Bengals pick up ex-OSU standout
• The Cincinnati Bengals acquired wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher on waivers from the Chicago Bears and placed first-round draft pick Dre Kirkpatrick on injured reserve as he recovers from a concussion.
Sanzenbacher was released this week by the Bears and was picked up Tuesday by the Bengals. He played in five games with one catch for 7 yards this season.
Kirkpatrick, the 17th overall selection in the 2012 draft, has been sidelined with a knee injury.
He played in five games this season, with two tackles on defense and two on special teams.
• Auburn hired longtime Southeastern Conference assistant Melvin Smith as cornerbacks coach. Gus Malzahn announced the hiring of Smith, who spent the past seven seasons coaching cornerbacks and the secondary at Mississippi State. Malzahn said Smith “is an outstanding secondary coach and is one of the top recruiters in the Southeastern Conference.” Smith has spent 18 of his 31 years in coaching working at SEC schools. He coached Johnthan Banks, the 2012 Jim Thorpe Award winner. The Bulldogs’ defense led the SEC with 30 forced turnovers this season. Smith has worked previously with co-defensive coordinators Ellis Johnson and Charlie Harbison and offensive line coach J.B. Grimes. Smith’s college coaching stops have included Texas A&M, Alabama, Mississippi and Delta State.
Stomach virus hits Spanish star Nadal
• Rafael Nadal’s return to competition has been delayed by a stomach virus. The Spaniard was scheduled to play in an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi on Thursday after missing seven months because of tendinitis in his left knee. But he said on his Facebook page Tuesday that his doctors ordered him to pull out when he was running a fever, telling him his body needed rest. “My rehab has gone well, my knee feels good and I was looking forward to competing,” he said. The 11-time Grand Slam champion hasn’t played since June, when he lost to 100th-ranked Lukas Rosol in the second round at Wimbledon. The injury prevented Nadal from defending his Olympic singles gold at the Olympics in London, where he was supposed to be Spain’s flag bearer at the opening ceremony. He also had to pull out of the U.S. Open and Spain’s Davis Cup final against the Czech Republic, which his teammates lost without him.
India and Pakistan play cricket again
• Four years after Pakistani gunmen laid siege to India’s financial capital of Mumbai, South Asia’s bitter rivals were meeting again on the cricket ground, marking a gradual thaw in their decades-old rivalry. The first bilateral series between India and Pakistan since November 2007, comprising two Twenty20 matches and three one-day internationals, began Christmas Day with a Twenty20 match in the southern Indian city of Bangalore. Pakistan won the match with five wickets to spare after India’s batting collapsed at 133 for nine. Thousands of cricket fans began lining up outside Bangalore’s massive Chinnaswamy Stadium nearly five hours before the match was to begin. Security was tight with thousands of paramilitary soldiers and police outside the stadium. Groups of police carried out body searches before allowing fans into the stadium after they had gone through metal detectors. Unflustered by the tight security, cricket fans carried flags and pro-India banners while a few sported colorful wigs and face-paint. Analysts see the cricket series as a sign the two sides are ready to move past the bitterness that followed the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, when 10 Pakistan-based gunmen killed 166 people in a three-day rampage across the city.
• Kia Motors America has signed a multiyear contract extension with the LPGA Tour to sponsor the Kia Classic, which will move next year from La Costa to Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad, Calif. It will be played March 21-24.
— From wire reports