|Redskins’ Pierre Garcon tweaked his hamstring in practice today.|
On the heels of a 2014 draft thick with wide receivers, it’s only fitting that our opening edition of training camp notes is decidedly WR-heavy.
First, the bad news. Washington’s Pierre Garçon tweaked a hammy while making a catch Monday and sat out the rest of practice. Dr. Garçon self-diagnosed the injury as nothing major, and while he didn’t offer a timetable for his return he indicated that there was no need for him to hurry back.
Carolina’s first-round pick, Kelvin Benjamin, left Sunday’s practice prematurely after banging knees with a teammate. The news on Monday was that the MRI showed no structural damage with the injury likely a bone bruise. Again, no time frame for his return, but in Benjamin’s case that’s more of a sticky wicket than with Garçon as the rookie needs all the reps he can get with Cam Newton to make an early impact.
- Be sure to check out our latest article “Grasp These 5 Trends Before Drafting Your Fantasy Wide Receivers“.
A pair of Benjamin’s draft classmates are creating buzz as well, both of them in Florida. Jacksonville’s Allen Robinson, running with the first team while Cecil Shorts recovers from his hamstring injury, has been having his way with the Jaguars’ secondary; of course, that may have as much to do with his competition than it does with his prowess, but rest assured the Jags will need early contributions from both Robinson and fellow rookie Marqise Lee this season. In Miami, Jarvis Landry is making a strong pitch for a significant role in the Dolphins’ receiver rotation. The Phins have plenty of issues, but if they can cobble together a line capable of giving Ryan Tannehill time to throw, Landry could join Mike Wallace as an impact fantasy player.
The news isn’t so positive for Landry’s former LSU teammate, Odell Beckham Jr., who continues to sit out Giants practices with a bad hamstring. While WR3 on the Giants isn’t necessarily a bad gig, the longer Beckham sits the less likely he is to usurp Reuben Randle for a more productive role in the Giants’ receiver rotation.
Moving on to second-year wideouts, John Brown continues to be the story in Arizona. After lighting up the OTAs, Brown has been one of the top performers in training camp as well. The Cards are stacked at wideout with Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd, but Brown could easily move into the WR3 role that was reasonably productive for Andre Roberts the past couple of seasons. Moreover, Brown has drawn comparisons to Indy’s TY Hilton—who, you might recall, put up 50-861-7 as a rookie for then-Colts OC/current Cards coach Bruce Arians. Things that make you go “hmmm”…
Another second-year receiver who may come out of nowhere to surprise this August is Cleveland’s Charles Johnson. Signed off the Packers’ practice squad last season, Johnson spent much of the year rehabbing a knee injury… right alongside Brian Hoyer, who right now is keeping Johnny Manziel at bay as the Browns’ QB1. Johnson has Josh Gordon size and speed, and in an offense desperate for passing game playmakers his athleticism and familiarity with Hoyer could make him the short-term solution with Gordon likely suspsended for the season.
Veteran wideout Golden Tate was activated off the PUP list in Detroit, where he expects to give Calvin Johnson the wingman he’s lacked for so long. Tate was sidelined with a shoulder injury suffered during OTAs.
Finally, initial reports that Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson wouldn’t even see the field this preseason proved to be premature, as the Vikings clarified that All Day would simply be seeing minimal reps during the exhibition slate—in other words, business as usual for the franchise offensive player. Peterson’s absence will give the Vikings—and fantasy owners—more opportunity to evaluate his handcuffs. While rookie Jerrick McKinnon is receiving plenty of hype as an athletic jack-of-all-trades the team just needs to find a role for the more likely handcuff if Matt Asiata, who has been looking great through the early portion of training camp.