NFL News & Analysis

August 12 Training Camp Notes: Browns QB Deshaun Watson to play in Cleveland's preseason opener, Bill Belichick mum on who will call play for Patriots and more

QB Deshaun Watson set to play in Cleveland Browns first preseason game

  • The Browns announced plans of starting Watson early in the week, but there was still a chance for appeals officer Peter C. Harvey to hand down a full-year suspension, which would take Watson off the field.
  • A decision will not be made on Friday, paving the way for Watson to play.
  • It will be the first time Watson is seeing game action since Week 17 of the 2020 season — 586 days ago.

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick remains mum on who will call offensive plays

  • The Patriots lost offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to the Las Vegas Raiders this offseason, and Belichick opted not to hire a new offensive coordinator.
  • Matt Patricia and Joe Judge split the offensive play-calling duties in Thursday night's preseason opener against the Giants.
  • When asked who will call plays during the regular season, Belichick repeatedly said, “We’re going through a process. Just like everything else on this team.”
  • Patricia’s official title is “senior football advisor/offensive line coach,” and Judge’s is “offensive assistant/quarterbacks coach.” Neither has offensive play-calling on their resumes.

Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins tests positive for COVID-19

  • Cousins will be required to isolate for at least five days, meaning he will not travel with the team for Sunday's preseason game against the Raiders.
  • There are no longer any COVID protocols or COVID lists in the NFL, so Cousins had to self-report his positive test.
  • It’s the latest reminder that COVID is not 100% gone in the NFL and could still have an effect come this season. “We’re not going to see covid disappear,”  NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills said earlier this month.
  • Houston Texans quarterback Kyle Allen is also missing his preseason game due to a positive test. Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray and Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll both tested positive on August 1.

New York Giants QB Daniel Jones: Neck feels good

  • Jones started for the Giants in Thursday night's preseason opener and was 6-of-10 for 69 yards in two series of work. He earned a 63.2 PFF grade.
  • The former No. 6 overall pick missed the final six games of the 2021 season due to a neck injury. The team said they did not have long-term concerns about his health.
  • “It felt good to get out there and it was just like it used to be,” Jones said after the game. “That’s football right? That’s football and I felt good out there. I didn’t think a whole lot about the neck or anything like that. I felt good and it was just football.”
  • Jones earned a 78.4 PFF grade in 2020 and 71.1 in 2021. He’s entering a pivotal year after the Giants declined his fifth-year option this offseason, meaning he’s entering the final year of his contract. 
  • Situation-wise, Jones is in the best position of his career with a coaching staff led by Brian Daboll and offensive coordinator Mike Kafka, and a revamped offensive line with the additions of Evan Neal, Mark Glowinski and Jon Feliciano.

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