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John Sleezer/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire
2hBill Barnwell

The most important NFL games left

Raiders at Chiefs kicks it off, but that's just the beginning. Consider this a viewer's guide to the essential remaining games for the 2016 regular season.

Michael Ivins/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images
11mScott Lauber

Red Sox's Sandoval ready for career restart

Pablo Sandoval says he got "complacent" after signing a five-year, $95 million contract with the Red Sox in November 2014 and pledged to "start my baseball career all over again."

Garrett Ellwood/NBAE/Getty Images
2h

Kings' Barnes, Cousins sued over alleged assault

A lawsuit alleges that Matt Barnes grabbed a woman by her neck and began choking her and that DeMarcus Cousins punched a second plaintiff in the face at a New York nightclub.

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Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
1hHeather Dinich

Eight games that most impacted the CFP race

A couple of inches on a fourth-down spot in Ohio State-Michigan. A yard shy of a first down in Louisville-Clemson. Had a few plays gone differently, we'd be looking at a different top four.

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Harbaugh shines at Orange Bowl news conference (1:43)
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Brady putting Deflategate animosity aside (0:41)
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Stephen A. thinks the Cavs were successful in humiliating Phil Jackson (1:58)
Dave McMenamin/ESPN
3hDave McMenamin

Sharing the swagger with Love

It's tough to feel great when you're dealing with cancer. But for one night, Kevin Love is working to help them at least look great -- and have fun doing it.

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LeBron tries the water-bottle challenge ... during a game (0:27)
USA Today Sports
5hJayson Stark

White Sox nailing the art of the sale

Why rebuild for the first time in 20 years? After trading Chris Sale and Adam Eaton, credit the White Sox for going where the franchise hasn't been in decades, and there's no white flag in sight.

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Louisville tweets Heisman vote for Jabrill Peppers (1:36)
Mike Stocker for ESPN
2hPHOTOGRAPHY BY MIKE STOCKER for ESPN

Coach B is the first female football coach in Florida

Meet Coach Brunson, the first woman to be named a head football coach in the state of Florida, and who fought an uphill battle to teach her players discipline, the importance of education and respect.

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports
2h

Bracketology: Kentucky (for now) takes a dip

Big Blue Nation didn't like losing at home to UCLA. It's probably fair to say it won't like falling from a No. 1 seed -- or being matched up against a team that already knocked off a major power this season.

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Over 10,000 teddy bears rain down after Kitchener Rangers' goal (0:26)
Leo Wilson/Premier Boxing Champions
21hDan Rafael

Unbeaten Charlo, Williams finally to meet

Now that the fight between junior middleweight titlist Jermall Charlo and No. 1 contender Julian Williams is here, the question is, can they make it count? Both are ready, or so they say.

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John Keim ESPN Staff Writer 

Redskins tight end Jordan Reed is showing more discomfort than he did Wednesday. He just caught a pass down the right seam and did not use his left arm.

NFL 

Bob Holtzman ESPN 

Right now a corner of the field at Arrowhead is icy, but the field should be in great shape by kickoff. Chiefs kicker Cairo Santos told me the surface here is "fantastic" and said the grounds crew is the best in the business. Plus no one has played on this field in 18 days.

NFL 

Ben Fawkes ESPN Staff Writer 

Robert Griffin III being named the Cleveland Browns starter for Sunday's game has had no appreciable impact on the line against Cincy in Vegas. Still Bengals -5.5/-6 around town.

NFL 

Craig Custance ESPN Senior Writer 

NHL owners are meeting today in Palm Beach for annual December Board of Governors meeting. Expected to provide clarity on NHL participation in Winter Olympics and an early look at 2017-18 salary cap among other topics.

NHL 

Andrea Adelson ESPN Staff Writer 

There was a special message painted on Deshaun Watson's high school football field in Gainesville, Ga.

NCAAF 

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly (concussion) hitting the sled. Appears to be doing everything during the media portion of practice. DE Mario Addison doing some work without his helmet.

NFL 

Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

Brandon Jennings wasn't happy after the Knicks' 32-point loss on ESPN Wednesday night: "It's definitely embarrassing to get (blown) out on national TV, " Jennings said. "I don't care what the situation is, I don't care how many games we win in a row. Nobody wants to be embarrassed on national TV."

NBA 

Rob Demovsky ESPN Staff Writer 

Aaron Rodgers "practiced well yesterday as far as what we expected," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "He'll do a little more today." He was listed as limited with his hamstring injury.

NFL 

Mark Schlabach ESPN Senior Writer 

While Florida State tailback Dalvin Cook said he's disappointed he wasn't among the Heisman Trophy finalists invited to New York next weekend, he said it will only motivate him more to play well against No. 6 Michigan in the Capital One Orange Bowl. "It just shows I've got a lot more work to do in this next game to show people I should have been in New York."

NCAAF 

Pat McManamon ESPN Staff Writer 

The Browns confirmed that Robert Griffin III will start on Sunday against Cincinnati. He has not played since the season opener against the Eagles.

NFL 

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Good sign that Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly (concussion) is back at practice with his helmet. Could be on track to return after missing two games.

NFL 

Eddie Matz ESPN Senior Writer 

If you're scoing at home, the Orioles signed zero free agents and made zero trades at the winter meetings. They did, however, make four selections in the Rule 5 draft. Meanwhile, their four AL East rivals combined for $130 million in free agent signings and THE blockbuster trade of the week.

MLB 

Andrea Adelson ESPN Staff Writer 

Pittsburgh running back James Conner tried out virtual reality at the College Football Hall of Fame. Viewers are able to see a simulation of entrances at various college football stadiums. Conner virtually traveled to the Rose Bowl.

NCAAF 

Andrew Marchand ESPN Senior Writer 

Yankees GM Brian Cashman said that with the pending Aroldis Chapman deal, he is mostly tapped out of money for this winter.

MLB 

Mark Schlabach ESPN Senior Writer 

Alabama offensive tackle Cam Robinson called offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin the "best offensive mind" he's ever been around. If Kiffin is named Houston's new coach, Robinson "wished him the best of luck and he'll do well."

NCAAF 

Vaughn McClure ESPN Staff Writer 

Falcons make it official by announcing four-year contract extension for CB Robert Alford, a former second round pick. Deal is worth $38 million with $21 million guaranteed, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Falcons recently extended right tackle Ryan Schrader at five years, $33 million. Injured CB Desmond Trufant should be rewarded with a lucrative deal at some point.

NFL 

Bob Pockrass NASCAR 

Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been medically cleared to race after a test Wednesday at Darlington. He missed the final 18 races of 2016 because of a concussion.

Doug Padilla ESPN Staff Writer 

Since Rich Hill signed, there has been a sense that the Dodgers would bring back Justin Turner OR Kenley Jansen, but not both. Jansen seems like the priority now since he is the last elite closer available on the market, but as his price skyrockets, the Dodgers could put their resources toward Turner instead. Not that Turner's offensive production and defense would be viewed as a consolation prize.

MLB 

Paul Kuharsky ESPN Staff Writer 

WATCH: Some Titans wanted Marcus Mariota to keep his Movember mustache out of superstition. He was AFC offensive player of the month with it.

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NFL 

Chris Forsberg ESPN Staff Writer 

Boston Celtics GM Danny Ainge said on Boston sports radio 98.5 that Isaiah Thomas got a PRP injection for injured groin on Wednesday. Ainge deemed Thomas unlikely to play Friday vs the Raptors, but said Thomas remains day-to-day.

NBA 

Adam Rubin ESPN Staff Writer 

The Mets lost no prospects in the major league phase of the Rule 5 draft. That means Eastern League batting champ Phillip Evans remains with the organization. The Mets' 40-man roster was full and they were unable to make any selections.

MLB 

Scott Lauber ESPN Staff Writer 

Red Sox have reacquired infielder Josh Rutledge from the Rockies in the Rule 5 draft. They lose pitcher Justin Haley (to Angels) and outfielder Aneury Tavarez (to Orioles). Rutledge helps restore some middle-infield depth.

MLB 

Jim Bowden ESPN Senior Writer 

Marlins have the best offer on the table for Kenley Jansen; the Nationals have asked his camp to come back to them before they do a deal and the Dodgers would like to have him back but not at Chapman range.

MLB 

Darren Rovell ESPN Senior Writer 

The US Patent & Trademark Office has rejected the trademark filed by the Vegas Golden Knights based on likelihood of confusion with Division II St. Rose College in Albany

Mattias Karén Arsenal Correspondent 

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was adamant at his press conference that Ozil and Sanchez will not be sold next summer even if they don't sign new contracts. That would be costly for both sides though, and hard to say whether club will actually play hardball.