Monday NFL Notes

Arian Foster (back) did not practice Monday, but Texans head coach Gary Kubiak seemed confident in having his starting running back healthy for the team’s season opener. Foster has been getting injections throughout the preseason to help his ailing back, which has limited him to individual workouts at practice. It’s probably safe to assume Foster won’t play this preseason to ensure he will be ready to go in Week 1. Until then, Ben Tate will run with Houston’s first-team offense.

Jordan Cameron continues to improve and is becoming a more complete player, according to offensive coordinator Norv Turner. When discussing Cameron, Turner notes how the former USC Trojan has markedly progressed as a blocker, a crucial component to complement his receiving ability. With two touchdown catches and an average of 18 yards per catch so far this preseason, the speedy 6-5 Cameron has sleeper potential, especially considering new Browns head coach Rod Chudzinski’s impressive track record with tight ends.

Victor Cruz (heel contusion) is not expected to practice Tuesday and is listed as day-to-day. The receiver left Sunday night’s preseason contest early to have X-rays done on his heel, but after the results returned negative, it appears both the Giants and Cruz survived the injury scare. The G-Men may choose to sit Cruz in their next exhibition game against the Jets in order to ensure he is 100 percent come Week 1.

Jordy Nelson (knee) is aiming to be ready to play in Green Bay’s season opener. The Packers’ receiver underwent a minor arthroscopic knee surgery two weeks ago to fix an issue that has bothered him throughout his NFL career. If all goes according to plan, Nelson will be healthy to face the 49ers in Week 1, but monitor his situation for more definite confirmation.

Rob Gronkowski (back) is unlikely to be available for the Patriots’ opening game this season. Despite looking good in workouts, Gronk playing in Week 1 is reportedly an unrealistic expectation. As such, New England faces a roster decision of whether to place Gronkowski on their PUP list, which would force him to sit the season’s first six games, or keep him on their active roster. Zach Sudfeld becomes fantasy relevant while Gronk remains sidelined.

Steve Johnson (hamstring) practiced Monday and is expected to play in Buffalo’s next preseason game. While Johnson’s return is great news for Bills fans, the bigger question surrounding the team at this point is who will throw to the receiver. Rookie EJ Manuel (knee) and veteran Kevin Kolb are in the midst of a quarterback competition and the winner will likely rely on Johnson for his big-play ability this season.

Ed Dickson returned to practice Monday. The tight end missed a couple of weeks after a slight hamstring tear, but is now poised to reclaim the Ravens’ starting position ahead of competition from the newly-signed duo of Dallas Clark and Visanthe Shiancoe.

The Chiefs traded wide receiver Jon Baldwin to the 49ers on Monday for fellow wideout A.J. Jenkins. Both players are recent first-round selections that have failed to make much impact in their NFL careers thus far. Baldwin is a big-bodied receiver who played tight end in college, while Jenkins is a speedster. From a fantasy perspective, the deal benefits Baldwin more because of San Francisco’s thin receiving corps.

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