Tuesday, August 23, 2016, 4:18pm
Miami Dolphins rookie running back Kenyan Drake was asked if he might land on the short-term injured reserve list, which would sideline him until at least Week 8 and he said: “It’s not a possibility. Period.”
It’s a decision the Dolphins management will make, but Drake’s mindset is clear.
Drake is recovering from his second hamstring injury of the preseason and though he won’t play Thursday night against the Falcons in Atlanta, Drake said, “Yeah, of course,” when asked if he expects to be available for the season-opener at Seattle.
Foster was in for nine snaps and got the ball on two of them without finding much running room. Foster lost five yards while getting little help from the blocking on his two carries, leaving coach Adam Gase to make plans to extend Foster’s time on the field against the Falcons on Thursday.
“We didn’t have much to evaluate,” Gase said, via the Miami Herald. “Whatever carries he had, there wasn’t much there to try to create. He did a couple of things on his own. Hopefully we can take a long look at him this week. I don’t want to overdo it with him. Obviously, his resume speaks for itself.”
The story went on to say the Dolphins are expected to keep the first team in the game into the second half on Thursday, so there will be more snaps for Foster as the team works on setting up the look of their backfield for the start of the regular season. With rookie Kenyan Drake still sidelined by a hamstring injury, that look will likely come down to how they balance playing time for Foster and Jay Ajayi.
Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed said he will play against the Buffalo Bills on Friday. He did not suit up during Washington’s first two preseason games against the Atlanta Falcons and the New York Jets because of a sprained left thumb, although Reed said he’s been practicing for the past two weeks.
Redskins Coach Jay Gruden has been cautious with Reed’s injury that he suffered during training camp in Richmond. Reed was active during individual drills and during 1-on-1s at the start of Monday’s practice.
Reed said he feels physically fine leading up to the Bills game. It’ll be his first opportunity to face a live-tackling situation this season in what will be the offense’s dress rehearsal game. He one of our top TE picks and poised for another big season as long as he remains healthy.
Redskin running backs actually fared better than I originally thought while watching the game. Maybe that’s a function of low expectations, but in general there was more to build on than in the game against the Falcons.
That’s not to say “problem solved” but just that at least it wasn’t a lost cause. There were more yards after contact, for example. Matt Jones' biggest issue, of course, is durability. But he showed more of what he could do, less stutter-stepping through holes. There was at least one run in which Jones again opted to try to bounce rather than lower his shoulder against a defensive back; coaches don’t like that. So it wasn’t perfect and I still have big questions about the run game this season, but there were more positives than in the preseason opener.
Of course the big issues is Jones now has a banged up shoulder and the team doesn't really have a clear, proven backup. However, it's a bit of good news for the run game it made some progress in Preseason Week 2, at least according to this author. Washington isn't giving up on the run, but many feel the team is poised to throw a lot again in 2016.
Tuesday, August 16, 2016, 10:50am
The 5’9”, 192-pound Smith, a Florida State product entering his seventh NFL season, appeared in five games with the Chicago Bears last season. An undrafted free agent who spent his first five credited NFL seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, Smith has averaged 9.9 yards on his 30 NFL carries and totaled 7 touchdowns on 45 touches.
The problem with the running game might not be the ball carriers. There were not many openings for the running backs against the Falcons and it’s hard for the best of backs to gain much yardage without blocking.
Matt Jones is still the starter and he has said all of the right things and he has looked pretty good in practice.
“We’re going to keep working on it,” said head coach Jay Gruden. “We’re not going to panic in the first preseason game but we also understand that in these games you are who you are and what you put on tape. We’ve got to make sure that we continue to work on it and get better at it. That’s all you can do.”
Jones appears to be the clear starter but the team doesn't appear to be over it's rushing struggles. Right now, Christ Thompson is the backup to Jones but the story said Thompson admitted he's better off as a third down back, which means the team could possible bring in Pierre Thomas once again. Some of the younger backs looked good against second and third teamers, but that may not translate against first team defenses once the season starts. This is something we've been hearing since the spring: the Skins may have to take to the air more often than they would like again in 2016.
Rookie wide receiver Corey Coleman practiced for the first time since Aug. 5 and participated in team drills. It’s a sign he may make his NFL preseason debut when the Browns host the Atlanta Falcons at 8 p.m. Thursday.
“We’ll see,” coach Hue Jackson said when asked if Coleman will play Thursday. “Today was another opportunity for him to get out there finally and catch balls, run around. We’ll see how he feels after today, and then we’ll determine that as we move forward.”
His status for the game will depend on how his left hamstring responds, the story said. The muscle kept the first-round draft pick sidelined for five practices.
That performance by Robinson, who rates as no better than the No. 4 receiver, is an indication of the potential depth the Falcons have at wide receiver.
“He had a great game for us,” Jones said. “But there is more to come from Al. Also, a lot of the young guys. J.D. (McKissic), great guy, you will see a lot of him. Of course, Mohamed Sanu (and) myself. Just a lot of guys. We are out here, we are working and doing a good job.”
Now, he has to hope that a left hand injury suffered during that 17-11 loss doesn't prevent him from building on that game Thursday night at home against the Falcons.
Pryor, the starting Z receiver, suffered the injury on the first drive in Green Bay, presumably when he banged it on a helmet while blocking downfield.
X-rays after the game were negative, but he had a bruise between the thumb and index finger. HC Hue Jackson said he thinks Pryor will be fine, but he may have to wear a wrap at practice. Pryor has crept into the Browns WR picture with a solid offseason and camp. He's ranked 88th but doesn't have an ADP.
Sickle-cell trait, a blood disorder, can cause complications when an individual is under physical stress in hot weather. The temperature was between 86-90 degrees near the end of Sunday’s practice with 58 percent humidity, according to Accuweather.com.
"You always want to take every precaution," Falcons coach Dan Quinn said of Coleman’s disorder. "There are guys all over the league that have it. For him, yeah, it’s something that we’re aware of. It’s like having something to monitor. But he’s really fit, man. He’s having an awesome camp. We just always want to take precaution on the side of player safety."
Those born with the sickle-cell trait also can be negatively affected in high altitudes. Such a factor will be something to watch when Coleman and the Falcons visit Denver in Week 5. Coleman’s early departure Sunday allowed undrafted rookie Brandon Wilds to get more snaps behind Freeman. The Falcons already are without third-string running back Terron Ward, who is sidelined with an ankle injury.
Redskins head coach Jay Gruden is confident that the team’s run game can complement a lethal passing attack this season.
And not until the third quarter did the yards on the ground start to come in bunches, as the Redskins had just 12 rushing yards on their first nine carries before finishing the evening with 79 yards on 24 carries.
“We are going to stick with it,” Gruden said. “We are going to fix it. We have to get our line coming off better. We have to get it to the right people. Atlanta played very good defense. They loaded up the box and did a nice job stopping us. That is no excuse we have to run the ball better.”
The Skins run game only got better later in the game. After Jones played in just the first series of the game, Chris Thompson and 2016 seventh-round pick Keith Marshall worked with Colt McCoy and the second-team offense, although neither running back was able to do much when the ball was placed in their hands. Against Atlanta’s third-team defense, though, rookie Robert Kelley and 2015 practice squad member Mack Brown sliced up the Falcons. Running the ball was a problem last year, and some who follow the team think it will continue this year. Those same beat writers think the team will have to throw the ball with Kirk Cousins and a talented WR corps.
Running back Robert Kelley had a difficult time processing the moment on Thursday. The Redskins’ undrafted rookie had just completed his first NFL preseason game and led the team with 40 rushing yards and a touchdown in the 23-17 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.
The Tulane product was the fourth running back used behind Matt Jones, Chris Thompson and rookie Keith Marshall, but Kelley was the best player at the position. He broke off runs for 18 and 11 yards on a drive that ended with Kelley’s one-yard touchdown in the third quarter. It was the only moment in the game when the Redskins had an effective running game. They finished with just 79 yards on 24 carries. There's no sure thing behind Jones as the RB1 because Thompson is more of a change of pace, third-down back. The team struggled to run the ball last year and many predict more of the same this year, so any positive sign running the ball won't go unnoticed by the Skins.
Tight end Jordan Reed won’t be playing on Thursday night.
Redskins coach Jay Gruden said Tuesday that Reed, who signed a five-year extension this offseason, will be held out of the team’s preseason opener against the Falcons. Reed is dealing with a sprained left thumb and will remain home to get treatment while the rest of the squad goes to Atlanta.
As the story put it, Reed has dealt with a variety of injuries over the course of his NFL career, although this appears to be more precaution about playing him for a series or two than a serious issue that could impact his readiness for the season.
Monday, August 8, 2016, 6:35pm
Jay Gruden still isn't sure how much his starters will play in their preseason opener against the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday, but he does know which guys won't be playing at all when the Redskins head into the Georgia Dome.
"I ruled Crowder out myself today," the head coach said in his afternoon press conference. "Those are the four off the top of my head."
The veteran wideout signed with the Falcons on Friday, but he has decided to draw the curtain on his NFL career rather than continue to compete for a spot in Atlanta’s offense. Moore announced his retirement through the team on Monday morning.
The Falcons will have to look for another option for receiving depth after recently signing Moore.
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