Rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson is backing up veteran Joe Flacco in Baltimore with Robert Griffin III inactive for the Ravens’ opener with the Buffalo Bills. Now the question is whether the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner gets on the field.
This is the first time Ravens coach John Harbaugh has kept three quarterbacks on his opening day roster since 2009, and the coach turned to Jackson with his running skills as a change-up option against Buffalo over Griffin with his 42 games of NFL experience.
For Buffalo, cornerback Vontae Davis is inactive after struggling through the preseason. But Davis was signed to be the starter, making him starting the season on the sideline a surprise.
Colts quarterback Andrew Luck will make his first start in more than 20 months without either of his projected starting tackles or his starting running back. Joe Haeg, who started the most at right tackle for Indy last season, will start at left tackle for Anthony Castonzo (hamstring). Veteran J’Marcus Webb, signed during training camp, will start at right tackle in place of Denzelle Good (knee/wrist).
Rookie Jordan Wilkins, a fifth-round pick, replaces running back Marlon Mack in his NFL debut for Indianapolis.
Austin Corbett, the 33rd overall pick in this year’s draft, is inactive for the Cleveland Browns against Pittsburgh after losing his job as left guard earlier this week. Corbett started all four preseason games, then Cleveland decided to move Joel Bitonio back to left guard and start undrafted rookie Desmond Harrison at left tackle.
In Miami, Brock Osweiler is the backup quarterback against the Titans with the Dolphins scratching a pair of quarterbacks, including rookie Luke Falk, who was claimed off waivers from Tennessee a week ago.
With Olivier Vernon out with an ankle injury, the Giants will start rookie Lorenzo Carter out of Georgia at linebacker.
Josh LeRibeus is starting in place of New Orleans guard Andrus Peat, who missed a practice (quadriceps) and then was limited when he returned. Wide receiver Cameron Meredith, one of the Saints’ top free agent signees, had hoped to play after missing the 2017 season with knee surgery. But Meredith is inactive. Tampa Bay cornerback Brent Grimes is out with a groin injury after being doubtful for the opener.
Inactives for Sunday’s early games:
Bills: WR Ray-Ray McCloud III, CB Vontae Davis, CB Ryan Lewis, LB Julian Stanford, T Conor McDermott, G Wyatt Teller, TE Khari Lee.
Ravens: Griffin III, WR Jordan Lasley, TE Hayden Hurst, OL Jermaine Eluemunor, DT Willie Henry, DT Zach Sieler, CB Darious Williams.
Steelers: QB Mason Rudolph, CB Coty Sensabaugh, S Marcus Allen, OT Matt Feiler, OT Zach Banner, TE Vance McDonald, DE L.T. Walton.
Browns: QB Drew Stanton, WR Damion Ratley, DB E.J. Gaines, LB James Burgess Jr., OL Austin Corbett, DL Ifeadi Odenigbo, DL Anthony Zettel.
Titans: WR Cameron Batson, S Kendrick Lewis, LB Rashaan Evans, OLB Harold Landry III, G Aaron Stinnie, T Jack Conklin, TE Anthony Firkser.
Dolphins: QB Luke Falk, QB David Fales, WR DeVante Parker, CB Cornell Armstrong, RB Kalen Ballage, T Zach Sterup, TE Gavin Escobar.
JACKSONVILLE-NEW YORK GIANTS
Jaguars: WR Rashad Greene St., DT Eli Ankou, OL Chris Reed, OL Josh Walker, OL Will Richardson Jr., DE Dawuane Smoot, DT Michael Bennett.
Giants: LB Olivier Vernon, LB Tae Davis, QB Kyle Lauletta, CB Michael Jordan, C Evan Brown, C Spencer Pulley, S Kamrin Moore.
49ers: WR Richie James Jr., LB Malcolm Smith, OL Erik Magnuson, OL Matt Tobin, DT Jullian Taylor, OT Shon Coleman.
Vikings: QB Kyle Sloter, CB Mackensie Alexander, RB Roc Thomas, RB Mike Boone, C Pat Elflein, OL Aviante Collins, DT Jalyn Holmes.
Bengals: WR Cody Core, WR Auden Tate, RB Mark Walton, LB Malik Jefferson, OL Christian Westerman, OT Cedric Ogbuehi, DL Josh Tupou
Colts: WR Marcus Johnson, RB Marlon Mack, TE Ryan Hewitt, OL Le’Raven Clark, OL Denzelle Good, OT Anthony Castonzo, DT Hassan Ridgeway
TAMPA BAY-NEW ORLEANS
Buccaneers: CB Brent Grimes, RB Ronald Jones, OL Mike Liedtke, OL Alex Cappa, WR Justin Watson, DT Vita Vea, OL Adam Gettis
Saints: G Andrus Peat, WR Cameron Meredith, CB P.J. Williams, DT Taylor Stallworth, DL Mitchell Loewen, OL Will Clapp, TE Dan Arnold.
Texans: WR Will Fuller, WR Kyle Coutee, CB Kayvon Webster, LB Duke Ejiofor, OL Kendall Lamm, DE Carlos Watkins, DE Joel Heath.
Patriots: WR Chad Hansen, RB Sony Michel, DB J.C. Jackson, CB Keion Crossen, TE Jacob Hollister, OL Brian Schwenke, DE Derek Rivers.
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