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Friday’s Sports In Brief

January 22, 2022 GMT

NFL

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans will have Derrick Henry on the field for their AFC divisional game with Cincinnati after moving the NFL’s 2019 and 2020 rushing leader from injured reserve to the active roster.

The Titans (12-5) made the roster move Friday after watching Henry practice since Jan. 5.

Henry, 28, broke his right foot Oct. 31 and had the break repaired with a steel plate Nov. 2. Henry was the NFL’s rushing leader when placed on injured reserve. Despite missing the final nine games, Henry finished as the league’s ninth-leading rusher with 937 yards.

Signs that Henry would play became clear Wednesday when he talked with media for the first time since breaking his foot, and said he felt ready. He was voted the 2020 AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year after running for 2,027 yards, the fifth-highest total in NFL history.

Coach Mike Vrabel said Thursday that Henry had been progressing well after they increased his workload through the week. That included putting pads on Tuesday to give Henry a chance to thud into and run through defenders.

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Henry ranks second all-time averaging 111.7 yards rushing in the postseason.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Joe Schoen was at the top of the New York Giants’ list of candidates when they started their search for a new general manager, and the Buffalo Bills assistant GM never left that spot.

The Giants hired the 42-year-old Schoen as their general manager. It ended a quick but extensive search in which they interviewed nine candidates in the first round and gave three a second interview in finding a replacement for Dave Gettleman.

Schoen got the nod over San Francisco 49ers assistant general manager Adam Peters and Kansas City’s executive director of player personnel Ryan Poles, the other two men who got second interviews.

Schoen faces a major rebuilding process. The Giants have made the playoffs once since winning the Super Bowl in February 2012. They have had five straight double-digit losing seasons, including a 4-13 record this past season.

Schoen (pronounced Shane) spent the last five seasons as GM Brandon Beane’s top assistant. They have rebuilt the Bills, making the playoffs four of five seasons, while winning the last two AFC East titles. Prior to that, Buffalo had a 17-year playoff drought.

His first job will be to find a coach to replace Joe Judge, who was fired last week after posting a 10-23 in two seasons.

AUTO RACING

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Dale Earnhardt Jr. was voted NASCAR’s most popular driver a record 15 times. He didn’t forget “Junior Nation” on his way into the Hall of Fame.

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Earnhardt was inducted into NASCAR’s 12th Hall of Fame class on Friday night along with late-model driver Red Farmer and the late Mike Stefanik, a decorated modified driver who died in a plane crash in 2019. Ralph Seagraves was named as the recipient of the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR.

The group was selected in 2020, but the induction ceremony was postponed more than a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The younger Earnhardt joins his late father, seven-time Cup Series champion Dale Earnhardt, in the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Known around the pits simply as “Junior,” Earnhardt won 26 races during his Cup career, including two Daytona 500s and the 2001 Pepsi 400, which came four months after his father’s death at the same track.

GOLF

LA QUINTA, Calif. (AP) — Patrick Cantlay fought through gusting wind on his back nine to take a one-stroke lead into the weekend at The American Express in a bid to win for the third time in four starts.

Tied for the first-round lead with Lee Hodges after a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club, Cantlay shot a 68 on PGA West’s Nicklaus Tournament Course to reach 14-under 130.

Tom Hoge was second after a 66 on PGA West’s Stadium Course. Joseph Bramlett, playing in the last group off the 10th tee at La Quinta, bogeyed the final two holes in strong wind for a 67 to drop into a five-man tie for third at 12 under. Will Zalatoris birdied his last seven holes on the Nicklaus layout for a 61 to also join Cameron Young (68), Lanto Griffin (65) and Greyson Sigg (67) at 12 under. Young played at Nicklaus, and Griffin and Sigg at the Stadium.

The fourth-ranked Cantlay won the BMW Championship and Tour Championship in his final two starts last year to take the FedEx Cup, then opened this year with a fourth-place finish — at 26 under — two weeks ago in Hawaii in the Sentry Tournament of Champions.

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Nelly Korda competed last month in the PNC Championship alongside her father, former Australian Open tennis champion Petr Korda, and said she did not have the offseason that many other players had.

It shows. The start of 2022 has been a continuation of the monster season she put together a year ago.

Korda, at 23 the No. 1 player in the women’s game, shot 6-under 66 at Lake Nona to take a one-shot lead over Gaby Lopez and Danielle Kang at the midway point of the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions.

Through two rounds, Korda is at 10-under 134. Her older sister and the defending champion, 28-year-old Jessica Korda, is two shots back.

Little was going to dampen Lopez’s mood in a grouping alongside one of her heroes, Annika Sorenstam, a 72-time LPGA winner and World Golf Hall of Fame member who is competing this week in the tournament’s 50-player celebrity division. Sorenstam, a Lake Nona member, and former major league pitcher Mark Mulder, a former winner of the celebrity competition, have 68 points in the modified Stableford system, trailing former MLB right-hander Derek Lowe by a point.

HOCKEY

NEW YORK (AP) — Hall of Famer Clark Gillies, a stalwart on the New York Islanders’ dynasty that won four straight Stanley Cup championships in the early 1980s, has died. He was 67.

The Islanders announced Gillies’ death Friday night. The team did not say where Gillies died or provide a cause of death.

Gillies had 319 goals and 378 assists in 958 games over 14 seasons with the Islanders and Buffalo Sabres. He spent the bulk of his career with New York and is fourth on the franchise list in goals (304) and points (663), and fifth in assists (359). One of 17 players on the team that won the four Cups from 1980-83 and an NHL-record 19 consecutive postseason series, he had 47 goals and 46 assists in 159 playoff games.

The Saskatchewan native had his No. 9 retired by the Islanders in 1996 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2002.

Gillies remained a popular figure around the franchise after his retirement, attending games and interacting with fans. Nicknamed “Jethro” after a character from “The Beverly Hillbillies,” Gillies was shown on the video board at Nassau Coliseum during the playoffs last year chugging a beer and crushing the can against his head.