Update on the latest sports



Derrick Henry cleared to practice…Burrow to sit out Sunday

UNDATED (AP) — The Tennessee Titans have made the easy move opening the 21-day window for Derrick Henry to practice with the team. The next decision and the timing is much more challenging. Taking the 2020 AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year off injured reserve by Sunday means he could help beat Houston and clinch the AFC’s No. 1 seed.

Waiting means hoping the Titans earn the first-round bye without Henry giving him more time from Oct. 31 when he broke his right foot.

Henry was the NFL’s leading rusher with 937 yards when he was put on injured reserve. He still ranks sixth in the league despite missing eight games.

In other NFL news:

— The AFC North champion Cincinnati Bengals won’t play quarterback Joe Burrow this week to make sure he is healthy for the first round of the playoffs. Burrow is nursing aches and pains, including his right knee and sore pinky finger but said he could have played Sunday at Cleveland had it been necessary. Running back Joe Mixon and other key starters went on the reserve/COVID-19 list this week but are eligible to test out after five days if they are asymptomatic.

— Mixon and Dallas star rookie linebacker Micah Parsons are the latest big-name players added to the COVID-19 reserve list. If he can’t play Sunday against Philadelphia, Parsons will finish the season with 13 sacks, 1 1/2 behind the rookie record set by Tennessee’s Jevon Kearse in 1999. Mixon joins Bengals sacks leader Trey Hendrickson and a handful of other key players for Cincinnati on the COVID-19 list headed into Sunday’s finale against Cleveland.

— Jimmy Garoppolo has resumed throwing for the 49ers and took part in practice in a limited role, saying his sprained right thumb still hurts. Garoppolo tore a ligament in the thumb on Dec. 23 and was held out of practice last week. The Niners don’t know whether he or rookie Trey Lance will start. San Francisco makes the playoffs with a win.

— Kirk Cousins has returned to the Vikings from COVID-19 reserve. He missed the previous game while experiencing mild symptoms. Vikings coach Mike Zimmer plans to play Cousins and all of the other regulars who are healthy enough.

— Bears coach Matt Nagy insists he has not been informed by his bosses that the season finale at Minnesota will be his last game leading the team. Nagy could be on his way out after four seasons with the Bears owning a 6-10 record heading into Sunday’s game. Nagy expects rookie quarterback Justin Fields to start against the Vikings after missing the past two games because of an ankle injury.

— The NFL has looked into other potential sites for next month’s Super Bowl amid a rise in COVID-19 cases, though the league always develops contingency plans for the game. An NFL spokesperson says the league still plans to play Super Bowl 56 as scheduled in Los Angeles on Feb. 13 but adds the NFL has contacted several clubs to inquire about stadium availability in the event the Super Bowl can’t be played as scheduled. The Cowboys’ stadium reportedly is one of the facilities contacted.

— The league has issued a warning to teams that they could lose a draft pick and face significant fines if club representatives conduct themselves unprofessionally in interviews with draft prospects. The league said a team would forfeit a draft pick between the first and fourth round and be fined a minimum of $150,000 if it’s determined a club representative displayed conduct that is “disrespectful, inappropriate, or unprofessional” during an interview. Fines and/or suspensions of individual club employees also could be imposed.


Unvaccinated Kyrie Irving expected to make season debut at Indiana

UNDATED (AP) — Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving has made his season debut tonight at Indiana.

Irving was held out of the team’s first 35 games because he refused to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. He’s barred from playing games in New York and Toronto, and the Nets initially declined to use him as a part-time player. But the recent COVID-19 outbreak left the Nets severely short-handed, causing the team to change its stance.

Coach Steve Nash says he expected the All-Star to play about 30 minutes.

In other NBA news:

— Portland guard Damian Lillard will miss the next three games because of a lower abdominal tendinopathy. The Trail Blazers say Lillard will undergo further evaluation and consultation concerning the injury, which has bothered him since the Tokyo Olympics.

— The Pelicans have agreed to allow forward Zion Williamson to continue his rehabilitation from a broken foot away from team headquarters. Williamson averaged a team-high 27 points and was an All-Star last season. He was trying to return to practice in mid-December when imaging of his foot revealed a setback.


Oilers star McDavid placed on NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list

UNDATED (AP) — Edmonton captain and reigning league MVP Connor McDavid has been placed on on NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list. McDavid, forward Derek Ryan and defenseman Tyson Barrie went into protocols before the Oilers’ game Wednesday at Toronto. McDavid hadn’t missed any of Edmonton’s first 33 games.

While McDavid was out, the Stars and their captain Jamie Benn were getting ready for their first game since December 20. They host Florida on Thursday. Benn is among 11 Stars players who have been through COVID protocols since Dallas last played.


Djokovic held at Australian border over visa

UNDATED (AP) — Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic (NOH’-vak JOH’-kuh-vich) has been denied entry to Australia. His visa has been canceled by border authorities. Djokovic had to spend the night at the Melbourne airport after officials refused to let him enter the country for the Australian Open after an apparent visa mix-up. Australian media reported that Djokovic’s team had applied for the wrong type of visa for someone with a medical exemption.


IOC assures teams Winter Olympics in Beijing will go ahead

GENEVA (AP) — The International Olympic Committee has promised Olympic teams worldwide that the Winter Games in Beijing will go ahead as planned next month.

Beijing organizers and the IOC are creating a health safety bubble for the Olympics with stricter testing and limits on travel and movement than were enforced at last year’s Tokyo Games. The rules include a 21-day quarantine for athletes, officials and workers not fully vaccinated, daily testing even for vaccinated people and also keeping local staff within the bubble. International fans are again being kept away though tickets to attend events in stadiums will be sold to people living in China.

Categories: National Sports