Saturday marked the kickoff of the first full training camp weekend around the NFL, which typically means robust and raucous crowds that have been pining throughout the offseason to get a look at their favorite team. In turn, the electric atmosphere often gives players that extra bit of oomph to get through the humidity and tediousness of practice.
Accordingly, there were certainly some noteworthy efforts around the league Saturday, as well as developments on the injury front and the final 2017 first-round signing. Without further ado, let's break down what made headlines around training camps in the past 24 hours:
Quarterback Injury News
- Andrew Luck (shoulder) has begun training camp on the PUP list, but it was his recent comments to the Indianapolis Star that surely has some Colts fans a bit uneasy. The Pro Bowl signal caller remarked that he couldn't commit to playing in the regular-season opener at this point in time, while declining to confirm if he's even resumed throwing a football. While Indianapolis general manager Chris Ballard has sounded a much more optimistic tone regarding Luck's progress, the quarterback's comments will linger in the minds of many until there's demonstrable progress in his recovery.
- The news was brighter in the Tennessee Titans' neck of the woods, where Marcus Mariota (lower leg) participated in the team's opening practice of training camp Saturday. All reports indicated that the 23-year-old looked much like his old self, connecting on several throws to tight end Delanie Walker and key offseason addition Eric Decker. Mariota's comments after practice regarding him having complete trust in his surgically repaired fibula were just the icing on the cake for a team that has ambitious aspirations heading into 2017.
- Mariota wasn't the only budding young arm making a return from a devastating leg injury Saturday, as the Raiders' Derek Carr, whose broken fibula in Week 16 of last season essentially sealed the team's postseason fate before the playoffs even kicked off, was a participant at Oakland's practice. Carr was working with several new faces on the offense, as Marshawn Lynch, Jared Cook and Cordarrelle Patterson all made their official training camp debuts alongside him Saturday. Carr and Cook already seem to be in sync, as the team's official site reports the duo connected on a pair of long passes in seven-on-seven work. Of concern for Carr's wellbeing, however, is the reported holdout of standout left tackle Donald Penn, who is apparently angling for a new contract, and consequently, doesn't intend to show up to training camp for the time being.
Around the AFC
Baltimore Ravens- Tight end Crockett Gilmore (leg) was not at practice Saturday after suffering his injury on Friday, although the team's official site reports that he's not expected to be out for an extended period; Standout safety Tony Jefferson, a player of note in IDP circles, participated in some full-team drills for the first time in training camp despite still recovering from sports hernia surgery; Eric Weddle, the team's other starting safety, snagged two interceptions in practice; Wide receiver Breshard Perriman made a pair of impressive catches in Saturday's session.
Buffalo Bills- Wide receiver and returner extraordinaire Brandon Tate suffered a calf injury during Saturday's practice and is considered day-to-day. While he's once again expected to be more or less buried on the receiver depth chart, his work on both return units is highly valued; It was a rough day on the injury front for the defensive side of the ball as well, as both starting cornerback Ronald Darby (foot) and Pro Bowl defensive tackle Marcell Dareus (hamstring) were sidelined. Both are considered day-to-day at present.
Cincinnati Bengals- Giovani Bernard, who is now over eight months removed from the ACL injury he suffered in Week 11 of last season, is on the field and looking sharp in his cuts early in camp. Bernard's principal value projects to once again be in the passing game, especially considering that second-round pick (with first-round talent) Joe Mixon has joined Jeremy Hill in the competition for touches as a "traditional" tailback. Bernard has never topped 170 carries in a season at the NFL level, but he's logged no less than last season's 39 receptions, which came over just 10 games; Bernard's backfield mate Cedric Peerman, who tallied only six carries last season, is starting camp on the Active/Non Football Injury List with an undisclosed ailment.
Cleveland Browns- Kenny Britt, signed in the offseason after a career-high 1,002 receiving yards with the Rams last season, worked exclusively on an exercise bike Friday after leaving Thursday's session with leg cramps. However, he was back in action Saturday and made several catches. Britt saw 111 targets in Los Angeles last season and expects another robust helping this season with Terrelle Pryor and his 140 looks from 2016 now in the Nation's Capital.; Saturday marked the Browns' first day of full contact practice, and as per the team's official site, the team's running game excelled, with Isaiah Crowell, Duke Johnson, Jr. and rookie Matthew Dayes all ripping off big runs.
Denver Broncos- The quarterback battle in Denver camp promises to be one of the more intriguing storylines of the summer, and both Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch held up their end of the bargain Saturday. As per the team's official site, each of the two field generals took their respective units into scoring range without a huddle in a move-the-ball period; rookie sixth-round running back De'Angelo Henderson, looking to take advantage of Devontae Booker's multi-week absence due to a wrist injury, missed practice in his own right Saturday with an ankle injury and is considered day-to-day. The Coastal Carolina product topped 1,000 yards in his last three college campaigns and scored a whopping 58 touchdowns over four seasons, but could have his work cut out for him with respect to earning a spot on the active roster; Henderson's veteran backfield mate Bernard Pierce is expected to miss multiple practices with a hamstring injury he suffered on Friday; On the IDP front, linebacker Shane Ray, who racked up eight sacks last season, has torn a ligament in his left wrist and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks.
Jacksonville Jaguars- Much to the horror of fantasy owners and the Jaguars, Blake Bortles badly regressed in 2016, with his final numbers (3,905 yards, 23:16 TD:INT) belying the extent of his struggles. His performance Saturday wasn't exactly a confidence builder, as he threw five interceptions, two in seven-on-seven work and the other three in 11-on-11 drills. Bortles was interception-free in his first two practices Thursday and Friday, lending some credence to the theory it may have just been a bad day at the office; on the bright side, receiver Allen Robinson enjoyed a productive session, beating three different corners in one-on-one work as per Jacksonville.com.
Kansas City Chiefs- Rookie quarterback Patrick Mahomes turned some heads in Saturday's practice when he led the offense to a score in a two-minute drill in just four plays. While he's expect to sit behind Alex Smith this season, the 2017 first-rounder could be competing for a starting job at this time next year; Linebacker Tamba Hali is on the Active/PUP list with an undisclosed injury to open training camp. Despite compiling his lowest sack total (3.5) since his rookie 2008 campaign last season, he's expected to open the season as the starting outside linebacker.
Los Angeles Chargers- First-round pick Mike Williams was officially placed on the Active/PUP list Saturday despite the recent news that his back injury is not season-ending. While he won't be ready to take the field for Sunday's opening practice, he can be activated at any time this summer; Ditto for shutdown cornerback Jason Verrett, whose PUP designation stems from the ACL he tore in October of last season.
Miami Dolphins- DeVante Parker has looked impressive in each practice thus far, with Saturday's session being the latest in which he stood out. As per the team's official site, Parker looks faster than ever and head coach Adam Gase also went out of his way to praise his conditioning Saturday, saying that his third-year wideout hasn't looked gassed despite the punishing South Florida humidity.
New England Patriots- Tom Brady continued his impressive camp Saturday, with the team's official site reporting he fit several throws into tight windows; Some of those went to prize offseason acquisition Brandin Cooks, who connected with not only Brady but backup Jimmy Garoppolo on a deep ball that split two safeties. Cooks is already being praised for his outstanding footwork and quickness and will once again be a top target in PPR formats in the coming season; Mike Gillislee, who boasts 11 touchdowns in 154 career carries, is off to a good start in his bid to replicate some of the departed LeGarrette Blount's abundant red-zone production from last season. He pounded into the end zone on his first try in two live goal-line drills during Saturday's practice and has looked the part overall in short yardage situations thus far.
Pittsburgh Steelers- Promising second-round receiver Juju Smith-Schuster did not practice Saturday after he came up gimpy following a catch in Friday's practice. It appears the Steelers are simply erring on the side of caution and he is considered day-to-day.
Tennessee Titans- First-round pick Corey Davis signed his rookie contract on Saturday, making him the final first-rounder to ink a deal. He should be able to participate in practice immediately, as he's deemed to be back at full speed following January ankle surgery. Davis projects to slot alongside Rishard Matthews and fellow newcomer Eric Decker as the top three wideouts on what is expected to be a much improved Titans offense that already made nice strides last season. Davis compiled 52 touchdowns over four college seasons, with 46 of them coming within his final three campaigns.
Around the NFC
Dallas Cowboys- Apparently at least somewhat uneasy with the prospect of being just a Dak Prescott injury away from having Kellen Moore as their starting quarterback, the Cowboys inked veteran safety net Luke McCown on Saturday. Despite being 36 years of age, the veteran's arm is low on miles, as he made a grand total of one regular-season pass attempt during the 2012-14 seasons before putting up 39 in 2015 behind Drew Brees in New Orleans; Fourth-round receiver Ryan Switzer is struggling with a hamstring injury and will miss next Thursday's Hall of Fame Game despite the injury not being considered overly serious.
Los Angeles Rams- The Rams were happy to see the versatile Tavon Austin, who had wrist surgery in May, running full routes downfield in Saturday's practice. Austin currently helms what projects to be one of the most unproven receiver corps, at least on paper, in the NFL; on the other side of the ball, the Rams came to the grim realization that Pro Bowl defensive tackle Aaron Donald isn't reporting to camp anytime soon. Set to earn $1.8 million as a base salary in 2017, Donald apparently feels he's outperformed that number while compiling 28 sacks in his first three seasons; Lance Dunbar was placed on the Active/PUP list to begin camp, with the nature of the injury undisclosed at this time. The former Cowboys third-down back is expected to fulfill a similar role out west and would appear to be an ideal complement to the power running of former first-round pick Todd Gurley.
Minnesota Vikings- Running back Jerick McKinnon missed practice again Saturday with a lower leg injury, and with Latavius Murray (ankle) still sidelined as well, it's been first-round pick Dalvin Cook handling the first-team reps. Cook has looked impressive thus far and donned pads Saturday for the first time since playing in the Orange Bowl for Florida State last Dec. 30; Receiver Adam Thielen has been practicing the last two days despite having been seen limping late in Thursday's session.
Philadelphia Eagles- Receiver Nelson Agholor has underwhelmed as a receiver in his first two seasons, but he could be adding kick returner to his job description in 2017. The USC product was a solid performer on both punt and kick returns in college, although with Darren Sproles likely entrenched in the former role once again this coming season, it would seem that Agholor would be under consideration for the latter. If he's able to secure the job, it would provide the former first-round pick with a slight uptick in fantasy value, as he may be no better than the No. 4 receiver behind Alshon Jeffery, Jordan Matthews and Torrey Smith.
Seattle Seahawks- The versatile Marcel Reece saw action with the Seahawks in four games last season after having exclusively donned a Raiders uniform for the first six-plus campaigns of his career, and he returned to Seattle on Saturday just in time to participate in Sunday's opening camp practice. The backfield out west is a crowded one as camp kicks off, but mostly at tailback, while Reece would presumably be angling for his typical fullback spot this summer.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Eyebrows were raised when quarterback Jameis Winston was spotted wearing a knee brace in Saturday's practice, but as head coach Dirk Koetter eventually explained, the decision to do so was purely precautionary and not due to any previously undisclosed injury. Winston has looked sharp in early practices and made some impressive downfield connections with offseason acquisition DeSean Jackson in Saturday's session, as per the team's official site; Rookie first-round tight end O.J. Howard turned heads in Saturday's session with an impressive one-handed catch down the middle early on and made a similarly strong grab later in the session. Given Howard's track record as an above-average blocker as well, the rookie should see playing time in a wide variety of personnel packages this season while often operating in two tight-end sets alongside the emerging Cameron Brate.
Washington Redskins- Receiver Josh Doctson, bidding for a starting role after seeing his rookie 2016 season essentially wiped out by an Achilles injury, connected with quarterback Kirk Cousins on a long pass against cornerback Josh Norman to open Saturday's 11-on-11 work, an extension of the impressive display he's put on thus far in early practices; Doctson's position mate Terrelle Pryor, Sr. has been making his presence felt in his own right, with the team's official site reporting that his body control when going up for tough catches has been particularly noticeable; Jamison Crowder, currently slotted as the No. 2 receiver behind Pryor, is day-to-day with a hamstring injury and didn't take the field Saturday; promising second-year running back Keith Marshall, who missed all of his rookie campaign with an elbow injury, was carted off the field on Saturday after suffering a right knee injury in 11-on-11 drills. Marshall had been standing out in the first several practices as per head coach Jay Gruden, and he's now awaiting further evaluation on the severity of the injury; camp hasn't been kind to the Redskins tight ends either, as both Derek Carrier (ankle) and Vernon Davis (hamstring) have been sidelined. Carrier couldn't practice Saturday and remains day-to-day.