I'm a pretty big baseball guy, but I have to admit, I'm starting to get the football fever. Yesterday's full slate of college action was a nice appetizer, but I'm really looking forward to CHI-GB next Sunday.
A few notes from training camps' final weekend.
Nate Washington's hammy problem won't go away. The Titans brought in Washington to bolster their receiving group, but he has been held out of practice for two weeks now. His status for Week 1 is in question, and since he's a speed guy, he may not realize his potential for a good portion of the season. Kenny Britt pulled in eight catches for 115 yards this preseason, and he should start opposite Justin Gage when the season begins.
Brandon Marshall's suspension ends. Coach Josh McDaniels suspended Marshall for a week for "conduct detrimental to the team" (aka not getting along with others). Marshall has hardly taken place in any of the Broncos' preseason practices, but he could be forced into action next weekend with the Broncos' receiving corps running thin. Anquan Boldin put up good numbers with the Cardinals last year despite wanting out of Phoenix like a coulrophobiac wants out of the circus, but Marshall seems to be a more extreme case. The whole Broncos' offense would get a boost if Marshall decides to make up and play nice.
Speaking of the Broncos, Kyle Orton won't practice until Tuesday. Orton dislocated his right pointer finger in last Sunday's exhibition tilt against the Bears, and he sat out the Broncos' preseason finale on Thursday. The team wants Orton to take it easy until Tuesday, and he should be considered questionable for Week 1 against the Bengals. Chris Simms would be the second option at QB, but the injury won't keep Orton out long enough to affect his draft status. Brandon Marshall's holdout would affect his status more.
Richard Seymour dealt to Oakland. The Raiders sent the Patriots a first-round pick in the 2011 Draft for the veteran lineman. The Pats have lost Seymour, Tedy Bruschi and Mike over the past year. That defense will need to find new leadership, but they have enough talent to rank among the league's elite. Seymour recorded eight sacks last season, so he could bolster a Raiders defense that got to the QB 32 times last season.
Shawne Merriman takes a shot of love. Tila Tequila, Merriman's girlfriend, accused Merriman of choking her early Sunday morning, and she signed a citizen's arrest report charging him with felony battery and false imprisonment. Merriman's attorney has refuted both claims, and the district attorney has yet to levy official charges. The NFL will probably wait for the legal process to run its course before taking disciplinary action. San Diego's defense struggled without Merriman last year, and they would undoubtedly miss his presence.