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Last Update on November 21, 2014 06:35 GMT

BENGALS-MCCARRON'S RETURN

CINCINNATI (AP) -- AJ McCarron's first throws in practice were way off target. It didn't ruin his mood.

The rookie quarterback returned to practice this week after spending all of training camp and the season getting his passing shoulder back in shape. The Bengals drafted him in the fifth round intending to develop him into a backup for Andy Dalton. A sore passing shoulder pushed back those plans.

McCarron said on Thursday that the shoulder feels strong and he's ready to be a backup this season, if that's what the Bengals need. They have three weeks to decide whether to add him to the active roster for the final three games of the regular season.

The AFC North-leading Bengals (6-3-1) play at Houston (5-5) on Sunday.

BROWNS-GOING TO GORDON

BEREA, Ohio (AP) -- With Josh Gordon back, quarterback Brian Hoyer has his favorite target again. The Browns want to make sure it's not his only one.

Gordon returned from his 10-game suspension on Wednesday, and Browns coach Mike Pettine joked the ball was "mysteriously" thrown in his direction throughout practice. Pettine said Hoyer was "like a kid with a new toy at Christmas" with Gordon around.

Pettine said Hoyer has to be careful not to have "tunnel vision" just because Gordon, who led the league with 1,646 yards receiving, is on the field.

Gordon was a little sore following his first workout, but Pettine said the star wide receiver is further along than the team expected.

As for Sunday's game in Atlanta, Pettine said it would be tempting to play Gordon for 75 snaps, "but I don't know if that's the most prudent approach."

BLUE JACKETS-JOHNSON'S BANKRUPTCY

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson has filed for bankruptcy while earning millions under a $30.5 million contract in his ninth NHL season.

In federal court records, the 27-year-old says his finances have fallen apart under his parents' management. He says creditors and his financial advisers took advantage of him through fraudulent transactions and predatory lending, with his contract earnings pledged as security for unconventional loans that he didn't authorize.

Johnson filed for bankruptcy Oct. 7, two days before the team began the regular season. Those filings indicated he owed more than $12 million. For estimated assets, he checked the box indicating $1 million to $10 million.

Johnson tells The Columbus Dispatch others led him down the wrong path and he's trying to fix that, but declined to comment further.

SOUTHERN CAL-AKRON

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) -- Kwan Cheatham had 15 points and Pat Forsythe added 15 points and nine rebounds to lead Akron past Southern Cal 66-46 in the opening game of the Charleston Classic on Thursday.

The Zips took a double-digit lead in the first half and held off the Trojans to beat a Power Five conference member for the fourth straight season.

Noah Robotham added 14 points for Akron, which opened 2-0 for the fourth time in coach Keith Dambrot's 11 seasons.

Southern Cal (1-2) cut Akron's 17-point lead down to 47-40 on Nikola Jovanovic's basket with 10 minutes left. That's when Antino Jackson hit two straight 3-pointers to give the Zips back their comfortable lead.

Jovanovic had 11 points to lead the Trojans, who shot 28.3 percent (15 of 53) for the game.

TEXAS A&M-DAYTON

Late tip-in lifts Dayton over Texas A&M 55-53

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -- Dayton's Devon Scott tipped in a missed layup with 1 second remaining and the Flyers held on to beat Texas A&M 55-53 Thursday in the opening game of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.

The Aggies' Alex Caruso got off a 3-pointer as time expired, but it bounced off the side of the rim.

Dyshawn Pierre led Dayton with 14 points. Kyle Davis added 10 for the Flyers (2-0), who were outrebounded 48-25 by the Aggies, including 24-4 on offense. Texas A&M didn't help itself, committing 21 turnovers that led to 20 Dayton points.

Caruso led the Aggies with 17 points. Kourtney Roberson had 12 points and 15 rebounds.

Dayton plays the winner of College of Charleston and Connecticut on Friday. Texas A&M plays the loser in the consolation bracket.

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