Unless you’re a Cowboys or Cardinals fan, your favorite professional football team hasn’t opened training camp to its veterans yet. However, it’s only a matter of days until they do and that means Week 1 is right around the corner. Without further ado, here’s what you need to know going forward:
- A number of notable names will open camp on the physically unable to perform list, starting with Colts QB Andrew Luck, who is bouncing back from surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder. His placement on this list isn’t binding in any way, so he’s eligible to return to practice whenever Indy management deems fit. In fact, this move appears to be precautionary more than anything in case Luck suffers some sort of setback and would need to be placed on the regular season PUP list. Fortunately, the Stanford product has already started a throwing program and that doesn’t seem to be a legitimate concern at this juncture.
- On the other hand, there were players like Chiefs TE Travis Kelce who avoided the PUP list entirely. Kelce missed all of OTAs after undergoing offseason shoulder surgery but should be full steam ahead now that he’s healthy and ready to play. It’ll be interesting to see how the Chiefs use him in training camp, as Kelce would figure to be the clear-cut, No. 1 option in the passing game now that Jeremy Maclin is in Baltimore.
- Falcons WR Julio Jones is still on the mend from February bunion surgery and will be limited when training camp opens Thursday. However, no worries here, as everything seems to be going as planned and general manager Thomas Dimitroff said Jones’ recovery has gone “very, very well.” That being said, the seventh-year receiver has dealt with a multitude of lower-body injuries in recent years and it isn’t that alarming to see him pop up on the injury report anymore. While there’s no doubting his talent, Jones simply appears to carry more injury risk than other top-flight fantasy wideouts.
- Lions RB Theo Riddick — who needed surgery on both of his wrists late last season — will be ready to report with the rest of his teammates this week as his wrists were deemed as “structurally sound” on Monday. Despite missing the entirety of the offseason program, Riddick didn’t even slightly loosen his grip on the No. 2 RB gig in Detroit and seems poised to open the 2017 campaign as the pass-catching complement to Ameer Abdullah once again.
- While he didn’t miss a game last season, Titans RB DeMarco Murray apparently suffered an injury to his right ring finger in Week 2 that required offseason surgery to fix. He originally thought the finger would heal on its own, which is why he put off any sort of surgical procedure until the offseason. Since he should be completely good to go moving forward, the bigger concern with Murray seems to be teammate Derrick Henry and how Tennessee plans to utilize the ascending Alabama product entering his second season as a pro.
- Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins, who held out of training camp last year in hopes of receiving a contract extension, will promptly report to camp this time around. Hopefully this means he’ll be able to develop better chemistry with his starting quarterback — whether that be Tom Savage or rookie Deshaun Watson — than he was able to with Brock Osweiler in limited practice time last season. While it’s no guarantee that Savage or Watson will even represent an upgrade over Osweiler, Hopkins nonetheless is one of this year’s top bounce-back candidates.
- Vikings RB Latavius Murray also landed on the preseason PUP list. Considering he underwent relatively minor offseason surgery to address bone spurs in his ankle and was expected to be ready by now, this development isn’t good for his prospects in 2017; while Murray’s sidelined, second-round rookie Dalvin Cook could run away with the starting job.
- Cardinals WR John Brown is entering training camp at 185 pounds, up 12 pounds from last season. The receiver is hoping the added bulk will help him keep the effects of his sickle-cell trait at bay and effectively let him stay healthy for an entire 16-game slate. With Michael Floyd in Minnesota and Larry Fitzgerald largely relegated to the slot at this stage in his storied career, there looks to be a huge opportunity for someone to thrive as an outside receiver in Arizona, making Brown an intriguing player to keep an eye on going forward.
- Perhaps not the highest-profile news of the day, but Saints offensive linemen Terron Armstead (shoulder) and Max Unger (foot) will both open training camp on the PUP list. While Armstead is probably a lost cause at this point — as far as being ready for Week 1 goes, that is — losing Unger for the start of the regular season too would be a crushing blow to the New Orleans run game.