Some of the sports stories The Associated Press is covering Friday. A full Sports Digest will be sent by about 3 p.m. All times EST:
- Not all that long ago the shotgun was something of a novelty in the NFL. This season, more than half of all offensive snaps season came with the quarterback away from the line.
- ATLANTA - After an MVP-worthy season, Matt Ryan wants to show he's just as clutch in the playoffs. To do that, the Atlanta quarterback will have to beat the defensively formidable Seahawks on Saturday.
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- FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Tom Brady and the Patriots are favored by 15 1/2 points in Saturday's divisional playoff against the Houston Texans, the NFL's top-ranked defense.
- GREEN BAY, Wis. - Receiver Jordy Nelson will miss the Green Bay Packers' divisional round playoff game Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys because of injured ribs.
- PITTSBURGH - Steelers assistant Joey Porter is back with the team in time for Sunday's playoff game in Kansas City after several charges were dropped following his confrontation with a Miami bouncer.
- NEW YORK - Bryce Harper, Jake Arrieta, Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Manny Machado are among 146 major leaguers eligible to exchange salary arbitration figures with their teams.
- MELBOURNE, Australia - Six-time champion Novak Djokovic draws a tough first-round opponent in Fernando Verdasco in the Australian Open, which starts Monday.
- HONOLULU - Justin Thomas, coming off a 59 that he made look almost easy, takes a three-shot lead into the second round of the Sony Open.
- MOSCOW - Still mired in a massive doping scandal and its track team banned from international competition, Russia might bid for the 2028 Summer Olympics.
- DURHAM, N.C. - No. 7 Duke and Grayson Allen face No. 14 Louisville on Saturday. They will be playing before fans with a long memory of how the lightning-rod guard tripped one of their players.
- Former UConn great Maya Moore, instrumental in the Huskies' previous 90-game winning streak, hopes this team can shatter the mark her group set a few years ago.
- TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Several Alabama juniors could be leaving school for the NFL draft: left tackle Cam Robinson, wide receiver ArDarius Stewart and cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey and Tony Brown.
- ALTENMARKT-ZAUCHENSEE, Austria - Returning to World Cup skiing after 22 months, Julia Mancuso talks with the AP about her better frame of mind, recovery from hip surgery and recent marriage.
- WENGEN, Switzerland - Switzerland's Niels Hintermann wins a World Cup combined. Until this race, he had no top-20 finishes in his World Cup career.
- WASHINGTON - Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals go for their eighth consecutive victory when they host the Chicago Blackhawks. Game starts 7 p.m.
- LOS ANGELES - Jurgen Klinsmann is expected to make his first public comments since his dismissal as U.S. coach. He is to speak at a soccer convention not far from where new coach Bruce Arena has begun camp.