Some of the sports stories The Associated Press is covering Thursday. A full Sports Digest will be sent by about 3 p.m. All times EDT:
– FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – The FedEx Cup playoffs begin at The Barclays, with Jason Day the No. 1 player facing one of the strongest fields of the year at Bethpage Black.
– Les Miles was nearly run out of LSU last season and if the ffth-ranked Tigers fall short of lofty expectations this season expect Miles' future again to be a hot topic in Baton Rouge. Around the country several other coaches enter the 2016 in need of some wins and a change of trajectory to keep their jobs.
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– Nick Saban entered the decade armed with a national title and a promise. The Alabama coach, fresh from the 2009 national championship, told thousands of Crimson Tide fans at Bryant-Denny Stadium that he was just getting started. Eds: Part of a series.
– ORLANDO, Fla. – The NFL returns to Orlando for the first time since 1997 when the Falcons and Dolphins play in their third game of the preseason at Camping World Stadium. Game starts 8 p.m.
– SEATTLE – Rookie Ezekiel Elliott is expected to make his debut for Dallas as the Cowboys travel to Seattle to face the Seahawks. Starters for both teams are expected to play into the second half. Game starts 10 p.m.
– Various stories from NFL training camps and college football practices.
– TORONTO – Blue Jays left-hander J.A. Happ (17-3, 3.05) goes for his 18th win in a game against the Angels. Happ is 11-0 with a 2.53 ERA in his past 12 starts and has emerged as one of the best free agent acquisitions of last offseason after signing a $36 million, three-year deal. Jered Weaver (8-11, 5.47) is up for Los Angeles. Game starts 7:07 p.m.
– ARLINGTON, Texas – The Cleveland Indians open a four-game series at Texas, with Josh Tomlin (11-7, 4.39 ERA) facing Rangers lefty Cole Hamels (13-4, 2.80). Both clubs lead their division – the last time these teams met so late in a season with both in first place was 1999, according to STATS. Game starts 8:05 p.m.
– NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Three-time Champion Petra Kvitova faces Olympic doubles champion Ekaterina Makarova in the quarterfinals of the Connecticut Open.
– MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin attacks the ban on his country from the Rio de Janeiro Paralympics as immoral and inhumane.
– LAUSANNE, Switzerland – Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter arrives for his appeal hearing against a six-year ban from football, pledging to accept the verdict of the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The court's verdict is expected within several weeks.