Sat Aug 13 12:01am ET
By MITCH STACY
AP Sports Writer
Arizona Cardinals running back Keaontay Ingram (30) receives a handoff from quarterback Jarrett Guarantano (16) during the second half of the team's NFL football preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Cincinnati, Friday, Aug. 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Arizona Cardinals running back Keaontay Ingram (30) celebrates with Danny Isidora (63) after scoring a touchdown during the second half of the team's NFL football preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Cincinnati, Friday, Aug. 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Arizona Cardinals' Greg Dortch (83) runs on a punt return, as Cincinnati Bengals' Justin Rigg (87) prepares to make the tackle during the second half of an NFL football preseason game in Cincinnati, Friday, Aug. 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Jake Browning throws a pass against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half of an NFL football preseason game in Cincinnati, Friday, Aug. 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Cincinnati Bengals running back Chris Evans (25) tries to break free from Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Manny Jones (75) during the second half of an NFL football preseason game in Cincinnati, Friday, Aug. 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Arizona Cardinals kicker Matt Prater (5) boots an extra point during the second half of an NFL football preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Cincinnati, Friday, Aug. 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Cincinnati Bengals place-kicker Evan McPherson celebrates a field goal during the second quarter against the Arizona Cardinals in an NFL football preseason game in Cincinnati, Friday, Aug. 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Trace McSorley (19) throws a pass against the Cincinnati Bengals during an NFL football preseason game in Cincinnati, Friday, Aug. 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)
Arizona Cardinals tight end Deon Yelder, left, and Cincinnati Bengals safety Dax Hill both fail to come down with a pass during the second quarter of an NFL football preseason game in Cincinnati, Friday, Aug. 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Trace McSorley (19) is tackled by Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt (29) in the second quarter an NFL football preseason game in Cincinnati, Friday, Aug. 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
The most encouraging sight for the Cincinnati Bengals in their preseason opener might have been quarterback Joe Burrow running warmup sprints with his teammates before the game.
The Bengals star, who had an appendectomy on July 27, is expected to be ready for the regular-season opener Sept. 11. He watched from the sideline with the rest of the starters from both teams in a predictably sloppy preseason opener won by the Arizona Cardinals 36-23.
Jonathan Ward, trying to win a spot in a crowded Arizona backfield, ran for a pair of 1-yard touchdowns in the second quarter.
Trace McSorley and Jarrett Guarantano, in competition to be the third-string quarterback, shared the snaps for the Cardinals. McSorley, who was signed midway through the 2021 season, threw for 163 yards and a touchdown to Andre Baccellia.
Guarantano, an undrafted free agent, was 7 for 10 for 54 yards and tossed a short touchdown pass to Jontre Kirklin.
''Any time you can play a clean game with substitutions, penalties, no turnovers, I thought that was what we wanted out of it,'' Arizona coach Kliff Kingsbury said. ''Long way to go. A lot of stuff we've got to get better at.''
The highlight for the Bengals was a late 11-play, 94-yard drive directed by undrafted free agent quarterback Drew Plitt and punctuated by a 25-yard TD pass to Kendric Pryor.
The Bengals lost Brandon Allen, who backed up Burrow last season, early in the game with a concussion. That left third-stringer Jake Browning to direct Cincinnati the rest of the way, going 13 for 24 for 190 yards. Plitt, signed when Burrow had surgery last month, completed all six of his pass attempts for 76 yards.
It was a messy affair for the Bengals' rookies and back-ups. They were flagged for 11 penalties that cost them 104 yards. That included a 60-yard run by running back Chris Evans that was erased by a holding penalty. Cincinnati rushed for only 62 yards in the entire game.
''We all have a lot to learn from that first experience,'' said Jackson Carman, a second-year offensive lineman competing to start at left guard. ''There's always stuff you have to learn.''
Keaontay Ingram also had a 1-yard touchdown run for Arizona (1-0).
Trent Taylor added four catches for 74 yards for Cincinnati. Jacques Patrick ran for a 1-yard TD in the fourth quarter.
Evan McPherson picked up where he left off in his terrific rookie season in 2021, booting field goals of 23, 58 and 56 yards for Cincinnati.
NEXT QB UP
Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray was out with a wrist injury and backup Colt McCoy has a sore arm, so McSorley and Guarantano both got ample opportunity to audition.
''It was good to get both those guys out there and getting them playing some meaningful snaps,'' Kingsbury said.
Bengals: Allen went out after playing the first series. It's not clear how long he'll be out. ... TE Mitchell Wilcox left in the first quarter with an ankle injury and didn't return. ... CB Cam Taylor-Britt, a second-round draft pick in the spring, has a core muscle injury, but further details weren't provided.
Cardinals: Baccellia suffered an ankle injury in the first half and didn't return.
BATES STILL MISSING
Bengals S Jessie Bates III is still missing from training camp. Bates was frustrated with efforts to sign a long-term contract, and the team put the franchise tag on him for the season. If anyone has an indication when or if he'll report, they aren't saying.
''Whenever he gets here, he'll be ready to go,'' coach Zac Taylor said Friday.
Cardinals: Host Ravens on Aug. 21.
Bengals: At Giants on Aug. 21.
Minnesota Vikings kicker Greg Joseph came up huge in the team's 25-23 win as the 28-year-old connected on all five of his field goal attempts. His missed extra-point attempt proved to be costly, but Joseph made up for it in a big way as he connected on the game-winning field goal with just 24 seconds to play. Joseph will continue to have starting lineup appeal for fantasy managers moving forward.
The Minnesota Vikings' defense forced two fumbles in the team's 28-25 win in Week 4. Despite the two turnovers, the defense didn't look particularly good as Andy Dalton completed 20-of-28 passes for 236 yards in this one. The Vikings D/ST doesn't seem like a reliable option moving forward, but a Week 5 meeting with the Bears will make them a streaming option once again.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson caught 10 passes for 147 yards and added a three-yard rushing touchdown as he totaled 31.0 PPR fantasy points. Jefferson got back on track in a huge way after having two straight duds despite the tough matchup with a stingy Saints defense. The 23-year-old was able to connect on two explosive plays, with the most important play of the game being a 41-yard reception to get the Vikings in field goal range to win the game. Jefferson will continue to possess high-end WR1 value moving forward and will look to build on a strong performance in Week 5 against the Bears.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen caught eight passes for 72 yards in the 28-25 victory over the Saints in Week 4. Thielen was the clear No. 2 option in the passing game, as he was second to Justin Jefferson's 14 targets with nine of his own. Moving forward, Thielen looks like a low-end WR2 option because of his prominent role in the Minnesota offense. He'll look to build on a solid performance in Week 5 against an exploitable Bears defense.
Minnesota Vikings tight end Irv Smith Jr. caught three of four targets for 23 yards in Week 4 against a tough Saints defense. The 24-year-old wasn't a big part of the offense in this one, as Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen combined for 24 targets on 38 pass attempts. Moving forward, Smith Jr. can be valued as a TE2 option with streaming appeal against good matchups. He'll look to get back on track in Week 5 against the Bears.
Philadelphia Eagles running back Boston Scott (rib) is inactive for Week 4 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, as expected. The 27-year-old had totaled 10 rushes, 29 yards, and one touchdown through the first two weeks. With Scott sidelined, Trey Sermon will be active for his Eagles debut behind Miles Sanders and Kenneth Gainwell.
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins completed 25-of-38 passes for 273 yards and a touchdown in the team's Week 4 win over the Saints. The Vikings' offense looked out of sync at some points of this game, but Cousins was able to connect with Justin Jefferson on a 41-yard pass late in the game to set up a game-winning field goal. The veteran's fantasy production in this one wasn't eye-popping, but the tough matchup with the Saints shouldn't discourage fantasy managers from starting Cousins in the coming weeks. He gets a good matchup with the Bears in Week 5 and can be valued as a low-end QB1.
Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook carried the ball 20 times for 76 yards and caught two passes for 10 yards in the team's Week 4 win over the Saints. Cook came into this game banged-up, but his hefty workload is an encouraging sign for his fantasy value moving forward. The 27-year-old figures to have RB1 value despite a bit of a slow start to the season. He'll look to get loose against a poor Bears defense in Week 5 back at home.
Arizona Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt (calf, heart) is officially active for Week 4 against the Carolina Panthers. On Sunday morning, Watt personally announced that he went into atrial fibrillation this past Wednesday, had his heart "shocked back into rhythm" on Thursday, and will play this week. The 33-year-old has amassed three tackles and two sacks through two games this season.
New York Giants defensive lineman Leonard Williams (knee) is officially inactive for Week 4 against the Chicago Bears. The 28-year-old has totaled seven tackles through just two games this season. Jihad Ward and Nick Williams will take over for Williams during Sunday's matchup against a weak Bears offense.
Houston Texans tight ends Brevin Jordan (ankle) and Pharaoh Brown (shoulder) are both inactive for the Week 4 contest against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday. With both Jordan and Brown out for this one, the Texans will roll with a combination of Jordan Akins and O.J. Howard at the position. Howard had two touchdowns in his team debut in the season opener, but he's had just one catch for seven yards on two targets in the two games since. Meanwhile, Akins caught three of his four targets for 31 yards and one touchdown in his season debut in last week's loss to the Chicago Bears. In a weak Texans offense, both Akins and Howard are low-upside, touchdown-dependent TE2 streamers in fantasy.
Dallas Cowboys tight end Dalton Schultz (knee) is officially active for Week 4 against the Washington Commanders. The 26-year-old missed last week's game and was listed as questionable ahead of this Sunday's divisional clash. Schultz should be viewed as a TE1 in fantasy football thanks to his role as a physical security blanket for Cooper Rush in the short passing game.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Jalen Tolbert (coach's decision) is inactive for Week 4 against the Washington Commanders. While Tolbert was active last week, he now loses his gameday roster spot to Michael Gallup (knee), who will make his season debut on Sunday. Tolbert drew plenty of praise during the preseason but has struggled to make a name for himself in September.
New Orleans Saints RB Mark Ingram (undisclosed) left the Week 4 game because of an undisclosed injury but was able to return in the fourth quarter of the game.
Fantasy Spin: Ingram has been the starting running back with Alvin Kamara sidelined and appears to be fine after leaving the game. He can be at least a flex option in leagues as long as he receives most of the work at running back.
Jacksonville Jaguars WR Zay Jones (ankle) is not active for Week 4's game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Fantasy Spin: Jones had been listed as questionable on the injury report after missing one of the team's three practice sessions during the week and being limited in another session. WR Marvin Jones should see additional targets in Zay Jones' absence and can be a middling flex option this afternoon in deeper fantasy leagues.
The Cleveland Browns have declared OT Joe Haeg, DE Jadeveon Clowney, QB Kellen Mond, DT Taven Bryan, OG Chris Hubbard, WR Michael Woods II and DE Myles Garrett inactive for Week 4.
Detroit Lions wide receiver Josh Reynolds (ankle) is officially active for Week 4 against the Seattle Seahawks. The 27-year-old is expected to be one of the Lions' top pass-catching options with Amon-Ra St. Brown, D.J. Charkand D'Andre Swift all inactive due to ankle injuries. Reynolds hauled in six of 10 passes for 96 yards last week and should continue to see a high volume of targets this Sunday. With his newfound role, Reynolds falls into the WR3 range for the time being.
Los Angeles Chargers tight end Donald Parham Jr. (hamstring) is once again inactive in Week 4 against the Houston Texans after coming in with a questionable tag. Parham will have to wait until a Week 5 matchup against the Cleveland Browns to make his season debut. The good news is the 25-year-old put in a full practice on Friday, so it would seem he has a good chance to be active next week, barring a setback. Veteran Gerald Everett will continue to serve as the Bolts' top pass-catching tight end this Sunday. The 28-year-old has been a decent streamer at the tight end position through three weeks with 11 catches on 20 targets for 150 yards and a touchdown.
Chicago Bears rookie wide receiver Velus Jones Jr. (hamstring) is officially active for Week 4 against the New York Giants. He will make his NFL debut after missing the first three games of the season. While the Bears are thin at the wide receiver position, they don't throw the football much. As a result, Jones should be left on waivers in redraft leagues.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Bryan Edwards is a healthy scratch for Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns. Edwards has one catch for two yards through two games this season. Kyle Pitts, Drake London, Cordarrelle Patterson, and Olamide Zaccheaus should headline the receiving game in this one.