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Broncos LB Mays out for season

Broncos LB Mays out for season

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) Joe Mays is out for the season after suffering a serious injury to his lower left leg in the Denver Broncos' 34-14 win over the New Orleans Saints.

Mays fractured the fibula just above his left ankle while blocking for punt returner Trindon Holliday in the fourth quarter Sunday night when a Saints player inadvertently leg-whipped him.

Coach John Fox said it's doubtful Mays was a candidate to be placed on recallable injured reserve ``just because of what's left in the season.''

``We're going to miss Joe,'' linebacker Wesley Woodyard said. ``Things definitely aren't going to be the same without having him out there, his presence, his leadership and his ability to go out there and make plays.''

Mays has had a rough season since signing a three-year, $12 million deal in the offseason. He was suspended for a game and docked $50,000 for an illegal hit on Houston QB Matt Schaub and lost his starting middle linebacker job two weeks ago to veteran Keith Brooking following a poor performance by the defense in a 31-21 loss at New England.

That relegated Mays, who was making $4.5 million this season, to special teams duty. But he maintained his locker room leadership, teammates said.

``He didn't get down on himself. He continued to pick his teammates up and that's one thing you look for as a good teammate, whether throughout the tough times whether you're going to be the same person or you're going to be a different person,'' Woodyard said. ``He was sad but he continued to work hard every day and he came out here and pushed everybody else, and that's the big thing we were proud about.''

Brooking, in his 15th season, said he spoke with Mays after the game and told him about how he went on IR his third year in the league with a foot injury and missed 11 games but returned the next season and ``I haven't missed a game since.''

``You hate to lose a guy that we were all counting on. He's been a very big part of this football team,'' Brooking said. ``The main things are for him just to keep his head up, keep fighting, believing and don't allow this to get him down. More than anything, it's just motivation for him to come back even better than he was before.''

The Broncos could promote Mike Mohamed from their practice squad to take Mays' roster spot. They'll also get D.J. Williams back from his second suspension in a couple of weeks.

The team's leading tackler in four of the last five seasons, Williams is serving an NFL-mandated three-game ban over his August conviction for driving while ability impaired. This is on top of the six-game suspension he completed for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances. He's eligible to return for the Broncos' game Nov. 18 against San Diego.

``It's always good to have a guy that can roll in,'' said Woodyard. ``D.J., with his experience, that allows us to be able to play a lot of different things and do a lot of different things with him.''

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Check out the names on the Wizards' Summer League training camp roster

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Check out the names on the Wizards' Summer League training camp roster

NBA Summer League is right around the corner. While the Washington Wizards continue a search for a new president, they do have one thing pinned down: the Summer League training camp roster.

The Wizards open Summer League play in Las Vegas on Saturday, July 6, when they take on No. 1 draft pick Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans.

Mini camp begins Tuesday and runs through Thursday. Players will participate in a two-hour practice each day.

Here is the training camp roster:

Noah Allen, G/F, Hawaii (Capital City Go-Go)
Armoni Brooke, G, Houston
Elijah Brown, G/F, Oregon (Grand Rapids Drive)
Troy Brown Jr., F, Oregon (Washington Wizards)
Dontay Caruthers, G, Buffalo
Troy Caupain Jr., G, Cincinnati (Orlando Magic)
Corey Davis, G, Houston
Dikembe Dixson, F, UIC (Capital City Go-Go)
Kellen Dunham, G, Butler (Capital City Go-Go)
John Egbunu, C, Florida
Rui Hachimura, F, Gonzaga
Vince Hunter, F, UTEP (AEK Athens Greece)
Garrison Mathews, G, Lipscomb
Tarik Phillip, G, Ukraine (Petrol Limpija Ukraine)
Admiral Schofield, F, Tennessee
James Thompson IV, F/C, Eastern Michigan
Jeff Withey, C, Kansas (Lavrio B.C. Greece)
Tony Wroten, G, Washington (BC Kalev-Cramo Estonia)

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Free Agency Bracket: Noel Acciari vs. Marcus Kruger

Free Agency Bracket: Noel Acciari vs. Marcus Kruger

It is almost time for NHL free agency to begin, and the Capitals certainly have needs to fill and a limited budget. Who would be the best fit? Who would be the best free agent target for Washington to pursue? That’s what NBC Sports Washington wants to find out!

Our experts got together and made a bracket of the 16 best free agent fits. The bracket is divided into four regions: Third line forward, fourth line forward, depth defenseman and Caps’ free agent. Now we want you to tell us who you want to see rocking the red next year!

Every weekday we will match two free agents up against one another and present a case for each player. Then you get to vote and decide who advances!

Check out today’s matchup:

Region: Fourth line forwards

Noel Acciari vs. Marcus Kruger

 

2018-19 stats

 

Noel Acciari (27 years old):72 games played with the Boston Bruins, 6 goals, 8 assists, 14 points, 12:59 TOI

 

Playoffs: 19 games played with the Boston Bruins, 2 goals, 2 assists, 4 points, 13:10 TOI

 

Marcus Kruger (29 years old): 74 games played with the Chicago Blackhawks, 4 goals, 8 assists, 12 points, 10:25 TOI

 

Playoffs: None

 

Hockey-Graph contract projections

 

Noel Acciari: 2 years, $1,180,934 cap hit

 

Marcus Kruger: 1 year, $861,030 cap hit

 

The case for Noel Acciari

Plays a lot bigger than his 5-foot-10, 205-pound frame. A perfect fit at right wing on the fourth line for Washington. The native New Englander, who played at Providence, is a home-grown Bruin and might not want to leave home, but Boston also might not have the cap space to give an obvious fourth-line player a decent raise. The Capitals might not, either, but for now, they really only have to add in RFA Jakub Vrana’s new contract and figure out what they’re going to do with RFA Andre Burakovsky. 

 

Acciari is renowned for his character and toughness. He was a college captain for Providence and helped the Friars win an NCAA title in 2015. There’s never been a shot he’s unwilling to block. Acciari sustained a broken sternum in the second round against Columbus and a blocked shot with his right foot in Game 7 of the Cup Final left him in a walking boot.  

 

Acciari’s offensive upside is limited, but he did have 10 goals in 2017-18. He was a key player for the Bruins in the past two Stanley Cup playoffs and chipped in two goals in this year’s playoff run that came within a game of a championship. Acciari would help on Washington’s penalty kill, too. In 111:52 he was only on the ice for 11 power-play goals against. Only two Boston forwards were on the ice more short-handed.  

 

The case for Marcus Kruger

 

A different skill set here for the smaller Kruger (6-foot, 186 pounds). Don’t expect even double-digit goals from him, either. But Kruger will likely cost less than $1 million and can be a valuable penalty killer, where Washington needs help. That’s huge for a team that is now dealing with an $81.5 million salary cap, which is $1.5 million less than expected. Add in the overage bonus for defenseman Brooks Orpik from last season and you’re in trouble at just over $80 million.   

 

Kruger played seven seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks and one disappointing one with the Carolina Hurricanes. Kruger has plenty of Stanley Cup experience, too, playing for Chicago’s 2013 and 2015 Cup winners. He has 87 postseason games and a triple-overtime game-winner in the Western Conference Final to his name in 2015 in Game 2 of that series against Anaheim. 

 

A defensive specialist, only two Blackhawks forwards played more short-handed minutes than Kruger (132:46) last season. There is risk here. Kruger was traded to Carolina in 2017-18, but was placed on waivers after 48 games and spent the rest of the season in the AHL before being traded to Arizona and then back to Chicago. But part of that stemmed from how much he was making on a $3.08 million cap hit. At a bargain-basement price, Kruger is more palatable. 

 

Who’s your pick? Vote here.

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