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It appears the Green Bay Packers dodged a bullet in their final preseason game on Thursday night. Defensive tackle B.J. Raji suffered a left ankle injury on the first play of the game during the Packers' 24-3 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, but after the game head coach Mike McCarthy told reporters he isn't too concerned about the health of his DT going forward (via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel):
"I don't have a high level of concern about B.J. Raji's ankle right now based on the information I was given and also talking with B.J.," coach Mike McCarthy said. "First play of the game, that's not a good feeling."
Raji did not return to the field after leaving with the injury on the first play, and he emerged from the locker room with a heavily taped ankle after halftime, but Raji's teammate Daniel Muir also told reporters he didn't think the injury was serious, although Muir did add that he had not been told anything definitive.
The Packers have high expectations heading into the regular-season, and now Raji and the Packers will get focused on preparing for the season opener against the San Francisco 49ers on Sept. 9.
The preseason is finally over for the Arizona Cardinals, who finished 1-4 in the five games. But it didn't end on a great note, as the Denver Broncos got a last-second 44-yard field goal from Matt Prater to propel the Broncos to the road win at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.
Prater made all three of his field goal attempts in the fourth quarter as the Broncos rallied from a 10-0 late third-quarter deficit.
in what was a pretty evenly played game, the Broncos appear to have found the backup quarterback to Peyton Manning -- Caleb Hanie. Hanie outplayed rookie Brock Osweiler. Another former Arizona State player, rookie cornerback Omar Bolden, ran back a kickoff 103 yards for a touchdown for Denver.
Rookie Ronnie Hillman carried 14 times for 68 yards for the Broncos. His ex-San Diego State teammate, rookie Ryan Lindley, completed 14 of 26 passes for 176 yards with a touchdown and a thrown interception for the Cardinals,
Denver finished the preseason 2-2.
Be sure to visit Mile High Report for more Broncos coverage. For the Arizona perspective, head to Revenge of the Birds. Head over to SB Nation's NFL hub for more news and analysis from around the league.
San Francisco led 21-0 at halftime behind the efforts of quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The second-string quarterback threw two touchdowns, going 12-for-18 and passing for 158 yards in the first half. Fullback Anthony Dixon also found the end zone for the 49ers, scoring on a 1-yard run in the game's opening drive.
The Chargers offense struggled the entire night, scoring only on a 27-yard field goal by kicker Nate Kaeding in the fourth quarter. San Diego's first two drives in the first quarter ended in turnovers. In San Diego's opening drive, 49ers safety C.J. Spillman stripped the football away from Chargers tight end Antonio Gates. In the Chargers' second drive, 49ers safety Darcel McBath intercepted a Philip Rivers pass.
49ers quarterback Alex Smith and running back Frank Gore did not see any action on Thursday night.
Dare Seattle Seahawks fans get super excited over a 4-0 preseason? It could happen, especially after the Seahawks shut out the Oakland Raiders 21-3 in both teams' preseason finale Thursday night at CenturyLink Field.
While an undefeated preseason doesn't always translate to a good regular season -- the Seahawks know this well -- it is a positive for a team that could always use some good news. Seattle can also smile about backup quarterback Matt Flynn's performance: 11-for-13 for 102 yards and a touchdown.
It seems like Flynn didn't wallow in his own misery of losing the starting quarterback job to rookie Russell Wilson.
The Raiders, meanwhile, gained 101 yards of total offense, a good chunk of that on their final drive, and finished the preseason with a 1-3 record. They totaled 54 passing yards for the game. Roscoe Parrish fumbled twice and lost one of them, and the Raiders gave up a safety. Punter Shane Lechler had to kick eight times, and only an Eddy Carmona field goal in the final seconds prevented a shutout.
The Seahawks open in Arizona on Sept. 9 and the Raiders host San Diego on Sept. 10 in both teams' regular-season openers.
The injuries were suffered in Pittsburgh's 17-16 preseason win over the Carolina Panthers on Thursday night, when the third round draft pick out of the University of Miami (FL) was blocked from the side in pursuit of quarterback Jimmy Clausen and had his left leg slide underneath him in a bad-looking fashion, writes Michael David Smith at ProFootballTalk. Spence was then carted off the field.
If the diagnoses of his leg are correct, it is believed that Spence could be placed on injured reserve, where he would have to look towards rehabbing for the 2013 season. The 5-foot-11, 231-pound linebacker had five total tackles, including one for a loss, on Thursday night before leaving the game. He was expected to bolster an aging Steeler defense in need of fresh legs in the linebacking corps.
The Houston Texans 28-24 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Friday night came at a cost as the Texans lost backup left tackle Rashad Butler. Butler left the game late in the first half and did not return to the game.
Head coach Gary Kubiak said that the injury "does not look good" after an early look at Butler's elbow, and the Houston Chronicle's John McClain first indicated that Butler could possibly miss the entire season.
Now it is being reported by Kubiak that Butler will in fact miss the entire 2012 season:
Kubiak says T Rashad Butler tore his triceps muscle tonight and will be out for the season.— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) August 31, 2012
Butler had spent the past three seasons with the Texans and saw time in 34 games during that time. He was expected to see time at left tackle this season.
The Chicago Bears beat the Cleveland Browns 28-20 on Thursday night in a game riddled with reserve players. Both teams opted to use back-up players rather than risk injury to key contributors with the beginning of the regular season looming.
The Bears dominated early in the game, riding the strong passing of Josh McCown to a 14-0 lead late in the second quarter. Cleveland's offense got going a little once Colt McCoy was replaced by Seneca Wallace at quarterback, but the Browns never led in the game.
Midway through the third quarter, the Browns had trimmed Chicago's lead to 14-10, but the Bears would put things away soon. Less than two minutes after Greg McCoy returned an interception for a touchdown to give Chicago a 21-10 advantage, the Bears returned a blocked punt for another score to expand their lead to 28-10.
In a meaningless game with an 18-point lead, the Bears basically worked to run out the clock in the fourth quarter. That allowed the Browns to crawl back into the game, but once Chicago got the ball back with roughly five minutes left and a 28-20 lead, a series of first down runs by Armando Allen allowed the Bears to run out the clock.
Allen was impressive for Chicago, rushing 16 times for 83 yards, in addition to catching five passes for 51 yards and a touchdown. Adonis Thomas led the Browns in rushing with 81 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries.
Both teams open the regular season on Sept. 9.
Rookie quarterback Kellen Moore led the Detroit Lions on an 80-yard drive to beat the Buffalo Bills 38-32 Thursday night in the preseason finale for both teams. He capped the drive off with a 1-yard touchdown run with 10:20 left in the fourth quarter.
The Bills led 7-0 after Ryan Fitzpatrick found Stevie Johnson for a 4-yard touchdown in the first quarter, but the Lions responded with 28 unanswered first quarter points -- a 24-yard touchdown pass from Matthew Stafford to Calvin Johnson, short touchdown runs by Mikel LeShoure and Shaun Hill and a 23-yard interception return for a touchdown by Jonte Green.
The Bills cut the lead to 28-24 at the end of the third quarter thanks to a 1-yard touchdown run by Johnny White, a 4-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Thigpen to Dorin Dickerson and a field goal by Rian Lindell.
The Lions extended the lead to 31-24 on a Jason Hanson field goal early in the fourth, but Marcus Easley returned the ensuing kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown and caught a pass from Thigpen to convert the ensuing 2-point conversion to give Buffalo a 32-31 lead. Then Moore's drive gave Detroit the lead for good.
Moore was 17-for-30 for 211 yards and a rushing touchdown. LeShoure had 15 carres for 43 yards and a touchdown. The Lions didn't turn the ball over and forced four Buffalo turnovers. Thigpen threw two interceptions and recently-acquired quarterback Tarvaris Jackson had his only pass attempt picked off.
Detroit finished the preseason 2-2 and Buffalo finished 0-4.
The Houston Texans defeated the Minnesota Vikings 28-24 in Thursday night's final exhibition game at Reliant Stadium. Halfback Justin Forsett opened the scoring with a 3-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. After a Vikings field goal narrowed the margin to 7-3, DeVier Posey hauled in an 80-yard touchdown pass from John Beck. The Vikings answered back with a 58-yard touchdown pass of their own to close the half, as Sage Rosenfels connected with Devon Aromashodu.
The teams traded two touchdowns each in the third quarter, with Houston's scores coming by way of a 76-yard punt return by Trindon Holliday and Forsett's second touchdown of the night, a 5-yard run. Minnesota got a 59-yard touchdown pass from McLeod Bethel-Thompson to Jarius Wright and a Jordan Todman 76-yard run. Neither team managed to score in the fourth quarter.
Neither team chose to play its starters for any significant amount of time. Texans third-string quarterback John Beck started the game, with both Matt Schaub and T.J. Yates sitting the game out. Beck completed 6 of 10 attempts for 149 yards and a touchdown. Rookie Case Keenum went 5/10 for 43 yards. Forsett ran 13 times for 114 yards and two touchdowns. Posey led the team in receiving with two receptions for 93 yards, the vast majority of those coming on the aforementioned touchdown pass.
Minnesota was led by the unheralded Bethel-Thompson, who went 14/26 for 191 yards with one touchdown and an interception. Rosenfels added 7 completions on 11 attempts for 111 yards and a score. Jordan Todman ran for 114 yards on just 10 attempts. Jarius Wright, a rookie from Arkansas, caught 6 passes for 122 yards and a touchdown. Aromashodu added 89 yards and a score on 5 receptions.
The game brings the exhibition season to a close for both teams. Houston opens their regular season next Sunday at Carolina. The Vikings will host Jacksonville Sunday afternoon.
Andy Dalton left after the first series for the Cincinnati Bengals against the Indianapolis Colts in a 20-16 defeat. Dalton reportedly suffered a right arm bruise and claims to be okay as Cincinnati probably didn't want to risk any further injury. Dalton was 3-for-4 for 26 yards on his lone drive.
Bruce Gradkowski replaced Dalton and had a solid backup performance. Gradkowski was 12-for-19 for 95 yards, including one touchdown throw to Marvin Jones. Zac Robinson also came in and played some for the Bengals, going 16-for-22 for 140 yards. Dan Herron rushed for 29 yards on 15 carries and lost a fumble to lead the Bengals on the ground. Mohamed Sanu had eight catches for 80 yards, Ryan Whalen had four catches for 41 yards and Jones had four catches for 39 yards and that touchdown.
Andrew Luck went 1-for-2 for eight yards during a brief start. Chandler Harnish saw most of the reps at quarterback, completing 9 of 16 passes for 162 yards, including a touchdown throw to Dominique Jones. Kris Adams had two catches for 55 yards while Jones piled up two catches for 44 yards and the go-ahead touchdown.
The St. Louis Rams defeated the Baltimore Ravens 31-17 in their final game of the 2012 preseason. The Rams had their first-team offense in for much of the first half while Baltimore played their backups. Both teams finished the preseason 2-2.
Rams starting quarterback Sam Bradford played well into the second quarter, capping a strong preseason with an 11-for-16, 175-yard performance that included three touchdowns and no interceptions. His final preseason stats are 30-for-51 for 398 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions.
Baltimore's second-string offense saw Tyrod Taylor under center in the first half and Curtis Painter in the second. Taylor went 8-for-12 for 58 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions. Painter went 19-for-31 for 193 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions. Bernard Pierce led things on the ground for Baltimore, picking up 27 yards on eight carries.
Stick with this StoryStream for more coverage from Week 4 of the 2012 NFL preseason. For all things Ravens, head over to Baltimore Beat Down. For more Rams coverage, Turf Show Times has you covered. And don't miss SB Nation on YouTube:
Carolina had a chance to take the lead in the final three minutes of the game when Jimmy Clausen led the Panthers on a two-play, 90-yard touchdown drive capped off by a 79-yard touchdown pass play to Lamont Bryant. It was a close call for the Steelers, who jumped out to an early 10-0 lead in the first quarter.
The Panthers rallied slowly but surely with a field goal in the second quarter to make the halftime score, 10-3, then a touchdown by Jared Green in the third to even it up. A 10-play, 89 yard drive that resulted in a six-yard touchdown pass from Jerrod Johnson to Weslye Saunders gave the Steelers the lead, but the play to Bryant threatened.
Rather than possibly send the game into overtime, Carolina elected to go for the two-point conversion after Bryant's score, but a paired of failed attempts about promised the victory to Pittsburgh.
After trading field goals all game, it was Tennessee Titans running back Jamie Harper's 1-yard run midway through the third quarter that proved the deciding blow to give the Titans a victory in their final preseason game, topping the New Orleans Saints, 10-6.
Titans kicker Rob Bironas connected on a 24-yarder in the first quarter to get the scoring going, but the Titans wouldn't see any more scoring during the first half. Saints kicker Garrett Hartley connected on a 38-yard field goal to close the first quarter and a 21-yard strike midway through the second quarter to provide the early points for the Saints.
Without many of their offensive weapons, both teams struggled to put points on the board. Titans quarterback Jake Locker finished 9-of-16 for 81 yards and Matt Hasselbeck went 3-of-4 for 19 yards in limited action.
Playing in place of Saints quarterback Drew Brees, Sean Canfield went 24-of-33 for 217 yards, but was picked off twice.
The Green Bay Packers scored the final 24 points to easily take care of the Kansas City Chiefs 24-3 in the final preseason game for both teams. The Chiefs got on the scoreboard first by converting a field goal in the first quarter, but that is all the scoring that the Chiefs would get on the night.
Packers quarterback Graham Harrell had a huge day throwing the ball as he went 13-of-15 for 223 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Of the many receivers that Harrell threw the ball to, it was Jarrett Boykin who had the best day with five receptions for 82 yards and a touchdown.
The Chiefs were able to move the ball on the ground for 247 total yards, with Nate Eachus rushing for 99 on his own, but they were unable to punch the ball in the endzone.
Trent Edwards started in place of Michael Vick for the Eagles, airing it out to the tune of 22-for-32 passing for 197 yards and two touchdowns, one of them coming on a 31-yard strike to wide receiver Mardy Gilyard in the second quarter to give Philadelphia a 14-7 lead at the time.
Edwards would also hit tight end Brett Brackett early in the fourth to extend the Eagles' lead to 21-10.
Running back Chris Polk provided the game's final touchdown for the Eagles later in the fourth on a 3-yard rush, bringing the final tally to 28-10.
Bryce Brown got the Eagles' scoring started late in the second quarter when he scored on a 2-yard touchdown scamper.
The game was tied at halftime, with the Falcons owning the first quarter with their touchdown just six minutes into the game. Jacksonville evened the score with Jalen Parmele 14-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
Both teams scored seven in the third quarter, making the game even at 14 going into the fourth, Chad Henne had hit Kevin Elliot with a 77-yard touchdown toss. Just minutes later, Dominique Davis hit Kevin Cone for a 49-yard touchdown and the score was tied again.
Then, the Jaguars took over, scoring the only 10 points of the final quarter. Richard Murphy scored the final touchdown of the game.
Houston Texans left tackle Rashad Butler went down in tonight's exhibition game with the Minnesota Vikings, apparently hurting his right elbow. When asked for an update, Texans head coach Gary Kubiak said the injury "does not look good," according to reports from Tania Ganguli of the Houston Chronicle. The team has confirmed he will not return to the game, and the Chronicle's John McClain is indicating the injury might leave him out for the rest of the season.
Butler, a five-year veteran, is in the last year of his current contract with the Texans. He has played in 34 games in the last three seasons with the team. Earlier this preseason, Kubiak announced the team would be starting Derek Newton at right tackle and using Butler as a backup. Nevertheless, Butler remains important for depth, as he can play both tackle positions, and would be sorely missed if he is indeed out for the year.
For more on the Houston Texans, head over to Battle Red Blog. More news and analysis on the NFL as the regular season approaches can be found over at SB Nation's NFL hub as well as on SB Nation's YouTube Channel:
When it's your first one in four preseason games, it's kind of a thing...
Jets scored a touchdown. True story.on.nfl.com/NYJvPHI— NFL (@nfl) August 30, 2012
St. Louis Rams defensive tackle Michael Brockers was helped off the field with an ankle injury late in the first quarter of his team's final preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens. Brockers took what looked to be a chop block on the play that injured his right ankle.
The Rams' training staff and even head coach Jeff Fisher came onto the field to check on the rookie. He was assisted off the field and onto the sidelines for further examination after the play. Brockers was listed as questionable to return to the game.
Brockers was the Rams' first-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. He was selected 14th overall after the Rams traded down in the draft with the Dallas Cowboys for the sixth pick. He has been a starting defensive tackle since spring practices this year, and the Rams are counting on him heavily to improve a run defense that struggled in 2011.
For more on the Rams check out Turf Show Times.
Quarterback Andy Dalton left the Cincinnati Bengals' final preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday night after injuring his arm in the first quarter. The team called his injury a "bruised arm" and said he will not return. Bruce Gradkowski came in to replace Dalton.
The second-year quarterback was caught between two Colts players on a pass rush up the middle and hit his arm on a helmet. Dalton fell to the ground near the Bengals' sideline, but then left the field without any assistance from the team's training staff.
After a successful rookie year in which he led the Bengals to the wild-card round of the playoffs, Dalton has cemented himself as team's quarterback of the present and the future. The 6-foot-2 signal-caller out of TCU threw for 3,398 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2011, leading the Bengals to a 9-7 record.
So of course he turned it over on the first play from scrimmage in Thursday's game against the Falcons.
Blaine Gabbert tossed ball right into Greg Jones' rear -- rookie mistake for a 2nd-year QB— Mark Long (@APMarkLong) August 30, 2012
Just a bad mistake by Gabbert. You can't let your opponent start inside your own 10 and expect to win.
The Falcons turned it into a touchdown on the following play.
New Tennessee Titans starter Jake Locker gets one more preseason game when he takes on the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night.
For the hometown Colts, their focus remains on getting Andrew Luck reps with the first-team offense. The No. 1 overall pick has looked good in the preseason and in training camp, although he has still been prone to mental errors that usually result in turnovers or a loss of yards. Fans should also look for Vontae Davis' debut with the team; Davis is projected to be one of the starters in Indianapolis following the trade that transpired with the Dolphins over the weekend.
The Bengals were one of the bigger surprises in the NFL last season and the young team will look to take the next step in 2012. Andy Dalton and A.J. Green are expected to play a series or two this evening, although do not expect much more than that. Cincinnati does not want to accumulate injuries with their projected starters, especially with the regular season a little more than a week away.
Time and Date: 7 p.m. ET, Thursday, Aug. 30
Location: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana
TV: WNDY-TV 23 in Indianapolis, WKRC-TV 12 in Cincinnati.
The final day of the 2012 preseason schedule is here with 13 games on Thursday night.
Game time and television schedule for the final preseason game between the Denver Broncos and the Arizona Cardinals.
The Bills travel to Detroit to close out the NFL preseason.
The Chicago Bears face the Cleveland Browns in the final preseason game for both teams.
The Chargers and 49ers close out the preseason in San Francisco
The Eagles and Jets square off in what is their final exhibition game of the season for both teams.
Newly minted starting quarterback Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks are looking to close out a perfect preseason as the Oakland Raiders come to town.
Previewing the final preseason game between the Ravens and Rams.
The Falcons and Jaguars close out their preseason schedules with a Thursday night showdown.
What to know for Thursday's final exhibition game between the Vikings and Texans.
Previewing Thursday's final preseason game between the Chiefs and Packers.
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