Hall of Fame Game 2022: Why Trevor Lawrence, Travis Etienne and others are not playing in Jaguars vs. Raiders preseason contest
Football is finally back, with the Hall of Fame Game between the Raiders and Jaguars kicking the 2022 NFL preseason off.
However, fans won't see many of either team's high profile players.
Quarterback Trevor Lawrence and running back Travis Etienne, Jacksonville's two first round selections from the 2021 NFL Draft, will not be participating in Thursday's Hall of Fame Game, per coach Doug Pederson.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport expects a similar move from the Raiders' brass, with starters Derek Carr, Davante Adams, Hunter Renfrow and Maxx Crosby among those that might see little, if any, action on Thursday.
What's keeping some of the Jaguars and Raiders' best players out of the Hall of Fame Game? The Sporting News has all the answers.
Pederson didn't offer any specific reasons for why Lawrence was being held out of the Jags' first preseason game. In fact, according to Pederson, Lawrence has impressed in training camp so far.
"Trevor's been getting a lot of great looks here in practice," Pederson said. "[We] feel he's in a good spot."
Nonetheless, given the history of injuries in preseason — Etienne and Ravens RB J.K. Dobbins suffered season-endings injury last preseason — it seems Pederson and his coaching staff don't want to risk Lawrence too early, especially a game that means very little in terms of his development.
Jaguars QB depth chart
The Jags are all in on former No. 1 pick Trevor Lawrence at the moment. However, with Lawrence not playing Thursday, expect to see a heavy diet of backups C.J. Beathard, Jake Luton and Kyle Sloter during the Hall of Fame Game.
Beathard is the No. 2 behind Lawrence. He threw two passes in 2021, but did throw for six touchdowns (compared to 0 interceptions) in six games with the Niners back in 2020.
Why is Travis Etienne sitting out of the Hall of Fame Game?
Etienne is in a slightly different situation to his longtime teammate. The pass-catching tailback suffered a Lisfranc injury in his left foot last preseason, ending his rookie season before it even started.