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5 things to watch for this week

Are you ready for some football?: The Cincinnati Bengals finally get to hit somebody else this week. Cincinnati travels south to practice with the Atlanta Falcons today and Tuesday. The teams kick off the preseason against the Falcons on Thursday on ESPN. Among notables, wide receivers A.J. Green and Andrew Hawkins are not making the trip.

Browns on the rebound: The Rob Chudzinski era kicks off Thursday against the St. Louis Rams in a preseason opener. Can Brandon Weeden lead Norv Turner’s run-oriented offense? Will the Browns’ new 3-4 defense be able to slow down the potentially explosive Rams? Fans also get their first look at outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo, the No. 6 pick overall out of LSU.

World Series aspirations: After slugging it out with the St. Louis Cardinals, the Cincinnati Reds take a breather today. Then it’s a two-game set with the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday and Wednesday. The low-budget A’s are again challenging for the AL West title. Wednesday’s matinee features 14-game winner Bartolo Colon — he’ll reportedly avoid another suspension in the Biogenesis scandal — against no-hittin’ Homer Bailey.

Home Cook-ing: Dunbar High School graduate Daequan Cook returns to Dayton for his Local Legends Game on Saturday. Players expected to join Cook for the game include fellow Dunbar grad Norris Cole of the two-time NBA champion Miami Heat, former UD standout Chris Wright, former WSU great Carl Edwards, Kenny Hayes, Josh Benson, Mark Anderson, Nate Miller, Rhonda Price, Aaron Pogue, John Diebler and Brandy Hoskins. The first 50 boys and first 50 girls receive free back-to-school backpacks. The giveaway starts at 5 p.m. and the game at 7 p.m. Proceeds benefit the Cook Scholarship Fund at Dunbar.

Racers honored: Kil-Kare Speedway celebrates its 2013 Hall of Fame class on Friday. The group includes 21 drivers, three car owners and five track workers. For the first time in the Hall of Fame’s history three female drivers — Dee Drook, Jean Stump and Teresa Lakins — will be inducted as former Powder Puff track champions.

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