CANTON, Ohio — Backup quarterback Mike Kafka threw a touchdown pass and running back Joe Banyard ran for another score to help the Minnesota Vikings beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 14-3 on Sunday night in the Hall of Fame game.
Most of the regulars watched from the sidelines in the annual exhibition opener, including Adrian Peterson and Ben Roethlisberger.
Minnesota quarterback Teddy Bridgewater completed 5 of 6 passes for 44 yards in his one series of work. The reigning Rookie of the Year’s night ended when the Steelers stopped the Vikings on fourth down midway through the first quarter.
JOHNSON CARTED OFF WITH ANKLE INJURY: In Spartanburg, S.C., Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson was carted off the practice field with a left ankle injury.
Coach Ron Rivera didn’t know the specifics but said Sunday he doesn’t believe the injury is serious.
“Until they get a chance to take a look, I really couldn’t tell you what it was,” Rivera said.
Johnson is the team’s top pass rusher and a key cog in a defense that has finished in the top 10 in each of the past three seasons. The 29-year-old has 62½ sacks during his eight seasons with the Panthers, including at least 8½ sacks in each of the past five seasons.
Defensive tackle Kawann Short returned to practice after missing the past week with a sore back.
SHEPHERD INJURES LEG: In Philadelphia, Eagles rookie cornerback JaCorey Shepherd will have an MRI on Monday to determine the extent of a right leg injury suffered in Sunday’s open practice.
Shepherd was injured when he ran into Darren Sproles after a play near the sideline. He stayed down for a few minutes before being carted off the field.
The sixth-round pick from Kansas saw action with the first unit at nickel cornerback. The Eagles are looking for a cornerback to take that starting spot after trading Brandon Boykin last week.
Linebacker Kiko Alonso remained out because of a concussion. Safety Jerome Couplin also is out after having an appendectomy last week.
RUNNING BACKS STILL SLOWED BY INJURIES: In Berea, Ohio, Browns rookie running back Duke Johnson will not play in the team’s exhibition opener against Washington as he continues to deal with a hamstring injury.
The third-round pick from Miami has been out since Aug. 1, and Cleveland’s backfield has been slowed by a rash of injuries since camp opened.
Terrance West, the team’s leading rusher as a rookie last season, returned to practice Sunday. However, Shaun Draughn, making a strong push to earn a roster spot, was kept out with a left thumb injury.
Coach Mike Pettine does not have a timetable on when Johnson will return.
ROBEY GETS CONTRACT EXTENSION: In Buffalo, N.Y., Buffalo signed cornerback Nickell Robey to a contract extension.
The third-year defensive back was entering the final season of his contract. Terms of the deal were not disclosed Sunday.
Robey signed with the Bills as an undrafted free agent out of Southern Cal in April 2013 and has not missed a game for Buffalo.
In 32 games and eight starts, Robey has four sacks and an interception.
He has played primarily as a nickel back. Buffalo drafted cornerback Ronald Darby with its first pick, 50th overall, in April’s draft.