Preseason is officially here with 11 games kicking off Thursday, and another five taking place across Friday and Saturday.
With that comes a variety of storylines we’re keeping track of as the regular season quickly approaches. From injury updates to the latest trade news, we take a look at what’s happening around the league in this edition of NFL news and notes.
Three things that matter
49ers rookie Nick Bosa will sit preseason with ankle injury
49ers’ Nick Bosa left Wednesday’s practice early with an injury, and general manager John Lynch confirmed Thursday that the defensive end has a “significant” ankle sprain and will be forced to miss the preseason. There is still hope he will be ready for the regular-season opener against the Buccaneers on Sept. 8, but the 49ers are going to be “very prudent” about his return.
While an ankle sprain may not seem like a huge deal, Bosa has had a long history of injuries. He was sidelined most of last season with a core muscle injury while playing for Ohio State, and missed much of the 49ers’ offseason program due to a hamstring issue.
“We don’t feel he is injury prone,” Lynch told KNBR. “Yesterday, he had a big human being fall on his legs while he was engaged with someone else. So, some of those things, that’s football, you can’t prevent that.”
Browns trade running back Duke Johnson to Texans
The Browns are still making changes to their offense. They sent disgruntled running back Duke Johnson to the Texans in exchange for a draft pick. The trade comes just slightly more than two weeks after Browns coach Freddie Kitchens stated, “We’re not giving away good players” right before the team’s training camp started.
There’s been speculation around Johnson’s future for the majority of the offseason. Quarterback Baker Mayfield was asked about Johnson’s status in June, and said: “He’s going to handle his stuff how he wants, but you’re either on this train or you’re not, it’s moving. You can get out of the way or you can join us.’’
Now, Johnson is headed to a franchise that is still figuring out its backfield situation after waiving former first-round pick D’Onta Foreman earlier this week. Houston is trying to figure out who will complement Lamar Miller best.
Chiefs reveal QB plan for preseason opener
Chiefs coach Andy Reid revealed his plan for utilizing his quarterbacks for Saturday’s preseason game against the Bengals. He intends to start quarterback Patrick Mahomes and keep him in for the first quarter. Reid has been known to play his starting quarterbacks during the preseason in the past, but the move is a bit unusual because coaches generally prefer to sit their quarterbacks to avoid risking injury.
Backup Chad Henne is expected to play during the second quarter, while Chase Litton will take over in the third and rookie Kyle Shurmur will play in the fourth, per CBS Sports.
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) August 8, 2019
Two things that don’t matter
Kirk Cousins troubled by rookie center’s … sweaty butt?
Mark this one as one of the most unusual stories to come out of training camp: Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is bothered by first-round draft pick Garrett Bradbury’s sweaty butt. Cousins said he’s concered Bradbury’s sweat will affect his grip on the ball.
“He promises that it’s not a problem in games, and it remains to be seen because his shorts today were soaked,” Cousins said (via the Star Tribune). “But apparently when they keep those domes air-conditioned and you get a break on the bench and you sit with the cooling fans, I’m hoping that really helps.”
The first big test will come when the Vikings open their preseason against the Saints.
“(A) big thing I’m going to take away from Friday night, is how tough was it to grip the ball after he snaps it to me. Uh, if it’s tough we might be in pistol and shotgun (formations) all year,” Cousins said.
Cowboys’ Robert Quinn facing two-game suspension
Cowboys defensive end Robert Quinn is facing a two-game suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. He’s eligible to return on Sept. 16 after the Cowboys play the Redskins in Week 2.
Normally this would be a significant loss for the Cowboys, who are struggling with depth at the position, but Quinn broke his hand in practice earlier this week. His availability for the first couple of games of the regular season were already in question.
One video you have to see
Saquon Barkley is working on his throwing game — well kind of. The Giants running back attempted to throw a “no look” pass, similar to one Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has thrown, but it didn’t go exactly as planned.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) August 8, 2019
Thursday tweet of the day
Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster is putting in some work this offseason. He caught 370 balls from a football passing machine after practice.
That’s a lot.pic.twitter.com/45ERag9W0q
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) August 8, 2019