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Training Camp Notes: Another One (Almost) Bites The Dust

On Saturday evening, that collective groan you heard emanating from the state of Wisconsin was triggered by Randall Cobb's departure from the Packers' game after a tackle on the Eagles' sideline. Coming just six days after Jordy Nelson was lost for the season with a torn ACL, the 2015 preseason was approaching a point wherein quarterback Aaron Rodgers could be without his Top 2 weapons in the passing attack. After word trickled out that Cobb was dealing with a right shoulder injury, he confirmed afterward that X-rays revealed no fracture in his collarbone, but further tests are on the docket Sunday to determine the extent of the issue. With Cobb out of the picture, second-year wideout Davante Adams was immediately pulled from the contest without making a mark on the box score, thereby allowing rookie Ty Montgomery additional opportunity to shine. While Montgomery's first touch cast a negative light – he recovered his own fumble on his first kickoff return – he notched a 52-yard catch-and-run on his way to two receptions (on three targets) for 71 yards and three kick returns for 77 yards. His primary competitor for WR looks, Jeff Janis, wasn't quiet either, hauling in all three targets for 72 yards and a fourth-quarter touchdown. If Cobb's early-season status is at all threatened, both Montgomery and Janis would again be deserving of nudges up draft boards.

In other news away from the field:

  • Julio Jones signed a five-year, $71.5 million extension, with a considerable $47 million guaranteed.
  • With the season opener two weeks away, Julius Thomas is making steady progress in his recovery from a fractured middle finger on his left hand.

Turning to actual games:

Pittsburgh at Buffalo

  • Head coach Rex Ryan is expected to make a decision on the Bills' starting quarterback Sunday, but Tyrod Taylor (12-of-13 passing for 122 yards Saturday) appears to be the leader in the clubhouse over Matt Cassel (6-for-7 for 38 yards) and EJ Manuel (7-for-8 for 170 yards and two touchdowns).
  • LeSean McCoy (hamstring) worked out on the field prior to Saturday's game, but unsurprisingly, he didn't suit up with the hope that he'll be able to take the field in Week 1. In addition, Anthony Dixon (calf), Bryce Brown (hamstring), and Karlos Williams (undisclosed) also didn't play. With unhindered access to reps, Fred Jackson galloped five times for 48 yards and a touchdown.
  • As for the receiving corps, Percy Harvin (hip) joined Sammy Watkins (hip/glute), Robert Woods (hip), Chris Hogan (knee), and Deonte Thompson (no injury) on the sideline Saturday. A big hit knocked Marquise Goodwin from the game due to a rib injury, while Charles Clay sidestepped a knee concern from earlier in the week to lead the Bills with 69 yards and one touchdown on two catches.
  • Suspended for games Thursday due to a violation of the NFL's Substance Abuse Policy, Martavis Bryant awaits word on his appeal, yet he dominated the Bills on Saturday, gathering in a 39-yard pass from Landry Jones during a three-catch, 138-yard performance. Otherwise, no wide receiver stood out, with Darrius Heyward-Bey a healthy scratch.
  • In his Steelers debut, Michael Vick spelled Ben Roethlisberger, completing four of five passes for 106 yards on the team's third and fourth drives of the outing.
  • Garrett Hartley injured his right hamstring during a kickoff Saturday and didn't return.

Atlanta at Miami

  • With Devonta Freeman (hamstring) inactive, Tevin Coleman (hamstring) made his preseason debut, splitting first-team reps with Terron Ward. Coleman mustered two yards on his four carries, but no Falcons running back averaged more than 3.33 YPC (Jerome Smith). In the aftermath of the game, Coleman, the rookie, stated that his hamstring is still only about 80 percent healed.
  • As for the Dolphins' backfield, fellow first-year pro Jay Ajayi (hamstring) made his preseason debut, recording seven carries for 25 yards and two receptions (on three targets) for four yards on four second-half drives. Meanwhile, Lamar Miller had six carries for 22 yards and five catches (on five targets) for 31 yards as the starter.

Cleveland at Tampa Bay

  • In his preseason debut, Duke Johnson (hamstring) posted one carry for four yards and one catch for one yard on two targets as the starting running back, but he left with what was eventually deemed a concussion. The duo of Terrance West (seven carries for 26 yards and one catch for five yards) and Isaiah Crowell (eight rushes for 27 yards and two receptions for 12 yards on two targets) cobbled together modest outings of their own.
  • Getting the nod in his first appearance in a Browns uniform, Dwayne Bowe (hamstring) didn't haul in any of his three targets Saturday.
  • Mike Evans (hamstring) was held out Saturday as a result of a minor hamstring concern.

Minnesota at Dallas

  • Joseph Randle ran with the first-team offense Saturday, gathering four carries on the opening drive en route to six runs for 15 yards and one catch for eight yards. However, he was outplayed by Darren McFadden, who took four rushes for 37 yards and his sole target for six yards. Playing on obvious passing downs in the early going, Lance Dunbar bucked expectations and notched one carry for one yard.
  • As anticipated, Dez Bryant didn't play Saturday due to healing hamstring and will emerge from the preseason with no snaps to his name.

New York Jets at New York Giants

  • Rueben Randle (knee) suited up Saturday but was held to one reception (on one target) for seven yards, even with Victor Cruz (knee/calf) on the sideline.
  • After injuring his ankle Saturday, Bilal Powell was considered questionable to return. No matter, he took the field again, tacking on a 10-yard run to his initial offering of one rush for two yards and one catch for eight yards.

Chicago at Cincinnati

  • Andy Dalton suffered a neck injury Saturday, but coach Marvin Lewis later stated that the quarterback was removed solely as a precaution. Before leaving the field, Dalton was spotless, completing 6-of-6 passes for 52 yards and taking three carries for 16 yards, including a one-yard touchdown dive to cap a 16-play opening drive.
  • Alshon Jeffery (calf) didn't play Saturday, joining Kevin White (shin), Eddie Royal (hip), and Marquess Wilson (hamstring) on the sideline. All but White have a shot for active status in Week 1.

Washington at Baltimore

  • The Robert Griffin saga continues unabated, as a concussion held him out Saturday and threaten his Week 1 status. There appears to be a belief that Kirk Cousins has usurped Griffin as the preferred signal caller, and Cousins didn't disappoint Saturday, going 20-for-27 for 190 yards with one touchdown and one pick in one half of play. If Griffin's head injury lingers, Cousins is slated to start in the season opener.
  • In his first NFL action, Jamison Crowder (hamstring) grabbed four of five targets for 41 yards and a 22-yard touchdown, while handling one punt return for four yards. The performance was especially encouraging with DeSean Jackson (shoulder) on the sideline.
  • After Washington linebacker Keenan Lewis pile drived Kamar Aiken into the turf, Steve Smith was ejected in the shoving match that ensued. Prior to his dismissal, Smith tallied a 63-yard touchdown as part of a four-catch, 95-yard outburst.
  • Regarding the Ravens' rookie pass-catchers, Maxx Williams didn't take the field due to an undisclosed reason, while Breshad Perriman (knee) was seen catching passes on the field prior to the game but fit in very little other activity. At the moment, the latter will likely enter Week 1 with highly questionable availability.

Seattle at San Diego

  • Philip Rivers left Saturday's game due to a finger injury on his throwing hand, but X-rays were returned negative. Prior to leaving, he was 13-of-19 passing for 140 yards, directing the Chargers to a pair of field goals and three punts otherwise.

Indianapolis at St. Louis

  • Both Coby Fleener (ankle) and Phillip Dorsett (knee contusion) were sidelined.
  • On the other side, Tre Mason sustained a mild hamstring injury Saturday, but not before contributing four carries for 12 yards and two catches (on two targets) for 19 yards.

Philadelphia at Green Bay

  • With the Packers absent three starting offensive linemen – David Bakhtiari (knee), T.J. Lang (concussion), and Josh Sitton (ankle) – head coach Mike McCarthy took no chances with Aaron Rodgers and Scott Tolzien (concussion), the latter of whom was available in case of emergency. Consequently, Brett Hundley was under center for the first three quarters, and after a rough start, he finished 22 of 31 for 315 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception, which was taken to the house by Eagles safety Walter Thurmond.
  • Hundley's counterpart, Sam Bradford, staked his side to a 25-0 lead before leaving the contest, completing all 10 throws for 121 yards and three touchdowns.
  • Philly kicker Cody Parkey didn't play Saturday due to a minor leg injury.

San Francisco at Denver

  • Since coming down with a hamstring injury on Aug. 7, Emmanuel Sanders (hamstring) has been treated with kid gloves, including an absence Saturday. Nonetheless, the Broncos are hopeful that he'll return to full practice at some point this week.
  • Montee Ball continues his precipitous fall down the depth charter, as he worked behind C.J. Anderson, Ronnie Hillman, and Juwan Thompson on Saturday. For the game, Ball toted the rock four times for 11 yards and caught his only target for 20 yards, but if the aforementioned trend extends into the regular season, a cascade of injuries must occur for the University of Wisconsin product to establish a semblance of relevance.
  • Logging their first looks of the preseason, Reggie Bush (one rush for 21 yards) and Kendall Hunter (seven carries for 15 yards) displayed their respective levels of rustiness, or lack thereof.