Around the League  

 

What we learned Wednesday: Eagles' issues continue

There's never a dull moment in Philadelphia Eagles training camp.

Between the quarterback battle, Chip Kelly's mad scientist experiments and a pair of season-ending injuries, the Eagles have been fertile ground for NFL news coverage. The drama intensified at the NovaCare Complex on Wednesday after the team fined wide receiver Riley Cooper for a racially insensitive comment used at a Kenny Chesney concert in June.

Cooper apologized quickly, genuinely and profusely. Slot receiver Jason Avant insists Cooper is not a racist, but acknowledged that it might take days or weeks for other teammates to accept Cooper's apology.

There's little question the spotlight will remain on Kelly's squad throughout August. Although Cooper's comments will incite reaction and reflection, controversies of this nature tend to dissipate by the time the season rolls around.

Fantasy Pro Bowl?

The NFL and NFL Players Association took out the defibrillator Wednesday, attempting to shock the Pro Bowl back to life. Gone is the NFC vs. AFC format, to be replaced by a fantasy draft-like roster selection. We're not sure the radical new changes will fix the core issue of competition.

Quote of the Day

Eight-year veteran Maurice Jones-Drew on his staying power: "Half the guys drafted in front of me are working at Target right now."

» Peyton Manning has a new center after coaxing veteran Ryan Lilja out of retirement to join the Denver Broncos.

» While the Chicago Bears are experimenting with the read option under coach Marc Trestman, Rex Ryan and the Jets still are partying with the Wildcat like it's 2008.

Stock up

» Washington Redskins tight end Fred Davis' recovery from Achilles tendon surgery couldn't be going more smoothly. Davis reportedly has had no sign of soreness and has shown impressive speed in practices.

» Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones still expects Dez Bryant to play in Sunday's Hall of Fame game despite sitting out early-week practices with a "tweaked" hip.

» Andrew Luck and Coby Fleener are getting plenty of praise in Indianapolis Colts camp, but nothing to match the hyperbole that coach Chuck Pagano has directed at T.Y. Hilton. "That guy's a freak," Pagano said of Hilton. "I'd hate to be the guy on the opposite side of the ball."

» Jermichael Finley has returned to 2009-2010 form. "He's where he needs to be," Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday. "He's in a very good place. I think he's having a heck of a camp."

» Redskins pass rusher Brian Orakpo has been explosive and shown no signs of last year's pectoral injury. "He's going to have a great year," coach Mike Shanahan said Wednesday.

» Beat writer Joe Buscaglia selected Buffalo Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore as practice MVP for the second consecutive day.

Stock down

» The hits keep coming for the Seattle Seahawks passing attack. Just as coach Pete Carroll was making it clear Percy Harvin won't be rushed back from hip surgery, tight end Zach Miller showed up to practice with his knee "all wrapped up." Carroll doesn't expect the injury to be a factor in the regular season "unless there's some setbacks."

» The NFL has yet to see a running back recapture pre-injury form following Achilles tendon surgery. It doesn't look like Mikel Leshoure will be the first. Tim Twentyman of the Detroit Lions' official website observed Wednesday that Leshoure still isn't the player he was prior to tearing his Achilles tendon two years ago.

» Originally expected to be back for training camp, Ed Reed said he still feels "tightness and soreness" constantly in his surgically repaired hip. His status for the Houston Texans season opener is still up in the air. Reed revealed Tuesday that he sent a text to Andre Johnson after the Super Bowl requesting, "Get me to Houston."

Hall of Fame coverage
NFL Network will have complete coverage of the 2013 Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony -- a 50th year celebration in Canton -- on Saturday, Aug. 3 starting at 4 p.m. ET.

» ProFootballHOF.com

Trainer's room

» No stranger to the trainer's room, New York Jets running back Chris Ivory was forced from Wednesday's practice after tweaking a hamstring injury that sidelined him over the weekend.

» San Francisco 49ers rookie running back Marcus Lattimore acknowledges that his best-case scenario is a Week 10 return from major reconstructive knee surgery.

» Broncos cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was carted off the field Wednesday with what multiple outlets are reporting is a bad left-ankle sprain.

» D.J. Williams -- expected to replace Brian Urlacher as the Bears' middle linebacker -- is week-to-week with a calf strain sustained in Wednesday's practice. Williams' injury opens the door for second-rounder Jon Bostic to steal the starting job.

» Jacksonville Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said Justin Blackmon could be back from groin surgery soon, as the medical staff has accelerated his rehab.

The Around The League Podcast is now available on iTunes! Click here to listen and subscribe.

NFL News
CONTENT
15