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2022 NFL Training Camp News, Notes and Live Updates

Grading Every Tampa Bay Buccaneers Position Group Going into 2022

 

DJ Chark Makes an impression

A former 1000-yard receiver for the Jacksonville Jaguars, DJ Chark signed a one year deal with the Detroit Lions this offseason. The early returns in camp seem to be solid. Chark had Lions fans charged up after a spectacular catch he made in practice. The throw— from Lions QB Jared Goff— led the 6’4 wideout into the end zone where he extended to make a diving catch. Detroit will take on the Atlanta Falcons next Friday at home and DJ Chark looks ready.

Kyle Pitts looking dominant

When the Atlanta Falcons took Kyle Pitts with the fourth overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft they were hoping to find a dynamic, versatile target to lead their offense. Visitors at Falcons camp this summer seem to believe those hopes were well founded. Last season Pitts was a problem for defenses, racking up 1,026 receiving yards on 68 catches. But this season, the Falcons could get a lot more from their star Tight End. Especially if Pitts is making contested catches like this one all season.

Mike Evans leaves practice early

Tampa Bay got one of its star receivers back on the field today. Unfortunately their other star wideout— Mike Evans— left the field early. Head Coach Todd Bowles clarified that the Bucs All-Pro receiver was dealing with a hamstring issue. Bowles said the injury was the reason Evans had to leave practice early. Evans is coming off a season in which he was named a Pro-Bowler and finished second in the league in TD receptions with 14.

Commanders Top 4 TEs Down

The Washington Commanders are now without the top four Tight Ends on the depth chart following news that both Cole Turner and Sammis Reyes are dealing with hamstring issues. Presumptive starter Logan Thomas and former 4th-round pick John Bates were already out, dealing with knee and calf injuries respectively. New Quarterback Carson Wentz could have a hard time building chemistry with the crucial position group if they are unable to suit up for an extended period of time.

Chris Godwin returns to Bucs practice

For the first time since tearing his ACL last season, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wide Receiver Chris Godwin has returned to practice. Although his 2021 season was cut short, he still managed to compile 98 catches for 1,104 yards and 5 touchdowns. That performance earned Godwin a brand new, three-year 60 million dollar contract. Tom Brady and company should be thrilled to have Godwin back out on the field as they vie for their second Super Bowl win in three years. 

Marshon Lattimore leaves practice with trainer

The New Orleans Saints Pro-Bowl Cornerback left practice early today with an undisclosed injury. He was able to walk off the field under his own power but was accompanied by a trainer as he left. Lattimore, a 2017 first-round pick out of Ohio State, is in the first year of a new 5-year, 97.6 million dollar deal. The Saints will be relying on their defense heavily this year, with uncertainty surrounding the status of star Running Back Alvin Kamara and the departure of All-Pro Left Tackle Terron Armstead.

Is Matthew Stafford’s arm injured?

The Los Angeles Rams’ decision to hold their starting Quarterback out of team drills has led to questions about his injury status. Matthew Stafford is coming off a standout season, headlined by his first Super Bowl victory. If the Rams are going to compete for a second straight Championship, they will need their star QB to be available and comfortable. 

Taysom Hill back at practice

New Orleans Saints multi-positional talent Taysom Hill returned to practice today for the first time since suffering a rib injury last week. Hill is a limited participant and will likely need time to ramp up to real, padded action. Still, it’s a positive sign for Hill who helps the Saints in various ways. Last season, for example, the former BYU Quarterback threw four touchdown passes and ran in five more. He’ll look to offer similar versatility to new Head Coach Dennis Allen this season.

Cardinals Activate TE Maxx Williams

The Arizona Cardinals have activated veteran Tight End Maxx Williams from the PUP list. Williams returns to an offense packed with talent, especially at his own position. The Cardinals used a second-round draft pick to select Colorado State Tight End Trey McBride in the 2022 NFL Draft. Williams and McBride will likely compete for the role as the second Tight End. The Cardinals re-signed Zack Ertz in March and the three-time Pro-Bowler is the presumptive starter.

Injuries Sideline Eagles’ Starters

The Philadelphia Eagles will be practicing without the top two Left Tackles on the depth chart today. Starting Wide Receiver and former first-round pick Devonta Smith will also sit out due to a groin injury. Tackles Jordan Mailata and Andre Dillard are sidelined with concussions. Head Coach Nick Sirianni will be hoping to get at least one of his linemen back soon. The Eagles were counting on their line to set the foundation for an offense that could be one of the NFL’s best.

Anthony Barr signs with Dallas

Former first-round pick and longtime Minnesota Viking LB Anthony Barr signed with the Dallas Cowboys on a one-year deal Wednesday afternoon. Barr has appeared in 98 games for the Vikings, recording 401 tackles, 19 sacks, and six interceptions in his eight-year NFL career.

Marquise “Hollywood” Brown arrested for criminal speeding

The former first-round pick was arrested Wednesday morning on criminal speeding charges. Brown was recently acquired by the Cardinals in a draft-day trade for the Cardinals’ first-round draft pick in 2022. This is a misdemeanor offense in Arizona.

Saints’ defensive playmaker limiting camp reps in hope for new contract

New Orleans Saints nickel/safety hybrid Chauncey Gardner-Johnson is reportedly limiting himself in Saints’ training camp in order to strike a contract extension with the team. Gardner-Johnson is in the final year of his rookie deal. He has grown into one of the league’s top nickel corners, and the Saints have capitalized on his versatility every year. He’s hoping to cash in before the start of the season. With Malcolm Jenkins’s age and the departure of Marcus Williams, Gardner-Johnson could be in line for a lucrative payday.

Broncos quickly exploring options to replace Tim Patrick

The Broncos lost their reliable third-down target in Tim Patrick yesterday to a torn ACL. Patrick was likely taking the slot receiver role for the team, but now the Broncos have to find someone who can step in there. Obviously, Courtland Sutton is a candidate to watch, but the team has also been exploring the possibility of third-round rookie tight end Greg Dulcich acting as a de-facto slot receiver. Dulcich’s route-running and reliable hands have been praised and Dulcich had hundreds of snaps in the slot in college.

First-round pick kicked out of practice in New Orleans

Trevor Penning, the Saints’ first-round pick out of Northern Iowa, was kicked out of practice today due to a fight with teammate DT Malcolm Roach. It’s unclear who started the fight at this time, but this is a pattern of behavior for Penning, whose aggressiveness and competitiveness have drawn numerous penalties and issues in college.

Rookie Romeo Doubs Continues to Impress

Aaron Rodgers lost arguably the best wide receiver in the league in Davante Adams. The Packers drafted two players to try and replace the All-Pro and it seems they are on the right track. They drafted Christian Watson in round two and Romeo Doubs in round four. It is the latter pick that is turning heads so far through camp. Today he blew media and fans away at Packers camp when he got past former first-round pick Eric Stokes. Doubs may find himself in pretty good favor with Aaron Rodgers sooner rather than later if he can keep this up all training camp.

Nelson Agholor Drawing Early Praise

There was a time when Nelson Agholor couldn’t find his footing in the NFL. Now it appears he may have found a team to get the most out of him in the New England Patriots. Andrew Callahan, the Boston Herald’s Patriots Beat Writer, shared today how well he is doing in camp so far. He mentions Bill Belichick continues to be impressed, and Agholor was constantly in the facility. Agholor could be a big part of Mac Jones and the Patriots developing a vertical passing game this year. It seems he is already putting in the work to make that happen even if it is early in camp.

Honey Badger Returns

The New Orleans Saints realize they have a small window to stay a Super Bowl contender. Part of that window included making some splash signings, and they did that by bringing home Tyrann Matthieu. Just two days ago, head coach Dennis Allen said there was no timetable for Matthieu’s return. Now the former LSU Tiger reports back to the team facility this morning after dealing with a family matter. Matthieu is expected to be one of the faces of the Saints’ defense this upcoming season. His previous tenure with the Kansas City Chiefs showed he can still be a playmaker. Matthieu being back in the facility this morning is good for everyone in the locker room as his veteran leadership now looks to shape this team a little better.

Devasting injury in Denver

The Denver Broncos could find themselves without wide receiver Tim Patrick to start the 2022 season. He was carted off the field today with an apparent leg injury. Teammates flocked to Patrick as he was loaded into the cart and taken from practice. After going undrafted out of Utah in 2017, Patrick bounced around the league for a bit before carving out a role for himself in Denver. In each of the last two seasons, Patrick has caught at least 50 passes, had at least 700 receiving yards, and hauled in at least five touchdowns. The Broncos will be eager to learn more about his injury as the emerging wideout figured to be a key offensive weapon for new quarterback Russell Wilson and first-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett. 

Update: Tim Patrick is officially out for the season with a torn ACL, per Mike Klis of Denver 9NEWS. Adam Schefter confirmed this report.

Jordan Poyer leaves field at Bills camp

The Buffalo Bills are a team confident they’re ready to compete for a Super Bowl, but that will get much harder if safety Jordan Poyer has to miss significant time. Poyer left practice in discomfort earlier today and, according to multiple sources, it appears the issue is with his elbow. It could even end up requiring an MRI. The good news for Buffalo is that they won’t be without both starting safeties. Second-team All-Pro Micah Hyde returned to practice this week after suffering a hip/glute injury last Thursday. Bills fans will be hoping to have Poyer back soon so he and Hyde can get as many reps as possible on the back end of Buffalo’s defense. 

Skyy Moore leaves practice early

Kansas City Chiefs rookie wide receiver Skyy Moore exited practice early today following an injury suffered in 1v1 drills. Moore was a crucial part of Kansas City’s plan to replace All-Pro wideout Tyreek Hill. One of the league’s premier deep threats, Hill was traded to the Miami Dolphins back in March. The Chiefs drafted Moore in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft out of Western Michigan, where he was an explosive playmaker. In his final year at school, Moore caught 95 passes for 1,292 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. Kansas City fans will be hoping that the injury— caused by a collision with teammate Nazeeh Johnson— is not serious.

Cardinals WR Marquise “Hollywood” Brown activated

The Arizona Cardinals have officially activated new addition Marquise “Hollywood” Brown from the NFI list. Brown was battling hamstring issues that originated during his own private workouts this summer. Arizona acquired Brown via trade this offseason, shipping a first-round pick to Baltimore in exchange for Brown and a third-round choice. The star wideout figures to be an explosive weapon for Quarterback Kyler Murray — Brown’s former teammate at Oklahoma — who recently signed a massive extension with the Cardinals.

Tristan Wirfs injury scare: “Nothing serious” 

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had a scary moment at camp today. The team was briefly without its starting right tackle after first-team All-Pro Tristan Wirfs was carted off the field in practice. Luckily for those in Tampa, it appears as though Wirfs has avoided serious injury. Losing Wirfs would have been a major blow after the loss of Center Ryan Jensen during last Thursday’s practice.

Trevor Lawrence, Travis Etienne won’t participate in the Hall of Fame Game

The first NFL game of the season will kick off in just a few days’ time. The Jacksonville Jaguars will be taking on the Las Vegas Raiders, but they’ll be doing so without two key contributors. Jags head coach Doug Pederson confirmed to reporters that quarterback Trevor Lawrence and running back Travis Etienne will not participate in the upcoming contest. It does not appear that Lawrence, nor Etienne, will be held out due to injury. Rather, it seems Pederson is being abundantly cautious as he enters his first live game as the Jags’ head coach.

Cooper Kupp and Matthew Stafford clicking early

The defending Super Bowl Champs opened camp at UC Irvine’s Crawford Field just a few days ago. Superstar quarterback Matthew Stafford and Super Bowl MVP Cooper Kupp already look like they are in midseason form. The Rams tweeted out this stunning route and — naturally — Kupp made it look effortless. It will be tough to top a season in which he was named Offensive Player of the Year, but Kupp will try to do just that come September.

Rams WR Van Jefferson suffers knee injury, timeline for Week 1 return uncertain

Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay said Monday evening that third-year wide receiver Van Jefferson “tweaked” his knee and will require surgery. This injury occurred on the same knee that Jefferson had already had surgery on this offseason. McVay believes Jefferson’s timeline to return is within the next few weeks, but is unsure if he will be ready by Week 1 of the season.

Steelers extend kicker Chris Boswell

Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Pittsburgh Steelers are extending kicker Chris Boswell to the tune of a four-year, $20M deal with $12.5M guaranteed. This money ties him with Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker as the highest-paid kicker in the NFL. Boswell went 36-40 on field goals and 30-32 on PATs in 2021.

Bears fielding calls on former second-round pick

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Chicago Bears have been fielding trade calls on offensive tackle Teven Jenkins. Jenkins, a second-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, played in five games with two starts for the Bears, but has missed time with injuries. Jenkins has reportedly been working with the second-string offensive line in camp.

COVID hits the NFC West

Monday afternoon, both Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray and Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll tested positive for COVID-19. Both will have to miss a minimum of five days of training camp due to a positive test. Hopefully, they both recover quickly and remain healthy after testing positive.

James Washington potentially out for weeks with foot injury

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Dallas Cowboys are worried that wide receiver James Washington might miss significant time with a Jones fracture in his foot. With Michael Gallup already recovering from injury and likely to miss time, this leaves 2020 first-round pick CeeDee Lamb and third-round rookie Jalen Tolbert as the top two wide receivers on the depth chart in camp. Cowboys writers are expecting the team to add to that receiving room quickly.

Deion Jones unsuccessfully shopped around

Atlanta Falcons linebacker Deion Jones has been brought up in trade rumors this offseason, but the Falcons have failed to find a suitor willing to take on Jones’s contract, per The Athletic‘s Jeff Schultz. Jones, a former second-round pick of the Falcons in the 2016 NFL Draft, is in the third year of his four-year, $57M contract extension he signed in 2019. Jones has a $20M cap hit for this season.

Patrick Mahomes “OK” after injury scare at Chiefs’ camp

Earlier today, reports surfaced out of Kansas City Chiefs training camp that former MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes was briefly sidelined after getting stepped on by one of his own offensive linemen. Though quarterbacks are the most protected players in summer practice sessions, accidents still occur. The anxiety for Kansas City was brief. Mahomes returned to drills following a short trip to the medical tent. Andy Reid — entering his 24th season as an NFL head coach — did not seem too concerned about the severity of the situation. 

Vikings’ former Day 2 pick might be out of time

The Minnesota Vikings have spent plenty of draft capital on fixing their offensive line over the years, with moderate success. One of those recent picks, Wyatt Davis, a third-rounder in 2021, might already be on his way off the roster. Arif Hasan, the Vikings writer at The Athletic, has Wyatt Davis listed as a player on the outside looking in when it comes time for the Vikings to form their 53-man roster. Davis was the 86th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft but already might be searching for a new team this fall.

Saints find their corner #2?

The New Orleans Saints have been looking for a cornerback to pair with Marshon Lattimore to shut down opposing quarterbacks — a necessary function when you have to play Tom Brady twice a season. They may have found their answer in 2021 third-round pick Paulson Adebo out of Stanford. Adebo has strung together multiple strong performances in camp and is coming off of a rookie campaign where he recorded three interceptions.

Penei Sewell living up to draft slot

The Detroit Lions last year didn’t experience a ton of success, but they had plenty of moments that provide Lions fans with optimism. One of those was the play of 2021 first-round pick Penei Sewell, who played both left and right tackle as a rookie. Now settling in at right tackle in camp, Sewell has started showing signs of the dominance expected of him as a top-10 tackle who has been highly-rated since his freshman season.

Trevor Lawrence taking the next step

Last year turned into a wasted year for most if not all of the players on the Jaguars. Trevor Lawrence experienced one of if not the worst years of his football life. All of that seems to be in the rearview now as the Jaguars have hit a different stride this training camp.

When speaking with the media this week, Lawrence said “We look good, we’re really explosive, we are making plays.” The explosive part is no lie, tons of videos on social media have circulated. The addition of Christian Kirk seems to have really opened up the Jaguars’ offense for everyone. Pederson may have this Jaguars team on the fast track to success if this first week is any indication.

T.J. Vasher with the best catch of training camp

When he was at Texas Tech, T.J. Vasher was making highlight plays on a regular basis. Since going undrafted in 2021, Vasher eventually landed on the Cowboys’ practice squad. Last year, he didn’t play at all after being placed on the non-football injury list. However, this training camp he is becoming a household name thanks to one of the best plays we have seen to this point.

While he has an uphill climb on the Cowboys’ depth chart, he may have a chance if he makes a couple of plays like this in preseason games.

Rookie wide receivers making plays

Each year, it seems the rookie wide receivers coming into training camp are becoming more and more ready on day one. Last year saw Ja’Marr Chase play like an All-Pro,; while there may not be any rookies on that level currently, there are two receivers standing out so far.

Jahan Dotson on the Commanders has shown to have an instant connection with quarterback Carson Wentz. Wentz has been pushing the ball downfield at camp thus far, and both Dotson and Terry McLaurin have been the benefactors. In Saints camp, rookie Chris Olave and quarterback Jameis Winston have connected on a lot of deep passes. Olave has won on shorter routes, but like Dotson, he is thriving in the deep passing game.

Mac Jones impressing Bill Belichick at training camp

Bill Belichick has been happy with what he has seen from Mac Jones thus far. Last year, Jones was arguably the best rookie quarterback last season. Now, it seems he may be destined for something even better.

When asked about his second-year quarterback, the future Hall of Fame coach said of Jones “He’s made tremendous strides.” On social media, we have seen Jones take a more vertical passing approach. That may be in part of the additions of both Devante Parker and rookie speedster Tyquan Thornton. The team has shown they will build around their young passer, it will be interesting to see how his second year plays out.

Eagles’ running attack getting a new face?

Last year, new head coach Nick Siriani made the Eagles the best rushing team in the NFL. They rushed for a combined 2,715 yards on 550 attempts. Their leading rushers were Jalen Hurts and Miles Sanders, but it seems they may be looking at a new horse to lead the carriage.

Reports out of camp are pointing towards them giving more carries to second-year back Kenneth Gainwell. Last year, Gainwell only had 68 carries in 16 games. Now is this a sign that they want to see what he can do with a larger workload by giving him first-team reps? Perhaps. If this continues into the first preseason game script, it might be a bigger story as camp unfolds.

After the Jensen injury, Buccaneers begin a center battle

Last week, the Buccaneers lost Pro Bowl center Ryan Jensen after injuring his lower leg in practice. General Manager Jason Licht said Jensen will be out for “months” at this point. This leaves second-year center Robert Hainsey to compete for the starting job opposite Nick Leverett.

Yesterday, Tom Brady gave some high praise to the young Hainsey, stating he has earned the trust of the coaching staff. If he can continue to do that he could earn an even larger role with the Buccaneers going forward. Jensen is irreplaceable by anyone on their roster, but Brady’s endorsement is one of the best a player could ask for.

Andrew Harbaugh and AJ Schulte contributed to this report.