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Carl Lawson’s first season with the New York Jets last year was over before it even started. The defensive end suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon during training camp and was forced to be a spectator. He’s healthy and back where he dreamed of being during 12 long months of rehabilitation. He said he wanted it “as bad as you want to breathe.” Coach Robert Saleh said Lawson will play in the preseason opener Friday night at Philadelphia. The defensive end and the rest of the starters on defense and offense will play about a quarter.

Deshaun Watson will start Cleveland’s exhibition opener at Jacksonville while waiting to learn if the NFL will succeed in keeping him off the field much longer. Watson is potentially facing a year-long suspension for alleged sexual misconduct. He's playing Friday night against the Jaguars. It’s the quarterback’s first game since Jan. 3, 2021, his final one with the Houston Texans. The three-time Pro Bowler sat out last season after demanding a trade and before he was accused of assault and harassment by two dozen women during massage therapy sessions in Texas. Watson was suspended six games last week for violating the personal conduct policy, but the league wanted a tougher penalty and appealed. An arbitrator chosen by Commissioner Roger Goodell is reviewing the case.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love believes he has something to prove after producing so-so results while backing up reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers last season. The 2020 first-round pick from Utah State has looked more comfortable in training camp as he enters his third season. Love has a chance to show how far he’s come Friday as he starts the Packers’ preseason opener at San Francisco. Rodgers didn’t play at all in the 2021 preseason and won’t play Friday. Packers coach Matt LaFleur hasn’t said yet whether Rodgers will get any preseason snaps.

Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff is expected to play briefly in the preseason opener before Tim Boyle and David Blough get a chance to compete to be the team’s backup and perhaps seal a spot on the roster. This offseason, the Lions made it a point to bring back Boyle and Blough on one-year deals after both shared reserve backup duties last season. It was Boyle who served as Goff’s primary backup in 2021, but this year the two have been splitting time with the second-team offense in training camp.