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Training Camp Notes: Life After Foster

- One of Wednesday's biggest storylines was news that Texans running back Arian Foster will undergo groin surgery and likely be placed on short-term injured reserve. On Thursday, attentions shifted to who will replace Foster to start the season. Early reports have Alfred Blue likely to get the first crack at taking Foster's role. Blue served as Foster's primary backup last season and notched 641 total yards and three total touchdowns in limited opportunities. Behind Blue, rookie Kenny Hilliard, Blue's former teammate at LSU, has supposedly caught the attention of head coach Bill O'Brien and Chris Polk managed to find the end zone four times last year in a crowded Eagles backfield. Expect the entire stable to get their opportunities. Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett at quarterback isn't a huge upgrade over Ryan Fitzpatrick, Case Keenum and Ryan Mallett at quarterback and the team bid farewell to Andre Johnson. The ground game should be a focal point of the offense. Despite tallying 1,573 total yards and 13 total TDs in 2014, it would be fair to wonder whether Foster is a shoo-in to return as the team's bell cow later in the season should any one of the younger backs find success. Texans owner Bob McNair recently commented that he wasn't surprised by Foster's injury and that it seems as though the star back has soft-tissue injuries every year. This may be the year Houston begins looking for a long-term successor for Foster and riding the hot hand of a younger, cheaper back, should one emerge, may be the first step in that process.

- LeSean McCoy reportedly dazzled in 11-on-11 reps at Bills camp on Thursday. Despite reports of a toe injury, McCoy was the team's lead back during practice. Considering Bills' general manager Doug Whaley said this week that the team is "almost in quarterback purgatory," having McCoy up and running is a big deal. Head coach Rex Ryan is a known believer in the ground-and-pound offense and offensive coordinator Greg Roman helped direct San Francisco to three NFC championship games behind a diverse running attack. With the team likely to lean heavily on the run and short passing game, McCoy should get all the opportunities he can handle. Behind McCoy, the Bills have Fred Jackson, Bryce Brown and Anthony Dixon, all of whom have shown ability. The team also drafted Karlos Williams in the fifth round of this year's draft. Williams scored 11 rushing touchdowns in each of his final two seasons at Florida State.

- Staying in Buffalo, second-year receiver Sammy Watkins missed portions of Thursday's practice with soreness in his surgically-repaired hip. Watkins led the Bills with 982 receiving yards and six touchdowns in 2014 and having a catch-everything target should be of great benefit to whoever wins the team's three-way race to start at quarterback. Still, one need only to look at Watkins' new teammate Percy Harvin for an example of how hip injuries can linger. Watkins may also be facing stiffer competition for targets with the addition of Harvin and TE Charles Clay. With the Bills committed to basing their offense on the run, there may not be enough balls in the air for Watkins to see big increases in production this season even if he manages to stay on the field.

- Delanie Walker suffered a cut to his left hand on Thursday, but isn't expected to miss significant time. Walker was one of very few bright spots for the Titans during the 2014 season, leading the team with 63 receptions and 890 yards. He ranked fourth among tight ends in receiving yardage. The Titans will be breaking in Marcus Mariota this season and, should the old adage about young quarterbacks leaning on tight ends hold true, Walker could see his role in the offense expanded. Walker's 2014 production didn't exactly hinge on elite quarterback play, with the Titans trotting out Jake Locker, Zach Mettenberger and Charlie Whitehurst for multiple games each. Any stability Mariota may bring the the quarterback position in Tennessee would only add to Walker's value.

- Though Bears head coach John Fox has downplayed Kevin White's shin splints, some reports question whether the rookie receiver will be ready for Week 1. Anytime a top draft pick isn't a sure bet to start the season, alarms tend to go off. In Chicago, White is being depended on to help provide quarterback Jay Cutler with some support and help replace the 61 receptions and eight touchdowns Brandon Marshall brought with him to New York. New offensive coordinator Adam Gase has shown with Eric Decker and Emmanuel Sanders that you can be a No. 2 receiver and still generate a ton of production in his scheme, so White can be a threat to rack up numbers once he's healthy. Until then, expect Marquess Wilson and Eddie Royal, who Cutler, Fox and Gase know from their time in Denver, to see more passes come their way.

- At Eagles camp, quarterback Sam Bradford said that his surgically-repaired knee feels "great." While the news is certainly welcome in Philadelphia, Bradford's problem hasn't been recovering from injuries, but rather avoiding new ones. Bradford has missed the past season and a half with knee injuries, but showed a lot to be excited about when he last played. In seven games in 2013, Bradford threw 14 touchdowns with just four interceptions. With a familiarity with wide-open shotgun offenses from his time in Oklahoma, Bradford can be a force in Philadelphia if he manages to keep feeling great.

- Cardinals wide receiver Michael Floyd will be out of action for the next several weeks after having surgery to repair three dislocated fingers. Larry Fitzgerald is still the top dog in Arizona, but it was Floyd who led the team with six touchdown receptions in 2014. Reports vary as to how long Floyd will be out for, with recovery times ranging from three to six weeks. Should he heal in time for Week 1, expect Floyd and the entire Cardinals offense to benefit from quarterback Carson Palmer's return. If Floyd misses any in-season time, second-year speedster John Brown is likely to help pick up the slack.

- Dwayne Bowe is expected to miss the Browns' scrimmage on Friday. While the main story in Cleveland has been Josh McCown's ability to stave off Johnny Manziel atop the team's depth chart, any time Bowe misses is worth monitoring as he has been expected to be Browns' top target. Despite the season-long suspension of star receiver Josh Gordon, the Browns chose not to address the position in the draft until selecting Vince Mayle out of Washington State in the fourth round. In free agency, the team turned to less-heralded options such as Brian Hartline and Bowe who, despite hauling in 60 receptions in 2014, failed to find the end zone. Even when Bowe does eventually return to action, it is fair to say that McCown will be depending on the least-talented group of receivers he has had at his disposal in recent memory. McCown enjoyed a renaissance in 2013 with the help of Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. Last year, the 36-year-old quarterback struggled despite having Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans to throw to.