One team is opting to sit the majority of its starters this week as squads prepare for their third preseason game.
Another team, however, is in jeopardy of being without one of its star players into September as a contract issue continues to keep him off the field.
Three things that matter
Carson Wentz confident in Week 1 availability
After missing time in back-to-back seasons in 2017 and 2018, the Eagles quarterback is feeling more optimistic about his health heading into the regular season.
“I’m ready for Week 1,” Wentz said at his press conference. “I’m really not worried about it, to be honest. Every year, coming in, it’s always going to be that first hit, no matter if it’s three months off, six months off, 10 months, 12 months. It doesn’t really matter. That first hit wakes you up real quick and it’s football mode again.”
Wentz will look to play a full 16-game season for the first time since his rookie campaign in 2016 after dealing with knee and back injuries the last two years.
Melvin Gordon’s holdout headed into regular season
The Chargers running back could reportedly extend his holdout into September after contract talks failed to progress in recent weeks. Gordon, who is scheduled to earn $5.6 million in the last season of his five-year rookie deal, is seeking a new contract or to be traded from Los Angeles and has remained away from the team’s facility for the entire preseason.
He said earlier this week he’s “just waiting on the call,” though it seems Gordon could be waiting a while.
Colts buck tradition and opt to rest starters
In a surprise move, Colts coach Frank Reich announced most of the team’s starters will not play in Thursday’s third preseason game against the Bears, noting the team is still finalizing its roster.
“Right now the best thing is we’re looking to figure out who are the guys that are going to be on this roster,” he said, per the team’s official website. “There’s spots open. This is very competitive.”
It had already been determined that quarterback Andrew Luck won’t practice this week, but given he’s only practiced three times since April and still hasn’t seen any preseason action, it’s becoming more likely that backup Jacoby Brissett will be named the starter for Week 1.
Two things that don’t matter
Amari Cooper dealing with foot injury
The Cowboys receiver admitted he’s dealing with plantar fasciitis in the heel of his left foot but is optimistic he’ll be able to resume practice at full strength this week. Cooper hasn’t been ruled out for the remainder of the preseason but it’s unlikely he’ll take the field before the team’s Sept. 8 opener against the Giants.
“I’m not worried about it at all, because I know if it does linger it doesn’t matter,” he told reporters. “I had 1,000 yards on plantar fasciitis. I’m not really worried.”
Cooper clearly isn’t panicked, and neither are the Cowboys, but it’s certainly an injury worth monitoring.
Ray Lewis to compete on “DWTS”
The retired linebacker is set to take his famous swag to the dance floor, as it was announced he will be featured on the 28th season of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.” He joins fellow athlete and retired NBA star Lamar Odom as the only professional athletes to compete this season.
— Pro Football Hall of Fame (@ProFootballHOF) August 21, 2019
It’s a safe bet that Lewis will break out his classic intro shuffle during the first episode.
One video you have to see
Retired defensive end Chris Long, a two-time Super Bowl champion and the 2018 NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year recipient, is encouraging players to continue protesting.
“The [NFL] has to do a better job of showing [its] committed to this stuff. And not just for PR.”
Chris Long says NFL players should continue to protest pic.twitter.com/PWx3pWzljj
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) August 21, 2019
Wednesday’s tweet of the day
The XFL is back, as the league teased its February 2020 return by announcing team names and unveiling logos for each of its eight franchises.
— XFL (@xfl2020) August 21, 2019