IOWA CITY, Iowa — Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum announced Friday he’ll skip his senior season and enter the NFL draft.

The consensus All-American was the Big Ten’s offensive lineman of the year and received the Rimington Trophy as the nation’s top center. He also was a finalist for the Lombardi Award and Outland Trophy.

Linderbaum started 35 consecutive games at center after arriving from Solon, Iowa, as a defensive lineman. He is projected to be a first-round draft pick and the first center selected.

“To my coaches, thank you for taking a chance on a small town Iowa kid,” Linderbaum tweeted. “Thank you for pushing me to be a great football player, but an even better man.”

Bears interview Flores, Ireland

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — The Chicago Bears interviewed former Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores and New Orleans Saints assistant general manager Jeff Ireland for their vacant coach and GM jobs on Friday.

Flores was fired Monday by Miami after leading the Dolphins to a 24-25 record over three years. They went 9-8 in their second straight winning season, but failed to make the playoffs during his tenure. Ireland was Miami’s general manager from 2008 to 2013. The Dolphins won the AFC East at 11-5 his first season after going 1-15 in 2007.

Chiefs to be without Edwards-Helaire

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Chiefs will be without Clyde Edwards-Helaire for their wild-card playoff game against the Steelers on Sunday night after their starting running back was unable to put together a full week of practice because of a hurt collarbone.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid confirmed Friday that Edwards-Helaire would be ruled out for the playoff opener after he returned to practice on a limited basis Wednesday but did not practice at all Thursday or Friday.

5 players named unanimous NFL All-Pros

NEW YORK — Five players, including dynamic pass catchers Cooper Kupp and Davante Adams, are unanimous choices for The Associated Press 2021 NFL All-Pro Team.

Joining the Rams’ Kupp and the Packers’ Adams in receiving votes Friday from all 50 members of a nationwide panel of media members who regularly cover the league are Colts running back Jonathan Taylor, Steelers edge rusher T.J. Watt, and Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald.

BASKETBALL

Wizards coach Unseld enters protocols

Washington Wizards coach Wes Unseld has entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols, and assistant Pat Delany is taking over as acting head coach starting with Saturday night’s game against Portland.

The Wizards announced Unseld’s absence Friday.

Unseld is in his first season coaching the Wizards, who are 22-20 and have won three in a row. Delany said he spoke at length with Unseld on Friday morning, and that he’s feeling OK.

Nets’ Durant fined $15K for profanity

NEW YORK — Kevin Durant has been fined $15,000 for using profane language during an interview after the Brooklyn Nets’ 114-108 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night. The NBA announced the fine on Friday, saying Durant declined to participate in an interview with the league about the incident.

Cavaliers add Calderón to front office

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Cavaliers are bringing back former guard José Calderón as a special advisor in their front office.

Calderón played 14 seasons in the NBA, spending the 2017-18 season in Cleveland as the Cavs made their fourth straight trip to the Finals. The 40-year-old was with the Detroit Pistons in 2018-19. With the Cavs, Calderón will assist Koby Altman, the team’s newly named director of basketball operations.

HOCKEY

NHL suspends Islanders’ Johnston

NEW YORK — New York Islanders forward Ross Johnston was suspended for three games without pay by the NHL on Friday for an illegal check to the head against New Jersey Devils forward A.J. Greer. Johnston was assessed a minor penalty for illegal check to the head early in the first period of the Islanders’ 3-2 home victory Thursday night.

TENNIS

Djokovic’s Australian visa canceled again

Australia canceled Novak Djokovic’s visa for a second time, reversing a court decision that temporarily thwarted the federal government’s bid to deport the unvaccinated tennis star.

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke exercised special powers to override the court ruling, just days before the world men’s No. 1 is due to vie for a record 21st Grand Slam victory at the Australian Open.

TH wire services

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