Update on the latest sports
NFL still considering scheduling options, Week 18 unchanged
The NFL is still considering various options following the suspension of the Bills-Bengals game, including possibly eliminating the bye week before the Super Bowl. The Bills-Patriots game set for Sunday and the rest of the Week 18 games remain on schedule. The pivotal Bills-Bengals game was suspended Monday night after Buffalo safety Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest while making a tackle in the first quarter. A marketing representative for his family says Hamlin’s recovery is moving in “a positive direction” two days after the 24-year-old player had to be resuscitated on the field. NFL executive Jeff Miller said there has been no decision on whether to resume the Bills-Bengals game at a later date. A decision will be made in the coming days.
NFL rallies to support Hamlin as his condition improves
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — NFL players and coaches are rallying to support Damar Hamlin, two days after the Buffalo Bills safety’s heart stopped and he needed to be resuscitated during a game at Cincinnati. Colts safety Rodney Thomas made the two-hour drive from Indianapolis to Cincinnati to provide his sedated friend words of encouragement. Vikings defensive tackle and former Bills teammate Harrison Phillips arranged to have dinner delivered to the hospital. Hamlin’s marketing representative Jordan Rooney told The Associated Press the player’s recovery is moving in “a positive direction.” The Bills say Hamlin is still in critical condition but has shown signs of improvement.
Reyna family flagged Berhalter incident; interim coach named
NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. soccer team has been plunged into public turmoil because the family of former U.S. captain Claudio Reyna family says it was the one to notify the U.S. Soccer Federation of a decades-old incident involving Gregg Berhalter and his wife. The family says it took action in response to the coach’s disparagement of young star Gio Reyna, Claudio’s son. Berhalter said Tuesday that his 1991 behavior in which he kicked the woman who would become his wife was “shameful.” Anthony Hudson will coach the team ahead of exhibitions against Serbia on Jan. 25 and Colombia three days later.
AP source: Red Sox, Devers agree to 11-year, $331M deal
BOSTON (AP) — Rafael Devers has agreed to an 11-year contract worth $331 million to stay with the Boston Red Sox. That’s according to a person with knowledge of the agreement who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team had not announced the deal. Locking up Devers was an important move for the Red Sox and their uneasy fans after All-Star shortstop Xander Bogaerts, slugger J.D. Martinez and pitcher Nathan Eovaldi departed in free agency. The 26-year-old third baseman is a two-time All-Star. The deal was reached one day after Devers agreed to a one-year, $17.5 million contract to avoid arbitration.
Collapse of Bills’ Hamlin deepens Buffalo’s anguish, resolve
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Bills have been a reliable bright spot for a city that has been shaken by a racist mass shooting and back-to-back snowstorms in recent months. So when Bills safety Damar Hamlin was critically hurt in a game Monday, the city quickly looked for ways to support the team. Supporters have been donating to Hamlin’s Pennsylvania charity and several gathered to pray together outside the Bills stadium in Orchard Park Tuesday. Officials say Buffalo City Hall and Niagara Falls will be illuminated in Bills’ blue. Hamlin remains hospitalized in critical condition after going into cardiac arrest after a tackle.
Column: The games will go on after Hamlin — they always do
It was a horrific scene. A young athlete just getting started on a promising NFL career, popping up from a rather innocuous-looking tackle — and then slumping back to the turf. Just like that, fighting for his life. Naturally, when a traumatic event happens like the one that stopped Damar Hamlin’s heart, we’re roused to ponder the value of sport. Especially a violent sport such as football. But anyone who suggests this is a precarious moment for America’s No. 1 pastime, that somehow we’ve crossed a Rubicon leading to its slow, inevitable downfall, simply hasn’t been paying attention.
Hamlin’s collapse spurs new wave of vaccine misinformation
WASHINGTON (AP) — Misinformation about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines has flared up once again, this time following the on-field collapse of Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin during a game Monday. Even before Hamlin was carried off the field, social media posts claimed without evidence that his medical emergency was caused by a COVID-19 inoculation. Prominent anti-vaccine groups and right-leaning figures like Tucker Carlson claimed Hamlin’s cardiac arrest is connected to a number of athletes who have died after receiving the shot. Physicians interviewed by the AP, however, said it’s wrong to blame vaccines for Hamlin’s injury and that there’s been no increase in cardiac arrests among vaccinated athletes.
Masters champions could be in for dinner unlike any other
KAPALUA, Hawaii (AP) — Few events carry more intrigue than the most exclusive gathering of champions. It’s not the Sentry Tournament of Champions. It’s the annual Tuesday night dinner at Augusta National in April for Masters champions. Six of those champions now belong to LIV Golf. Tiger Woods is among Masters champions who believe players who signed with LIV have turned their back on the PGA Tour. This could lead to some awkward times. Scottie Scheffler is in charge of the menu. He says while there’s acrimony in golf, he hopes everyone can put aside their differences and celebrate the Masters.
Djokovic, Shapovalov to meet in Adelaide quarterfinals
ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) — Top-seeded Novak Djokovic has reached the quarterfinals of the Adelaide International where he will face Denis Shapovalov. Djokovic defeated Quentin Halys 7-6 (3) 7-6 (5), and Shapovalov beat Roman Safiullin 6-4, 6-3 to advance. Djokovic and other top players are using this event as a warm-up for the Australian Open which begins Jan. 16. Djokovic missed the Australian Open last because he was unvaccinated. He’s been allowed to enter this year as COVID-19 restrictions have been relaxed.
Brazilian players face backlash for skipping Pelé’s funeral
SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazilian soccer stars past and present are under fire from fans for skipping Pelé’s funeral and opting to pay their respects on social media. The three-time World Cup champion was buried in his hometown Tuesday after more than 230,000 mourners passed by his casket at Vila Belmiro stadium in Santos. Pelé died last Thursday after a battle with cancer. Fans expected former Santos players like Neymar, Rodrygo and Giovanni to attend. They also hoped retired greats like Zico, Romario, Ronaldo, Kaká and Ronaldinho Gaucho would show up at the beach city 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of São Paulo. Their social media accounts were flooded with comments by angry fans after Pelé’s burial.