Training Camp Notes 7-31: Aaron Rodgers & More = John Heim

Chris Thompson said he likely won't be fully recovered from his broken fibula until November, a year after getting hurt. He's had a handful of surgeries and recoveries in his career. Nothing compares to this one.

But then there's this: 

Chris Russell @Russellmania621

A few random notes from Tuesday's #Redskins practice: Chris Thompson looks like he will still be a huge part of this offense & hasn't lost any speed or wiggle. He ripped off a big run, reading his blocks well on the interior & also had a nice over the shoulder screen grab.

A little more clarification…

Here are some Fantasy Training Camp Notes from Monday 7-31. Enjoy!!! - Jake Kring-Schreifels

Running back Chris Thompson got more involved during team periods today, working mostly as a pass-catcher out of the backfield. Head coach Jay Gruden said in his morning press conference that he anticipates Thompson being “full-go” sooner than later, and Thompson seemed to confirm that on the field. The running back played in what he estimated 12 snaps, and said after practice that he’s still a little wary of cutting on his right leg while running routes, a mental hurdle he’ll eventually have to jump. Though he didn’t want to test it, he made a nice grab on a high screen pass from Kevin Hogan in which he batted the ball to himself and continued to still make the play work. It’s a good sign that he keeps taking steps forward and returns to the form before being injured last November.

Not to keep repeating what’s already been stated numerous times throughout the first four days of camp, but Alex Smith looks extremely comfortable with wide receiver Jamison Crowder. He started off the first team drill grabbing about a 25-yard pass working an underneath route, made available thanks to wide receiver Josh Doctson taking a safety deep with him on a fly route on the opposite side of the line.

Cecil Lammey  @CecilLammey

PHILLIP LINDSAY IS AN INSIDE-OUT RB - the best type of RB to be. Lindsay will take the ball inside before breaking to the outside at the 2nd level. 1st day of pads on and he shows no hesitation running inside. doesn't just look to bounce when hole is cramped #Broncos @1043TheFan

Brady Henderson  @BradyHenderson

Seahawks are on the field for their fifth training camp practice. Looks like Doug Baldwin is sitting out a third straight day. Brandon Marshall is also on the sideline.
– Andy Hart

Dwayne Allen continues to serve as the primary No. 2 tight end in drills working alongside Rob Gronkowski. Allen has had a stellar summer so far, looking far more active, energetic and athletic than he did at any point a year ago. Allen has also caught the ball well and seemed more accurate in his route running. It will be interesting to see if he can expand on his role after what was a pretty trying first season as a trade addition in Foxborough despite a strong push from second-year tight end Jacob Hollister.

RB Rex Burkhead caught a pair of touchdowns on the drill on short receptions on the right side.

Brady completed a play-action bomb to Philip Dorsett for a long touchdown to the wide open receiver. Dorsett caught a few other balls from Brady as he works to build a rapport with the veteran quarterback.

Field Yates‏ @FieldYates

Source: veteran WR Eric Decker worked out for the Patriots on Monday. The team is currently dealing with some injury issues at WR (Kenny Britt, Malcolm Mitchell, Jordan Matthews). – Matt Parrino

Quarterback competition as tight as ever

Nathan Peterman might have regained the lead in the battle to be the Bills' opening day starter Tuesday -- if that's even possible before the preseason starts. The second-year quarterback made a number of nice plays running the first-team offense.

Josh Allen had a ball batted down at the line of scrimmage right out of the gate with the third team during 11-on-11, which didn't please offensive quarterback Brian Daboll. But the rookie recovered and turned in a solid practice the rest of the way. He shined in 7-on-7 drills, where he completed touchdown passes to tight ends Keith Towbridge and Khari Lee, receiver cam Phillips and running back Keith Ford.

A.J. McCarron threw a few nice passes but continues to struggle with indecisiveness.

Chris Ivory starting to show burst

For the second straight practice, new Bills running back Chris Ivory had a nice touchdown run during team drills. Running with the first team with Allen at quarterback, Ivory took a handoff up the middle right through the line and burst into the second level to score. – Anthony Marino

Kelvin Benjamin and AJ McCarron were the most impressive players for the Buffalo Bills during Tuesday’s session at training camp. McCarron is looking to separate himself as the starter at quarterback, while Benjamin has firmly established himself as the top weapon at wide receiver. Both players stood out from the competition, and you can read about their highlights in multiple articles in today’s Bills Links.

Jeremy Kerley has been the primary player at slot receiver all throughout spring, and in the first five practices of training camp, and on Tuesday, his role expanded within the first-team offense. Kerley lined up as an outside wide receiver in a two-receiver set, and it was the first time I've seen that on an extended basis.

Reuben Frank  @RoobNBCS

Really like what I'm seeing from RB Donnel Pumphrey. He told me after practice: "I feel like a different person." Has worked his way right back into the thick of the RB competition. – Jimmy Kempski

With the team keeping Ajayi and Sproles out of harm's way, Donnel Pumphrey got a lot of reps during the live tackling sessions. He looked OK. He was aggressive hitting the hole, which was encouraging, and he didn't shy away from contact. Still there's juuuuuusssst something missing there. On a play in which the offensive line opened up a big hole, Pumphrey hit it hard, ran through an arm tackle and found himself in a one-on-one situation with a safety (Ryan Neal, I think?), who was the last line of defense. If he gets by the safety, he's gone. Instead, the safety was able to make the play.

In the separating from the competition theme, Wendell Smallwood did some of that today, but in a bad way.

  1. He whiffed on a blitz pickup opportunity against Kamu Grugier-Hill.
  2. He dropped a screen, though in fairness, the play was affected some by rookie UDFA DT Bruce Hector, who has been active the last few days, FYI.
  3. He had a botched handoff exchange with Joe Callahan, and reading body language after the play, the guess here is that Smallwood was to blame for the snafu.

Matt Jones had a nice, hard run today. He ran inside, and four defenders had to get in on the tackle on a gain of about 6 or 7. Jones got up a little gimpy on the play, and his day was over, but he showed some impressive power.

Mack Hollins has been quiet in camp, but he had a couple nice plays today. He made a one-handed catch in 3-on-3's, and leaped high in the air to bring in a bullet in traffic in the live session.

PhiladelphiaEagles.comFran Duffy & Ben Fennell

Nelson Agholor
started things off with a crisp out-and-up double move against cornerback Jalen Mills. Agholor’s route running was on full display as he sold the out route with his head and body and then snapped back upfield. It was a thing of beauty. Later in the drill, Agholor brought in a tough catch against Ronald Darby. Agholor ran a quick out route and Wentz left the throw slightly inside but with good velocity past Darby’s head. Agholor snagged the ball at the last second with an impressive reception.

Kamar Aiken had one of the best routes of the day on a double move, post-corner route off play-action. Aiken was able to sell the post route to the middle of the field and then break back to the sideline. The ball was thrown slightly late and behind the receiver, but because the route was so effective, Aiken was able to adjust to the pass and get upfield.

Second-year receiver Greg Ward had two consecutive highlight receptions in the team session and is flashing competitive reps every practice. First, QB Nate Sudfeld was flushed out of the pocket to the left and Ward was able to make a strong move at the top of the route against veteran safety Rodney McLeod. The very next play, Sudfeld had a clean pocket and fired a strike to Ward over the middle of the field. Ward took a big shot from Hicks but was able to hang on.

WR Mack Hollins flashed on several plays today, but his best rep came in this period. Hollins climbed the ladder on a curl route in traffic to reel in a tough catch, displaying excellent catch radius and strong hands.

Jason Wilde  @jasonjwilde

#Packers QB Aaron Rodgers rolls to his right in 11-on-11 goal-line work and gets his first TD pass in team drills (by our sideline count, at least) to TE Jimmy Graham. – John Keim

Running back Derrius Guice has drawn praise from coaches for how he is in the meeting room, with running backs coach Randy Jordan saying he asks questions to get answers -- not just to ask them. On the field, Guice worked in pass protection drills and showed his aggressive nature. But the coaches say they want to make sure he doesn't overcommit and lose leverage on his man. For him it's about perfecting technique, not want-to.

Gregg Rosenthal  @greggrosenthal

Pete Carroll says at his presser that Doug Baldwin is out a few weeks with a sore knee. Gets real thin real fast at WR in Seattle. – Joe Rexrode

Malcolm Butler was up, and he had a specific adversary in mind. It was not Taywan Taylor’s turn in the one-on-one drill, but Butler pointed at Taylor and invited him to come out and play.

Taylor obliged. And the hesitation move he put on Butler, leaving Butler lurching as Taylor turned upfield to haul in a touchdown pass from Blaine Gabbert, is best described as vicious.

That’s not to say he’s been perfect in camp. Mariota threw a pick over the middle on the first day to Logan Ryan, on a check down intended for Taylor. Had Taylor run the route correctly, Ryan would have had to go through him to get to the ball.

“That was on me, I should have come flatter,” Taylor said. “But I drifted.” – Jim Wyatt

RB Derrick Henry showed up to training camp a few pounds heavier -- and that was by design. He added more muscle to his 6-foot-3 frame, which carries in the 250-pound range. Henry has looked good running the football. He’s been quick to hit the hole. He’s also caught the ball well. On one swing pass a few days ago, he caught a low pass with his fingertips just inches from the ground.

Corey Davis has been good. Darius Jennings has been consistent. Tajae Sharpe looks stronger, and seems to be finding his groove. But second-year receiver Taywan Taylor has really emerged of late, catching passes in the middle of the field, and also deep downfield. He’s made tough catches in tight coverage, and also shown off his blazing speed. Heading into Year 2, it's looking like he could be a big factor this fall. – Joe Fann

As always, 1-on-1 drills provided plenty of entertainment. WR Dante Pettis continues to impress during that period. WR Marquise Goodwin dominated as its fairly comical to watch 49ers corners try to keep up with the receiver's speed. Jaquiski Tartt and Tarvarius Moore had pass break ups during the period, and Steven Dunbar made a nice diving catch.

We had our first 7-on-7 red-zone period towards the end of practice. Here are the top moments:

Jerick Mckinnon caught two touchdowns from Garoppolo.

Eli Harold had nice coverage against Kyle Juszczyk on a pass in the right flat.

Garrett Celek caught a 6-yard touchdown from C.J. Beathard near the left sideline.

Matt Breida caught a touchdown from Garoppolo on an angle route over the middle of the field.

Sherman defended a fade from Garoppolo-to-Garçon perfectly and forced an incompletion.

Tight end Wes Saxton caught a 6-yard touchdown from Beathard in his first practice with the 49ers. Saxton's deal with the 49ers just became official on Tuesday morning.

Beathard hit George Kittle deep down the right sideline for a 40-yard gain. Garoppolo followed with a 35-yard dime to Richie James down the same sideline.

In addition to his touchdown, Celek also made an impressive juggling catch near the right sideline. The tight end reached up with one hand and tipped the ball to himself before coming down with the 20-yard reception.

Jerick McKinnon caught several passes during full-team work in addition to his two aforementioned touchdowns. His chemistry with Garoppolo appears to be on point.

Aaron Burbridge quietly had another strong practice. He made a few contested catches during 1-on-1s and later had a long reception from Beathard in team drills.

Nick Wagoner‏  @nwagoner

Once again, saw some of the good and bad with WR Dante Pettis today. He's still creating separation with what Jimmy Garoppolo calls "wiggle" and he continues to make plays outside the numbers. But he also has struggled on contested balls and winning at the catch point.

Nick Wagoner  @nwagoner 
#49ers have been rotating a lot of skill position players with the starting unit in this camp so take with appropriate salt but Matt Breida continues to get more work with the top group. McKinnon still getting his share also but Breida's strong start to camp not going unnoticed.

Calvin Watkins  @calvinwatkins

Jason Garrett on slot WR Cole Beasley playing more outside: I think he’s always been able to handle it. You’ve seen him have a lot of success at different times as an outside receiver. You’re absolutely right, he plays much more inside, but we’ve done that with him before.

Joshua Gleason @JGleas

They're basically doing everything they can to accommodate Allen Hurns. Hurns ran 70% of his routes from the slot in Jacksonville and he is the "big money" guy in Dallas at the position. They are doing whatever they can to feed him and play to his strengths (Cole Beasley & Tavon Austin outside) – Dan Scifo

Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner knows what to expect. A leaner, trimmer Conner initially turned heads during spring workouts and that effort has carried into training camp.

Conner set the tone with a touchdown on the first competitive snap of training camp. Ben Roethlisberger delivered a quick slant to the slot where Conner hauled in the touchdown ahead of former first-round pick Artie Burns.

On Monday, Conner broke off a long touchdown run during a drill that featured live tackling. He displayed burst through the hole and into the secondary where he ran away from safety Nat Berhe on route to the end zone. – Rich Tandler

Rob Kelley just caught a short pass in seven on seven and continued to run about 40 yards into the end zone. Coaches love that kind of thing and Kelley is trying to create the best possible impression, just like he did when he was an undrafted rookie.


If you have any comments or questions feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @Fantasytaz

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