing ranks in the top 10 for a FBS player.

2016 — Malik Monk scores a Kentucky freshman record 47 points and hits the go-ahead 3-pointer with 16.7 seconds left to lead the sixth-ranked Wildcats past No. 7 North Carolina 103-100 in a thrilling showdown of traditional powers.

Supplied by the Associated Press

And finally

Julio Cesar Chavez defeats Andy Holligan. Watch and listen here.

Until next time...

That concludes today’s newsletter. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, email me at houston.mitchell@latimes.com, and follow me on Twitter at @latimeshouston. To get this newsletter in your inbox, click here.


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