Hey, Kyler, this is for real.

Sort of.

Kyler Murray, April’s top overall draft pick, will make his preseason debut for Arizona on Thursday night when the Cardinals host the Chargers.

The quarterback won’t be on the field very long, but he should get a chance to show some of the skills that so enamored the Cardinals. He also could wind up on the ground a few times – for the first time as a pro considering QBs don’t get hit in practice.

“I’m looking forward to having fun,” Murray says. “It’s going to be different suiting up in a Cardinals jersey. Not playing for a school, you’re representing a state.”

That state saw its team have the worst record in the NFL in 2018, and replace its head coach, Steve Wilks, with Kliff Kingsbury, an offensive guru who had recently been fired as head coach at Texas Tech.

“To be kind of pushed in as the guy, there’s no kind of grace period of leading him in with any veteran presence at that position,” Kingsbury said. “He’s remained humble. He’s remained diligent in his work habits, so I’ve been proud of that for him.”

With running back Melvin Gordon’s holdout, Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson will get plenty of carries for the Chargers. Defensive tackle and first-round pick Jerry Tillery has gotten some time with the first team.

There are 11 games on the first full night of preseason play.

Here are some things to look for:

Patriots at Lions: Former Patriots with injuries are of interest here.

Trey Flowers, the defensive end who went to Detroit as a free agent and was the Lions’ big offseason acquisition, is on the physically unable to perform list.

Lions Coach Matt Patricia, a former defensive assistant for the Patriots in his second season with Detroit, has been recovering from a surgically repaired left leg that’s caused him to move around the practice facility on a vehicle.

“I’m working with our doctors here to try to figure out what’s best for myself to be safe on the sideline from that standpoint,” he said. “I don’t think I’ll be riding the ATV around, unfortunately, on the sideline.”

The receivers watch begins for the Patriots.

Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman (thumb) is sidelined and Phillip Dorsett is the only other returning receiver from last season. First-round draft pick N’Keal Harry has had a strong camp, and undrafted free agent Jakobi Meyers has been a standout, even earning reps with the first team.

Washington at Browns: First-round quarterback Dwayne Haskins is expected to make his debut for Washington. The 15th overall pick out of Ohio State is competing with veterans Case Keenum and Colt McCoy for the starting job. Haskins has flashed a strong arm but has made a lot of rookie mistakes in camp.

“We’ll see how he does in a game,” Coach Jay Gruden said. “We’ll see how he’s taken what he’s done on the practice field to see how it transitions into a real game situation. And how he handles the huddles and cadence, anticipation, accuracy – all that good stuff.”

There’s much anticipation about Cleveland, but it’s unlikely that quarterback Baker Mayfield, new wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and defensive end Myles Garrett will play. Garrett missed two days of practice because of an unspecified injury.

Falcons at Dolphins: It’s Brian Flores’ first game as Miami’s coach.

“I’m very excited,” said New England’s former defensive coordinator. “I’m excited to see all the hard work we’ve put in from April 1 until now, to go out and try to perform and execute at a good level.”

One player to watch: Preston Williams, an undrafted receiver out of Colorado State, who has been the most impressive rookie for the Dolphins in camp.

The Falcons placed quarterback Kurt Benkert on injured reserve because of a toe injury. He was pushing Matt Schaub as Matt Ryan’s top backup. Matt Simms, who last played with Atlanta in 2017, was resigned and is expected to play against the Dolphins.

Broncos at Seahawks: QB Joe Flacco makes his Denver debut at Seattle.

“At this point, it doesn’t really feel any different than it’s been the last 10 years,” Flacco says. “I think your rookie year is obviously a little different than any of the others. But at this point I am used to being here. I am used to being in this uniform. These are my teammates and I am just excited about doing it.”

Seattle will get its first chance to see Geno Smith and Paxton Lynch in a game situation in the competition to back up Russell Wilson. Smith has been the better of the two during the first couple weeks of training camp.

The Seahawks could see rookie wide receiver DK Metcalf in his first game action and get a better idea of what he can bring to Seattle’s offense.


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