After Thursday night, the NFL regular season can’t get here soon enough. The opening night of Week Three of the preseason featured a scary injury for one of the league’s top quarterback, multiple games impacted by weather and two teams diving over the ten-yard line for touchdowns.
Here’s what you might have missed from Thursday’s action, along with other news from around the league.
New York Giants- 25
Danny Dimes was on display again Thursday night as rookie QB Daniel Jones continues to surprise this preseason for the New York Giants. As usual, veteran QB Eli Manning started the game but he played just one series before the first-rounder entered the game. Jones finished off the first half and led a touchdown drive to tie the game before giving way to the Giants backups. Jones finished with 141 yards, completing nine of eleven passes. That helps Jones maintain his 83% completion percentage for the preseason.
The Bengals started strong as QB Andy Dalton led his team to a touchdown on their opening drive. Dalton hit TE C.J. Uzomah for plays of 28 and 26 yards, including a touchdown. Dalton passed for 104 yards and the score. Rookie RB Rodney Anderson made his preseason debut and while he gained just seven yards on eight carries, he did catch four balls for 51 yards.
The Redskins have had a long run of bad luck when it comes to injuries, including an ACL tear for RB Derrius Guice a year ago and the serious leg injury to starting QB Alex Smith late last season. Of course, they have also developed a reputation of handling recoveries poorly. In this game, Guice made his return to the field after only recently being cleared for action. HC Jay Gruden wasted no time, giving Guice a dozen touches. He ran over defenders and finished with 48 yards. Unfortunately, it wasn’t all good news for the Skins as TE Jordan Reed suffered a head injury and is now in the concussion protocol. Reed has dealt with injuries in every season of his career and has six documented concussions in his college and NFL career.
The Falcons started well as QB Matt Ryan led the team to a touchdown drive, capped off by RB Ito Smith carrying it in from five yards out. Smith, rookie Qadree Ollison and Brian Hill continue to battle for touches behind starter Devonta Freeman.
New England- 10
Star QBs Cam Newton of the Panthers and New England’s Tom Brady were each making their preseason debut in this game, but it did not go as planned. Newton played three series and was slow to get anything started. He took two sacks and as he darted away from oncoming defenders in an effort to make a play, Newton suffered a foot injury. He did not return to the game. Dr. David Chao quickly suggested the injury was not serious and even suggested that Newton would’ve stayed in the game if this were the regular season. While Newton did leave the stadium in a walking boot, early reports suggest that was only precautionary. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that while x-rays were negative, further tests will be completed today. The injury is currently being labeled as a sprain and HC Ron Rivera would not commit to Newton’s status for Week One.
For the Pats, Brady played into the second quarter, passing for 75 yards and leading the game’s only touchdown drive, ending with a short run from RB James Develin. RB Sony Michel started the game and broke off a couple of explosive plays, finishing with 36 yards on ten carries. Rookie WR Jakobi Meyers made a couple of early mistakes but still led the team with 74 yards on seven receptions. Veteran TE Ben Watson left the game with a head injury and rookie RB Damien Harris exited with an undisclosed injury.
Starting QBs Carson Wentz and Lamar Jackson sat out this game but the backup quarterbacks put up some points. Rookie QB Trace McSorley passed for 203 yards and two scores, including a beautiful 28-yard strike to WR Michael Floyd. Floyd finished with 54 yards and the score on three catches. Rookie WR Miles Boykin hauled in a deep ball for 44 yards. Fellow rookie WR Marquise Brown caught all three of his targets for 17 yards in his preseason debut.
Newly-signed veteran backup QB Josh McCown saw most of the work for the Eagles and connected early and often with rookie WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, who finished with eight receptions for 104 yards and a touchdown.
This game was called early in the fourth quarter due to lightning.
Green Bay- 21
The Packers and Raiders faced off in Winnipeg and there were issues. Playing on a Canadian Football League field, both teams had concerns for player safety after seeing the field conditions resulting from relocated goal posts. As a result, the field was shortened to 80 yards with each ten-yard line serving as the goal line. The game also included no kickoffs. It should be no surprise that both teams chose to rest the majority of their key players. This was no dress rehearsal.
Featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks, rookie WR Keelan Doss led the Raiders with 52 yards on four receptions. Last year’s preseason star, WR Jake Kumerow of the Packers, caught a touchdown, finishing with a 2/20/1 line. Second-year WR Equanimeous St. Brown reportedly left the stadium in a walking boot and crutches.
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QB Josh Rosen didn’t get the playing time he was probably hoping for in this game, but he made the most of his time on the field. Veteran QB Ryan Fitzpatrick started and played late into the third quarter before Rosen saw the field. The former Cardinals QB led Miami on a 99-yard touchdown drive to seal the game for the Dolphins. Undrafted WR Preston Williams put on a show in the preseason debut but was held without a catch in this game.
Jacksonville QB Nick Foles saw his first action of the preseason, finding WR Dede Westbrook for a touchdown. Foles attempted ten passes with seven of those going Westbrook’s direction. Considering the lack of depth (and talent) in the receiving corps, this is another sign that Westbrook is in for a huge season. WR D.J. Chark left the game with a concussion and did not return. He had reportedly been leading the competition to start alongside Westbrook.
Broncos rookie QB Drew Lock (thumb) is a candidate for the IR list. … Miami RB Kenyan Drake (foot) is out of his walking boot and has resumed jogging. … ESPN’s Ed Werder reported that Dallas has made RB Ezekiel Elliott a contract offer that would make him the league’s second-highest paid back. … Patriots S Pat Chung was cited for felony cocaine possession and faces an arraignment next week. ... Arizona signed WR Michael Crabtree.