NFL Training Camp Notes: Who’s playing and who’s sitting this week

Injuries, injuries, and more injuries seem to dominate Wednesday’s NFL news. Fortunately, much of it is related to players nearing a return. However, the biggest story involves a player choosing not to play.

  • Melvin Gordon’s holdout is expected to last into the regular season, according to Ian Rapoport, who unfortunately didn’t say just how far into the year that might last. At the start of camp, there were reports the running back may hold out till midseason, which scares me too much to draft him even at no. 30 overall where his ADP has been in NFFC leagues over the last two weeks. However, the less risk-averse willing to take him in the third round could find themselves with quite a steal if the situation resolves itself in a timely manner.

  • A trio of star wideouts is likely to miss this week’s round of preseason matchups. Mike Evans has been confirmed out after battling a quad/groin issue this week, while Odell Beckham has been sitting out with a hip bruise. Neither is feared to have a major injury or expected to miss time in the regular season. T.Y. Hilton is uninjured but still expected to sit out of the Colts’ next preseason game, along with most of the team’s starters.
  • On the other hand, we have a number of recent returnees. Dede Westbrook should make his preseason debut for the Jaguars after groin tightness kept him out lately. Marvin Jones saw limited action in his return to practice for the Lions after dealing with an as-yet-undisclosed injury that kept him out of their last preseason game. Each receiver is available just inside the top 100 picks in drafts.
  • Those hoping Vance McDonald would get the Steelers’ primary tight end job to himself had their dreams dashed Wednesday, as offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner confirmed a timeshare. That said, it could turn out to be beneficial in the long run for the oft-injured 29-year-old, and he’s still a worthy bottom-end TE1.
  • More tight end news, as Denver’s Noah Fant is expected to play Week 1. He suffered a minor ankle sprain in Monday’s preseason action. The rookie first-rounder is still slated to back up Jeff Heuerman this season and makes a nicer target in dynasty leagues.
  • Let’s triple-dip at tight end: the talented, but injury-prone Tyler Eifert made an appearance in last Thursday’s preseason win against Washington, drawing an end-zone target on his lone snap. He bears watching as he could be an impact player if he is able to stay healthy. A broken ankle limited the 28-year-old to four games last season.