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Mahomes takes reps...Memphis sidelined...Caps lose Ovechkin

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Patrick Mahomes took the majority of first-team reps in practice today, even though he remains in the NFL’s concussion protocol, raising expectations that he will start in the AFC championship game against the Buffalo Bills. Mahomes was initially listed as a full participant when he returned to practice Wednesday, but the Chiefs quickly corrected his status to limited because he remains in the protocol. He must be cleared by team physicians and an independent neural consult before the reigning Super Bowl MVP can be a full participant in practice or play in a game.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — According to two people familiar with the decision the Philadelphia Eagles are nearing a deal to hire Nick Sirianni to be their head coach. Sirianni was the offensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts the past three seasons. The Eagles fired Doug Pederson following a 4-11-1 season, less than three years after he led the team to the franchise’s only Super Bowl title.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Memphis Grizzlies are the latest NBA team that will have a coronavirus-related extended break from games. The league announced today that Memphis’ next three contests will be postponed because of a lack of available players. The NBA says the Grizzlies’ game Friday at Portland, along with home games Sunday and Monday against Sacramento, were pushed back. That decision came one day after the Grizzlies’ game at Portland, scheduled for Wednesday, was also called off.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Washington Capitals coach Peter Laviolette says the team will be without star Alex Ovechkin and three other prominent players for at least the next four games because of COVID-19 protocols. Ovechkin, a three-time NHL MVP, was placed on the league’s unavailable list Wednesday along with center Evgeny Kuznetsov, goaltender Ilya Samsonov and defenseman Dmitry Orlov. The NHL fined Washington $100,000 for breaking pandemic protocol for the players being in a hotel room together unmasked.

HOUSTON (AP) — A person familiar with the deal tells The Associated Press that catcher Jason Castro has agreed to a $7 million, two-year contract with the Houston Astros. This will be Castro’s second stint with the team after he was selected in the first round of the 2008 amateur draft by the Astros and spent his first six MLB seasons with the team. The 33-year-old gives Houston another veteran catcher to play behind starter Martín Maldonado.

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