ST. LOUIS -- Carpets were still drying out from a champagne bath and a few players looked bleary eyed after a workout at Busch Stadium. A day after advancing, there wasn't much time to rest for the St. Louis Cardinals.
"Obviously, it was a great celebration and a lot of fun," reliever John Axford said Thursday.
The Los Angeles Dodgers don't have home-field advantage in the NL championship series, but they got a few extra days to savor early postseason success. Zack Greinke was getting ready to go in Game 5, then went on stand-by, and now he guards against feeling too good in the opener Friday night.
No telling which side will benefit, the team on a roll or the team coming off a break. Joe Kelly, who flourished as a replacement starter with St. Louis and gets the call for Game 1, was elevated to the fifth starting spot and then waited almost two weeks before actually getting on the mound.
The staff aces won't go until later in the best-of-seven series, with the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw set for Game 2 and the Cardinals' Adam Wainwright ready for Game 3.
Johnson practices: Calvin Johnson was back on the practice field for the Detroit Lions. That doesn't mean his status for this weekend is even close to determined.
"I don't have any updates on him," coach Jim Schwartz said. "You guys saw what you saw."
OSU 2015 schedule: Ohio State's 2015 non-conference schedule has been completed with the change of two dates, including the opener at Virginia Tech on Labor Day night and home games against Hawaii and Western Michigan.
The Buckeyes play in a nationally televised game at Virginia Tech's Lane Stadium in Blacksburg, Va., on Monday, Sept. 7 -- two days later than originally announced.
MRSA recurrence: Tampa Bay Buccaneers guard Carl Nicks is being treated for a recurrence of the MRSA infection in his left foot.
Bucs general manager Mark Dominik said the team received confirmation Thursday that Nicks has MRSA again in the "same place, same location."
Kill on leave: Even as his seizures have grown in frequency over the last two years, Minnesota coach Jerry Kill has always maintained that his epilepsy would never slow him down.
Kill and the university announced Thursday that the coach is taking an open-ended leave of absence from the team to focus on treatment and management of his epilepsy, and it is uncertain when he will be able to return to the Golden Gophers.
Games will go on: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has decided that football games and other sports will go on at the military service academies this weekend, and continue through the end of the month, despite the government shutdown.
USC wins: Nelson Agholor caught seven passes for 161 yards, Javorius Allen rushed for two touchdowns and Southern California got off to an impressive start under interim coach Ed Orgeron with a 38-31 victory over Arizona on Thursday night.
Louisville prevails: Louisville intercepted passes on back-to-back drives in the fourth quarter, the last to set up Teddy Bridgewater's 3-yard touchdown pass that clinched the Cardinals' 24-10 victory over Rutgers on Thursday night.
Magic done at ESPN: Magic Johnson won't return to ESPN as an NBA studio analyst.
The Hall of Famer says in a statement released by the network Thursday that because of his busy schedule, "I don't feel confident that I can continue to devote the time needed to thrive in my role."
Out of hospital: Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti was released from a Houston hospital Thursday, four days after fracturing his spine and breaking his right ankle in an IndyCar Series crash.
"I'm overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and I'm thankful to have such a great family and such wonderful friends and fans," Franchitti said.