The Bengals lined up rookie wide receiver Tyler Boyd in a variety of ways during practice and while he has yet to catch an NFL regular-season pass the Bengals can celebrate Boyd’s ascension into the derby to start opposite A.J. Green in New Jersey on Sept. 11.
“A lot of guys are in that category,” said wide receivers coach James Urban as the staff continues to respond to the off-season departures of the nearly combined 1,000 yards and 100 catches accumulated by Sanu and Marvin Jones last season.
But with seven-year veteran Brandon LaFell returning to practice this week with a damaged ligament in his hand after a 10-day absence, Boyd is the unquestioned leader in the clubhouse as they get set to gauge LaFell in Sunday’s dress rehearsal in Jacksonville.
“We have to see how he transitions through,” said offensive coordinator Ken Zampese.
Also making a push is one of the best stories of the year in James Wright. Wright, the 2014 seventh-rounder from LSU, is coming back from a 21-month layoff as he tries to rebound from the most dangerous of procedures, a micro fracture knee surgery.
Bengals Pro Bowl tight end Tyler Eifert has sworn off the Pro Bowl forever after suffering an ankle injury in January’s game that still hasn’t healed. And in a sign of just how serious that injury was, Eifert is just jogging for the first time today.
Geoff Hobson of the Bengals’ website reports that Eifert is trying to jog for the first time since surgery. Eifert said he has previously been running on a treadmill in the pool and feels good.
Eifert has been lifting weights and says he has had no setbacks, but if he’s just jogging for the first time today, it seems unlikely that he’d be ready for the season opener in less than three weeks, the story speculates. Backup Tyler Kroft is trying to recover from what's said to be a minor knee injury. Eifert's stock has fallen to the seventh or eighth round but if he's able to come back sooner than later that's obviously nice potential value at that point in the draft.
But it looks like both players -- so critical to the Detroit Lions this season -- are nearing a return.
Tate was seen running on the side during practice Sunday afternoon, while Ebron jogged off the field following practice and then took some balls from the JUGS machine.
Coach Jim Caldwell has declined to address either player's status, but it seems both are not in danger of missing the season opener on Sept. 11 against the Colts, the story said. Tate's injury never really seemed major. Ebron's injury, though, provided Detroit with more of a scare when he had to be carted off the field during Detroit's mock game at Ford Field on Aug. 6, the story added.
Steelers running back LeVeon Bell has been suspended three games by the NFL for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
The running back was facing a four-game suspension but appealed to the league. Though Bell will be eligible to practice and play with the team through the preseason, he will miss the team’s first three regular-season games against the Washington Redskins, Cincinnati Bengals and Philadelphia Eagles.
This will boost Bell's projections, but he's still a little dicey as a 1st round pick since he'll miss the first three games of the year. He has extra value in leagues where more than half the teams make the playoffs. He's also recovering from MCL and PCL tears but recently declared himself 100 percent, for what it's worth.
After the Bengals finished up their last public session of training camp in a Tuesday morning walk-through, head coach Marvin Lewis indicated he doesn’t expect injured starter Brandon LaFell to miss the Sept. 11 regular-season opener in New Jersey against the Jets.
LaFell, a seven-year veteran wide receiver who reportedly has ligament damage in his right hand, went through individual drills Monday after not playing Friday night in the preseason opener against the Vikings.
Reports today were saying LaFell would need surgery and put at least part of his season in doubt. But this piece said Lewis didn’t rule out LaFell for the next preseason game, Thursday night in Detroit. This is certainly good news for the Bengals offense, which could already be without TE Tyler Eifert.
LaFell is not practicing on Tuesday and Mike Garafolo of NFL Media reports that he suffered a torn ligament in his hand and may need to have surgery on it. Per Garafolo, that wouldn’t be a season-ending injury but there’s no word on an expected timeline for LaFell’s absence.
LaFell is currently listed as the starter at wide receiver alongside A.J. Green, but any extended absence would open the door for rookie Tyler Boyd to see a bump in playing time at the start of his NFL career, the story said. With injuries to tight ends Tyler Eifert and Tyler Kroft creating uncertainty about their availability at the start of the year, Boyd could also be looking at a bump in passes being thrown his way should LaFell not make it back in time for Week 1.
There is no telling how far along — or how rich — Terrelle Pryor might be today had he given up the dream of being a quarterback and converted to wide receiver earlier in his career.
Hue Jackson, the Browns’ head coach, knew receiver was the better position for the 6-foot-4 former Buckeye. And Jackson should know, because this is the third team on which Pryor has played for him.
Jackson was the head coach in Oakland when the Raiders took Pryor in the supplemental draft in 2011. He was the Bengals’ offensive coordinator in 2015 when Pryor spent about six weeks trying to latch on as a backup to Andy Dalton. The Bengals released them after their minicamp last year.
The Browns claimed Pryor on waivers on June 22, 2015, after their offseason program was completed. He was impossibly behind when training camp began and early on he pulled a hamstring. He made the 53-man roster, was cut on Sept. 10 and then re-signed by the Browns Dec. 2. A year later, Pryor is playing like a starter. The thought of Pryor and Josh Gordon spread wide (when Gordon returns from his four-game suspension), with Corey Coleman in the slot, could give the Browns weapons they haven’t had on offense since the days of Kellen Winslow and Braylon Edwards in 2007, the story said.
The Bengals’ stock of tight ends named Tyler took its second hit of the year on Tuesday when Tyler Kroft injured his knee during practice.
Kroft has been the No. 1 tight end in camp with the team already missing Tyler Eifert as he makes his way back from offseason ankle surgery, but the team had to turn to non-Tyler options after Kroft left practice with a knee injury. Eifert’s absence may extend into the regular season, so a long absence for Kroft would likely force the team to look for other options at the position.
The Bengals don’t believe that things will play out that way. Geoff Hobson of the team’s website described the injury as a “jammed knee” and that “indications were that it wasn’t serious.”
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis did not provide an update on Kroft after practice. Kroft was holding his knee while talking with trainers before leaving the field.
With Pro Bowl tight end Tyler Eifert likely out for the entire preseason, Kroft had been taking reps with the No. 1 offense and heading a thin tight end corps.
James Wright was cleared for practice Monday for the first time in nearly two years and became inspired.
Wright, a seventh-round pick out of LSU in 2014, was injured in his break-out game on Nov. 30, 2014, a three-catch, 59-yard effort in Tampa highlighted by a 30-yard catch down the sideline on third-and-long late in a 14-13 win that helped keep the ball from the Buccaneers.
He looked ready to fit into the Bengals’ riddled receiving corps in the No. 3 role as a guy that could contribute on special teams as well as separate well enough to be productive in the passing game. But a torn PCL ended his season and when he didn’t bounce back the next spring, microfracture knee surgery threatened to cut short his career.
With Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones now gone from Cincy, the Bengals could certainly use Wright. Tyler Boyd and Brandon LaFell are also competing for time with A.J. Green. Wright is looking to climb up the depth chart but the team will be looking to see if Wright still has explosion and if he can separate like he once did.
The Steelers surely are concerned with the possibility of not having running back LeVeon Bell for the first month of the season, and for good reason, as he continues to wait to hear the results of the the appeal of his four-game suspension for violation the NFL's drug policy.
As for being concerned about Bell's surgically repaired knee, there are far fewer worries, and that's been solidified through the first three days of training camp at St. Vincent College.
Bell is less than nine months removed from an ugly knee injury he suffered in November against the Bengals that tore his his MCL and PCL, requiring surgery and keeping him out of the final two months of the season.
Through the early stages of camp, you'd be hard-pressed to tell that Bell is recovering from any injury let alone a severe knee injury. You can lump offensive coordinator Todd Haley into that group of being pleasantly surprised, the story all said. That's good news for potential owners and it looks like Bell's injury recovery isn't a cause for a lot of concern. But as the story said, a possible four-game suspension awaits, and we've dropped Bell down our list as a result.
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.
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.
Thursday, July 28, 2016, 2:22pm
The Bengals reported to Paul Brown Stadium Thursday and as five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Green began his sixth training camp without offseason workout partner Calvin Johnson in the league, he says he’s one of a group of about five vying to replace Johnson as the NFL’s best wide receiver.
Green says he’s not surprised Johnson retired after just nine seasons in the league at age 30. After all, he told Green a couple of offseasons ago that he only had about two or three years left in him.
And there are other concerns. Green and wife Miranda are expecting their first child Sept. 30, a son named Easton Ace Green.
Green, who turns 28 Sunday, said he’d like to play anywhere between 11-15 seasons if he’s still performing at a top level, the story said.
This isn't a shock if you've been following Eifert this spring. Eifert had offseason ankle surgery. He’s likely to miss all or most of training camp and the preseason. Eifert had 13 TDs in 13 games last year, if he’s healthy for Week 1, he could be a nice value in the 7th/8th round.
- Page 1