CARSON, California — Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett plans to sit during the national anthem this season to protest social injustice – and expects a backlash over an issue that is “bigger than a sport.”

Bennett sat on the visiting bench during the anthem before a preseason opener against the Los Angeles Chargers, a decision he made before weekend protests by white supremacists at the University of Virginia.

The violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, including the death of a woman struck by a car deliberately driven into a group of counter-protesters Saturday, solidified Bennett’s decision.

“With everything that’s been going on the last couple of months and especially after the last couple of days, seeing everything in Virginia … I just wanted to be able to use my platform to be able to continue to speak over injustice,” Bennett said.

Bennett was at least the third prominent NFL player to protest during the anthem in the first full week of preseason games. Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch, a former teammate of Bennett’s in Seattle, also sat. Los Angeles Rams defensive end Robert Quinn raised his right fist, continuing his approach from last season following then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the anthem.

n Asked about players who didn’t stand for the national anthem before preseason games, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said while the playing of the anthem is a special moment to him, “we also have to understand the other side.”

JAGUARS: Running back Leonard Fournette and receiver Marqise Lee won’t play in Thursday’s preseason game against Tampa Bay.

Coach Doug Marrone ruled out both players Monday, reiterating that the team is going to be cautious with them.

n Marrone said quarterback Blake Bortles is getting reduced repetitions because of a tired arm.

49ERS: Hall of Famer Jerry Rice put on the cleats and took part in practice, running patterns and doing stretches in individual drills, dishing out tips to young receivers and even shadowing the wideouts during team drills.

“Oh man, that was pretty exciting,” undrafted rookie Kendrick Bourne said. “Kind of had me kind of nervous but definitely very excited. Being out here practicing with him and seeing how much older he is and he can still move well. It was good learning. I learned a lot from him.”

BRONCOS: Defensive end Jared Crick was carted off the practice field with apparent back spasms.

Crick is the 10th defender – and the sixth member of the defensive line – to get hurt this offseason.

BILLS: A newly acquired receiver, Jordan Matthews, has a chip fracture in his sternum and is listed as week to week.

Matthews hurt his upper chest Sunday in his first practice since joining the team in a trade with Philadelphia. Matthews finished practice before being escorted off the field to be evaluated.

DOLPHINS: A person familiar with the deal said Miami signed undrafted free-agent receiver Trey Griffey, the son of Hall of Fame baseball player Ken Griffey Jr.

Griffey had 79 catches for 1,241 yards and six touchdowns in four seasons at Arizona. He was also drafted in baseball.

GIANTS: The team waived wide receiver Kevin Norwood and tight end Colin Thompson, and signed receiver Andrew Turzilli and linebacker Chris Casher.

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