KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes remains in the NFL’s concussion protocol, but practiced in a limited capacity on Wednesday, raising hopes the reigning Super Bowl MVP can play in Sunday’s AFC title game against Buffalo. The Chiefs typically breeze through practice on Wednesday with little contact before ramping things up on Thursday, and coach Andy Reid said that fit perfectly with what Mahomes was able to do. Reid didn’t say what phase of the five-step process Mahomes is in to be cleared to play, but the work he described his quarterback doing coincides with the fourth step.
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Bills defense isn't the same pushover it was to start the season or the one that gave up the so-called Hail Murray in a Week 10 loss at Arizona. Buffalo has won eight straight since Kyler Murray's last-second 43-yard touchdown pass to DeAndre Hopkins in the Cardinals' 32-30 victory. The Bills have used the loss as motivation in preparing to make their first AFC championship game appearance in 27 years. They play at Kansas City on Sunday. The Bills aren’t the only defense to have overcome obstacles among the four remaining playoff teams, rounded out in the NFC by Green Bay and Tampa Bay.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Reliever Wade Davis is returning to the Kansas City Royals, the team he helped pitch to the 2015 World Series title. Davis and the Royals agreed to a minor league contract, and the 35-year-old right-hander will go to spring training trying to earn a spot on the major league roster. Davis is a three-time All-Star who had 47 saves for the Royals from 2013-16. He pitched the final out of the 2015 World Series against the New York Mets, throwing a called third strike past Wilmer Flores. Davis had two saves for Colorado during last year’s pandemic-shortened season, when his ERA shot up to 20.77. The Rockies released him in September.
UNDATED (AP) — The Big 12′s best team this season faces off with arguably its best player on Saturday when second-ranked Baylor heads to Oklahoma State, where the Bears will try to shut down the Cowboys’ Cade Cunningham. The likely NBA lottery pick is averaging 17.8 points while shooting better than 45% from the field. Elsewhere, ninth-ranked Kansas tries to get on track against Oklahoma, while No. 14 West Virginia visits Kansas State.
HOUSTON (AP) — Outfielder Michael Brantley has agreed to a $32 million, two-year contract with the Houston Astros, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press. The deal is pending completion of a physical. Brantley spent the last two seasons in Houston after playing for Cleveland for his first 10 MLB seasons. Brantley hit .300 with five homers and 22 RBIs in 46 games in last year’s pandemic-shortened season.
TORONTO (AP) — A person familiar with the negotiations says the Toronto Blue Jays have agreed to contracts with free agent pitchers Kirby Yates and Tyler Chatwood. Yates received a $5.5 million, one-year deal with $4.5 million in potential performance bonuses. Chatwood agreed to a $3 million, one-year contract with incentives that could take it to $5.5 million. Yates led the major leagues in saves in 2019 with 41 saves for San Diego and earned a place on the National League All-Star team. Chatwood went 2 - 2 with a 5.30 ERA in five starts with the Chicago Cubs last year.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Longtime NFL quarterback Philip Rivers has decided to retire after playing one season with the Indianapolis Colts. His decision at age 39 comes less than two weeks after the Colts suffered a 27-24 loss at Buffalo in the wild-card round of the playoffs. Rivers spent his first 16 seasons with the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers after they acquired him in a draft-day trade that sent Eli Manning to the New York Giants in 2004. Rivers finishes his career ranked among the league’s top five in career completions, career yards passing and career TDs. He never played in a Super Bowl.
TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL
(5)Texas at Iowa St. 7 p.m. (Postponed)
(12)Texas Tech at TCU 8 p.m. (Postponed)
NC State at (13)Virginia 7 p.m. (Postponed)
Boston College at (16)Virginia Tech 5 p.m. (Postponed)
(17)Minnesota at Nebraska 7 p.m. (Postponed)
Xavier at (23)UConn 8:30 p.m. (Postponed)
(25)Saint Louis at UMass 6 p.m. (Postponed)
Final (8)Houston 86 Tulsa 59
Final (10)Wisconsin 68 Northwestern 52
Final Providence 74 (11)Creighton 70
Final Georgia Tech 83 (20)Clemson 65
NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Washington at Charlotte 7 p.m. (Postponed)
Memphis at Portland 10 p.m. (Postponed)
Final Dallas 124 Indiana 112
Final Philadelphia 117 Boston 109
Final 2OT Cleveland 147 Brooklyn 135
Final Miami 111 Toronto 102
Final OT Atlanta 123 Detroit 115
Final Orlando 97 Minnesota 96
Final Phoenix 109 Houston 103
Final L.A. Clippers 115 Sacramento 96
Final Golden State 121 San Antonio 99