CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - It doesn't surprise safety Mike Mitchell that the Carolina Panthers are only the third home underdog in the NFL divisional playoffs in the past 20 years.
BOSTON (AP) - Two players violated league concussion protocol during last weekend's wild-card games, according to a letter sent by the NFL's head, neck and spine committee chairmen to all team doctors and trainers.
DENVER (AP) - Philip Rivers likes to say the San Diego Chargers have been in playoff mode since last month, scrapping just to squeak into the postseason party.
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) - The Oakland Raiders have re-signed offensive line coach Tony Sparano to a two-year contract.
SACRAMENTO (AP) - DeMarcus Cousins had 24 points and 14 rebounds, Rudy Gay added 22 points and 10 rebounds, and the Sacramento Kings beat the undersized Orlando Magic 103-83 Friday night.
SAN JOSE (AP) - Joe Pavelski scored two goals to extend his run of strong play and the San Jose Sharks beat Jimmy Howard for the ninth straight time in the regular season with a 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night.
NEW YORK (AP) - Carmelo Anthony scored 29 points, Andrea Bargnani had 19, and the New York Knicks beat the Miami Heat 102-92 on Thursday night for their season-high third straight victory.
The long and winding road to the Meadowlands already has had some unexpected twists and turns.
SANTA CLARA (AP) - Nobody could blame Perrish Cox for confusing his uniform, defensive schemes or even what state he's in these days. It's been a constant switcheroo.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith said Thursday his injured left knee isn't coming along quite as well as he'd hoped.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - Tom Brady has been leading successful comebacks for more than a decade. Andrew Luck is just getting started.
CINCINNATI (AP) - The Bengals didn't wait long or look far for their next offensive coordinator, promoting Hue Jackson on Thursday shortly after Jay Gruden was introduced as the next head coach in Washington.
RENTON, Wash. (AP) - Pete Carroll told Percy Harvin that the Seattle Seahawks were considering placing him on injured reserve to open up a roster spot ahead of the postseason. Harvin's response: "Coach I'm ready to play ball."
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) - Dennis Rodman apologized Thursday for comments he made in North Korea about a detained American missionary, saying he had been drinking and was under pressure as he organized a game with former NBA players.
NEW YORK (AP) - The Hall of Fame says it's up to baseball writers to propose any changes in the selection process.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Second-ranked and undefeated Florida State begins its postseason quest for a second consecutive national championship in the same stadium it won the title a year ago: The Rose Bowl.
SANTA CLARA (AP) - Citing a pattern of behavior and off-field issues, San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke informed defensive lineman Ray McDonald that he was released Wednesday amid a sexual assault investigation by San Jose police.
AN DIEGO (AP) - Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers didn't practice Wednesday, although he participated in a morning walkthrough and said he expects to play Saturday night against the San Francisco 49ers.
Two knee surgeries in less than a year nearly shattered Chelsea Gray's confidence.
SACRAMENTO (AP) - Russell Westbrook had 32 points and seven assists, Kevin Durant scored 26 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the reeling Sacramento Kings 104-92 on Tuesday night for their seventh straight win.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Marc Gasol scored 24 points, and the Memphis Grizzlies snapped the Golden State Warriors' NBA-best 16-game winning streak with a 105-98 victory on Tuesday night.
ALAMEDA (AP) - The Oakland Raiders have placed linebacker Sio Moore on season-ending injured reserve with a hip injury.
NEW YORK (AP) - Tom Brady and the New England Patriots maintained their mastery of the AFC East and returned to the top spot in the NFL.
SANTA CLARA (AP) - Linebacker Chris Borland's stellar rookie season for San Francisco is likely over.
NEW YORK (AP) - Alex Rodriguez faces a diminished role in his return to the New York Yankees, who have stripped A-Rod of his third-base job and plan to limit his role to full-time designated hitter - at most.
MIAMI (AP) - The Miami Marlins' busy offseason reached first base Tuesday.
SACRAMENTO (AP) - Sacramento Kings general manager Pete D'Alessandro stepped to the microphone and talked about how a franchise that was in disarray a little more than 18 months ago when owner Vivek Ranadive bought the team has been stabilized with new leadership, a change in culture and the start of a new arena.
SANTA CLARA (AP) - Jim Harbaugh welcomes a sit-down with 49ers CEO Jed York and general manager Trent Baalke to discuss the future - his future - after a season that will end in two weeks without a playoff berth for the first time during his four-year tenure.
BEREA, Ohio (AP) - Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel says his embarrassing debut as a starter against Cincinnati was "very humbling."
CHICAGO (AP) - Turns out all Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints needed to solve their problems was to show up in Chicago.