The preseason doesn't matter, except when it irrevocably alters a season. Or a career. Teams just hope to survive the third preseason week without any major devastating injuries. Players on the bubble hope to avoid digging their own grave. Some weren't so lucky this weekend.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost their high-paid, power-run-blocking guard Davin Joseph for the season. The New York Giants look thinner than ever for Week 1 after losing starting cornerback Prince Amukamara to an ankle injury. Seattle Seahawks rookie quarterback Russell Wilsonput together a performance to remember against the Kansas City Chiefs, and was then named the starting quarterback by Pete Carroll. Matt Flynn is now just a high-priced backup.
We saw the end of Terrell Owens in Seattle, and the likely end of Vince Young in Buffalo after the trade of Tarvaris Jackson to Buffalo.
It was a busy weekend, setting us up for a cuts-heavy, nine-day sprint to the season opener. Nine days. Nine! Check out our "lessons learned" recaps of all the games on Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday. The rest of the weekend news you need to know is below.
Not a Good Weekend For ...
- Pittsburgh Steelers rookie offensive tackle Mike Adams has struggled and may not start Week 1. Fellow first-round draft pick, guard David DeCastro, could miss the season after a devastating knee injury. Basically, Ben Roethlisberger is right back where he started with a shaky offensive line.
- The Baltimore Ravens cut kicker Billy Cundiff over the weekend. Undrafted free agent Justin Tucker's big camp allowed the Ravens to let go of the goat from last year's AFC Championship Game, whether it was fair or not.
- Carson Palmer has no touchdowns and four interceptions in the preseason. It's worth noting he's learning yet another new offense this offseason and his young wide receivers all seem to be hurt.
- Joseph's injury really hurts a Bucs team that struggled to find any rhythm through the air in the preseason. They want to focus on Doug Martin and the running game, which will be tougher now. (Yes, Martin is now the team's starter over LeGarrette Blount.)
- Assuming the Tarvaris Jackson trade goes through, we would expect Vince Young and Tyler Thigpen to get cut later this week. Young made this trade happen by completing less than half of his 26 passes for only 103 yards and two picks on Saturday night. As the last member on the Vince Young bandwagon, even I know it's time to give up.
- It looks like Taiwan Jones will be the Oakland Raiders' No. 2 tailback behind Darren McFadden. Look for McFadden to get plenty of work.
- Brady Quinn has outplayed Ricky Stanzi in Kansas City Chiefs camp. It wouldn't be shocking if Quinn wound up starting some games over Matt Cassel at some point this year.
- Bills coach Chan Gailey confirmed Leodis McKelvin will be the team's nickel cornerback behind starters Aaron Williams and Stephon Gilmore at cornerback. Not mentioned: veteran Terrence McGee.
- We entered camp thinking Brian Rolle and Jamar Chaney were battling for the Philadelphia Eagles' starting weakside linebacker job. Akeem Jordan wound up winning the gig.
- Eagles fans have a fever and the only cure is more Nick Foles. It sure looks like he's passed Mike Kafka on the depth chart.
A Good Day For ...
- The Miami Dolphins dealt Vontae Davis to the Indianapolis Colts for two picks, including a second-rounder. This is a fascinating trade. It's rare to see such a young, productive player get traded with two years left on his contract. Davis has been up and down as a pro, but is undeniably a promising starter. It's a sign new Colts general manager Ryan Grigson is not afraid to take chances. He's not conceding this season merely as a rebuilding year.
- Great news for Bills fans: defensive tackle Kyle Williams looks like Kyle Williams again. He's just as important to the team this year as Mario Williams and Marcell Dareus.
- Olympian Jeff Demps showed enough in the New England Patriots' preseason game to make us think the Patriots will keep him around and find use for him as the ultimate gadget player. That's bad news for guys like Donte' Stallworth, who was reportedly cut Monday.