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Sports

Sports Report: Nats' Harper And Jays' Donaldson Are League MVPs

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NFL:

On Thursday Night Football, Jacksonville bested Tennessee 19-13.

On Sunday at 1, the Jets are in Houston to face the Texans. On Monday Buffalo is in New England at 8:30. The Giants have a bye week.

Ryan Fitzpatrick is on track to start against his former team. New York Jets coach Todd Bowles has announced that Fitzpatrick will be under center against the Houston Texans on Sunday, barring any setbacks with his surgically repaired left thumb. The quarterback fully participated in practice yesterday, a day after sitting out team drills.

Arizona Cardinals left guard Mike Iupati returned to practice Thursday on a limited basis, just four days after he was taken off the field in an ambulance. Iupati was injured during a violent collision with the Seahawks' Kam Chancellor in the second quarter of Arizona's 39-32 victory at Seattle. Iupati said he "should be OK" for the Cardinals' game Sunday night against the Cincinnati.

Quarterback Brandon Weeden has been claimed off waivers by the Houston Texans, two days after he was released by Dallas following the return of Cowboys starter Tony Romo. Weeden is being brought on board because Brian Hoyer is questionable for Sunday's game against the Jets because of a concussion.

NBA:

In the NBA, Miami beat Sacramento 116-109, Cleveland defeated Milwaukee 115-100, and it was Golden State over the Clippers 124-117.

NHL:

In the NHL, Boston doubled up Minnesota 4-2, Tampa Bay edged the Rangers 2-1 ending their 9-game winning streak, St. Louis skate by Buffalo in a shootout 3-2, Anaheim bested Florida 3-1, Arizona edged Montreal 3-2, Ottawa blanked Columbus 3-0, Dallas slid past Washington 3-2, San Jose blanked Philadelphia in overtime 1-0, and it was Pittsburgh over Colorado 4-3.

MLB:

Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper has been named the National League MVP in a unanimous vote by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Harper led the majors with a .649 slugging percentage and a .460 on-base average, while hitting .330 with 42 home runs and 99 RBIs. Toronto third baseman Josh Donaldson is the American League MVP after pacing the AL with 123 RBIs and batting .297 with 41 home runs and a major league-best 122 runs scored.

Josh Donaldson is the American League MVP after helping the Toronto Blue Jays reach the playoffs for the first time in 22 years. Donaldson paced the AL with 123 RBIs and batted .297 with 41 home runs and a major league-best 122 runs scored. The third baseman received 23 first-place votes, runner-up Mike Trout of the Angels received seven first-place votes and Kansas City outfielder Lorenzo Cain finished third. Donaldson is the Blue Jays' first MVP since George Bell in 1987.

Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred says it is "absolutely clear" that there will be changes made to the safety netting at games following several instances of fans injured by foul balls this year. Manfred said that recommendations on the location of nets as well as a fan education program will be announced at a later time.

NCAA:

In college men's basketball, Boston College beat Central Connecticut 82-57 last night. Eli Carter scored 18 points and Jerome Robinson 15. Seven-footer Dennis Clifford had nine rebounds and nine points for Boston College. JJ Cratit led Central Connecticut with 20 points.

Ray Sanders went 6 for 6 from 3-point range and scored a career-high 24 points to lead Albany to an 88-67 win over Colgate on Thursday night.Evan Singletary added 21 points for the Great Danes (1-2), who shot 53 percent including a scorching 12 of 19 from 3-point range.

Massachusetts beat Central Arkansas 89-62 last night. Jabarie Hinds was 6 of 10 from 3-point range with 24 points and nine assists. The Minutemen took control with a 17-2 run capped at 70-44 by one of Hinds' 3-pointers midway through the second half. Their largest lead was 85-52 with 4:08 left.

Hartford beat Saint Peters 67-66 last night. Justin Graham scored 22 points and nailed two straight 3-pointers late. George Blagojevic had 12 points, John Carroll and Pancake Thomas added 10 each for Hartford. Chazz Patterson led Saint Peter's with 16 points.

LIU Brooklyn beat Maine 84-79 last night. Jerome Frink had 25 points and nine rebounds to lead LIU Brooklyn. Aaron Calixte had 18 points to lead Maine. Kevin Little scored 15 points and had five assists, Devine Eke had 14 points and Issac Vann added 11.

NJIT rolled to a 90-76 victory over Boston University last night. Ky Howard had 20 points, eight rebounds and six assists for NJIT. John Papale scored 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting to lead BU. Kyle Foreman had 17 points and Will Goff added 11 points.

Yale beat Lehigh 79-67 last night. Jack Montague hit six 3-pointers and scored a career-high 21 points, and Justin Sears nearly had a quadruple-double for Yale. Austin Price led Lehigh with 23 points.

Elsewhere:

New Mexico forward Devon Williams has been advised by doctors to stop playing after being diagnosed with spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spine. The stenosis was discovered after he lost feeling in his extremities after a fall during a road game Sunday. Lobos coach Craig Neal says Williams will now serve as another coach, sitting in on meetings and helping the Lobos prepare for their next opponent.

CONCAF:

Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, and Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia are among the 10 venues for the 2016 Copa America Centenario. CONCACAF and local organizers announced the venues and cities yesterday for the June tournament. Organizers opted for bigger NFL stadiums instead of MLS stadiums available in some cities.

Fantasy Sports:

The attorney general in Massachusetts is proposing tighter regulations on daily fantasy sports that would allow companies like FanDuel and Boston-based DraftKings to keep operating with age and ad restrictions.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced several proposals Thursday after a review of the industry.

Among the regulations would be a ban on anyone under 21 participating and a ban on advertising or promotion of the contests at schools or college campuses. Professional athletes and others connected to pro sports would also be banned from entering contests in their particular sport.

Several states have been scrutinizing daily fantasy sports recently, considering whether the games should be treated like other forms of gambling.

Nevada has restricted daily fantasy sports there to those with gambling licenses, while New York's attorney general is challenging DraftKings and FanDuel there by calling the offerings illegal games of chance. DraftKings and FanDuel disagree.

USWNT:

Soccer star Carli Lloyd says she trains every day, including holidays and while on vacation, because it makes the difference between being good and being great.

The 33-year-old, two-time Olympic gold medalist spoke Thursday in Philadelphia. She was part of the kick-off panel of the Pennsylvania Conference for Women.

Lloyd, a break-out star of the 2015 World Cup, told the nearly 8,000 conference attendees "If you're training on holidays, most likely no one else is." She also says she hopes to play soccer at the highest level for another five years, giving herself time for another Olympic medal in Rio and another World Cup title in France in 2019.

Other speakers at this year's conference include actress Jessica Alba, chef Rachael Ray and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf.

PGA:

First round play in the PGA's RSM Classic is in the books with Kevin Kisner atop the leaderboard after a 7-under-65. He leads no less than eight players by one shot. The tournament is the last official event of the year with the season resuming Jan. 7-10 in Hawaii.

Dan Halldorson, who ranks as one of the best Canadian golfers ever, has died at the age of 63. Halldorson won the 1980 Pensacola Open for his lone PGA Tour title. He won seven Canadian Tour events. The PGA Tour Canada reports he died after suffering a stroke on Monday.

LPGA:

American Austin Ernst is the leader through one round of the LPGA Tour Championship in Naple, Florida. Ernst fired a 6-under-66, one shot better than South Korea's Mi Hyang Lee. Six of the next seven players on the leader board are all Americans.

Track & Field:

"Marvelous Mal" Whitfield, a Tuskegee airman who won Olympic track and field titles in the 800 meters in 1948 and 1952 and served for decades as a sports affairs officer for the U.S. Information Agency, has died. He was 91. Whitfield was the first service member to win a gold medal while on active duty. He also helped the U.S. win the 1,600 relay title in London. The former Ohio State star successfully defended his 800 title in 1952 in Helsinki.

©2015 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.