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Hunter: Madrid set for Dortmund test

Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid could be in for a serious challenge against Borussia Dortmund, whose core of young talent includes rising American Christian Pulisic.

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Gordon honors Fernandez, then homers (1:33)
USA TODAY Sports
6hDan Szymborski

Which team has a brighter future: Cubs or Red Sox?

There is all this talk about how bright the North Siders' five-year window is ... but things in Boston could be even brighter. Some next-level projections will determine which team is better.

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Yankees and Blue Jays clear the benches twice (0:59)
Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports
5hAdam Rittenberg

What in the world is going on at USC?

Clay Helton billed himself as the no-Hollywood coach, but his first year at USC has had more drama and plot twists than expected, leaving many to wonder about his future with the Trojans.

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
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Jackson, McCaffrey clear Heisman favorites

Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson and Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey are by far the top two candidates for the Heisman Trophy after four weeks.

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Co-Anchorman: The Legend of His & Hers (7:34)
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Kellerman: OBJ needs to get temper tantrums under control (1:51)
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Draymond: I don't want to win 74 games (0:52)
Blaine Ohigashi/Getty Images
4hBob Pockrass

Dale Jr. increases activity, continues to improve

Dale Earnhardt Jr. continues to put himself in situations to help him rehabilitate from a concussion that will keep him out of a race car for at least the remainder of the 2016 season.

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1dBill Barnwell

Stacking the NFL's best defenses

Teams that have started Joe Flacco, Trevor Siemian, Carson Wentz, Sam Bradford, Shaun Hill, Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett have a combined ZERO losses. It's a time to praise defenses.

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ESPN Stats and Information  

Dez Bryant has caught 11-of-23 targets this season, continuing a trend from last year. Bryant's reception percentage of 44 percent is lowest in the NFL since the start of the 2015 season (minimum 75 targets). Besides Romo's absence being a factor, he has the 15th-longest average target depth in the league at 13.2 air yards per attempt.

Paul Grant ESPN.com 

Wayne Gretzky watching Wayne Gretzky highlights.

NHL 

Bob Harig ESPN Senior Writer 

Tiger Woods is said to be having a strong impact as a vice captain for the U.S. Ryder Cup team. But apparently he was not aware of protocol. The players gathered Tuesday morning for the official team photo, and Woods took his place on the back row before being alerted he had to leave. Woods thought that meant he had to go to the other side, before learning the harsh truth -- vice captains are not in the photo. Woods took it all in stride as he was chided about it and seen laughing.

Golf 

Paul Grant ESPN.com 

Gary Bettman: We're planning a big party to celebrate our centennial.

NHL 

Nick Friedell ESPN Staff Writer 

Fred Hoiberg addresses the media after the Bulls' first practice of the year. Says Rondo has "best voice on the team," and has helped set the tone for everybody else.

Austin Ward ESPN Staff Writer 

Urban Meyer shoots down any contact from LSU about potentially replacing Les Miles. "No, I have not been contacted," Meyer said. "I'm going to be the coach at Ohio State."

Bob Harig ESPN Senior Writer 

If the United States is indeed going to a POD-like system for its Ryder Cup pairings, today's groupings at Hazeltine should give an indication of what is planned. Fowler, Z. Johnson , Mickelson, Walker D. Johnson, Kuchar, Reed, Spieth Holmes, Koepka, Moore, Snedeker In theory, the U.S. would not match anyone together from outside their respective groups.

Golf 

Mike Rodak ESPN Staff Writer 

Reggie Bush was active but did not play in Sunday's win over the Cardinals. Rex Ryan downplayed his lack of role, saying Monday that the Bills had a package of plays designed for Bush as a receiver but never used them.

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Nick Friedell ESPN Staff Writer 

2.5 hours in and Fred Hoiberg's first official practice of the season is still rolling along.

Chris Forsberg ESPN Staff Writer 

Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown on his first practice: "I was over-excited. I didn't get much sleep last night. I think I was here three or four hours early. I'm anxious."

Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

Derrick Rose on Carmelo Anthony: "My job is help him win. This is his team."

Dan Murphy ESPN Staff Writer 

Michigan State will wear black shoes and socks as well as a 6 on their helmets in memory of former Spartan linebacker Mylan Hicks, who was killed at a bar in Calgary this weekend. Hicks was playing for the Calgary Stampeders in the CFL.

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Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

Derrick Rose shooting a weighted medicine ball after the Knicks' first training camp practice:

Dan Murphy ESPN Staff Writer 

Rutgers coach Chris Ash says redshirt freshman Jawuan Harris will take over some of the duties of two-way standout Janarion Grant(ankle injury) against Ohio State. "He's not Janarion," Ash said. "He's our next best version of Janarion."

Austin Ward ESPN Staff Writer 

Chris Ash has something of a head start scouting Ohio State after spending the last two years there as co-defensive coordinator, but the Rutgers coach isn't expecting that to be a big deal on game day. "Yeah, I know players, I know coaches, I know the offensive and defensive schemes that they're running," Ash said. "But that doesn't mean we have an advantage or anything like that. It comes down to players making plays on Saturday."

Chris Forsberg ESPN Staff Writer 

To start the first training camp practice, Celtics coach Brad Stevens told his players to operate at 30 percent speed. They, of course, launched in full throttle. "We did like a 5-on-5 kind of not live breakdown before they even stretched and I said, ‘Go 30 percent, it's a walkthrough.' If that was 30 percent we're going to be able to fly around," said Stevens. "I think it was just a misjudging of what 30 percent is but they were flying early on in practice."

Greg Ostendorf ESPN Staff Writer 

Gus Malzahn says that Auburn LB Paul James III will miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury he suffered last week in practice. James, a junior-college transfer, had three tackles, one tackle for loss and one QB hurry through the first three games this year.

Greg Ostendorf ESPN Staff Writer 

The last coach to face Les Miles while at LSU? Gus Malzahn. The Auburn coach reflected on the recently fired Miles today. "Les is a legend," Malzahn said. "He has helped make the SEC what it is currently. He's one of those guys. He's a great coach. He's a great person. He's a guy coming into the SEC that I looked up to."

Mike Reiss ESPN Staff Writer 

QBs Jacoby Brissett (7) and Jimmy Garoppolo (10) go through stretching, light warm-up at the start of practice.

Jordan Raanan ESPN Staff Writer 

Justin Pugh said he didn't think Odell Beckham's outburst was distracting. He's not even watching what is going on. Coach Ben McAdoo said Monday Beckham needs to become less of a distraction to himself and his teammates.

James Walker ESPN Staff Writer 

Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill said the offense did some good things against Cleveland but must play better to beat the Bengals on Thursday.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

The Panthers reportedly will re-sign veteran defensive tackle Kyle Love, 29, with first-round pick Vernon Butler expected to miss a few weeks with a high ankle sprain suffered on Sunday against Minnesota. Butler was wearing a cast on his right foot on Monday after a visit to the doctor where an MRI revealed the high sprain. Love was among the final roster cuts when the Panthers went to 53 players. Bobby Rosinski of ESPN 710 radio in Charlotte first reported Love was back with the team.

Mike Reiss ESPN Staff Writer 

QB Jacoby Brissett seemed amused at the attention placed on his thumb, joking in the locker room that he has never seen that many people looking at it.

Jeremy Fowler ESPN Staff Writer 

Mike Tomlin not holding back. Says everyone must improve, including coaches who must put defensive players in better positions to win one-on-ones.

Mike Reiss ESPN Staff Writer 

Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo walked through locker room during media access period. He is not wearing any sling to aid his injured right shoulder.