Camps in full swing in every AFCE town, let us go visit each, and get an update.
Facility: St. John Fisher College; Rookies: July 28; Veterans: July 29
Bills now halfway through training camp practices; unfortunately the big news is injuries. It appears that almost daily an important piece of Rex’s team, falls.
After losing the number one pick that was going to replace the departed, Mario Williams, the Bills also lose their second pick at LB. Reggie Ragland having surgery today, to repair his partially torn ACL. It can mean 2-3 months, or the entire season. Zach Brown stepped in for Ragland, and so far he has done an admirable job.
The left side of the OL is also in shambles, as Cordy Glenn and Richie Incognito are currently out. Glenn is the worst of the two, with a high ankle sprain. Although these sprains are usually much worst for WRs and RBs, it is a concern.
The good news is Sammy Watkins is back and participating fully.
My take: Injuries unfortunately do happen this time of year, and Bills are having their share. Some big names, but a team cannot throw in the towel after two weeks of practice. I am very concerned about Sammy, as he has come back much sooner than was expected. The question becomes: is he rushing back? Hopefully not, because losing him would affect the team in a big way come Sundays during the season.
Facility: Baptist Health Training Facility at Nova Southeastern University; Rookies: July 28; Veterans: July 28
The Dolphins open the Gase era in Davie, and many are very curious to see how different this team looks, especially offensively.
Arian Foster was signed to bolster a running game full of question marks, and he is still missing workouts. Wide Receiver Devante Parker has been nursing a hamstring ( a very common pre-season injury), and the team has been very cautious with his return. Laremy Tunsil, the “steal of the first round” is yet to practice with the starters, and that is a bit curious, since all scouts had said he would be ready to play immediately.
Tony Lippett is currently one of the starters at CB, because Chimdi Chekwa has a quadricep injury. Rookie Xavier Howard is still nursing his knee injury from minicamp.
The good news is that the DL has looked sharp.
My take: Most of the time, when a new head coach comes in, with a totally different philosophy, things do not go well in camp, not at the very beginning. Right now reports are that offensively the team has struggled, and Ryan Tannehill is not totally comfortable in the new system. None of this should be a surprise, as it will take some time. The biggest concerns are CB, where the team has what it has, and it isn’t very good. Losing pieces is not a luxury they can afford.
New England Patriots
Facility: Gillette Stadium; Rookies: July 24; Veterans: July 27
Patriots come into camp having to get Jimmy Garoppolo ready to start the first quarter of the season. The team is banged up at some key positions, and a few more injuries were added last couple of days.
Dion Lewis, the dynamic running back who had 66% of the touches while healthy, he has been practicing, but the team has been very careful not rushing him back.
Julian Edelman had just come back from broken foot surgery, he left practice with what appears to be a lower left leg injury. At 30, with so many miles in his little body, Edelmann needs to be handled very carefully.
The worst news came when LB/DE Robert Ninkovich tore his tricep during a scrimmage against the Saints. Luckily only his muscle tore, not the tendon. He has chosen to not have surgery, should be back by mid-October.
The good news is the Tom Brady saga seems to have quieted down.
My take: The Patriots have the best HC, the best QB, and a solid team, most of these injuries will take care of themselves. The team needs to have Jimmy ready, hopefully time-hog Tom allows him a few reps. The biggest concern is really Ninkovich. He is an 11 year veteran, and huge part of the defense, especially stopping the run. Not having surgery is him being a team player, but at his age, surgery would have been smarter for the long term.
New York Jets
Facility: Atlantic Health Jets Training Center; Rookies: July 27; Veterans: July 27
The Jets came into training camp with contracts turmoil, but that seems to be forgotten. The team has been relatively injury free to this point in time.
Year two of Todd Bowles, camp is very quiet, except for a wake up “fake” fight between Marshall and Revis. A fight that had ESPN and local news media thinking that Rex’s days were back, and news was once again available.
Rookies, Lee and Jenkins are having great camps, Jenkins is already penciled in as the starter at OLB. Jalin Marshall, a undrafted WR out of Ohio State is pushing everyone, and has established himself as an early candidate to make the team. The biggest shock has been at kicker, were Ross Martin is giving Folk a run. Folk may get cut, especially since the Jets would save 1.7M against the CAP; another surprise is CB Juston Burris.
The good news is that IK has not punched anyone, yet!
My take: The Jets coming off of a 10 win season are trying to build on that, and Marshall has clearly emerged as a leader, to finally be on a playoff team. Unfortunately injuries will happen, hopefully none too serious. The biggest concern is to have Matt Forte healthy and back fully, as he is a huge part of the new offense,