Denver Broncos coach John Fox had the line of the day Monday when asked about Ronnie Hillman's place atop the unofficial running back depth chart. "We released a depth chart only because the league makes us," Fox quipped, via The Denver Post.
Depth chart news carried the day, but it's instructive to keep Fox's comments in mind when analyzing the changes.
The most noteworthy depth chart nuggets involve running backs:
» With Chris Ivory once again sidelined by a hamstring injury, the New York Jets list Bilal Powell as the No. 1 tailback. Although Powell has impressed with his first-team reps, this figures to be Ivory's job once he's back to full speed. Coach Rex Ryan confirmed Monday that Mike Goodson's return is not imminent.
» As if to prove Fox's point, DuJuan Harris is listed as the Green Bay Packers' starter even though he's spent training camp on the active/physically unable to perform list with a knee injury. Although Eddie Lacy is perhaps the best bet to lead this backfield in carries, the rookie currently is fourth on the depth chart despite an impressive effort in Saturday night's scrimmage.
» Pierre Thomas tops the New Orleans Saints' depth chart, with Mark Ingram second and Darren Sproles third. There's no reason to believe the roles will be any different this year than they were the past two seasons.
More depth chart news:
» Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne are listed as quarterback co-starters for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Gabbert received the first shot with the No. 1 offense in Saturday night's scrimmage and is expected to start the first preseason game. Henne would then be expected to start the second preseason game.
From the depth chart speculation department:
» The Boston Globe views Daniel Fells as the likely No. 1 tight end for the New England Patriots. Undrafted rookie Zach Sudfeld is coming like a freight train, though, practicing almost exclusively with the starters. Former New York Giants tight end Jake Ballard, on the other hand, has struggled so much that he's now in danger of losing his roster spot, Chris Mortensen reported on ESPN's "NFL Insiders."
» With Riley Cooper away from the team to seek counseling, athletic undrafted rookie Russell Shepard is running with the Philadelphia Eagles' first-team offense opposite DeSean Jackson. Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia believes Shepard is now in the driver's seat for the No. 2 receiver job after dominating the first week of camp.The Around The League Podcast is now available on iTunes! Click here to listen and subscribe.