Sat Aug 24 11:28pm ET
By DENNIS WASZAK Jr.
AP Pro Football Writer
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) breaks away from New Orleans Saints' Marcus Davenport (92) during the first half of a preseason NFL football game Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)
New York Jets' Ty Montgomery (88) runs away from New Orleans Saints' Colton Jumper (51) for a touchdown during the first half of a preseason NFL football game Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)
New York Jets' Robby Anderson (11) stiff-arms New Orleans Saints' Marcus Williams (43) during the first half of a preseason NFL football game Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
New Orleans Saints quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) throws a pass during the first half of the team's preseason NFL football game against the New York Jets on Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws a pass during the first half of the team's preseason NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints on Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell runs onto the field for the team's NFL preseason football game against the New Orleans Saints on Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
New Orleans Saints' Michael Thomas (13) catches a pass for a touchdown in front of New York Jets' Tevaughn Campbell (35) during the first half of a preseason NFL football game Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees throws a pass during the first half of the team's preseason NFL football game against the New York Jets on Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Drew Brees threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Michael Thomas to cap his only drive in his preseason debut, and the New Orleans Saints defeated the New York Jets 28-13 on Saturday night.
Brees didn't take a snap in the Saints' first two exhibition games, but Sean Payton gave the 40-year-old quarterback a brief regular-season warmup in this one. And, Brees and the starting offense breezed down the field.
Alvin Kamara had a 25-yard catch on third down, and a 20-yard grab by Thomas two plays later got the Saints (2-1) down to the 23. On third-and-6, Brees found Thomas in the back-right corner of the end zone with a perfectly placed ball over cornerback Tevaughn Campbell's head for the touchdown.
Brees finished 4 of 6 for 68 yards and was done for the night, along with the rest of the offensive starters, and was replaced by Teddy Bridgewater.
Sam Darnold's night for the Jets (1-2) lasted quite a bit longer as the second-year quarterback played midway into the second quarter, despite three projected starting offensive lineman - center Ryan Kalil and guards Kelechi Osemele and Brian Winters - sitting out.
After a sluggish start - and Darnold taking a hard shot from Trey Hendrickson to end his fourth drive - the starting offense got things going against the Saints' backup defense.
On third-and-5 from the Jets 40, Darnold connected with Robby Anderson down the left sideline for a 41-yard gain. After two runs by Ty Montgomery and a defensive holding call on Terrell Williams Jr. put the ball at the Saints 2, Darnold threw a pretty swing pass to Montgomery for a touchdown that cut the Jets' deficit to 10-7 with 8:22 left in the first half.
That was it for Darnold, who was 8 of 13 for 97 yards and the score. He was replaced by Trevor Siemian, who appears to be a lock as Darnold's backup.
Saints rookie wide receiver Deonte Harris returned a punt 79 yards for a touchdown with 7:27 left, giving New Orleans a 23-13 lead. Harris, out of Assumption College, avoided a diving tackle attempt by punter Matt Darr before sprinting into the end zone.
Kalil was expected to make his debut with the team, but the team decided to have him sit out while he continues to get into football shape and learn the playbook. Jonotthan Harrison started again in his place.
Kalil, who played 12 seasons with Carolina, came out of retirement earlier this month and signed a one-year, $8.4 million deal with the Jets.
''(Last) Sunday night was his first night in pads, so he's only had really three practices,'' general manager Joe Douglas said before the game. ''So, we felt the smart thing to do was to hold him out. We'll re-evaluate it next week. Again, we're 15 days away from the opener, so we feel good that's he's going to have plenty of time to be ready for Week 1.''
JUST FOR KICKS
Jets kicker Taylor Bertolet - whose roster spot is uncertain - bounced back after missing two extra points last week, making field goals of 48 and 56 yards and converting on his one extra-point try.
Bridgewater was 15 of 26 for 143 yards before giving way to Taysom Hill in the third quarter. The do-it-all Hill ran for what appeared to be a go-ahead 8-yard touchdown late in the third, but it was wiped out by a holding call on Patrick Omameh. The Saints had to settle for a 38-yard field goal by Wil Lutz that put New Orleans up 16-13 with 2:36 left in the quarter. ... Lutz was also good from 39, 40 and 34 yards, but was wide left on a 43-yard attempt.
Saints: LB Josh Martin left in the third quarter with an apparent right arm injury.
Jets: S Brandon Bryant suffered a head injury in the third quarter after being called for unnecessary roughness for leading with his helmet on a play.
Saints: home vs. Miami on Thursday night.
Jets: at Philadelphia on Thursday night.
The Detroit Lions released running back C.J. Anderson on Tuesday and claimed running back Paul Perkins off waivers from the Giants in a corresponding move. If anything, this is good news for Kerryon Johnson, who lost five carries to Anderson, five to rookie Ty Johnson and two to J.D. McKissic in the Week 2 win over the Chargers. It doesn't mean that Detroit won't still include Ty Johnson and McKissic moving forward, though, and Kerryon Johnson will be more of a low-end RB2 on Sunday against a tough Eagles defensive front. Ty Johnson's outlook in dynasty and deep leagues just got a lot better as the No. 2.
Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (hamstring) returned to a full practice on Tuesday after being limited on Monday. Jacksonville's best pass rusher should be able to return on Thursday against the Titans after being inactive in the Week 2 loss to the Texans. The Jaguars Defense/special teams is a low-end starting option for this week against a Tennessee unit that mostly runs the ball and rarely puts up a ton of points on the board. It could also be the Jags last game with shutdown cornerback Jalen Ramsey on the roster.
Jacksonville Jaguars LB D.J. Alexander (hamstring), TE Josh Oliver (hamstring) and CB Josh Robinson (foot) did not practice Tuesday, Sept. 17. WR Chris Conley (hip) and CB A.J. Bouye (hip) participated on a limited basis. WR Marqise Lee (knee), WR D.J. Chark (ankle), S Ronnie Harrison (ankle), DE Yannick Ngakoue (hamstring), OL Cam Robinson (knee) and OL Cedric Ogbuehi (hamstring) were full participants in practice.
The New England Patriots are placing left tackle Isaiah Wynn (toe) on Injured Reserve on Tuesday, according to a source. He'll miss at least eight weeks after getting injured in Week 2. Marshall Newhouse should take over on the left side. Wynn also missed all of his rookie season with an injury, so he just hasn't been able to stay on the field so far in his career. Right tackle Marcus Cannon is also injured, so New England's offensive line is a cause for concern just two weeks into the season. The Jets don't really have the personnel to exploit it in Week 3, but it's something to watch for quarterback Tom Brady moving forward.
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Marqise Lee (knee) was a full participant in practice on Tuesday after being limited on Monday. Lee sat out of the Week 2 loss against the Texans, but it looks like he's on track to return on Thursday in a matchup with the Titans. Behind Dede Westbrook, D.J. Chark and Chris Conley with backup rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew at the helm, Lee can be left to the waiver wire in most leagues.
Philadelphia Eagles WR DeSean Jackson (groin) is not expected to play in Week 3 versus the Detroit Lions and he may be hard-pressed to go in Week 4 against the Green Bay Packers due to a short turnaround, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.
Fantasy Spin: With Alshon Jeffery also not looking like he'll play in Week 3, fantasy owners get to look forward to another week (or two) of Nelson Agholor as the Eagles' top receiver. Agholor paid dividends with a 100-yard game in Week 2, and he would be a good bet for 10 or more targets against this week if Pelissero's information is correct. Owners should not hesitate using him as a WR3 this week.
Tennessee Titans RB David Fluellen (hamstring), CB Christopher Milton (shoulder), OL Kevin Pamphile (knee) and LB Wesley Woodyard (quad) did not practice Tuesday, Sept. 17. LB Daren Bates (groin), CB Malcolm Butler (hip), QB Marcus Mariota (quad), WR A.J. Brown (knee), DB Dane Cruikshank (ankle), OL Jamil Douglas (knee) and LB Reggie Gilbert (knee) fully participated in practice.
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson (groin) isn't expected to play in Week 3 against the Lions, and a quick turnaround on Thursday night against the Packers in Week 4 could make it tough as well. Jackson was injured early in Week 2 on Sunday night and never returned. You should prepare to be without him for the next two games. Alshon Jeffery is also expected to miss Week 3 and possibly longer, so Nelson Agholor, Mack Hollins and rookie JJ Arcega-Whiteside would be in on three-receiver sets. Agholor was second on the team behind Zach Ertz with 11 targets on Sunday, catching eight passes for 107 yards and a score. He played 96% of the snaps compared to Arcega-Whiteside's 93% and Hollins' 85%. Agholor has flex upside as the expected top wideout against the Lions this weekend, while Ertz should be fed heavily as well. Arcega-Whiteside is a waiver wire target in deeper leagues. Losing his top two receivers will hurt quarterback Carson Wentz's upside for however long Jeffery and Jackson are out.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians didn't seem too worried about tight end O.J. Howard after he didn't see any targets in the passing game last Thursday. "The balls will come. We don't dictate who gets the ball, the defense does, so sometimes it will spread around for different people every week," Arians said. The good news is that Howard played the third highest snap percentage (92%) behind Jameis Winston and Chris Godwin in Week 2. The concerning part for fantasy owners is that Howard has just five targets in two games, which is the same amount as backup Cameron Brate, and Brate has one more catch. The Giants are allowing the sixth most fantasy points to tight ends (10.0) per game this year, making Howard a bounce-back candidate as a TE1 this weekend. If he doesn't get going this Sunday, it's time to panic.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (thumb) has decided to undergo surgery in Los Angeles on Wednesday after having his injured hand examined by two specialists. A timetable for his return won't be known until after the surgery is done, according to a source. Brees will be out at least six weeks, so you'll need to keep him stashed on your bench until he can return later this year. With the future Hall of Famer on the shelf, all of the Saints passing weapons need to be downgraded. Teddy Bridgewater will take over and will be in play in two-QB leagues, although he'll be a low-end QB2 in Week 3 on the road against the Seahawks.
The NFL met with New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown's accuser on Monday for 10 hours in their investigation into sexual-assault allegations, according to a source. However, the matter looks to be a long way from being resolved, and two sources said the league hasn't scheduled a follow-up interview with Brown. It might take several weeks until the league has any updates on the investigation, which means Brown is unlikely to go on the commissioner's exempt list until then. As of now, the receiver is eligible to play in Week 3 against the Jets, where he'll be on the WR1/2 borderline. Brown's presence in the offense takes upside away from Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon and James White in the passing game.
Free-agent WRs Anthony Ratliff-Williams, Quincy Adeboyejo and DaMarkus Lodge, LB Jawuan Johnson, DT Justin Hamilton, OT Paul Adams, DE Willie Henry, S Josh Jones and CB Deante Burton worked out with the Dallas Cowboys on Tuesday, Sept. 17.
Jacksonville Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash said that he expects cornerback Jalen Ramsey to play on Thursday night against the Titans. Ramsey's agent requested a trade on Monday night, and multiple teams are believed to have already made offers for the shutdown cornerback. Against a sluggish offense with a quarterback that very rarely beats defenses through the air, Jacksonville's defense/special teams is a low-end starting unit in Week 3. Ramsey is likely to cover Titans receiver Corey Davis throughout the game, making him a wideout to fade in DFS and season-long leagues.
New York Jets quarterback Trevor Siemian (ankle) will miss the rest of the season after an MRI exam on Tuesday on his left ankle revealed ligament damage that will require surgery, according to head coach Adam Gase. Siemian, starting in place of the sick Sam Darnold on Monday night against the Browns, was injured early in the second quarter when Myles Garrett fell on top of him with most of his weight. He was on crutches and in a walking boot after the game and will be placed on season-ending Injured Reserve. Third-stringer Luke Falk will start for however long Darnold is out. He'll be a bottom-barrel QB2 in Week 3 on the road against the Patriots.
New York Jets wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (hamstring, knee) is listed as week-to-week after suffering a new injury in his Jets debut on Monday night against the Browns. Thomas caught only one pass before his injury on Monday for negative yards. It sounds like he won't be active in Week 3 against the Patriots, and he's not an attractive fantasy option with third-string quarterback Luke Falk now under center for the foreseeable future. When healthy, Thomas is the third receiver, at best, behind Robby Anderson and Jamison Crowder. No player other than running back Le'Veon Bell has much upside in this offense until Sam Darnold (illness) returns.
Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel said that quarterback Marcus Mariota (quadriceps) will practice in full on Tuesday. On a short week going up a very respectable defense, Mariota is a last-gasp QB2 in two-QB leagues on Thursday night. Tennessee's offense remains a slow-paced, run-first unit and Mariota just is way too inconsistent with the passing work that he does get. He's attempted less than 30 passes in each of the first two games of the season.
NBC Sports Bay Areas Brian Witt believes the San Francisco 49ers should do whatever it takes to pursue Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey. The Pro Bowl corner requested a trade on Monday and the Niners could be a great fit. With veteran cornerback Richard Sherman locking down one side, the addition of Ramsey would be a significant upgrade to the inconsistent Akhello Witherspoon or oft-injured Jason Verrett. The Jaguars are asking for at least a first-round pick and the Niners are already without their 2020 second-round selection, but Ramsey is just 24 and a proven NFL asset. With Ramsey and the emergence of rookie defensive end Nick Bosa, the 49ers would instantly vault into a fantasy-caliber defense. Even with defensive end Dee Ford (quad) banged up, the Niners may be a worthy streamer at home in Week 3 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, with or without Ramsey.
San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Joe Staley (leg) suffered a broken left fibula in Week 2. Hes expected to miss six to eight weeks. The 35-year-old Staley is a lynchpin for the Niners strong offensive line and his absence could impair the teams running game, which annihilated the Cincinnati Bengals for 259 rushing yards last Sunday. Sixth-round rookie Justin Skule is expected to receive the start at left tackle in Week 3 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. While Staleys injury impact may be far-reaching, running backs Matt Breida and Raheem Mostert still make for appealing RB2 and RB3/flex plays, respectively.
The New York Giants claimed rookie tight end Kaden Smith on Monday. Smith was waived by the San Francisco 49ers over the weekend to make room for running back Jeffery Wilson on the 53-man squad. The 2019 sixth-round pick was buried on the depth chart behind George Kittle, Ross Dwelley and Levine Toilolo in San Francisco and could immediately benefit on the talent-barren G-Men. The lost draft equity is costly for the Niners, but Smith was thoroughly outplayed during the preseason. Drafted out of Stanford, the catch-first tight end likely has significant strides to make before hes fantasy-relevant.