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File a Trademark for $399 + $250 Government Filing Fee

Trademark Attorney Working With Clients in Philadelphia, PA

If you're an entrepreneur, you know that protecting your intellectual property should be high on your list when it comes to safeguarding your company. However, as a successful business owner, you also know the steps and costs of filing a trademark in the U.S. can be expensive and arduous.

This conundrum can be even more overwhelming for new business owners who want to do everything possible to minimize the price of securing trademarks. They try to handle complicated tasks like trademark registration on their own, which can be a big mistake - especially when juggling the day-to-day tasks of running a business. You may be thinking, "But what about those set-it-and-forget-it services you can find online? All you have to do is plug in your info, and you're done." Using pre-made templates for trademark filing can be tempting, but doing so can leave you with inadequate protection and hurt you in the long run.

So, what is the easiest, most cost-effective route to consider that also minimizes legal risk? The truth is, before you spend money on an online filing service, it's best to consult with a trademark attorney working with clients in Philadelphia, PA.

At Sausser Summers, PC, our experienced trademark attorneys can help you understand the trademark process step by step. We can even help with U.S. trademark filing, U.S. trademark responses, and U.S. trademark renewals at a price you can actually afford. That way, you can make an informed decision regarding your business without having to break the bank.


Sausser Summers, PC: Simplifying the U.S. Trademark Process

Hiring an attorney can be a daunting task, but at Sausser Summers, PC, our goal is to make the process as simple and seamless as possible for you. That's why we offer a straightforward checkout service. First, you choose your flat fee trademark service and fill out a short questionnaire. Then, we will contact you within 24 hours to discuss the details of our service. From there, one of our experienced trademark attorneys will get to work on your behalf.

Using a trademark attorney for filing in Philadelphia, PA, can significantly increase your chances of a successful registration. The U.S. government recommends hiring a trademark attorney to help with your application, and our team of trademark lawyers is dedicated to meeting your needs. In fact, we help ensure your application is filed correctly the first time so you can get on with your life and avoid legal risks.

At Sausser Summers, PC, we work closely with our clients to understand their needs and provide them with sound professional advice. We never offer incomplete services, such as simply filing for registration, because that would leave you open to legal risks. You can rely on us to handle your intellectual property matters, and our flat fee services can help protect your business in a simple, straightforward, and affordable way. It's really that simple.

In terms of filing a U.S. trademark, we provide an easy three-step process to protect your intellectual property:

1. You provide your trademark info to our team via an online form.

2. Our team performs a comprehensive trademark search. This search ensures that no other marks will prevent you from registering your trademark in the U.S. Once performed, we'll send you a legal opinion letter that details our findings.

3. Sausser Summers, PC, files your U.S. trademark application. We are then listed as your Attorney of Record on file. From there, we'll provide ongoing updates regarding the status of your trademark as it works through the registration process.

The bottom line? At Sausser Summers, PC, we give both new and seasoned business owners an easy, efficient, cost-effective way to protect the one asset that sets them apart from others: their name.

Online Trademark Attorney Philadelphia, PA
The bottom line?

At Sausser Summers, PC, we give both new and seasoned business owners an easy, efficient, cost-effective way to protect the one asset that sets them apart from others: their name.

Do I Really Need a Trademark Attorney for Protecting My Business in Philadelphia, PA?

It's not necessary to be a lawyer in order to apply for a trademark. Anyone can submit a trademark application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). However, registering a trademark involves more than just filling out a form. It's essential to conduct thorough research, accurately identify and clearly explain your trademark to ensure it receives adequate protection. And even after securing a trademark, you've got to monitor it consistently to make sure it's free from infringement.

The big takeaway here is that it's always a good idea to work with a trademark attorney to protect the intellectual property that you've worked so hard to establish. According to the Wall Street Journal, applicants are approximately 50% more likely to secure their trademark than people who file applications on their own. If your trademark application is rejected by the USPTO, you will need to revise and refile it, incurring additional filing fees. To avoid delays and extra costs, it is best to have a trademark lawyer help you get it right the first time.

Additional Benefits of Using a Trademark Attorney

Great trademark attorneys (like those you'll find at Sausser Summers, PC) will help with every step of filing and enforcing your trademark. Some additional benefits include the following:

Check to see if your proposed trademark is registered by another entity.

Conduct research to see if another business is using the trademark for which you're applying.

Provide advice and guidance on the strength of your trademark.

Draft and submit your trademark applications and application revisions.

Advice and guidance regarding trademark maintenance and protection.

Monitor the market for unauthorized use of your trademark.

Trademark enforcement to protect you against infringement.

 Online Trademark Lawyer Philadelphia, PA

Curious whether our trademark attorney services are right for you and your business? Contact Sausser Summer, PC, today. Let's talk about what you need, and how we can help.

What About Online Filing Services?

Online services, can provide you with basic assistance in filing your trademark. However, they will never be a legitimate substitute for an experienced trademark attorney helping clients in Philadelphia, PA.

 Trademark Attorney Philadelphia, PA

Although online filing services offer a step-by-step process, they take a one-size-fits-all approach to preparing legal documents. Even their advanced service only provides basic attorney assistance in completing your paperwork and helping with minor roadblocks. Online filing services' disclaimer highlights the many limitations of its services, including the fact that communications are not protected by attorney-client privilege. In addition, online filing services cannot provide advice, explanations, opinions, recommendations, or any kind of legal guidance on possible legal rights, remedies, defenses, options, selection of forms or strategies.

In other words, online filing services can offer you the necessary forms and point you in the right direction, but they cannot customize their services to your specific needs or help you with serious complications that may arise.

For the most comprehensive trademark service and protection, it's always wise to work with highly rated trademark lawyers, like you'll find at Sausser Summers, PC.

Understanding Trademarks Over Time

Trademarks in the U.S. can last indefinitely, but did you know that clients in Philadelphia, PA can file a trademark online, only to lose protection in some circumstances? Trademarks differ from patents and copyrights in that they do not have an expiration date. However, to prevent the cancellation of a trademark, you must maintain it. To ensure that your trademark remains protected, you must actively use it in commerce and renew it with the USPTO every ten years.

The Lanham Act tells us that "use in commerce" is the legitimate use of a trademark in the ordinary course of trade. In other words, you cannot register a trademark solely to reserve the rights to it in the future. In most cases, a trademark must be used continuously in connection with the goods or services it is registered for.

 Trademark Law Firm Philadelphia, PA

Steps to Renew Your Trademark

Trademarks are registered with the USPTO and generally need to be renewed every ten years. However, there is one crucial exception that you should be aware of. Within the first ten years of owning a trademark, you must file for renewal between the fifth and sixth year from the date of your initial registration.

During this renewal period, you are required to submit a Section 8 declaration, a specimen that shows how the mark is being used, and pay the required fee. You can also apply for Section 15 Incontestability status, which can strengthen your trademark rights. This application, although not mandatory, can make it harder for others to challenge your ownership of the mark.

After the first renewal, which falls between the fifth and sixth year of ownership, the next renewal filing is due between the ninth and tenth year, and then every tenth year thereafter. In the ninth year you will need to file a Section 8 declaration, attesting to your use of the mark or excusable nonuse. You've also got to file a Section 9 renewal application before the end of the tenth year to keep your registration active.

It is worth noting that the USPTO provides a six-month grace period if you fail to renew your mark within the required time frame, but it is best not to rely on it. If you don't file within the grace period time limits, the USPTO will cancel and expire your mark.

By hiring trademark attorneys helping clients in Philadelphia, PA, you can avoid the pitfalls and mistakes that can arise and cause you to lose your rights to the mark that represents it.

Losing Your Trademark Rights Through Abandonment

In the event that you stop using your trademark and have no plans to resume using it in commerce, it may be considered abandoned by the USPTO. This could result in the loss of your protective rights to the mark. Typically, a trademark is assumed to be abandoned if it has not been used for three years. However, you may be able to refute this presumption by providing evidence that you intend to use the mark again in the future.

Losing Your Trademark Rights Through Inappropriate Licensing

In addition to trademark abandonment, you should also be wary of improper licensing. It's important to remember that once you allow someone else to use your trademark, you must keep an eye on how they use it. You should monitor the products or services that feature your trademark to ensure that they meet consumers' expectations in terms of quality. Failure to do so can lead to a "naked" trademark license and the loss of your protective trademark rights.

How to Avoid Having to Refile Your Trademark

If you're wondering how you can avoid refiling your trademark, the answer is simple: file it correctly the first time around. Filing a trademark isn't inherently difficult, but when doing so, it's very important that certain aspects are filled out accurately in your application. If any information is missing or incorrect, the trademark application may be considered "void ab initio" or void from the beginning, requiring you to file again.

To avoid this, make sure that the information you provide in the application is accurate and complete, including the ownership of the trademark. For instance, if a corporation has multiple shareholders, it should not file under the President's personal name. The rightful owner should be the one/entity that ultimately controls the trademark and the associated goods/services.

It is also important to ensure that the goods and/or services description is precise. For example, if you sell electronic products, you should not file for research and development services despite having a research and development department. The goods/services description should reflect the goods/services you offer to customers, not the departments within your business.

Additionally, providing accurate dates of first use when filing for a trademark is crucial. The USPTO requires two dates to be specified - the date of first use anywhere and the date of first use in interstate commerce. Contact our trademark law office today to learn more about having accurate dates on your filing paperwork.

 Trademark Lawyer Philadelphia, PA
 Trademark Firm Philadelphia, PA

What Makes an Online Trademark Attorney Great?

At Sausser Summers, PC, we often get questions about how to distinguish run-of-the-mill consultants and others from great trademark attorneys. After all - when you're looking for an attorney to file or prosecute your business trademark, you should know their qualifications. Here are three ways you can separate the proverbial wheat from the chaff when it comes to trademark attorneys.

It's crucial to seek legal advice from a licensed trademark lawyer rather than relying on advice from non-professionals like trademark consultants. The USPTO even recommends hiring an attorney to help with the trademark process. Although trademark consultants may provide advice on trademark availability or name marketability, they cannot file the trademark for you or offer legal advice. According to the Rules of Practicing in trademark cases, "Individuals who are not attorneys are not recognized to practice before the Office in trademark matters." This rule applies to individuals who assist trademark applicants.

When searching for a trademark attorney, it's important to find someone with a strong background in trademark law. Look for an attorney who specializes in this area and has significant experience handling trademark-related cases. Avoid lawyers who don't have expertise in this field, as they may not be able to provide the guidance and support you need.

Ensure your attorney provides updates throughout the trademark registration process to avoid missing deadlines, including responding to any Office actions within six months. Failure to do so can result in trademark abandonment. The USPTO will only correspond with the listed attorney of record, so make sure your attorney keeps you informed.

In summary:

  • Be sure you're using a licensed trademark attorney helping clients in Philadelphia, PA.
  • It's best to work with a trademark lawyer who has years of experience filing trademarks.
  • Ensure that your trademark lawyer is willing to provide ongoing notifications relating to your trademark application process.
 Trademark Registration Lawyer Philadelphia, PA

Trademark Attorneys Working Hard for You

Building your brand and gaining recognition for it is a significant achievement, and it's important to protect it. However, there are certain pitfalls and mistakes that can arise, causing you to lose your rights to the mark that represents it. By working with knowledgeable trademark attorneys, you can avoid these issues and file your trademark successfully.

With an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Sausser Summers, PC, offers comprehensive guidance, strategic advice, and reliable representation for a variety of trademark matters. Our attorneys have years of real-world experience and, having registered countless trademarks with the USPTO, provide our clients with individualized representation when they need it most.

If you're looking for skilled, adept, and experienced counsel, look no further than our trademark law firm. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation and learn how we can help you safeguard your brand.

Latest News in Philadelphia, PA

Eagles extend WR DeVonta Smith through 2028 season

ReactionsLike689Fire8Wow2Laugh1PHILADELPHIA -- The Eagles and DeVonta Smith have agreed to a three-year extension that ties the wide receiver to the team t...










PHILADELPHIA -- The Eagles and DeVonta Smith have agreed to a three-year extension that ties the wide receiver to the team through the 2028 season.

Terms were not disclosed, but a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter that the contract is worth $75 million, with $51 million guaranteed.

The team also exercised Smith's fifth-year option, which will pay Smith a salary of around $16 million for the 2025 campaign.

Smith becomes the fifth receiver in the NFL with a contract averaging $25 million or more per season, joining Tyreek Hill of the Miami Dolphins ($30 million), Davante Adams of the Las Vegas Raiders ($28 million), Cooper Kupp of the Los Angeles Rams ($26.7 million) and Smith's teammate, A.J. Brown ($25 million).

Smith and Brown became the first receiver tandem in Eagles history to each reach 1,000 yards receiving in 2022 and they repeated the feat last season. Teamed with quarterback Jalen Hurts, they've helped fuel an offense that ranks fifth in points per game (26.8) over the past two seasons and have developed a strong bond over that time.

Smith, 25, has 240 catches for 3,178 yards and 19 touchdowns over three seasons with the Eagles. The former Heisman Trophy winner set the team rookie record for receiving yards (916) in 2021, surpassing a mark previously held by DeSean Jackson, and established a new high for single-season receptions (95) in 2022. He eclipsed 1,000 yards receiving for a second consecutive year in 2023.

Known as a big-game player dating back to his days at Alabama, Smith has saved some of his best work for the postseason. He had eight grabs for 148 yards in January's wild-card loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and became the third Eagles player with 100-plus receiving yards in a Super Bowl with his seven-catch, 100-yard performance against the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII.

The Eagles had until May 2 to exercise Smith's fifth-year option. They had plenty of time to get a contract extension done but have a history of locking in foundational players as early as possible, in part because they know the price tag will only go up. With a number of top-end receivers eligible for new deals, including the Minnesota Vikings' Justin Jefferson and Cincinnati Bengals' Ja'Marr Chase, there's a good chance the market will be reset soon.

Philadelphia has been busy this offseason paying key players on offense. Guard Landon Dickerson signed a record-breaking four-year, $84 million extension in March and tackle Jordan Mailata signed a three-year, $66 million contract earlier this month.

DeVonta Smith's contract extension: What it means for Eagles

ReactionsLike223Fire5Celebrate1PHILADELPHIA -- Wide receiver DeVonta Smith's $75 million contract extension with the Eagles continues an organizational trend: lock in co...








PHILADELPHIA -- Wide receiver DeVonta Smith's $75 million contract extension with the Eagles continues an organizational trend: lock in core players as soon as possible and avoid the inevitable price increase.

Smith's new contract, announced by the team on Monday, ties the receiver to Philly through the 2028 season. Terms were not disclosed, but a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter that the contract guarantees Smith $51 million.

In Smith, they secure a productive player (2,262 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns in the past two seasons) who has missed just one game due to injury since joining the Eagles as the 10th pick in the 2021 draft. He is also emerging as a leader and tone-setter for a team that lost two pillars to retirement this offseason: center Jason Kelce and defensive tackle Fletcher Cox.

Philadelphia now has two of the top-paid receivers in the game in Smith and A.J. Brown. How will the financials work? And with the addition of running back Saquon Barkley, are there enough touches to go around to justify the contracts and keep everyone happy?

Here are three numbers to consider:

$175 million: The combined value of Smith and Brown's contracts. The Eagles are the only team currently with two receivers ranked in the top 10 in total value and average annual salary, per Spotrac.

Both have deals averaging $25 million per season, putting them behind only Tyreek Hill of the Miami Dolphins ($30 million), Davante Adams of the Las Vegas Raiders ($28 million) and Cooper Kupp of the Los Angeles Rams ($26.7 million).

The only team with two wide receivers in 2024 making at least $20 million in cash value was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, per ESPN Stats & Information. Whether the Eagles join that group this season depends on how Smith's new money is allocated.

$26.5 million: Brown's projected cap number in 2025 -- currently the highest on the team.

The financials are manageable at the moment despite the eye-popping numbers. Brown carries a cap number of $12.2 million this season and Smith is on the books for $6.4 million, which shouldn't escalate given Smith's extension is for the 2026-28 seasons.

But Brown's cap number more than doubles next year while Smith, who will be playing on his fifth-year option in '25, is slated to make around $16 million.

With Jalen Hurts' cap figure also rising significantly in 2025 (from $13.5 million to $21.8 million), the Eagles could be feeling the squeeze this time next year without a Brown contract restructure -- or something more dramatic.

77: The average number of receiving targets for Barkley in the seasons in which he's played at least 13 games.

Coach Nick Sirianni has made it clear that the offense runs through Smith, Brown and tight end Dallas Goedert; that trio commanded 353 targets last season -- a 67 percent share.

But there's now another star skill player to account for. Barkley's receiving ability was part of the reason the Eagles went against their norm and paid the running back a three-year, $37.75 million contract.

"You have to be a great passing attack running back as well. For us it's got to be multifunctional," CEO Jeffrey Lurie said of Barkley in March. "And he exhibited a very special skill set both in the running and the passing game that we think certainly can be maximized by being on a team with better skill positions, quarterback, offensive line."

D'Andre Swift led all Eagles backs with 49 targets last year. Kenneth Gainwell led in 2022 with just 29 targets -- the first year Brown and Smith were paired together. Barkley had 60 targets in 13 games last season. The two times he played 16 games in a season -- in 2018 and 2022 -- he had 121 and 76 targets, respectively.

A projected three-down back, Barkley should get more opportunities than his Eagles predecessors by way of being on the field more. But how three highly paid players in Smith, Brown and Barkley get fed in the offense this season will be worth monitoring.

"What's important in the process of a season is that we build the connection, we build the team, so regardless of how much they're eating, everyone is excited for each other," Sirianni said.

Caps Need Tuesday Win in Philly to Clinch Playoff Berth

Caps finish back-to-backs vs. Flyers, needing win to land last available playoff berthApril 16 vs. Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo CenterTime: 7:00 p.m.TV: MNMTStream: MonSports.net/StreamRadio: 106.7 The Fan, Capitals Radio 24/7Washington Capitals (39-31-11)Philadelphia Flyers (38-32-11)The Caps conclude the 2023-24 regular season on Tuesday night in Philadelphia ag...

Caps finish back-to-backs vs. Flyers, needing win to land last available playoff berth

April 16 vs. Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center

Time: 7:00 p.m.


Stream: MonSports.net/Stream

Radio: 106.7 The Fan, Capitals Radio 24/7

Washington Capitals (39-31-11)

Philadelphia Flyers (38-32-11)

The Caps conclude the 2023-24 regular season on Tuesday night in Philadelphia against the Flyers. They’ll also be finishing up a set of back-to-back games against a rested Philly squad; the Caps blanked the Boston Bruins 2-0 on Monday in Washington in their home ice finale for ’23-24.

After sweeping a pair of must-win games on a two-game homestand, the Caps are now in a “win and you’re in” scenario on Tuesday against the Flyers, who also must win to get into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Washington and Philadelphia are two of four teams who are battling it out for the last of the 16 Stanley Cup playoff berths, the second wild card slot in the Eastern Conference. Detroit and Pittsburgh are also still alive, but both require help to get in, while Washington is in control of its own playoff fate.

Detroit hosts Montreal on Tuesday, and the Penguins visit the Islanders on Wednesday. But if the Caps defeat Philly on Tuesday, everything else is moot. As for the Flyers, they have to defeat Washington in regulation on Tuesday, and they also need the Red Wings and the Penguins to lose their respective finales in regulation.

“I think it’s pretty fitting for what this group has been through, going down to the last game, going on the road, playing a back-to-back, against a real good hockey team, to play one game, one game for our playoff lives,” says Caps’ coach Spencer Carbery. “For us to get to this point, we had to look after [Monday night], and I thought our guys did a really good job of staying focused on just [Monday night], worry about Boston. And it was as clean a game as we’ve had.”

It’s the first time in 16 years the Caps have been in a position to make the playoffs if they win their last game of the season.

On April 5, 2008, the Caps downed Florida 3-1 in their regular season finale in the District, slipping past Carolina for the Southeast Division crown on the final day of the season. The Caps needed to win each of their last seven games -- and 11 of their last 12 -- just to get in, and they pulled it off.

“That was a long time ago,” says Caps’ captain Alex Ovechkin, the only remaining Washington player from that ’07-08 division championship team. “It was the first time we make the playoffs; we had [Sergei Fedorov], we had [Viktor Kozlov]. And we had a young team, so it kind of reminds me of back then. We had a young team, not a lot of experience, but we stick together, we stick to the plan and we made the playoffs.”

And as fate would have it, Tuesday’s game comes on the anniversary of another fabled Caps-Flyers clash. On April 16, 1988, Caps’ center Dale Hunter scored on an overtime breakaway, beating Flyers’ goalie Ron Hextall to give the Caps a 5-4 victory in Game 7 of their opening-round series with Philly, finishing a Washington comeback from a 3-1 series deficit.

That Hunter overtime goal 36 years ago delivered the Caps’ first-ever win of a best-of-seven playoff series.

This year’s version of the Caps is a resilient bunch that has stepped up in virtually every must win situation this season, with Saturday’s 4-2 win over Tampa Bay and Monday’s triumph over the Bruins being the latest examples. They didn’t just win over the Bruins, they turned in one of their two or three best overall 60-minute performances of the season, limiting the B’s to just 16 shots on net, the fewest shots they've yielded in a single game this season.

Charlie Lindgren stopped them all for his sixth shutout of the season, and his second over the Bruins. John Carlson’s first-period goal stood up as the game-winner; four of Carlson’s six goals since March 1 have been game-winners, and he logged 29:33 of ice time in Monday’s win, a game in which the Caps were missing two of their top three defensemen – Rasmus Sandin and Nick Jensen – and in which they had three blueliners with fewer than 75 career games in their lineup.

“I thought we played really well in all three zones,” says Carlson. “I thought we should have had a lot more; we were swarming the net against a tough defending team. We got a lot of chances, and we didn’t get discouraged by not having a few more [goals] than we did earlier on in the game. And we found a way. Chucky came up with some big stops there, sporadically throughout the whole game, and when it’s tight like that, that’s enormous.”

Now, the Caps will take their game to Philly and try to eke out one more victory over a rested Flyers team that has been in the thick of the playoff chase for much of the season, to the surprise of many. Even though their offensive zone time on Monday didn’t pay the red light dividends they were seeking, the Caps hope to replicate that strong offensive mindset on Tuesday against the Flyers.

“It’s important, and I keep trying to reinforce it to the guys, ‘Don’t get frustrated,’” says Carbery. “Because when they don’t go in, you can sometimes start to deviate. And you can sometimes [think], ‘It’s not working this way, I’ve got to try something different, I’ve got to force something, I’ve got to make something out of nothing.’ And that’s where I feel like our guys’ process and understanding that they’ll go in, and, on top of it, you’re controlling play.

“Even if you’re not rewarded, we’re generating momentum, and then the next line gets a couple of opportunities, and then the next line. It’s trying to keep us real focused, and the group has done a really good job, and if it doesn’t go in, that’s okay. Stay with the process, and eventually, whether we’ve got to win 1-0 or 2-0, or if we capitalize on a few of those situations and we get it to three or four, like we would have liked to, but stick with the process.”

Just over a week ago, the Caps were lugging around a six-game losing streak (0-4-2) and they were struggling to score. They’re still scuffling to score; Washington has been limited to two or fewer goals in nine of its last 10 games. But the Caps’ overall game over the last week has been solid, their offensive play on Monday was encouraging, and they’ve yielded only 10 goals against in their last five contests (3-1-1).

“I think we’re comfortable with our game,” says Carlson. “We’re comfortable with how we need to play to have success, and the score didn’t show it, but I thought we played a really good game there, especially in the first two periods. It was a gutsy effort at a big time, and yeah, we’re confident in our game. We’ve got to use that and go win one more.”

Injuries & Moves: Walker takes another step toward return

April 14: RHP Orion Kerkering activated from IL; Nick Nelson optioned to Triple-A Kerkering rejoined the bullpen for Sunday's series finale against the Pirates after missing the first few weeks of the season. He was sidelined early in Spring Training due to an illness that slowed his build-up process for the regular season. The 23-y...

April 14: RHP Orion Kerkering activated from IL; Nick Nelson optioned to Triple-A Kerkering rejoined the bullpen for Sunday's series finale against the Pirates after missing the first few weeks of the season. He was sidelined early in Spring Training due to an illness that slowed his build-up process for the regular season. The 23-year-old righty racked up 10 strikeouts over 4 1/3 scoreless innings in four rehab appearances between Single-A Clearwater and Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Manager Rob Thomson said he will try to ease Kerkering back into the bullpen rotation and likely stay away from using him on consecutive days initially, though Kerkering is ultimately expected to play a big role in the 'pen this season.

Nelson, who was optioned to clear a roster spot for Kerkering, allowed two runs off six hits while striking out five over 3 1/3 innings in three relief appearances.

All Phillies transactions

RHP Luis F. Ortiz (sprained left ankle) Expected return: TBD Ortiz is scheduled to throw live BP on April 16 in Clearwater, Fla. He sprained his ankle leaping for a high chopper in his March 30 appearance. (Last updated: April 15)

RHP Dylan Covey (right shoulder strain) Expected return: TBD Covey is playing long toss. He has not thrown off a mound since his final Grapefruit League appearance on March 1. (Last updated: April 15)

RHP Michael Rucker (right hand arterial vasospasm) Expected return: TBD Rucker is starting to play catch as the numbness in his right middle finger has decreased. He last pitched on March 1. (Last updated: April 15)

RHP Taijuan Walker (right shoulder impingement) Expected return: Early May Walker allowed one run in 4 2/3 innings in a rehab start on April 16 with Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He allowed three hits, three walks and struck out one. Walker’s four-seam fastball averaged 91.1 mph. It touched 92.1 mph.

On April 11, he started with Single-A Clearwater for his first rehab start. In that game, Walker’s four-seamer averaged 91.0 mph and touched 91.9 mph.

Walker threw 78 pitches with the IronPigs. He got two swings and misses.

The Phillies want Walker to reach at least 100 pitches before he rejoins the rotation. (Last updated: April 16)

C Rafael Marchán (lower back pain) Expected return: TBD Marchán has been sidelined since February because of a back injury. (Last updated: March 29)

With a playoff spot near, the Caps know ‘everything matters right now’

With just two games remaining, the Washington Capitals’ path to the Stanley Cup playoffs is simple. If they beat the Boston Bruins at home Monday and the Philadelphia Flyers on the road Tuesday, they’re in.There are other scenarios that would push Washington across the line, but the most straightforward way, the way that lets the Capitals stay in control of their own fate, is to win both.While the path is straightforward, completing it will not be. Through 80 games, Washington has swung between impressive highs, suc...

With just two games remaining, the Washington Capitals’ path to the Stanley Cup playoffs is simple. If they beat the Boston Bruins at home Monday and the Philadelphia Flyers on the road Tuesday, they’re in.

There are other scenarios that would push Washington across the line, but the most straightforward way, the way that lets the Capitals stay in control of their own fate, is to win both.

While the path is straightforward, completing it will not be. Through 80 games, Washington has swung between impressive highs, such as a stretch of eight wins in 11 games in March that made a playoff berth look close to assured, and staggering lows, such as the 1-5-2 skid that left their postseason spot in jeopardy before Saturday’s win over Tampa Bay.

“Everything matters right now — every single moment,” goaltender Charlie Lindgren said Saturday. “It’s certainly something that none of us are taking for granted. We realize how fun this is, playing in environments like these, and it’s been an absolute blast. We’ve got two games here left and, obviously, just lay it all out there.”

The win over Tampa Bay put Washington back in the Eastern Conference’s second and final wild-card spot with 87 points, tied with the Detroit Red Wings and the Flyers but holding the tiebreaker over each. The Pittsburgh Penguins are one point behind and remain in the mix. Also, third place in the Metropolitan Division remains in play for the Capitals and Penguins; the New York Islanders (90 points) hold that spot.

The Capitals banded together Saturday after defenseman Nick Jensen was injured late in the first period, rallying around the idea of playing like Jensen — hard-nosed, physical and straightforward — and winning for him. Emotionally, seeing Jensen’s injury was challenging for his teammates, but they got a lift when he walked out of Capital One Arena with his family. Physically, losing one of their top four defensemen — while still playing without Rasmus Sandin, who suffered an upper-body injury against Ottawa on April 7 — put Washington’s remaining blue-liners in a difficult spot.

John Carlson and Martin Fehervary each logged more than 27 minutes Saturday; Carlson played 27:25 with Fehervary close behind at 27:06. Alex Alexeyev and Trevor van Riemsdyk played 21:42 and 21:28, while rookie Vincent Iorio, who had four games of NHL experience before being called into duty after Sandin’s injury, skated 11:17.

In this win-and-get-in situation, the Capitals will have to lean on Iorio, Alexeyev, van Riemsdyk and either Lucas Johansen or Dylan McIlrath to shoulder a significant load in the season’s last two games. McIlrath was recalled from the American Hockey League’s Hershey Bears on Sunday morning and joined the Capitals for an optional practice.

“I think from [the] opponents, [the] type of games that we’re going to be playing in, I think he makes a lot of sense,” Capitals Coach Spencer Carbery said of McIlrath. “I think from a leadership experience standpoint, coming into these situations and not being overwhelmed by the moment, I think he fits the bill as well.”

McIlrath is Hershey’s captain; he played one game with Washington earlier this season and six last season. The No. 10 pick in the 2010 draft by the New York Rangers, McIlrath played in one Stanley Cup playoff game with the Rangers in 2016. He has a wealth of experience in big moments at the AHL level, including winning the Calder Cup with the Bears last summer, but there’s no question the situation he’s stepping into now is the most critical task he has faced in the NHL in years.

“It’s easy to say that you don’t get nervous as you get older, but that’s not true. It’s just as exciting and anxious to get in the lineup again, but I definitely have a lot more experience to lean on than I did when I was a rookie,” said McIlrath, who turns 32 this week. “Played in some big, important games. Played a lot of minutes down in Hershey.”

Carbery didn’t state with certainty that McIlrath will draw into the lineup Monday, but the subtext of his comments about McIlrath’s experience indicated he is likely to be the choice over the 26-year-old Johansen.

Iorio is likely to see a larger role against the Bruins; his minutes were limited Saturday in part because with five defensemen somebody is always the odd man out. He was called up from Hershey after Ethan Bear entered the NHL’s player assistance program in late March; at the time, Iorio was not expected to contribute significant minutes in must-win games. But now Washington has no choice but to turn to players such as Iorio and McIlrath as it tries to squeeze into the playoffs.

As they have for the past three months, the Capitals are keeping a narrow focus.

“I think our mind-set’s just about tomorrow,” Iorio said. “It’s a really big game for us and them. They’re trying to — well, I don’t know exactly what they’re trying to do, but we know what we’re trying to do. We need to take things shift by shift because it’s an important game.”

The Bruins are trying to clinch the Atlantic Division title. Washington is trying to get back into the playoffs with an unlikely late-season push, and pulling it off will require major contributions from players who began the season well down the depth chart.

The Capitals know what they need to do — and what’s at stake on every shift in the final two games.

“We can only control what we can control, and that’s what we did tonight,” center Nic Dowd said after Saturday’s win. “Everything falls on us now, right? ... These next two games, this entire season, comes down to our group being able to get to where we need to be and do it together.”


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