We've arrived at the first official week of the preseason. Thursday's slate consists of two games to kick off preseason Week 1.
Let's dive into the news, notes, depth charts, historical playing time, and notable injuries for all four teams heading into Thursday.
RB Ty Montgomery was not seen participating in Patriots warmups ahead of the game. That usually means he won't play.
Dee Eskridge returned to practice on Wednesday and should play in preseason Week 1, according to head coach Pete Carroll.
OUT: RT Tytus Howard (hand); DOUBTFUL: TE Teagan Quitoriano (quad); QUESTIONABLE: TE Brevin Jordan (hamstring); TE Dalton Schultz (undisclosed)
Rookie No. 2 overall draft pick C.J. Stroud will start this game, according to head coach DeMeco Ryans.
In addition to Stroud, Ryans mentioned QB Davis Mills would also get playing time, likely following Stroud.
Ryans was noncommittal with the remaining Texans starters, though it's probably fair to assume the starting unit — or at least some of them — will get some playing time alongside Stroud. Houston likely wants a fair evaluation of their potential starting QB and the best way to reach a conclusion is to allow him to play with the actual starters.
DOUBTFUL: G Michael Onwenu (ankle); RB/WR Ty Montgomery (ankle); G Cole Strange (leg); QUESTIONABLE: T Trent Brown (undisclosed)
According to Mike Kadlick of WEEI, he guesses the Patriots are likely to sit QB Mac Jones, WR's JuJu Smith-Schuster, DeVante Parker, and Kendrick Bourne, and TE's Hunter Henry and TE Mike Gesicki. Kadlick also mentioned the Patriots were running a "first team" offense on Tuesday that included QB Bailey Zappe, WR's Tyquan Thornton, Kayshon Boutte, and Demario Douglas, and TE Anthony Firkser.
Kadlick also suggested we'd see a lot of Zappe at quarterback on Thursday.
When asked if Malik Cunningham would play some QB, head coach Bill Belichick said "We'll see."
Belichick also mentioned that "the players who are the least experienced will get the most playing time."
QUESTIONABLE: TE T.J. Hockenson (illness); WR Trishton Jackson (knee); RB Kene Nwangwu (undisclosed); WR Jalen Nailor (leg)
Rookie first-round WR Jordan Addison is expected to play in this game, according to head coach Kevin O'Connell.
Alec Lewis of The Athletic doesn't expect Addison to carry a heavy load, though:
And while O’Connell said Monday that [Jordan] Addison will likely play some snaps Thursday night, I would not expect him to carry a heavy load. He matters too much to this offense to put him in harm’s way. And yes, he has lived up to his first-round billing.
Not much else is known about the Vikings' plans in terms of starters and playing time. They're a team that could release some information in the coming days.
OUT: S Jamal Adams (quad, knee); LB Jordyn Brooks (knee); DOUBTFUL: RB Kenneth Walker (groin); RB Kenny McIntosh (knee); QUESTIONABLE: WR Dareke Young (undisclosed); TE Griffin Hebert (undisclosed); WR Tyler Lockett (undisclosed); DT Dre'Mont Jones (toe); CB Tariq Woolen (knee); CB Devon Witherspoon (leg); PROBABLE: WR Dee Eskridge (undisclosed)
Drew Lock was spotted taking snaps with the starting offensive line in 11-on-11 on Tuesday. Gregg Bell of The News Tribune suggested that could be because QB Geno Smith might not play in preseason Week 1.
It's not a particularly set-in-stone case, but Michael-Shawn Dugar suggested rookie RB Zach Charbonnet "should get a bunch of carries" during the preseason. He's obviously a player to highlight.