The first full slate of preseason games is nearing, starting with two on Thursday night. As 2021 NFL training camps continued on Tuesday, word about who will play — and who will sit out — in those games started to spread.
Don’t expect to see Deshaun Watson or Aaron Rodgers suit up this weekend. However, in Indianapolis, the QB race while Carson Wentz is sidelined is getting more interesting.
Elsewhere, Patrick Robinson’s retirement leaves the Saints in a pickle, Sam Darnold had a shaky day and Ravens first-rounder Rashod Bateman limped to the locker room with what appeared to be an upper leg injury.
Here’s what you need to know from camps across the league:
Jump to the best of the day:
Photos | Videos | Quotes
Top NFL news of the day
Colts’ Sam Ehlinger now splitting QB reps with Jacob Eason
Rookie Sam Ehlinger has closed the gap against Jacob Eason to be the team’s starting quarterback if Carson Wentz is not ready for the start of the regular season.
Ehlinger, who was selected in the sixth round of this year’s draft, split first-team practice snaps with Eason in practice Tuesday, and will continue to do so in Thursday and Friday’s joint practices against the Carolina Panthers.
Packers preseason to be Jordan Love’s show
Jordan Love will start on Saturday against the Texans. Coach Matt LaFleur said Tuesday that quarterback Aaron Rodgers will “most likely not” play at all in the preseason. That likely has little or nothing to do with Rodgers’ offseason in which he voiced concerns about the organization and skipped the entire spring program.
Texans’ Deshaun Watson unlikely to play in preseason opener
Deshaun Watson is “unlikely to play” in the Texans’ preseason opener against the Green Bay Packers “based on the limited reps he’s had in practice,” coach David Culley said Tuesday.
Earlier in the morning, Texans general manager Nick Caserio told Sports Radio 610 that he doesn’t expect Watson to travel to Green Bay for Saturday’s game.
What our NFL Nation reporters saw today
Not a great day for starting QB Sam Darnold, who threw a pick to safety Jeremy Chinn on a throw to a wide-open Dan Arnold. He also had several overthrows on situational-type drills. His first big test comes on Thursday and Friday in joint practices against the Colts when he will have to react to new players and a different defense. How Darnold performs likely will determine how much he plays in Sunday’s exhibition opener. — David Newton
The Patriots held a late-afternoon practice inside Gillette Stadium on Tuesday, which came after two days of full-pads practices. Rookie QB Mac Jones continues to build momentum; he had finished Monday’s practice with a beautiful back-shoulder TD pass in the two-minute drill. — Mike Reiss
On a day reserved mostly for game preparation, end Montez Sweat caused a stir by saying he and fellow end Chase Young talk often about setting records. Sweat says he’s eyeing the official combined sack record -39, set in 1989 by Minnesota’s Keith Millard and Chris Doleman. Sweat and Young combined for 16.5 last season and while they have looked good in camp, that would require a massive leap this season. But it’s also indicative of the confidence they’re playing with; Sweat has been noticeably more vocal with trash talking this summer. — John Keim
The Bears held a lighter workout on Tuesday before the Miami Dolphins arrive for two days of joint practices. “We’re talking all the time because we want to make sure that this thing goes the right way,” coach Matt Nagy said of working with the Dolphins coaching staff. “You always have the rules of engagement. Guys get juiced up and go. You want to eliminate fighting.” — Jeff Dickerson
Defensive end Carl Lawson continued his torrid camp, recording another three “sacks” in 11-on-11 periods. Quite simply, he has been the best player on the field from Day 1. The Jets, in a forever search for a quality edge rusher, may have solved the problem with Lawson, formerly of the Bengals. — Rich Cimini
Taysom Hill threw one of his best passes of camp Tuesday to cap a two-minute-drill — a TD strike up the seam to TE Juwan Johnson, who went up high over a linebacker to make a great catch. The competition between Hill and Jameis Winston remains tight as they head toward Saturday’s preseason opener at Baltimore. Johnson, meanwhile, has been a camp standout after originally joining the team as an undrafted receiver last year and switching positions this offseason. — Mike Triplett
First-round pick Rashod Bateman limped to the locker room early in Tuesday’s practice, becoming the fourth Ravens wideout to get sidelined with an injury in training camp. Bateman joins Marquise Brown (hamstring), Miles Boykin (hamstring) and Deon Cain (undisclosed) to sustain injuries. That leaves Lamar Jackson with three healthy wide receivers who’ve caught an NFL pass. Bateman went to the ground after making a cut against cornerback Marcus Peters. It appeared to be an upper leg injury.
Meanwhile, Pro Bowl cornerback Marlon Humphrey was the most dominant player on the field for the Ravens, breaking up four straight passes. Humphrey got his hand on passes for James Proche, Sammy Watkins and Jaylon Moore (twice). Secondary coach Chris Hewitt called Humphrey an NFL Defensive Player of the Year candidate. Safety DeShon Elliott said, “You’re an idiot to try Marlo four times. What is wrong with you?” — Jamison Hensley
– Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) August 10, 2021
Best NFL videos
Sean Payton on Patrick Robinson announcing he will retire from the NFL pic.twitter.com/Pwhu3TdLgE
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) August 10, 2021
Always be ready 👐 pic.twitter.com/obZH4Rkkni
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) August 10, 2021
This is about the closest view of a camp drill you’ll get from us. Enjoy. pic.twitter.com/9OdtsTt9yK
— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) August 10, 2021
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) August 10, 2021
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) August 10, 2021
The perfect order of chicken wings doesn’t exi-
Whose order are you rockin’ with? 👀 pic.twitter.com/QxlSCou03R
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) August 10, 2021
— TURRON DAVENPORT (@TDavenport_NFL) August 10, 2021
Best NFL photos
Deshaun Watson is at practice for the second day in a row. pic.twitter.com/EtipSLVXwL
— Sarah Barshop (@sarahbarshop) August 10, 2021
— JennaLaineESPN (@JennaLaineESPN) August 10, 2021
— TURRON DAVENPORT (@TDavenport_NFL) August 10, 2021
NFL quotes of the day
Texans coach David Culley, when asked if he expected Deshaun Watson to play at all this preseason
“It’s just really nice to be a part of a great team and be somewhere where people want you here, and they care about how you’re progressing as a person, as a player.”
Bills QB Mitchell Trubisky
“We’re thinking he’s a Defensive Player of the Year type player.”
Ravens pass defense coordinator Chris Hewitt on Marlon Humphrey
Bucs coach Bruce Arians on how TE Tanner Hudson’s blocking has progressed