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— Before making the five-hour drive from Cleveland to Buffalo’s training camp Howie Long Jersey , receiver Corey Coleman was advised to leave behind the baggage of his two seasons with the Browns.

The injuries, dropped passes, and constant reminders of how Coleman failed to play to the Browns’ first-round draft-pick expectations can all be set aside.

The Bills are offering him a clean slate.

“We all go through things in life that don’t go our way,” Bills general manager Brandon Beane said Monday, a day after acquiring Coleman in a trade. “I don’t know all what went right or wrong for Corey in Cleveland. But we view it as a fresh start here to earn and compete.”

For the relatively small price of a 2020 seventh-round draft pick, Beane took what he called a “low-risk” gamble in a bid to add breakaway speed and play-making potential to one of his team’s most unsettled positions.

In Cleveland, first-year GM John Dorsey parted ways with a player who came to symbolize the overall dysfunction of the Browns’ previous regime.

By trading down in the draft order to select Coleman with the 15th pick in the 2016 draft, the Browns passed on an opportunity to choose eventual Philadelphia Eagles starting quarterback Carson Wentz.

Hand injuries limited Coleman to playing just 19 games, during which he caught 56 of the 131 passes thrown in his direction for 718 yards and five touchdowns. That was a significant drop in production for a player who scored an NCAA-leading 20 touchdowns receiving and led the Big 12 with 1,363 yards receiving at Baylor in 2015.

Coleman’s tenure in Cleveland will be best remembered for his drop late in the fourth quarter in last season’s finale at Pittsburgh that sealed the Browns’ 0-16 finish.

None of that now matters in Buffalo, where the Bills lack established depth at receiver behind starter Kelvin Benjamin.

Including Benjamin, acquired in a mid-season trade from Carolina, Buffalo’s four returning receivers combined for 57 catches for 681 yards and six touchdowns last season. Jeremy Kerley, an eighth-year player, was the team’s most notable offseason free-agent addition, while the Bills also used two late-round draft picks to select Ray-Ray McCloud III and Austin Proehl.

Beane revisited previous discussions he had with the Browns regarding Coleman, and elected to make the trade two weeks into training camp.

“I just thought now was the opportunity to get him in here to start learning this offense versus waiting any longer,” he said.

Nothing Patrick Chung Jersey , however, is guaranteed.

“He’s not going to automatically get anything,” Beane said. “He’s got to come here and compete. That’s what I told him on the phone last night.”

Pending a physical, Coleman is expected to make his practice debut Tuesday. It’s too early to determine whether he’ll play in Buffalo’s preseason-opener against Carolina on Thursday.

Kerley welcomed the added competition Coleman brings to the Bills.

“Here, it’s a better opportunity for him to compete. It’s a better opportunity for everyone. Competition is good,” Kerley said. “It’s going to definitely help us boost up a little bit.”

As for Coleman’s past, Kerley said the best advice is to forget it.

“Whatever happened in Cleveland, that’s over with,” Kerley said. “You’re in a different place, a different atmosphere, different coaches, different situation. You kind of get to redeem yourself.”

The trade caught Coleman’s now-former teammate, receiver Jarvis Landry, by surprise.

The three-time Pro Bowler, who came to Cleveland in a March trade from Miami, mentored Coleman during their few months together. Landry convinced the 24-year-old to change his diet and schooled him on what it takes to succeed.

“Just continue to work hard, continue to grind at it,” said Landry Josh Sitton Jersey , who spoke to Coleman after the trade became official. “I think he’s got a great grasp of that. And who knows, maybe in Buffalo that continues to carry over, and he has a hell of a career.”

Coleman also had issues off the field.

He was named in a police report regarding an alleged felonious assault last year, but never charged. He was also sent home from the Browns’ trip to Houston for missing curfew while he was injured.

The Bills were assured Coleman doesn’t face possible NFL disciplinary action resulting from the alleged assault.

After years of planning and many millions in spending, there was one thing organizers of Super Bowl 52 couldn’t control – a Minnesota winter.

The Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots played inside. But as fans were heading to U.S. Bank Stadium at noon Sunday, the temperature in Minneapolis was minus-2 degrees, with a wind chill of negative 23 – by far the coldest Super Bowl on record – raising questions about whether the NFL’s marquee event would ever return to Minnesota.

While warmer climates tend to be more popular host cities, a flashy new stadium and amenities often play a bigger role than the weather in determining who will host the big game.

”The owners will do as they like. So that’s one of those decisions that’s just not up to the fan base,” said Mark Cobb, who has been to several Super Bowls in his work for the NFL Players Association. ”Wherever has the newest, prettiest stadium, that’s who gets the game.”

Cobb, of Washington, said everyone in Minnesota was nice, and he’d return to Minneapolis for a Super Bowl. But he said the weather felt ”like I was being punished. Minnesota is where they send you when you’re bad. But if you embrace it like the people who live here, instead of fighting it, it’s not so bad.”

The NFL has used the Super Bowl as a reward for municipalities that pump public money into new venues. Minnesota was awarded the game in 2014, two years after state lawmakers approved a financing package that had taxpayers paying nearly half the cost of the $1.1 billion stadium.

Other northern cities have reaped similar benefits. New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium got a Super Bowl in its fourth season Mark Duper Jersey , the only outdoor Super Bowl at a northern site to date (2014). Lucas Oil Field in Indianapolis hosted in 2012 and Ford Field in Detroit hosted in 2006, both at the end of their fourth seasons. The only other Super Bowls held in the north were in suburban Detroit at the Pontiac Silverdome in 1982 and in Minneapolis at the Metrodome in 1992.

While warmer climates have held more Super Bowls, there is no rotation of pre-selected cities that get picked, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said. He said it’s up to club owners to take the initial step of expressing an interest in hosting. The sites of the next four Super Bowls are already chosen: Atlanta in 2019, followed by South Florida, Tampa Bay and Los Angeles.

Atlanta has a stadium that opened in 2017. Hard Rock Stadium in South Florida and Raymond James Stadium in Tampa have been renovated in the past three years, and Los Angeles will have a new stadium by the time it hosts the game.

McCarthy said the weather in Minneapolis wasn’t a negative. Instead, he said it provided new experiences for fans, some of whom took advantage of the Minneapolis skyway system, a collection of enclosed – and heated – pedestrian bridges.

”We knew weather was going to be a factor and we embraced it,” he said.

Andrea Mokros, a spokeswoman for the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee, said the event was a ”huge success.” Visitor numbers were still being calculated, but Mokros said outdoor concerts and other events were well attended, even on the coldest nights during 10 days of festivities.

”The cold didn’t slow anyone down and in fact made it a more memorable experience,” she said. Mokros said the winter climate allowed the host committee to offer a different sort of fun for guests, such as snowmobiling or skijoring (cross-country skiing while being pulled by a dog). And she said she felt some pride when she saw celebrities donning winter hats and embracing the cold weather.

Paul Vaaler, a professor of management and law at the University of Minnesota law school and the Carlson School of Management Kevin Faulk Jersey , said while warmer tourist destinations are more likely to get Super Bowls, there is some strategy to spreading the game to different franchises: The promise of a Super Bowl can lead cities to build new stadiums and keep teams from leaving certain markets.

Because of that, he said, other northern cities are likely to host the Super Bowl before Minnesota gets another chance.

”That incentive to build a stadium and attract the Super Bowl is gone (for Minnesota), but it’s not gone in a place like Cincinnati, or a place like Denver” or other northern NFL cities that have stadiums that are more than 20 years old. ”For other northern climates, there will be pressure.”

Some fans said the weather was tolerable and there were plenty of experiences in Minneapolis to keep them entertained. Others said that even though Minnesotans were hospitable, they’d prefer a warmer location.

”The cold was just brutal,” said Philadelphia Eagles fan Terry Laufer of Carrollton, Virginia. His wife, Rhonda, said: ”I would never be able to bring children here. It would be too risky.” The pair said they’d return with their grandkids in September, when it’s warmer.

”You could have had the Arctic Circle and it would have been a great experience,” said Jody Haggerty of Milford, Pennsylvania. ”Minneapolis made it work. … It’s not about the location. It’s about the experience, the atmosphere and the game.”

Associated Press writer Steve Karnowski contributed to this report.

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Boot camp took on new meaning this week for military service members.

Participants got to train at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey like NFL stars for a day as part of “USAA’s Salute to Service NFL Boot Camp.” They performed drills similar to those used by NFL coaches to evaluate talent Chris Doleman Jersey , under the watchful eye of Pro Football Hall of Famer Brian Dawkins.

“Members of my family have served in the military, so I respect the simple impact that saying ‘thank you’ can have, and that’s what USAA’s Salute to Service NFL Boot Camp is all about,” Dawkins said. “It was great to get onto the field and help coach military members through drills that I did as a player.”

In addition to active duty participants, military veterans from the Wounded Warrior Project took part.

“It was very competitive,” said Senior Airman Brandon Castillo, one of the participants. “We had different branches out there today and everybody was itching to go. We all wanted to compete and put up the best scores we could for all of the drills.”

The seventh such boot camp is part of the military appreciation events that USAA and the NFL have created.

RING BEARERS

The eight inductees in the 2018 class for the Pro Football Hall of Fame will receive their rings during special halftime ceremonies this season.

First up in the second week of the season will be Packers guard Jerry Kramer on Sept. 16 when Green Bay faces Minnesota.

The next night, Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher gets his when Chicago plays Seattle.

A week later, it will be Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis when Baltimore takes on Denver. Three weeks later, Robert Brazile, an outstanding linebacker for the Houston Oilers — the forerunner of the Titans — will be honored when Tennessee plays Baltimore.

Eagles and Broncos safety Brian Dawkins will be next up on Oct. 21 during the Eagles-Panthers game. On Nov. 1, Terrell Owens, who didn’t show for the inductions in Canton, Ohio, gets his ring as the 49ers play the Raiders in a Thursday night game.

Finally, former general manager Bobby Beathard will be honored when Washington takes on Houston in Week 12, and Vikings receiver Randy moss gets his ring on Nov. 25 during a Packers-Vikings matchup.

The Hall of Fame Ring of Excellence is set in 14-karat gold with a total diamond weight of 1¾ karats.

URLACHER APPROVES

Count Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher among those thrilled to see the Chicago Bears swing a blockbuster trade with the Oakland Raiders for two-time All-Pro Khalil Mack.

He was “ecstatic” to see his former team land one of the league’s best defensive players. And he was “shocked” the Raiders would trade Mack.

“I love it,” Urlacher said this week. “They want to win now. I feel like they feel they have the people in place to win now. The NFC is a tough conference. The NFC North is a tough division. But you look at that roster on the Bears, they match up with everybody in that division.”

Urlacher was promoting FanDuel’s weekly Gridiron Pick’em contest Mark Herzlich Jersey , where users select the winners of each game for a chance at a share of a $10,000 prize pool. They can also play alongside him this week.

Mack’s arrival capped a busy offseason for a team with four straight last-place finishes in the NFC North. But Chicago’s defense ranked 10th overall last season. And the Bears added one of the league’s best players.

They paid a high price, sending two first-round picks to Oakland as part of the deal. They also gave their new star a six-year, $141 million extension that guarantees $90 million and makes him the highest-paid defensive player in league history.

“To give up two first-round picks is really, in my opinion, minor for the kind of player they got,” Urlacher said. “Last year, the Bears were a top 10 defense. Now, you add him to the mix, it’s gonna be even better.”

Urlacher said having Mack should create more opportunities for Leonard Floyd on the other side at outside linebacker. He also thinks the trade will benefit Mitchell Trubisky and the offense. And he dismissed the idea that there will be more pressure on the young quarterback with the Bears in a win-now mode.

“You’re supposed to win every year,” Urlacher said. “Your mindset should be we have to win right now, every single season. The pressure shouldn’t change based on that.”

MULLET MAN

Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert is keeping his mullet for the season, adding a new look to what he hopes is a resurgent time in his career.

Eifert was limited to two games last season because of another back injury that required surgery. During his latest rehab, he decided to let his hair down. He made it through training camp without physical problem, and he’s going to let the hair hang out of the back of his helmet starting with a game Sunday at Indianapolis.

He has no plans for getting a haircut.

“I’m just kind of rolling with it,” Eifert said. “It kind of started as — not really a joke, just a ha-ha thing. It’s taken a lot of work getting through the awkward stages of it, but it’s turned out pretty good.”

The Bengals signed Eifert, their first-round pick in 2013 Dwight Clark Jersey , to a one-year deal for 2018 that’s loaded with incentives. He’s been limited to 24 games in the past four seasons because of back, elbow, shoulder and ankle injuries as well as a concussion. The Bengals limited him to 14 plays in the preseason to keep him healthy, although that’s not a concern for Eifert.

“I feel like every injury has been somewhat of a fluke thing,” he said. “That’s not even a Patrick Reed is leading a major championship for the first time, and his confidence is so high that he can only see what’s ahead of him.

Reed started and finished the front nine with three straight birdies. He answered Marc Leishman’s bold shot for an eagle by polishing off another run of three straight birdies. It added to a 6-under 66 and a two-shot lead over Leishman going into the weekend at Augusta National.

Right behind them are five major champions – Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson.

Nowhere near him are Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, the two names that generated so much of the buzz for a Masters that otherwise is living up to expectations.

BASEBALL

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) – Rookie sensation Shohei Ohtani is making himself at home in the Big A.

Ohtani hit a home run for the third straight game, Justin Upton hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the seventh inning and the Los Angeles Angels rallied from an early six-run deficit to beat the Oakland Athletics 13-9.

Ohtani, the two-way star from Japan, connected for a long, solo drive in the second inning against Daniel Gossett. The ball landed in the rocks beyond the center field wall after traveling 449 feet and was measured with a 112.3 mph exit velocity according to Statcast, the hardest-hit and longest of Ohtani’s three major league homers.

NEW YORK (AP) – Pedro Alvarez hit a grand slam in the 14th inning, Manny Machado homered twice and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Yankees 7-3 after New York saw four players forced to make early exits.

Yankees starter CC Sabathia left with hip soreness, star catcher Gary Sanchez limped off with a leg cramp right before Alvarez struck, third baseman Brandon Drury was lifted for migraines and second baseman Tyler Wade was removed because of flu-like symptoms. New York had to use 20 players in all – reliever Adam Warren was the only non-starting pitcher left.

Alvarez connected after midnight Derek Rivers Jersey , deciding a game that took 5 hours, 20 minutes and included 14 pitchers, a couple of wild misadventures on the basepaths and an admitted missed call by umpires.

MMA

NEW YORK (AP) – Conor McGregor was arraigned on charges of felony criminal mischief charges and misdemeanor assault, menacing and reckless endangerment charges following a backstage melee he sparked at a UFC event in New York City the previous day.

He spoke only to acknowledge that he understood the conditions of his release, saying, ”Yes, your honor.”

McGregor was released on $50,000 bond – pocket change for a fighter who was guaranteed $30 million last year in his ballyhooed boxing match against Floyd Mayweather Jr. McGregor is due back in court June 14.

In the underbelly of Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on Thursday, McGregor went wild, using a dolly, chairs and guard rails as weapons, not his fists. Fueled by revenge and running with a pack of his ”hoodlums,” McGregor’s antics landed him in jail – and injured two fighters on Saturday’s UFC 223 card.

NBA

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Ben Simmons topped LeBron James in a triple-double battle to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to their 13th straight win in their biggest game in six years, 132-130 over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

With a buzz in the city over the Sixers that hasn’t been felt since the pre-Process days, they romped toward a 30-point lead over the Cavs in the first half and scored 78 points at the break.

Simmons had 27 points, 15 rebounds and 13 assists. James had 44 points (17-of-29 shooting), 11 assists and 11 rebounds, bringing the Cavaliers to the brink of an epic comeback.

The Sixers (49-30) moved into third place in the Eastern Conference over the Cavaliers (49-31).

LOS ANGELES (AP) – The Lakers unveiled a statue of Elgin Baylor before their game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Baylor’s statue became the sixth that decorates the front of Staples Center, joining Shaquille O’Neal Jameis Winston Jersey , Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Jerry West and Chick Hearn. The Lakers selected Baylor first overall in the 1958 NBA draft. He averaged 27.4 points and 13.5 rebounds in 14 seasons for the franchise, including the first two when it played in Minneapolis.

Various Lakers alumni spoke during Baylor’s ceremony, including O’Neal, Johnson, West and Abdul-Jabbar. Johnson said Baylor put entertainment into the NBA, and will always remember that Baylor set the Finals record for single-game points against the Boston Celtics on the road.

NHL

PITTSBURGH (AP) – The Pittsburgh Penguins will start their bid for a Stanley Cup three-peat home.

Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel banked in goals off Craig Anderson minutes apart in the second period, Casey DeSmith stopped 34 shots and the Penguins beat the Ottawa Senators 4-0 to clinch second place in the Metropolitan Division and home-ice advantage in the opening round of the playoffs.

Phil Kessel collected his 34th goal of the season and Patric Hornqvist pushed his career-high to 29 when he beat Anderson late in the third period for the Penguins, who will host Columbus, New Jersey or Philadelphia next week.

AUTO RACING

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) – Kurt Busch got a little more aggressive in the first round of qualifying, and it paid off with a pole at Texas Motor Speedway.

Busch and his Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer will start in the top three spots in Texas after a weather-shortened qualifying session.

With his top lap of 197.368 mph, Busch earned his first pole this season and the 32nd in his career.

There was initially a delay because of lightning in the area Carolina Panthers Elite Jerseys

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Last week Ryan Jensen Jersey , things start to get a little slow in the NFL. This week, it’s anything but.

From the Tom Brady holdout to the Hunter Henry torn ACL to the new kickoff rule to the new interpretation of the new helmet rule to a new anthem policy that will serve only to make things worse, not better, it’s one of the most active late-May weeks in years.

Enter #PFTPM, which jams all of Wednesday’s developments into a 70-minute package. Listen below, and while you do, do us a favor and subscribe to the podcast, rate it, review it, and otherwise do what you can to help us get more people on board. We’re closing in on a potentially significant sponsorship Danielle Hunter Jersey , but we need more of you to download and listen in order to make things happen.

Standing at a scenic vista, Tyler Ray looks out at 2,661-foot Bartlett Mountain and envisions a network of ski trials winding through the dense forest below.

Ray, who heads the Granite Backcountry Alliance, is working with federal and local land trusts to improve, construct and expand backcountry skiing in the mountains of northern New Hampshire and western Maine. The group recently received approval from the White Mountain National Forest Service to develop and maintain ski trails on sections of Bartlett Mountain and Baldface Mountain.

”We’ll be skiing right off the summit, which is pretty exciting,” Ray said.

Backcountry skiing has a long history in the White Mountain National Forest. Mount Washington is considered the epicenter of backcountry skiing in the Northeast. Skiers have been flocking to the mountain’s Tuckerman Ravine for nearly 100 years, attracted by its steep, consequential terrain Raekwon McMillan Jersey , more commonly found out West or in Europe.

”What we have here is historic,” Ray said. ”It is really exciting because we are going full circle with the concept of what we now call backcountry skiing, which is an ironic term in many ways because we are doing something that was happening way before chairlifts and everything else. So we are really going full circle and bringing it back to the fore.”

The sector of the sport is booming, with skiers complaining they don’t have enough trails to keep up with demand. On a spring weekend, as many as 2,000 skiers may hike up into the ravine. The new trails should help.

Greg Maino, spokesman for Vermont’s Catamount Trail Association, which helps manage more than 300 miles (483 kilometers) of winter trails, including the Brandon Gap and Dutch Hill in the Green Mountain National Forest, which are used for backcountry skiing Logan Thomas Jersey , agreed the activity has been growing in popularity in recent years as the specialized ski equipment needed to climb mountains without chairlifts has gotten less expensive.

”It definitely opens the doors; you can go so many more places. Anywhere you want, anywhere there’s snow, I think it opens up a lot of opportunities,” Maino said.

Andrew Drummond, owner of Ski The Whites, a backcountry ski shop in Jackson, New Hampshire, said he wishes more people would take advantage of the sport.

”It doesn’t matter if you’re in a new zone or a familiar zone. . The weather’s nice, you’re with your friends, and it’s your personal playground Joe Flacco Jersey ,” Drummond said. ”If everyone was outside more doing more of this stuff, everyone would be in a better mind frame, be better people.”

Last summer, Granite Backcountry worked with the town of Randolph to open up about 75 acres (30 hectares) of glades on Crescent Ridge. Dozens of volunteers showed up to work with professional foresters to clear brush while opening up several ski lines through a hardwood grove.

Unlike a traditional ski resort, these trails will leave no broad scars on the mountains. There are no chairlifts to take skiers to the summit, which means skiers must attach climbing skins to the base of their skis to prevent them from slipping down the mountainside.

”There is unbelievable satisfaction that is involved when you hike up a mountain or skin a mountain,” Ray said. ”What I like to say is you may only get one run in a day but you are going to remember every single turn and that’s a really special thing.”

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The Detroit Red Wings are a team in transition Michael Crabtree Jersey , and that was evident Tuesday night.

Veteran defenseman Niklas Kronwall scored a goal for his 400th point, while rookie defenseman Joe Hicketts, playing his second NHL game, grabbed a pair of assists for his first career points as the Red Wings beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2.

”It’s neat for sure,” Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. ”It’s good. I thought a number of our young players played well.”

Luke Glendening scored twice and Darren Helm matched his career high with three points. Helm had a goal and two assists, and Frans Nielsen and Niklas Kronwall also scored for Detroit. Jimmy Howard made 22 saves to help the Red Wings win in regulation for the first time since a 3-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Feb. 24.

Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang scored for the Penguins. Matt Murray stopped 21 shots.

It took Pittsburgh 38 seconds to gain the lead. Crosby took Jake Guentzel’s cross-ice feed and snapped a shot before Howard could get across.

”(Dylan) Larkin, Helm and (Anthony) Mantha was the line that went up against Crosby,” Blashill said. ”They didn’t start great. The turnover early and then they go down and score. But that’s the learning process that you have to do and after that they were really good, so that’s a real positive.”

The Red Wings pulled even 17:43 into opening period. Helm found Kronwall pinching down from the point, and Kronwall whipped a quick shot past Murray. It was his 80th goal, tying him for fourth among Wings defensemen with Hall of Famer Marcel Pronovost.

”I try to keep them,” Kronwall said of his milestone pucks. ”I’m not sure exactly where I have them. I don’t have that many Kyle Lauletta Jersey , let’s be honest. I think they’re around somewhere.”

Detroit, mired in a 1-12-1 stretch, grabbed the lead on the power play at 14:28 of the second period. Martin Frk faked a shot, then zipped the puck across the ice to Nielsen, whose high shot eluded the sprawling Murray.

Just 41 seconds later, Detroit made it 3-1 when Glendening deflected Nick Jensen’s point shot.

”We let them have the momentum with those two quick goals in the second period,” Crosby said. ”You can’t let that happen. Once we fell behind there, we were chasing the game.”

The Red Wings added another goal 6:21 into the third period when Helm converted Larkin’s feed for his 10th.

Letang’s point shot found its way through traffic and behind Howard with 3:16 left in regulation.

Glendening finished the scoring into an empty net with 1:28 to play.

”I don’t think we were struggling tonight, we just weren’t playing with the kind of urgency it takes to win games,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. ”This is a hard league, and it is hard to win a game no matter who you are playing.

”If you aren’t willing to make the commitment it takes to give that kind of effort, you are going to get beat.”

NOTES: Red Wings GM Ken Holland would not confirm reports that he and Blashill would return next season Ryan Tannehill Jersey , saying only that the question would be answered by the end of the season. … The Penguins are the first visiting team to lose twice at Little Caesars Arena. They also fell 4-1 in Detroit on Dec. 31. . Glendening recorded his second career multi-goal game and first since Jan. 27, 2015 at Florida, along with his fifth career multi-point game.

UP NEXT

Penguins: At New Jersey on Thursday night.

Red Wings: At Buffalo on Thursday night.

HOUSTON — While it certainly factored into the sluggish start that greased the skids to their demise in Game 1, the Utah Jazz were inundated with a number of causes behind their loss to the Houston Rockets on Sunday in addition to the absence of starting point guard Ricky Rubio.

Defensively, the Jazz were overrun by the Rockets’ exceptional 3-point shooting (17 for 32) and victimized early by some leaky transition defense. Rockets guard James Harden again tormented the Utah defense, cashing in seven 3s en route to a game-high 41 points, and the Jazz lacked energy in the first half following a short turnaround from the completion of their first-round series against the Oklahoma City Thunder less than 48 hours prior to tipoff.

But the Jazz clearly missed Rubio, despite recording 20 assists on 38 field goals. While rookie guard Donovan Mitchell and veteran swingman Joe Ingles produced five assists each, and Utah received steady play from guards Dante Exum and Alec Burks off the bench, the Jazz didn’t quite have that same verve that Rubio provides with his ball-handling skill and passing acumen.

“I think it makes Donovan handle the ball more than they would like,” said Rockets forward Trevor Ariza, who drew the primary defensive assignment on Mitchell. “He’s their dominant scorer at this point so when he has to handle the ball and get everybody involved in the game Will Lutz Jersey , it kind of takes away from him scoring the ball all the time or being aggressive all the time.”

The Jazz also missed the defensive presence of center Rudy Gobert, despite the fact that Gobert logged 35 minutes in the 110-96 loss. A Defensive Player of the Year candidate and league leader by a healthy margin in defensive real plus-minus, Gobert was a non-factor on that end, failing to record a block for the first time this postseason and just the eighth time overall.

Gobert averaged 2.3 blocks and ranked second in the NBA in block percentage (6.0), yet the Rockets had success attacking the rim with Gobert stationed there to defend it, shooting 8 of 9 with Gobert within three feet of the rim. The key to their success? Doing what comes naturally.

“We just try to be us as much as possible,” Rockets guard Chris Paul said. “I think James said it after last game: We’ve seen just about every defense you can have this past season, so if they switch, we adjust. If you back (up to protect the rim), we adjust. We just keep playing.”

Utah, conversely, can’t afford to maintain the status quo. The Rockets rode robust shooting to a 27-point Marcus Sherels Jersey , first-half lead and continued to exploit a Jazz defense that has stifled almost every other opponent. Harden averaged 34.3 points on 55.4 percent shooting against Utah during the season and looked alarmingly at ease attacking the Jazz off the dribble and from the perimeter.

Rubio, out with a left hamstring strain, won’t be available to save the Jazz on offense. Defensively, Utah understands exactly what is required to ensure a superior performance.

“It takes all five guys on the court communicating, that’s for sure,” Jazz forward Jae Crowder said. “But you have to accept it. So, if they’re cross-matching and they’re running back you just got to demand the guy (to defend in transition) and stick with him for that possession and work it out. And that causes every guy on the court to know each guy’s tendencies and what he likes to do.

“So, you have to communicate on the court very well in the situation that we’re putting ourselves, which is in transition and working itself out in the half court and getting these guys in front of us and making it as tough as possible.”

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— Terrell Owens came in wearing a suit spotted with the Pro Football Hall of Fame logo and swapped that out for the prized gold jacket.

His bust? That remained 600 miles away in Canton Rick Leonard Jersey , Ohio, along with the seven other members of this year’s Hall of Fame class, leaving the stage at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga all alone to Owens.

And yes, the man known as T.O. later brought out a big bucket of popcorn.

Owens entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame in a celebration uniquely his own Saturday afternoon at his alma mater before approximately 3,000 fans who frequently cheered, chanted “T.O.” and gave him the occasional standing ovation. Owens also made clear why he chose to enter the Hall of Fame with a ceremony in Chattanooga instead of with Ray Lewis, Randy Moss and former Eagles teammate Brian Dawkins in Ohio.

“A lot of people say that I may regret not being in Canton 10, 15, 20 years from now,” Owens said. “But just like my choice to be here today Brett Favre Jersey , I choose not to live in regret. I will leave a legacy that will leave an imprint on this world forever.”

Owens used part of a speech lasting about 39 minutes to explain why he was in Chattanooga instead of Canton, addressing the “elephant in the room.”

“It’s not because of how many times it took for me to be voted to the hall,” said Owens, who got in on his third try — the same as Joe Namath, for example. “It’s about the mere fact that the sports writers are not in alignment with the mission and core values of the Hall of Fame.

“These writers disregarded the system, the criteria and bylaws in which guys are inducted, and ultimately the true meaning of the Hall of Fame and what it represents. I wanted to take a stand so the next guy coming after me will not have to go through what I and others have gone through. Whether it’s three years or 45 years, you should get what you rightfully earned.”

The wide receiver who ranked second in NFL history with 15,934 yards receiving and third with 153 touchdown catches didn’t mention that Hall of Famers Dan Fouts and James Lofton also are on the selection committee. Owens later discussed his issue with the current selection process at a news conference that lasted 26 minutes, saying writers never played the game Manti Te'o Jersey , with no “blood, sweat and tears” invested.

Only one person makes a speech in Canton to introduce an inductee. By holding his own ceremony, Owens heard short speeches from five coaches, including three former position coaches, with James Kirksey and Ray Sherman from the NFL. The university named a street after the Hall of Fame receiver.

A friend of Ray Lewis was at Friday night’s gold jacket ceremony and brought it to Chattanooga for T.O. The original plan had been to mail it on Saturday to him.

T.O. said he had a Plan B in case it didn’t arrive in time. He also wore a “C” for Chattanooga pin on each lapel.

Owens thanked everyone from his late grandmother and mother to coaches from his high school days in Alexander City, Alabama, through his time at Chattanooga and into the NFL. At times, he was grateful for help received along the way, cited a Bible verse from Deuteronomy, and even thanked people who “defamed” him behind his back and teammates who hated him.

“This is for you Andrew Adams Jersey ,” Owens said.

Near the end of his speech, Owens asked anyone who had ever felt isolated, misunderstood or bullied to stand up. Then Owens encouraged them not to be afraid to be themselves.

“We have more commonalities than differences. This entire speech you thought was about me, this was for you,” Owens said.

None of his former NFL teammates could be seen in the crowd. Johnny Taylor, the 17th pick overall in the 1997 NBA draft by Orlando, flew in to see his former teammate inducted into the hall. He understands that some people were surprised by Owens’ decision.

“He’s always going to do it his way and what’s beneficial to him and his family,” Taylor said. “Me personally, I’m excited that he is doing it here. It means so much to the city, it means so much to the university. It speaks volumes to the type of person that he is Frank Clark Jersey , even though other people may think other of him.”

Fans wore Owens’ No. 81 jersey from his stints in Dallas, San Francisco and Philadelphia. Renee Davis of Philadelphia canceled tickets she bought to see Owens inducted in Canton and arrived in Chattanooga on Friday to see the receiver she called the best ever give his speech. She wore Owens’ No. 80 from his college days, bought when he was an NFL rookie.

Missing the Hall of Fame’s other seven inductees and all the pageantry of Canton was no loss for Davis.

“Can’t compare to being here with my favorite,” Davis said. “Can’t compare.”

A comedian is apologizing for a social media post in which he said he hopes Golden State forward Draymond Green ”gets shot in the face” leaving the arena after Game 4 of a playoff series against the Pelicans.

Andrew Polk says the post, which also alludes to high gun violence rates in New Orleans, was meant as an ”edgy joke.” Polk says he wishes ”no harm to anyone over a simple game.”

Green, who has a reputation for feistiness and psychological gamesmanship, had eight points, nine rebounds and nine assists in a lopsided Warriors victory.

Green says he didn’t fear for his life. Green also says he feels sad for anyone who threatens violence over a basketball game and prays they get the help they need.

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For plenty of players Kam Chancellor Jersey , making it to the official 53-man roster doesn’t mean anything other than the departure has been temporarily delayed.

In Cleveland, with the Browns using the top spot in the waiver priority to claim five players, five players who had made it as of Saturday had to go.

The biggest name, based on Hard Knocks more than on-field performance, belongs to defensive lineman Carl Nassib. The 2016 third-round pick from Penn State has been waived, taking his investment advice, his social-media aversion, and his belief that the U.S. government is in contact with three different alien species with him.

Also gone are offensive lineman Austin Reiter, defensive lineman Jamie Meder, linebacker Jermaine Grace, and defensive back Jeremiah McKinnon.

Nassib has 30 regular-season appearances in two seasons, with 15 starts. Last year, he started 12 games. If it’s any consolation, one of his three regular-season starts in 2016 was the only game the Browns have won in the last two years.

Chris Sale took a two-hitter into the seventh inning before being ejected Brett Favre Jersey , and the Boston Red Sox completed a three-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles with a 5-1 victory Wednesday.

After issuing two walks to open the seventh in a 5-0 game, Sale (6-4) was lifted by manager Alex Cora. As he was making his way to the dugout, the left-hander yelled at plate umpire Brian Knight and was promptly ejected.

Sale struck out nine, allowed one run and gave up two hits in ending a run of three straight losing starts. Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez homered for the Red Sox, who are 9-1 against the Orioles this season. Baltimore has lost seven straight and 14 of 16.

Betts, the major league leader in batting average, came off the disabled list Monday after missing 14 games with an abdominal strain. He played Monday, was rested Tuesday and returned to the top of the lineup in the series finale. Betts hit a 3-2 pitch from Yefry Ramirez over the center-field wall in the third for his 18th home run. A three-run fifth made it 4-0, and Martinez hit his team-leading 22nd in the seventh.

Ramirez (0-1) gave up three runs and four hits over 4 1/3 innings, striking out six.

NATIONALS 5, YANKEES 4

NEW YORK (AP) – Teenage rookie Juan Soto homered twice and drove in four runs, becoming the youngest player in 29 years to go deep in a regular-season game at Yankee Stadium, and Washington beat New York.

After getting a game off Tuesday, his first in three-plus weeks as a major leaguer Charcandrick West Jersey , a refreshed Soto showed exactly why he was rated one of baseball’s best prospects.

The 19-year-old outfielder lofted a three-run homer into the left-field corner off Sonny Gray in the fourth inning to give Washington, shut out in its previous two games, a 4-3 lead. Soto then launched a titanic shot to right-center in the seventh against Chasen Shreve (2-1), putting the Nationals back in front 5-4.

Projected at 436 feet, the drive soared to the back of a standing-room terrace above and beyond the Yankees‘ bullpen in right-center. It also ended a 23-inning shutout streak for New York relievers and made Soto (19 years, 231 days old) the youngest player in Nationals history to have a multihomer game.

ASTROS 13, ATHLETICS 5

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Evan Gattis hit two home runs, including the first of back-to-back shots with Marwin Gonzalez during a seven-run second inning, and streaking Houston beat Oakland for its seventh straight win.

Jake Marisnick also homered, Carlos Correa had a two-run triple and Yuli Gurriel had three hits and three RBIs to help Gerrit Cole (8-1) win his sixth straight decision.

The defending World Series champs moved a season-high 19 games over .500. This is Houston’s longest winning streak since taking seven in a row from Aug. 31-Sept. 6, 2017.

One night after homering and setting a career-high with five RBIs, Gattis had another huge day at the plate. He drove in five again, becoming the first player in franchise history to drive in five in consecutive games.

DODGERS 3 Jaleel Scott Jersey , RANGERS 2, 11 INNINGS

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Enrique Hernandez dodged home on a wild throw by pitcher Matt Bush in the 11th inning and, hours after a hard collision at the plate led to a bench-clearing incident and a pair of ejections, Los Angeles edged Texas.

Hernandez drew a leadoff walk from Jesse Chavez (2-1) and moved up on a long flyout. Yasiel Puig was intentionally walked and Chavez was yanked after a walk to Logan Forsythe loaded the bases.

Austin Barnes followed with a comebacker, and Bush reached out to grab it. But Bush hurried as he spun around, and his throw home for a potential forceout pulled catcher Carlos Perez off the plate. Hernandez stepped over Barnes’ bat, danced around the catcher and touched home with his right hand, leaving Perez tagging nothing but thin air.

Adam Liberatore (2-1) got the win in relief.

BRAVES 2, METS 0

ATLANTA (AP) – Mike Soroka did not allow a hit until the seventh inning, Freddie Freeman homered and drove in both runs, and Atlanta beat New York.

Soroka, at 20 the youngest pitcher in the major leagues, returned from a right shoulder strain that sidelined him since May 17 to outpitch NL ERA leader Jacob deGrom (4-2) in a game that lasted only 2 hours, 12 minutes. The Mets have lost 10 of their past 11 and 17 of their past 21.

Making his fourth career start Jason Spriggs Jersey , Soroka (2-1) gave up one hit, one walk and struck out four in 6 1/3 innings. Freeman, the NL batting leader, has hit safely in 23 of his past 24 games. He drove in the first run with a single in the fourth off deGrom (4-2). He homered off Jeremy Blevins in the eighth.

DeGrom (4-2) allowed seven hits and one run and struck out seven in seven innings.

WHITE SOX 3, INDIANS 2

CHICAGO (AP) – Dylan Covey carried a shutout into the eighth inning, continuing his impressive June and helping Chicago beat Trevor Bauer and Cleveland.

Covey (3-1) allowed 10 hits – all singles – and walked none. The 26-year-old right-hander, who was acquired from Oakland in the 2016 Rule 5 draft, improved to 3-0 with a 1.53 ERA in five starts since he was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte last month.

Covey got a warm ovation from the crowd of 19,390 when he departed after the first two batters reached in the eighth. Edwin Encarnacion hit a one-out RBI single and Yonder Alonso doubled home another run before Jace Fry struck out Melky Cabrera and Jason Kipnis, preserving Chicago’s 3-2 lead.

Bauer (5-5) struck out 12 in 7 2/3 innings while becoming the third pitcher in franchise history to record at least 10 Ks in four consecutive starts, joining teammate Corey Kluber and Hall of Famer Bob Feller.

BREWERS 1, CUBS 0

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Authorities say former Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers player Aldon Smith is back in a California jail after violating a condition of his bail.

Online records show the 28-year-old Smith is being held Sunday in San Francisco County Jail on $500 Eddie Vanderdoes Jersey ,000 bond. A message seeking comment from his attorney, Joshua Bentley, was not immediately returned.

Sheriff’s spokeswoman Nancy Crowley tells the San Francisco Chronicle that Smith was booked Friday for violating a condition of his electronic monitoring while on bail.

Last month Smith pleaded not guilty to domestic violence and other charges. A judge issued a protective order prohibiting him from contacting the victim. He later surrendered to police on charges he violated the restraining order.

The Raiders released the linebacker after his arrest on the domestic violence charges.

Drew Doughty watched other playoff games this season and couldn’t believe that George Parros, the NHL’s discipline czar, had suspended him for a head shot.

”I saw four hits last night that deserved more than that,” the Los Angeles Kings defenseman said.

Doughty’s one-game suspension was the first of several in the first round for a hit to the head of an opponent. Toronto’s Nazem Kadri got three games and Winnipeg’s Josh Morrissey and Nashville’s Ryan Hartman got one game each. Washington’s Tom Wilson and Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov were among those who got off without significant punishment.

The criticism, from Columbus to Colorado and from New Jersey to Los Angeles DeVante Parker Jersey , was loud enough that the NHL’s department of player safety put out a video last week explaining its reasoning for suspending Doughty and Hartman but not Kucherov or Predators center Ryan Johansen.

”The illegal check to the head rule is often misunderstood or misstated,” the league said in the video. ”Illegal checks to the head and legal full body hits often look similar at first glance because the difference between legal and illegal can be a matter of inches in a sport that moves fast.”

Discontent over the goalie interference rule has been grabbing headlines for weeks, but the head shot discussion carries far more serious implications for a league still grappling with how best to protect its players. What’s acceptable has evolved from the early days of hockey through Scott Stevens’ then-legal crushing blow on Eric Lindros in 2000 to today, where checks to the head are parsed frame-by-frame to determine if a line was crossed. The NHL, too, is still facing a federal class-action concussion lawsuit filed by former players alleging it failed to warn them about the health risks associated with head injuries.

Meeting with Associated Press Sports Editors last week, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman insisted there was nothing new about the subject. Asked about player safety Jermon Bushrod Jersey , Bettman said Parros is off to good start in the former enforcer’s first season as vice president of player safety. He said he is proud of player safety’s transparency in the form of videos detailing the reasons for suspending a player.

”Sometimes we get accused of splitting hairs, but that’s exactly what they have to do,” Bettman said. ”I think he’s reached the appropriate conclusion when it’s been a hockey play that doesn’t transcend the rules and I think he’s been appropriately punitive in cases where it warranted it. There’s never going to be a shortage of critics of what they do.”

Doughty, a finalist for the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenseman, said he hit Vegas forward William Carrier’s shoulder first before his head in Game 1. Kings coach John Stevens added: ”As long as I’m on the earth, I’m going to agree to disagree with that decision.”

The league video emphasized that an illegal check to the head concerns a player’s head being the main point of contact, not the first point of contact. Based on experience Brent Urban Jersey , the league said, a player’s head snapping back on these kinds of hits indicates significant head contact.

Los Angeles general manager Rob Blake, who worked under Brendan Shanahan in the department of player safety from 2010-2013, said it’s a tough job while at the same time reiterating the organization was unhappy with the suspension of Doughty. Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen was upset forward Josh Anderson was ejected from Game 1 against Washington for boarding Michal Kempny and called a hit to the head of Alexander Wennberg from Washington’s Tom Wilson that got only a minor penalty ”dangerous.”

Wilson was not given a hearing or suspended. Wennberg missed Games 2, 3 and 4 and the hit was not included in the NHL’s explanation video.

Columbus coach John Tortorella didn’t want to weigh in on the lack of punishment for Wilson, a common refrain across the NHL because nothing can be done after the fact. For a more specific reason, Bettman doesn’t weigh in on suspensions because any appeals go to him. He does look at suspension videos before they are issued.

”I watch as a fan to make sure they make sense Aaron Ripkowski Jersey ,” Bettman said. ”I want to make sure the videos we send out are clear.”

”I think player safety as a whole has done an extraordinarily good job of changing the culture,” Bettman said.” We have players not making certain types of hits anymore. We have players who are more accountable for their conduct and understand it and I believe that they’ve been consistent.”

AP Sports Writer Teresa M. Walker in Nashville, Tennessee, and Sports Deputy Editor for Newsgathering Howie Rumberg in New York contributed.

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CHARLOTTE Mike Remmers Jersey , N.C. (AP) — The Panthers are beginning to feel like they have hit on something big with fourth-round draft pick Ian Thomas.

The rookie tight end has carried over an outstanding performance in training camp to the preseason, where he showed an impressive burst of speed on a 27-yard catch-and-run touchdown reception from Cam Newton, and delivered a powerful seal block that helped spring Christian McCaffrey for a 71-yard touchdown in Friday night’s preseason win over the Miami Dolphins.

And, he’s still just learning.

“He doesn’t even know how good he’s capable of being,” Newton said of the 6-foot-4, 260-pound Thomas.

The Panthers didn’t know exactly what they were getting with Thomas when they drafted him 101st overall because he hadn’t seen all that much action as a receiver at Indiana. He spent two seasons with the Hoosiers and caught 28 passes, 25 of those as a senior. He spent his first two seasons at Nassau Community College.

But Carolina’s scouts became convinced Thomas has what it takes to be a playmaker, and general manager Marty Hurney was sold on him as he studied more film.

“He’s kind of a little bit of an unknown because he only really played one year of major college football,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. “We are fortunate that our college scouts pointed him out as somebody they thought could help us.”

Newton said Thomas’ size and versatility as a receiver and a blocker will make him a “key asset” this season on offense.

Thomas is making a strong case for being Carolina’s No. 2 tight end behind three-time Pro Bowl selection Greg Olsen. The Panthers lost Ed Dickson to free agency and Chris Manhertz hasn’t practiced since the start of training camp due to a leg injury.

Rivera said Thomas’ growth has been noticeably accelerated because of the increased reps he’s received with Manhertz out.

“I think as a young man, he could come in and be a very good second or third behind Greg,” Rivera said. “When Chris gets back Charcandrick West Jersey , we’ll have a good combination of tight ends.”

Playing alongside Olsen, an 11-year veteran, doesn’t hurt either.

“I think just walking in (to the NFL) he could not have been in a better situation,” Newton said. “I kind of just glance over in practice from time to time and see Greg taking him up under his wing, showing him how to practice, how to finish, how to run certain routes. He couldn’t have been in a better situation, learning from him every day.”

All of that is good news for Thomas, who endured plenty of heartache as a child.

When he turned 8, he lost his mother Martha to kidney failure. The next year his father Earl died of a heart attack, leaving the children’s future up in the air. That’s when his then-19-year-old brother Clif Farmer stepped up to gain custody of him. Farmer raised his younger brother from that point forward.

“I want to make them happy and proud Joe Montana Jersey ,” Thomas said, adding his goal is simply to get better and keep proving himself.

Teammates are noticing.

Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly said Thomas could be on his way to big things in Carolina.

“He does everything the right way,” Kuechly said. “He blocks, he catches well and he runs well. I think he has picked things up really well.”

NOTES: Panthers starting left tackle Matt Kalil was scheduled to meet with a physician Monday after missing his second straight practice with knee soreness. Kalil has been battling issues since the middle of training camp. The team had no immediate word on the extent of that injury. The Panthers can ill afford to lose a third starter on the offensive line after right tackle Daryl Williams and left guard Amini Silatolu went down with injuries.

The Latest on Game 1 of the Stanley Cup between the Washington Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights (all times local):

8:40 p.m.

The Washington Capitals have a high-flying, hard-hitting team and history working against them.

Tomas Nosek scored the tiebreaking goal midway through the third period and added an empty-net goal in the closing seconds to help the Vegas Golden Knights beat Washington 6-4 in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Since the final went to a best-of-seven format in 1939, the winner of Game 1 has gone on to hoist the Cup the last six years and 61 of the last 78 times.

Boston is the last team to bounce back from losing Game 1 to win an NHL title.

The Bruins, in fact, opened the 2011 Final with two losses against the Vancouver Canucks before rallying and winning in seven games.

8:10 p.m.

The Vegas Golden Knights took another step in their unlikely quest to win the Stanley Cup, beating the Washington Capitals 6-4 in a Game 1 thriller.

Fourth-line forward Tomas Nosek scored a go-ahead goal midway through the third period and had an empty-net goal with 2.7 seconds left.

Marc-Andre Fleury made 24 saves for the Golden Knights. Braden Holtby made 28 saves for the Capitals, who are 0-5 in franchise history in the Stanley Cup Final.

Vegas will host Game 2 on Wednesday night.

Shortly before the empty-net goal, Lars Eller of the Capitals had the puck go off the end of his stick blade with a wide-open net in front of him and a chance to tie the game.

7:55 p.m.

The Vegas Golden Knights are showing how deep and talented they are in the Stanley Cup Final.

Tomas Nosek scored a go-ahead goal midway through the third period to give the Vegas Golden Knights a 5-4 lead over the Washington Capitals in a Game 1 thriller.

Nosek’s one-timer from the right side was set up by Shea Theodore’s cross-ice pass. Ryan Reaves Mason Crosby Jersey , the third player on Vegas’ fourth line, had tied the game early in the third.

7:50 p.m.

Jonathan Marchessault, Vegas’ leading scorer in the playoffs, walked off the ice and toward the Golden Knights’ dressing room after taking an open-ice check.

Washington’s Tom Wilson landed a blind-sided hit on Marchessault well after he got rid of the puck near center ice.

Wilson was later called for interference against Marchessault after the officials gathered to discuss what happened. David Perron, who had come off Vegas’ bench, was penalized for cross-checking Alex Ovechkin during the same stoppage of play 5:53 into the third period.

Marchessault later returned to the ice.

7:35 p.m.

Vegas and Washington are putting on a show in the Stanley Cup Final opener.

Tom Wilson put the Capitals ahead early in the third period and Ryan Reaves evened the score at 4-all for the Golden Knights just 1:31 later, setting up a fantastic finish in Game 1.

Wilson finished off a sequence in which he and his teammates, including Alex Ovechkin, finally found some time and space with the puck against the speedy, swarming Golden Knights.

That quieted the Vegas crowd, but not for long. Reaves scored the game-tying goal by lifting a loose puck over Braden Holtby.

7:10 p.m.

It’s all tied up after the first two periods in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

The Vegas Golden Knights killed their first penalty with a little help from the post behind Marc-Andre Fleury as John Carlson drew iron on a shot late in the second period. Moments later Desmond Trufant Jersey , Fleury gave the post to his right a friendly tap with his right glove to give thanks after his team was penalized for having too many men on the ice.

The Golden Knights and Capitals head into the third period tied 3-3 after an entertaining opening to a series between two teams seeking their first NHL championship.

Fleury had stopped 15 shots through two periods and Braden Holtby had stopped 22 for the Capitals.

6:45 p.m.

One of the hottest shows on the Strip isn’t showing signs of slowing down.

Reilly Smith put the Vegas Golden Knights ahead early in the second period and John Carlson pulled the Washington Capitals into a 3-3 tie as Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final reached the halfway point.

Just like the opening period, Vegas was able to generate more offense. The Golden Knights were outshooting the Capitals 10-5 midway through the second and 21-15 overall.

Both teams had some trouble keeping the puck settled at times. Crews were working on the ice during stoppages in play, adding water and shoveling shavings away.

6:10 p.m.

The Vegas Golden Knights and Washington Capitals are tied 2-2 after a wild first period in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Brett Connolly and Nicklas Backstrom scored 42 seconds apart to put the Capitals ahead and William Karlsson answered with a goal late in the period.

Both teams took advantage of having players with soft hands, allowing them to redirect rolling and wobbling pucks into the net.

Washington’s Braden Holtby withstood a flurry of shots early in the period and finished the opening 20 minutes with nine saves. Marc-Andre Fleury didn’t have to stop a shot for more than five minutes before Washington woke up.

Colin Miller fired up the home crowd by scoring 7:15 into the game on a power play, slapping a shot past Holtby, who appeared to be screened. Washington roared back with two goals.

5:40 p.m.

The Vegas Golden Knights have jumped out to a 1-0 lead less than 10 minutes into the opening game of the Stanley Cup Final against Washington.

Colin Miller scored 7: Womens Josh Sitton Jersey

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Hassan Whiteside’s numbers are down. He’s trying not to be the same way.

Game 3 of the Eastern Conference first-round series was difficult on many levels for Miami’s center. He was in foul trouble throughout Bobby Hebert Jersey , finished with only five points and was largely a nonfactor in his team’s 128-108 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night.

Whiteside has a total of 11 points in three playoff games this season, after averaging 14 points in the regular season.

”It’s just different, man. I feel like our offense is a lot different,” Whiteside said. ”I’m not involved in as many dribble-handoffs as I was and post-ups as I was during the regular season. That’s what Coach wants. Coach wants me to just be in a corner and set picks. I mean, that’s what he wants so I’ve just got to trust it.”

For his part, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said he’s trying to find ways to get Whiteside involved.

”That’s part of my job, is to figure it out,” Spoelstra said.

The Heat trail the series 2-1 Virgil Green Jersey , with Game 4 on Saturday afternoon. Whiteside finished with only one field-goal attempt in Game 3, an alley-oop lob from Dwyane Wade that got turned into a dunk in the fourth quarter, seconds before Whiteside was taken out of the game for good. He had a bad turnover shortly before the dunk, and Spoelstra sent Kelly Olynyk to the scorer’s table almost immediately after that miscue.

”I want to get more minutes out there,” Whiteside said. ”I’m going to keep trusting Coach’s decision-making. Even with the fouls I still could have been out there. I wouldn’t have fouled out.”

Whiteside played only 13 minutes – five minutes in the first quarter that ended with his second foul, 2 1/2 minutes in second that ended with foul No. 3, 3 1/2 minutes in the third that led to foul No. 4, then two minutes in the fourth where he had two turnovers.

Meanwhile Jonathan Stewart Jersey , 76ers center Joel Embiid scored 23 points in his return after a 10-game absence to recover from surgery to repair a broken left orbital bone.

”They run enough plays for him that he’s going to get his numbers,” Whiteside said. ”I don’t really get caught up in that. He lives a big-man’s dream. He gets the ball, he gets the post-ups, he posts up every other play and they pretty much run a lot of stuff through him and Ben Simmons.”

Whiteside’s inference was clear: He’d love to get that many touches.

He was asked how he can contribute in this series, and paused before answering.

”I’m trying to figure that out right now,” Whiteside said. ”I’m trying to figure it out. I guess I’ve got to crash, try to score off offensive rebounds maybe, keep running the floor and try to get alley-oops. But other than that Duron Harmon Jersey , it’s a lot different than the regular season. It’s a lot different.”

The Ravens have a big decision to make today. They have several big decisions to make, but in a quarterback-driven league, the biggest decision becomes whether to keep Robert Griffin III on the roster.

The team openly has mused about whether to carry two or three quarterbacks on the roster. A Friday night tweet from a member of what Mark Leibovich calls the Nugget Industrial Complex carries the fingerprints of the Baltimore front office, via a vague suggestion that teams are suddenly “doing research” on Griffin (why wait until now?) and that a trade could still happen.

Insert dramatic hamster GIF here.

A trade would be far better for the Ravens than an outright release, for obvious reasons. But Griffin has no reason to go along with a trade unless he believes it’s a perfect destination; because he has more than four years of service, he wouldn’t be subject to waivers if released. So why not pick his next team as a free agent instead of being traded to a team that perhaps he has no interest in joining?

Adding to the Ravens’ angst is the ever-present possibility that starter Joe Flacco will be injured if Griffin is gone, leaving them without enough depth at the position. And, flipping it around Justin Ellis Jersey , if they keep Griffin at the expense of a roster spot at another position and Flacco and Lamar Jackson remain healthy, the Ravens will be wasting space and cash on a luxury they don’t need (which is pretty much the definition of “luxury”).

So look for the Ravens to keep their eyes open as to all available options, waiting as long as possible to make a decision on a quarterback who spent all of 2017 out of football, and who may have done enough so far this year to merit a job somewhere in 2018.

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This year’s deep class of quarterbacks features as many as a half-dozen first-round NFL prospects full of hope George Blanda Jersey , hype and hazard.

There’s Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield , and questions about the Heisman winner’s size and stature. A lot of teams would love UCLA’s Josh Rosen for his skills and strength, but wonder if he’s a good fit in the locker room and with their organization.

Wyoming’s Josh Allen has enviable size, but faces questions about his regression last season. USC’s Sam Darnold has to answer queries about his ball security and why he’s not throwing at the NFL combine this weekend like the other prospects.

Louisville’s Lamar Jackson , the 2016 Heisman winner, needs to prove he’s a better pro prospect throwing the ball than catching it. And teams wonder if Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph can transition to the pro offense after operating exclusively out of the shotgun.

No inquiry is out of bounds.

”Absolutely. They’re investing a lot of money in these guys they’re drafting, so they can ask any question,” Mayfield said. ”This whole process is about finding out what’s wrong with you. It’s pointing out flaws, seeing if they can look past them, seeing if they can work with it. So, anything they ask is fair game.”

Teams are asking themselves whether these guys can be the next Carson Wentz Eli Manning Jersey , who ignited the Philadelphia Eagles‘ Super Bowl run in just his second season before getting hurt and rooting on Nick Foles from the sideline.

Or whether they’re the next Paxton Lynch, the 2016 first-round flop whose inability to grasp the complexities of the pro game has Broncos GM John Elway once again among those searching for answers at the position.

Elway has found it difficult to land a franchise quarterback from the college ranks like he did in free agency with Peyton Manning six years ago. Elway could go after a veteran again in free agency such as Kirk Cousins. But the Broncos own the fifth pick in the draft and this group of quarterbacks is unusually deep and top-heavy.

”There is a possibility of some really good quarterbacks coming out of this draft,” Elway said.

Maybe not like his own class in 1983, which produced three Hall of Famers in himself, Dan Marino and Jim Kelly, but this year’s crop of quarterbacks is filled with intrigue and promise.

And plenty of questions.

Among them:

TALL ORDER

Is Mayfield too short? He measured in just over 6 feet tall with a hand size of 9\ inches.

”Height doesn’t matter,” Mayfield insisted. ”You see guys like Tyrod Taylor, (Drew) Brees, Russell Wilson. They’ve proven that it doesn’t matter. If you want to say anything else, I’ve got three years of tape you can watch. I think I have fewer batted balls than all the other guys here, and I’m pretty sure I’m shorter than them Travis Benjamin Jersey , too.”

Elway, for one, isn’t concerned, about Mayfield’s measurements, saying, ”I think that (stigma) has been broken.”

Nor is Elway turned off by Mayfield’s crossing the line at times, such as when he grabbed his crotch and swore at the Kansas sideline after the Jayhawks wouldn’t shake his hand last fall.

”A lot of times you get tied up in the emotions of the situation and where he is. I like to see a guy with that kind of passion,” Elway said.

HOT WATER

Rosen’s time in Westwood was defined as much by his proclivity for creating headlines away from the field.

A viral photo showed a hot tub he brought into his dorm room. Another photo showed Rosen playing golf and wearing a headband that disparaged then-presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Questions have arisen about how well Rosen will get along with his new teammates in the NFL, but two Bruins here at the combine vouched for their QB.

”I don’t really have anything negative to say about him,” said tackle Kolton Miller.

Neither does center Scott Quessenberry, who labeled as unfair the negative rap of Rosen ”because of the type of guy that he is and the type of stand-up human being that he is Raekwon McMillan Jersey , and the type of pro that he’s going to be.

”He’s a great dude, I love hanging around him and being with him, and whoever gets him is extremely lucky,” Quessenberry said. ”They’re getting a once-in-a-millennium talent.”

CATCH AND THROW

Some teams envision the dual-threat Jackson as a wide receiver even though he never caught a single pass at Louisville, where he threw for 9,043 yards and 69 touchdowns, ran for 4,132 yards and 50 TDs in 38 games.

“I thought I did a good job at quarterback, I thought I did,” Jackson said with a chuckle Friday while dismissing the notion he’ll run routes with receivers Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium or even operate the wildcat as a pro.

”No sir. I’m a quarterback,” he said.

While Darnold has chosen not to throw at the combine because he’d rather show off his arm with his own receivers at USC’s upcoming pro day Kurt Coleman Jersey , Jackson said he’ll be slinging it around Saturday but won’t run the 40-yard dash or the other drills designed to measure quickness.

”Film speaks for itself as far as showing off my speed and showing I can make people miss,” Jackson said. ”I’ve just got to show off my arm – because that’s where they’re doubting me.”

The Seattle Seahawks released defensive lineman Malik McDowell at the start of training camp Thursday.

The 2017 second-round pick never played a down for the team following an ATV accident.

Cornerback DeAndre Elliott were also released ahead of Seattle’s first practice.

McDowell was released with a non-football injury designation, while Elliott failed his physical.

Seattle had high hopes for McDowell when he was taken as the Seahawks’ first draft pick in 2017. He never saw the field, though, after suffering a severe concussion in an ATV accident prior to the start of training camp a year ago. The team remained vague about his specific injuries throughout last season, but it became clear he might never suit up.

The Seahawks also placed safety Kam Chancellor on the reserve/physically unable to perform list. The procedural move was expected after Chancellor announced he was unlikely to play again due to a neck injury but didn’t officially retire due to his contract.

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