NFL: Jaguars lose top receiver Marqise Lee to knee injury
The Jacksonville Jaguars might have lost their No. 1 receiver for the season.
Marqise Lee, who led the team in receptions in 2017, injured his left knee in a 17-6 victory against Atlanta in the preseason Saturday night and could be out for the year.
Lee was carted off the field in the first quarter after Falcons cornerback Damontae Kazee twisted his leg making a tackle. Lee fumbled on the play, but it was overturned because Kazee was flagged for tackling with his helmet.
Teammates and coaches offered well-wishes to Lee as he left the field. Nonetheless, it was the kind of preseason injury that leaves players, coaches and fans shaking their heads.
It also reaffirmed Falcons coach Dan Quinn’s decision to rest two of his biggest offensive stars, receiver Julio Jones and running back Devonta Freeman.
Lee had 56 catches for 702 yards and three touchdowns last season. He signed a four-year, $34 million contract in March that included $16.5 million guaranteed.
A second-round draft pick from USC in 2014, Lee has 171 catches for 2,166 yards and eight touchdowns. He missed games because of various injuries in three of his four seasons.
If Lee misses extended time in 2018, the Jaguars would rely on second-year pros Keelan Cole and Dede Westbrook, one-year rental Donte Moncrief, and rookie DJ Chark to pick up the slack.
at Bears 27, Chiefs 20: Bears coach Matt Nagy decided to rest starters for the next-to-last preseason game rather than use it as the customary regular-season tuneup.
And the backups proved that they’re also ready for the regular season as Chase Daniel directed touchdown drives on the first three possessions.
The Bears played in the Hall of Fame Game and have been practicing since July 20, and Nagy liked what he’d seen from the starters in practices. So he decided Friday to keep starters out of what normally would be a dress rehearsal for the regular-season opener at Green Bay.
Daniel replaced Mitchell Trubisky against his mentor, Andy Reid, and the Chiefs, the team Nagy last year served as the offensive coordinator.
Playing against both the Chiefs’ starting defense and then the backups, Daniel led the Bears to a 24-10 halftime lead. Daniel, a Chiefs backup quarterback from 2013-15, finished 15 of 18 for 198 yards and two touchdowns. The first two Bears touchdown drives came against Kansas City’s starting defense, minus injured safety Eric Berry and four other injured players.
at Steelers 16, Titans 6: Ben Roethlisberger made the most of his brief preseason cameo, throwing for 114 yards and a touchdown.
New Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner didn’t let Roethlisberger’s lone scheduled exhibition appearance ahead of the Sept. 9 season opener at Cleveland go to waste. Roethlisberger completed 11 of 18 passes during his three drives, including a 32-yard rainbow to Justin Hunter for a score late in the first quarter.
Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota, meanwhile, struggled against Pittsburgh’s starting defense. Mariota completed 5 of 8 passes for 43 yards while playing most of the first half. He missed a wide-open Corey Davis for what would have been a long touchdown on Tennessee’s opening drive and his afternoon ended late in the second quarter when Steelers rookie safety Terrell Edmunds picked off a floater intended for Taywan Taylor.
The Titans didn’t do much in the run game to take any of the pressure off Mariota. Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis combined for 23 yards rushing on eight carries. Tennessee’s lone touchdown came on a 3-yard touchdown pass from Blaine Gabbert to tight end Anthony Firkser in the fourth quarter.
at Colts 23, 49ers 17: Andrew Luck threw a touchdown pass on what will probably be his last preseason drive, and Christine Michael scored on a 1-yard plunge late in the third quarter.
Luck looked much sharper than he did in Monday night’s loss to Baltimore. He wound up 8 of 10 with 90 yards and produced the only TD in the first half. He also had four carries for 27 yards before leaving midway through the second quarter.
Otherwise, it was a struggle for the Colts. They had trouble establishing the run — and stopping the run, too.
Alfred Morris carried 13 times for 71 yards in the first half as San Francisco piled up 99 yards on the ground. Morris finished with 17 carries for 84 yards.
Still, the Colts managed to keep the 49ers out of the end zone until late in the fourth quarter and nearly picked off Jimmy Garoppolo on back-to-back plays near the goal line late in the first half. Garoppolo was 9 of 19 with 135 yards before giving way to C.J. Beathard midway through the third quarter.
Ravens 27, at Dolphins 10: First-round pick Lamar Jackson led touchdown possessions of 84, 62 and 73 yards against mostly deep reserves.
Jackson entered the game at the start of the second half and had his best performance yet for the Ravens. He went 7 for 10 for 98 yards and a touchdown, and ran for 39 yards on three carries, including a 19-yard scoring run.
Kenyan Drake sparked one scoring drive with a 30-yard run and another with a 36-yard reception for the Dolphins, whose starters reached the end zone for the first time this preseason.
Ryan Tannehill fumbled twice early, and the Dolphins drew boos from the small crowd when they went three-and-out on the first series. But the offense began to click in the second quarter against a mix of Ravens starters and reserves, and Tannehill finished 11 of 16 for 115 yards.
Danny Amendola made a nifty cutback to juke past two defensive backs and score on a 16-yard pass from Tannehill. It was the first touchdown by Miami’s starters during the preseason in 10 possessions.
On the next series, Tannehill hit Drake deep for a big gain to set up a field goal, and the Dolphins led 10-3 at halftime before both teams emptied their benches.
Former Pro Bowl wide receiver Josh Gordon, whose career has been derailed by drug and alcohol addictions, was released by the league on Saturday to resume all on-field activities with the Cleveland Browns after being limited to attending meetings, working out and watching practice since returning from a three-week absence. “He’s now cleared to return to all activities, including games,” league spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an email. Gordon took part in the team’s pre-practice walk-through on the field after the team removed him from the active/non-football injury list. The team was going to bring him along slowly, and then that plan got altered because Gordon “tweaked” his hamstring a few days ago.
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