With training camp winding down, we updated half of our top-30 position battles in Tuesday's Training Camp Buzz. Let's knock out the other half before moving on to the news of the day on Around the League.
As we mentioned in our reasons for optimism column, the Bears have been thrilled with Alshon Jeffery's development. He's taking playing time from Hester (and Bennett) already as part of some two-receiver sets with the starters, especially near the goal line. This will be a rotation, but Jeffery's role is going to grow.
Jacksonville writers and coaches swooned over Gabbert during the summer. He's backed it up with strong preseason play. The Jaguars are doing a nice job getting the ball out of his hand quickly. He's taking hits and he delivers the ball. The team has to be very encouraged.
St. Louis Rams WRs
This battle started with eight players all vying for playing time. Danny Amendola and Steve Smith have emerged as likely starters. Rookie Brian Quick probably is next on the list. Veterans Brandon Gibson and Danario Alexander have been injured and look like potential cuts.
Both rookies will play and possibly start. Allen might have the more consistent role, but essentially both these guys are winning the battle for snaps.
The Patriots usually are good for a few surprises, but Branch looks to be holding off Stallworth for a job. The surprise could be that Jabar Gaffney's job or role is not necessarily safe, especially if they keep Julian Edelman as expected.
Jernigan made some noise early and Hixon was listed as the initial starter. We'll admit this isn't a battle we have a good feel for. No one has stood out, which probably means Barden is getting cut and Tom Coughlin will use a rotation.
When we wrote this post initially, Morris wasn't even on the list. The sixth-round draft pick started the last Redskins preseason game and should have a role as a power back. Hightower is slow to recover from anterior cruciate ligament surgery. Helu has been banged up. Royster is the favorite to start at this stage.
New York Jets LB: Bart Scott vs. Demario Davis
Rex Ryan will make sure to get Davis on the field, although it looks like Scott is holding him off for the starting job.
Floyd, the highly drafted first-round pick, has failed to make much of an impact. He looks like the team's No. 4 receiver to start the season.
This one was over before it started. Leinart is very comfortable in offensive coordinator Greg Knapp's system, while Pryor is just trying to make sure he has a spot on the Raiders.
The battle of the former first-round draft picks is still up for grabs. Starting cornerback Nate Clements is practicing at safety quite a bit. Leon Hall is doing well. Adam "Pacman" Jones is listed as a third-teamer behind Jason Allen and Terence Newman. He could be on the roster bubble. This year's first-round draft pick Dre Kirkpatrick is back from injury.
Green Bay Packers No. 3 receiver
Seattle Seahawks backup RB
We thought Seattle might bring in a veteran to back up Marshawn Lynch if he was suspended, but it hasn't happened. Perhaps Lynch won't miss the start of the year. Rookie Robert Turbin has looked solid as his backup.
On the Agenda
We have our weekly odd-looking power rankings coming on Wednesday. This week: Coaches Power Rankings. If you missed it Tuesday, we broke out Marc Sessler's awards and gave reasons for optimism for all 32 teams. Finally, it's Fantasy Draft Week here in New York at the Best Buy Theatre. I will be there Thursday telling you to draft Cam Newton ahead of any other quarterback; former NFL stars will be there every day through the end of the week along with our entire fantasy crew.