Leave it to DeSean Jackson to find a unique way to get hurt. The Redskins receiver will miss just a week or two after spraining his right shoulder during Thursday’s practice when, at the tail end of a one-on-one drill, he slid into a nearby blocking sled. The injury initially looked worse, as D-Jax stayed down for a while before walking off under his own power. The minimal time he’ll miss means it’s open season on jokes about Jackson and blocking.
The Falcons are already without rookie Tevin Coleman, who sat out the last two days of practice with a strained hamstring. Thursday the other half of Atlanta’s backfield battle, Devonta Freeman, joined him on the sidelines with a hamstring strain of his own. “Hopefully, for him, it’s a quick turnaround,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn told ESPN, who added that there is no expected date yet for Freeman’s return. “It will be a unique opportunity to get some of the guys some more turns.” While veteran Antone Smith would seem to be the next man up, undrafted rookie Terron Ward has been impressive through the early going and received some first team reps in Freeman’s absence. Fantasy owners should get to see more in Atlanta’s preseason opener, as it’s likely that neither Coleman nor Freeman will be available with that game just eight days away.
- Be sure to check out “The Brief History of Wide Receivers.“
There’s plenty of buzz about the Oakland passing game, but GM Reggie McKenzie is equally excited about what a healthy Latavius Murray can bring to the ground game. “I think he’s holding himself back,” McKenzie told the San Francisco Chronicle. “Being able to practice all the time, not having nitpicking injuries. Last season, leading up to it, he was nicked up. So if he could stay healthy, nothing is holding him back. No question. He can do it all.”
On a somewhat related note, Trent Richardson practiced with the Raiders for the first time this training camp. Richardson had been on the non-football illness list with pneumonia, he told ESPN. While Richardson is reportedly down about 20 pounds from his girthy stint in Indianapolis last year he’s still battling undrafted rookie Michael Dyer for a backup gig in Oakland.
And speaking of disappointing running backs, Darren McFadden is almost maybe this close to being ready to possibly return to practice for the Cowboys on Saturday. McFadden was slated to test his hamstring Thursday to see if he would be available for Dallas’ next scheduled practice. The supposed competition between McFadden and Joseph Randle for DeMarco Murray’s former gig has yet to materialize because McFadden can’t make it off the training table… but that could possibly change this weekend. Maybe.
Bears rookie Kevin White has yet to run on dry land as he recovers from shin splints, and the NFL Network is reporting that there is a good chance he will still be on the PUP list when the regular season starts. That means he’ll miss the first six games. Of course, NFLN also reported that White is scheduled to start running (somewhere other than the pool) next week. With White’s status iffy, the early-season name to keep in mind is Eddie Royal, who is battling Marquess Wilson for priority in the Bears’ passing game pecking order.
And finally, ex-Bear Brandon Marshall can’t stop talking about his former quarterback, Jay Cutler. “I felt like I was the only one in the organization that had the huevos to hold (Cutler) accountable,” Marshall told Newsday. Earlier this offseason Cutler addressed additional comments from Marshall by saying that “no one likes their ex-girlfriend after a breakup;” no word yet on if he’s responded to Marshall’s latest with a scrambled, over easy or sunny-side up.