Raiders starting skill players— Nathan Jahnke (@PFF_NateJahnke) August 5, 2022
HB Josh Jacobs
WR Mack Hollins
WR Tyron Johnson
WR Keelan Cole
TE Foster Moreau
Pre-game update: The Jaguars announced which players will not play in the Hall of Fame Game.
Jaguars ruled out for tonight’s game vs. the Raiders: pic.twitter.com/S1rqJN4gMM— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 4, 2022
The Las Vegas Raiders will face off against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2022 NFL Hall of Fame game, kicking off preseason on August 4. The game will take place at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio, and will kick off at 8:00 p.m ET.
While neither team will likely play many of their starters, as the Jaguars have already announced that QB Trevor Lawrence and RB Travis Etienne won’t be playing, it’ll be a good barometer for both teams to get a feel for how they can line up heading into preseason this year. Raiders coach Josh McDaniels hasn’t given any indication of who will or won’t play, but it’s safe to assume he’ll be holding out some of his starters as well.
With that being said, let’s take a look at who might see playing time for both sides in Thursday night’s matchup.
With new Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson already announcing that Trevor Lawrence won’t play, it also came with the announcement that he’ll be giving third-string QB Jake Luton the start. Lawrence’s backup, CJ Beathard, has been dealing with groin injury issues and has been held out of training camp so far while he recovers. Luton hasn’t seen the field during a game since 2020, when he filled in for a few games while Gardner Minshew was out with a thumb injury.
While we can probably assume Derek Carr won’t be featured on the night, that likely leaves the responsibility to backup Jarrett Stidham, who Las Vegas acquired from the New England Patriots through a trade earlier in the offseason. Like Luton, Stidham also hasn’t seen any action in a regular season game since 2020, and made a total of eight appearances for the Pats as he threw for 270 yards and two touchdowns.
With the news that Travis Etienne will also be held out of the game, that leaves rookie Snoop Conner as the most likely candidate to start in the backfield. James Robinson, who currently occupies the top spot on the Jags’ depth chart, is still recovering from a torn Achilles back in December as the Jaguars will hope he’ll be ready in time for Week 1. Conner played for Ole Miss in college, logging 1560 yards in 304 carries and 26 touchdowns through 34 games for the Rebels as he’ll likely get plenty of playing time on Thursday evening.
Josh Jacobs is entering his third year with the Raiders and currently sits at the top of their depth chart. The fourth-year running back ran 217 times for 872 yards through 15 games last season, scoring nine touchdowns and losing two fumbles. The addition of Brandon Bolden and Ameer Abdullah adds plenty of depth to the Raiders backfield, so we could see McDaniels opting to give them more playing time in Thursday’s HOF game to see how well they’ll fit in the lineup during an actual game.
Christian Kirk lines up as the starting slot receiver on the Jags’ depth chart, with Marvin Jones Jr. and Zay Jones listed as starting on the outside. Pederson hasn’t given much information yet on who will be held out aside from Lawrence and Etienne, but he did say that he wants to see everybody play. That opens up the field for not just the guys at the top of the depth chart, but backups like Laquon Treadwell, Laviska Shenault Jr., and Tim Jones who could all easily see plenty of time on the field.
On the Raiders side, it’s no surprise that Davante Adams and Hunter Renfrow are listed as the starting receivers on the depth chart. But look for guys further down the chart like Keelan Cole, Mack Hollins, and Demarcus Robinson to see time on the field as well, as McDaniels will likely play his starting receivers in a limited role, if at all.
Evan Engram and Chris Manhertz are both listed as starting tight ends on the Jags’ first preseason depth chart. Don’t be surprised to see Engram get some significant playing time as it’ll be the first time he suits up in a Jaguars uniform since signing with Jacksonville in March. He featured in 15 games for the Giants last season, catching 46 of his 73 targets for 408 yards and three touchdowns. Manhertz returns to the Jaguars for a second year after playing behind Dan Arnold last season, catching six of nine targets for just 71 yards. Manhertz averaged 11.8 yards per reception and logged one touchdown in the 2021 season. However, Manhertz is listed ahead of Arnold on the depth chart as of now, so expect him to see plenty of snaps against the Raiders.
Although Darren Waller is at the top of the depth chart for the Raiders tight ends, he was missing from practice earlier this week for an undisclosed reason. If we can assume he may be held out of the Hall of Fame game in Canton, expect backup Foster Moreau to start and get plenty of snaps, while guys like Nick Bowers and Jesper Horsted will likely see some playing time as well. Moreau appeared in 17 games last year, going 30-for-44 with 373 yards and three touchdowns on the season.