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McClain not practicing for 2nd straight day

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McClain not practicing for 2nd straight day

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) Linebacker Rolando McClain remained a member of the Oakland Raiders on Thursday despite being told to stay out of practice for a second straight day and not to report to the team facility.

The former first-round pick is stuck in limbo a day after being sent out of practice by coach Dennis Allen for undisclosed reasons.

``There's going to be consequences to his actions and it's a team-related issue,'' Allen said. ``I don't really want to get into the details of it. We asked him not to come to practice today.''

Allen said he talked with McClain on Thursday and that McClain was told not to report to the team's facility as the Raiders (3-8) prepare for Sunday's home game against the Cleveland Browns.

Allen said McClain has not been suspended and remains on the 53-man roster but would not speculate on what the future held for the linebacker.

``This is something that we've got to make a decision as an organization, and we're going to make sure that we make the right decision,'' Allen said.

McClain was the eighth overall pick in the 2010 draft after helping Alabama win a national championship. He has struggled so far in his career and has had his playing time sharply reduced in recent weeks.

In 41 career games with Oakland, McClain had 6 1/2 sacks, one interception, one forced fumble, no fumble recoveries and did little to help improve Oakland's struggling run defense.

After being essentially an every down player for the first two years of his career, McClain was demoted after the first month of this season. He was replaced by rookie Miles Burris in nickel packages because of his struggles in pass coverage and because the coaching staff believed he tired too easily playing every down. He has gone from playing more than 90 percent of defensive snaps to just over half the past seven games.

McClain also had problems off the field. He was involved in a shooting in Alabama last November when he left the team briefly during the season to attend a family funeral. McClain had been convicted of four misdemeanors in May but he appealed and the charges were recently dropped when the accuser told prosecutors he no longer wanted to pursue the case.

If McClain does not play Sunday, recently acquired Omar Gaither would start in his place against the Browns. Gaither was signed by Oakland on Nov. 14 to replace the injured Travis Goethel. In two games, Gaither has only played on special teams but the coaches say he has learned the new system quickly.

``It's all similar,'' Gaither said. ``You've just got to learn the lingo. One coach calls it one thing, another coach calls it a different thing. The toughest part is the language, but there's only 11 guys, so there's only so many different things you can do.''

Gaither started 40 games over six combined seasons with Philadelphia and Carolina, playing middle and outside linebacker. He has 393 tackles, six sacks, 25 passes defensed, two interceptions, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries in his career.

NOTES: The game Sunday will be blacked out in the Bay Area, ending a streak of 13 consecutive games telecast since the start of the 2011 season. ... QB Carson Palmer was limited in practice because of a thumb injury after hitting a helmet with his had last week in Cincinnati but offensive coordinator Greg Knapp is confident Palmer will play. ... RBs Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson (sprained right ankles) practiced for a second straight day, while DT Richard Seymour (hamstring) and DE Jack Crawford (toe) remain sidelined.

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Capitals vs. Canadiens preseason Game 3: Time, TV Channel, Live stream, how to watch

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Capitals vs. Canadiens preseason Game 3: Time, TV Channel, Live stream, how to watch

Coming off two preseason losses to the Bruins, the Capitals look to secure their first win of the preseason in Montreal against the Canadiens on Thursday night.

The Canadiens are one of the four teams the Capitals will face in preseason play, along with the Bruins, Hurricanes, and Blues.

The next time the Capitals and Canadiens will meet again will be the first of November back in Montreal.  

But first, it's time to get back on the ice for Game 3 of the seven-game preseason schedule.

CAPITALS-CANADIENS PRESEASON GAME 3: HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Capitals vs. Canadiens 

Where: Videotron Centre, Quebec City, QC, Canada

When: Thursday, September, 20, 7:00 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Capitals-Canadiens preseason game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Canadiens preseason on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.

Radio: Caps Radio 24/7

CAPITALS-CANADIENS PRESEASON TV SCHEDULE:

6:30 PM: Beyond the Scoreboard: Zach Leonsis 
7:00 PM: Capitals vs Montreal Canadiens 
9:30 PM: Caps Postgame Live
10:00 PM: DC Sports Live

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    Sending Alexeyev back to his junior team is not a reflection of his play, it’s about timing

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    Sending Alexeyev back to his junior team is not a reflection of his play, it’s about timing

    The Capitals made their first roster cuts of training camp on Wednesday with the most notable name being the young defenseman Alex Alexeyev, the team’s first-round draft pick in 2018. A high draft pick getting sent back to his junior team less than a week into training camp could lead fans to jump to the conclusion that he has not performed well, but that would be incorrect. The reality is that the team has been very impressed with his performance.

    Alexeyev recorded an assist in his lone preseason performance on Tuesday. He admitted to having some nerves at the beginning of the game to NHL.com writer Tom Gulitti, but he was able to settle down after that and managed very strong [performance overall.

    “[Alexeyev] continues to show his ability to play in a number of different ways,” head coach Todd Reirden said after the game. “Just really some high skill plays in tight areas where he’s executing passes that normally guys at that size and that age probably don’t do as defensemen.”

    Roster cuts have a negative connotation for most as they think in terms of NFL cuts (or this). To see Alexeyev cut this early may make some worry that it was because he was not good enough to make the team. That’s true, but only partially.

    Alexeyev is not good enough to make the team…yet.

    With John Carlson, Michal Kempny, Matt Niskanen, Dmitry Orlov, Christian Djoos, Madison Bowey and Brooks Orpik all returning, the Capitals’ defense is set for this season. There are also players like Jonas Siegenthaler, Lucas Johansen and Connor Hobbs all competing to show they are ready for the NHL in case of a call-up. There is just no room for Alexeyev yet, but he has shown clear future NHL potential.

    But why send him back if they see potential in him? Wouldn’t he benefit from more time practicing with NHL coaches and players?

    Yes if the coaches are focused purely on development. As training camp progresses, however, and the upcoming season draws closer and closer, Reirden and his coaching staff will focus more and more primarily on preparing for the season. That means more time working with the NHL players and less time for the young prospects.

    The best thing for a player’s development is playing. Alexeyev’s junior team, the Red Deer Rebels, played its final game of the preseason on Saturday and will begin the regular season on Friday. The time to send junior players who are not going to make the NHL roster is now so that they can go back to their teams and get game action.

    There’s a lot of excitement around Alexeyev and for good reason. His play in development camp, the rookie tournament and the preseason have, thus far, justified the faith the Caps showed in him when they drafted him in the first round. Sending him back to the WHL now is what is best for the development of a promising young player who is not ready quite yet to make the NHL.

    Said Reirden, “[Alexeyev’s] a guy that has a bright future ahead of him and continuing to learn and grow every day."

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