Two weeks of preseason play remain, with exactly 14 days until the dawn of the 2018 NFL regular season featuring a Thursday night tilt between the most-recent NFC Champions in Philadelphia and Atlanta. While it's challenging to refrain from shifting focus to the approaching start of the regular season, this stage of the league calendar is intriguing in it's own right, with trades, injuries and position battles galore. On this edition of Rotowire Training Camp Notes: we discuss a long-time Green Bay receiver who is staying at home after reports swirled this week indicating that he could be on the training block, and a superstar Cowboys' offensive lineman who is suffering from an extremely rare health condition that could cost him the season, if not his entire career.
Horrendous news came out of Dallas on Wednesday night, as four-time Pro Bowl center Travis Frederick announced via Twitter that he has been diagnosed with Guillain-Barré Syndrome, a neurological disorder that causes weakness or even paralysis in various parts of the body. Very little is known about GBS and there is no known cure, though there are treatments which can be aimed at managing the symptoms and staving off paralysis. Frederick is adamant that he will make a return to football, which seems within the realm of possibility given that the disease was identified at an early stage of its development. Three-time Super Bowl Champion Mark Schlereth extended his expertise to Frederick following the release of the diagnosis, as he too dealt with GBS and was able to cope well enough with the symptoms to play for seven years after the onset of the illness.
Despite news from earlier this week that hinted Randall Cobb may soon be shipped out of Green Bay, the 28-year-old receiver is staying with the Packers after all, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports. With one year and $8.6 million remaining on his current deal, there were multiple teams who recently inquired about Cobb's availability. After racking up 57 yards per contest through his first five seasons as a Packer (and earning a Pro Bowl nod in 2014 with 1,287 receiving yards), Cobb has regressed to a clip of 45 yards per contest since 2016. With Jordy Nelson now in Oakland, Cobb is a late-round flier worth rolling the dice on in standard 10-team leagues. So long as Aaron Rodgers is under center, a familiar target like Cobb remains liable to finish as a top-30 guy at the position in standard scoring formats.
Kenny Britt was let go by New England on Wednesday, now making three semi-high profile cuts from the receiving corps over the past 17 days (Malcolm Mitchell and Jordan Matthews also released by the team). Remaining wideouts who will be eligible to play Week 1 for the Patriots include Chris Hogan, Eric Decker, Cordarelle Patterson and Phillip Dorsett. Though he has never finished higher than 60th in PPR scoring, Hogan accumulated 13 fantasy points per game through Week 8 of last season before suffering a shoulder injury, picking up at least four catches in six of those eight contests. Given Julian Edelman's suspension and the plethora of cuts around him at the position, Hogan's ADP has vaulted 10.8 spots in ESPN drafts over the past week.
In Tennessee, veteran tight end Delanie Walker remains inactive with an undisclosed lower-body injury. Walker pulled up limp last Thursday after hauling in a pass during training camp and has been unable to participate over the past week. Walker has dropped from fifth to seventh in terms of ADP among tight ends in ESPN drafts since sustaining the injury, and 5.3 spots overall. Still one of the more underrated and gutsy NFL players of his era, Walker has finished no lower than eighth among tight ends in PPR scoring over the past four years, three times finishing top-five at the position.
Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith has been suspended for the first four games of the regular season for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy. The league has stated that Smith is guilty of inflicting "threatening and emotionally abusive behaviors" towards his ex-girlfriend and mother of his firstborn child. Despite the disturbing details of the report, the Ravens remain in support of Smith, saying that he is actively taking steps towards developing into a better man and person.
In the lone preseason game on Thursday night between the Browns and the Eagles, a Tyrod Taylor injury scare had fans holding their breath. Midway through the first quarter on a fourth-and-goal attempt, Taylor flushed the pocket to his left, trying to get the ball to his man in the back of the end zone while Fletcher Cox and Ronald Darby chased him down. Taylor fell to the ground and appeared shaken up once he arose from the turf. The 29-year-old quarterback jogged towards the Cleveland sideline where he was examined by trainers before being taken back to the locker room. Thankfully, the Browns' gritty signal-caller was able to return to the game in the second quarter, finishing the night 12-for-17 passing with 84 yards through the air.
Cleveland wasn't so lucky with rookie cornerback Denzel Ward's status, as the Ohio State standout exited the game with a back injury after picking up three tackles in the first quarter. Oakland's best corner from a year ago, TJ Carrie stepped in to collect Ward's first-team snaps.
On the other side Nick Foles had a rocky night for the Eagles, completing an impressive 13-of-17 attempts but tossing two interceptions. Carson Wentz is progressing steadily in his return from a torn ACL suffered in a Week 14 tilt with the Rams last year, as he participated in 11-on-11 drills this week in training camp, and felt healthy enough to field snaps prior to Thursday night's game. Wentz has a shot to start Week 1 against Atlanta, and if not, he'll have an additional 10 days to get back to 100 percent before the Eagles' second game against Tampa Bay.