This article is part of our Training Camp Notes series.
We've hit the first week of preseason games, so news will start flowing in more consistently. Zach Wilson was the biggest injury in Friday's small slate of games, but there are plenty of other notable developments to cover from practices around the league.
Training Camp Storyline
Raiders passing attack
Darren Waller has been sidelined from practice since early August, though the issue was previously undisclosed. Waller is only expected to miss another week with a hamstring injury, so there should be plenty of time for him to return prior Week 1. It's also a natural segue to discuss the Raiders' passing attack, which has a new alpha after the acquisition of Davante Adams this offseason. Hunter Renfrow finished 17th in the league in target share last season but is unlikely to replicate that number again due to the presence of Adams. Renfrow also will face target competition from Waller, who maintained a target share of 2.5 percentage points greater than Renfrow last season.
Derek Carr is the final piece of the equation. He finished 19th in fantasy points per game last season but is being drafted 13th overall in NFFC Rotowire Online Championship leagues. While some of that bump may come from Josh McDaniels taking over as head coach, fantasy managers are also projecting significant improvement from Carr thanks to the addition of Adams.
- Elijah Mitchell is likely out for the entire preseason with a hamstring injury. There's optimism he'll be ready for the regular season, though Mitchell's absence could provide an opening for any of Jeff Wilson, Tyrion Davis-Price or Trey Sermon to challenge for the lead role in San Francisco's backfield.
- Zach Ertz is "recovering well" from a calf injury that has sidelined him since Aug. 4. He missed Friday's preseason game but appears to be in line to play at full strength for Week 1. Ertz could also get off to a fast start, as DeAndre Hopkins will be out for the first six games and rookie Trey McBride has also been sidelined for a significant portion of camp with a back injury.
- Drake London suffered a knee injury in Friday's preseason game against the Lions. The team is optimistic the injury isn't serious, but more information will come Saturday. London is expected to pair with Kyle Pitts to serve as a potentially dynamic duo for Marcus Mariota to target in Atlanta.
- Kirk Cousins has COVID-19, but that shouldn't have any significant impact on the outcome of his season as he is expected back as early as Tuesday.
- We have a few backup running back competitions to catch up on. In Cincinnati, Samaje Perine appears to be closing in on wrapping up the backup running back job behind Joe Mixon. Perine won't challenge for the top role with Joe Mixon in the fold, and he did manage 27 receptions in 2021.
- Meanwhile in Tampa Bay, Rachaad White is challenging Ke'Shawn Vaughn for the backup running back job. Both players seem to have impressed in training camp, and this is a battle worth monitoring for the rest of the preseason. Starting running back Leonard Fournette has missed six games combined across the last two seasons with a pair of ankle sprains and a hamstring strain. That could open an opportunity at some point during the campaign.
- After James White's retirement, the pass-catching role in New England's backfield became vacant. Rookie Pierre Strong could ultimately occupy the role, but for now Ty Montgomery appears to have the inside track per reports from the Patriots' official site. Even with that development, the backfield is likely to remain muddled enough that no true fantasy contributor will be able to emerge.
- Ja'Marr Chase has reportedly worked out of the slot. He lined up inside at only a 12 percent rate in his rookie season, but it's not a big surprise that the team will look to deploy him in different scenarios in 2022. It's unclear if that will turn Tyler Boyd into a part-time player, as he occupied the slot at a 75 percent rate last year.