Thu Aug 15 10:45pm ET
By DAVID GINSBURG
AP Sports Writer
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) leaps over Green Bay Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander (23) during the first half of a NFL football preseason game, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019, in Baltimore. The play was called back on a penalty on the Ravens. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)
Baltimore Ravens tight end Nick Boyle, top, is stopped while trying to leap over Green Bay Packers strong safety Adrian Amos during the first half of a NFL football preseason game, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers looks on from the sideline during the first half of a NFL football preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson works out prior to a NFL football preseason game against the Green Bay Packers, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Green Bay Packers quarterback DeShone Kizer works out prior to a NFL football preseason game against the Baltimore Raven, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)
BALTIMORE (AP) Lamar Jackson directed two scoring drives during a limited appearance, had an impressive touchdown run erased by a penalty and sparked the Baltimore Ravens to a 26-13 victory over the Green Bay Packers, who played Thursday night without quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Rodgers developed back stiffness and was a late scratch , a move the team labeled as a ''precaution.'' After being held out of Green Bay's first preseason game against Houston, the seven-time Pro Bowl star was slated to start for the first time under rookie head coach Matt LaFleur.
Instead, DeShone Kizer, Tim Boyle and Manny Wilkins struggled against a defense that last year was ranked No. 1 in the NFL.
Rodgers has played 165 regular-season games since breaking into the league in 2005, so there was really no pressing need to get him into a game three weeks before the Sept. 5 opener against Chicago.
Jackson, on the other hand, needed the work. Coming off a rookie season in which he didn't start until mid-November, Jackson is seeking to master a new playbook devised by first-year coordinator Greg Roman.
Jackson started and played three series last week in a 29-0 rout of Jacksonville. This time, the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner stuck around for two possessions, both of which ended with field goals. He completed 6 of 10 passes for 58 yards and ran twice for 14 yards.
His best play displayed both his speed and elusiveness, but ultimately went for naught. On third-and-10 from the Green Bay 18, Jackson thrust forward from the pocket, sidestepped Tramon Williams and jumped over Jaire Alexander at the 5. He then high-stepped through the end zone before handing the ball to a fan.
''The four-man rush gave me a lane, our receivers were covered and I just did what I do best,'' Jackson said.
The play was called back because of an illegal block by Willie Snead, and Baltimore (2-0) settled for the second of Justin Tucker's four field goals.
Rookie Trace McSorley threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Chris Moore in the second quarter to make it 13-3.
Green Bay (1-1) got its lone touchdown in the third quarter on a 7-yard pass from Boyle to rookie Darrius Shepherd.
The Ravens have won 15 straight preseason games, 34 of the last 43 and 19 of the last 22 at home.
Ravens LF Chris Board sustained a concussion in the second quarter.
Ravens tight end Nick Boyle had every intention of leaping over Adrian Amos after catching a first-quarter pass. Problem is, Amos stayed upright. So Boyle ended up planting a foot in Amos' chest and was thrown backward.
Packers: A matchup against the Oakland Raiders next Thursday comes with a twist. The game will be held north of the border in Winnipeg.
Ravens: Following two days of joint practices with the Eagles next week, Baltimore plays on Thursday night in Philadelphia.
Five Cold Plays: Week 2
New York Jets rookie running back La'Mical Perine (ankle) is questionable to face the 49ers in Week 2. Perine was limited in practice the last two days, so he has a real chance to make his NFL debut after he was inactive in the season-opener. The Jets could really use some depth with Le'Veon Bell on Injured Reserve. But even if Perine suits up on Sunday, he's unlikely to see much of a workload behind veteran Frank Gore. Plus, he'll be facing a really tough San Francisco defense after an offseason in which he didn't get many on-field repetitions.
San Francisco 49ers defensive end Dee Ford (neck) is listed as questionable for Week 2 against the Jets. Ford didn't practice the last two days after dealing with some neck stiffness following the season-opening loss to the Cardinals. San Francisco placed cornerback Richard Sherman on the Injured Reserve this week, so they won't be at full strength against New York. Ford had just three combined tackles in Week 1. He should be avoided in IDP leagues because of his injury, but even at less than full strength, the 49ers Defense remains a must-start fantasy defense against a Jets team that will be missing both Le'Veon Bell and Jamison Crowder.
Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus didn't attempt a single field goal in the 16-14 Week 1 loss to the Titans, but he did make both of his extra-point tries. McManus has a very strong leg and kicks half the time in high altitude, but he'll be on the road this week and just can't be trusted in fantasy yet while the Broncos offense tries to get in sync. Quarterback Drew Lock showed potential last week, though, and he has plenty of talented weapons to work with in 2020. The 29-year-old kicker will become a streaming option at some point this year, but it won't be in Week 2 against the Steelers, especially if wide receiver Courtland Sutton (shoulder) misses another game.
Denver Broncos tight end Noah Fant caught five of his six targets for 81 yards and a touchdown in the Week 1 loss to the Titans, leading the team in receiving yards with Courtland Sutton (shoulder) inactive. Sutton is questionable heading into Week 2 against the Steelers, so Fant could once again be the team's leading receiver this Sunday. He'll obviously be a better upside TE1 if Sutton sits out, but at the very least, Fant will have some low-end TE1 appeal as one of quarterback Drew Lock's favorite targets. Some people believe the second-year tight end is primed for a breakout season with Lock under center for a full year.
The Denver Broncos won't have any rowdy fans to worry about on their trip to Pittsburgh in Week 2, but a healthy quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and his cast of weapons will pose a big challenge to a defense missing Von Miller (ankle) for the year and cornerback A.J. Bouye (shoulder) for at least three weeks. Inside linebacker Mark Barron (hamstring) will also be out. Denver's run D didn't allow Derrick Henry to run wild last week, but their inexperienced rookie cornerbacks Michael Ojemudia and Essang Bassey will surely be tested by Big Ben with talented wideouts JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson leading the charge. While the Broncos Defense was worth starting last week, they should be avoided this week with key injuries mounting.
Denver Broncos rookie wide receiver Jerry Jeudy showed off some of his trademark route-running ability and quick feet in the team's Week 1 loss to the Titans, but he also had a couple uncharacteristic drops in his NFL debut. The 21-year-old from Alabama caught only four of his eight targets for 56 yards as the team's lead wideout last Monday with Courtland Sutton (shoulder) inactive. There's a lot to like in the long-term with Jeudy in this offense, but there will continue to be some growing pains throughout his rookie campaign. He'll be a more attractive upside WR4/flex in deeper leagues if Sutton misses another game, but the matchup against the Steelers is a difficult one regardless.
Denver Broncos running back Royce Freeman will be the primary backup to Melvin Gordon in the team's Week 2 matchup against the Steelers after Denver ruled Phillip Lindsay (toe) out for the week. Freeman won't have any standalone fantasy value, though, after he saw just two touches -- a carry for no gain and a 12-yard reception -- in the second half of the Week 1 loss to the Titans when Lindsay didn't return after the first half. On top of it, Pittsburgh's rush defense was one of the best in the league last year and held Saquon Barkley down in their season opener. The 24-year-old will see more than two touches over the full game, but he should be ignored in pretty much any fantasy format.
The Philadelphia Eagles are having free-agent running back Devonta Freeman in for a visit on Friday, according to the league transaction wire. It doesn't sound like a signing is imminent, but it's worth watching after lead-back Miles Sanders missed the season opener with an injury. Sanders says he's fully healthy heading into Week 2 against the Rams, though, so a Freeman signing would just provide depth to this backfield alongside Boston Scott and Corey Clement. Philadelphia didn't get much production out of either Scott or Clement against Washington, so perhaps they view Freeman as a backup upgrade. Freeman, still only 28, has been bothered by injuries in recent seasons, but he was a Pro Bowler in 2015 and 2016 with 1,000-yard rushing campaigns in both years and 22 total rushing touchdowns in that span.
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Robert Woods received a four-year, $68 million extension on Friday with $32 million guaranteed, according to a source. Woods' previous contract was due to expire after the 2021 season. It comes after the team just signed teammate Cooper Kupp to a three-year, $48 million extension, putting both wideouts together for even longer. Quarterback Jared Goff will be happy. Woods had eight targets and 119 total yards in the Week 1 win over the Cowboys and should once again see a steady diet of targets against a sketchy Eagles secondary in Week 2. The one concern is that Eagles cornerback Darius Slay may stick with Woods for most of this contest. You should still fire Woods up as a strong WR2 in this matchup. He's seen 88 targets in his last eight games, making him a must-start at this point.
Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton (shoulder) was limited in practice all week and is listed as questionable for Week 2 against the Steelers. Sutton is expected to be a game-time decision for Sunday after he missed the season-opening loss to the Titans. If Sutton winds up playing, he probably won't be 100 percent and could have his snaps limited, which makes him an extremely risky flex option against a stingy Steelers Defense. Quarterback Drew Lock would certainly benefit from the return of his top wideout, but even then we can't recommend the second-year QB in standard leagues. Without Sutton last week, tight end Noah Fant led the team in receiving and scored their lone aerial touchdown.
Denver Broncos rookie wide receiver K.J. Hamler (hamstring) practiced in full all week and was taken off the final injury report for Week 2, meaning he's poised to make his NFL debut against the Steelers. The second-round speedster is an explosive playmaker at just 5-foot-9, 176 pounds, but he should remain out of fantasy lineups in his NFL debut, even if Courtland Sutton (shoulder) misses his second straight game. Hamler is certainly intriguing in dynasty/keeper leagues in this up-and-coming offense out of the slot with fellow rookie Jerry Jeudy and Sutton on the outside when everyone is healthy, but he's unlikely to see enough targets to make him relevant in standard-sized leagues.
San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (knee) has been ruled out for Week 2 against the Jets. Kittle suffered a knee sprain in the Week 1 loss to the Cardinals and will rest up for a week. The All-Pro tight end is a must-start each and every week, but his fantasy managers will have to pivot and go in another direction in Week 2. Jordan Reed could be an intriguing name to monitor as a one-week play at the position in DFS and deeper leagues, especially with Deebo Samuel (foot) still out. In the passing game, Kendrick Bourne, Dante Pettis, rookie Brandon Aiyuk and Trent Taylor could all benefit against New York, while running back Jerick McKinnon is also worth a look in deep PPR formats.
Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay (toe) missed practice all week and has been ruled out for Week 2 against the Steelers. Lindsay hurt his toe in the first half of the Week 1 loss to the Steelers and was diagnosed with turf toe. He's listed as week-to-week for now, but the good news is that he had a near-even split of the workload with Melvin Gordon III before he went down with his injury. Gordon will be more of a low-end RB2 this Sunday with Lindsay out, despite the tough matchup against Pittsburgh's defense. Expect Royce Freeman to spell Gordon when he needs a breather, but he won't have any standalone fantasy value in this matchup.
Baltimore Ravens DT Justin Madubuike (knee) and WR Chris Moore (finger) did not practice all week and have been ruled out for Week 2 against the Houston Texans. CB Jimmy Smith (hip) was limited in practice for a second straight day Friday, Sept. 18, and is listed as questionable. OT Ronnie Stanley (hip) and RB Justice Hill (thigh) were upgraded to a full practice Friday but are also listed as questionable. DE Calais Campbell (non-injury) and DT Brandon Williams (non-injury) were not given practice designations Friday while LB Pernell McPhee (non-injury) did not practice, but all three are expected to play.
Denver Broncos running back Melvin Gordon III has more upside as an RB2 this weekend against the Steelers with teammate Phillip Lindsay (toe) week-to-week with turf toe. The matchup is a daunting one, though, as the Steelers Defense held Saquon Barkley in check (15 carries for six yards) in Week 1. But the extra touches that Gordon should receive on Sunday push him from a flex play to more of a low-end RB2. Royce Freeman should help spell Gordon when he needs a breather. In his first game with Denver, the 27-year-old had 86 total yards and a touchdown on 18 touches, but he also had a costly lost fumble in the first half. Gordon had 18 yards in eight carries against Pittsburgh last year while with the Chargers.
Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay (hamstring) has been officially ruled out for Week 2 against the Packers. Golladay will miss his second straight game to open the season, but hopefully his fantasy managers will be able to put him into their lineups for Week 3. The Lions will use three-wide sets of Marvin Jones Jr., Danny Amendola and rookie Quintez Cephus against their division rivals on Sunday. Jones will be a high-end WR3 and Amendola will be in flex consideration in DFS and deeper leagues. Tight end T.J. Hockenson will be intriguing with some TE1 upside with Golladay out again.
Miami Dolphins LB Elandon Roberts (concussion) was upgraded to a limited practice Friday, Sept. 18, but has been ruled out for Week 2 versus the Buffalo Bills. DB Clayton Fejedelem (pectoral) was limited in practice all week and is listed as doubtful. WR DeVante Parker (hamstring) was also limited in practice all week but is listed as questionable. CB Xavien Howard (knee), CB Byron Jones (Achilles), LB Kyle Van Noy (hand) and WR Preston Williams (knee) practiced in full Friday, Sept. 18, and have been removed from the injury report. WR Jakeem Grant (calf) was not given a practice designation for a second straight day Friday but is also expected to play.
Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock faces a stiff test in Week 2 on the road against the Steelers Defense. The 23-year-old second-year signal-caller had his ups and downs in the Week 1 Monday night loss to the Titans. His mobility and arm strength were on display, but he was hurt by some drops and overthrows and he also fumbled the ball twice but recovered. His final line was 22-for-33 for 216 yards and one touchdown. Lock should get both Courtland Sutton (shoulder) and rookie K.J. Hamler (hamstring) back for this one, but the matchup is too tough to consider him as anything more than a low-end QB2 in leagues that start two quarterbacks.
Kansas City Chiefs DE Alex Okafor (hamstring), DT Khalen Saunders (elbow) and CB Charvarius Ward (hand) did not practice all week and have been ruled out for Week 2 against the Los Angeles Chargers. C Austin Reiter (knee), DT Derrick Nnadi (ankle), OG Kelechi Osemele (knee), S Juan Thornhill (knee) and RB Darrel Williams (hamstring) practiced in full all week and no longer appear on the injury report.
Los Angeles Chargers RB Justin Jackson (quad) did not practice all week and is listed as doubtful for Week 2 versus the Kansas City Chiefs. TE Donald Parham (illness) returned to a full practice Friday, Sept. 18, and has been removed from the injury report. DE Joey Bosa (triceps), CB Casey Hayward (knee), OG Trai Turner (knee), WR Mike Williams (shoulder) and QB Tyrod Taylor (ribs) also practiced in full Friday and no longer appear on the injury report.