FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Former Arizona Cardinals first-round pick Josh Rosen has signed with the Atlanta Falcons and will compete to open the season as the backup quarterback.

Rosen replaces AJ McCarron, who was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday. The Falcons said Sunday an MRI showed McCarron suffered an ACL injury to his right knee in Saturday night’s 37-17 preseason loss to the Miami Dolphins.

Rosen, 24, was the No. 10 overall pick by Arizona in the 2018 draft. Rosen lasted only one season with the Cardinals, starting 13 games in 2018 and throwing 11 touchdowns with 14 interceptions.

Rosen was traded to Miami, where he started three games in 2019, throwing five interceptions and one touchdown pass. He was waived by the San Francisco 49ers on Aug. 17 and also spent time with Tampa Bay, making the Falcons his fifth team in four seasons.

Rosen completed a combined 54.8 percent of his passes for 2,845 yards with 12 touchdowns and 19 interceptions in his two seasons with Arizona and Miami.

McCarron shared time with rookie Feleipe Franks in the Falcons’ first two preseason games. Starter Matt Ryan has not played.

Rosen is expected to join practice on Wednesday and play in Sunday’s final preseason game against Cleveland.

The Falcons also cut running back Javian Hawkins, outside linebacker Shareef Miller, defensive lineman Olive Sagapolu, wide receiver Austin Trammell and offensive lineman Willie Wright. The moves left the roster at 80 players.

SAINTS: Jameis Winston made his case to become starting quarterback with two first-quarter touchdown passes in a 23-21 preseason victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday night.

But after the game, New Orleans Coach Sean Payton had no timetable on naming a starting QB. Winston and Taysom Hill are vying to replace Drew Brees, who retired in the offseason after 15 seasons as the Saints’ quarterback.

“We’ll see. I’ll keep you posted,” Payton told reporters when asked after the game about the quarterback competition. “I don’t have a time frame, though. When we know what direction we’re going, we’ll let you guys know, and we’re not going to, you know, try to anticipate saying, ‘Hey, it’s going to be midweek or next week.’ That’s the best way, I think, for us to handle it, and it’s kind of how we’ve always handled something like this.”

Winston played the first three series against the Jaguars. The first ended with a 43-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Marquez Callaway with 12:17 left in the first quarter and the third ended with a 29-yard touchdown pass to Callaway with 2:50 left in the first quarter. The middle possession ended in a punt.

“I haven’t started a football game in so long, man,” Winston said, “so I was so excited to just get an opportunity to start and lead the pack. It was exciting. The rhythm was great. The offensive line was phenomenal, and we had guys like Quez making plays all night. You got to love that.”

Winston completed 9 of 10 passes for 123 yards. The first scoring drive covered 72 yards on six plays. The second was a six-play, 57-yard series.

The 2013 Heisman Trophy winner at Florida State, Winston was the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NFL draft and spent his first five seasons as the starting quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But when the Bucs signed Tom Brady last year, they didn’t re-sign Winston, and he spent the season as a backup to Brees.

Hill took over for Winston and played six possessions on Monday night. Along with three punts and a fourth-down failure, Hill produced a 52-yard field goal on the final snap of the first half and a 14-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Lil’Jordan Humphrey with 1:27 left in the third quarter on his final snap in the game.

Hill completed 11 of 20 passes for 138 yards.

SEAHAWKS: The Seattle Seahawks brought back a familiar face and made a trade for a position in need of some depth.

The Seahawks signed veteran tight end Luke Willson and acquired cornerback John Reid from Houston for a conditional late-round draft pick. Willson’s signing was official while Reed’s trade is expected to be finalized on Wednesday.

Both moves are tied to depth concerns and injuries with expected contributors for Seattle. With Willson, his signing comes after Colby Parkinson went down with a small fracture in his foot earlier in training camp. The move for Reid came after rookie Tre Brown came out of last Saturday’s preseason game against Denver with a sore knee and the Seahawks needing bodies at the position.

Willson is a fan favorite and been a part of the Seahawks in some facet for most of his NFL career. Willson was a fifth-round pick by Seattle in 2013 and has spent parts of seven seasons with the Seahawks. Willson appeared in eight games for Seattle in 2019 and last season played three games for Baltimore before joining the Seahawks and playing in five more games.

HALL OF FAME: Three-time All-Pro receiver Cliff Branch and Super Bowl-winning coach Dick Vermeil are finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s class of 2022.

Branch is the senior candidate and Vermeil is the nominee in the coaches category picked by a five-person committee of Hall of Fame voters. To be elected to the Hall of Fame, Branch and Vermeil must receive 80% of the vote from the entire 49-member selection committee when it meets early next year.

Branch was one of the most dynamic receivers of his era as the speedy deep threat for the Raiders that stretched opposing defenses.

Branch played 14 seasons from 1972-85, ranking in the top five in the NFL in catches (501), yards receiving (8,685) and touchdown catches (67) over that span.
He also played a key role on three Super Bowl champions with 73 catches for 1,289 yards and five TDs in 22 playoff games. Only Jerry Rice, Julian Edelman and Michael Irvin have more yards receiving in the postseason than Branch.

Branch led the NFL in touchdowns twice and eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards twice. He was a first-team All-Pro in 1974, ’75 and ’76.

Branch died in 2019 at age 71.

Vermeil won 120 games in the regular season, leading the Philadelphia Eagles (1980) and St. Louis Rams (1999) to Super Bowl appearances. His “Greatest Show on Turf” Rams won the Super Bowl 23-16 over Tennessee.

Vermeil came to the Eagles from UCLA in 1976 and got long-struggling Philadelphia into the playoffs in his third season and Super Bowl two years after that where he lost to Branch and the Raiders 27-10.

He stepped away from coaching following the 1982 season and became a broadcaster before returning to the sideline in 1997 in St. Louis.

He once again quickly revived a downtrodden franchise and delivered the Rams their first Super Bowl title in his third season with one of the most prolific offenses led by Hall of Famers Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk and Isaac Bruce.

He left the Rams after that Super Bowl and finished his coaching career with a five-year stint in Kansas City starting in 2001.

He posted double-digit wins in six of 15 seasons and had a .524 career winning percentage.

The selection committee will also consider 15 modern era finalists and one contributor, who will be named on Aug. 31.

The preliminary list of modern era candidates will be picked in September, then trimmed to 25 semifinalists in November and the 15 finalists in January.

The Class of 2022 will be formally enshrined next summer in Canton, Ohio.

BILLS: Receivers Cole Beasley and Gabriel Davis are among four Buffalo players who must spend at least five days away from the team facility after having close contact with a trainer who tested positive.

The two other players placed in the NFL’s five-day reentry cadence were defensive tackles Star Lotulelei and Vernon Butler, General Manager Brandon Beane said.

Beasley, Davis and Lotulelei were sent home before practice, while Butler was sent home following practice and after it was determined he was in contact with the trainer.

Beane said the four players haven’t tested positive.

PANTHERS: Carolina agreed to a three-year, $37.5 million contract extension with wide receiver Robby Anderson, according to a person familiar with the situation. The deal includes $20.5 million in guaranteed money.

The Panthers increased Anderson’s 2021 salary from $8 million to $12.5 million. In addition, he will make $13 million in 2022 and $12 million in 2023. The person spoke to The Associated Press on Tuesday on condition of anonymity because the team has not announced the extension. Anderson was due to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2021 season.

Anderson is coming off a career season in his first year with the Panthers, catching 95 passes for 1,096 yards and three touchdowns. Anderson spent his first four seasons with the New York Jets and he will be reunited this year with former teammate Sam Darnold this season in Carolina.

BROWNS: Defensive end Takk McKinley returned to the team after leaving training camp last month for personal reasons.

McKinley took part in the early walkthrough portion of practice before he was spotted heading into the training facility as the Browns began stretching.

Coach Kevin Stefanski said McKinley, who signed a one-year free agent contract with Cleveland in March, came back a few days ago.

• Wide receiver Davion Davis was suspended two games by the NFL for violating the league’s policy on substance abuse.

Davis, whose emergence this summer has put him in position to win a roster spot, will have to miss Cleveland’s first two regular-season games. He can be with the team for the rest of the preseason and play in Sunday’s exhibition finale against Atlanta.

BEARS: Chicago will start rookie quarterback Justin Fields in the preseason finale Saturday at Tennessee against the Titans. Although Fields is starting that game, he still is regarded as the Bears’ backup to veteran Andy Dalton for the regular-season opener against the Los Angeles Rams.

“All I want to see from him is just play a good game of football at the quarterback position and again keep the big picture in mind for all of us,” Bears Coach Matt Nagy said of Fields before practice Tuesday.

Fields will play with some but not all of the offensive starters. Nagy said he’s leaning toward giving the former Ohio State star the chance to play with the Bears’ first-team offensive line, but the receivers could be a mix of reserves and starters.

TITANS: The Tennessee Titans have ramped up precautions at their team headquarters with their COVID-19 outbreak growing to four, and Coach Mike Vrabel said he received a monoclonal antibody treatment under doctor’s advice.

Vrabel remains in quarantine at his home, having missed practices Monday and Tuesday while taking part in meetings via Zoom. He started by sending the franchise’s sympathy and concerns to the people in Waverly, Tennessee, where flash flooding killed at least 18 last Saturday.

“I have COVID with almost non-existent symptoms right now, and they’ve lost family members, they’ve lost homes,” Vrabel said. “I want to thank the first responders, and I’m almost embarrassed when I spoke to you the last time I failed to mention that.”

Vrabel told reporters Sunday he had tested positive and was in quarantine with a sore throat and a bit of an earache.

That came a day after the Titans beat Tampa Bay 34-3 in Florida on Saturday night. Bucs kicker Ryan Succop was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday, and Tampa Bay Coach Bruce Arians said Succop went to dinner with some of his former teammates.

The Titans wore masks coming out of the team facility Tuesday with a staffer handing out masks to players on their way back inside after practice. Linebacker Nick Dzubnar and running back Jeremy McNichols were added to the reserve/COVID-19 list, joining defensive lineman Anthony Rush who went on the list Monday.

Vrabel said the Titans are communicating with the NFL and Dr. Allen Sills, the league’s chief medical officer. Vrabel also said everyone got another rapid test, regardless of vaccination status, and are being socially distant at meetings.

JAGUARS: The Jaguars placed running back Travis Etienne on injured reserve, one day after he suffered a Lisfranc injury to his left foot. Etienne sprained his foot during Monday night’s loss at New Orleans.

Tests revealed the extent of the injury Tuesday. He is expected to have surgery as soon as possible. He may have been able to return late in the year, but the Jaguars opted to take a cautious approach and give him plenty of time to recover before the 2022 season.

Since Etienne landed on IR before 53-man rosters get set next Tuesday, he can not return this season.

BUCCANEERS: Kicker Ryan Succop will miss this weekend’s preseason finale against Houston after testing positive for COVID-19.

Coach Bruce Arians said Succop’s positive test comes after the 34-year-old kicker had dinner in Tampa with some friends who play for the Tennessee Titans, who held joint practices with the Bucs leading up to last Saturday night’s preseason game between the teams.

Succop, who played six seasons with Tennessee before joining the Bucs and helping Tampa Bay win the Super Bowl last season, tested positive Tuesday and was placed on the reserve COVID-19 list.

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