Training Camp Notes: Aug. 18

Training Camp Notes: Aug. 18

This article is part of our Training Camp Notes series.

There was a lot of news Wednesday to get to before the second full weekend of preseason games gets underway. We'll start with injuries, with some big names coming through the news wire:

  • D'Andre Swift failed to return to practice Tuesday as expected. Instead, he now aims to retake the field Thursday. Swift has been limited or absent from practice entirely since Aug. 4, so seeing him ramp up fully would provide some confidence he will be full strength for the regular season.
  • Justin Fields is competing for the Bears' starting quarterback job, but that process will be slowed — at least temporarily. He missed practice Wednesday with a sore groin, though he is still expected to play in the team's second preseason game.
  • Carson Wentz has attended six consecutive practices without participating, but he could start start doing walkthroughs soon. Wentz has not worn a cast or boot at the sessions. Adam Schefter reported that Wentz is aiming for a Week 1 return, though it's still possible that either Jacob Eason or Sam Ehlinger get regular season playing time.
  • Chase Claypool avoided the worst-case scenario after exiting Tuesday's practice early, as he was diagnosed with a mild ankle sprain. However, he was still off the field Wednesday. Even so, his ability to participate in the team's first regular-season game does not appear to be in jeopardy.
  • Robby Anderson continues to nurse a sore hamstring, which also held him out of the team's first preseason game Aug. 15. He didn't practice Wednesday, though the issue isn't expected to linger into the regular season. Even so, his absence should provide more reps for rookie Terrace Marshall, who logged three passes for 88 yards in his first professional game.
  • AJ Dillon was officially listed as out with a calf injury Wednesday, though reports suggested that this was a precautionary move. This should have no impact on Dillon's draft status, unless further news emerges.
  • Also in Green Bay, news was less positive surrounding Devin Funchess. He was carted off the field Wednesday with an undisclosed injury. While there's no word on the seriousness of the injury, needing a cart is enough to signal plenty of concern. Any time Funchess is sidelined likely wouldn't have a major impact on target distribution, though it could benefit the likes of Allen Lazard, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Amari Rodgers or Randall Cobb with a couple extra opportunities.
  • Tim Patrick has battled a groin injury the last several weeks, which caused him to miss practice regularly. Hopefully his return Wednesday means he's finally gotten fully over the injury, though it's not clear he will be back to a full practice schedule now. In Patrick's absence, KJ Hamler has taken over the third receiver role. Hamler flashed plenty of upside in the team's preseason opener, recording two receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown.
  • Anthony Schwartz has had his first professional training camp canceled out by a hamstring injury, though he finally took the field for the first time Tuesday. He's at best the team's fourth wide receiver, but a deep name to at least keep on the radar.
  • Not directly fantasy relevant, Teven Jenkins underwent back surgery Aug. 18. The rookie left tackle is not expected to miss the entire season, though this puts at least a slight damper on a Chicago offense that is trending in the right direction with Fields.

It's also time when depth charts and reports regarding roles become worth putting more stick into. Here's a rundown of most important news in that regard:

  • Myles Gaskin has been drafted as the Dolphins' top back all offseason, though the indications are starting to pile up that he won't be in a workhorse role. When describing the backfield Wednesday, coach Brian Flores mentioned Gaskin, Salvon Ahmed and Malcolm Brown as part of a committee. Most concerning, Flores referred to Brown as a power back and Gaskin a change-of-pace player. At the same time, Flores acknowledged that Gaskin can excel on all downs. All in all, this is now a mess of a backfield, and unless the Dolphins' offense becomes much more explosive in Tua Tagovailoa's second season it may be hard to rely on any of the three runners regularly.
  • Kenneth Gainwell has started to mix in for starting reps. Surprisingly, Gainwell slipped to the fifth round of the NFL draft, so it would be a surprise to see him carve out a massive role in the offense immediately barring injury or some explosive plays early in the regular season. For now, it's safe to presume both Miles Sanders and Boston Scott will get looks in game action ahead of Gainwell.
  • Jalen Reagor has earned some positive buzz from coach Nick Sirianni. Notably, Sirianni complimented Reagor on his progression in the technical aspects of the game, as his athleticism has never been in doubt. After a disappointing rookie season, Reagor could be headed toward a second season in which he emerges as a threat alongside rookie wideout DeVonta Smith.
  • The Saints' wide receiver corps remain uninspiring in the absence of Michael Thomas. On Wednesday, Kawaan Baker got the chance to work with the first team opposite Marquez Callaway. There's no clear pecking order among that duo as well as Tre'Quan Smith, Deonte Harris, Lil'Jordan Humphrey and Chris Hogan. This will be a situation worth monitoring, as if a couple names of that group can emerge, they could have a significant role to start the season.
  • Kalif Raymond is reportedly emerging as the Lions' fourth receiver. That on its own isn't particularly inspiring news, but both Tyrell Williams and Breshad Perriman are ahead of him on the depth chart and have a history of injury. Raymond spent the last two seasons in Tennessee, where he served as a deep threat by combining to record seven receptions of more than 20 yards and four catches that went for greater than 40 yards.

A few preseason game participation notes to close us out:

  • Dak Prescott is unlikely to suit up against Houston on Saturday despite being a limited practice participant all week.
  • Zach Wilson will get 3-4 series for the Jets against Green Bay.
  • Kyler Murray will play Friday, though his workload has not yet been made public.
  • Patrick Mahomes could play the entire first half Friday against Arizona.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dan Marcus
Dan started covering fantasy sports in 2015, joining Rotowire in 2018. In addition to Rotowire, Dan has written for Baseball HQ and Rotoballer.
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