Capitals

Britt looking like his old self despite sore knees

Britt looking like his old self despite sore knees

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Kenny Britt knows both his knees will not be 100 percent until sometime after the season ends when he's not practicing daily and playing games.

He is feeling better now and looking like the big physical receiver who was off to one of the NFL's best starts for Tennessee in 2011 before tearing his right ACL and needing a total of three operations on both knees through June.

``Sometimes there's good days, sometimes there's bad days,'' Britt said. ``But I'm confident that I can finish out this season.''

Britt had his best game this season catching eight passes for 143 yards in last week's loss to Indianapolis, and the New Jersey native's timing is good with the Titans (4-9) preparing to host the Jets (6-7) on Monday night.

``He made some tough catches,'' Titans coach Mike Munchak said of his receiver. ``There were some great balls dropped in there. Guys were all over him, he made some great catches. The one was a PI on them, and he still caught it before the half. He's a big target, there are a lot of things he can do.''

It's taken Britt quite a while to get to this point.

He tore his ACL on Sept. 25, 2011, in a win over Denver, and that set up his first surgery to repair that knee. In May, Britt needed a second surgery on the knee to clean up the knee. By late June, he needed a second arthroscopic surgery to clean up his left knee, which had been swelling and bothering him.

Still, Britt worked his way back and was ready by the start of the season when he had to sit out the season opener suspended for his eighth run-in with police, a July 20th arrest for driving under the influence at the Fort Campbell post on the Tennessee-Kentucky border.

Since then, Britt has not missed a game and been a regular in practice trying to get back into a groove catching passes even with his left knee still swelling at times and his right knee also bothering him at times. Getting back to the receiver that had a career-high 225 yards receiving with three TDs against Philadelphia on Oct. 24, 2010, has been easier said than done.

Britt found himself practicing only to watch himself on tape and see himself running such sloppy routes that he didn't even look like a pro receiver. Catching slant passes were the hardest.

``Trying to find the ball coming out of the quarterback's hands and catching it with my eyes first and then catching it with my hands,'' Britt said. ``That was just really hard to locate the ball coming out of my breaks because it came out so fast and it was on me so fast.''

His struggles showed on the field where Britt had six games with three or fewer passes. He had three TD receptions, and his longest catch was a 37-yarder against Pittsburgh on Oct. 11.

So the 6-foot-3, 215-pound receiver spent more time with assistant coach Dave Ragone and worked more catching balls off the Juggs machine. Then he said his legs finally started feeling better the past couple weeks.

Then something clicked for Britt in Indianapolis. He averaged 17.9 yards per catch with a long reception of 46 yards and looked like the player who had 271 yards receiving through the first two weeks of the 2011 season. This is why the Titans drafted him in the first round out of Rutgers in 2009, and he led the team in yards receiving each of his first two seasons.

``The road to recovery that he's been going through has been hard, mentally and physically for him, in a lot of areas,'' coach Mike Munchak said. ``To finally have a game that picks him back up where he left off back in Week 2 last year after our first two games where he had about 150 a game. I think that's a good thing for him.''

The way Britt played may mean Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie matches up with him. The receiver has been studying Cromartie on film and hopes to be prepared for the way the defensive back presses and puts his hands on an opponent. Playing well is a must against the Jets with so many relatives back in Bayonne, N.J. watching.

``We got some friends that'll definitely wear the Jets' jerseys but everybody's just rooting (for) me,'' Britt said. ``I see it in Twitter and I see it in text messages. Everybody's rooting on me to get this W out here on Monday night.''

Notes: LB Colin McCarthy (concussion) did not practice Friday and is at risk of missing a third straight game. Munchak said the linebacker can tolerate light activity but still has symptoms when he tries to push himself. DE Scott Solomon (knee) and receiver Damian Williams (hamstring) also did not practice. ... Chris Johnson returned to practice after resting a sore ankle Thursday. DT Jurrell Casey (knee) was limited.

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Follow Teresa M. Walker on Twitter at www.twitter.com/teresamwalker

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Possible playoff opponents for the Capitals are starting to come into focus

Possible playoff opponents for the Capitals are starting to come into focus

With their 3-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday, the Capitals' playoff future is starting to come into focus. Washington has only one game remaining and can finish in either third or fourth in the round robin standings. That limits the number of possible playoff opponents for the Caps when the games really start to matter.

First, before talking about who the Caps may play, it is important to remember why. Under the NHL's regular format, a normal year would see teams advance in a bracket, meaning each team knows going in they will be playing the winner of a specific matchup if they advance. This year, the NHL is going back to its old format of re-seeding after each round. This makes determining matchups a bit harder to figure out.

Here's what we know. The Caps are going to finish in the bottom half of the round robin meaning they will play one of the highest two seeded teams coming out of the qualifying round. The Carolina Hurricanes swept their qualifying round series against the New York Rangers. As the No. 6 seed coming in, Carolina is going to be one of the top two qualifying round teams.

RELATED: DEFENSIVE BREAKDOWNS AND MORE FROM CAPS LOSS TO FLYERS

Washington's final seed will be determined by Sunday's game against the Boston Bruins. A win in regulation, overtime or a shootout will mean the Caps are No. 3, while a loss in any fashion will bump them down to No. 4.

The simplest scenario for Washington is that If the Pittsburgh Penguins rally to win their series against the Montreal Canadiens, the Caps are guaranteed to play either Pittsburgh or Carolina as the No. 5 and 6 seeds, respectively. It gets a little trickier if the Penguins lose. If that happens, the Hurricanes become the top qualifying team and will play No. 4. The top team behind them then becomes No. 6 which, as of now, could be the New York Islanders, Toronto Maple Leafs or the Columbus Blue Jackets.

So a rematch with the Hurricanes is a definite possibility for the Caps, as is a matchup with the rival Penguins.

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Report: Derrius Guice's attorney denies client's domestic abuse allegations

Report: Derrius Guice's attorney denies client's domestic abuse allegations

Derrius Guice's representation has released a statement that says the Washington Football Team running back "adamantly denies" the charges that he was arrested for on Friday

Guice turned himself into the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office facing one count of strangulation, three counts of assault and battery, and one count destruction of property.

The following statement from Peter Greenspun was obtained by Ben Standig of The Athletic. 

"Mr. Guice will not be commenting on these charges, which he adamantly denies. We ask that the media respect Mr. Guice's privacy," the statement read. 

"Unfortunately, the investigators did not seek a statement or any input for Derrius before the warrants were issued. The failure to fully investigate allegations of events, which allegedly took place months ago is inexplicable."

Greenspun, who has a historic career and most notably was a defense attorney in the 'D.C. Sniper trial,' called the charges of his client "unsubstantiated." He also called out the football franchise for releasing Guice prematurely without inquiring about the investigation. 

"... a full vetting of the allegations will take place, in contrast to actions by local law enforcement and the Washington Football Team that assumed the worst, directly contradicting every sense of fairness and due process," the statement concluded.

The Washington Football Team released Guice less than an hour after his arrest became public. The move came through as a part of the culture Ron Rivera has vowed to instill during his first few months as head coach. This is also not the first time Guice has faced issues for off-the-field behavior. He fell to the team back in the 2018 draft due to issues he had while with LSU.

In his short tenure, Rivera has dealt with a tumultuous series of issues arising from the franchise including current and former players facing other serious allegations, a monumental name change, and serious allegations of the culture within the team's executives.

Despite injuries mounting in two years for the 23-year-old back, it was expected that Guice would become the leading rusher in the backfield this season. Still, he had yet to prove to be a consistent contributor with only 42 carries for 245 yards and two touchdowns entering his third season.

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