Sun Aug 14 2:34am ET
By JOE REEDY
AP Sports Writer
Los Angeles Rams quarterback Bryce Perkins (16) scores a touchdown during the second half of the team's preseason NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers on Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Michael Bandy, left, scores a touchdown during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Lance McCutcheon, top, catches a touchdown pass over Los Angeles Chargers' Deane Leonard (33) during the first half of a preseason NFL football game Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
Los Angeles Chargers head coach Brandon Staley stands on the sideline during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
Los Angeles Rams quarterback Bryce Perkins, top right, throws under pressure from Los Angeles Chargers' Morgan Fox (56) during the first half of a preseason NFL football game Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Chris Rumph II celebrates after sacking Los Angeles Rams quarterback Bryce Perkins during the first half of a preseason NFL football game Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Los Angeles Chargers running back Joshua Kelley (25) is tackled by Los Angeles Rams cornerback Robert Rochell during the first half of a preseason NFL football game Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Los Angeles Rams quarterback Bryce Perkins throws during the first half of the team's preseason NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers on Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson, right, celebrates after sacking Los Angeles Rams quarterback Bryce Perkins during the first half of a preseason NFL football game Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Joe Reed (12) makes a touchdown catch next to Los Angeles Rams safety Terrell Burgess during the first half of a preseason NFL football game Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Chase Daniel (4) is pressured by Los Angeles Rams linebacker Daniel Hardy during the first half of a preseason NFL football game Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis )
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) Bryce Perkins and Lance McCutcheon solidified their cases to come off the Los Angeles Rams roster bubble Saturday night.
Perkins threw a pair of touchdown passes to McCutcheon as the defending Super Bowl champions held off the Los Angeles Chargers 29-22 in the preseason opener for both teams in which most of the starters for both teams did not play.
''I was really pleased with Bryce's ability to be able to handle all the different situations that came up,'' coach Sean McVay said of Perkins. ''He's a playmaker. I thought (offensive coordinator) Liam (Coen) did a good job of putting him in good spots to accentuate his skill sets.''
Perkins - the Rams' third-string quarterback last season - played the entire game with Matthew Stafford and John Wolford not dressed. He completed 9 of 16 passes for 126 yards and also showed off his mobility with 39 yards on eight carries, including a 1-yard TD midway through the third quarter.
McCutcheon, an undrafted free agent rookie who has drawn rave reviews from Super Bowl MVP Cooper Kupp during training camp, finished with five receptions for 87 yards. He also had a reception for a 2-point conversion following Perkins' rushing touchdown.
Perkins connected with McCutcheon for a 60-yard touchdown up the left sideline to give the Rams a 14-7 lead with 5:17 lead in the second quarter. McCutcheon got leverage over Chargers safety Deane Leonard, caught it at the Chargers 29-yard line and then avoided a tackle attempt from JT Woods before scoring.
''I just saw the ball in the air, and first I was just trying to come down with it. Went up in a contested catch, and was just able to move the ball away and get my arm in there,'' McCutcheon said.
With the score tied at 22 in the fourth quarter, McCutcheon caught an 11-yard TD pass in the right corner of the end zone to put the Rams on top with 6:17 remaining.
''Whenever I'm out there, I'm really just trying compete my tail off for the guys. I know all those guys are fighting, so I just try to do my part and fight as well,'' Perkins said.
The Chargers had the ball late in the fourth quarter and were driving to tie the game when Easton Stick's pass to Michael Bandy was picked off by Daniel Isom at the Rams' 8 with 27 seconds remaining. Bandy temporarily had possession of the ball before Isom was able to strip it for the pick.
Stick and Chase Daniel each played one half as Justin Herbert watched the game from the sideline.
''I think both played well,'' Chargers coach Brandon Staley said of his quarterbacks. ''They moved the team, took care of the football and good decisions. That's the way they've been throughout camp.''
Daniel threw for a pair of first-half touchdowns. The Chargers received the opening kickoff and scored in nine plays as Joe Reed split the Rams' secondary and hauled in a 41-yard TD pass less than four minutes into the game.
The 13-year veteran - who was 11 of 17 for 117 yards - then found Bandy for a 16-yard score with 37 seconds remaining in the second quarter to tie it at 14 going into halftime.
THE MORE YOU KNOW
Staley said facing a mobile quarterback like Perkins should be a valuable teaching tool going into the regular season.
''That's life in the NFL. The best people you face are going to be like that,'' Staley said. ''We had him a couple times. Our guys are gonna learn that if you make those plays, this game could have gone differently.''
Chargers linebacker Troy Reeder, who played three seasons for the Rams, knew Perkins was going to be tough to bring down.
''I was telling our guys all night, I was like we got to keep him in the pocket,'' Reeder said. ''He's a special, special player, and when he gets out of the pocket it's even worse for us, so I'm a huge Bryce Perkins fan. I think he's a stud.''
STARTING IT OFF
AJ Rose - who spent last season on the Vikings' practice squad - bounced off a pair of Chargers' defenders and scored from 1 yard out to tie it at 7 midway through the second quarter. Rose and Raymond Calais each had eight carries and got the most work among the Rams' running backs.
Stick led the Chargers on an 18-play, 75-yard scoring drive that took 10:15. The possession ended with Stick going 3-yards around right end for a TD early in the fourth quarter. Stick then completed a pass to tight end Hunter Kampmoyer for the 2-point conversion to make it 22-all.
Stick was 16 of 23 for 119 yards and an interception.
HAPPY HALF ANNIVERSARY
The Rams' preseason opener came six months after they defeated the Cincinnati Bengals in the Super Bowl at SoFi Stadium.
Rams: DT Bobby Brown was helped off the field during the fourth quarter after he couldn't put any weight on his right ankle. Brown had a sack during the second quarter.
Rams: Host the Houston Texans Friday.
Chargers: Host the Dallas Cowboys next Saturday.
Indianapolis Colts running back Phillip Lindsay spent all the offseason with Indy before being a final cut during training camp. Now, Lindsay is back with the Colts and could start factoring into their gameplan. Head coach Frank Reich mentioned that Lindsay would begin getting into the equation, assuming Jonathan Taylor (ankle) is unable to play on Thursday Night Football. It's a short week, so the Colts might not want to push it with Taylor. Instead, Nyheim Hines and Lindsay would be the focal point in the backfield, assuming Taylor is out. It's hard to imagine Lindsay being a reliable streaming option against the tough Broncos defense.
Chicago Bears kicker Cairo Santos (personal) missed the Week 4 matchup against the New York Giants. The 30-year-old was dealing with a personal matter and was away from the team for a week. Now, Santos has returned and should resume his role as the primary kicker in Chicago. Michael Badgley started in his place on Sunday and connected on four field goals in the loss. The expectation is that Badgley will return to the practice squad, but someone might scoop him up soon after that performance.
San Francisco 49ers star defensive lineman Arik Armstead (foot), who came into the Monday night game against the Los Angeles Rams questionable with his foot injury, aggravated his foot injury and was ruled out for the rest of the game in the fourth quarter. The 28-year-old has been dealing with plantar fasciitis in his foot, and on a short week heading into Week 5 against the Carolina Panthers, Armstead might have a tough time getting cleared to play. With Armstead and Javon Kinlaw (knee) injured on the interior of the 49ers defensive line, backups Kevin Givens and Hassan Ridgeway have been pressed into more playing time on Monday against LA.
San Francisco 49ers left tackle Colton McKivitz (knee), who was filling in for All-Pro Trent Williams (ankle), is out for the rest of the Monday night game against the Los Angeles Rams with a knee injury. Jaylon Moore is now filling in, with Blake Hance on deck. When Moore was forced to enter last Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos, the Broncos defense destroyed the Niners' offensive line and came after quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. San Francisco might have to devote some more help to Moore on Garoppolo's blind side for the rest of this Week 4 game to avoid something similar happening against the Rams strong defense.
New Orleans Saints practice squad RB Latavius Murray will be signed to the Denver Broncos 53-man roster, according to a source.
Fantasy Spin: The Broncos have lost Javonte Williams to injury, so Murray should have a role right away. Murray likely will be behind Melvin Gordon in terms of workload, but he could be a flex option against certain opponents.
Linebacker Blake Martinez is signing a deal to join the Las Vegas Raiders according to The Score's Jordan Schultz. Martinez was released by the New York Giants right before the season started after a two-year tenure in the Big Apple. He will rejoin former Giants defensive coordinator Patrick Graham, who is now with the Raiders. Martinez posted four straight seasons of at least 144 tackles from 2017 to 2020 and could have some value in IDP leagues if he garners a full-time role with the Raiders. The terms of the deal have yet to be posted.
Los Angeles Rams offensive lineman Coleman Shelton left Week 4's Monday night game against the San Francisco 49ers with an ankle injury and was ruled out for the remainder of the game shortly after. Shelton injured his ankle during the first quarter and then tried to play on the following drive but ultimately ended up heading back into the locker room. Shelton was replaced on the offensive line by Jeremiah Kolone at center. Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford will have his hands full for the remainder of the game against the San Francisco defense.
The Denver Broncos signed running back Latavius Murray off of the New Orleans Saints' practice squad on Monday. Murray logged 11 rushes for 57 yards and a touchdown for the Saints against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 4 but he will now head to Denver to help fill out the running back room following the season-ending injury to Javonte Williams. Murray will join Melvin Gordon III and Mike Boone with the Broncos. It remains to be seen if Murray will have a role, or even suit up, against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 5's Thursday night game after he just played in London on Sunday. Murray will be worth monitoring in fantasy in case he carves out a significant role with the Broncos.
New Orleans Saints RB Latavius Murray and TE J.P. Holtz were returned to the practice squad Monday, Oct. 3, after being on the active roster for the Week 4 game.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Cole Beasley was returned to the practice squad Monday, Oct. 3, after being on the active roster for the Week 4 game.
Houston Texans TE Jordan Akins and Mason Schreck were returned to the practice squad Monday, Oct. 3, after being on the active roster for the Week 4 game.
Dynasty | Treylon Burks has been diagnosed with turf toe after being carted off the field in Sunday's game. Dynasty Analysis: The injury looked to be much worse than turf toe, but this is going to keep Burks off the field for a while. This is one of the most difficult injuries to return from during a season, so we'll keep an eye on his rehab starting this week. This is just the latest setback for Burks, who has struggled to stay on the field during his rookie season, let alone produce at a high level. He's in danger of falling out of the top ten rookies should others continue to step up while he's out of the lineup. Dynasty managers have no choice but to hold on to him for the moment.
Dynasty | Tua Tagovailoa will not play for the Dolphins this week against the Jets. Dynasty Analysis: It seems the Dolphins may have received the memo from the rest of America wondering why he was ever on the field last week in the first place. Tua is dealing with a significant concussion and while his date to return to the field is unknown, there is little to no chance we see him until he's more than 100% ready to play. Miami has come under fire for how they've handled his injuries this season and are clearly under the microscope. As for Tua, his ranking of QB16 is secure, but we'll need to see him back on the field before moving him up.
Dynasty | With Brian Robinson set to return from IR, Antonio Gibson's grasp on the starting running back job is tenuous at best. Dynasty Analysis: Robinson was clearly in the lead for the job this summer and Gibson hasn't really done anything to likely convince the Washington coaches he should be the answer. While Robinson may be eased into the job, it seems unlikely Gibson will hold him off for long. Gibson has posted just 173 yards this year, averaging averaging a pedestrian 3.3 yards per carry in the process. At this point, savvy owners are likely looking to peddle him before his ranking of RB21 starts to tank.
Denver Broncos defensive end Randy Gregory (knee) is undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery and will be sidelined anywhere from two to six weeks, depending on how he recovers, according to a source. The good news for Gregory is that his ACL is still intact, so he'll be able to return after a few weeks of rest and recovery. The 29-year-old pass-rusher has been a big force on Denver's defensive line through the first four weeks, compiling two sacks, nine tackles (six solo), seven QB hits and two forced fumbles, so his absence is surely bad news for a Broncos defense that got dominated by the division-rival Las Vegas Raiders in their Week 4 loss. The Broncos defense/special teams unit won't be anything more than a low-upside streaming option in Week 5 against the Indianapolis Colts.
Washington Commanders defensive end Chase Young (knee) will not be activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list this week, according to head coach Ron Rivera. Young will miss at least one more game and probably more as he continues to recover from ACL and MCL tears in his right knee last November. The 23-year-old former first-rounder made the Pro Bowl in his rookie season in 2020 when he had 7.5 sacks and 44 tackles (32 solo), but he played in only nine games in 2021 and finished with just 1.5 sacks and 26 tackles (15 solo). At full health, he will be a big boost to the Commanders' pass rush and he should be worth a look in IDP formats down the stretch as well.
Denver Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett said quarterback Russell Wilson (shoulder) would have been limited on Monday if the team had a real practice. Hackett said Wilson "got dinged up a little bit" in the Week 4 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday. It's something to keep an eye on, but Wilson doesn't appear to be in any danger of missing the Week 5 contest against the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday night. The 33-year-old QB accounted for three touchdowns on Sunday (two passing, one rushing), but he threw for only 237 yards on a season-low 25 attempts. Against a Colts defense that's allowing 16.2 fantasy points per game to signal-callers through four weeks, Wilson will be in play as a low-end QB1 in fantasy.
Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera said that rookie running back Brian Robinson (knee) will come off the Non-Football Injury list and the team will start his 21-day clock to return on Wednesday. Robinson was cleared by doctors to practice, and Rivera said it looks "very promising" that the 23-year-old could make his NFL debut in Week 5 against the Tennessee Titans. It wouldn't be surprising if the Commanders take it slow with Robinson, but once he is ready to contribute, it will be bad news for both Antonio Gibson and pass-catching back J.D. McKissic. Before being shot in an attempted robbery in D.C. just before the start of the regular season, Robinson was trending towards leading Washington's backfield. If he remains available on your league's waiver wire, scoop him up now and stash him.
Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said that wide receiver Rashod Bateman (foot) was dealing with a foot injury in the second half of the Week 4 loss to the Buffalo Bills, which is why he was not on the field in the fourth quarter. The Ravens are listing Bateman as day-to-day for now, so fantasy managers will need to keep an eye on his practice status throughout the week leading up to a Week 5 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday Night Football. Unless the 22-year-old suffers a setback this week, he should be on track to suit up this week. He played a season-low 44 percent of the snaps on Sunday and caught just three of six targets for 17 yards. With better health in Week 5, fantasy managers will be hoping he can bounce back after scoring touchdowns in each of the first two weeks.
With Denver Broncos running back Javonte Williams (knee) out for the season due to a torn ACL, the Broncos will have to rely more on Melvin Gordon III, who has fumbled five times in his last 44 carries over five games. Sunday's Week 4 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders marked the third time a Gordon fumble has been returned for a touchdown in the Broncos' last 12 games. The 29-year-old was listed as limited on Monday's practice estimate with a neck injury, but he should be fine ahead of Thursday night's Week 5 game against the Indianapolis Colts, where he should lead Denver's backfield despite his fumbling issues. Mike Boone might be involved as well the rest of the way, but Gordon should be Denver's primary back, giving him RB2 upside moving forward.