Hurrican Harvey is causing plenty of problems for Texas, but it’s also caused the Houston Texans to uproot and head inland until things calm down and dry out.
The Houston Texans say they are unable to return home because of Hurricane Harvey and are instead flying to Dallas following Saturday night’s exhibition game in New Orleans.
Texans coach Bill O’Brien says he’s been told flooded roads are part of the reason for his teams’ diversion to northern Texas. O’Brien says he’s unsure how long the Texans will remain in Dallas. He says he’s also uncertain where Houston would practice, but adds the Dallas Cowboys would probably share their training facilities if needed.
The Texans are hoping to return to Houston as soon as possible, so they’re not able to announce plans beyond Sunday because they’re waiting to see how Houston comes through the storm.
Players say they’re praying for Houston and confident its residents will pull through as well as possible.
Cornerback Aqib Talib and linebacker Todd Davis got into a shoving match in the first half that bled onto the sidelines before tempers finally cooled.
“Nothing serious, we’re all good,” said Talib, who started the fracas with a too-hard shove of Davis as he tried to get him away from doing some jawing with the Packers. Davis took exception and hit him back.
“Nothing serious, we’re all good,” Talib said.
“I felt like a Bronco when I got here, but putting on that uniform for the very first time, that’s when I really feel like this is a new beginning,” said Charles, Kansas City’s all-time leading rusher who was released by the Chiefs over the winter.
The last player introduced before the game, Miller made his cameo count by sacking Aaron Rodgers for an 11-yard loss, forcing the Packers to settle for a 52-yard field goal and ending Rodgers’ night after 10 snaps (he was 3 for 5 for 12 yards).
“A-Rod, he’s a great quarterback, a Hall of Fame quarterback,” Miller said. “So, especially in the preseason if you can get some practice against that, it’s dope. It’s great.”
Miller spun past Jason Spriggs, who was subbing for injured right tackle Bryan Bulaga, and split a double team on his way to dumping Rodgers.
“It was a good move by him. He’s an athletic guy,” said Rodgers, who was harassed into the worst game of his career the last time he came to Denver in 2015. “He likes to line up on our right a lot. And we had help on the outside on that play, but he just made that quick spin move inside.
“By the time I felt it I was heading to the ground.”
After Green Bay safety Kentrell Brice returned an interception 42 yards to the Denver 2 minutes after Rodgers was sacked, backup Brett Hundley trotted out to hand off to Ty Montgomery for the touchdown plunge and a 10-0 lead.
“The plan was for Aaron to play two series,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy explained. “I was trying to get Brett as much work as I possibly could.”
“It’s the preseason. We don’t play a whole lot anymore around here,” Rodgers said. “We just kind of get in try to find a rhythm and get out.”
Miller’s day was over after Montgomery’s TD.
“You know you’re not going to be playing much anyways, so to get a sack on those few plays, it feels great,” said Miller, who called his sack dance the “sexy T-Rex.”
Trevor Siemian, in his first game since coach Vance Joseph declared him the starting quarterback over Paxton Lynch, bounced back from his interception to lead Denver on three impressive drives, Lynch came in and got hurt on his only series.
Siemian engineered a 10-play, 75-yard drive capped by C.J. Anderson’s untouched 16-yard trot but marred by the loss of top receiver Demaryius Thomas to a thigh injury. Siemian also was efficient in the 2-minute offense, and Brandon McManus kicked a 28-yard field goal to tie it at 10 as the first half expired.
Siemian finished 13 of 22 for 127 yards and had one interception.
Lynch guided Denver on the go-ahead scoring drive – McManus was good from 46 yards – to start the second half. The second-year QB hurt his right (throwing) shoulder on the drive, apparently when he slid on it after a scramble. Joseph said X-rays were negative but that Lynch would go for an MRI on Sunday to confirm it’s not a serious injury.
Joseph said he’s prepared to play Kyle Sloter the entire fourth preseason game. Sloter replaced Lynch and threw a 17-yard TD pass to Hunter Sharp that made it 20-10.
Hundley’s 6-yard keeper made it 20-17 early in the fourth quarter.
TAKE A KNEE: Broncos right tackle Menelik Watson gave new meaning to the term “take a knee” when he proposed to his fiance after the starters were taken out of the game. Azania Stewart, a member of the British national basketball team, said yes.
“Just spontaneous,” said Watson, who has known Stewart since they were 14. “It was her first NFL game. She’s about to head overseas to start her season. She leaves tomorrow. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while, been contemplating it, so what a perfect time to do it: in the stadium, our first game, in front of a beautiful crowd. I’m not really a public person, but I thought it would have been special.”
SITTING OUT: In addition to Thomas, DE Zach Kerr (knee) and S Will Parks (hip) got hurt in the first half for Denver, and Packers OLB Nick Perry was shaken up before halftime.
Philip Rivers, Joey Bosa and the rest of the Los Angeles Chargers appear ready to start wooing their new home market for real.
Rivers capped the game’s opening drive with a 45-yard touchdown pass to Travis Benjamin, and Bosa’s strip sack of Goff led to Melvin Ingram’s 76-yard fumble return for a score. The Chargers raced to a 21-0 first-quarter lead and held on to beat the Rams 21-19 Saturday night at the Coliseum.
Knowing they have to win to attract fans in a saturated market that doesn’t tolerate losing, the Chargers hope to see much more mayhem from Bosa and Ingram.
After Rivers capped the opening drive with the long TD pass to Benjamin, the Rams moved to the Chargers 8. But as Jared Goff dropped back on third down, Bosa hit him and jarred loose the ball. Ingram scooped it up and was gone.
“It’s just fun to finally get to the quarterback,” said Bosa, who added he’s focusing more on knocking the ball loose than simply hitting the QB.
He said he knew Ingram “was going to get there. He better not let some O-lineman run him down. I was watching him pick it up and hoping he didn’t fumble it and have to fall on it. I was cheering for him, but I didn’t run all the way down there. I was cheering from afar.”
If Bosa and Ingram stay healthy, they’re expected to be major forces. Bosa, the Chargers’ first-round draft pick in 2016, missed his rookie training camp in a contract spat and then missed the first four games with a hamstring injury. He finished with 10 ½ sacks in 12 games and was voted Defensive Rookie of the Year. Ingram signed a four-year deal that can be worth up to $66 million after making eight sacks last year, giving him 18 ½ in two years.
“That whole D-line, we’re deep, and we’ve got guys who can rush the passer,” Bosa said. “So It’ll be a fun year.”
Seeing Bosa and Ingram up front, “Man, that makes my job a lot easier,” said cornerback Jason Verrett, who had an interception in his first game action since tearing a knee ligament in the fourth game last year.
This was the most significant exhibition game, when most starters played into the second quarter. Few if any are expected to play in the fourth and final exhibition.
After a bitter split from their home of 56 years in San Diego, the Chargers relocated to the Los Angeles area in January, a year after the Rams moved back from St. Louis. The Chargers train in Costa Mesa in Orange County and play at the StubHub Center, a 27,000-seat soccer stadium in Carson in Los Angeles County.
They have some work to do after winning only nine games the last two seasons. But after losing their first two exhibition games in front of less-than-capacity crowds at StubHub, the first-teamers looked sharp.
Verrett’s pickoff set up Melvin Ingram’s 2-yard touchdown run for a 21-0 lead.
Rams rookie coach Sean McVay said that over the course of a full game, Goff would get a chance to redeem himself.
“What you like about Jared is he is unfazed by that,” McVay said of the two plays fans will remember.
“There was obviously a couple I’d like back,” Goff said. “I felt like we moved the ball pretty well on that first drive, got all the way down there and, unfortunately, turned it over, and they were able to take it the other way. But it’s all good stuff to learn from.”
Rivers was 6 of 6 for 85 yards. Goff was 4 of 6 for 49 yards.
The Chargers held out star tight end Antonio Gates, 37. The Rams held out running back Todd Gurley and wide receivers Tavon Austin and Cooper Kupp, who have injuries.
The Rams’ Sean Mannion played well, including throwing a 38-yard TD pass to Josh Reynolds in the third quarter. Travis Coons kicked a 53-yard field goal after starter Greg Zuerlein made field goals of 42, 21 and 57 yards. But Coons was wide right on a potential go-ahead, 33-yard try with 7:50 to go.
Cardale Jones, obtained by the Chargers from Buffalo just before training camp, threw an interception for the second straight week when Dominique Hatfield muscled the ball away from Benjamin late in the second quarter.
After failing to get a new stadium built in San Diego, Chargers chairman Dean Spanos announced on Jan. 12 he was moving the team to the saturated Los Angeles market. Their marketing slogan, “Fight For LA,” has been roundly mocked by fans in San Diego and by Rams fans. When the Chargers took the field before the game, they were greeted by the War song “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” as well as by boos.
Chargers: WR Isaiah Burse left with a concussion in the third quarter.
Rams: TE Temarrick Hemingway injured an ankle in the second quarter and was taken off the field on a cart. G Jamon Brown tweaked a hamstring trying to run down Ingram on fumble return, but could have returned if it was a regular-season game.
Dalton was 8 of 13 for 70 yards and Cincinnati’s first-team offense and defense looked sharp against Washington on Sunday as the Redskins won each team’s third preseason game 23-17 on the strength of their backups. Linebacker Vontaze Burfict intercepted Cousins’ pass and returned it for a touchdown, stiff-arming the quarterback at the end zone and jumping into the stands, before leaving with a back injury.
A.J. Green had four catches for 43 yards, Jeremy Hill ran for 15 yards and a touchdown before his day was cut short with an ankle injury and the Bengals’ starters were 4 of 6 on third down. Chris Smith and rookies Jordan Willis and Carl Lawson each sacked Cousins as defensive coordinator Paul Guenther seems to have the edge rushers he was looking for.
Cincinnati running back Giovani Bernard ran for 25 yards on four carries in his first game since tearing the ACL in his left knee last season. The Bengals had taken a cautious approach in bringing Bernard back.
The Redskins got tight end Jordan Reed back after he missed the first two preseason games and almost the first month of training camp with an injury to the big toe on his left foot. Reed had two catches for 12 yards and didn’t look hampered by the injury.
After generating 1 whole yard in the first quarter, the Redskins’ starters eventually put together a touchdown drive, but also went three-and-out three times. Cousins was 10 of 19 for 109 yards, and an interception as Washington’s first-team offense finished its exhibition action with nine three-and-outs on 15 possessions.
Both teams are 1-2.
Bengals TE Tyler Eifert and Redskins WR Josh Doctson were surprise scratches, though Doctson has missed time in camp with a hamstring injury. Washington rookie LB Ryan Anderson, who got a shoulder stinger in the first preseason game, was not in uniform after being considered a game-time decision.
Bengals: Along with his game-ending back injury, Burfict was evaluated for a concussion but cleared. … RB Cedric Peerman suffered a left shoulder injury, and TE Mason Schreck left with a knee injury.
Redskins: DL Phil Taylor injured his left quadriceps muscle on the first defensive series and did not return. … LB Junior Galette, who had been out with a hamstring injury, saw his first game action since Dec. 28, 2014.
Bengals: WR John Ross flashed some speed on a jet sweep in his preseason debut. Ross, who set the 40-yard dash record at the scouting combine and was a first-round pick, had been held out to recover from shoulder surgery. … RB Joe Mixon, getting extra carries with Hill going out with an injury, ran eight times for 31 yards and fumbled an exchange with Dalton. … DT Ryan Glasgow made a fourth-and-1 stop in the third quarter.
Redskins: C Chase Roullier, starting in place of the injured Spencer Long, had some good downfield blocking on a day most of the offensive line struggled. … RB Samaje Perine didn’t do much to challenge Rob Kelley’s starting job, gaining 5 yards on 5 carries. … CB Joshua Holsey had a sack and looks Undrafted free agent CB Fish Smithson picked off A.J. McCarron in the fourth quarter and returned it 63 yards.
Bengals: Hill versus Mixon got derailed by injury, and Bernard’s return adds him to the mix. … K Randy Bullock made a 53-yard field goal, while rookie Jake Elliott was wide right from 45 yards, his first miss of the preseason.
Redskins: Zach Brown and Mason Foster again started at inside linebacker, leaving Will Compton to play with the second team.
Brian Hoyer had the San Francisco offense humming after sputtering through the first two preseason games, passing for 176 yards and two touchdowns in the first half before the Minnesota Vikings rallied for a 32-31 victory over the 49ers on Sunday night.
Sam Bradford and the Minnesota starters again failed to reach the end zone, though Bradford was sharp when given time to throw. Jerick McKinnon scored on a 108-yard kickoff return in the third quarter, boosting his bid to take over that role.
Backup quarterbacks Case Keenum and Taylor Heinicke led a late charge, with Heinicke’s hurdle over the pylon for the 2-point conversion on the final play giving the Vikings the win after Terrell Newby’s touchdown run with no time left.
Hoyer found Marquise Goodwin wide open for a 46-yard touchdown strike and Carlos Hyde out of the backfield for a 24-yard connection, some evidence of how new coach Kyle Shanahan’s scheme could pick up the pace after the 49ers were one of the league’s lowest-scoring teams the last three years.
Goodwin, the former Olympic long jumper who had the fastest 40-yard dash time at the 2013 NFL combine, ought to help. Injuries buried him in Buffalo.
The backups were buzzing, too, with an 87-yard score by Raheem Mostert off a screen pass from C.J. Beathard on third-and-22 in the third quarter and a short touchdown run by Mostert in the fourth quarter.
An unchallenged starter for the first time in his nine-year career, Hoyer finished 12 for 17 with a 143.3 passer rating. He completed his first nine passes. Beathard took another step toward solidifying himself as the backup, too, despite having a pass picked off by Antone Exum.
The depth chart behind Hyde at running back is wide open, with Mostert (130 yards, six touches) and rookie Matt Breida (34 yards, eight touches) standing out.
With left tackle Riley Reiff, running back Latavius Murray and wide receiver Laquon Treadwell all playing their first preseason game, Bradford and the Vikings were close to full strength. But the protection was again problematic, and Stefon Diggs dropped two passes.
In 13 possessions for the first team over their first three games this month, the Vikings produced 11 punts and one field goal. They reached the 6-yard line in the second quarter but ran out of time before they could try another play.
REID PROTEST RESUMES
San Francisco strong safety Eric Reid took the American anthem from one knee, in an apparent resumption of the human rights protest he joined last season with then-teammate Colin Kaepernick. Goodwin and others had their hands on Reid’s shoulders.
Reid later drew the ire of Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen after lowering his shoulder into Thielen’s chest during a reception in the second quarter. Reid kissed his flexed biceps muscle like Kaepernick used to do, before receiving an earful from Thielen in response to the necessity of the hit.
Marshall Koehn made a 58-yard field goal for the Vikings with room to spare, keeping the competition with Kai Forbath for the kicker job close. Koehn missed a 47-yard attempt a few minutes later after the interception, but he converted a 38-yard extra point after a penalty pushed it back.
49ers: FS Jimmie Ward (hamstring) was held out after being taken off the physically unable to perform list earlier in the week.
Vikings: TE Kyle Rudolph (leg) and DE Brian Robison (undisclosed) didn’t suit up.
49ers: Five-time Pro Bowl LT Joe Staley was sidelined in the first quarter because of a knee injury, but he was walking around without displaying obvious discomfort or discouragement. … LB Brock Coyle (knee) departed in the third quarter.
Vikings: LB Emmanuel Lamur left in the third quarter for a concussion evaluation. FS Anthony Harris (leg) was out in the fourth quarter.
Chicago coach John Fox thinks having a whole week to prepare for an opponent helped Mike Glennon turn in a strong performance for the Bears.
How much Glennon helped himself to the Bears’ starting quarterback job remains to be seen.
“We’re very happy with the way Mike responded as far as a real game plan and what he did, I thought he played very well,” said Fox, who also noted coaches will keep evaluating.
Glennon was an efficient 11 of 18 for 134 yards passing despite losing starting wide receiver Cameron Meredith late in the first quarter. Meredith was carted off with a suspected left ACL injury, which Fox said must be checked by an MRI exam first.
Having a week to prepare and study for an opponent fits Glennon’s strengths.
“That’s kind of what I pride myself on, being well-prepared and working hard through the week,” Glennon said.
Mitchell Trubisky, the second overall pick out of North Carolina, opened the third quarter with the Bears’ starters. But Trubisky threw two incompletions as the Bears (2-1) went three-and-out. Trubisky also fumbled a snap on his next series, though he rebounded with a 45-yard TD pass to Tanner Gentry for a 19-7 lead in the fourth quarter.
The Titans (1-2) had issues on offense, defense, and special teams. The Bears could have led 14-0 if Adam Shaheen controlled the ball before going out of bounds after Roy Robertson-Harris blocked a punt into the end zone early in the second quarter. Instead, Chicago led 9-0 after referee Ed Hochuli finally changed his ruling of a touchback to a safety.
Tennessee’s offensive struggles prompted coach Mike Mularkey to keep his first-team in until Mariota tossed the ball to Derrick Henry on the first play of the fourth for a 3-yard TD run that kept Tennessee from being shut out. Mularkey said he wanted the first team to finish the drive in a game that featured too many mistakes.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Mularkey said. “We’ve got two weeks to do it.”
Chicago left 11 Bears at home, and the injury list only grew longer early in Sunday’s game. The worst injury came late in the first quarter when Meredith, who led Chicago with 66 catches for 888 yards, hurt his left knee when tackled low at the end of a 16-yard catch. Trainers braced his leg and carted him off the field. The Bears already had left three receivers at home.
Cornerback Prince Amukamara played one series before leaving the game with an injured ankle, and the Bears also declared long snapper Patrick Scales out early in the second quarter with an injured knee. Both were on crutches after the game. Bears linebacker Leonard Floyd hurt a foot.
The Titans started Adoree Jackson at right cornerback, the first start this preseason for the 18th overall pick out of Southern California. Glennon threw at Jackson on the Bears’ first play, a 9-yard completion to Zach Miller. Jackson also tackled Cameron Meredith at the end of a 28-yard catch on the opening drive. Sliding inside on passing downs, Jackson tackled former Titans receiver Kendall Wright on consecutive third down plays.
Then Jackson was flagged for interference in the end zone, and Glennon capped the 96-yard drive on the next play. Jackson, who’s trying to win the punt returner job, was tackled at his own 3 off his first attempt.
The Titans gave up two sacks of Mariota along with a handful of penalties, including a face mask and a hold on Pro Bowl left tackle Taylor Lewan in the first half. Linebacker Wesley Woodyard sacked Glennon in the second quarter. Mariota finished 12 of 21 for 193 yards passing but was just 7 of 13 for 106 in the first half.
The Bears and Titans each lost a starter early in the second quarter. Titans left guard Quinton Spain kept his right arm on Bears defensive end Jaye Howard Jr.’s left shoulder as the play ended with Howard throwing a right at Spain’s left shoulder. Spain threw a left at Howard’s helmet who responded with his own right at Spain’s head. Tyler Marz replaced Spain, and Mularkey said responding with a punch is “unacceptable.”
John Brown’s recovery from a lingering quadriceps injury is not complete, as he says he’s only about 80 percent healthy.
Tell that to Atlanta’s defensive backs.
Brown caught two touchdown passes to lead the Arizona Cardinals to a 24-14 preseason win over the Atlanta Falcons on Saturday night in the debut of Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Brown showed off his speed when he caught a 28-yard scoring pass from Carson Palmer and a 21-yarder from Drew Stanton, each in the second quarter.
“I’m not 100 percent, but I’m feeling way better than I did during training camp,” Brown said.
There are ongoing issues with the stadium’s complicated retractable roof, which is expected to remain closed indefinitely. There were no glitches in the stadium’s other bragging points, including a big halo video board.
Brown’s potent showing confirmed his status as the Cardinals’ top downfield threat after he had been slowed by the injury. Last week, coach Bruce Arians said if Brown “can’t run long enough, we’ve got to replace him.”
Arians was encouraged to see the deep threat have success against Atlanta’s secondary.
“It was good to see smoke out there,” Arians said, confirmed Brown is not fully recovered but is “close.”
Brown’s ability to recover quickly from injuries is affected by his 2016 diagnosis with sickle cell trait. He also left camp this week for a funeral in Miami and rejoined the team Friday night in Atlanta.
The Atlanta offense fell flat in the stadium unveiling. Matt Ryan‘s pass on the Falcons’ first play was intercepted by Tyrann Mathieu.
“Turning the ball over on the first play is obviously not what you want to do,” Ryan said. “We just never really got into a rhythm offensively, and that’s something that we would have liked to have done in that first quarter of work.”
In the second quarter, Falcons backup Matt Schaub lost a fumble on his first snap when hit by linebacker Markus Golden. Chandler Jones recovered for Arizona (2-2), and one play later Brown made an over-the-shoulder grab for his 21-yard TD.
Arizona rookie James Summers had a 5-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter.
Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones made his preseason debut but did not have a catch. He has made a full recovery from offseason foot surgery and was targeted on a long pass from Ryan in the first quarter.
“He wanted some shots down the field,” said Falcons coach Dan Quinn of Jones. “He was anxious to show he had really put the work in from his rehab.”
Atlanta’s No. 3 quarterback Matt Simms threw a 57-yard touchdown pass to rookie Josh Magee late in the game.
Cardinals starting running back David Johnson did not play. Chris Johnson had six carries for 31 yards with a fumble that was recovered by guard Evan Boehm.
Ryan, sharp in limited playing time in the first two preseason games for the Falcons (0-3), completed only 4 of 11 passes for 36 yards. Palmer completed 8 of 13 passes for 86 yards and a touchdown.
Stanton, who beat out Blaine Gabbert to be Arizona’s backup, completed 4 of 6 passes for 53 yards and a touchdown.
There were 70,237 tickets distributed. The capacity for the new stadium is 71,000. It appeared at least one-third of the seats were empty.
RIGHT GUARD BATTLE CONTINUES
The Falcons’ competition between Wes Schweitzer and Ben Garland for the starting job at right guard is not settled. Schweitzer started but shared time with Garland.
“Next week it might be different,” Quinn said, adding he expects the competition to continue through the preseason. “We’re going to take this all the way,” he said.
Cardinals: Backup DT Olsen Pierre suffered a concussion. … OT Ulrick John walked off the field with an ankle injury. Arians said he didn’t know the severity of John’s injury.
Falcons: Rookie RB Brian Hill, competing with Terron Ward for a backup spot, left in the third quarter with an ankle injury after rushing for 17 yards on 10 carries. Backup OT Kevin Graf also suffered an ankle injury, and LB LaRoy Reynolds suffered a shoulder injury. … RB Devonta Freeman (concussion protocol) did not play. He was on the field but not in uniform for pregame drills.
The New York Jets have acquired safety Terrence Brooks from the Philadelphia Eagles for cornerback Dexter McDougle in a trade of 2014 draft picks.
The Eagles announced the deal Sunday. The moves provide depth for both teams’ secondaries.
The Jets are expected to start rookies Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye at safety but were thin at the position beyond them, with Rontez Miles dealing with an eye injury and Doug Middleton out for the season with a torn pectoral. Ronald Martin and Robenson Therezie were the only other safeties.
Brooks was drafted in the third round by Baltimore, 79th overall – one pick ahead of McDougle. He spent his first two seasons with the Ravens and played with the Eagles last year.
McDougle dealt with injuries during his first three seasons but has been having a solid summer for the Jets.