BC-AP Sports Preview Digest

Some of the sports stories The Associated Press is covering Thursday. A full Sports Digest will be sent at about 3 p.m. All times EST:

– NEW YORK – Ray Rice and his wife are expected to testify on the last day of his two-day appeal hearing. The Ravens’ running back was suspended indefinitely by the NFL on Sept. 8.

– Thursday marks one month since the NFL instituted a blood test for human growth hormone – a test experts say is almost impossible to fail.

– CINCINNATI – The Bengals play the Browns in a showdown for first place in the AFC North, the first time these rivals have had so much at stake in one of their games since 1986. Game starts 8:25 p.m.

– LONDON – Tony Romo practices for the first time since arriving in London and says there’s a ”good chance” he’ll play when the Dallas Cowboys face the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.

– WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – No. 19 Clemson looks for its sixth straight victory when it plays Wake Forest, which has lost four in a row. Game starts 7:30 p.m.

– HOUSTON – The Houston Rockets, off to a 5-0 start and hoisting plenty of 3-pointers, play the defending champion San Antonio Spurs in one of only two games in the NBA schedule. Game starts 8 p.m.

– The Cleveland Cavaliers are 1-3 and something of a mess. LeBron James warned it would take time for the Cavs to jell into contenders, but there are signs this may take a lot longer than expected.

– It’s no longer a novelty for freshmen to make an immediate impact in college basketball. Duke’s Jahlil Okafor, a preseason AP All-American, is among those expected to do so this season.

– SAN FRANCISCO – After capturing a third championship in five years, the Giants face another busy winter in which they will try to re-sign switch-hitting third baseman Pablo Sandoval.

– SHANGHAI – Graeme McDowell opens with seven birdies in 12 holes and hangs on for a 5-under 67 for a two-shot lead after the first round of the HSBC Champions.