Gronk OK for Super Bowl...Shazier out of hospital...Pelicans get Mirotic from Bulls
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (AP) — New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has been cleared from the concussion protocol and will play in Sunday’s Super Bowl against the Philadelphia Eagles. Gronkowski participated fully in practice yesterday and said he is “ready to roll,” with no limitations. He had been sidelined since taking a helmet-to-helmet hit from Jacksonville’s Barry Church during the AFC championship game.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Injured Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier (shuh-ZEER’) has been released from the hospital, nearly two months after suffering a spinal injury in a victory over Cincinnati. The Pro Bowler underwent spine stabilization on Dec. 6. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center says Shazier will transition to an outpatient therapy program.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The New Orleans Pelicans have found front-court help after losing DeMarcus Cousins to a torn left Achilles, acquiring Nikola Mirotic and a second-round pick from the Chicago Bulls. Mirotic has averaged 16.8 points and 6.4 rebounds since missing the first 23 games this season due to two broken facial bones suffered in a fight with Bobby Portis in practice. The Bulls are getting center Omer Asik and guards Jameer Nelson and Tony Allen in the deal, along with a first-round selection.
PHOENIX (AP) — Major league players are 2-0 in arbitration after pitcher Shelby Miller won his salary arbitration case against Arizona. Miller was awarded a $200,000 raise to $4.9 million after the Diamondbacks argued at Wednesday’s hearing that he should be paid the same salary as in 2017. The 27-year-old right-hander was 2-2 in four starts last year, missing the last five months with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament that required surgery.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Bill Haas is the first-round leader at the Phoenix Open after firing a 7-under 64. Haas carded three birdies and an eagle during a five-hole stretch on the back nine. He later birdied Nos. 2 and 4 before parring his final five. Rickie Fowler bogeyed the 16th in a 66 that left him tied with Billy Horschel, Bryson DeChambeau, Chris Kirk and Chesson Hadley.