Bills: Hamlin attending his 1st game since cardiac arrest
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Bills say Damar Hamlin is in attendance at Highmark Stadium for their AFC divisional round playoff game against the Cincinnati Bengals three weeks after going into cardiac arrest on the field. The Bills posted video on social media apparently showing Hamlin arriving at their locker room and the message “Welcome home, Damar.” The 24-year-old safety has not been seen in public since he went into cardiac arrest on the field in Cincinnati on Jan. 2. He spent more than a week in the hospital. Bills coach Sean McDermott said Hamlin began making regular visits to the team’s facility soon after his release from the hospital on Jan. 11.
Chiefs’ Henne delivers with Mahomes hobbled in playoff win
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Chad Henne has spent most of the season holding clipboards behind Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes. But when the All-Pro quarterback hurt his right ankle in Saturday night’s playoff game against Jacksonville, the 37-year-old journeyman entered the game and proceeded to lead Kansas City on a 98-yard touchdown drive. Mahomes eventually returned to finish off a 27-20 victory that ushered the Chiefs to their fifth consecutive AFC championship game. But the performance by his backup amid the intense pressure of the postseason may have been what kept Kansas City’s season alive.
Huge waves bring Hawaii surf contest The Eddie after hiatus
HONOLULU (AP) — One of the world’s most prestigious and storied surfing contests went forward in Hawaii for the first time in seven years. And this year female surfers are competing alongside the men for the first time in the 39-year history of The Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational. The event Sunday is a one-day contest held in Waimea Bay on Oahu’s North Shore only when the surf is consistently large enough during the winter big wave surfing season from mid-December through mid-March. Before this year, it’s only been held nine times since the initial competition in 1984. The competition honors legendary Native Hawaiian waterman Eddie Aikau for his selflessness, courage and sacrifice.
NFL playoffs: Top-seeded Chiefs, Eagles handle business
Patrick Mahomes remains good at football even on one ankle. Mahomes hurt his ankle in the first half, but returned to lead the Kansas City Chiefs past the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-20 on Saturday in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs. The Philadelphia Eagles cruised past the New York Giants 38-7 a few hours later. There will be two more games Sunday. Buffalo hosts Cincinnati in the afternoon while Dallas is at San Francisco at night. The Chiefs and Eagles didn’t have to play during last weekend’s wild-card round because the top-seeded team in each conference received a bye to the divisional round.
Canucks fire coach Boudreau, hire Tocchet as replacement
The Vancouver Canucks have fired coach Bruce Boudreau and hired Rick Tocchet as his replacement. The move comes midway through another underwhelming season in the Pacific Northwest. It’s the second consecutive season that the Canucks have fired their coach. Boudreau took over when previous coach Travis Green and general manager Jim Benning were fired in December 2021. The Canucks are on track to miss the playoffs for a third consecutive year. They have only qualified once in the past eight seasons.
Buffalo’s Pegula eyes 1st Slam semifinal at Australian Open
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Jessica Pegula is headed to the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam tournament for the fifth time. It is her third consecutive trip to that stage of the Australian Open. The 28-year-old American has yet to make it to a semifinal. She will face 2012-13 Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka on Tuesday. All three of Pegula’s major quarterfinals in 2022 came against the No. 1 player at the time who went on to win the trophy: Ash Barty at the Australian Open, and Iga Swiatek at the French Open and U.S. Open. But with Swiatek and No. 2 Ons Jabeur out of the draw at Melbourne Park, No. 3 Pegula is the highest-seeded woman remaining.
Hurts, Eagles pound Giants early, coast to NFC title game
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jalen Hurts erased lingering doubts about the state of his right shoulder by throwing two touchdown passes and running for a score during a dominant first half, and the Philadelphia Eagles overwhelmed the New York Giants 38-7 in an NFC divisional playoff game. Hurts is back, and so are the Eagles as a Super Bowl threat. Top-seeded Philadelphia will host the NFC championship game next Sunday against either Dallas or San Francisco. Hurts finished 16 of 24 for 154 yards. He showed he was fine when he aired out a pass on the second play of the game and hit DeVonta Smith in stride for a 40-yard reception.
Chiefs, led by hobbled Mahomes, beat Jags 27-20 in playoffs
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Patrick Mahomes threw for 195 yards and two touchdowns, leading the Kansas City Chiefs to a 27-20 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars and a place in their fifth straight AFC title game. They will play the winner of the Sunday game between Cincinnati and Buffalo. Mahomes missed most of the second quarter after he was landed on by Jaguars pass rusher Arden Key. But the All-Pro quarterback came out of the halftime locker room to lead the Chiefs on a 75-yard fourth-quarter touchdown drive, and Kansas City forced two late turnovers to help put the game away. Trevor Lawrence threw for 217 yards with a touchdown and an interception for Jacksonville.
Shiffrin’s chase of record 83rd win moves on to next resort
CORTINA D’AMPEZZO, Italy (AP) — American skier Mikaela Shiffrin’s pursuit of a record 83rd World Cup win will move on to the next stop on the circuit. Shiffrin finished seventh in a super-G, 0.62 seconds behind race winner Ragnhild Mowinckel on the course that will host the 2026 Milan-Cortina Olympics. It was the third straight race in Cortina that Shiffrin missed out on the podium. Her next chances to break a tie with former teammate Lindsey Vonn for the women’s record will come in two giant slaloms at the Kronplatz resort in nearby San Vigilio di Marebbe on Tuesday and Wednesday. Mowinckel finished 0.30 seconds ahead of Cornelia Huetter and 0.47 seconds ahead of Marta Bassino.
NC State’s Smith day-to-day after scary fall in UNC loss
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina State says guard Terquavion Smith is day-to-day after a scary fall in Saturday’s loss to North Carolina. Smith was wheeled off the court on a stretcher in Saturday’s loss at North Carolina. The school says Smith reported neck and elbow pain, as well as numbness in his right arm after being fouled on a drive by UNC’s Leaky Black. Medical personnel used the backboard and stretcher due to Smith’s report of neck pain. X-rays at the UNC Medical Center were negative for any fractures. Black was ejected for a Flagrant Two foul.