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.
New York Jets quarterback Joe Flacco has reportedly been on fire during training camp, according to Zack Rosenblatt. The veteran quarterback completed 10 straight passes during 11-on-11 practice. Overall, Flacco finished the day 14-of-17 with four touchdowns, all of them came in the red zone. It's uncertain if Zach Wilson (knee) will be ready in time for Week 1. That being said, the Jets will likely start the season with Flacco under center. Honestly, Flacco might be a better fantasy option than Wilson, but fantasy managers shouldn't get too excited. The 37-year-old is probably only worth a look in superflex leagues.
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson (hip) said that he is fully healthy after dealing with a hip flexor issue. The 26-year-old mentioned that he has been running around and feeling like himself. It sounds like this injury is behind him and he has a nice new extension as well. Johnson was a stud last season and should remain the unquestioned No. 1 option in Pittsburgh. The change at quarterback shouldn't impact Johnson's value, so fantasy managers should consider Johnson a safe option with this injury behind him.
New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones told reporters that he expects to play on Friday in the team's second preseason game against the Carolina Panthers. Jones was held out of the preseason opener last week. Offensive coaches Matt Patricia and Joe Judge split the play-calling duties last week, but the question remains: Who will call plays for Jones? Patricia is the favorite since he's done it for most of training camp, but head coach Bill Belichick has also called plays to Jones in full-team drills. The Patriots offense hasn't looked good for much of camp, but Jones has been much better in joint practices against Carolina this week. The 23-year-old held his own as a rookie, but with former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels gone, Jones could struggle in Year 2. He's a low-end QB2 in fantasy.
New York Giants wide receiver Kadarius Toney (knee) will sit out the team's second preseason game on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. Darius Slayton will also sit out due to an undisclosed injury. Toney hasn't done much in training camp this summer, but he did take part in individual drills at practice on Thursday. The 23-year-old looks to be progressing and should be good to go for the Week 1 regular season opener, but fantasy managers would feel a lot better about taking him as a late-round pass-catcher with upside if he was on the field more. Toney is still the most attractive Giants receiver with perhaps the most upside after he caught 39 of his 57 targets for 420 yards and no touchdowns in 10 games in his rookie season in 2021.
Dallas Cowboys WR Michael Gallup (knee) ran routes during practice Thursday, Aug. 18, for the first time since having knee surgery.
Fantasy Spin: Gallup isn't expected to be ready for the start of the season, but he should be the No. 2 receiver when he returns to action. Fantasy owners willing to wait out Gallup's recovery time could end up with a WR3 at a discounted price.
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf played the opening offensive series against the Chicago Bears on Thursday in the team's second preseason game, but he wasn't targeted at all. Metcalf sat out of the preseason opener last week. There's a chance the 24-year-old could see more playing time in the final preseason contest next week against the Dallas Cowboys, but fantasy managers shouldn't be worried if he sits out either. Metcalf is one of the most physically dominating pass-catchers in the league, but losing Russell Wilson as his quarterback will have consequences in terms of his overall production in 2022. He'll go from being a WR1 in fantasy to more of a low-end WR2 this year with either Geno Smith or Drew Lock throwing him the ball.
Seattle Seahawks tight end Will Dissly played just eight snaps in Thursday's preseason game against the Chicago Bears and wasn't targeted at all. Dissly sat out of the preseason opener last week and has been the clear backup behind George Fant so far in preseason action. The 26-year-old should be more involved during the regular season, but Fant's presence as the top pass-catching tight end doesn't make Dissly a target in fantasy football drafts. In his four seasons in Seattle, Dissly has 76 receptions for 900 yards and nine touchdowns on 96 targets. If anything were to happen to Fant, though, Dissly could be worth a waiver-wire pickup as a TE2 with some upside.
Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said that quarterback Geno Smith (knee) banged his knee in Thursday's preseason game against the Chicago Bears but that he could have returned to the contest. The injury doesn't seem serious at all and shouldn't affect Smith's availability for the start of the regular season. The 31-year-old started on Thursday with Drew Lock out with COVID-19, and he went 10-for-18 for 112 yards. Even if Lock is healthy enough to start the team's final preseason game next week, Smith is looking like the favorite to start under center in Week 1 against the Denver Broncos. Smith hasn't stood out by any means this summer at training camp, and he'll be nothing more than a low-end QB2 for fantasy managers in superflex leagues as the starter.
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.
Detroit Lions TE Devin Funchess (shoulder) is dealing with a stinger, head coach Dan Campbell said Thursday, Aug. 18.
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.