Fans of the Flyers and 76ers will need to show proof of vaccination to be admitted into the Wells Fargo Center beginning on Jan. 3, as part of the new citywide mandate that requires vaccinations for all indoor venues that serve food.

The rule applies to all events at the arena, although up until Jan. 17, unvaccinated guests may show proof of a negative COVID-19 test from the last 24 hours.

Fans will be more apt to attend Wells Fargo Center in the coming weeks if the Flyers and Sixers keep winning. Both teams have been reignited in recent weeks.

— Inquirer Sports Staff, @phillysport

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Early Birds

When you look at how Nick Sirianni has done as a first-year coach, it compares pretty favorably to what has transpired this season with other rookie head coaches in the NFL. Has he been perfect? No. But as columnist Mike Sielski notes, Sirianni’s season has gone better than Robert Saleh’s and way better than Urban Meyer’s. From that perspective, while Sirianni’s first impression wasn’t a great one, he has shown that he is a competent coach.

Another Eagles newcomer to make a deep impact has been top draft pick DeVonta Smith, whose emergence gives the team a spring in its step when thinking about the future. Smith enjoyed his bye week, and as he told Jalen Hurts on Monday night, he’s ready to get back to work. First, though, came a surprise shopping event for kids at Dick’s Sporting Goods in which Hurts spread some holiday cheer.

Off the Dribble

Joel Embiid can punish opponents in the post, but he isn’t exactly a traditional center. Equipped with ballhandling skills and uncommon touch for a player his size, the Sixers center has played on the perimeter more than he ever has in his career — and it’s paying dividends.

Embiid is shooting a career-best 38.6% from three. “You let great players be great,” coach Doc Rivers said. “A bad shot ... is probably an average for a great player. ... But for most others, those are bad shots. But this is not a democracy. It never has been. It never will be.”

Embiid was a late scratch from Monday night’s game against the Grizzlies in Memphis because of right rib soreness. The Sixers were pounded, 126-91.

Next: The Sixers play against the Miami Heat at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Wells Fargo Center.

On the Fly

After losing 10 straight, there are signs of hope for the Flyers after the team won back-to-back games out west over the weekend.

The most noticeable difference in the team’s mini-turnaround? The offense. After failing to score more than three goals in Alain Vigneault’s final 17 games in charge, the Flyers have scored four or more goals in three out of four games under interim boss Mike Yeo.

The offense could get a further boost, as Joel Farabee, the team’s top goal scorer last year with 20, skated Monday and is inching closer to a return from a shoulder injury.

Next: The Flyers will look to make it three in a row as they play the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night at 7 (NBCSP).

Fleet Street

Due to an outbreak among players and staff, Manchester United isn’t playing Brentwood today. The postponement is only one in the latest of a string of them, as sports teams around the globe have recently been hit with COVID-19 difficulties. Jonathan Tannenwald looks at the upcoming slate of games abroad, including some that will actually be played as scheduled.

Next: The Union have yet to announce their end-of-season press conference this week, but the MLS expansion draft will take place tonight at 7.

Worth a look

State of Temple: What qualities should Temple’s next football coach possess? Former Owls players Amir Tyler and Colin Thompson believe a candidate with close ties to Temple and Philly would work best as the program’s next coach.

Roberson set to transfer: Penn State backup quarterback Ta’Quan Roberson, who played in six games during his three seasons with the Nittany Lions, has entered his name in the NCAA transfer portal.

Readers react

Who would be the best fit for the Sixers in a Ben Simmons trade? We have a reader answer.

I think it is unlikely that the 76ers could immediately get a top-tier guard for Ben Simmons. He has sabotaged his own worth to such an extent that most GMs will be understandably reluctant to add him to their mix. The best the Sixers can hope for is that they outlast Simmons financially and force him to return. Then, if he plays well enough and demonstrates enough grit to take what the Sixers fans will shower upon him, trade him for a Bradley Beal-type guard. My greatest fear is that the Sixers will include Tyrese Maxey or Matisse Thybulle in a Simmons trade. Both are young, high-character men who still have not reached their potential.

— Brad C.