Week 3 of the preseason isn’t the dress rehearsal week it used to be, but Thursday night was probably the closest glimpse of NFL teams playing first-teamers we’ll get prior to the start of the regular season.
Ryan Fitzpatrick got the start for the Miami Dolphins against the Jacksonville Jaguars while competing with Josh Rosen for his team’s open quarterback job, while Case Keenum and Dwayne Haskins got both reps fighting for the Washington Redskins’ QB spot with Colt McCoy (foot) still sidelined. Daniel Jones, meanwhile, continued to shine despite seemingly being firmly entrenched behind Eli Manning in New York.
Below you can relive all the top action, highlights and headlines from Thursday’s Week 3 action.
In addition, you can view the entire schedule for Week 3 of the preseason. If your favorite team isn’t on national television in the coming weeks, remember to check your local listings because games that aren’t being televised nationally are generally still televised in each team’s local market and available for streaming on fuboTV (Try for free).
Scores and schedule
Giants 25, Bengals 23 (box score)
Ravens 26 at Eagles 15 — cancelled early due to weather (box score)
Patriots 10, Panthers 3 (box score)
Redskins 19 at Falcons 7, (box score)
Dolphins 22, Jaguars 7 (box score)
Raiders 22, Packers 21 (box score)
Cardinals at Vikings, 1 p.m. (NFL Network)
Texans at Cowboys, 7 p.m. (NFL Network)
Bears at Colts, 7 p.m.
Saints at Jets, 7:30 p.m.
49ers at Chiefs, 8 p.m.
Broncos at Rams, 9 p.m.
Seahawks at Chargers, 10 p.m. (NFL Network)
Cam Newton forced out with ankle injury
Maybe there’s something to teams keeping most of their starters out of the preseason, including Week 3, because the Panthers will enter the final week of the exhibition schedule with Cam Newton on the mend. After an offseason spent recovering from shoulder surgery, which followed a 2018 season plagued by an ailing arm, the former NFL MVP was forced out of Thursday’s game against the Patriots after suffering a separate injury to his foot. New England kept the blitzes coming on Newton early in the exhibition action, and the team announced shortly after his departure that he would not return. Newton was later seen exiting Carolina’s locker room in a walking boot, but NFL Network has reported the QB’s injury does not appear “serious.”
Daniel Jones delivers another efficient outing
“Danny Dimes” came into Week 3 of the preseason as the Giants’ biggest star (imagine telling people that in April), and while his counterpart, Eli Manning, made the highlight reel for an attempted run block (yes, for real; see below), it’ll be hard not to keep talking up the first-round rookie after yet another efficient showing on Thursday night. While Jones didn’t throw a touchdown against the Bengals, he completed all but two of his 11 passes on the evening, finishing with 141 yards and some nice touch on some of his deeper balls.
Eli has been nearly as effective numbers-wise over the course of preseason, but Jones has gotten the job done more often and in surprisingly poised fashion. How soon until Giants fans start calling for his name?
Rashan Gary carted off in Canada; reportedly ‘fine’
Hours after the Raiders and Packers agreed to play with 80 yards of field in Winnipeg due to concerns over the turf conditions at IG Field, one of Green Bay’s top rookies got a scare. Linebacker Rashan Gary was carted off the field and into the locker room after colliding with another player in the second quarter of Thursday’s game, becoming the third Packer to be removed from the matchup with an injury. Gary had previously been battling a shoulder ailment and had limped off the field earlier in the game, but Green Bay all but acknowledged concerns about the field’s safety prior to the start of the game by sitting 33 different players. Luckily, according to Gary’s agency, the pass rusher is now “fine and doing well.”
Josh McCown comes in hot out of retirement
A week ago, the 40-year-old former New York Jets backup was retired. On Thursday night, McCown was changing calls at the line and leading a handful of second-half scoring drives for the Eagles. Summoned off the street after Philly lost Carson Wentz’s new backup, Nate Sudfeld, to a broken wrist, the journeyman looked right at home at Lincoln Financial Field, following up just three practices on Doug Pederson’s squad with a big — and productive — dose of action against Baltimore. Helping the Eagles cut a three-score deficit to 11 points in the third quarter, he opened 17 of 24 for 192 yards and a pair of touchdowns — with rookie wideout J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (104 yards) a favorite target.
Trace McSorley carves up Eagles defense
Lamar Jackson did not suit up for Thursday’s “dress rehearsal” in Philadelphia, but the Ravens hardly took a step back at quarterback, where sixth-round rookie and former Penn State standout Trace McSorley led Baltimore to a 26-0 first-half lead against the Eagles. Twelve Philly penalties certainly aided the Ravens’ efforts, but the 6-foot first-year signal-caller looked calm as could be on the Lincoln Financial Field grass, finishing the first two quarters 16 of 24 for 203 yards and two well-thrown touchdowns, including a perfectly lobbed deep ball to Michael Floyd.
McSorley was reportedly nowhere near as effective against the Eagles’ defense during this week’s joint training camp practices, so his Thursday night performance should be a confidence booster — even if it came against mostly backups.
Packers, Raiders playing on an 80-yard field
Playing a special preseason game with the Packers across the border, the Raiders expressed concern over the field conditions at Winnipeg’s IG Field on Thursday night, and as a result, Oakland and Green Bay agreed to square off on just 80 yards of the field. The concerns stemmed from the stadium’s recent relocation of Canadian Football League goalposts, per NFL.com, and prompted both sides to forgo kickoffs in favor of starting possessions at the 25-yard line.
Eli closes out preseason with … a block?
Daniel Jones has been the talk of New York this preseason, dropping dimes after an offseason in which his arrival at No. 6 overall in the 2019 draft was widely ridiculed. But Eli Manning closed out his preseason work trying to steal the spotlight — in the running game. The longtime Giants starter went 4 for 8 through the air to finish 9 of 13 this preseason, but his Week 3 vs. the Bengals will most be remembered for the block — or attempt at a block — he pulled off during a Wayne Gallman carry.
Wentz unlikely to play a single preseason snap
A number of teams around the league opted to rest starters for Thursday night’s “dress rehearsals,” and while the Eagles trotted out a few Week 1 regulars against the Ravens, quarterback Carson Wentz was not among them. The former Pro Bowler declared this week that he’s ready to play after missing parts of the last two seasons with injuries, but coach Doug Pederson instead went with No. 3 QB candidate Cody Kessler to open Thursday’s game, increasing the chances that Wentz won’t take a single preseason snap before taking the field in 2019.