Ex-Terps DL, Severn native Francis signed to practice squad
Nunes Dana White Jim Josh Rosen The Washington Redskins signed defensive lineman A.J. Francis (Maryland) to their practice squad Wednesday. Francis, 26, a Severn native who played at Gonzaga College High in Washington, was an All-Atlantic Coast Conference honorable mention with the Terps in 2012, his senior year. He signed with the Miami Dolphins as an undrafted free agent in 2013. Over the past three seasons, Francis has spent time on the active roster and practice squad of the Dolphins as well as the Seattle Seahawks. He has two tackles in three career games. MORE: For the second time this season, a Washington Redskins player has earned NFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors. Jamison Crowder received the award after his 85-yard punt return for a touchdown in Washington’s 1610 victory Sunday over the Ravens. It was his first career special teams touchdown. Before Sunday’s game, the Redskins had not scored on a punt return since Oct. 26, 2008. Crowder’s averaging 27.7 yards on seven returns this season, leading all qualified NFL players. Washington kicker Dustin Hopkins won the award in Week 3 after making five field goals in a victory over the New York Giants. … Cornerback Bashaud Breeland was one of seven Redskins players listed as a limited participant during Wednesday’s practice. He returned to the practice field for the first time since suffering a right ankle injury in Week 3. Breeland said the ankle was stiff, but he didn’t experience any pain during practice. He doesn’t think it’s enough to affect his play, however. He has been sidelined the past two games because of the injury, and Breeland said he’s itching to get back onto the field. Along with Breeland, inside linebacker Su’a Cravens (concussion), cornerback Dashaun Phillips (hamstring), outside linebacker Trent Murphy (shoulder), left tackle Trent Williams (knee), defensive end Chris Baker (foot) and cornerback Josh Norman ( wrist) were all limited. Redskins wide receiver Josh Doctson (Achilles tendon) and tight end Jordan Reed (evaluated for a concussion) were the only two players to miss practice. —
NBA: Cavaliers F LeBron James said the team tried to sign Bulls G Dwyane Wade in the offseason but “couldn’t afford him.” … Pelicans F Anthony Davis is expected to be out 10 to 15 days after suffering a sprained right ankle sprain in an exhibition against the Rockets, ESPN reported. … Clippers G/F Paul
said he plans to sign a one-day deal with the Celtics before retiring after the 2016-17 season. … U.S. District Court Judge
refused to declare a mistrial after the lawyers of a woman accusing Knicks G Derrick Rose and two of his friends of rape failed to disclose text messages to the defense. Former Maryland defensive lineman A.J. Francis, a Severn native, joined the Redskins’ practice squad Wednesday. He previously played for the Dolphins and Seahawks.
AUTO RACING: Sebastien Bourdais will rejoin IndyCar team Dale Coyne Racing in 2017, moving over from KVSH Racing. Bourdais raced for Coyne in 2011.
BASEBALL: The Padres and president Mike Dee parted ways. Managing partner Peter Seidler denied Dee was fired but wouldn’t say whether Dee resigned or if it was a mutual decision. Seidler said Dee is “not taking the fall” for GM A. J. Preller being suspended for a month after a league investigation found the Padres withheld medical information during trades.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Tennessee coach Butch Jones said he expects RB Jalen Hurd to play Saturday against Alabama. Hurd missed the team’s loss to Texas A&M last week with an unspecified injury. … North Carolina RB Elijah Hood (concussion) should be back for the team’s game against Miami, coach Larry Fedora said. … UCLA coach Mora said the status of QB for Saturday’s game against Washington State is unclear. Rosen twice left last week’s game against Arizona State with injuries to his right leg and right arm.
GOLF: Phil Mickelson said he aims to play on the 2018 U.S. Ryder Cup team. “I plan on being on the team in France and absolutely one of my goals is to play in France because I’ve never been on a winning Ryder Cup team over in Europe,” he said. “I want to win a Ryder Cup over there, and I want to be part of that as a player.” MIXED MARTIAL ARTS: Former bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey will attempt to reclaim her title against Amanda at UFC 207 on Dec. 30, president announced. … According to White, Conor McGregor said he will never fight in Las Vegas again after being fined $150,000 by the Nevada State Athletic Commission earlier this week for an incident with opponent Nate Diaz during a pre-fight news conference in August. Pierce Michael W. Fitzgerald
SOCCER: Real Madrid announced it extended the contract of midfielder Toni Kroos until June 2022. … English Championship side Aston Villa hired Steve Bruce as its fourth manager in the last year in an attempt to gain promotion back to the Premier League. Also in the Championship, Steve McClaren was rehired as manager of Derby County, 17 months after being fired by the club for failing to secure promotion. McClaren said he was “delighted at the prospect of finishing what we started.”
TENNIS: Nick Kyrgios was booed by the crowd and admonished by the chair umpire for lack of professionalism during a 6-3, 6-1 loss to Mischa Zverev in the second round of the Shanghai Masters. Kyrgios said he doesn’t “owe” fans anything and they could “just leave” if they don’t like his attitude.