Byrd spent two years going against Panthers cornerbacks Josh Norman and James Bradberry as a member of the practice squad before being called up for the 2016 season finale at Tampa Bay.
It wasn't quite like Dak Prescott lighting up the Los Angeles Rams' defense last preseason for the Dallas Cowboys, but any question that Deshaun Watson shouldn't be the opening day starter for the Houston Texans were likely answered Wednesday night in Charlotte, N.C. He also demonstrated that if a nickel package is thrown at him he'll blow through it like tissue paper which resulted in his 15-yard run for the touchdown with 56 seconds left in the third quarter. Some will claim that was just nerves, but considering the stage Watson played on at Clemson, it's hard to imagine him being a shrinking violet against the Panthers in August. However, he was stiff in the pocket and slow to make decisions, two areas where Watson didn't struggle. From all three of them, just a clean game, a clean operation. "Deshaun will play and Brandon will play", Houston head coach Bill O'Brien said. "First time out there I thought he did some big things". It's a dream of everybody's to be able to play for an organization as great as this in the NFL.
Savage finished his night 9-of-11 passing for 69 yards. Regardless of how this story plays out, Quessenberry is a big victor for beating cancer and working to get back in shape and play football at the highest level.
When Watson hit the field, he immediately showed his ability to improvise and make plays on the fly.
No Cam Newton, the franchise quarterback who is still recovering from shoulder surgery to fix a partially torn rotator cuff in his throwing arm. "I mean, there's a lot to correct", O'Brien said. "I'm glad I got some game action".
This should be a pretty interesting matchup, but we should obviously not expect to see the first-stringers for more than a series or two. Kuechly played six plays after returning from his second career concussion.
Neither player registered a tackle.
No Julius Peppers, Charles Johnson or Ryan Kalil either. But backup Alfred Blue had five carries for 33 yards and a powerful TD run. In the receiving end, Greg Olsen caught 1,073 yards and three touchdowns in 80 receptions while Kelvin Benjamin added 941 yards and seven touchdowns in 63 receptions.
Damiere Byrd caught all of Webb's touchdown passes, finishing with four catches in the game for 98 yards. Cunningham missed a few tackled and needs to work on form tackling and shedding blockers, but he showed plenty of promise in his first preseason game for the Texans. "I'm happy to be out here". Petty was even more bad than McCown last season.