NFL training camps officially started this week, and storylines have emerged from every corner of the country.
Position battles, resurgent players and injuries highlight the updates, which will only become more important as the first game of the 2015 preseason continues to draw nearer.
Indianapolis Colts wideout T.Y. Hilton wants to eat
According to Stephen Holder of The Indianapolis Star, Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton reported to camp wearing a backpack with a picture of a hamburger. Hilton’s message? He wants to eat (read: get a raise). The speedy target’s agent is currently negotiating a new deal with the team, which will likely pony up the cash to retain Hilton on a long-term contract.
TY Hilton is wearing a hamburger backpack today. Why? "Because I'm ready to eat." pic.twitter.com/crmKvPYegD
— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) August 1, 2015
Devin Smith sustains punctured lung, return timetable unclear
In perhaps one of the most serious events of training camp, Smith sustained a punctured lung (h/t Dom Cosentino, NJ Advance Media) after making a terrific catch. Unfortunately, the rookie’s status for the New York Jets’ season-opener is unclear, per Cosentino.
Terrelle Pryor might have finally found a positional home
Being an NFL quarterback apparently isn’t in the cards for Pryor. However, the 6’4″, 223-pounder has impressed since moving to wide receiver. According to Mary Kay Cabot of the Northeast Ohio Media Group, Browns corner Joe Haden said Pryor “looks the part for sure.” He’ll compete with the likes of Travis Benjamin, Taylor Gabriel and Vince Mayle for reps.
Someone is missing at Seattle Seahawks camp, but it’s not disruptive
Hard-hitting safety Kam Chancellor has elected to hold out and will not attend Seattle’s training camp. Nevertheless, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Chancellor’s absence isn’t a disruption since the opening days of camp are so busy anyway, per Danny Kelly of SB Nation.
Carroll: "Kam Chancellor is an amazing Seahawks. He stands for exactly everything it means to be a Seahawk."#SeahawksCamp
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) July 31, 2015
Early leader emerges in Dallas Cowboys’ running back competition
Joseph Randle, Darren McFadden and Lance Dunbar are battling to replace DeMarco Murray, but one player has already started to separate himself. According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, the starting job is Randle’s to lose—especially while McFadden misses practice time due to a hamstring injury.
Trent Richardson’s NFL days are numbered
“[W]hispers are that the Trent Richardson reclamation project is not going so well,” Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle said. Soon after, the Oakland Raiders placed Richardson on the non-football injury list. If that designation was the result of a failed conditioning test, he might be searching for another NFL home. But if Oakland releases Richardson, there’s a realistic possibility he doesn’t find one.
Injuries can’t keep Danny Woodhead down
Woodhead sustained a broken ankle in Week 3 of the 2014 season, but NFL Media’s Matt Clarida reports the 5’8″ back “looked sharp” on Friday. As long as Woodhead stays healthy, Phillip Rivers will regularly target the Chadron State product as a checkdown option throughout the regular season. Take note, PPR owners.
For LeGarrette Blount, the second time was the charm
Ben Volin of the Boston Globe notes Blount—who is already suspended for the season-opener—failed a conditioning test. However, Blount passed the conditioning test on Saturday, per Rich Hill of Pats Pulpit. Blount’s future with the team was unclear, but it doesn’t seem he’s in jeopardy of being cut.
Julian Edelman, LeGarrette Blount, Eric Martin, Shaq Mason and Jordan Richards stood out in Day 3 of training camp.
— Doug Kyed (@DougKyed) August 1, 2015
Breshad Perriman doesn’t think his drops are a problem
A wide receiver’s chief responsibility is catching passes. Yet according to Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun, rookie wideout Breshad Perriman isn’t worried about his drops. He was drafted to replace Torrey Smith, but Perriman needs to catch the ball in order to hang onto a starting job with the Baltimore Ravens. Otherwise, he’s going to have a problem.
Still can’t rule out Robert Griffin III
Three years after being selected No. 2 overall, RGIII hasn’t asserted himself as a legitimate starter for the Washington football team. However, NFL Media’s Michael Robinson said the maligned quarterback “has looked really, really good” so far. Griffin must stave off Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy to win the competition, but for better or worse, all signs currently point to RGIII receiving the nod.
Photo: USA Today Sports