The first week of NFL preseason is in the books. While the results don’t mean much because starters barely play, the games are still meaningful for players who are trying to earn a roster spot and/or make their way up the depth chart.
Almost every Arizona Wildcat in the NFL falls into that category, so here’s how they fared.
J.J. Taylor, RB, New England Patriots
Taylor had two carries for 10 yards along with five catches for 31 yards, the second-most on the team, in the Pats’ 22-13 win over Washington. Taylor is part of a deep running back room, but his receiving prowess and work on special teams should help him carve out a role for New England. He returned two kickoffs for 45 yards and also fielded a punt.
JJ Taylor from Arizona with the nice run— WestCoastCFB (@WestCoastCFB) August 13, 2021
Nick Folk, K, New England Patriots
Folk was not in uniform for the Patriots. He is still expected to be their Week 1 starter, but rookie Quinn Nordin is making it an interesting race, making all three of his field goals against Washington, including a 50-yarder. However, he missed an extra point.
“We’ll take a look at it,” Pats coach Bill Belichick said. “Hit a couple good ones, missed an extra point. It’s all about consistency. Quinn has gotten better. He’s worked hard. But again, it’s really about consistency at that position. We’re getting there. We’ll see what kind of progress he continues to make.”
If Quinn Nordin beats out Nick Folk the Patriots will lose $283,529 in cap space as Nordin’s $660K will replace Folk’s total active roster bonus amount of $376,471. Note Folk’s $1.1M salary is fully guaranteed. Pats would get a credit if he were to receive cash from another team. https://t.co/HwMdXCSjGd— Miguel Benzan Patriots Cap Space equals 12,000,073 (@patscap) August 9, 2021
Nick Foles, QB, Chicago Bears
The Bears let rookie Justin Fields get most of the playing time, so Foles was limited to just 12 snaps. He completed one of three passes for eight yards. He overshot a running back on a swing pass, causing Bears fans to boo him off the field.
Nick Foles gets booed off the field in Chicago. Damn pic.twitter.com/aHey7lJJWo— gifdsports (@gifdsports) August 14, 2021
Roy Lopez, DL, Houston Texans
A sixth-round pick, Lopez had a sack in Houston’s 26-7 win at Green Bay.
Roy Lopez's sack pic.twitter.com/Z4OqBtOGH9— Rivers McCown (@riversmccown) August 15, 2021
Texans defensive coordinator Lovie Smith has been impressed with the former Wildcat and New Mexico State Aggie.
“He will be playing the nose guard position for us, but he’s a nose guard with a little bit of three technique athletic ability because he has a little bit of wiggle to him — also, strong, compact. He’s done some good things,” Smith said during camp. “You need to be bringing young players up through the system; like what he’s done so far.”
Gary Brightwell, RB, New York Giants
Brightwell did not play in the Giants’ 12-7 loss to the Jets. He has been battling a leg injury in camp so far. The good news is he returned to practice Tuesday.
Rookie RB Gary Brightwell is practicing today. First day back for him after missing extensive time from beginning of camp. #NYGiants— Art Stapleton (@art_stapleton) August 17, 2021
Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles, LB/S, San Francisco 49ers
DFF (concussion) did not play in the Niners’ 19-16 loss to Kansas City.
Rob Gronkowski, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Gronk played six snaps in the Bucs’ 19-14 loss to the Bengals but did not record any stats.
Dane Cruikshank, S, Tennessee Titans
Cruikshank did not play in the Titans 23-3 win over the Falcons. He has been dealing with an injury.
Will Parks, S, Kansas City Chiefs
Parks, who’s expected to be a rotational player for the Chiefs, played 11 snaps on defense and nine on special teams in Kansas City’s win over the Niners. He finished with four tackles.
Jace Whittaker, CB, Arizona Cardinals
Whittaker played 43 snaps, the most of any Cardinals defensive back. He’s mostly been operating in the slot. He had five tackles and a pass breakup in a 19-16 win over the Cowboys.
Lorenzo Burns, CB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Burns did not record any stats in a 23-13 loss to the Cleveland Browns.
PJ Johnson, DT, Detroit Lions
Johnson played three snaps in a 16-15 loss to the Bills. He did not record any stats.