Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 8:50pm
It seems like every day Vikings rookie running back Jerick McKinnon grabs your attention with his athleticism. Today, that moment occurred when he caught a quick swing pass from Bridgewater as he sprinted to the right. Rookie corner Kendall James took a bad angle in pursuit, and McKinnon planted his right cleat into the ground and shot up the field into the secondary.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 8:48pm
Bills tight end Scott Chandler (groin) remained out of practice for a second straight day, as did tight end Tony Moeaki (hamstring). Their injuries don't appear to be serious, but it has thinned the position for practices. The key for both players -- Moeaki especially, given his injury history -- will be to stay healthy once the regular season begins.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 6:09pm
Amaro missed a day of practice, dealing with knee tendinitis, so maybe he was a little behind in terms of picking up the offense. But this was more than a one-day thing. The former Texas Tech star, a record-breaking pass-catcher in college, has been on the training-camp rollercoaster. He admitted he was "confused" by a couple of route concepts in Wednesday's practice, adding, "I got some plays wrong."
Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 6:06pm
The Bills were able to put the finishing touches on the announcement of a one-year extension for running back Fred Jackson. Jackson was entering the final year of his contract, which is set to pay him a base salary $2.45 million. There were no financial details announced by the team.
Jackson’s role for the 2014 season is a bit unclear with Bryce Brown and Anthony Dixon joining Jackson and C.J. Spiller in the backfield. There’s been talk that the 33-year-old may be slated for a more limited role than he’s played in the past, but the extension suggests he’s still very much in the Bills’ plans now and in 2015.
This certainly indicates that the team is planning for the eventuality that Spiller won't be with the team in 2015. If he departs, Jackson could split time (or back up) Bryce Brown, whom the team traded for earlier in the year.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 6:02pm
The Jacksonville Jaguars are going to make Toby Gerhart their workhorse back, possibly giving him 20-plus touches a game. But he can’t be on the field for every play, and that’s when Jordan Todman is expected to take over.
The third-year player from Connecticut has quietly had a good start to training camp. During Wednesday morning's full-pads practice he broke a couple runs, including one in which he accelerated past linebacker Nate Stupar to break free into the secondary. He has made plays like that throughout camp and appears, right now at least, to have a solid hold on the No. 2 spot behind Gerhart.
Athletically, Bostick is very reminiscent of Jermichael Finley. He has had trouble staying healthy, but has made plays when in the lineup. He could very well win the starting job.
The Eagles avoided major injuries after three days of training camp, but they aren’t 100 percent injury-free.
Wide receiver Riley Cooper, running back Chris Polk and center Julian Vandervelde are missing practice Wednesday. Cooper is dealing with a foot injury, coach Chip Kelly said, while Polk is nursing a hamstring tweak and Vandervelde is sidelined with a sore back.
Kelly said none of the injuries is considered major and all could be back “shortly.” Of the three, only Cooper is a starter.
As the article states, the injury isn't considered to be "major," so Cooper should be back at practice soon.
Saints beat writer Mike Triplett tries to predict the Saints' RBBC:
It’s still too early in New Orleans Saints training camp to judge exactly how they plan to split the workload among their deep running back corps.
My best guess is that Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson will split carries pretty evenly in base packages and early downs, while Pierre Thomas lines up more with the nickel offenses (sort of the old Darren Sproles role). That would make sense, since Thomas is both the best pass-catcher and the best pass-protector of all the Saints’ running backs.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees offered some lofty praise of Thomas’ versatility Tuesday when asked if throwing the screen pass to Thomas is one of his favorite plays.
“Yes. He’s one of the best screen runners there is, ever,” Brees said. “He does such a great job of timing, setting up his blocks, just hitting those seams and hitting the sidewalk. He does a phenomenal job at it."
Brees went on to say that Thomas is the "best all-purpose back in the league." Thomas racked up 224 touches for 1,062 yards and five TDs as the lead back in the 2013 version of the Saints’ committee at running back. With Darren Sproles gone, Thomas’s catches aren’t likely to take much of a hit (though Travaris Cadet and Brandin Cooks should see some of Sproles’s work). The team has shown signs of moving to Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson more in the running game, so PT may have trouble pushing 150 carries again in 2014. Still, he’ll be a regular part of the rotation in a potent offense and should be a good value in the middle rounds. In PPR formats, he has finished in the top 30 in PPG in five of the last six seasons.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 2:00pm
Redskins WR Pierre Garçon is on the field but it looks like he will be just a partial participant after suffering a slight hamstring strain. It seems to be one of those things where he would practice and play if this was the week of a regular season game but since it’s early July he’s resting it.
The stats seem to indicate that Cowboys WR Terrance Williams is prepared to be a starter. In seven games in which Williams played more than 50 snaps last season, he caught 28 passes on 47 targets for 459 yards and four touchdowns. He had 16 catches on 27 targets for 277 yards and one touchdown in the other nine games.
However, Williams admits that he had a problem focusing when he was fatigued as a rookie. It’s part conditioning, part concentration.
“I feel like sometimes when I go three deep balls straight, then I have a tendency to take a play off [mentally],” said Williams, who is the unquestioned No. 2 receiver after the Cowboys released Austin in the offseason. “And that play that I take off, the ball is coming my way. When I get tired now, I’m just trying to hold myself accountable, just thinking about what the 10 guys would say standing right next to me.”
One of the reasons Dallas liked Williams so much as a prospect was that Baylor coach Art Briles raved about the receiver’s work ethic and serious approach to the game. That attitude helped Williams make an impact as a rookie, and the Cowboys hope it will help him use that season as a springboard.
With Miles Austin basically sidelined from Week 4 to Week 10, Williams was the #12 WR in fantasy, racking up 24 catches for 438 yards and five TDs in that seven-game span. In four games where he played at least 80 percent of his teams snaps, he averaged 11.0 FP (#15 WR numbers). In eight games where he played at least 70 percent of the snaps, he averaged 9.0 FP (#22 WR numbers). He faded upon Austin’s return to starter’s snaps, but showed enough in his rookie season to make him an intriguing middle-round pick in 2014. The Cowboys figure to throw a lot under new OC Scott Linehan, who was pass-happy while in Detroit. With Austin gone, the path is clear for a breakout season from Williams.
As for Julian Edelman, our own Andy Hart joined Comcast SportsNet's "Sports Tonight" to debate whether #11 can duplicate his impressive 2013 season. "If he stays healthy," said Andy Hart. "I got to tell you, through the first five days I think he's been the best player on the field in training camp… To me he just looks more confident, more expectant. Big time season, big time contract and not being injured, not trying to win a job."
Edelman caught a career high 105 passes for 1,056 yards and six touchdowns filling the Wes Welker role in the Patriots offense. Danny Amendola should be healthier this season, but it may not matter — Edelman clearly outplayed Amendola in 2013 and the team rewarded him with a new contract. He should once again threaten the 100-catch mark as Tom Brady’s favorite target not named Rob Gronkowski.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 1:50pm
Landry seems to be a good bet to win the slot job. His tape is reminiscent of Anquan Boldin -- not the fastest guy, but he has great hands and is strong at the point of the catch.
Giants RB David Wilson will not practice for the remainder of this week and will not play Sunday night, when the Giants play their preseason opener against the Buffalo Bills in the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio. The Giants running back, who suffered a burner in practice yesterday, will be examined and evaluated on Monday by Dr. Frank Cammisa at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan.
It's not clear how long Wilson will be out, but it's a scary situation considering he was coming off of a season-ending neck injury in 2013. He was only recently cleared to practice. If he's healthy, we're only expecting a change-of-pace role behind Rashad Jennings.
Foster was in uniform and returned to action during the fifth day of training camp, after missing back-to-back sessions.
Foster's health is obviously a concern. He has missed 11 games in the last three years, but did play a full season in 2012 and no longer has Ben Tate to worry about. After finishing in the top 2 in fantasy points per game from 2010 to 2012, he was #19 in that category in 2013. There is a new regime in Houston, so Foster's usage is a bit up in the air. Still, he has been one of the most productive RBs in the league when healthy and is a candidate for a bounceback season.
Benjamin’s MRI revealed no structural damage, and the indication that his absence will be measured in days rather than weeks.
Benjamin figures to play right away for the Panthers even though he’s something of a project as a route runner. At 6’5”, he should be a factor in the red zone at least. It's not good that he's missing valuable practice reps, but the Panthers are probably happy they avoided a more serious injury.