Big NFC South matchup...Steelers' linebacker has spinal surgery... Thunder and Nets play in Mexico tonight

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ATLANTA (AP) — Tonight's NFC South matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints has serious playoff ramifications. The 7-5 Falcons desperately need a win over the 9-3 Saints to have a realistic shot at a second straight NFC South title. The NFL's Thursday night game is being played in Atlanta.

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier is resting today after undergoing surgery last night in Pittsburgh to stabilize his spine. He had been transferred there from a hospital in Cincinnati. The 25-year-old suffered the injury while hitting Cincinnati's Josh Malone in the first quarter of Pittsburgh's 23-20 victory over the Bengals on Monday night. Shazier was taken off the field on a stretcher.

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma City Thunder and the Brooklyn Nets meet in Mexico City tonight. The game will be the 25th in NBA history South of the Border, the most for any country besides the United States and Canada. The invisible opponent is the altitude. Sitting at 7,350 feet above sea level, Mexico's capital is at a far higher elevation than Denver — the NBA's highest venue at 5,280 feet.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The South Carolina State player who collapsed on the court during a game at North Carolina State last week has been released from the hospital. N.C. State head bsketball coach Kevin Keatts says he spoke with Tyvoris Solomon and his father as they headed home today. A hospital spokesman released a statement from the Solomon family, thanking medical trainers who assisted Solomon on the court on Saturday and well-wishers.

CHICAGO (AP) — Right-hander Tyler Chatwood and the Chicago Cubs have agreed to a $38 million, three-year contract. Chatwood is joining a team with three straight NL Championship Series appearances and a World Series title in 2016. He figures to slot into the rotation behind Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks and Jose Quintana. Chatwood, who turns 28 next week, was 8-15 with a 4.69 ERA in 33 appearances, including 25 starts, for Colorado last year.

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