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NFL Notebook

Jarrett Stidham leads two scoring drives in start as Josh McDaniels’ Raiders improve to 2-0 in preseason

Former Patriots fourth-round pick Jarrett Stidham led scoring drives on the Raiders' first two possessions on Sunday against the Vikings.John Locher/Associated Press

Former Patriots draft pick Jarrett Stidham completed 10 of 15 passes for 68 yards and ran for 16 yards and a touchdown as the Raiders beat the Vikings, 26-20, in a preseason game on Sunday in Las Vegas.

The Raiders moved to 2-0 after a 27-11 win over Jacksonville last week in the Hall of Fame Game.

Nick Mullens completed 7 of 9 passes for 94 yards and one touchdown, Chase Garbers was 2 for 3 through the air for 19 yards, and Brittain Brown ran for 54 yards on 14 carries, including one touchdown.

Vikings starter Kirk Cousins tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week and did not travel with the team. The Vikings’ next practice is Tuesday, putting Cousins on track to return to the field then.

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Kellen Mond threw for 119 yards on nine completions, including two touchdowns, in the Vikings’ preseason opener. Sean Mannion finished 8 of 12 for 79 yards.

Veteran wideout Albert Wilson caught two passes for Minnesota, both for touchdowns.

Stidham completed 10 of 15 passes for 68 yards and ran for 16 yards and a touchdown.Chris Unger/Getty

The Raiders used 15 plays to go 67 yards on their opening drive and take a 3-0 lead on Daniel Carlson’s 23-yard field goal.

They made it 10-0 when Stidham scampered 4 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the second quarter. It was Stidham’s second rushing touchdown of the preseason.

The Vikings did a good job of controlling the line of scrimmage for much of the second quarter, moving the ball effectively while bullying Las Vegas’s defensive front on consecutive drives. But drives of 75 and 79 yards stalled inside the red zone and the Vikings settled for field goals and cut Las Vegas’s lead to 10-6.

Packers get three players back

The Packers are getting some good news on their collection of players coming back from knee injuries.

Packers coach Matt LaFleur said that offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins, tight end Robert Tonyan, and rookie wide receiver Christian Watson are coming off the physically unable to perform list.

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Jenkins tore his left ACL in November. The timing of the injury made it seem unlikely that Jenkins would be back for the start of the season, though the 2020 Pro Bowl guard hadn’t ruled out the possibility.

Jenkins’ early return would boost an offensive line that is missing left tackle David Bakhtari, who earned first-team All-Pro honors in 2018 and 2020 and was a second-team selection in 2016, 2017, and 2019. Bakhtiari remains on the PUP list and has appeared in only one game since tearing his left ACL on Dec. 31, 2020.

The return of Jenkins should provide a serious boost to the Packers' offensive line.Stephen B. Morton/Associated Press

Jenkins has started games at every position on the line other than right guard. He was a Pro Bowl selection at left guard in 2020 and filled in for Bakhtiari at left tackle last season before getting hurt.

Tonyan tore his ACL in an Oct. 28 victory at Arizona. He had 18 catches for 204 yards and two touchdowns in eight games last season after collecting 11 touchdown receptions in 2020.

Watson, a second-round pick from North Dakota State, said he had an issue with his knee during organized team activities and had surgery afterward.

Giants’ D-line taking shape

The Giants not only have two promising young tackles on the end of the offensive line, they now have two young talented edge rushers on the defensive line.

The bookend pairs were completed when second-year linebacker Azeez Ojulari passed his physical and was removed from the non-football injury list. He had reported to training camp with a hamstring injury and wasn’t cleared to practice until Sunday.

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When Wink Martindale’s defense took the field, there were times when Ojulari was on one end of the line and rookie Kayvon Thibodeaux, the No. 5 pick in the draft, was on the other. During camp, they will be matched often against left tackle Andrew Thomas, the No. 4 pick in 2020, and Evan Neal, the No. 7 pick this year.

Ojulari led the Giants with eight sacks in his rookie season and added 49 tackles.

Falcons’ first-round pick injures knee

Rookie receiver Drake London will likely be held out of practices this week because of a right knee injury, but the Falcons’ No. 8 overall pick isn’t expected to miss significant time.

London was injured in the Falcons’ preseason opener at Detroit, going out on the first series after catching a 24-yard pass.

Coach Arthur Smith said that London wasn’t likely to practice this week, including joint workouts with the New York Jets ahead of an Aug. 22 preseason game at the Meadowlands.

“We hope to get everybody back healthy, ready to roll when the season rolls around,” Smith said. “It’s nothing we’re concerned about long term.”

London sustained a knee injury this weekend, but he isn't expected to miss serious time.Paul Sancya/Associated Press

Considering how important London is to the Falcons’ thin receiving corps, it’s possible he won’t play again until the Sept. 11 regular-season opener against New Orleans.

London sustained a broken right ankle last year in his final season at USC, but still caught 88 passes for 1,084 yards and seven touchdowns in eight games. He was chosen Pac-12 offensive player of the year despite missing four games.

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Dolphins lose CB for season

Dolphins cornerback Trill Williams tore his ACL in the team’s preseason opener against the Buccaneers, coach Mike McDaniel confirmed.

During the fourth quarter of the Dolphins’ 26-24 home win Saturday, Buccaneers backup quarterback Kyle Trask threw a pass to Deven Thompkins. Williams made the tackle on the play but immediately grabbed his left knee after falling to the ground.

Williams, a second-year player out of Syracuse, was undrafted in 2021 and signed with the New Orleans Saints as a free agent. Williams later joined the Dolphins off waivers.