The Lions lost starting running back Ameer Abdullah to injured reserve with a foot injury. Rookie Dwayne Washington is battling ankle troubles. Theo Riddick is a pass-catching back, not a between-the-tackles player. Zach Zenner has proven ineffective outside of preseason action.
The Lions rank 23rd in rushing, with a meager 89.8 yards per game on the ground for the season. In the past three games without Abdullah, Detroit averaged a pathetic 65.3 YPG rushing — quarterback Matthew Stafford was the team’s second-leading rusher in each of those contests.
The past two seasons, however, the 29-year-old has been plagued by injury. Levy played in just six games after signing his contract. Despite being thin at the linebacker position, Detroit decided it was time to cut bait on Levy.
The Detroit Free Press’ Dave Birkett reports the Lions will designate the release as a June 1 cut, which will save the Lions some salary cap room this season, but they must carry the cap number until June. The designation will eventually save the $5.825 million, per OverTheCap.com.
So it goes for the Packers, whose main priority has to be keeping quarterback Aaron Rodgers happy. The signing of tight end Martellus Bennett was splashy for general manager Ted Thompson’s standards, but he also finds himself scrambling to replace two of Rodgers’ most trusted lieutenants on the offensive line. Lang was arguably one of the best players at his position this year.
The Lions get a brutal competitor whom they’ve known well throughout the years to bolster an offensive line that is coming up. Rookie Taylor Decker had a phenomenal first season, as did veteran center Travis Swanson. The Lions also signed the punishing Rick Wagner to a long-term deal this week.
The numbers don’t exactly show it — Newton managed to throw for 237 yards in a Week 17 loss, a week after going 18 for 43 in a loss to Atlanta — but the quarterback was less than his best self down the stretch last season, as Carolina limped to just two wins in its final six games. Injuries and inconsistent play, especially along the offensive line, doomed Carolina, and it made sense when it was revealed after the season that Newton had been playing through his own ailment.
There’s little to no reason for Newton to take a single snap of game action prior to Week 1 of the regular season, which everyone involved knows. But monitoring his ability to throw in practice is important, because it serves as our sole barometer of where his shoulder is. With proper treatment and cheap nfl jerseys and monitoring off the field, Newton should be fine come kickoff weekend.
In five drives, Mitchell Trubisky deleted five months of hot takes about his worthiness. The No. 2 overall pick stopped being a talking point and started becoming an NFL player, however early in his development Trubisky might be.
The best result any rookie can hope for in this organized tease called the preseason is to make his coaches want to see more. Even John Fox must be intrigued after Trubisky’s opening statement. Before diving into the rest of the winners and losers of Preseason Week 1 below, I wanted to highlight seven rookies who made me want to see more this month.
The most newsworthy moment of Sunday’s preseason game came when Colts general manager Chris Ballard entered the broadcast booth. After telling NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero earlier this week that quarterback Andrew Luck would likely be off the physically unable to perform list by the beginning of the regular season, he raved about Luck’s budding arm strength to the team’s play-by-play crew. Ballard said Sunday that Luck’s “strength levels” were likely better now than they were “at any point last season.”
While this could be the type of vague, fill-in-the-blank statement Ballard uses to get himself away from another Luck interview unscathed, it also could be an indication as to how close Luck actually is. As Pelissero noted, Luck has been ramping up his throwing program of late. Coming back stronger than ever would truly be something. Owner Jim Irsay doubled down on those comments in a conversation with reporters after the game, though he could not guarantee Luck would be ready for the season opener, just somewhere around that time. When asked by the Indianapolis Star about the team’s strategy regarding a more suitable backup, Irsay brought up a steep price tag.