Around the NFL  

 

What we learned: Patriots win, lose, draw on Tuesday

Print

The New England Patriots took center stage on Tuesday, but did they win, lose or draw?

Safety Nate Ebner was the big winner, helping USA Rugby to a 26-0 victory over Brazil as Patriots coaches and teammates met to cheer on their football teammate. Ebner is the first active NFL player to compete in the Summer Olympics.

New England's pass rush suffered a substantial loss when starting defensive end Rob Ninkovich went down with a torn triceps that is expected to sideline him until October. Along with Pro Bowlers J.J. Watt and Calais Campbell, Ninkovich is one of just three players with at least 40 sacks and 350 tackles since 2010.

Call it a draw for the wide receiver corps after Julian Edelman slammed his helmet in frustration upon suffering a leg injury in one-on-one drills. The initial news left Pats fans holding their collective breath, as trainers were examining the lower leg close to the area of Edelman's offseason foot surgery.

As it turns out, though, Edelman did not suffer a setback, NFL Media's Mike Garafolo reported. Tom Brady's go-to receiver is now considered day-to-day.

All in all, the perennial AFC powerhouse should count its blessings that Tuesday's news wasn't more debilitating.

Here's what else we learned from Tuesday's action in training camps around the league:

1. The Philadelphia Eagles are in danger of losing one of their most valuable offensive players for the bulk of the season. Stalwart right tackle Lane Johnson is appealing a 10-game suspension for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

2. The Indianapolis Colts' depleted front seven, already on our radar as potentially the league's weakest, just received more bad news. Starting defensive end Kendall Langford is expected to miss three-to-four weeks due to a knee scope. With Arthur Jones suspended and Henry Anderson still recovering from ACL surgery, the defensive line is shaping up as a major liability.

3. Another one of the league's most suspect units, Miami's secondary, should get a boost if former Redskins and 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver is fully recovered from ACL surgery. Culliver is set to sign a one-year deal worth up to $5 million with the Dolphins.

4. The Denver Broncos announced that Mark Sanchez will get the starting nod for the preseason opener versus the Chicago Bears. Sanchez will play the entire first quarter, followed by Trevor Siemian in the second quarter and rookie Paxton Lynch in the second half. At least one veteran beat reporter believes Siemian is in the driver's seat for the Week 1 nod:

5. The Cardinals restructured the contract of left tackle Jared Veldheer, freeing up $4 million in cap space. Their next move could involve lowering the cap numbers of Chandler Jones ($7.8 million), Michael Floyd ($7.3 million) and Calais Campbell ($15.25 million) by reaching extensions prior to the start of the season.

6. Seeking clarity in Jacksonville's backfield? No such luck. The Jaguars listed T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory as co-starters on their first depth chart of training camp.

7. Poor Victor Cruz can't buy a break. Around The NFL's Conor Orr noted last week that Cruz still has a ways to go in his second comeback attempt since tearing his patellar tendon. He's now in danger of missing Friday's preseason opener with a strained groin.

8. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll provided injury updates on a trio of key players. Tight end Jimmy Graham is "right on the edge of coming back" from the PUP list. Sidelined by hip and hamstring injuries since OTAs, rookie running back C.J. Prosise has "missed a ton, there's no other way to put it."

Although Carroll acknowledged that "it's going to be awhile" before Thomas Rawls is back in peak football shape after missing the entire offseason, the arrow is certainly pointing up. "I'm feeling good, I'm feeling awesome," Rawls said. "I'm feeling great, I'm feeling phenomenal."

Carroll went a step further, describing Rawls' rehab effort as "vicious" and "unreal," adding, "I don't think there's anybody in better shape than Thomas."

9. The Ravens finally received positive injury news of their own, as coach John Harbaugh expects outside linebackers Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil, wide receivers Steve Smith and Breshad Perriman and running back Lorenzo Talaiferro to be ready for game action once the regular season opens.

10. The Packers welcomed tight end Jared Cook, wide receiver Ty Montgomery and linebacker Sam Barrington back from the PUP list on Tuesday. The first impression of Aaron Rodgers' connection with Cook couldn't have gone any better.

11. For all of the handwringing over the losses of Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu, the Bengals wide receiver corps remains in good shape. Second-round rookie Tyler Boyd has been the "star of camp," according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

12. Boyd isn't the only rookie turning heads this month. Titans' power back Derrick Henry dominated Monday night's scrimmage, inspiring high praise from Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Orakpo.

"He's a stud. He's a stud. He's definitely going to continue to get better," Orakpo said. "He has a few things to work on as far as keeping his pads down low when he gets down to the goal-line and things like that, but overall the guy is going to be a stud in this league."

13. Those associated with Tim Tebow insist the former quarterback's plan to pursue a baseball career is not just a publicity stunt. Whether it's true or not, Jets wide receiver Eric Decker understands the direct effect of Tebowmania:

Print