NFL Training Camp Report: August 23
Justin Mason runs down what's going on around NFL Preseason and Training Camps.
According to head coach Mike Vrabel, Rishard Matthews is close to being activated off of the PUP list. Matthews is recovering from offseason surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee, but appears to be working his way back for Week 1. He signed a one-year extension this week through 2019 so the Titans appear comfortable with his recovery.
Marlon Mack is likely questionable for Week 1 according to Coach Frank Reich. Mack has been nursing a hamstring injury for the last couple of weeks and it appears that the recovery is slow going. Since he has been on the shelf, the main competition has been between rookie running backs Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines . However, Hines has developed a bout of fumble-itis which has allowed fantasy zombie, Christine Michael to jump into the conversation as well.
Corey Davis has been great in camp this offseason and offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur has been moving him around to different spots this preseason according to multiple sources. Davis flashed his amazing upside at points last season, but also struggled with some of his route timing and was held back by the poor quarterback play of Marcus Mariota . Now in his second year, Davis is looking like a potential breakout candidate and a fairly decent draft value to pair with that huge upside.
According to ESPN, Odell Beckham Jr and the New York Giants are on the verge of a record breaking deal. Beckham has been seeking a long term deal for a while and was actually rumored to be traded after last season because it didn’t seem like the Giants were going to give it to him. Now back healthy, the Giants are apparently confident enough in his recovery to break the bank on him. As a low end first round pick, he may be a bit underrated if Eli Manning can show better power behind his arm than we saw last year while he was throwing from his back.
Cody Latimer has won the third receiver job for the Giants according to Jordan Raanan. This isn’t a very productive role coming into the season, but it could become one considering the Giants track record of health in recent years. Latimer has been buried on depth charts most of his career, but if he were to get some serious playing time, he would be an interesting sleeper. Keep him on your watch list for now.
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Antonio Callaway will not play in tonight’s preseason game.
Dalvin Cook is expected to play in Friday’s preseason game versus the Seahawks. It will be his first live action since October of last season.
Todd Gurley will not play in Saturday’s preseason game versus the Texans.
The Packers are reportedly shopping Randall Cobb . This is interesting news and probably more relevant that some of the lower end receivers on the depth chart are doing enough where the Packers feel like they can afford to lose Cobb in the same off season they already traded away Jordy Nelson in.
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Who starts on Friday for the Packers? According to Mike Garofolo of NFL.com, the Packers are planning to rest multiple starters during the third preseason game. While the third preseason game is usually considered a dress rehearsal of sorts for most teams, the Packers appear to be taking a more conservative route and will not risk some of their major pieces. This could make for an interesting stack of the Raiders for those that play preseason DFS.
How does Deshaun Watson look against a great defense in the Rams? Watson led the Texans to a score in his only drive last week, but should play more this week versus Los Angeles, which will give us our first extended look at him coming off of the injury.
Does Baker Mayfield still look like a rookie? Mayfield struggled in last week’s preseason game and while Sam Darnold and Josh Allen may be looking at Week 1 starts, Mayfield is firmly stuck behind starter TyRod Taylor . He will need a big week here against the defending champion Eagles to impress Coach Hugh Jackson to give him a shot at the starter’s role any time soon.
Who gets the most touches in the Lions backfield while the other starters are in? The Lions have a jumbled backfield with LeGarrette Blount , Kerryon Johnson , Theo Riddick , Ameer Abdullah , and Dwyane Washington all still on the roster. It appears it will be some sort of committee, but if one of the players is getting the majority of touches in Friday’s preseason game, that could be a sign of a shift in that approach.
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