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.
Five Sleepers: 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.
New Orleans Saints CB Marshon Lattimore was fined $10,500 by the National Football League for unnecessary roughness in Week 1's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to a source. He was involved in a scuffle with WR Mike Evans during the second quarter, although Evans was not fined.
New Orleans Saints DE Cameron Jordan was fined $12,500 by the National Football League for unsportsmanlike conduct in Week 1's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to a source. He appeared to throw a punch during the first quarter, although he was not flagged on the play at the time. In an interview after the game, Jordan said that he was going for the football in an attempt to pop it out.
Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown (knee) could wind up missing more time than originally expected. Brown has a "pretty significant knee bruise" and it hasn't responded as well to treatment as the team had hoped. The original timeline had him listed as week-to-week, though it's very possible that the team could be without the services of Brown for at least the next couple of weeks. It's a gloomy outlook for fantasy managers who put their faith in the talented, second-year pro. Receivers Corey Davis and Adam Humphries as well as tight end Jonnu Smith should all continue to see more volume in the absence of Brown. Davis and Smith in particular should be started in all formats in Week 3 against a leaky Vikings secondary.
Buffalo Bills linebackers Tremaine Edmunds (shoulder) and Matt Milano (hamstring) are both expected to be active for Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Rams. Edmunds was limited all week while Milano got in a full session on Friday. It's big news for Buffalo, who will now have two of their best defenders to help solidify the middle of the field. Rams tight end Tyler Higbee might be looking at a more difficult matchup than anticipated, though he should still be in lineups due to his red zone prowess.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (foot) should be able to return to practice this week, though the team is easing him back in slowly. Samuel suffered a Jones fracture in his foot and while the team was hopeful he would return for Week 4, the following week against the Dolphins is looking more realistic for his return. The injuries continue to pile up for the 49ers, with four starters missing from the offense, in addition to Samuel. It would be a welcome sight to the team if their second-year receiver could suit up for Week 5.
Denver Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (ribs) is expected to suit up against the Buccaneers in Week 3. Jeudy is as important as ever with fellow wideout Courtland Sutton (knee) out for the remainder of the season. The rookie wideout leads the team in targets and ranks second in receiving yards ahead of a date with an improved Tampa Bay defense. Jeudy's upside is limited a bit with Jeff Driskel throwing him passes, though he needs to be in lineups if active, with the potential volume coming his way.
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (ankle) is improving and has a chance to practice next week ahead of a Week 4 matchup with the Detroit Lions. The team is being very cautious with Thomas and they do not want him out there unless he's 100 percent, so this is no guarantee for his status against Detroit. Thomas has a 2-4 week timeline for his injury and Sunday's game is the second contest he's missed. It's very possible he practices this week and still doesn't play in Week 4. Hopefully Thomas heals up and his fantasy managers are able to roll him out there in Week 4 against a struggling Lions' secondary.
Although New Orleans Saints WR Michael Thomas (ankle) has seen his condition improve recently, there is no guarantee that he will play in Week 4's game against the Detroit Lions, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The team is reportedly being cautious with his rehab from a high-ankle sprain and wants him to be at 100 percent when he resumes playing.
Fantasy Spin: There is a possibility that Thomas could return to practice during the upcoming week, although that should not be perceived as a sign that he will be ready to play versus Detroit. He is a must-start option in all fantasy formats when healthy.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (hamstring) is a true game-time decision for Sunday's contest against the Chicago Bears. Jones re-aggravated his hamstring injury during the Falcons' Week 2 game and was barely able to get any practice in during the week. It's not very encouraging, but there is at least a some hope for the All-Pro wideout to suit up against Chicago. There is some risk of re-injury here, but you're starting him if he's active, even against the Bears' strong defense. If Jones is unable to go, Russell Gage and Hayden Hurst would be the main beneficiaries, with Calvin Ridley already being a must-start.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (hamstring) is pushing to play and the team is going to give him a chance right up until game-time. Adams is listed as doubtful, though he is really trying to get out there for a primetime, NFC clash with the New Orleans Saints. Even if Adams plays, fantasy managers can't risk waiting to hear his status, considering the late starting time for the contest. Only managers who have Allen Lazard or Marquez Valdes-Scantling rostered can afford to wait for Adams' official status. Otherwise, you should look elsewhere. Lazard and Valdes-Scantling will benefit the most from Adams' absence against a beatable Saints secondary.
The Atlanta Falcons are good to go for Sunday's game against the Bears a day after cornerback A.J. Terrell tested positive for COVID-19. All Falcons' personnel were tested and the results came back negative, so the team is good to go for Sunday. It's a relief for the NFL, as Terrell was their first positive case so far. It's a good sign that the league's protocols, such as contact tracing, are being carried out thoroughly to prevent any breakouts. Hopefully the NFL is able to continue limiting any positive cases in the future.
Green Bay Packers WR Davante Adams (hamstring) will be a game-time decision for Week 3's game against the New Orleans Saints.
Fantasy Spin: Adams was listed as doubtful on the injury report after missing all three of the team's practice sessions during the week, even though he was able to do some rehab work on a side field Thursday, Sept. 24, and is likely to test the injury in pregame warmups. However, fantasy owners would be better off finding alternative options for their lineups and keeping Adams benched this week since the Packers won't play until Sunday evening. WRs Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling are worth a look as WR3 or flex options in most fantasy formats.
Buffalo Bills LB Matt Milano (hamstring) is expected to play in Week 3's game against the Los Angeles Rams. He had been listed as questionable on the injury report after logging two limited practice sessions and one full session during the week.
Houston Texans wide receiver Kenny Stills (illness) is expected to play Sunday while running back Duke Johnson (ankle) is a long-shot to suit up against the Steelers. Stills was able to get a session in on Friday and Johnson was limited all week, so it's not surprising that the backup halfback is expected to miss the game. This should mean more of a heavy workload again for fellow back David Johnson, who handled 13 touches in Week 2 against the Ravens. Still it's a tough matchup for both Johnson and Stills against Pittsburgh defense that ranks second in the league in total defense DVOA.
Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (hip) and tight end Darren Waller (knee) are both expected to suit up for a Week 3 matchup with the Patriots. Both players were held out of practice earlier in the week but were able to get limited sessions in on Friday. It's likely that Las Vegas was just being careful with their two heavily-used skill position players, as both rank in the top-five in the league in touches/targets at their respective positions. The Patriots Defense will always pose a challenge for fantasy managers with Bill Belichick looming on the sidelines, though Jacobs and Waller are must-starts because of their elite-level usage.
Houston Texans WR Kenny Stills (illness) is expected to play in Week 3's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Fantasy Spin: Stills was added to the injury report after missing a portion of practice due to illness Friday, Sept. 25. He has only been targeted five times through the first two games of the year, collecting 16 yards, so he should not be viewed as a viable option in any fantasy format.
Houston Texans RB Duke Johnson (ankle) is considered unlikely to play in Week 3's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Fantasy Spin: Johnson appears to be on the verge of missing his second consecutive game this afternoon, even though he was a limited practice participant throughout the week and had been listed as questionable on the injury report. David Johnson will receive the bulk of the work in the Houston backfield today but should be considered no better than a risky RB2 option because of the difficult matchup.
Detroit Lions WR Kenny Golladay (hamstring) is expected to make his season debut in Week 3's game against the Arizona Cardinals, according to a source.
Fantasy Spin: Golladay had been listed as questionable on the injury report after being a limited practice participant in all three of the team's practice sessions during the week. If he is active, he should be a starting option in all fantasy formats.