Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater need not rush back from injury after Case Keenum showed glimpses of being a capable backup in the Minnesota Vikings’ 17-10 preseason-opening win over the host Buffalo Bills on Thursday night.
Taking over for starter Sam Bradford, Keenum completed 11 of 16 passes for 121 yards. The former Ram engineered a pair of scoring drives — both set up by passes to rookie receiver Stacy Coley.
On the opening drive of the second half, Keenum rolled to his right and hit Coley, a seventh-round pick out of Miami, who made a sliding catch at the Bills’ two-yard line. Fullback C.J. Ham scored on the next play to put Minnesota ahead 10-3.
The Vikings signed Keenum in April as insurance with Bridgewater still recovering from a serious left knee injury sustained a year ago.
The Bills’ starting defense was stout in two series, while their offense struggled moving the ball under new coach Sean McDermott. Jerry Hughes and backup defensive end Eddie Yarborough each sacked Bradford, who played just two series.
Buffalo starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor played three series and complete five of eight attempts for 46 yards.
— Mitch Trubisky threw for 166 yards and led three scoring drives after Mike Glennon struggled for Chicago, before the visiting Denver Broncos scored two long touchdowns in the closing minutes to beat the Bears 24-17. Though the Bears have insisted Glennon is their starter, Trubisky might have created a quarterback controversy. The North Carolina product completed 18 of 25 passes in his first pro appearance after making only 13 college starts.
— Now the NFL’s highest-paid running back, Atlanta’s Devonta Freeman looked the part in a brief appearance, scoring on a 15-yard reception from Matt Ryan as the Falcons lost to the Dolphins 23-20 in Miami. Freeman, who agreed to terms Wednesday on a $41.25-million, five-year contract extension, scored to cap the Falcons’ first preseason possession.
— Quarterback Carson Wentz had a perfect preseason debut for the Philadelphia Eagles. The second-year starter completed all four passes for 56 yards and a score on his first series, eluding a potential sack and burning the Green Bay Packers on third and fourth downs in Philadelphia’s 24-9 loss on the road. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers didn’t play.
— Baltimore’s Ryan Mallett struggled in place of injured quarterback Joe Flacco, throwing for only 58 yards while playing the entire first half, and the Ravens beat the Washington Redskins 23-3 in Baltimore. Flacco has yet to take a snap this summer because of a bad back.
— Chad Henne hit Keelan Cole on a 97-yard touchdown pass, Corey Grant scored on a 79-yard run and the Jacksonville Jaguars feasted on a New England lineup without Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski to beat the host Patriots 31-24.
— No. 1 overall pick Myles Garrett showed flashes of dominance in his NFL debut, and Cleveland rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer threw a late touchdown pass as the host Browns beat New Orleans 20-14 while Saints stars Drew Brees and Adrian Peterson watched. Garrett had a tackle for loss and blazed off the edge to pressure Saints backup QB Garrett Grayson in the first half.