The Redskins will become the first NFL team to have a gambling-focused telecast of their games, offering cash prizes to viewers who correctly predict in-game outcomes during the preseason.
The telecasts on the regional cable network NBC Sports Washington will follow a formula established by the Redskins’ NBA neighbors, the Washington Wizards. The Wizards, however, offered the free-to-play contests during the regular season, while the Redskins will have them only during the four preseason games, when NBC Sports Washington has TV rights.
The network will continue to offer a traditional telecast on its main channel, while the gambling-focused telecast will air simultaneously on its secondary channel, NBC Sports Washington Plus. The Wizards offered the alternate telecast on eight games this season, and they saw increased ratings and fan engagement, said Damon Phillips, the network’s general manager.
Starting the interactive telecasts now allows the network to be ready when legal online or mobile sports betting becomes available in its viewing area, Phillips said. The network in theory could accept real-time wagers on proposition bets offered during the telecast if it partnered with a sportsbook.
‘‘Down the road there are a number of possibilities,’’ Phillips said. ‘‘Who knows where the different regulatory entities are going to end up on sports betting, and we just want to make sure we’re ready to be able to respond to it.’’
For now, the games are free to play and the network will give away $1,000 in cash to one winner per quarter of each game.
‘‘We think this is the way of the future. There’s going to be a gamification of television broadcasts, and this is one of the first examples of it,’’ Phillips said.
The District of Columbia Council legalized sports betting in Washington this year, although the regulations have not been finalized and no sportsbooks have opened. Bills have been introduced to legalize sports betting in Virginia and Maryland, which would require voters in those states to approve it in a referendum.
Delaware and West Virginia, which are in the NBC Sports Washington viewing area, are among the 10 states that already have legal sportsbooks. Neither state currently has online or mobile betting, however.
The NFL has historically been opposed to gambling on its games, although it publishes injury reports that sportsbooks use to adjust point spreads, and it has embraced daily fantasy sports, in which fans wager on the performances of individual players rather than the outcome of a game. The NBA, NHL, and Major League Baseball have been more eager to embrace sports betting in states where it is legal, and they have created business partnerships with sportsbook operators. Caesars Entertainment became the NFL’s first casino sponsor this year, but the deal does not include sports betting or fantasy football.
Jets already hurting
It appears the New York Jets might open their preseason schedule without a few starters.
Wide receiver Quincy Enunwa injured his groin during practice Tuesday and was set to have tests. Coach Adam Gase did not seem overly concerned, but Enunwa’s status is uncertain for the preseason opener Thursday night against the Giants.
‘‘He was trying to go back in practice,’’ Gase said. ‘‘I think we’re just making sure that he’s OK, so that’s what they have to do. I don’t want to make it more alarming than what it is.’’
Defensive lineman Leonard Williams has missed two straight practices with a hip injury and seems unlikely to play. Gase said Williams was working on an anti-gravity treadmill during practice.
‘‘I think he'll be all right next week,’’ Gase said, adding that Williams had an MRI. ‘‘Yeah, they've done all the stuff they need to do, we’re just being slow. He’s just kind of sore and we’re just being smart with him.’’
With the veteran out, first-rounder Quinnen Williams has been working with the first-team defense and could see time with the starters against the Giants.
The No. 3 overall pick out of Alabama has had a solid training camp, regularly making plays that flash on the film when the players and coaches review practices.
‘‘I call him, ‘Big Baby,’ man,’’ safety Jamal Adams said. ‘‘He’s a guy that obviously is young right now, but he has the [right] mind-set. I'm definitely excited to play with him. I know what he’s going to bring to the table. I saw when he was coming off the bench at Alabama, he was coming in and making plays.’’
Safety Marcus Maye has sat out all of camp while on the active/physically unable to perform list with a shoulder injury. Gase revealed that Maye has a nerve issue in the shoulder and that is preventing him from getting onto the practice field.
Backup linebacker Harvey Langi, who had a good start to camp, has a knee injury that will sideline him for an uncertain amount of time.
DE Quinn breaks hand
Cowboys defensive end Robert Quinn fractured his left hand in practice at training camp and is expected to miss the rest of the preseason. Quinn sustained the injury during a one-on-one pass rushing drill against left tackle Tyron Smith. Executive vice president of personnel Stephen Jones said Quinn was returning from camp in Oxnard, Calif., to Dallas for surgery, but should be ready for the opener Sept. 8.
The Cowboys traded for Quinn, 29, in the offseason, signing him to an $8 million, one-year deal while sending a sixth-round pick in next year’s draft to the Dolphins.
The injury means Dallas is likely to be without both starting defensive ends until the regular season. DeMarcus Lawrence, who signed a $105 million, five-year deal in the offseason, isn’t expected to practice or play in the preseason coming off shoulder surgery.
With Randy Gregory suspended indefinitely, Quinn is expected to start at right defensive end opposite Lawrence. Gregory is planning to seek reinstatement, and the Cowboys are optimistic he will be available at some point during the season.
Bills lose CB Gaines
Bills cornerback EJ Gaines is out indefinitely with a groin injury.
Coach Sean McDermott didn’t reveal the severity of the injury, but says Gaines, who was hurt Sunday, is expected to miss a number of weeks.
Gaines, a fifth-year player, was competing for the starting job opposite Tre'Davious White.
Buffalo also shuffled its offensive line by placing LaAdrian Waddle on injured reserve, and signing Jarron Jones.
Waddle is out after tearing his right quadriceps in practice Sunday. Jones has yet to appear in an NFL game and is now on his seventh team since completing his college career at Notre Dame in 2016.
Gaines returned to Buffalo in free agency in March after spending last season with Cleveland. He was limited to playing just six games with the Browns before sustaining a season-ending concussion.
Panthers patient with Newton, Kuechly
Cam Newton’s return to game action will have to wait.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Newton and linebacker Luke Kuechly will not play in Thursday night’s preseason opener in Chicago, adding he’s being extra cautious with both players.
Newton is working his way back into form after having arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder in January, while Kuechly missed time last week after he got ‘‘rolled up on’’ during practice. The six-time Pro Bowl linebacker wouldn’t disclose the exact nature of the injury.
Newton, 30, hasn’t played a game since Dec. 17 and has been held out of some team drills during training camp as trainers aim to make prevent his right shoulder from becoming fatigued.
Kyle Allen will get the start at quarterback against the Bears, while rookie third-round draft pick Will Grier and Taylor Heinicke are also expected to see playing time.
‘‘This game, there really isn’t much to this one,’’ Rivera said. ‘‘And there are a lot of things that we want to see from the young guys and by doing that we give Kyle an opportunity right off the bat.’’