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How to watch former Ohio State stars in Week 1 of the NFL preseason

Football is officially back...well, preseason football at least.

NFL: Miami Dolphins-OTA Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Last night, the NFL preseason kicked off with the Carolina Panthers taking on the Houston Texans. There were several former Ohio State studs taking part in the first contest of the year, including Braxton Miller and Kurt Coleman, with the rest of the NFL Buckeyes getting ready to suit up throughout the weekend.

The Panthers came away with the first preseason win of the season (27-17), but they did so without rookie offensive weapon Curtis Samuel. The former H-back, and current wide receiver, has been sidelined for all but one training camp practice and was forced to miss the Week 1 game as well.

Samuel isn’t the only Buckeye for Carolina though, Kurt Coleman snagged the start and a tackle, and Andrew Norwell also was in the starting lineup. On the other side of the ball, Texans’ wideout Braxton Miller made his way onto the first-team — likely enabled by position-mate Will Fuller breaking his collarbone — and saw three receptions for 10 yards.

Here’s a breakdown of when to catch all of the Buckeyes in the NFL for this weekend’s Week 1 preseason slate of games.

Thursday, August 10th

Kick-off Away Team Buckeyes Home Team Buckeyes
Kick-off Away Team Buckeyes Home Team Buckeyes
7:00 pm Atlanta Falcons - Miami Dolphins Raekwon McMillan*
7:00 pm Minnesota Vikings Alex Boone, Pat Elflein*, Reid Fragel Buffalo Bills Corey "Philly Brown, Adolphus Washington
7:30 pm Washington Terrelle Pryor Sr. Baltimore Ravens -
7:30 pm Jacksonville Jaguars Michael Bennett, Doran Grant New England Patriots Nate Ebner
8:00 pm Philadelphia Eagles Malcolm Jenkins, Cam Johnston Green Bay Packers Corey Linsley
8:00 pm New Orleans Saints Vonn Bell, Ted Ginn Jr., Marshon Lattimore*, Michael Thomas Cleveland Browns -
8:00 pm (on NFLN) Denver Broncos Jeff Heuerman, Bradley Roby Chicago Bears -

*Denotes rookie drafted in 2017

Things to watch for Thursday:

For the first slate of games Thursday, something to keep an eye on will be Raekwon McMillan taking reps with the first-team for Miami. He’s been dubbed the starter during training camp, but this is where he’ll cement his position on the depth chart. Likewise for Pat Elflein with the Vikings, the rookie is competing for the starting center spot and could gain a leg-up with a solid Week 1 performance.

Punter extraordinaire Cameron Johnston is the only other rookie suiting up on Thursday, but unlike his former teammates, Johnston signed with the Eagles as an undrafted free agent, and his spot on the final 53-man roster — or even on the practice squad -- could largely depend on how he makes it through the preseason.

Terrelle Pryor Sr. is looking to earn himself a big-money, longterm deal with Washington -- or any team — after this season, and his success will be largely connected to the success of another former Big Ten quarterback, Kirk Cousins. Thursday night’s game will be the first time the two will have a chance to evaluate their progress against actual opposition.

Friday, August 11th

Kick-off Away Team Buckeyes Home Team Buckeyes
Kick-off Away Team Buckeyes Home Team Buckeyes
7:00 pm (on NFLN) Pittsburgh Steeler Cam Heyward, Ryan Shazier New York Giants Eli Apple, Curtis Grant, Mike Nugent
7:30 pm Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Cincinnati Bengals -
9:30 pm (on NFLN) San Francisco 49ers Carlos Hyde Kansas City Chiefs -

Things to watch for Friday:

Cam Heyward is back for the Steelers after missing most of the second-half of last season. He was a big contributor on the sideline, and his teammates will be eager to get him back in the fold.

Similarly, Mike Nugent never got to finish the 2016 regular season, as the Bengals released him in mid-December. After going unsigned through free agency and OTAs, he finally signed with the Giants at the beginning of training camp.

Saturday, August 12th

Kick-off Away Team Buckeyes Home Team Buckeyes
Kick-off Away Team Buckeyes Home Team Buckeyes
7:00 pm Tennessee Titans - New York Jets Darron Lee, Jalin Marshall, Devin Smith [IR]
9:00 pm (on NFLN) Dallas Cowboys Darryl Baldwin, Ezekiel Elliott, Noah Brown*, Rod Smith Los Angeles Rams Jake McQuaide
10:00 pm Oakland Raider Gareon Conley* Arizona Cardinals -

*Denotes rookie drafted in 2017

Things to watch for Saturday:

Another batch of rookies will suit up on Saturday for their first set of snaps as NFL players. Noah Brown saw some action during last week’s Hall of Fame game, a contest in which the Cowboys rested most of their starters, including Zeke. Gareon Conley is another rookie playing Saturday, but he’ll take snaps in the late-game on the West Coast. Conley is expected to make Oakland’s starting roster right away, and has already impressed his coaches.

Second-year player Jalin Marshall is playing for his job at this point. Helping him, has been the litany of injuries that the Jets’ wide receivers have faced over the past few months. Marshall faces a four game suspension to start the season for violating the NFL’s PED policy, so showing improvement from his rookie campaign during the preseason will be paramount to him making the final 53-man roster.

Sunday, August 13th

Kick-off Away Team Buckeyes Home Team Buckeyes
Kick-off Away Team Buckeyes Home Team Buckeyes
1:30 pm (on NFLN) Detroit Lions Taylor Decker [IR] Indianapolis Colts Johnathan Hankins, Malik Hooker*, Jack Mewhort, Tyvis Powell, John Simon
8:00 pm (on NFLN) Seattle Seahawks Nick Vannett Los Angeles Chargers Joey Bosa, Cardale Jones, Joshua Perry

*Denotes rookie drafted in 2017

Things to watch for Sunday:

Sunday’s two televised matchups will be great watches for Buckeye fans. The first involves so many former Silver Bullets for the Colts that you might feel like you’re actually watching the Ohio State defense. The team has made several Buckeye acquisitions during free agency to boost its front seven and secondary. There will be a lot of familiar names called during the first game on Sunday.

The second game features last year’s Defensive Rookie of the Year (Bosa), the legend known as 12-gauge (Jones), and a special teams demon (Perry). This will be a big game to see where Cardale Jones fits in the depth chart, at No. 2 or 3, and will give Joshua Perry a chance to earn some additional snaps on defense, in addition to special teams. Joey Bosa is the given starter, and nothing is going to change that, but he’s worth watching for his shrug moniker alone. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯