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Jaguars coach Mularkey released from hospital

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Jaguars coach Mularkey released from hospital

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) Jacksonville Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey is out of the hospital and feeling fine.

The Jaguars said Mularkey was released Monday afternoon after a brief stay that included tests. Mularkey showed up at the facility a day after his team's 17-10 loss to the New York Jets and started feeling ill. He went to a team trainer, who took him to a nearby hospital.

The team offered few other details about his illness.

But the Jaguars (2-11) said Mularkey is expected back at work Tuesday.

``He seemed to be doing pretty good,'' said defensive coordinator Mel Tucker, who informed players about Mularkey's absence at a team meeting Monday afternoon. ``I look forward to having him back in here.''

Jacksonville, which has lost nine of its last 10, plays at Miami (5-8) on Sunday. The Jaguars will be looking to avoid a third consecutive meltdown in the second half.

The Jags led the New York Jets 3-0 on Sunday before 17 unanswered points. The same thing happened the previous week at Buffalo, where the Bills scored 17 straight in the second half to turn a close game into a rout.

``Players are frustrated, guys are frustrated with the way the season has gone,'' guard Uche Nwaneri said. ``We've had numerous opportunities to close teams out. If you look at our season game by game, there's five or six games in there easily that if we would have been able to execute just a little bit better those are wins instead of losses.''

The biggest problem the last two weeks has been Jacksonville's run defense.

The Jets ran for 116 yards in the second half, including a seven-play, touchdown drive that included seven consecutive runs by Bilal Powell.

The Bills ran for 158 yards in the second half the previous week, gouging the Jaguars inside and out.

``It's absolutely not a matter of effort,'' Tucker said. ``These guys are playing extremely hard. Guys are physical, guys are giving it everything they have. As you can see, we were able to get the ball back there in the fourth quarter a couple times stopping the run and getting off the field and giving us a chance there at the end. There's no lack of effort with these guys, and if there was, I'd be the first one to tell you.''

The Jaguars moved the ball into Jets territory in the final minute - they completed a 28-yard pass on a fourth-and-15 play - but Chad Henne's second interception ended any chance for a comeback.

Players felt like they let one slip away, especially since nothing went their way early.

Henne had a pass tipped and intercepted near the goal line. Rookie receiver Kevin Elliott, starting in place of Cecil Shorts III, dropped two balls and was flagged for illegal touching on a key play late. Guard Eben Britton, playing in place of Mike Brewster, was manhandled inside, giving up three sacks.

Josh Scobee missed a 55-yard field goal attempt to close out the first half. And the Jaguars just missed blocking two punts. Especially gut-wrenching for Jacksonville was Dwight Lowery's touchdown return that was overturned in the second quarter.

``When you have all your cards in the deck, you assume you will be able to put a game away or close out a ball game,'' said cornerback Rashean Mathis, pointing out a number of key injuries. ``When you don't have all your cards in a deck, you have to have a perfect hand.''

Despite another loss, the Jaguars believe they will be able to close out the season on a high note.

``Even though it's late in the season, horrible record, we are trying to build something special and carry some positive momentum into the offseason,'' linebacker Paul Posluszny said. ``We are at the most difficult point of the year: losing, bad record, no playoffs. But we still have to do things right because eventually, someday soon, this organization will be a playoff team and we've got to start putting those building blocks together sooner rather than later.

``We don't want to put anything out there that doesn't represent our best.''

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How the Caps are staying confident despite a serious shift in series momentum

How the Caps are staying confident despite a serious shift in series momentum

ARLINGTON – Things have not gone well for the Capitals the last few days. After taking a 2-0 series lead over the Carolina Hurricanes, Washington saw that lead evaporate with two losses in Raleigh as they were outscored 7-1 and lost T.J. Oshie to injury. But even as the series momentum has taken a serious shift in Carolina’s favor, the mood in Washington remains calm.

“You know it’s playoffs,” Jakub Vrana said. “You can’t ever get too low or too high. We’re going to try to manage as best we can in the situation that we are right now.”

The underlying calm and confidence the Caps feel comes from past experience. Having always been the team that came up short in the playoffs, now Washington is the defending Stanley Cup champion, and it is not as if their path to the Cup was without its challenges.

“We understand what we went through last year,” head coach Todd Reirden said. “This is part of the experience. We went through some difficult times last year whether it was injuries or suspensions or being down in series, whether it was 0-2 or 3-2 in different series and battling through some tough times. We managed as a group to come through it.”

The Caps went down 0-2 in the first round against the Columbus Blue Jackets before rattling off four straight wins to advance. They lost three straight games to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Final and faced elimination in both Game 6 and Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final. They responded with two perfect games, shutting out the Lightning in both. Washington lost Game 1 in three out of four playoff series in 2018 and trailed at some point in all four.

And yet, they still came out on top in the end.

Amid those struggles were a number of key losses on the roster. In the decisive Game 6 against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Caps were without Nicklas Backstrom, Andre Burakovksy and Tom Wilson. Backstrom and Burakovsky were out injured while Wilson was suspended. The team will need to lean on that experience now with Oshie out indefinitely.

“Obviously, that’s something that you never want to have is one of your top players going down,” Chandler Stephenson said, “But it shows that last year we had guys coming in and pulling their weight and doing a little more and it helped us a lot. It gave us a little extra spark and it’s just more opportunity for everyone and I think we’re ready for it. It’s obviously motivation in itself to do it for Osh now, too.”

This time, the team will be looking for a spark from Devante Smith-Pelly, a playoff hero from 2018 who was recalled from the Hershey Bears on Friday in response to Oshie’s injury.

“Yeah, it’s tough to not have Osh right now,” Vrana said. “He’s been a big part of this team but it is what it is and we’re going to try to fill the spot as best we can.”

Even Nic Dowd, in his first season with Washington, can feel the confidence in the room.

“That is why they make it best-of-seven,” Dowd said. “This is my first time doing this, but I've played in a lot of playoff hockey before this, American League, college, stuff like that. I think the confidence hasn't changed. I think we still are a calm team. Our guys are going to be ready. Like I said, it is the Stanley Cup playoffs. Every team that is left is a good team and every team wants to win."

While there are no such things as moral victories in professional sports, that does not mean good things cannot come from losses. The Caps have not played their best hockey in any of the four games in the series. Perhaps two losses in Carolina will provide the wake-up call Washington needs.

“Maybe that spurs us on to a different level of play because we need a different level of play from everybody,” Reirden said. “They pushed back and now it's our turn to return the favor when they come into our building. We worked hard and played hard all year to have this opportunity to have home ice in this round. Now it's our chance to see it through. It's something that we're going to need everybody and everybody's top game. Credit to them that they've played well, but I also know that there's another level our team can get to.”

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Washington Nationals Roundup: Austen Williams lands on 10-day IL

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Washington Nationals Roundup: Austen Williams lands on 10-day IL

The Washington Nationals fell to the Miami Marlins 3-2 Friday night. Here's the latest Nationals and Marlins news:

Player Notes: 

NATIONALS:

Anibal Sanchez took the loss against the Marlins Friday, allowing three over 5 1/3 innings. Sanchez is now 0-2 on the season and holds a 4.91 ERA. 

Second baseman Brian Dozier went 1-for-4 Friday night with a solo home run, his second long ball of the seaon. Meanwhile, Anthony Rendon extended his hit streak to 17 games with a sixth inning double. Rendon's streak is now the longest in the majors this season. 

Washington placed reliever Austen Williams on the 10-day injured list with a sprained AC joint. The Nationals called up RHP Austin Adams from Triple-A Fresno to take Williams' place in the bullpen. 

MARLINS: 

Starting pitcher Caleb Smith kept the Nats' bats mostly quiet to earn his second win of the season, pithching six innings of one-run ball for the Marlins. Smith struck out eight and walked none, the only run he allowed coming on a Juan Soto RBI single in the first inning.

Closer Sergio Romo needed just 10 pitches to sit the Nats down in order in the ninth and record his second save of 2019. 

Left fielder Curtis Granderson went 0-4 with three strikeouts Friday night, but it was Granderson who was hit by a Matt Grace pitch in the sixth inning to force home a run and give Miami a 3-1 lead. That run proved to be the difference, as Washington only scored once more on Dozier's solo blast in the seventh.

Injures: 

RP Austen Williams: Shoulder, 10-Day IL

SS Trea Turner: Finger, 10-Day IL 

RP Koda Glover: Elbow, 10-Day IL

RP Justin Miller: Back, 10-Day IL

Coming Up: 

Saturday, 4/20: Nationals @ Marlins, 6:10 p.m., Marlins Park

Sunday, 4/21: Nationals @ Marlins, 1:10 p.m., Marlins Park

Monday, 4/22: Nationals @ Rockies, 8:40 p.m., Coors Field 

Source: Rotoworld

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