Thu Aug 15 4:21pm ET
By The Associated Press
Players: Frank Gore, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Eli Manning, Cam Newton, LeSean McCoy, Golden Tate, Cole Beasley, John Brown, Trey Burton, Jameis Winston, Devin Funchess, Mitch Trubisky, Curtis Samuel, Kaare Vedvik, Josh Allen, Preston Williams, D.J. Moore, Daniel Jones, Sam Darnold, Eddy Pineiro, Devin Singletary
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton jokes with a player during an NFL football training camp with the Buffalo Bills in Spartanburg, S.C., Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy encourages his team during the second half of an NFL preseason football game against the Carolina Panthers on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Amr Alfiky)
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton passes against the Buffalo Bills during an NFL football training camp in Spartanburg, S.C., Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
The Chicago Bears congratulate kicker Elliott Fry (8) after he made a field goal during the first half of the team's NFL preseason football game against the Carolina Panthers on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Mark Black )
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton passes during an NFL football training camp with the Buffalo Bills in Spartanburg, S.C., Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Cam Newton is expected to see his first game action since Dec. 17 when the Carolina Panthers host the Buffalo Bills on Friday night.
Newton, the league MVP in 2015, missed the final two games of last season and underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder in January. He and Carolina's other starters did not play in the first preseason game against the Bears.
Wide receiver Curtis Samuel was the star of training camp for the Panthers. His speed, quickness and ability to create separation are quickly turning him into Newton's favorite offensive option. Samuel will step into a starting role in his third NFL season and play alongside D.J. Moore after the Panthers let Devin Funchess leave in free agency.
Panthers rookie first-round draft pick Brian Burns had two sacks against the Bears and has looked dominant in Carolina's 3-4 defense. However, Burns tweaked his ankle Tuesday in a joint practice with the Bills. He tried to practice Wednesday, but couldn't. Burns said he plans to play against Buffalo, but it's possible coach Ron Rivera will err on the side of caution and keep Burns out.
Bills quarterback Josh Allen gets an opportunity to carry over what was an encouraging performance during two days of practices with the Panthers.
Aside from continuing to develop rapport with new receivers Cole Beasley and John Brown, Allen took time to get advice from Panthers star linebacker Luke Kuechly on how he defended against certain plays.
Running back LeSean McCoy is expected to make his preseason debut after fellow veteran Frank Gore started in Buffalo's preseason-opening win over Indianapolis. And there will also be focus placed on rookie running back Devin Singletary to see if he can build on the production - 27 yards rushing and 21 yards receiving - he had against the Colts.
BEARS AT GIANTS
Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones gets another chance to impress in the teams' first preseason matchup since 2012.
Jones was 5 for 5 for 67 yards and a TD pass in last week's preseason opener against the Jets.
Jones and Eli Manning and both played one series. Both should see more action against Chicago in the Giants' first game since the suspension of wide receiver Golden Tate was announced Tuesday.
The Giants' defense struggled as Sam Darnold drove the Jets right down the field on the opening possession.
Bears coach Matt Nagy continues to keep quiet on how much the starters will play, but all indications are little or not at all even if they're obviously tired of hitting each other and want to hit someone else.
They went through a two-hour-plus mock game Wednesday night, complete with pumped-in stadium noise, light hitting, a clock and starters facing backups. Kyle Long got into a fight, removed the helmet of rookie defensive lineman Jalen Dalton and began swinging it at defenders before being sent to the bench for the night. It was their third straight practice with a fight of some sort.
Starting tight end Trey Burton returned to play in the simulated game after a week and a half away while recovering from hernia surgery, but left guard Cody Whitehair injured a finger and left the practice. So, seeing any starters after a practice so long and intense would seem unlikely.
Mitchell Trubisky and the starting offense played only three snaps and handed off three times in last week's preseason opener, a 23-13 loss to Carolina.
The kicking competition between Eddy Pineiro and Elliott Fry continues after the Bears reportedly failed in a bid to trade with Baltimore for Kaare Vedvik, who was dealt to Minnesota.
DOLPHINS AT BUCCANEERS
Ryan Fitzpatrick, battling with Rosen for the Dolphins' starting quarterback job, will face the team for which he played the last two seasons.
Fitzpatrick is expected to start, but Rosen may also get some snaps with the first team. First-year coach Brian Flores this week declined to say who is leading the competition.
Flores will likely take another long look at undrafted rookie receiver Preston Williams, who had a breakout performance in the first exhibition game with four catches for 97 yards.
Also expected to see significant action are rookie guards Michael Deiter and Shaq Calhoun, both competing for starting jobs, and rookie defensive ends Jonathan Ledbetter and Dewayne Hendrix, who both won praise for their play in the first game.
The Buccaneers' regulars, including quarterback Jameis Winston, played one series in last week's preseason opener at Pittsburgh.
They probably won't play as much as they might normally in a second preseason game because the Bucs and Dolphins held a pair of joint practices this week.
''With as much (practice against Miami) as our 1s are getting ... I don't think it's necessary probably to play them much in the ballgame, maybe a few more plays than last week,'' coach Bruce Arians said. ''If things go as well as they did early offensively, it'll probably be the same. Defensively, the same, just because of the work we're getting this week. If we weren't working together this week, we'd probably play 20 or 25 plays.''
Sunday Morning Update: Week 3
Los Angeles Rams rookie running back Cam Akers (ribs) is out for Sunday's contest against the Buffalo Bills. Without Akers, expect Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson Jr. to split carries, with the advantage likely going to Henderson. Brown is a touchdown-dependent fantasy play, while Henderson has the potential to be a solid RB3. Both guys have their upside limited due to a tough matchup with the Buffalo Bills Defense.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Tajae Sharpe is a healthy scratch on Sunday against his former team, the Tennessee Titans. Considering Sharpe had taken just 16 offensive snaps this season, this doesn't move the needle at all. Wide receiver Chad Beebe will play for the first time this year, but like Sharpe would have been, Beebe isn't a fantasy option this week. The Vikings offense doesn't have the upside to support their fringe receivers as fantasy plays.
No surprise here, as all reports indicated both would play, but it's now official: Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (hip) and tight end Darren Waller (knee) are both playing against the Patriots. Both players are must-play options in season-long leagues, with Waller being a TE1 option and Jacobs being a strong RB2 play. Don't be concerned about how the injury issues will impact their performance today. The bigger issue is the Patriots Defense and a game script that might be bad for Jacobs.
Las Vegas Raiders TE Darren Waller (knee) will play in Week 3's game against the New England Patriots.
Fantasy Spin: Waller has 18 receptions for 150 yards and a touchdown through his first two games this season and has developed into QB Derek Carr's favorite target. His steady role in the Las Vegas offense makes him a viable starting option in all fantasy formats.
Cincinnati Bengals WR Tee Higgins will be one of the starting receivers in Week 3 because WR John Ross is inactive for the game. WR Auden Tate is also active this week after being inactive last week.
Fantasy Spin: Higgins is off to a slow start this season with only 35 receiving yards but should be more involved in the passing game this week. He has a chance to have success against the Philadelphia Eagles and could be a flex option in deeper leagues. Tate may see a handful of targets but can be avoided in most leagues. Fantasy players should keep an eye on Ross' status to see when he will return to the lineup.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver John Ross III is a healthy scratch in Week 3 against the Eagles. After being targeted five times in Week 1 and playing 84 percent of the team's snaps, he saw that snap share fall to 30 percent last week. Now, the Bengals won't have Ross on the field this week. It sounds like this team is already wanting to see how rookie Tee Higgins and other players look. This isn't the first time that the Bengals have made a wide receiver a surprise inactive this year, and Ross could very well suit up next week, but his fantasy outlook moving forward becomes very cloudy. You can probably drop him in most season-long redraft leagues.
New York Giants running back Devonta Freeman was just signed this week, but he'll officially be active for Sunday's meeting with a banged-up 49ers Defense. Freeman's a risky fantasy option for this week as he works his way into being part of a new team, but at some point this season, Freeman's going to be the lead back in the Meadowlands. For this week, he's a deep-league flex option with a fairly low floor.
The San Francisco 49ers have declared CB Ahkello Witherspoon, DL Dee Ford, QB Jimmy Garoppolo, LB Dre Greenlaw, TE George Kittle, OG Tom Compton and RB Raheem Mostert inactive for Week 3.
The Chicago Bears have declared OT Arlington Hambright, DL Daniel McCullers, LB Trevis Gipson, CB Duke Shelley and WR Riley Ridley inactive for Week 3.
The New York Giants have declared S Adrian Colbert, DT R.J. McIntosh, TE Eric Tomlinson, CB Brandon Z. Williams, OT Jackson Barton and LB T.J. Brunson inactive for Week 3.
Houston Texans running back Duke Johnson Jr. (ankle) is inactive for the team's Week 3 contest against the Steelers, which means that David Johnson should function as the workhorse back for the team this week. It's a bad matchup for Johnson, but his projected volume gives him a good shot at being an RB2 on the day. Elsewhere on the team, wide receiver Kenny Stills (illness) is playing but is the No. 4 receiver on the team and isn't a fantasy option. Defensive tackle Ross Blacklock -- who was ejected from last week's game -- is also inactive and could be in head coach Bill O'Brien's doghouse.
New England Patriots wide receiver N'Keal Harry (ankle) is officially active for the team's Week 3 meeting with the Las Vegas Raiders. Harry had a bit of a lost season as a rookie, but has become one of the primary targets for quarterback Cam Newton in 2020. His high target share and the lack of viable receiving options in New England makes Harry a solid WR3 with upside, even if there are valid concerns about just how healthy he'll be out there with an injured ankle.
The Minnesota Vikings have declared OL Olisaemeka Udoh, WR K.J. Osborn, CB Cameron Dantzler, WR Tajae Sharpe, CB Mike Hughes, DE Eddie Yarbrough and DE James Lynch inactive for Week 3.
The Washington Football Team have declared OT David Sharpe, QB Alex Smith, OT Saahdiq Charles, RB Bryce Love, LB Cole Holcomb, CB Danny Johnson and DE James Smith-Williams inactive for Week 3.
The Cincinnati Bengals have declared LB Markus Bailey, WR John Ross, RB Trayveon Williams, DE Andrew Brown, PK Austin Seibert and DL Geno Atkins inactive for Week 3.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (hamstring) is officially inactive for the team's Week 3 meeting with the Chicago Bears. In his stead, expect big performances from both Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage. Ridley becomes a WR1 option, and Gage is now a solid WR3. Tight end Hayden Hurst gets a boost as well. As for Jones, this shouldn't be a huge surprise as he seemed to be trending down all week. Now, the question becomes if Jones will miss more than just this one game.
Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Tyrod Taylor (lungs) is already ruled out for Week 3, but it seems his absence due to a punctured lung that happened pre-game in Week 2 will stretch until at least the team's Week 4 meeting with Tampa Bay. Justin Herbert will start this week and should be the starter again in Week 4 if healthy. As for Taylor, the team has said the quarterback job is his when healthy, but things could if Herbert plays well over the next couple of games.
The Atlanta Falcons have declared DT Deadrin Senat, DE Takkarist McKinley, LB Foyesade Oluokun, WR Julio Jones, OT Kaleb McGary, S Ricardo Allen and DB Kendall Sheffield inactive for Week 3.
Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence (knee) is expected to suit up for Sunday's Week 3 contest with the Seattle Seahawks. Lawrence hasn't done a lot in 2020, and while he's a disruptive pass rusher when he's at his best, his impact is likely to be pretty minimal this week based on how his season's began. The Cowboys Defense remains unplayable in all formats -- unless you really want to make a big punt play in a GPP -- because they're facing the extremely dangerous Seattle Seahawks offense.
New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton is unlikely to get a contract extension until after the 2020 season concludes, according to NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport. Newton was signed by New England late in the offseason to a one-year, $1.05 million contract in what was looked at as a cheap signing at the time. It's only two games, but Newton is on pace to set career highs in completion percentage and yards per attempt, as he's looked excellent in tandem with Patriots' offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. New England is hesitant to extend Newton given his injury history, and it makes more sense for Newton to wait until after the season, when he could potentially become a free agent and cash in. In the meantime, it looks like fantasy managers who waited to select Newton in drafts are the real breadwinners.