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A painting that shows the number of Buffalo Bills' Damar Hamlin is illuminated by candles during a prayer vigil outside University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023, in Cincinnati. Hamlin was taken to the hospital after collapsing on the field during an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday night. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings) **FILE**

Risk, even of death, has always been a part of sports

- Associated Press

Tragedy and death are a part of all sports, as intertwined with the games we play and cheer for as life itself. There is nothing to suggest this time will be any different.

Phil Mickelson lines up a shot on the 18th hole during the first round of the Bedminster Invitational LIV Golf tournament in Bedminster, N.J., July 29, 2022. Players who defected from the PGA Tour to join Saudi-funded LIV Golf are still welcome at the Masters next year, even as Augusta National officials expressed disappointment Tuesday, Dec. 20, in the division it has caused in golf. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File) ** FILE**

Woods status, LIV Golf to dictate PGA Tour's year

- Associated Press

In these times, trying to decipher which player will emerge is secondary to so many other issues off the course. LIV Golf and Tiger Woods' playing status are six topics for the PGA Tour to contemplate in 2023.

Washington Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz warms up before an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

LOVERRO: Wentz fiasco, Browns loss should seal Rivera's fate

The decision to sit Heinicke in favor of Wentz is reason enough to fire Rivera. But add to that the bizarre postgame comments, in which Rivera seemed surprised that because of the loss to the Browns, his team faced playoff elimination if the Packers defeated the Vikings later that day.

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, left, works the ball inside to the rim as Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul defends in overtime of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Dec. 25, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) **FILE**

In wide-open NBA, uncertainty is only certainty

- Associated Press

There was a time when an NBA team had some sense of how things were shaping up by Christmas. Even if just a glimmer of its place in the overall landscape.

Tiger Woods tees off on the 4th hole during the final round of the PNC Championship golf tournament Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Kevin Kolczynski) **FILE**

Woods' shots and limp keep everyone guessing on return

- Associated Press

For now, everyone is left with predictions, always a dangerous game involving Woods. Remember, in a span of five years he had four surgeries on his lower back and had to deal with a DUI arrest stemming from a mix of painkillers. And then he won the Masters.

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