BC-AP Sports Preview Digest

Some of the sports stories The Associated Press is covering Wednesday. A full Sports Digest will be sent by about 3 p.m. All times EST:

– HOUSTON – Bill Belichick may seem like one of a kind and on Sunday can set himself apart if the Patriots beat the Falcons – he will become the first coach with five Super Bowl rings.

– Not a huge football fan but want to sound like someone who is on Super Sunday? The AP is here for you, providing a guide to the big story lines and critical characters.

– HOUSTON – The players’ union discusses a range of issues critical to its membership: concussions, equipment, painkillers and marijuana.

– HOUSTON – New England is a 3-point favorite over Atlanta, a close line perhaps owing to the Falcons’ impressive play against Seattle and Green Bay.

– HOUSTON – Falcons running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman feel like brothers. They’re going to enjoy it while they can because this is not likely to be a long-term partnership.

– HOUSTON – For everything that Tom Brady has done, he has gotten plenty of help from running back LeGarrette Blount and pass-catching threats Dion Lewis and James White.

– DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Tiger Woods begins the Dubai Desert Classic with a 77 in which he failed to make a birdie. The 14-time major winner returned to golf last month after 17 months off.

– Elena Delle Donne is headed to the Washington Mystics in one of the biggest trades in WNBA history. The 2015 MVP is leaving the Chicago Sky and is now closer to her Delaware home.

– LOS ANGELES – Stephen Curry and Golden State visit Blake Griffin and the banged-up Clippers, who five days earlier lost by 46 points to the Warriors on the road. Game starts 10:30 p.m.

– PROVO, Utah – No. 1 Gonzaga (22-0) plays for the first time since ascending to No. 1, facing a BYU team that has yet to beat a ranked opponent this season. Game starts 11 p.m.

– STANFORD, Calif. – Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer on Friday night can become just the second NCAA women’s coach to reach 1,000 wins, joining the late Pat Summitt.

– PALM BEACH, Fla. – Major League Baseball owners begin the first of two days of meetings.

– ALLENTOWN, Pa. – Adding the Vegas Golden Knights as the NHL’s 31st team will provide new jobs for players. The best of the minors might finally get to stay in the NHL.

– TEMPE, Ariz. – Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald confirms he will be back to play a 14th NFL season. It’s still not clear if quarterback Carson Palmer will return.

– Frank Lampard, one of the greats of the Premier League era, retires at age 38. During a 21-year career he won every major honor at the club level with Chelsea.