Thursday, July 28
Falcons expecting camp battles at right guard, linebacker
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — There could be some last-minute additions to the Atlanta Falcons' roster, possibly before Thursday's opening of training camp.
General manager Thomas Dimitroff and coach Dan Quinn already believe they are opening camp with a stronger roster after an 8-8 finish in Quinn's 2015 debut. Quinn expects stiff competitions at several positions, including right guard, linebacker and tight end.
The release Tuesday of wide receiver and return specialist Devin Hester left the Falcons with 87 players. Dimitroff says "there's no major push" to reach the limit of 90 players. He says he's still looking at free agent defensive end Dwight Freeney.
Quinn says he and Dimitroff also have discussed re-signing outside linebacker Brian Schofield.
Panthers DT Kawann Short: I won't holdout this season
SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) — Pro Bowl defensive tackle Kawann Short says he won't stage a contract holdout this season while awaiting a new deal from the Carolina Panthers.
Short reported to training camp on time Wednesday and says he'll play this season under his current deal if he doesn't receive a contract extension. The defending NFC champions begin practice Thursday night at Wofford College.
Short is due to cost $1.47 million under this year's salary cap. He significantly outperformed that deal last season when he finished with 11 sacks and three forced fumbles and became the first defensive tackle to win NFC Defensive Player of the Month twice in a season.
Freeman HR, 5 RBIs as Braves top Twins for 2-game sweep
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Freddie Freeman homered, doubled and tied a career high with five RBIs as the Atlanta Braves held off the Minnesota Twins 9-7 Wednesday night for a two-game sweep.
Freeman went 4 for 4 with a walk. His 18th homer gave the Braves a 7-0 lead in the fourth inning.
The Twins closed to 8-7 in the sixth on an RBI grounder by Joe Mauer. Nick Markakis singled home a run in the Atlanta eighth.
Mike Foltynewicz (4-4) got the win despite giving up seven runs and 12 hits in 5 1/3 innings. Jim Johnson pitched the ninth for his fourth save.
Tyler Duffey (5-8) was chased in the second.
Atlanta and Minnesota entered the series with the two worst records in the majors. The Braves are 35-66, the Twins are 37-63.
Rangers acquire pitchers Harrell, Alvarez from Braves
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Texas Rangers have acquired right-hander Lucas Harrell and left-hander Dario Alvarez from the Atlanta Braves for a minor league infielder.
The AL West-leading Rangers announced the trade Wednesday. Travis Demeritte was sent to the Braves.
The Rangers had one open spot on their 40-man roster, and designated Triple-A Round Rock infielder Matt Duffy for assignment to create another spot.
Harrell is 2-2 with a 3.38 ERA in five starts for the Braves since getting called up from Triple-A Gwinnett earlier this month. Before playing in Korea last season, he appeared in 88 games from 2011-14 for the Chicago White Sox and Houston Astros.
Alvarez was 3-1 with a 3.00 ERA in 16 relief appearances for Atlanta this season.
The new pitchers are expected to join the Rangers on Thursday.
Clemson's Deshaun Watson leads preseason all-ACC team
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Atlantic Coast Conference preseason player of the year Deshaun Watson leads 10 Clemson players on the preseason all-league team.
The ACC announced the team Wednesday following a vote of 191 media members at last week's league media days.
Watson — a 2015 Heisman Trophy finalist who became the first player in Bowl Subdivision history to pass for 4,000 yards and rush for 1,000 more in one season — was one of seven offensive players from the Tigers on the team.
Florida State had five players on the preseason team, led by running back Dalvin Cook. Louisville and North Carolina had three selections apiece, led by Tar Heels running back Elijah Hood. Cook set school records with 1,691 yards rushing and 1,935 all-purpose yards.