Trevor Lawrence throws two touchdowns in preseason finale

Jacksonville Jaguars v Dallas Cowboys
Getty Images

Trevor Lawrence threw his first and second touchdown passes in a Jaguars uniform. The Jaguars hope it’s the first and second of many, many more.

The Jaguars played most of their starters. The Cowboys sat most of theirs as well as some key reserves, with more than 30 not in uniform.

Lawrence did what he should have done in that scenario, going 11-of-12 for 139 yards with two touchdowns and a 154.5 passer rating.

He threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Pharoh Cooper and a 4-yard toss to Laviska Shenault Jr.

The No. 1 overall choice played into the second quarter, departing with 11:42 remaining until halftime.

With Gardner Minshew now in Philadelphia, C.J. Beathard replaced Lawrence.

Lawrence played 15 snaps in the preseason opener, completing 6 of 9 passes for 71 yards. He went 14-of-23 for 113 yards in 34 snaps on Monday night against the Saints.

The Jaguars open the season two weeks from today against the Texans.

Kellen Mond not committing to vaccine after returning from COVID-19

Getty Images

Three of the Vikings’ four quarterbacks are unvaccinated. That became known July 31 when rookie Kellen Mond tested positive for COVID-19, forcing Kirk Cousins and Nate Stanley to isolate for five days.

Jake Browning, who is vaccinated, was the only quarterback the Vikings had for that night’s practice.

Mond met with the media for the first time since his positive test, which kept him out until Aug. 10. He said he experienced flu-like symptoms.

“Day two through four is where I struggled the most, but I was still kind of around and functioning,” Mond said, via Courtney Cronin of ESPN. “I was still in meetings, and still trying to do as much as I can to work out and stay in shape.”

There is no doubt it was a setback for the third-round choice. Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said Mond has been in “slow motion” since returning and “needs to pick up the tempo.”

“Knowing that I had to sit out 10 days, it definitely hurt, especially coming off a good OTAs and then looking forward to coming in and learning more there in training camp,” Mond said. “But I can’t dwell on what’s happened in the past, and I’m just looking forward to getting better.”

Zimmer has expressed frustration with unvaccinated players as the Vikings have ranked near the bottom of the league in vaccination rate.

“I think everyone based on the NFL and everyone to the players, they have their own opinions and obviously him, a person who’s vaccinated, has their opinion of wanting their players to get vaccinated to protect the team,” Mond said of Zimmer, via Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune. “So everyone has kind of spoke on it. I think everyone has their own personal reasons, so pretty much everybody (has an) opinion.”

Mond said he still is talking to people about whether he might get vaccinated.

“I’ve talked to people around me who I trust,” Mond said. “I think it’s a little bit more in the conversation since I’ve had COVID-19, but I think those are personal things I’m (not) going to speak about. Like everyone is entitled to their own opinion.”

Broncos place Kary Vincent, Jamar Johnson on COVID-19 list


The Broncos placed two draft picks on the reserve COVID-19 list.

The NFL’s transactions report shows safety Jamar Johnson and cornerback Kary Vincent went on the list Monday. That brings the number of NFL players on the COVID-19 reserve list to 14.

Chiefs long snapper James Winchester and Rams receiver Tutu Atwell also went on the COVID-19 list Monday.

The Broncos drafted Johnson in the fifth round. He made four interceptions, four pass breakups and 43 tackles in eight starts for Indiana in 2020, earning second-team All-Big Ten honors for league coaches. He started once in 2019 as a sophomore, posting 25 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, two interceptions and two pass breakups.

The Broncos drafted Vincent in the seventh round. He opted out of the 2020 season, but in 2019 with LSU, Vincent made 36 solo tackles, two tackles for loss, four interceptions and eight pass breakups.

Titans have all eight draft choices under contract after signing Monty Rice

Detroit Lions v Tennessee Titans
Getty Images

The Titans signed third-round choice Monty Rice on Saturday, the team announced. All of the team’s eight draft picks now are under contract.

The Titans selected Rice, a Georgia product, with the 92nd overall pick.

In 2020, Rice started eight of 10 games and made 49 tackles and four tackles for loss. He was one of five finalists for the Butkus Award, which recognizes the nation’s best linebacker, and earned first-team All-SEC honors.

Rice started all 14 games for the Bulldogs in 2019, when he totaled 89 tackles and three tackles for loss. He made second-team All-SEC and was the co-winner of the Vince Dooley Defensive MVP.

“I can call the defense. I can run. I can hit. I can cover,” Rice said, via Jim Wyatt of the team website. “I can do what a three-down linebacker needs to do. In today’s NFL, you have to be able to run and hit at linebacker, and I think I do a pretty good job at that. But you can always get better.”

Browns sign Anthony Schwartz, have all eight draft picks under contract

Cleveland Browns Off-Season Workout
Getty Images

The Browns announced the signings of first-round choice Greg Newsome II and third-round selection Anthony Schwartz. They are the final players of the club’s eight 2021 draft picks to sign.

Newsome’s signing was reported earlier in the day.

Schwartz, a receiver the Browns drafted with the 91st overall selection, totaled 1,433 career receiving yards on 117 catches with six touchdowns in 36 games at Auburn.

He ranks 10th in career receptions and 17th in career receiving yards in school history.

As a senior in 2020, Schwartz caught 54 passes for 636 yards and three touchdowns, all career highs.

He will have to fight for opportunities behind a deep receiving corps that includes Odell Beckham, Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins, Donovan Peoples-Jones and KhaDarel Hodge.

Baron Browning signs rookie deal with Broncos


The Broncos have reached agreement on a four-year deal with linebacker Baron Browning, Mike Klis of 9News reports. Browning receives an $840,616 signing bonus.

Browning’s agreement leaves only second-round running back Javonte Williams unsigned. The Broncos drafted 10 players.

Browning will begin training camp on the active/physically unable to perform list, Klis adds. Browning injured his knee during the team’s rookie minicamp and missed all of the organized team activities and the mandatory minicamp.

Browning totaled 110 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, seven sacks, two forced fumbles, no interceptions and three pass breakups in 43 career games at Ohio State.

Giants place Kadarius Toney on COVID-19 reserve list

Getty Images

The Giants have placed receiver Kadarius Toney on their reserve/COVID-19 list, the team announced Thursday.

Toney reported to training camp with the rest of the team’s rookies Wednesday and underwent COVID-19 testing upon arrival. The Giants said in a statement that Toney is “following the NFL protocols by isolating and participating in meetings remotely.”

Zack Rosenblatt of reports that Toney tested positive for the coronavirus but is asymptomatic.

The Giants selected Toney with the 20th overall choice out of the University of Florida.

Toney played 38 games with 13 starts for the Gators, catching 120 passes for 1,490 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Ravens place Ben Cleveland, Jake Breeland on non-football injury list

NFL: NOV 15 Ravens at Patriots
Getty Images

The Ravens have placed two players on the non-football injury list.

According to the NFL’s Wednesday transactions report, rookie guard Ben Cleveland and rookie tight end Jake Breeland will begin camp on the list.

Breeland, who signed with the team as an undrafted free agent, still is working his way back from a knee injury. He tore the ACL and meniscus in his left knee during an Oregon win over Colorado on Oct. 11.

It is unclear why Cleveland landed on the list, whether it was an injury or failing the conditioning test.

The Ravens made him the 94th overall pick in the third round out of Georgia. He was a first-team All-SEC selection in 2020, playing the season at right guard. In all he appeared in 45 games for the Bulldogs over four seasons.

The players count against the 90-player roster, but the Ravens can activate them from the non-football injury list at any time.

Patriots place three draft choices on the non-football injury list

Reese's Senior Bowl
Getty Images

The Patriots placed three of their draft choices on the non-football injury list, according to the NFL’s Wednesday transactions wire.

Safety Joshuah Bledsoe, linebacker Cameron McGrone and running back Rhamondre Stevenson will start training camp on the list.

Bledsoe injured his wrist at the Senior Bowl, and McGrone tore an anterior cruciate ligament in November. Stevenson’s injury is unknown, but he missed some practice time in the spring and running backs coach Ivan Fears allowed that Stevenson was “fighting through a couple of nagging things,” according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.

The Patriots made Stevenson the 120th overall choice, selecting him in the fourth round. They took McGrone in the fifth round at No. 177 overall, and Bledsoe was a sixth-rounder selected 188th overall.

All three count against the 90-player roster, but the Patriots can activate them from the non-football injury list at any time.

Sean McVay thought 49ers might draft Kyle Pitts with the third choice


From the time they traded up to No. 3 on March 26, the 49ers had everyone fooled about who they were targeting. Mac Jones initially was the popular guess.

Trey Lance, who ended up being the choice, and Justin Fields also were considered candidates.

Kyle Pitts even wondered whether the 49ers traded up for him.

Even though the 49ers already have one of the best tight ends in football in George Kittle, Rams coach Sean McVay admits he also considered Pitts a candidate for San Francisco.

“I thought there was a possibility that Kyle was going to go Pitts at three,” McVay said on the Flying Coach podcast, via “In all seriousness, because he’s such a visionary. I’m telling you, I didn’t think it was going to be a crazy thought because you go back to when New England had the two-tight end set, and they were doing things totally different. You think about what Kittle. And then, the thing that makes sense is that, hey, Jimmy [Garoppolo’s] produced all the way. This isn’t a production thing. This is an availability thing that you’re saying, ‘We can’t have that,’ like, all the things.

“But I was like, ‘If it’s not Mac Jones — and I hadn’t studied Trey, just because there wasn’t a lot of film exposure going back a couple of years, and we weren’t in that market, so I didn’t know other than watching him throw at his pro day that you’re saying, ‘Alright, you can see a lot of the things that you would like and that would make sense.'”

The 49ers’ clandestine operation worked as even Lance said he didn’t know he was the choice until the phone call from the team.

“[Shanahan] had everybody fooled, and he got the people that he knew we’d be looking to to fool us as well,” McVay said.

Jeremy Reaves believes Jamin Davis has a chance to make a big impact right away

Washington Football Team Off-Season Workout
Getty Images

Jamin Davis hasn’t even played a preseason game yet, but the Washington Football Team is high on the linebacker after seeing him in the offseason program. As the 19th overall choice, Davis is expected to be a “high-impact guy” on an already really good defense.

“He’s got a chance to be special,” safety Jeremy Reaves said on 106.7 The Fan’s Grant & Danny Show this week, via “He’s very instinctual, very smart. He understands the game. He understands leverages, passing concepts. The kid’s got it all honestly.”

Davis started only one season at Kentucky, but he led the Wildcats with 102 tackles last season while also totaling 1.5 sacks, three interceptions and a touchdown in 10 games.

“He’s a very well-rounded football player, and he’s got that confidence and swagger that you like at linebacker,” Reaves said. “I know me personally I’m going to knock somebody’s face off, but I know he’s going to knock somebody’s face off, too. It makes our job easier when you’ve got a guy like that, and he can freaking run, too. So it’s very convenient for the guys in the back.”

George Kittle: Trey Lance doesn’t let mistakes snowball

San Francisco 49ers Off-Season Workout
Getty Images

Trey Lance is a rookie. That means Lance is going to make rookie mistakes, probably lots of them over the next year.

But the 49ers’ future starting quarterback has impressed his teammates by his ability to learn from his mistakes and not let them compound.

Trey’s a good quarterback,” star tight end George Kittle said on ESPN’s First Take on Tuesday, via “I’m excited to see the progression that he makes. He’s a hell of an athlete. Just being in OTAs with him, he’s a guy that wants to learn every single day. He’s competitive every single day. He doesn’t let mistakes stop him. Nothing snowballs.”

Since the team’s offseason program ended, several videos have surfaced of Lance throwing. One featured Lance working with veteran receiver Mohamed Sanu.

The 49ers traded up to draft Lance, making him the heir apparent. The only question is: When will Lance take over from Jimmy Garoppolo?

“He’s got all the right attributes, and I’m just excited to see how he progresses in training camp,” Kittle said.

Jets offensive coordinator: We have thrown a lot at Zach Wilson


Zach Wilson became an NFL quarterback only 50 days ago when the Jets drafted him No. 2 overall. He’s had a handful of offseason practices since.

As the ol’ NFL saying goes: You don’t know what you don’t know because you don’t know.

“It’s hard to say exactly how you did,” Wilson said, via Dennis Waszak Jr. of the Associated Press. “Personally, in my eyes, I feel I can improve every single day. I feel like I’m learning something every single day. Even on the good days, it’s still frustrating, and it’s just because it’s like a foreign language. Every single day, it’s the same plays, but you’re getting different reps, different looks at it, different defensive coverages, whatever it is.”

Wilson became QB1 the day he was drafted, which came 24 days after the Jets traded Sam Darnold to the Panthers. The Jets are giving Wilson a crash course with the season opener less than three months away.

“It’s been a learning curve for him,” offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur said. “We’ve thrown a lot at him.”

LaFleur said Wilson has done a “really good job” thus far. Wilson, though, is a long way from being ready for opening day.

“I don’t love feeling unprepared,” Wilson said. “I don’t love feeling like I’m not ready for something. I love the always having something new feeling every day in practice. You don’t know what defense they’re going to throw at you and there’s always something new to prepare for and get better at. I’m just going to make sure I’m doing everything I can to be ready once training camp comes around.”

Justin Fields: Andy Dalton has completely taken me under his wing


Justin Fields won’t begin the season as the Bears’ starter, but Andy Dalton knows it’s only a matter of time. Still, Dalton has been an open book for Fields.

Fields said Dalton and Nick Foles both have served as mentors since the Bears used a first-round choice on him in April.

“Yeah, I’ve learned a lot of things,” Fields said Thursday, via NFL Media. “[Dalton] has talked to me a lot. I actually went to dinner with him and his wife. We talked a lot there, kind of just his background, their story. Andy and Nick, they’ve been awesome — probably bigger than you guys would even know. Andy’s completely taken me under his wing. Any questions I have for him, he’s going to answer, even when I’m throwing. I think there was one day after OTAs, I was throwing extra after practice, and he stayed out there specifically just to see maybe what I was doing wrong and he was just trying to help me out. He’s been a huge help for sure.”

Fields understands fans’ eagerness to see him play, but he said he’s willing to do whatever helps the Bears win. For now, the Bears believe Dalton gives them the best chance to win.

“I mean, of course, I feel [the pressure to produce],” Fields said. “You know, great things don’t happen all at once. I’m just going to be patient. Like I said earlier, I’ve been in a situation where I’ve had to learn behind a guy, so this is nothing new for me. I’m just going to take it day by day and get better each and every day. I’m going to trust coach [Matt] Nagy and the whole coaching staff here to develop me and make me the best quarterback I can be.”

Kellen Mond signs rookie deal with Vikings


Vikings quarterback Kellen Mond has signed his rookie deal, the team announced Tuesday.

Mond will get a three-year, $5.223 million deal, including a signing bonus of $1.158 million, per Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press, and the third-round choice will count $949,712 against the 2021 salary cap.

The Vikings have signed eight of their 11 draft choices, with only third-rounders Chazz Surratt, Wyatt Davis and Patrick Jones remaining unsigned.

Mond threw for 2,282 yards with 19 touchdowns and three interceptions in 10 games for Texas A&M last season. During his career with the Aggies under Jimbo Fisher, Mond threw for 9,661 yards and 71 touchdowns.