Head2Head Sports

MenuSkip to content

Football

Pro Playoff Pick'em

Latest Player News

LaRon Landry didn't participate in training camp practices Thursday or Friday due to an undisclosed "soft tissue" injury, ESPN reports.

Impact

It's the same injury that caused him to miss time in the spring. While it's likely minor, it's worrisome for a player who has missed 19 games the past three seasons due to injury.

Chris Gragg, who's been in the hospital the last two days to be treated for heat-related symptoms, was back with the team Friday but is still not practicing, The Buffalo News reports. Said coach Doug Marrone, "We're still going to be careful about when we put him back on the field, so it'll probably be a couple days."

Impact

When he does return, the second-year tight end will have to work to make the team. Scott Chandler is a lock at tight end, and if the Bills keep Lee Smith as a blocker then he'll need to either beat out veteran Tony Moeaki or have an injury to someone else give him an opportunity.

Kendall Hunter sustained a leg injury Friday, ESPN's Ed Werder reports.

Impact

The 49ers haven't revealed the seriousness of the injury, but Werder's source within the team said it didn't look good when he suffered the injury. With questions abut Marcus Lattimore's health already being raised this summer, Carlos Hyde is looking more and more like the backup to own in San Francisco.

Fred Jackson left Friday's practice early with a lower leg injury, ESPN's Mike Rodak reports.

Impact

It's not clear how serious the injury is, but he went to the locker room with the training staff after sustaining the injury. Consider him day-to-day for now, while we await word of the exact nature of the injury.

John Abraham was excused from training camp Friday due to a personal matter, thereby delaying his conditioning test, Kyle Odegard of the Cardinals' official site reports.

Impact

Despite ringing in at 36 years old, the test is likely all but a formality for the greybeard, who has missed a grand total of two games over the last seven seasons. As long as the Cardinals keep his snaps in check, Abraham will have every opportunity to tally double-digit sacks for the ninth time in 15 campaigns. However, the loss of Karlos Dansby via free agency will place the burden on second-year linebacker Kevin Minter to hold down the fort inside, which could hinder Abraham's pass-rush opportunities.

Tyrann Mathieu (knee) said Friday that his health won't allow him to play for 6-to-8 weeks, Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic reports.

Impact

The upper bound (eight weeks) coincides with a divisional clash against the 49ers in Week 3, which is ahead of coach Bruce Arians' contention in mid-June that he'd be surprised if Mathieu is active before October. Meanwhile, Mathieu was able to run during Friday's conditioning test, according to the Cardinals' official site, but he said that he held back to avoid stealing the show. His absence will allow Rashad Johnson and Tony Jefferson to take on the starting safety spots during the preseason, though rookie Deone Bucannon is also in the mix.

Though Aaron Dobson (foot/PUP list) is not participating in training camp practice yet, he did run through about an hour of conditioning work on Thursday, the Boston Herald reports.

Impact

The report notes that Dobson – who is still bouncing back from from March 10 surgery on his left foot – went through sprints, cardio workouts and stretches Thursday with an eye toward preparing for his eventual return to practice. A timetable on that front has yet to be outlined, but the second-year wideout does at least appear to be progressing at this stage.

Shelley Smith looks to start at center for Miami to open the season, according to the Palm Beach Post.

Impact

Smith was signed this off-season to start at right guard but with Mike Pouncey likely to miss at least the first month of the season he is the Dolphins best option at center. This is a work in progress however as he and QB Ryan Tannehill had several issues with executing a clean exchange during practice Friday.

Dannell Ellerbe left the field when the Dolphins went into their nickel defense Friday, according to the Miami Herald's Adam Beasley.

Impact

This could be something to watch for those owners thinking about drafting Ellerbe in IDP leagues as his value would take a hit should he not be a three-down player this season. It's early in camp though, the Dolphins could just be working on other options.

Troy Niklas is slated to wear a soft cast on his right hand for the first 10 days of training camp, Mike Jurecki of FOX Sports 910 Phoenix reports.

Impact

The Cardinals' second-round selection in this year's draft, Niklas suffered a broken bone in the hand in the latter half of spring drills, stalling his understanding of the offense. Even when healthy, he may be hard-pressed to beat out the likes of John Carlson and Jake Ballard in the base offense – coach Bruce Arians utilizes two-tight-end sets and no fullback – and Niklas' continued recovery doesn't help matters. Ringing in at 6-6, 270, Niklas is in Arians' mold and will be given a long leash to prove he belongs in the desert.

Brandon Gibson (knee) practiced with the team Friday, according to the Miami Herald.

Impact

Gibson tore his patellar tendon last season but wasn't limited in practice. Once the Dolphins open up contact drills they may elect to take it slow with Gibson but this will be more because they want to be conservative rather than a necessity. Gibson should compete for the fourth or fifth receiver job this season.

Vincent Brown was an observer during Chargers' practice Friday, and was wearing a thick wrap on his calf, the Union-Tribune's Tom Krasovic reports.

Impact

It's not clear if Brown has a legitimate injury or not, but it's something to keep an eye on in the short term. He will be competing for the No. 2 receiver spot during training camp.

Deone Bucannon appears to be over the turf toe injury that afflicted him throughout spring drills, the Cardinals' official site reports. On Wednesday, when asked how he spent the dead time between June's mandatory minicamp and training camp, he said, "I'd go to the gym constantly."

Impact

As training camp opens, safety Tyrann Mathieu is still recovering from the torn ACL and LCL that he sustained in the final month of last season, which would indicate that this year's first-round pick, Bucannon, is surely considered a starter. However, the two spots have been entrusted to Rashad Johnson (21 career starts in five seasons) and second-year pro Tony Jefferson for now, leaving Bucannon nowhere to go but up. Due to the relative inexperience of the trio, though, Bucannon's performance could propel him into a starting gig by Week 1.

Cordarrelle Patterson is day-to-day with a foot injury.

Impact

He was held out of practice Friday, and the while the injury is considered minor, it's definitely something owners should keep an eye on until he is back on the practice field.

Vick Ballard has a torn Achilles, ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports.

Impact

He was carted off the field earlier Friday, and this is certainly the worst possible outcome for Ballard and the Colts. He was in the mix at running back, but it's now a distinct two-man competition between Trent Richardson and Ahmad Bradshaw. Ballard will likely miss the entire 2014-15 season, and this bolsters the value of the Colts' other main running backs.

Larry Fitzgerald (hamstring) is the Cardinals' No. 1 wideout entering training camp, which commenced for the team Friday, Mike Jurecki of FOX Sports 910 Phoenix reports.

Impact

Fitzgerald has displayed no signs of the balky hamstring that held him back a bit during the mandatory minicamp in June. Meanwhile, working with Carson Palmer for a second year in a row should help him keep much the same utility that aided in his bounce back last season, when he recorded his first double-digit touchdown campaign since 2009. Moreover, he ranked in the Top 20 in terms of receptions – 18th, to be exact, with 82 in all – aiding those in PPR leagues. Although fellow wideout Michael Floyd (65 catches for 1,041 yards and five touchdowns) is apt to continue his development, Fitzgerald has shown no signs of regression – he dropped just one pass in 2013 – ensuring his status as a starter in all formats.

Clay Matthews (thumb) was not listed on any of Green Bay's injury lists to open training camp, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writer Tom Silverstein reports.

Impact

Health has been a constant issue for Matthews over the last two years, but it appears he's entering Green Bay's training camp at or near full health. With durability issues surrounding Mike Neal and Nick Perry to start camp, Matthews' presence at outside linebacker is reassuring.

Andrew Quarless (undisclosed) was not listed on any of Green Bay's injury lists to open training camp, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writer Tom Silverstein reports.

Impact

Quarless' exclusion from the PUP list implies that he'll be available for the start of Green Bay's training camp. There has been very little information regarding the ailment that bothered him back in June, but hopefully he's past it. He'll need to show well in training camp if he's to earn a starting role in the Green Bay offense, as rookie third-round pick Richard Rodgers consistently earned praise throughout the summer practices and might be the favorite to start if Quarless fails to impress early on.

Bruce Ellington (ankle) was activated from the Non-Football Injury list Friday.

Impact

Ellington's ankle issue was never believed to be serious, so his quick activation was to be expected. He's one of the league's finest slot wideout prospects and it would be a major surprise if he didn't safely make the final San Francisco roster, though he might not find much playing time as a rookie.

Carl Nicks (toe) said he is "stepping away" from football, FOX Sports' Mike Garafolo reports.

Impact

Nicks didn't say he was retiring, but it sounds as if he's at least taking a leave of absence in light of his release from Tampa Bay on Friday. It in any case could be the end for Nicks' career, as the former star guard has been unable to recover from the complications of the MRSA infection that struck him in 2013.