Capitals

Daniels hopes to give Irish a boost vs. Alabama

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Daniels hopes to give Irish a boost vs. Alabama

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) DaVaris Daniels felt a moment of trepidation when he ran across the middle in practice and took his first hit since breaking his left collarbone two months ago. Then the Notre Dame wide receiver realized it felt like just another normal hit.

``I had to get the jitters out of the way,'' he said. ``It was like a confidence boost.''

The top-ranked Fighting Irish could use a confident Daniels when they face defending national champion Alabama (12-1) in the BCS title game in Miami on Jan. 7.

Irish coach Brian Kelly said the Irish need to make some ``big chunk'' plays against the Crimson Tide and Daniels could help. His average of 15 yards per catch is the highest of any Irish receiver, and he had the longest catch of the game for Notre Dame in four of the 10 games he played.

``We have a lot of guys that can fill in that role, so it's on all of our shoulders. Everybody has to make a play,'' Daniels said.

Kelly said the Irish need to spread the field against the Crimson Tide, and Daniels can help with his speed.

Daniels, who had his first contact Friday, said his shoulder still isn't 100 percent, but said it's getting better daily. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound sophomore had his best game against Pittsburgh with seven receptions for 86 yards, including a career-best 45-yard catch, a week before getting injured against Boston College on Nov. 10.

Kelly said on Saturday that Daniels, who has 25 catches for 375 yards, looks good.

``I think we'll be fine with him. He's a really good player who understands that his reps are going to be based upon how he practices and how he performs,'' Kelly said. ``I'm certain he'll play a role in the game.''

Daniels returned to practice in early December wearing a red jersey, which meant he couldn't be hit. He said it helped him get back into condition and get his timing down. He said it didn't take him long to get back into a groove with Irish quarterback Everett Golson.

Daniels said he tried to keep his mind in the game after being injured by attending team meetings, watching practices and going through as many off-field activities as he could.

``I think that really benefited me to get back to where I am right now,'' he said.

Daniels said he doesn't know yet exactly what his role will be against the Crimson Tide.

``Hopefully it's a lot,'' he said.

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Capitals place Taylor Chorney on waivers, which could signal something, or nothing

Capitals place Taylor Chorney on waivers, which could signal something, or nothing

When the Capitals acquired defenseman Michal Kempny on Monday, that put the team at the maximum of 23 players on the roster including eight defenseman.

Another move seemed likely and the Caps made it on Tuesday by placing veteran blueliner Taylor Chorney on waivers.

Teams now will have 24 hours to potentially claim Chorney. Should he clear at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, it is expected that he will be sent to the Hershey Bears of the AHL. Whether he is claimed or sent to Hershey, his entire $800,000 cap hit will no longer count against the Capitals' salary.

One important thing to note, however, is that placing Chorney on waivers was not required in order for Washington to remain under the salary cap.

Having eight defensemen would mean scratching two every game — assuming the team does not dress seven and after that failed experiment in last year's playoffs, why would they — which means it would be a struggle to make sure everyone gets consistent playing time in the final weeks of the season.

Perhaps placing Chorney on waivers is the team trying to get him more playing time to keep him sharp in case the team suffers injuries on the blue line and he is called upon in the playoffs.

Or perhaps it could mean something else.

RELATED: RANKING THE CAPITALS' TOP PROSPECTS

Chorney played on Feb. 15, but that was during the mentor's trip. Barry Trotz's policy for those trips is to get everyone in at least one of those two games. Before that, Chorney had not played since Jan. 2. It certainly seems like the team was comfortable with him being the designated No. 7 and was not all that concerned about getting him regular playing time before now.

When asked if the Kempny trade would mean any roster moves, Trotz said Monday that he was not sure and hinted that perhaps more moves could be coming from general manager Brian MacLellan. Moving Chorney's salary off the books does not clear much cap room, but it does clear some.

Perhaps MacLellan has another move up his sleeve before Monday's trade deadline.

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New free agent Doug Martin unlikely fix to Redskins' woeful run game

New free agent Doug Martin unlikely fix to Redskins' woeful run game

News broke Tuesday that the Tampa Bay Bucaneers released former Pro Bowl running back Doug Martin, and while the name certainly triggers value, his play of the last two seasons should calm the excitement. 

Since a 2015 season where Martin rushed for 1,400 yards and averaged nearly 5 yards-per-carry in 16 games, Martin has been suspended, undergone substance abuse rehab and missed games due to injury.

In the last two seasons, Martin has played in 16 of 32 games, rushed for 827 yards and averaged less than 3 yards-per-carry.

Over his six year NFL career with the Bucs, Martin has only played two full seasons. Those two seasons were great, in 2012 and 2015, but the other four have been largely disappointing. 

RELATED: WHAT SHOULD THE REDSKINS DO AT RUNNING BACK?

The Redskins averaged just 3.6 yards-per-carry last season, and could definitely use a boost in the run game. It's entirely possible Washington might look to upgrade their offensive backfield this offseason, either in free agency or in the 2018 NFL Draft, but Martin does not look like the player to help. 

Early in the 2017 season, it appeared the Redskins run game might be a strength for the offense. After a disappointing effort on the ground to open the year in a loss to the Eagles, the Redskins rushed for at least 111 yards in their next three contests, including nearly 230 yards on the ground in a Week 2 win over the Rams. 

Injuries undid the run game, however, as Rob Kelley got hurt and the offensive line lost players, too. Over the course of the season, rookie Samaje Perine sustained minor injuries and Chris Thompson was lost for the year with a broken leg. 

Going into 2018, Kelley, Perine, Thompson and Kapri Bibbs are all on the roster and expected for now to stay with the team. That's yet another reason why the Redskins are likely to stay away from Doug Martin.

RELATED: 2018 NFL MOCK DRAFT 5.0

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