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Footballguys #98 - 7/26 - Camp Questions You Need To Answer, News And Notes And More

Volume 21, #98 -- Friday Night, July 26th, 2019

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Howdy Folks,

Good Saturday do you. We've got a ton of new content for you plus the News and Notes you need.

Let's go.

J

SITE NEWS

A. FREE CONTENT - Key Camp Questions: AFC West
Our Jason Wood with an overview of the biggest questions facing every AFC West team heading into training camp.

B. Key Camp Questions: NFC West
Our Jason Wood with an overview of the biggest questions facing every NFC West team heading into training camp.

C. Learning from History: Eric Ebron
Our Adam Harstad answers the question: "What can the past tell us about how Eric Ebron's career is likely to turn out?"

D. Coaching Change Analysis: Minnesota Vikings
Our Dwain McFarland with a thorough analysis of how Kevin Stefanski and Gary Kubiak will impact the Minnesota Vikings offense including Kirk Cousins, Dalvin Cook, and more.

E. The Footballguys Players Championship (FPC) and the Tight End PPR Bonus Rule
Our Jeff Pasquino continues his deep dive into the Footballguys Players Championship. In this one, he looks at the tight end PPR bonus scoring rule.


1. DAL - Dallas talks with RB Ezekiel Elliott's agent

Source: ESPNDallas.com - Calvin Watkins

Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott's agent talked with the Cowboys Thursday, July 25, about his contract situation, according to a source. Elliott did not report for the start of training camp Friday, July 26.

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Elliott is still unlikely to hold out for long because he needs to show by August 6 to accrue the fourth year that he needs to become a free agent, but we will be monitoring this.

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2. OAK - WR Antonio Brown opening camp on NFI list

Source: ESPN.com - Field Yates

Oakland Raiders WR Antonio Brown (undisclosed) was placed on the Active/Non-Football Injury list Friday, July 26.

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The team didn't comment. Chances are this is nothing, but we'll be listening for news out of Oakland.

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3. LAR - RB Todd Gurley to take part in camp Saturday

Source: Los Angeles Times - Gary Klein

Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley (knee) will be on the field for the start of training camp workouts Saturday, July 27, according to head coach Sean McVay.

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This is a relief after it wasn't announced that he avoided the PUP. We'll see how much the Rams manage his practice workload as a sign of how much to be worried about his knee and how much his regular season workload will be limited.

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4. TEN - RB Derrick Henry, WR A.J. Brown leave practice

Source: TitansOnline.com - Jim Wyatt

Tennessee Titans RB Derrick Henry (undetermined) and WR A.J. Brown (undetermined) left practice early Friday, July 26, but head coach Mike Vrabel said afterward there's not a lot of concern. '(They're) day to day,' he said.

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Both injuries are not significant, although Brown needs to have a strong rookie camp to get playing time in a Titans receiver group that also added Adam Humphries this offseason. Henry is the key to the offense and should be put in bubble wrap.

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5. MIA - RB Kalen Ballage with ones again

Source: The Miami Herald - Armando Salguero

Miami Dolphins RB Kalen Ballage was working with the first-team offense again Friday, July 26.

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A trend is coming into focus, and it spells out RBBC. Ballage might have the lesser part of it as the back who plays more when the game is close, and he is far less proven than Kenyan Drake with a higher bust risk, but his ADP is sure to rise and Drake's to fall as this news makes the rounds.

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6. LAC - RB Melvin Gordon holdout could be long

Source: ESPN - Adam Schefter

Los Angeles Chargers RB Melvin Gordon's holdout threatens to extend into the regular season, according to sources.

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This is basically the read we have all had from the outside looking in. Gordon should be out of the first round and it is understandable to pass on him in the second round, even in the early third. Austin Ekeler is currently going in the seventh round and Justin Jackson is in the high double-digit rounds, but that could change with every passing day that Gordon is absent.

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7. OAK - RB Josh Jacobs not going to be handed job

Source: NBC Sports Bay Area - Scott Bair

Oakland Raiders RB Josh Jacobs must 'earn his role' and 'prove he can get up time and time again,' according to head coach Jon Gruden.

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Jacobs wasn't used as a true lead back at Alabama because of quality teammates, but he is set up for that role in Oakland. Gruden ran Cadillac Williams into the ground as a rookie in Tampa, so if Jacobs can earn that role, it will be a big one.

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8. BAL - QB Lamar Jackson bulked up

Source: The Athletic - Jeff Zrebiec

Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson told reporters he added seven to 10 pounds of muscle to his frame during the offseason.

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Jackson didn't miss time despite a huge workload as a runner last year. That is likely to reduce this year, and the added muscle should help his durability.

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9. NYG - WR Kelvin Benjamin to work out

Source: The Bergen Record - Art Stapleton

Free-agent WR Kelvin Benjamin (Chiefs) plans to work out for the New York Giants on Saturday, July 27, per a source.

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Dave Gettleman knows Benjamin's game, although he isn't at all like Corey Coleman, the receiver they lost in practice. Benjamin would still be a long shot to make the roster and looked like he was disinterested in football the last time we saw him on an NFL field.

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10. NYG - WR Sterling Shepard won't need surgery

Source: NJ Advance Media - Matt Lombardo

Updating a previous report, New York Giants WR Sterling Shepard (thumb) won't require surgery on his fractured thumb, and Giants head coach Pat Shurmur said Friday, July 26, that he expects Shepard to be able to play in Week 1.

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Shepard is still taking part in practice, so he'll be in football shape when the thumb is healed. Don't change his ranking significantly because of this injury.

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11. NYG - WR Corey Coleman suffers torn ACL

Source: NFL.com - Jeremy Bergman

New York Giants WR Corey Coleman (knee) suffered a torn ACL in practice Thursday, July 25, the team announced Friday, July 26. He will likely be lost for the entire 2019 season.

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Darius Slayton is battling a hamstring injury, but the rookie has a good chance to be the #3 receiver and deep threat if he can get over it. Coleman had gotten some traction on the Giants roster, but will have to go back to square one.

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12. HOU - WR DeAndre Hopkins activated

Source: Houston Chronicle - Aaron Wilson

Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) was activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list Friday, July 26.

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As expected, Hopkins starting camp on the PUP list was a non-story. He's a strong candidate to be the first wide receiver off of the board.

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13. LAC - RB Austin Ekeler running with starters

Source: ESPN.com - Eric D. Williams

Los Angeles Chargers RB Austin Ekeler ran with the first-team offense in the first practice Thursday, July 26.

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Ekeler will share with Justin Jackson in any games that Melvin Gordon sits out, and he's the more valuable back in PPR leagues, although Jackson's value in a Gordon-less Chargers backfield is closer to Ekeler's than ADP indicates.

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14. CAR - QB Cam Newton a full go

Source: Charlotte Observer - Steve Reed

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (shoulder) threw without any limitations during practice Thursday, July 25.

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Newton's recovery is going well, and unless things change he (like so many other quarterbacks) looks like a value at ADP.

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15. TB - Huge workload for WR Chris Godwin?

Source: CBS Sports - Jim Rome

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin will 'never come off the field,' according to head coach Bruce Arians.

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Godwin will have a chance to build on last year's numbers and could be a strong WR2 at a WR3 price. His production was up and down last year, but it could be more consistent while maintaining the same peaks this year.

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16. BAL - RB Mark Ingram an every-down back?

Source: The Athletic - Jeff Zrebiec

Baltimore Ravens RB Mark Ingram is the 'logical choice' to serve as the third-down back, according to Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic.

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Ingram has never had a full season of bell cow work, but the Ravens offense will give him a chance to top his career high in carries if he stays healthy. He can also add a lot as a receiver even though he isn't known for it. His ADP reflects his upside in this situation and downside as a running back turning 30 this year well.

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17. BAL - Three pass conditioning test

Source: ESPN.com - Jamison Hensley

Baltimore Ravens OG Jermaine Eluemunor, OT Orlando Brown Jr. and LB Shane Ray passed their conditioning tests Friday, July 26, and were activated from the Active/Non-Football Injury list.

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Brown was a standout rookie starting right tackle for the team last year, after concerns about his conditioning and body composition made him fall in the draft. This is a relief after he failed the conditioning test at the open of camp.

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18. MIA - S T.J. McDonald activated

Source: The Miami Herald - Barry Jackson

Miami Dolphins FS T.J. McDonald (undisclosed) was activated from the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list Friday, July 26.

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That was quick. If the Dolphins defense has a strength, it is the safety position, assuming they keep Reshad Jones. 2018 first-round pick Minkah Fitzpatrick is one of the leaders of the defense along with shutdown corner Xavien Howard.

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19. BUF - Jason Croom sidelined

Source: BuffaloBills.com - Chris Brown

Buffalo Bills TE Jason Croom (hamstring) is not participating in practice because of a hamstring injury. The severity of the injury is not known.

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Third-round pick Dawson Knox has an even better chance of starting Week 1 if Croom doesn't get over this quickly. Croom is a converted wide receiver who made a few plays last year, but will likely remain a role player.

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20. CIN - Three more on NFI list

Source: ProFootballTalk.com - Charean Williams

Cincinnati Bengals C Billy Price (undisclosed), LB Noah Dawkins (undisclosed) and LS Clark Harris (undisclosed) were placed on the Active/Non-Football Injury list Friday, July 26.

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Price was banged up last year after being taken in the first round. A quick return to the field and strong summer is sorely needed after the Bengals lost this year's first round pick Jonah Williams - their projected starting left tackle - to a shoulder injury.

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21. SF - CB Jason Verrett cleared

Source: NBC Sports Bay Area - Matt Maiocco

San Francisco 49ers CB Jason Verrett (Achilles) said he has been medically cleared to participate in practice and is ready to compete for one of the starting cornerback jobs during training camp.

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Verrett was a very good corner before he had three season-ending injuries. He could start for the 49ers opposite Richard Sherman if he can last through camp and the preseason.

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22. CHI - WR Riley Ridley leaves practice early

Source: ESPN.com - Jeff Dickerson

Chicago Bears WR Riley Ridley (hamstring) left practice early Friday, July 26, because of a right hamstring injury.

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Rookies should be watched the closest, as conditioning is huge in camp if they want to contribute in their rookie year. Ridley was probably going to be the fifth wide receiver at best, so if this is a problem that costs him all of camp, he could go on injured reserve.

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23. HOU - TE Kahale Warring nursing muscle strain

Source: Houston Chronicle - Aaron Wilson

Houston Texans TE Kahale Warring (undisclosed) opened training camp on the Active/Non-Football Injury list after suffering an undisclosed strained muscle recently, according to head coach Bill O'Brien, who added the team is optimistic Warring won't miss much time.

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Jordan Thomas is the tight end to target on the Texans roster if you are looking for a late option in deep leagues. Warring is a project, but one with a high ceiling.

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24. ARI - DT Robert Nkemdiche reports out of shape

Source: ProFootballTalk.com - Michael David Smith

Arizona Cardinals DL Robert Nkemdiche (knee) reportedly showed up to training camp 'not in shape,' according to head coach Kliff Kingsbury.

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Nkemdiche might not even make the team under this new regime. He is coming back from a torn ACL and may not contribute until mid-season if at all.

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25. ATL - WR Calvin Ridley likely to have MRI done

Source: ESPN.com - Vaughn McClure

Updating a previous report, Atlanta Falcons WR Calvin Ridley (hamstring) is expected to undergo a precautionary MRI on his hamstring Friday, July 26. Ridley felt his right hamstring tighten up while finishing a route during individual drills Thursday, Friday 25.

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That means it was more than a tweak, but it probably won't be anything that limits his availability for Week 1. It would still be a comfort to see him play by the end of the preseason and return to practice before the end of camp, and we'll have to monitor this early in the season if he doesn't.

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26. SF - QB Jimmy Garoppolo to sit preseason opener

Source: Bay Area News Group - Cam Inman

San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo (knee) will not play in the first game of the preseason as he completes his recovery from surgery on his anterior cruciate ligament, according to head coach Kyle Shanahan.

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Even seeing Garoppolo at all in the preseason would be a welcome sight. The 49ers offense should be much improved with him at the helm.

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27. SF - RB Jerick McKinnon begins camp on PUP

Source: San Francisco Chronicle - Eric Branch

San Francisco 49ers RB Jerick McKinnon (knee) recently had a 'flare-up' with his surgically repaired knee - according to general manager John Lynch - and was placed on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list Friday, July 26. Lynch told reporters his stay on the PUP list is expected to be a short one, however.

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McKinnon might not even make the team if he can't get healthy before the close of camp. This is a longer than usual recovery from an ACL tear with advances in rehab, so McKinnon is officially behind schedule.

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28. DEN - Optimism for WR DaeSean Hamilton

Source: NFL Network - James Palmer

Updating previous reports, Denver Broncos WR DaeSean Hamilton's (hamstring) injury is believed to be a short-term thing, according to head coach Vic Fangio.

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Hamilton is still missing key time to develop chemistry with Joe Flacco, while Emmanuel Sanders is ahead of schedule and ready to be the #1. Hamilton gets closer to falling off of typical draft radar with every day he spends on the sidelines.

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29. MIA - WR Allen Hurns headed to Miami

Source: ESPN - Adam Schefter

Free-agent WR Allen Hurns (Cowboys) signed a one-year deal with the Miami Dolphins Friday, July 26. The deal is worth up to $3 million.

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Hurns should be the top backup inside and outside at wide receiver and he's back in his hometown.

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30. DET - New role for TE Isaac Nauta?

Source: The Athletic - Chris Burke

Detroit Lions TE Isaac Nauta is expected to fill the H-back role this season, according to Chris Burke of The Athletic.

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Nauta was lost in the shuffle in the Georgia passing game with so many NFL-bound wide receivers on the field, but he can develop as a third tight end in an offense that will use a lot of multi-tight end sets.

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That'll do it for today, Folks. Thanks for reading and thanks for being part of Footballguys. We'll see you tomorrow with the Update.

Peace,

J