Fri Aug 19 12:59am ET
By TIM BOOTH
AP Sports Writer
Chicago Bears kicker Cairo Santos (2) is greeted by holder Trenton Gill (16) after Santos kicked a field goal against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half of a preseason NFL football game, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)
Seattle Seahawks' Cade Johnson fumbles on a punt return against the Chicago Bears during the first half of a preseason NFL football game, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022, in Seattle. The ball was recovered by the Bears' Elijah Hicks for a touchdown. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)
Chicago Bears head coach Matt Eberflus gestures from the sideline during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Caean Couto)
Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll looks toward the scoreboard during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)
Seattle Seahawks guard Damien Lewis (68) is taken off the field on a cart after an injury during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Caean Couto)
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith (7) drops to pass as Chicago Bears' Kyler Gordon (6) closes in during the first half of a preseason NFL football game, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Caean Couto)
Chicago Bears tight end Jake Tonges catches a pass for a touchdown during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Caean Couto)
Chicago Bears tight end Jake Tonges, left, celebrates with tight end Chase Allen, right, after Tonges scored a touchdown during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)
Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields looks to pass against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half of a preseason NFL football game, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Caean Couto)
SEATTLE (AP) Geno Smith's chance to gain an edge over Drew Lock for Seattle's starting quarterback job was hindered by his team's sloppy performance.
Smith and the Seahawks were overwhelmed in a 27-11 loss to the Chicago Bears on Thursday night in the second preseason game for both teams, which was mostly a dud from Seattle's standpoint.
''He did OK,'' Seattle coach Pete Carroll said of Smith. ''We needed to come through. We needed to help him a little bit. We needed to make the plays around him, too.''
Second-year Bears quarterback Justin Fields made a brief appearance and led a field-goal drive. Backup Trevor Siemian threw a touchdown pass, and Elijah Hicks recovered a muffed punt for a Chicago TD.
''I thought operation was good, his preparation was great. He handled the offense the way we wanted him to,'' first-year Chicago coach Matt Eberflus said of Fields. ''Had a nice drive and scored the field goal. So I think it's progress.''
The Seahawks had planned to start Lock but turned to Smith when Lock tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday. That meant another opportunity for Smith, who started last weekend at Pittsburgh, but his uninspired performance suggests Lock still has a chance to win the job.
That may depend on how quickly Lock can return from his illness and if he'll be ready to play by the preseason finale in Dallas next week. Carroll said Lock was still feeling ''really sick.''
''I talked to him this morning and it hit him pretty hard,'' Carroll said.
Smith finished 10 of 18 for 112 yards and was hampered by teammates' mistakes while playing the first half. His only drive where Seattle threatened to score ended when Jason Myers missed a 47-yard field goal attempt.
Smith was slated to play into the third quarter but banged his knee in the first half. He was icing the knee while Jacob Eason took all the snaps after halftime.
''We again just started a little slow, had some self-inflicted wounds. Some things that we can control that really set us back,'' Smith said. ''And that's the reason for the preseason is for us to get those things out. Obviously, there's a ton of room for improvement and a lot of things that we have to improve on very fast.''
The Bears led 24-0 before Seattle finally got on the board on Darwin Thompson's 8-yard TD run with 2:08 left.
Penalties and dropped passes made the Seahawks' offense choppy and listless. Rookie first-round pick Charles Cross was flagged four times in the first half at left tackle, three of those for false start. Bo Melton, Freddie Swain and Dareke Young had drops.
Exacerbating Seattle's offensive troubles was a right ankle injury suffered by starting left guard Damien Lewis early in the second quarter. Lewis was inadvertently rolled up by Bears defensive lineman Angelo Blackson.
Lewis was down for several minutes and eventually had an air splint put on his lower right leg before being loaded on a cart and taken off the field. But Carroll said X-rays were negative and Lewis has an ankle sprain. Still, it's a hit to Seattle's interior offensive line, which isn't the deepest part of the roster.
''We're very fortunate there. He was upbeat about that a little bit, maybe surprised by the results. We're thrilled,'' Carroll said.
Siemian threw a 1-yard TD pass to Jake Tonges and Hicks corralled Cade Johnson's muffed punt at the goal line late in the first half to give the Bears a 17-0 lead. Third-stringer Nathan Peterman led a drive in the third quarter that ended with Darrynton Evans' 1-yard TD run.
Fields played one series in the first quarter. He was 5 of 7 for 39 yards and led the Bears to a 35-yard field goal by Cairo Santos.
''I feel like every time I step on the field I can get something out of it,'' Fields said.
Chicago lost a couple of players to injuries. Linebacker Matt Adams suffered a shoulder injury in the first quarter. He's been playing in the spot normally occupied by Roquan Smith, who is in a contract dispute with the team. Backup running back Trestan Ebner suffered an ankle injury in the second quarter and didn't return.
Bears: At Cleveland on Aug. 27 to end the preseason.
Seahawks: Seattle closes out the preseason on Aug. 26 at Dallas.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers hasn't exactly been happy with his group of wide receivers in training camp this summer. "The young guys, especially young receivers, we've got to be way more consistent," Rodgers said. "A lot of drops, a lot of bad route decisions, running the wrong route. We've got to get better in that area." The current receiver corps is made up of veterans Allen Lazard, Sammy Watkins and Randall Cobb, rookies Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, Samori Toure and Danny Davis and inexperienced wideouts Amari Rodgers, Juwann Winfree and Ishmael Hyman. Lazard, the No. 1 receiver, has never had more than 40 catches or 513 yards in a season. With Davante Adams gone, it's understandable that Rodgers' fantasy ceiling and floor will be lower in 2022.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Drew Lock was "really sick" with COVID-19, according to head coach Pete Carroll. Lock can come out of the league's COVID protocols on Sunday, and the thought was that he would start in the team's final preseason game, but that might not happen if Lock isn't healthy enough to play. The plan from the beginning was to have the 25-year-old start against the Chicago Bears in the second preseason game on Thursday, but that had to be scrapped. Even if Lock is able to play in the final preseason game, it would be a surprise if Geno Smith isn't the starter under center in Week 1 against the Denver Broncos. Lock has the stronger arm and could eventually overtake Smith during the regular season, but neither QB in Seattle will be very attractive in fantasy leagues in 2022.
Seattle Seahawks veteran kicker Jason Myers went 1-for-2 on field-goal attempts during Thursday's preseason loss to the Chicago Bears. He missed from 47 yards out and was successful from 27 yards. Myers faces no competition in training camp and will be the Seahawks' kicker in Week 1 versus Denver, barring an injury. He made 17 of 23 field goals and 44 of 47 extra points en route to finishing as the 25th-best kicker in fantasy football last season. In the three years prior, he ranked as the K10, K14, and K4.
Seattle Seahawks rookie wide receiver Bo Melton consistently popped up in the passing game, commanding 11 targets during Thursday's preseason game against the Chicago Bears. However, with shaky quarterback play partly to blame, the seventh-round pick hauled in just four passes for 18 yards. After catching three passes for 47 yards last week, Melton has at least shown that he deserves a role in the offense. He continues to compete for a roster spot and is certainly trending in the right direction.
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Aaron Fuller turned 10 targets into just three catches for 34 yards during Thursday's preseason game. Shaky quarterback play was partly to blame for Fuller's low catch rate, though he did see much more action this week compared to last week (one catch, nine yards). The 24-year-old spent all of 2021 on the practice squad and faces an uphill battle as he looks to latch onto the roster this year.
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Penny Hart hauled in two of three targets for 46 yards during Thursday's preseason loss to the Chicago Bears. This performance is an improvement on his two catches for three yards in Week 1 of the preseason. The 26-year-old is competing for a depth role after catching seven passes for 59 yards in 2021. Notably, he was active for every game last year, something not many players on the depth chart can say. At this point, it would be a surprise if Hart doesn't make the 53-man roster.
Seattle Seahawks running back DeeJay Dallas did a little bit of everything against the Chicago Bears on Thursday evening, getting involved as a runner, receiver, and special teamer. He totaled five carries for just 15 yards on the ground but played a huge role in the passing game, hauling in four of five targets for an additional 52 yards on the ground. He also returned two punts, taking the first for a fair catch and the second for a loss of two yards. Finally, he served as a gunner for Seattle, downing one of Michael Dickson's 10 punts. This versatility could benefit Dallas in an enormous way as he competes for a roster spot.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith completed 10 of 18 passes for 112 yards during Thursday's preseason game against the Chicago Bears. He did not throw an interception, nor did he find the end zone. He was sacked twice in the contest. Smith played the entire first half with Drew Lock (COVID-19) sidelined but handed over the reins to Jacob Eason in the second half. Smith and Lock are currently competing for the No. 1 quarterback role, barring a late signing or trade. Both quarterbacks would be on a short leash if they won the starting job and neither is worth scrambling for in fantasy leagues.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Jacob Eason went 17-for-35 with 141 passing yards, zero touchdowns, and zero interceptions during Thursday's preseason loss to the Chicago Bears. He was sacked once and added just one rushing yard in the contest. Eason played all of the second half but remains penciled into the No. 3 role in the Seattle offense. He is a longshot to make the Week 1 roster and has no fantasy relevance, other than as a low-end DFS play during the final preseason game.
Seattle Seahawks running back Travis Homer rushed five times for 44 yards during Thursday's loss to the Chicago Bears. Homer broke off a big run early in the game and finished the day with 8.8 yards per carry. He remains in competition with DeeJay Dallas for the No. 3 role behind Kenneth Walker and Rashaad Penny, but it's hard to imagine a scenario in which Homer doesn't win a roster spot. If injuries take their toll on Seattle's backfield once again this coming season, Homer could find himself thrust into action from time to time.
Seattle Seahawks running back Darwin Thompson rushed six times for 34 yards and one touchdown during Thursday's preseason game against the Chicago Bears. He also turned his lone target into a seven-yard reception. Formerly a depth piece in the Kansas City backfield, Thompson hopes to latch onto the Seahawks' roster in 2022. He's currently competing for a role with Travis Homer and DeeJay Dallas, both of whom also looked solid on Thursday. Given his lack of experience in the Seattle offense, he could be the odd man out when rosters trim down.
New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones informed reporters on Thursday he underwent a non-football-related procedure on his neck during the winter. However, per the signal-caller, it wasn't associated with the issue that caused him to miss six games last season. Nevertheless, although the 25-year-old also conveyed his "neck is great," he must now turn his attention to turning things around after posting three subpar seasons since entering the league in 2019. With former Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll at the helm, Jones won't have any excuses if he doesn't deliver throughout the 2022-23 campaign, especially if his offensive weapons remain healthy.
Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones (back) has a chance to play on Saturday during the preseason matchup against Washington. The veteran left Wednesday's practice and wasn't on the field for Thursday's session, with head coach Andy Reid referring to the injury as a "back spasm." The 28-year-old has been in the league for six seasons, all with the Chiefs, accumulating 199 total tackles (138 solo), 49.5 sacks, 10 forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries. Jones has been a reliable IDP presence over the years due to his durability, so it would be surprising if the ailment forces him to miss time throughout the 2022-23 campaign.
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman (groin) has a chance to suit up for Saturday's preseason game versus the Commanders, according to head coach Andy Reid. Fortunately, the groin injury he suffered on Wednesday at practice isn't considered serious. Although he isn't a lock for Week 1, his potential availability for the exhibition against Washington is a good sign that he'll be ready. The 24-year-old has compiled 1,791 yards and 12 touchdowns off 126 catches throughout his three years in the league, all with Kansas City. Hardman has plenty of hype entering the 2022-23 campaign, primarily after Tyreek Hill was traded to Miami during the offseason, so the team is undoubtedly hoping to get him on the field for the regular season.
New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (knee) has an "outside chance" to play in Week 1, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The signal-caller had a meniscus trim after tearing it during the preseason matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles. While things could have turned out much worse for Wilson, he is also dealing with a bone bruise, complicating his recovery. Nonetheless, the Jets hope to see the 23-year-old improve significantly after his subpar rookie campaign. Yet, the team won't take any chances, so he won't be rushed back early. If that's the case, veteran Joe Flacco will be under center until Wilson can return.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers tackle Tristan Wirfs (core) exited Thursday's joint practice with the Tennessee Titans. Although there hasn't been much information released surrounding the issue, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reported the All-Pro is dealing "with some sort of left core injury." The team should have an update on his condition relatively soon. However, with the Bucs already bracing to be without Pro Bowl center Ryan Jensen (knee) during the regular season, losing Wirfs won't be ideal for the 45-year-old Tom Brady.
Tennessee Titans rookie wide receiver Kyle Philips stole the show in joint practice with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday. Philips continued to get open all day, and he especially stood out near the goal line. "He goes rabbit hunting with a hammer," head coach Mike Vrabel said when describing Philips' quickness and shiftiness. The 23-year-old didn't catch his only target in the preseason opener against the Baltimore Ravens last Thursday. Even though the fifth-rounder has been impressing in camp practices this summer, he's still likely to open the regular season behind Robert Woods, fellow rookie Treylon Burks and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine on the receiver depth chart. But Philips is a name to file away for fantasy managers in dynasty/keeper leagues.
Dynasty | Jaguars running back James Robinson is on track to be ready for the season opener. Dynasty Analysis: This has been trending to happen for the better part of the Summer, but Doug Pederson is now on record saying that's the expectation. It's a quick recovery from a torn achilles last season, but it looks as if Robinson is going to join Cam Akers in the group of quick healers from the ailment. While much of the talk of the Jaguars running back room has been centered around Travis Etienne, Robinson has been likely undervalued by the dynasty community. At RB41, he's looking like a screaming buy at the moment.
It appears that Pittsburgh Steelers undrafted rookie running back Jaylen Warren has supplanted Benny Snell Jr. as the team's No. 2 running back behind Najee Harris. Warren has done nothing but impress at training camp and has benefitted from first-team repetitions with Harris and Snell banged up a bit. The 23-year-old probably isn't worth anything more than a late-round flier as a handcuff for those that take Harris early in deeper leagues, but he could see significant work in Pittsburgh's backfield in his rookie season if anything were to happen to Harris. Warren had six carries for 34 yards and caught four of his five targets for 30 yards and a touchdown in the preseason opener last week. He's rising up draft boards in dynasty/keeper leagues.
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (appendix), who had an appendectomy on July 26 after his appendix ruptured, took part in team drills at training camp practice for the first time on Wednesday. Burrow is looking to add weight and return his body to its pre-surgery form before Week 1 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and he doesn't expect to play in the preseason. The third-year signal-caller played just one series in the preseason last year after coming off major knee surgery and went on to lead the team to the Super Bowl in 2021, so fantasy managers shouldn't be too concerned. The 25-year-old could be a little slow out of the gates in the regular season, but he's still worth a selection as a strong QB1 in fantasy drafts.