From staff reports
Former Washington State, Eastern Washington and Idaho stars took the field for Week 1 of the NFL preseason this weekend. Whether as a rookie competing for the last roster spot or a veteran shaking off the rust, here’s how they fared:
Pullman fan-favorite quarterback Gardner Minshew relieved Philadelphia Eagles starter Jalen Hurts on the team’s second possession, leading a seven-play, 20-yard drive for a touchdown against the visiting New York Jets on Friday.
Minshew, entering his fourth season, completed 8 of 12 passes for 81 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions. He added three carries for 11 yards in the Eagles’ 24-21 loss. Fellow Cougar Calvin Jackson Jr. caught the winning 5-yard touchdown with 16 seconds remaining.
Jackson caught two passes for 5 yards and was one of 12 Jets receivers with a reception.
Other wide receivers seeing playing time were Dezmon Patmon (Indianapolis), Easop Winston Jr. (New Orleans) and River Cracraft (Miami).
Patmon, who enters his second season with the Indianapolis Colts, caught one pass for 18 yards in a 27-24 loss to the host Buffalo Bills on Saturday. He caught two passes for 21 yards and a touchdown in 2021.
Winston operated as the Saints’ lone punt returner in a 17-13 loss to the host Houston Texas on Saturday. He returned five punts for 49 yards and caught one pass for 12 yards.
Winston returned 10 punts for 119 yards in his rookie season last year.
Cracraft was targeted twice and had no catches in the Dolphins’ 26-24 win over the host Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Saturday. He has 11 career receptions since signing as an undrafted free agent with the Denver Broncos in 2018.
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Jarrett Guarantano didn’t show much in two games with WSU last year, but led two touchdown drives against the Cincinnati Bengals on Friday.
Guarantano, who is third on Arizona’s depth chart behind Kyler Murray and Trace McSorley, completed 7 of 10 passes for 54 yards and a touchdown as the Cardinals beat the host Bengals 36-23.
Seattle Seahawks third-round rookie Abraham Lucas entered in the third series of a 32-25 loss to host Pittsburgh on Saturday. Lucas is competing for the team’s right tackle position with Jake Curhan, who started the game.
Denver Broncos running back Max Borghi had four carries for 10 yards in a 17-7 win over the visiting Dallas Cowboys. He caught one pass for a 1-yard loss.
On defense, fifth-year pro Frankie Luvu has moved into a starting role with the Carolina Panthers. Luvu, who had a career-high 43 tackles and three forced fumbles in 2021, registered one tackle in from his outside linebacker position in a 23-21 win over host Washington on Saturday.
Kansas City Chiefs seventh-round pick Jaylen Watson had three tackles in a 19-14 loss to the host Chicago Bears on Saturday.
Watson has been taking some reps with the Chiefs’ first-team defense at training camp with an injury to cornerback Rashad Fenton.
Daniel Ekuale (New England) and Travell Harris (Cleveland) both entered their games but had no noteworthy plays. Jalen Thompson (Arizona) and Andre Dillard (Philadelphia) did not play.
EWU wide receivers Cooper Kupp (L.A. Rams) and Kendrick Bourne (New England) both sat on the sidelines for their team’s preseason openers.
Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay doesn’t plan on playing Kupp in any preseason game this year. The sixth-year pro won Super Bowl MVP last year and lead the league in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.
Bourne is expected to start alongside New England’s newly acquired DeVante Parker after catching 55 passes for 800 yards and five touchdowns last year.
The only former Eagle to play this weekend was Chicago Bears wide receiver Nsimba Webster, who caught one pass for 14 yards in a win over Kansas City.
Samson Ebukam (San Francisco) and Taiwan Jones (Buffalo) did not play.
Washington Commanders linebacker Tre Walker made two tackles, with one for loss, and had a quarterback hit in a loss to Carolina.
Walker, and undrafted rookie, briefly retired last Saturday, before changing his mind later that day and returning to the team.
Linebacker Kaden Elliss is starting for New Orleans in his fourth season, after being selected in the seventh round of the 2019 draft. Elliss’ first tackle of the preseason was a sack on Houston quarterback Jeff Driskel late in the second quarter of the Saints’ win.
His brothers, Christian Elliss and Noah Elliss, are both fighting for snaps with Philadelphia.
Christian did not make a tackle in the Eagles’ loss to the Jets, and Noah did not play. Christian is in his second season and made three tackles for Philadelphia last year. Noah is an undrafted rookie defensive tackle.
Six-year pro Jesse Davis is expected to start for the Minnesota Vikings at right guard when they play the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday. Davis signed a one-year $3 million deal last offseason after spending five seasons with the Miami Dolphins.
Jeff Cotton Jr. (Jacksonville) had no receptions on three targets in a 24-13 loss to visiting Cleveland on Friday.
Denver Broncos quarterback Brett Rypien (Shadle Park) played the second half of a win over Dallas and completed 8 of 18 attempts for 113 yards. Josh Johnson played the first half over Rypien, as Russell Wilson did not play.
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