Just how big the crowd is at running back for the Denver Broncos can best be explained by the fact that the team’s leading rusher in a season that ended with a Super Bowl win -- Ronnie Hillman -- is in a battle to keep his roster spot.
While C.J. Anderson led the Broncos down the stretch and into the postseason, Hillman led the team in carries (207), rushing yards (863) and rushing touchdowns (seven). But in the things-change department, Hillman finds himself in an all-out, every-rep-matters competition to reclaim the kind of workload he had in the offense.
The Broncos also used a fourth-round pick in this year’s draft to bring in Devontae Booker. And at 219 pounds with vision, to go with receiving skills out of the backfield, Booker has shown enough for the Broncos to already be considering him part of the group. Add in Juwan Thompson, who can play both running back and fullback and Andy Janovich, a fullback drafted in the sixth round, and it's a big crowd.
“We’re optimistic about him being able to have close to a full training camp,” said head coach Jason Garrett.
In the spring, Romo went through a full offseason program without missing a practice after undergoing left collarbone surgery in March.
Of course, the nature of training camp practices is different from organized team activities and minicamps. Players are in pads, which adds to the intensity, and the sessions are longer. The story added Romo and the training staff will likely come up with a schedule similar to the last two years which included rest days.
Unlike every other player out there, Abdullah did not have a number on his uniform. Also, he was the only non-quarterback in a red "Don’t touch me" jersey, signaling he was not to be hit.
Abdullah has been cleared to practice, but the Lions are trying to take it easy with the second-year player, who underwent shoulder surgery in January.
Abdullah sat out spring workouts following the procedure to repair a torn labrum suffered in December. The key to the Lions running game is clearly Abdullah so expect the Lions to work him in slowly. After the team's Week 9 bye, and with new-OC Jim Bob Cooter calling the plays, Abdullah averaged 11.5 touches for 55.3 yards and 0.12 TD per game. He averaged 4.65 YPC in that span, and the running game as a whole improved considerably under Cooter (+6.75 carries, +27.5 yards and +0.37 TD per game).
Ben Roethlisberger says his powerful throwing arm feels great, and the Pittsburgh Steelers’ veteran quarterback has a doctor’s note to prove it.
An MRI before training camp showed Roethlisberger’s right shoulder is fully healed after doctors decided to rely on rest and rehab instead of a procedure to tighten the AC joint that was sprained in a January playoff win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
Roethlisberger also suffered torn ligaments in the shoulder on a hit by Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict. But he made an improbable return to drive the Steelers to a game-winning field goal (with help from a couple Cincinnati penalties) and played the next week in a loss to the Denver Broncos. Big Ben is seventh on our QB list but his ADP is a round or two earlier than some others around him like Carson Palmer and Eli Manning.
Still, the 35-year-old slid in as if he had been with Detroit for a while already.
Coach Jim Caldwell said Friday the team never actually worked Boldin out, just had him visit. But he felt confident Boldin would have something left because of the “body of work” he has shown in the past and because Caldwell had worked with him before in Baltimore. So far, so good there, one day in.
In fact, it doesn't look like much of a competition, and it won't be long before Hue Jackson names him the starter. At the latest, he'll wait until just before the first preseason game Aug. 12 in Green Bay.
Cabot went on to say if Friday's practice is any indication, there will be no need to wait even that long. Griffin worked exclusively with the ones, and his main challenger, Josh McCown, worked with the twos. Rookie Cody Kessler and Austin Davis stepped in after that. We heard RGIII would get 4-of-5 snaps with the first team but it seems like he got more than that, and it seems it's just a matter of time before he's officially named.
Friday, July 29, 2016, 6:08pm
"You're going to see that take place with a few of the other veteran guys," Payton said after Friday's practice. "He'll go again tomorrow. We're just being smart with a couple veteran guys."
Tyler Eifert had surgery two months ago to repair a partial ligament tear that he suffered during the Pro Bowl. He was in a cast for six weeks and has to wear a protective boot for at least another week.
The injury actually happened in the Pro Bowl and the story said it will be the last time Eifert plays in the game if he's ever back. With the opener six weeks away, it's possible Eifert misses time in the regular season. The later you can get Eifert in your draft, the great value it would be. Obviously you will need to carry a second TE until Eifert can prove he's back to form, and roster spots can be valuable.
Pitta didn’t practice at all last year as his twice-broken and dislocated hip was never well enough for him to get on the field. Pitta contemplated retirement in the offseason, but restructured his contract with the team in order to give it another go.
After the first two practices, Pitta told reporters that he’s not thinking about his hip unless he’s being asked about it and that he feels his chemistry with quarterback Joe Flacco hasn’t suffered as a result of his long layoff.
Josh Doctson doesn’t want his NFL career to start like this, but for now the 2016 first-round pick is being forced to wait.
“Yeah, we weren’t very satisfied with the way his Achilles was coming along,” Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said. “He still had a lot of soreness in the morning when he’d wake up. We just want to try to get another treatment. That’s something [Head Athletic Trainer] Larry Hess will have to tell you exactly what it was.”
Gruden added that the team is going to hold out the wide receiver until he’s 100 percent.
“I don’t think he’s very far away,” Gruden said. “We’re being probably more cautious right now because it is a significant deal. The Achilles for a wide receiver with his explosion, we want it to be 100 percent. We don’t want it to re-occur, so we’re trying to nip it in the bud right now.”
Head coach Rex Ryan said Tyrod Taylor has taken over the team, and that he is going to do great things in his second year as the starting quarterback.
On Friday, Taylor's said he is eager to get this season underway with the first practice at training camp beginning Saturday morning at St. John Fisher College.
"Going into my second year as the starter, I'm definitely excited," Taylor said. "This is a big year for me, and a big year for the team."
Last year at training camp, Taylor was in a competition for the starting role along with E.J. Manual and Matt Cassel. Taylor won the battle for the starting role, and went 8-6 in his first year with the Bills. Now he's in search of a new deal as well. Taylor has crept into the QB1 talk this season and is ranked 11th on our list. We project him third among QBs in rushing which can obviously boost a QB's fantasy production. He's a low-end QB1 to high-end QB2 option heading into drafts, yet has an ADP of just the 12th round so he presents value.
For about a month early in the offseason, and then again in July, Marcus Mariota spent time with San Diego strength and conditioning coach Ryan Flaherty.
Their mission: Work to make the Titans' second-year quarterback less susceptible to injury.
Mariota had a fine rookie year but played in only 12 games as two separate knee injuries knocked him out of action.
Bad luck and bad timing can make some injuries unavoidable.
Flaherty said Mariota worked hard on improving muscle groups that are important in stabilizing knees that might take lateral hits: Hips, gluteus medius (the muscle that’s on the outside of both sides of the pelvis) and VMOs (vastus medialis obliques), the tear-drop muscles above the kneecap. Mariota is a guy to target has a mid QB2 option in drafts this year.
We're only a couple of days into training camp, and it should be noted Randle is one of several wide receivers seeing reps with the first-team offense. That being said, the fifth-year veteran has been very active thus far, especially during Friday's practice.
Randle made two tough catches in particular, of the variety Eagles wideouts frequently dropped last season.
Yes, it's early, but the Eagles need Randle to give them something on the outside with Jordan Matthews, their best receiver, playing the slot. He's just 25 and signed a one-year deal so he'll be looking to earn a longer deal with a good season and could be a guy to target in the very late rounds.
Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said Friday that the team has removed Helu from the 90-man roster entirely and replacing him with defensive tackle Derrick Lott.
Helu signed with the Raiders in March 2015, but he was hurt during training camp and wound up getting just 17 carries and nine receptions in nine appearances with the team. His hip problems suggested more of the same could be on tap this season and the Raiders will look elsewhere for backs to complement Latavius Murray. They have 2016 fifth-rounder DeAndre Washington, Taiwan Jones, George Atkinson and Jalen Richard on hand to compete for that role now. We had a story earlier that Washington could be the guy to win the job as the backup to Murray.
But after a slow start, Gordon picked up the pace during mandatory minicamp and is expected to be full-go at the start of training camp.
The author said he wouldn't be shocked if the Chargers take a slow approach with Gordon, and maybe even start him on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list just to make sure he is fully healthy. Once on the field, how decisive Gordon runs and how well he holds on to the football after working out with mentor Adrian Peterson in Houston during the offseason will be points of evaluation during preseason play and training camp.
- Page 1