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NFL Tom Brady starts but struggles, Ameer Abdullah stars on Detroit Lions debut

Tom Brady started at quarterback for New England Thursday night. Detroit running back Ameer Abdullah had an excellent debut.

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Tom Brady play

Tom Brady

(Omni Sports)

Despite a four-game suspension hanging over his head, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady started in pre-season on Thursday.

The Patriots lost their opening warm-up game 22-11 to the Green Bay Packers at Gillette Stadium, with the home side's maligned quarterback seeing limited action.

Brady played just two series, although it is more time than he will experience during the first month of the regular season if his ban remains in place.

The 38-year-old and the NFLPA are involved a drawn-out legal battle with the NFL to overturn his suspension, handed down because of his alleged knowledge that he was playing with under-inflated footballs during January's AFC Championship game.

Brady's first pass to Josh Boyce was high.

Following a short run play on second down, New England's first series Thursday ended with another incomplete pass thrown out of Boyce's reach.

Brady's second series went a little better, throwing a 10-yard dart to Brandon Gibson on the first play.

The Patriots were later forced to punt when Brady's pass to Michael Hoomanawanui on third-and-four fell incomplete.

That was it for Brady on Thursday " two series, one-for-four passing for 10 yards.

After Brady exited, Jimmy Garoppolo took over to start the second quarter.

The Patriots scored on Garoppolo's first series, on a 55-yard run from Jonas Gray, who also ran in the two-point conversion to give New England an 8-3 lead.

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers saw three first-quarter series, going 11-of-19 for 117 yards before Scott Tolzien took over in the second quarter.

Green Bay's starting offense moved the ball at will against the Patriots but struggled in the red zone, getting stopped on fourth-and-goal on the first possession, before settling for a field goal at the end of the first quarter.

While Packers-Patriots was Thursday's marquee fixture, there were five other games to kick off week one of the NFL pre-season.

In other results, the Baltimore Ravens edged out the New Orleans Saints 30-27, the Detroit Lions thumped the New York Jets 23-3, the Chicago Bears defeated the Miami Dolphins 27-10, the Washington Redskins overcame the Cleveland Browns 20-17 and the San Diego Chargers won 17-7 against the Dallas Cowboys.

Injury round-up
The Saints lost three defenders during the first quarter of their loss to the Ravens. Cornerback Brandon Browner was stretchered off, linebacker Dannell Ellerbe was able to walk to the locker room and cornerback Delvin Breaux suffered an apparent shoulder injury.

The Jets lost linebacker Erin Henderson, a free-agent signing in April, with a knee injury and tight end Jace Amaro with a shoulder injury.

Redskins tight end Niles Paul exited the win over the Browns with a fractured left ankle injury and is out for the season, while running back Silas Redd will need an MRI after hurting his knee.

Browns receiver Marlon Moore left the game with a rib injury.

Chargers guard Johnnie Troutman suffered an arm injury.

Jets quarterback Geno Smith had surgery on Thursday to repair his broken jaw.

Battling for position
Robert Griffin III started at quarterback for the Redskins, but he was outplayed by Kirk Cousins. Griffin was four-for-eight for 36 yards, although Pierre Garcon dropped a sure touchdown, while Cousins completed 12 of 14 attempts for 154 yards and a rushing touchdown against the Browns.

The Browns were unable to figure anything out at running back. Terrance West had just 10 yards on four carries. Isaiah Crowell picked up just six yards on four carries. Jalen Parmele ran twice for two yards, while rookie Timothy Flanders picked up just eight yards on five attempts. Quarterback Johnny Manziel had the best run of the game for Cleveland.

Impact rookies
Lions running back Ameer Abdullah had an excellent pre-season debut. He ran for 67 yards on only seven carries against the Jets' first-team defense.

Patriots defensive end Trey Flowers, a fourth-round pick out of Arkansas, had a first-quarter sack of Rodgers.

Flowers later left with the game with an undisclosed injury and did not return.

Packers cornerback Quinten Rollins, drafted in the second round out of Miami (Ohio), played well against the Patriots, breaking up two passes, including a dropped interception, and making three tackles.

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