Nationals

Weeden, Richardson injured in Browns' loss

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Weeden, Richardson injured in Browns' loss

DENVER (AP) The already injury-ravaged Cleveland Browns lost their two best playmakers in quarterback Brandon Weeden and running back Trent Richardson to injuries in their 34-12 loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday.

Weeden hurt his right shoulder when he was sacked by linebacker Von Miller in the third quarter and Richardson, a fellow rookie, hurt his left ankle when backup quarterback Colt McCoy fell into him in the final minute of the blowout.

McCoy was hit hard by safety Mike Adams just as he released a pass, and Richardson, who was in the backfield in pass protection, emerged from the pile hopping on his right foot as he made his way to the sideline. He was carted off the field after the game.

Richardson appeared to be in significant pain as he was helped back onto the cart after being examined in the X-ray room.

Reports out of Cleveland an hour after the game said Richardson left the stadium in a walking boot but said his ankle wasn't broken.

``None of these injuries I have much information on ... so we'll have to evaluate them as we go and see where we're at,'' Cleveland coach Pat Shurmur said.

Richardson carried nine times for 53 yards but had just four carries after the Browns' first series, and having a franchise-type player in the game at the end of a blowout will certainly draw more scrutiny to Shurmur.

Weeden was knocked from the game in the third quarter when he couldn't avoid the heavy rush and went down hard. After walking off the field, the rookie slammed his helmet on the bench. Weeden was examined by trainers on the sideline and then taken into the locker room.

``I'm all right,'' Weeden said as he made his way to the shower.

He was replaced by McCoy, who completed his first pass of the season in the fourth quarter. McCoy later threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Greg Little to cut the Broncos lead to 31-12.

Earlier in the game, Browns cornerback Sheldon Brown left with a concussion after colliding with Broncos receiver Brandon Stokley. Brown was trying to cover Demaryius Thomas over the middle of the field when he bumped into Stokley, who drew an offensive pass interference penalty.

Broncos cornerback Tracy Porter left with a concussion in the first quarter after playing just three snaps in the nickel defense in his first game since Oct. 7. Porter was banged up when he hit Josh Gordon after the Browns receiver caught a pass for a short gain.

Porter had been deactivated for the previous nine games after experiencing symptoms similar to those he had last summer that preceded a seizure.

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Wild-card tracker: Nationals lose, but so does Milwaukee and Chicago

Wild-card tracker: Nationals lose, but so does Milwaukee and Chicago

The Nationals led off the day with a loss Wednesday afternoon which positioned both Chicago and Milwaukee to gain a game in the evening.

Instead, San Diego held Milwaukee to a run in a 2-1 win and Cincinnati beat Chicago in extra innings, 3-2.

Washington remains 1 ½ games ahead of both Milwaukee and Chicago, which are tied with each other in the second wild-card spot. Both have 10 games to play. The Nationals have 11 games to play.

Philadelphia and New York are each 4 ½ games behind Washington. Both are three games behind Milwaukee and Chicago.

Fivethirtyeight.com gives the Nationals a 92 percent chance of making the postseason.

Coming up Tuesday:

Nationals are off

Mets off

Philadelphia at Atlanta, 12:10 p.m. Nola (12-5, 3.62 ERA) vs. Soroka (12-4, 2.57)

San Diego at Milwaukee, 4:10 p.m.. Luchessi (10-8, 4.22 ERA) vs. Lyles (11-8, 4.25)

St. Louis at Chicago, 7:15 p.m.. Flaherty (10-8, 3.05) vs. Hendricks (11-9, 3.26)

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3 Caps who impressed against the Blues in preview of the season opener

3 Caps who impressed against the Blues in preview of the season opener

Nicklas Backstrom scored with less than seven seconds remaining to give the Capitals the 3-2 win over the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday in a preseason preview of the regular-season opener. Radko Gudas and Richard Panik also scored.

Here are three players who impressed for the Caps.

1. Richard Panik

Panik got plenty of practice on the penalty kill with 4:16 of shorthanded ice time shorthanded. In that time he gave a glimpse of why he was so coveted by the Caps as a free agent.

In the first period, Panik pounced on a loose puck at the top of the faceoff circle in the defensive zone. Seeing he had room to work with, he did not just clear it down the ice and instead elected to skate up with it. He fought off the backcheck from Tyler Bozak through the neutral zone, drew an additional two Blues players to him, then drew a holding call from Bozak because he would not give up the puck.

Panik's 4:16 of penalty kill time was more than top penalty killer Carl Hagelin's 2:26, though the fact that Hagelin took two minors on the night probably had something to do with it.

Late in the game, Panik was also added to the power play as a sixth attacker with the goalie pulled. He would score the game-tying goal with just 1:09 left in regulation.

2. The goalies

Vitek Vanecek and Ilya Samsonov both played about a half of the game. It is really hard to evaluate a goalie on just 30 minutes of work, so I will give a shoutout to both as both played very well.

Vanecek got the start. He looked a little awkward at first, but settled in as the game went along for a solid performance. He stopped 13 of the 14 shots he faced with the only goal he allowed a weird deflection off of Brett Leason’s skate.

Samsonov took over about halfway through the second period and within minutes found himself defending the net on a 5-on-3 penalty kill. The penalty killers helped out their young netminder allowing only one shot on goal, but it was a good one. Colton Parayko one-timed a slap shot, but Samsonov was there to stop with no rebound. Soon after the penalty was over, Vladimir Tarasenko was all alone in front of the net, but was denied by Samsonov’s who stretched the blocker to deny the high shot.

Sanford scores on the PP. Samsonov wasn't tight against the post. Showed him too much daylight and Sanford made him pay.

Samsonov finished with 11 saves on 12 shots.

3. Connor McMichael

Boy, somebody got a confidence boost from Monday’s game. 

McMichael was given a second preseason game as a reward for his solid performance on Monday and he definitely showed off the confidence that comes along with being a first-round draft pick.

In the first period, McMichael found himself all alone with the puck on a mini-breakaway on Jordan Binnington. Just a reminder, this is the Binnington who was the starting goalie for the Stanley Cup champions.

So what did McMichael do? He skated to the front and tried the stick between the legs shot. It may not have worked, but you have to respect the confidence this kid had just to try, though no doubt the coaches probably had a few words for him in the locker room about it.

There was one area in which McMichael struggled, however, and that was on the faceoff where he lost all five draws he took on the night.

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