Update on the latest sports
Broncos bench QB Russell Wilson and will turn to Jarrett Stidham, AP source says
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — A person with knowledge of the decision tells The Associated Press that the Denver Broncos are benching quarterback Russell Wilson for their game against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday. Wilson will serve as a backup to Jarrett Stidham. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the team has not publicly addressed the situation. Coach Sean Payton was scheduled to meet with reporters later on Wednesday after practice. The Broncos could move on from Wilson in the offseason. If he’s on the roster March 17 his 2025 salary of $37 million is guaranteed. Wilson signed a five-year, $245 million contract last year that kicks in next season.
Nuggets’ Gordon needs 21 stitches after cuts to face and hand from dog bite, AP source says
DENVER (AP) — A person with knowledge of the situation says Denver Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon needed 21 stitches after suffering lacerations to his face and right hand while being bitten by a family dog on Christmas. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because details haven’t been released. The Nuggets announced in a statement the 28-year-old forward “is in good condition” but will remain away from the team as he recovers. Gordon is averaging 13.6 points and 6.9 rebounds for the defending NBA champions. He had 16 points and 10 rebounds in a 120-114 win over Golden State on Christmas.
Chiefs’ Andy Reid and Travis Kelce hash things out after sideline outburst vs Raiders
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid says he has talked with Travis Kelce after the star tight end’s sideline outburst in which he chucked his helmet toward the benches during a loss to the Las Vegas Raiders on Christmas. Reid didn’t elaborate on what was said during the conversation. Kelce said on his “New Heights” podcast earlier Wednesday that he “reacted in a bad way” to the way the Kansas City offense continued to underperform. The Chiefs have lost three of their past four games to fall to 9-6, leaving them still in need of a win to clinch the AFC West. They play the Bengals on Sunday.
Morant has quickly gotten the Memphis Grizzlies rolling, and oozing optimism
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Ja Morant is quickly re-establishing himself as one of the NBA’s best players upon his return from a 25-game suspension and the Memphis Grizzlies are reaping the benefits. Morant has averaged 28.8 points through his first four games since returning from a ban that stemmed from his antics with guns on social media. The Grizzlies had gone 6-19 without the All-Star guard and have gone 4-0 since his return. Morant also was named Western Conference Player of the Week in just his first week back. Jenkins says “it’s awesome” that Morant “got recognized for his stellar play,” and “for the team’s stellar play over the past week.” Memphis still has 53 games left to climb back into the playoff picture.
Teenager Najiah Knight wants to be the first woman at bull riding’s top level. It’s an uphill dream
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Najiah Knight is a 17-year-old bull rider with a big dream. She wants to be the first woman to compete at the top level of the Professional Bull Riders tour. She’s garnered attention in bull riding circles for years. She’s eligible for the top tour at 18, but the competition is fierce and the sport dangerous. Najiah insists her dream is achievable. She was the only woman to qualify in her age group for the Junior World Finals this month. She fell off in her two attempts but chalks it up as the latest step in her journey. Fellow riders and league officials say she has the passion needed but an uphill climb ahead. Her family says she’s fearless and has always wanted to be the first woman at the top.
CFP matchups: Yards will be hard in Michigan-Alabama; red-zone success could decide Texas-Washington
The final four-team College Football Playoff promises to be one of the closest in the 10-year history of the event. The combined spread of the two New Year’s Day semifinals sits at six points, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. No. 1 Michigan is a 1 1/2-point favorite against fourth-seeded Alabama in the Rose Bowl. No. 3 Texas is a 4 1/2-point favorite over No. 2 Washington in the Sugar Bowl. The matchups that will decide each CFP semifinal.
Pro Picks: Browns will beat the Jets to clinch a playoff berth
The Cleveland Browns saw the best of Joe Flacco up close last season with the New York Jets. Now, the veteran quarterback can show the Jets what they’ve been missing since losing Aaron Rodgers. Flacco and the Browns can secure a playoff berth Thursday night with a victory over New York. The Super Bowl 47 MVP is 3-1 in four starts with 10 touchdown passes since the Browns signed him last month and made him their fourth starting QB of the season. The Jets have also used four QBs this season and will give Trevor Siemian his second straight start. It’ll be a matchup of two of the NFL’s best defenses. The Browns rank first in yards allowed and the Jets are third.
NBA approves sale of Dallas Mavericks to families that run Las Vegas Sands casino company
DALLAS (AP) — The NBA has approved the sale of controlling interest of the Dallas Mavericks from Mark Cuban to the families that run the Las Vegas Sands casino company. The deal was approved just shy of a month since the families of Dr. Miriam Adelson and Sivan and Patrick Dumont announced their intention to buy the club. The purchase is in the valuation range of $3.5 billion. Patrick Dumont will be Mavericks governor. He is Adelson’s son-in-law and president and chief operating officer of Las Vegas Sands. Adelson is the widow of casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. Cuban is expected to maintain control of basketball operations. There’s no indication the club would leave Dallas.
Brissett to start for the Commanders against the 49ers after Howell was pulled from the last 2 games
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — Jacoby Brissett is set to start at quarterback for the Washington Commanders on Sunday when they host the NFC-leading San Francisco 49ers. Ron Rivera announced before practice Wednesday that the 31-year-old journeyman would be the starter. Sam Howell started the first 15 games of the season. He was pulled from each of the previous two. Washington has lost six in a row to fall to 4-11. The 49ers are 13 1/2-point favorites coming off their home loss to Baltimore. Brissett last started an NFL game Nov. 27, 2022, for Cleveland.
Odds for more sports betting expansion could fade after rapid growth to 38 states
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Sports betting has spread rapidly across U.S. states in the past five years. But the odds for further expansion may be fading as state legislatures prepare to return to work in 2024. A 2018 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court opened the way for states to legalize sports betting. Since then, a total of 38 have done so. But proposals in some other states have become bogged down by political resistance and competing financial interests from casinos, tribal gaming groups, horse tracks and other gambling operations. California and Texas — the two most populous states — are among the dozen where sports betting still is illegal.