After a slow start, Colin Kaepernick completed six straight passes in his third series of the game and connected on a 5-yard-touchdown toss to Quinton Patton, and Lavelle Hawkins returned a kickoff 105 yards for a score late in the second quarter of San Francisco’s 34-14 NFL preseason victory over Minnesota on Sunday night.
Kaepernick began the game 1 for 7, then converted his next six pass attempts – including four in a row of 10 or more yards – and finished 7 for 13 for 72 yards.
Reigning NFL MVP Adrian Peterson, making his preseason debut, didn’t touch the ball in one series of action for Minnesota.
Saints 31, Texans 23
Houston’s Andre Johnson had 131 yards receiving before halftime in his first extended work of the preseason against the New Orleans Saints (3-0). But the New Orleans backups scored two touchdowns in the second half to help the Saints to the victory over the Texas (2-1).
Johnson didn’t play in the preseason opener and had less than a quarter of work last week.
On Sunday, he grabbed seven of the eight passes thrown to him, highlighted by a 39-yard reception.
Injury-plagued Bills sign Leinart
Free-agent quarterback Matt Leinart signed with the Buffalo Bills. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
Leinart fills an immediate need at Buffalo’s injury-depleted quarterback position. The Bills have only two healthy quarterbacks on their roster – Leinart and undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel out of Washington State – heading into their final preseason game.
Kevin Kolb left the Bills’ game Saturday against Washington because of concussion-like symptoms and first-round pick EJ Manuel is out for the rest of the preseason with a left knee injury.
Around the league
Giants free safety Stevie Brown will miss the regular season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee that he hurt in Saturday’s game against the Jets. … The Jets say quarterback Mark Sanchez is “day-to-day” with an injured right shoulder that will sideline him for the preseason finale against Philadelphia on Thursday. … Kickoff return specialist Josh Cribbs was released by the Raiders. He was signed after eight seasons with the Browns.