Orioles

Dumervil plans to practice Friday, play Sunday

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Dumervil plans to practice Friday, play Sunday

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) If Elvis Dumervil and D.J. Williams get their way, they'll both spend Sunday harassing San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers.

Dumervil first has to show he's healthy enough to play and Williams has to prove he's knocked off the rust.

Dumervil hasn't practiced all week but plans to test his sprained left shoulder at practice Friday in hopes the Broncos (6-3) will clear him to face the Chargers (4-5). The two-time Pro Bowl defensive end was injured at Carolina last weekend but medical tests this week showed no torn muscles or ligaments.

``My goal is to play,'' Dumervil said. ``That's what I've got to look toward tomorrow, coming out and getting a good practice in and getting ready.''

Dumervil had a similar injury to the same shoulder that sidelined him for two games and most of a third last season, but he said this injury is ``nowhere near'' as serious or as painful as that one was.

He leads the AFC with five forced fumbles and has seven sacks.

``I do miss him being out here,'' cornerback Champ Bailey said Thursday. ``I don't want him to miss any time.''

Neither does Von Miller, the other half of Denver's ``Doom & Gloom'' pass-rushing duo, although he still had a monster game when Dumervil went out and was replaced by Robert Ayers and rookie Malik Jackson.

Williams returned this week from two suspensions that kept him out of the first nine games.

``He's been looking good in practice,'' Miller said. ``He's in shape. He's right on point, he's looking sharp. I'm sure he'll have fresh legs on Sunday. I'm quite confident he'll have a good game on Sunday.''

He'll have to return to the roster first and then get activated on game day.

At any rate, it could be some time before Williams returns to a heavy load because Wesley Woodyard, Keith Brooking and Miller have played so well in his absence, as has rookie Danny Trevathan in the nickel packages.

Barring injury, Williams, the team's leading tackler in four of the last five seasons, will likely have to make his mark on special teams and in sub packages early on. Still, his teammates expect him to quickly work his way back into a prominent role.

``He makes us more explosive,'' Dumervil said. ``He's athletic, he's smart, he's a great athlete. So, it's huge. I think we can do a lot more different things. Having D.J. back brings us more depth. I think guys have been playing at a high level and having a guy like that come on board'' only bodes well for the stretch run.

Notes: The Broncos signed S Duke Ihenacho, whom they waived this week, to the practice squad and released LB Mike Mohamed from the practice squad.

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Online:http://pro32.ap.org/poll andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

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Follow AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter:http://twitter.com/arniestapleton

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American League All-Star Game Roster Projection: AL will be loaded once again

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American League All-Star Game Roster Projection: AL will be loaded once again

The 2018 Major League All-Star Game is less than a month away. Fan votes are well underway and early frontrunners are close to locking their position in the Midsummer Classic.

Yesterday, we projected how the National League roster will play out. Today it is time to look at the American League roster projection.

For five straight seasons, the AL has had the upper hand in the MLB All-Star Game. In 2018, it does not appear that will change as the American League roster will be loaded from top to bottom.

As a reminder, here is how the process shakes out, first with the fan vote, players’ ballots, and the MLB Commissioner’s Office:

  • Fan vote: nine position players in AL (DH)/ eight in NL; plus final vote for each league
  • Player’s ballots: next 17 players in AL/ 16 players in NL; (five starting pitchers, three relievers must be chosen)
  • MLB Commissioner’s Office: five AL players (four pitchers, one position player) and seven NL players (four pitchers, three position players)

One player from each team must make the initial roster (before injury withdraws, etc.). Below is how it looks the American League roster will play out, considering the latest fan vote returns:

American League All-Star Roster Projection:

C – Wilson Ramos, Rays (Fan Vote), Gary Sánchez, Yankees (Player Ballot)
1B – José Abreu, White Sox (Fan Vote), Joey Gallo, Rangers (Player Ballot)
2B – Jose Altuve, Astros (Fan Vote), Jed Lowrie, Athletics (Player Ballot)
3B – José Ramírez, Indians (Fan Vote), Yangervis Solarte, Blue Jays (Player Ballot), Mike Moustakas, Royals (Commissioner’s Office)
SS – Manny Machado, Orioles (Fan Vote), Jean Segura, Mariners (Player Ballot),
OF – Mookie Betts, Red Sox (Fan Vote), Mike Trout, Angels (Fan Vote), Aaron Judge, Yankees (Fan Vote), Michael Brantley, Indians (Player Ballot), Eddie Rosario, Twins (Player Ballot), Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees (Player Ballot),
DH – J.D. Martinez, Red Sox (Fan Vote), Shohei Ohtani, Angels (Player Ballot)

SP – Justin Verlander, Astros (Player Ballot), Luis Severino, Yankees (Player Ballot), Corey Kluber, Indians (Player Ballot), Chris Sale, Red Sox (Player Ballot), Gerrit Cole, Astros (Player Ballot), Blake Snell, Tampa Bay (Commissioner’s Office)

RP – Edwin Díaz, Mariners (Player Ballot), Craig Kimbrel, Red Sox (Player Ballot), Aroldis Chapman, Yankees (Player Ballot), Joe Jiménez, Tigers (Commissioner’s Office), Delin Betances, Yankees (Commissioner’s Office), Chris Devenski, Astros (Commissioner’s Office)

Manager: Jeff Luhnow, Astros

Based on this projection, the New York Yankees will have the most representatives with six. The Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox will both have four.

Ensuring no snubs, there will be five players selected for the final fan vote to get one more All-Star into the game for a total of 32 for the American League. As you can see, no matter how the AL roster plays out, it will be a dominant team once again as they look for six straight All-Star wins.

Four of those five wins were inside a National League stadium and that will not change as the Washington Nationals will host this season.

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Capitals don't get Penguins for home opener, but Penguins will host Capitals in theirs

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Capitals don't get Penguins for home opener, but Penguins will host Capitals in theirs

The Capitals found out who their opponent will be for the home opener on Oct. 3 and it's not the Pittsburgh Penguins.

And you know what? That's OK. Winning the Stanley Cup was awesome and the banner raising will be an incredible scene regardless. 

Plus, the Penguins need that night off because they have to get ready for their own home opener on Oct. 4 against...the Caps?

Wait, what?

In 2016, the Capitals were in attendance as the Penguins raised their Stanley Cup banner. That had to sting considering Pittsburgh eliminated Washington in the playoffs.

It has not become a tradition to make rivals watch as teams raise banners and there's nothing that said the NHL had to schedule the Penguins for Washington's home opener. But it does seem odd that the NHL is going to make the defending Stanley Cup champions play a back-to-back right out of the gate with the second end coming against their archrivals in Pittsburgh.

Hey Caps, it's the NHL here. Congrats again. Vegas is a hell of a city, am I right? So, listen...we thought about it and decided you won't get to raise your banner against your rivals. Sorry about that. We tried and we couldn't get them for your first game. Good news though, we moved it all the way up to the second game, we just couldn't get it any sooner than that. You'll be playing them the second game of the season...the night after your home opener...in Pittsburgh...for their home opener. Anyway, good luck on the repeat.

Makes sense.

Look, if Washington can't have Pittsburgh for the home opener fine. It would have been nice, but it's really not a big deal. Raising the banner will be special regardless of who the opponent will be. But don't turn around and make the Caps play in the Penguins' home opener the very next day.

The schedule makers did the Caps no favors with this one.

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