Top draft pick Murray, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers ready for tonight’s NFL preseason openers
By The Associated Press
Hey, Kyler, this is for real.
Kyler Murray, April’s top overall draft pick, will make his preseason debut for Arizona tonight when the Cardinals host the Chargers.
The quarterback won’t be on the field very long against Los Angeles, but he should get a chance to show some of the skills that so enamored the Cardinals. He also could wind up on the ground a few times — for the first time as a pro considering QBs don’t get hit in practice.
“I’m looking forward to having fun,” Murray says. “It’s going to be different suiting up in a Cardinals jersey. Not playing for a school, you’re representing a state.”
That state saw its team have the worst record in the NFL in 2018, fire coach Steve Wilks and hire Kliff Kingsbury, an offensive guru who had recently been fired as head coach at Texas Tech.
PATRIOTS AT LIONS
Former Patriots with injuries are of interest here.
Trey Flowers, the defensive end who went from New England to Detroit as a free agent and was the Lions’ big offseason acquisition, is on the physically unable to perform list.
Coach Matt Patricia, a former defensive assistant for the Patriots in his second season with Detroit, has been recovering from a surgically repaired left leg that’s caused him to move around the practice facility on a vehicle.
The receivers watch begins for the Patriots.
Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman (thumb) is sidelined and Phillip Dorsett is the only other returning receiver from last season. First-round draft pick N’Keal Harry has had a strong camp and undrafted free agent Jakobi Meyers has been a standout.
TEXANS AT PACKERS
Coach Bill O’Brien said that many Texans starters should get some playing time, though it’s unlikely star defensive end J.J. Watt will be one of them. Watt left a joint practice with Green Bay early on Monday after experiencing tightness in his groin and sat out Tuesday as a precaution.
Watt, who grew up a Packers fan, is disappointed he won’t play at Lambeau Field, but knows being careful early in the preseason is more important than getting on the field.
O’Brien said rookie Lonnie Johnson Jr. will play three days after causing a stir with a hard hit during the first joint practice on Monday. The cornerback hit Green Bay tight end Jace Sternberger on a pass over the middle, causing Sternberger’s helmet to pop off, and then taunted him. The incident upset several Packers and caused O’Brien to pull him from practice early on Monday and hold him out on Tuesday.