2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Bridgewater, Schaub make Vikings, Raiders debuts

By DAVE CAMPBELL - AP Pro Football Writer
    2014-08-07 17:15

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Sure, this is only the preseason.

Still, Teddy Bridgewater's first game with the Minnesota Vikings is kind of a big deal.

Quarterback plus first-round draft pick equals perpetual spotlight.

''It's a dream come true, to finally be able to play my first game in the National Football League,'' Bridgewater said. ''I've been playing football since I was 5 years old, and I've just been waiting for this moment.''

Anxious?

Nah.

Leave that to the other guys. Bridgewater recalled a dinner conversation earlier this week with cornerback Xavier Rhodes during which Rhodes revealed his nervousness for Bridgewater when the Vikings host the Oakland Raiders on Friday night.

''I just can't wait to get out there,'' said Bridgewater, who will relieve Matt Cassel at some point in the first half and take some snaps with the first team.

The Vikings have done nothing but praise his poise and progress since he arrived.

''When the lights come on, it's a different deal. It'll be good for him and how he reacts to seeing different defenses that he hasn't seen very much of, how he has to readjust the blitz, how he gets the ball out and make the right calls, how he plays under pressure,'' coach Mike Zimmer said. ''I anticipate he's going to play very well.

Exhibition games, despite the anticipation they naturally create for the regular season, are notoriously lacking in meaning and drama for everyone not trying to make the team or pick the players for it.

Anytime there's a quarterback or two in the spotlight, though, the intrigue can only increase.

That's what is on tap for this opener, with Bridgewater taking his first turns with the Vikings and Matt Schaub making his debut with the Raiders.

''It does start once you put on that jersey for real,'' said Schaub, who will be the 18th different quarterback to start a game for the Raiders over the past 12 years.

Second-round draft pick Derek Carr will also get his career going, when coach Dennis Allen decides Schaub is done for the night.

After a rough ending last season to an otherwise-productive time with Houston, Schaub might see more action on Friday than a typical veteran starter, Allen hinted this week.

''All these guys, they want to play. We'll kind of play that by ear. We'll see how things go,'' Allen said, adding: ''Being a new group together, I think it's important that they get out and play the game together.''

Tight end David Ausberry will sit out because of a knee injury suffered this week that required surgery and Allen declined to divulge more details about, so Mychal Rivera will get meaningful turns with the first team.

Wide receiver Denarius Moore, who has averaged almost 700 yards and six touchdowns over the past three years, has slipped down the depth chart with the addition of James Jones and Greg Little this season and thus finds these exhibition games important for his status on the roster.

''There's a lot of burst there, a guy that can take a slant and go 50,'' Schaub said.

There's another important debut on deck, too: TCF Bank Stadium.

Well, the University of Minnesota's on-campus home was used for an NFL game once before, when the Vikings were forced to play there after the Metrodome's roof collapsed during a snowstorm. But now it's permanent or, rather, temporary for the next two years while the Vikings wait for their new stadium to be built.

The college venue, which opened in 2009, has been spiffed up for professional use with more seats, new turf and more beer taps.

All good for the fans, but the guys in pads are more focused on what's happening on the field.

''We just want to go out and play,'' Zimmer said. ''It's going to give us a good judge of where we're at. We've been going against each other enough. It's just good to line up against somebody else.''

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Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

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The Arizona Cardinals have declared DL Alameda Ta'amu, OG Anthony Steen, WR Brittan Golden, SS Chris D. Clemons, QB Drew Stanton, OG Jonathan Cooper, DL Kareem Martin inactive for Week 16.

Chris MatthewsDec 21 07:32p

The Seattle Seahawks have declared WR Chris Matthews, DL Demarcus Dobbs, WR Kevin Norwood, C Max Unger, OT Russell Okung, TE Tony Moeaki, DL Travian Robertson inactive for Week 16.

Ahmad DixonDec 21 11:52a

The Minnesota Vikings have declared SS Ahmad Dixon, LB Anthony Barr, OT Carter Bykowski, OG Charlie Johnson, TE Kyle Rudolph, CB Shaun Prater, FB Zach Line inactive for Week 16.

Devier PoseyDec 21 11:52a

The Houston Texans have declared WR DeVier Posey, TE Garrett Graham, LB Jason Ankrah, S Josh Aubrey, LB Mike Mohamed, QB Tom Savage, OG Xavier Su'a-Filo inactive for Week 16.

A.J. KleinDec 21 11:52a

The Carolina Panthers have declared LB A.J. Klein, OG Amini Silatolu, CB Carrington Byndom, OT David Foucault, RB DeAngelo Williams, DL Kyle Love, SS Robert Lester inactive for Week 16.

Charles GodfreyDec 21 11:52a

The Atlanta Falcons have declared CB Charles Godfrey, LB James Anderson, OG Jon Asamoah, CB Ricardo Allen, QB Sean Renfree, DL Stansly Maponga, LB Tyler Starr inactive for Week 16.

Jamarca SanfordDec 21 11:52a

The New Orleans Saints have declared SS Jamarca Sanford, DL Lawrence Virgil, LB Moise Fokou, WR Seantavius Jones, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste, OT Terron Armstead, RB Travaris Cadet inactive for Week 16.

Justin BrownDec 21 11:52a

The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared OG Chris Hubbard, DL Clifton Geathers, CB Ike Taylor, WR Justin Brown, QB Landry Jones, TE Matt Spaeth, SS Troy Polamalu inactive for Week 16.

Clifton GeathersDec 21 11:52a

The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared OG Chris Hubbard, DL Clifton Geathers, CB Ike Taylor, WR Justin Brown, QB Landry Jones, TE Matt Spaeth, SS Troy Polamalu inactive for Week 16.

Carl BradfordDec 21 11:42a

The Green Bay Packers have declared DL Bruce Gaston, LB Carl Bradford, CB Davon House, C Garth Gerhart, WR Jeff Janis, TE Justin Perillo, QB Scott Tolzien inactive for Week 16.

Chris McCainDec 21 11:42a

The Miami Dolphins have declared LB Chris McCain, OT Dallas Thomas, RB Daniel Thomas, CB Don Jones, WR Matt Hazel, OG Nate Garner, WR Rishard Matthews inactive for Week 16.

Arthur BrownDec 21 11:42a

The Baltimore Ravens have declared LB Arthur Brown, DL Casey Walker, CB Chris Greenwood, C Gino Gradkowski, WR Michael Campanaro, OG Ryan Jensen, DL Terrence Cody inactive for Week 16.

Aaron MurrayDec 21 11:42a

The Kansas City Chiefs have declared QB Aaron Murray, RB Charcandrick West, WR Donnie Avery, C Eric Kush, OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, CB Marcus Cooper, DL Nick X. Williams inactive for Week 16.

Gary BarnidgeDec 21 11:42a

The Cleveland Browns have declared OT Andrew McDonald, TE Gary Barnidge, RB Glenn Winston, CB Joe Haden, DB K'Waun Williams, WR Rodney Smith, OT Vinston Painter inactive for Week 16.

Chris ConteDec 21 11:42a

The Chicago Bears have declared FS Chris Conte, QB David Fales, OG Kyle Long, PK Robbie Gould, CB Terrance Mitchell, DL Trevor Scott, DL Will Sutton inactive for Week 16.

Dakota DozierDec 21 11:33a

The New York Jets have declared OL Dakota Dozier, SS Jaiquawn Jarrett, QB Matt Simms, FS Rontez Miles, DL T.J. Barnes, WR Walter Powell, OG Wesley Johnson inactive for Week 16.

Alfonzo DennardDec 21 11:33a

The New England Patriots have declared CB Alfonzo Dennard, OG Dan Connolly, RB James White, OT Jordan Devey, WR Julian Edelman, CB Kyle Arrington, RB LeGarrette Blount inactive for Week 16.

Anthony CollinsDec 21 11:32a

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have declared OT Anthony Collins, FB Evan Rodriguez, CB Isaiah Frey, DL Lawrence Sidbury, RB Mike James, WR Robert Herron, WR Solomon Patton inactive for Week 16.

Kelvin BenjaminDec 21 11:22a

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Joe HadenDec 21 11:22a

Cleveland Browns CB Joe Haden (shoulder) is out Sunday, Dec. 21.

Julio JonesDec 21 11:22a

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is active Sunday, Dec. 21.

Jay CutlerDec 21 10:22a

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DeMarco MurrayDec 21 10:12a

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Zach ErtzDec 20 07:42p

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Ryan MathewsDec 20 07:22p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) is inactive Saturday, Dec. 20, for Week 16.

Ryan MathewsDec 20 07:12p

The San Diego Chargers have declared LB Cordarro Law, DL Damion Square, CB Greg Ducre, WR Keenan Allen, P Mike Scifres, DL Ryan Carrethers, RB Ryan Mathews inactive for Week 16.

Carlos HydeDec 20 07:12p

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde (ankle) is inactive Saturday, Dec. 20.

Ahmad BrooksDec 20 07:02p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared LB Ahmad Brooks, OG Andrew Tiller, RB Carlos Hyde, OG Joe Looney, QB Josh X. Johnson, WR Stevie Johnson, CB Tramaine Brock inactive for Week 16.

DeAndre HopkinsDec 20 06:42p

Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) will be a game-time decision Sunday, Dec. 21, after not practicing all week.

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