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BC-FL--Florida Sports Digest, FL

September 18, 2018

The supervisor is David Fischer. All times are in Eastern Time unless otherwise noted. If there are questions about stories, photos or photo contributions please call the Miami bureau at 1-800-824-5498 or 305-594-5825. Ian Mader is the News Editor and can be reached directly at imader@ap.org. If you have other statewide stories or breaking news of interest to AP members in Florida, send them via email to Miami@ap.org (ASCII text only, no attachments); or fax to (305) 594-9265. The AP’s general website is http://www.ap.org. The Florida AP’s website is http://www.ap.org/Florida/. AP stories, along with the photos that accompany them, can also be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com. Reruns are also available from the Service Desk (800-838-4616) or from the Miami bureau.

MLB:

BBN--NATIONALS-MARLINS

MIAMI — The Washington Nationals open a two-game series at Miami on Monday. By Christopher Stock. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game scheduled to begin 7:10 p.m.

BBA--RAYS-RANGERS

ARLINGTON, Texas — The Texas Rangers open their final homestand of the year against Tampa Bay. By Schuyler Dixon. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts 8:05 p.m.

NFL:

UNDEFEATED DOLPHINS

DAVIE — The Miami Dolphins are off to a perfect start, which they know guarantees nothing. Before now, the most recent season where the Dolphins started 2-0 ended up with them missing the playoffs. And the last time they started 0-2, they actually went to the postseason. By Tim Reynolds.

BUCCANEERS-JACKSON

TAMPA — Ryan Fitzpatrick isn’t the only reason the surprising Tampa Bay Buccaneers are off to their fastest start in eight years. Speedy receiver DeSean Jackson is making a difference, too, finally beginning to deliver what the team has been expecting since signing him in free agency before last season. By Fred Goodall.

JAGUARS-COLE

JACKSONVILLE — Keelan Cole was a wide-eyed rookie in 2017, an undrafted receiver from tiny Kentucky Wesleyan who ended up in Jacksonville’s starting lineup because of injuries. He was lost at times, overwhelmed by the complexity of routes and responsibilities, and in awe of the speed around him. He finally found his footing in December, catching touchdown passes in three consecutive games before going mostly missing in the playoffs. By Mark Long.

JAGUARS-ROBINSON

JACKSONVILLE — The Jacksonville Jaguars will be without left tackle Cam Robinson for the rest of the season because of a knee injury. Robinson, a second-round draft pick from Alabama in 2017, injured his left knee in the first quarter of Sunday’s 31-20 victory against New England and left the locker room on crutches.

PATRIOTS-DEFENSIVE ISSUES

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Deficiencies on the defensive side of the football were a recurring theme for the Patriots during the 2017 season. An inconsistent pass rush and inability to get offenses off the field on third down were two areas New England sought to improve in the offseason. By Kyle Hightower.

ON FOOTBALL-KICKING GAME

NEW YORK — Who needs a kicker? Apparently not the Los Angeles Rams. As for the Browns and Vikings, who are going with untested youngsters, well, maybe a new guy to handle field goals and extra points will be employed soon. By Barry Wilner.

TITANS’ REBOUND

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A game ball for his first victory as an NFL coach is on Mike Vrabel’s desk, and the Tennessee Titans got their first “Victory Monday” off of the season. The celebration is a bit short-lived while some key starters are rehabbing injuries. By Teresa M. Walker.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL:

FLORIDA-DAVIS

GAINESVILLE — Florida running back Malik Davis will miss an “extended period” after breaking his left foot. Coach Dan Mullen says he’s unsure how long Davis will be sidelined. A sophomore from Tampa, Davis tore a ligament in his right knee against Georgia last October and missed the final four games.

PAUL NEWBERRY-TAGGART

Willie Taggart walked into the room, took a nervous swig of water and did his best to get his flailing program back on track. The words had clearly been swirling around in his head for the past 48 hours, since another dismal performance by the Florida State Seminoles. By Paul Newberry.

TENNESSEE-DEMANDING STRETCH

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee is following up one of the easiest two-game stretches in the program’s recent history with one of the most challenging five-game swings facing any team this season. The Volunteers (2-1, 0-0 SEC) open Southeastern Conference play by hosting Florida (2-1, 0-1) on Saturday and visiting No. 2 Georgia (3-0, 1-0) on Sept. 29. The Vols then get a week off before visiting No. 9 Auburn (2-1, 0-1), hosting No. 1 Alabama (3-0, 1-0) and traveling to South Carolina (1-1, 0-1). By Steve Megargee.

NHL:

PANTHERS-CAPTAIN

SUNRISE — Aleksander Barkov is the best player in the Florida Panthers’ dressing room. And so, it’s been no secret that his being designated as that room’s official leader was inevitable. His time has arrived. By Tim Reynolds.

NHL RDP

Juuse Saros and Tom McCollum combined for a shutout to lead the Nashville Predators to a 5-0 win over the Florida Panthers in a split-squad exhibition game for both teams Monday in Sunrise, Florida. Saros, who started the game, made 20 saves in the first two periods. McCollum stopped all three shots in the third. By The Associated Press.

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The AP, Miami

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