NFL preseason: Aaron Rodgers, rookie QBs and others set to make debuts

The NFL released its full preseason slate Wednesday as teams continue to ramp up offseason activities in the lead-in to the 2023 season in three months.

All but two teams will place three preseason games this season. Here are the most intriguing storylines and matchups to look forward to as the collective NFL world whets Its appetite ahead of another football season.

Primetime match-ups 

The NFL preseason will feature five nationally televised games, three of which over a four-day period in the final week.

Aaron Rodgers will make his New York Jets debut to kick off the preseason at the annual Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio, against the Cleveland Browns on Thursday, Aug. 3 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. The Washington Commanders take on the Baltimore Ravens on ESPN on Monday, Aug. 21.

Week 3 of the preseason will feature the teams of all three first-round rookies — Anthony Richardson's Indianapolis Colts face the Philadelphia Eagles on Aug. 24 on Amazon Prime Video, Bryce Young's Carolina Panthers take on the Detroit Lions on Aug. 25 on CBS and C.J. Stroud's Houston Texans play the New Orleans Saints on Aug. 27 on Fox.

Rookie first-looks

While the rookies' primetime debuts won't happen until the final week of the preseason, their first NFL starts will happen a few weeks earlier.

Young plays the Jets, Stroud faces the New England Patriots (and ex-Texans head coach Bill O'Brien) and Richardson takes on the Bills between Aug. 10-12. Second-rounder Tennessee Titans quarterback Will Levis could see action against the Chicago Bears in Week 1, too, on Aug. 12.

Jordan Love era begins

The Green Bay Packers' post-Rodgers world officially starts on Aug. 11 against the Cincinnati Bengals. It's unclear how much the Packers will play Love given his newly-minted QB1 status, but perhaps Green Bay will want to flaunt Love after Rodgers makes his first Jets start eight days earlier in Ohio.

Love's ascent is a long-time coming but Packers receiver Romeo Doubs recently said he doesn't see a big difference between his new quarterback and Rodgers. Debate that all you want.

Old faces, new places

Apart from Rodgers in New York, there are a couple of big names who could make their first appearances in new threads in Week 1.

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. could suit up against the Philadelphia Eagles if he's fully recovered from a torn ACL in the 2022 Super Bowl. Beckham Jr. sat out this past season before he signed with the Ravens during the offseason.

Miami Dolphins cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who was traded from the Los Angeles Rams, could play against the Atlanta Falcons. Calvin Ridley could make his return to the NFL after a year-long suspension with the Jacksonville Jaguars against the Dallas Cowboys. Baker Mayfield, the presumptive starting quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, could suit up against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

While Derek Carr will likely make his first start for the New Orleans Saints, Jimmy Garoppolo might not make his for the Las Vegas Raiders if his foot isn't fully healed from offseason surgery.

Sean Payton will coach his first game with the Denver Broncos against the Arizona Cardinals and Jonathan Gannon on Aug. 11.

Comments on this article