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GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The Arizona Cardinals beat the Minnesota Vikings 23-20 last night to wrap up an NFC playoff berth. Carson Palmer threw for 310 yards and two touchdowns, and Chandler Catanzaro put the Cardinals ahead to stay with a 47-yard field goal with 1:23 remaining. The Vikes had a chance to kick a tying field goal until Dwight Freeney stripped quarterback Teddy Bridgewater of the ball, allowing Calais Campbell to recover it with five seconds left.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Hall of Fame coach and former NFL broadcaster John Madden has been released from the hospital after undergoing open-heart surgery. The league says Madden left a San Francisco hospital on Wednesday and is expected to make a full recovery. The 79-year-old coached the Oakland Raiders from 1969-78, leading the team to a Super Bowl victory after the 1976 season.
ATLANTA (AP) — Alabama running back Derrick Henry has come away with both the Walter Camp and Maxwell Awards as the college player of the year after rushing for an SEC-record 1,986 yards. Deshaun Watson of Clemson has won the Davey O'Brien Award, given to the nation's best quarterback. And Tyler Matakevich of Temple has won the Chuck Bednarik (behd-NAR'-ihk) Award as the nation's defensive player of the year.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Los Angeles Angels have acquired infielder Yunel (yoo-NEHL') Escobar from the Washington Nationals for right-handed pitchers Trevor Gott and Michael Brady, along with cash considerations. Escobar played third base last season and batted .314 with nine homers and 56 RBIs in 139 games. Gott went 4-2 with a 3.02 ERA in 48 games as a rookie last season.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Royals have finalized a three-year, $25 million deal that brings pitcher Joakim Soria back to Kansas City. Soria was one of the game's premier closers during his first stint in Kansas City, but he missed the 2012 season for Tommy John surgery and the Royals decided not to exercise their option on him. Soria was 3-1 with 24 saves and a 2.53 ERA for the Tigers and Pirates last season.
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