Sports Digest: Colts open season against Manning's Broncos

2014-04-23T21:30:00Z 2014-04-26T21:29:30Z Sports Digest: Colts open season against Manning's Broncos nwitimes.com
April 23, 2014 9:30 pm

Pro football

BEARS BEGIN SEASON AGAINST BILLS: The Bears' second season under Marc Trestman begins at Soldier Field against the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 7.

The Bears then hit the road for four of their next five games. They play the 49ers in San Francisco then head east to play the Jets in New Jersey.

The Bears are home the following week for the Green Bay Packers, then head south to play the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte and the Falcons in Atlanta.

The Bears host the Miami Dolphins before hitting the road again to play the New England Patriots and the Packers. The Bears play the Lions in Detroit on Thanksgiving.

Five of their last seven games will be at Soldier Field, including games against the Cowboys and the Saints.

COLTS OPEN SEASON AGAINST MANNING'S BRONCOS: Indianapolis will open this season at AFC champion Denver in a Sunday night showdown pitting quarterback Peyton Manning against his former team.

It's the second time Manning has faced the Colts. Indy won the first meeting, 39-33, in October.

It's one of four prime-time games for the defending AFC South champs, who received their schedule Wednesday.

Indy opens the season Sept. 7, then hosts Philadelphia in a Monday night game Sept. 15. The Colts will play at Houston in a Thursday night game Oct. 9 and will host New England in another Sunday night game on Nov. 16.

The Colts also are scheduled for two late afternoon games, at Pittsburgh on Oct. 26 and at Dallas on Dec. 21.

BEARS SIGN RUNNING BACK: The Bears signed 6-foot, 205-pound running back Shaun Draughn to a one-year contract Wednesday.

Draughn has appeared in 20 contests over three seasons with Kansas City (2011-12) and Baltimore (2013), rushing 63 times for 235 yards (3.7 ypc) and two touchdowns to go along with 24 receptions for 158 yards (6.6 ypr). He has added 25 kickoff returns for 590 yards (23.6 ypc), four special team tackles and one forced fumble.

Draughn originally entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Washington Redskins in 2011 out of North Carolina.

Pro basketball

WIZARDS BACK HOME WITH 2-0 LEAD OVER BULLS: The Bulls failed to score for more than seven minutes.

Not just any ol' 7:38. Not some stretch in the second quarter that people might vaguely remember. This was the final 3:53 of regulation and the first 3:45 of overtime in Game 2 of a playoff series.

Chicago got to the postseason by being stingy. Yet, so far at least, the Washington Wizards have out-defensed the defense-minded Bulls. And Randy Wittman, who carries an anvil of a win-loss record, has more than held his own in what might have looked like a coaching mismatch against Tom Thibodeau.

"The way they're starting games off the right way, the way they're finishing off with defense, getting loose balls and playing the rugged style — that's kind of our style, when you think about it," Bulls forward Taj Gibson said Wednesday.

The Wizards have come home with a 2-0 lead, with Game 3 set for Friday in Washington. They are the 19th NBA team to win the first two on the road in a seven-game series, and all but three (1969 Warriors, 1994 Suns, 2005 Rockets) went on to advance.

PACERS SAY PRACTICE GOT PHYSICAL BEFORE GAME 1: Pacers guard Lance Stephenson acknowledged Wednesday that he and Evan Turner got into a practice "scuffle" last week before Game 1 against Atlanta but denied the two threw any punches.

Coach Frank Vogel and Indiana's players concurred with Stephenson's version of events, though the descriptions were different. Yahoo! Sports first reported that Turner had to be "dragged out of practice" last week after the argument and that fists were flying.

Turner denied that, saying simply that they got tangled up but that there was no fight. Vogel and All-Star center Roy Hibbert said every team has similar scrapes during practice but neither considered it a fight.

The series is tied 1-1 with Game 3 in Atlanta tonight.

Men's basketball

LOUISVILLE HIRES FORMER IU COACH: Louisville has hired Kenny Johnson as a Cardinals assistant coach.

Johnson had been an assistant and recruiting coordinator the past two years at Indiana, putting together top-20 recruiting classes both seasons, including a top-five group last year. The Hoosiers went 46-22 during his time under Tom Crean, winning the Big Ten Conference title and earning a No. 1 seed in last year's NCAA Tournament.

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