2016 NFL Training Camp Report: August 2nd
Jeff Mans updates you on all of the news, cuts, holdout and injuries across all 32 NFL teams training camp and tells you how it will impact fantasy football this season
NFL Training Camp is a busy time of year. This is when the coaches implement their system, playbooks are drawn up and every position on every team is up for grabs. Injuries are as common as practice cones and tackling dummies. If you blink, you could just miss the preamble to a breakout season. Fortunately, I’ll be keeping up with all of it in order to ensure Fantasy Alarm Nation stays in the know all summer long.
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SIGNED, SEALED & DELIVERED
The Bills took a shot on a one year deal for RB Reggie Bush. Though they have a crowded backfield as it is, Karlos Williams of course is suspended for the first four games of the season and Mike Gillislee sucks at football. Head coach Rex Ryan talked about adding Bush to the RB crew and admitted that he was mostly counting on Bush contributing mostly in the return game on special teams rather than toting the rock. I have a feeling that Bush will wind up getting some touches in this Bills offense somehow but he absolutely should not be even considered in leagues of 12 or less owners this year.
Emotions were high today in Jets camp as both Ryan Fitzpatrick and Brandon Marshall had meltdowns in reacting to what was a horrible day of practice. Marshall wound up punting the football clear out of the practice field after a drop by backup running back Dominique Williams. Marshall left the field without talking to teammates or coaches who tried to calm him down. Fitzpatrick then gathered up the remaining receivers and a couple running backs for a pep talk before they retreated to the locker room. It was a bad day for this Jets offense but with leaders like Marshall and Fitzpatrick they should be able to get things on track sooner rather than later.
CAMP STRUGGLES PART DEUX
The Jaguars offense was absolutely manhandled by their defense today. This is either a real good sign about the defensive improvements the team made this offseason or a terrible sign about the chance of their offense repeating their 2015 prowess. Either way the sluggish effort caused head coach Gus Bradley to end their practice early and gather the team up for a good old fashioned lecture. This was the Jags first full practice in pads so some rust was probably understandable but the effort was not to the coaching staffs standards. The good news was the first round pick Jalen Ramsey looked tremendous in locking down one side of the field, attacking where the receivers were sitting in the zone and even grabbing a pick six off of the arm of backup QB Max Wittek.
THE GOOD NEWS
I am not buying the hype yet but word out of Giants camp is that second round pick Sterling Shepard has been nothing short of fantastic in the opening days of camp. The Giants had him working out of both the slot and outside today and he made (dare I say) some OBJ type catches that got his teammates swooning. I have plenty of reservations about a 5’10” rookie receiver but this kids story is quite amazing and I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t rooting for him to succeed. But we have to be very careful in respecting the young man and getting excited for him and actually trusting him on our fantasy teams. At this point he is the type of guy I want my opponents to have because I just don’t see much upside for him on a weekly basis in year one.
Very interesting news out of Titans camp today as Marcus Mariota had his second straight good day of practice but seems to be hitting it off with one of his newly acquired WR’s. Rishard Mathews was signed to a three year deal this offseason but the news didn’t receive much hype anywhere outside of Matthews own living room. Yet, he has easily been Mariota’s favorite target so far which deserves our attention.
Matthews got behind the defense twice in today’s session and helped this Titans offense roll all over their D for the second consecutive day. Mariota and Matthews were also seen working together both before and after practice in one on one sessions that were of their own partaking. It should be noted that Kendall Wright did sit out of today’s practice with a hamstring injury but the news on Matthews is definitely one to keep an eye on especially upon Wright’s return.
The Bengals already could be without starting TE Tyler Eifert for what could last well into the regular season but today they had another TE go down with a scary injury. Tyler Kroft got tangled up with an undisclosed teammate during passing drills when his left knee buckled and he fell down to the ground. He attempted to get back up but was not able to put much weight on the knee and thus they had to cart him back to the medical facility.
The initial news on Kroft is that he likely is dealing with only a bruise and a possible sprain but they are not even giving him an MRI at this time. The Bengals have absolutely nothing behind him at the TE position so things could get pretty weird if Kroft misses much time.
Cowboys QB Kellen Moore who is slated to be the direct backup to Tony Romo this season went down with an ankle injury today which was later determined to be a broken bone in his foot. The initial response from the team is that Moore will likely go on IR and thus miss the entire season even though it is doubtful it would take him more than two months to return from the injury.
Either way, Dak Prescott is the guy we should all be interested in here on the Cowboys roster. He’d have won the backup job anyways and I think would be a very intriguing fantasy player if Romo actually got hurt again this season. Ideally, Prescott is a dynasty league project that could be real good after a couple of seasons learning behind veteran players and coaches.
NOT PRACTTICING TODAY
Chris Hogan, WR, Patriots – Shoulder
Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Giants – Leg
DeVante Parker, WR, Dolphins – Hamstring
Jay Ajayi, RB, Dolphins – Knee
Trent Richardson, RB, Ravens – Cut like the bag of shit that he is
Jordy Nelson, WR, Packers – “other” Knee