NFL All-Pros: Kelce, Jefferson unanimous; 16 first-timers
Travis Kelce and Justin Jefferson are unanimous choices for The Associated Press 2022 NFL All-Pro Team, and Sauce Gardner is the first rookie cornerback selected in 41 years. The Chiefs’ Kelce and the Vikings’ Jefferson received first-team votes Friday from all 50 members of a nationwide panel of media members who regularly cover the league. Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes, San Francisco 49ers edge rusher Nick Bosa and Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones each got 49 of 50 first-team votes. Gardner, the fourth overall pick by the New York Jets, was named on all 50 ballots, receiving 43 first-place votes. Pro Football Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott was the last rookie cornerback chosen for the first team in 1981.
2022 NFL All-Pro Team Roster
NEW YORK (AP) — 2022 NFL All-Pro Team Roster
Djokovic receives warm welcome in Melbourne return
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Novak Djokovic has received a warm and enthusiastic welcome in his return to Melbourne during an exhibition match against Nick Kyrgios. Djokovic was deported ahead of last year’s Australian Open because of a visa issue relating to his refusal to say whether he had been vaccinated for COVID-19. But the nine-time Australian Open champion was allowed to return for this year’s tournament beginning Monday because vaccination requirements have been dropped by the Australian government. An emotional Djokovic walked into a sold-out Rod Laver Arena to loud cheers from the crowd of 15,000.
WADA says Russia found ‘no fault’ in Valieva doping case
MONTREAL (AP) — The World Anti-Doping Agency says a Russian tribunal has found figure skater Kamila Valieva bore “no fault or negligence” in a doping case that rocked last year’s Winter Olympics. Valieva won Olympic gold in the team competition in February before it was announced that a sample she had given two months before had tested positive for a banned substance. WADA says it is “concerned” that a Russian anti-doping agency panel ruled that Valieva should only be disqualified from one day of the 2021 Russian national championships.
Kentucky, Calipari frustrated by season-long struggles
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky has a 10-6 record, is 1-3 in the Southeastern Conference and struggling with chemistry and consistency on both ends of the floor. The Wildcats also are hearing frustration from their rabid fan base, to the point that one fan held a sign asking Texas to take coach John Calipari for its coaching vacancy. All-American forward Oscar Tshiebwe says the team needs to fight more and stop taking things for granted. Kentucky’s challenges ahead include No. 5 Tennessee on the road this weekend and No. 2 Kansas at home at the end of January.
Australian Open 2023: Coco Gauff, a teen in a tennis hurry
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Coco Gauff acknowledges she tends to be in a bit of a hurry as she moves through life. The 18-year-old American doesn’t stick around in a city after a tennis tournament ends. She doesn’t like to linger at a restaurant after dinner. Her philosophy, in a nutshell: Why wait if you don’t need to? When the Australian Open begins the 2023 Grand Slam season, Gauff will be scheduled to start the action in Rod Laver Arena against Katerina Siniakova. Win that, and Gauff next could face Emma Raducanu, who won the 2021 U.S. Open as a teenager. Keep going all the way to the semifinals, and the No. 7-seeded Gauff might just end up facing No. 1 Iga Swiatek.
Clowney apologizes to Garrett for Browns favoritism comments
CLEVELAND (AP) — Jadeveon Clowney says he has apologized to Browns star Myles Garrett more than a week after criticizing Cleveland’s organization and coaching staff. Clowney had said the Browns favored Garrett and were more focused on getting him to the Hall of Fame than winning. The Browns disciplined Clowney by leaving him home from the season finale at Pittsburgh. Clowney spent two seasons with the Browns. The first year he had nine sacks. But this season he had just two sacks and missed four games with injuries. The 29-year-old is not under contract.
Real Madrid, Seattle Sounders could meet at Club World Cup
RABAT, Morocco (AP) — European champion Real Madrid could face Seattle Sounders at the next edition of the FIFA Club World Cup in Morocco in February. Seattle is the first-ever United States team to qualify as the champion of the CONCACAF region. FIFA made the draw Friday for the 2022 Club World Cup that was pushed into this year by the World Cup that finished last month in Qatar. Madrid is waiting in the semifinals for the winner of Seattle’s second-round game against either Al Ahly or Auckland City. Flamengo, the Copa Libertadores winner, is in the other semifinal against African champion Wydad Casablanca or Al Hilal.
Atlanta will be site if Bills, Chiefs meet for AFC title
NEW YORK (AP) — Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be the neutral site if Buffalo and Kansas City meet in the AFC championship game. The NFL decided to put that potential matchup in a neutral city after the Bills’ Week 17 game against Cincinnati was canceled when Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest on the field. The Chiefs are the No. 1 seed in the AFC, but played one more game than the second-seeded Bills. The league brokered the neutral site deal because Buffalo could have been the top seed with a victory over the Bengals.
McDermott hailed for leading Bills through emotional week
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott is drawing praise for the vulnerability and poise he showed in helping guide his team through an emotionally draining week. McDermott became the face and voice of the franchise in the aftermath of safety Damar Hamlin going into cardiac arrest and needing to be resuscitated on the field in Cincinnati. Those who know McDermott are not surprised. Former William & Mary coach Jimmye Laycock knew the Bills were in good hands under his former player.