NFL Training Camp News and Notes: August 13

NFL Training Camp News and Notes: August 13

This article is part of our Training Camp Notes series.

Saturday was dominated by preseason action with eight games. We'll cover the biggest news of the day, with a particular focus on job battles.

Training Camp Storyline

Commanders' Rushing Attack

The Commanders have given us hints throughout the offseason that they weren't particularly enthused by the production of Antonio Gibson or with the thought of him being a workhorse back. First, they fought and ultimately beat out Buffalo for the services of J.D. McKissic. Even after knowing McKissic would be back in the mix, the Commanders selected Brian Robinson in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Since we've seen players hit the field for training camp, Robinson has been rumored to be in consideration for goal-line carries.

In their first preseason game Saturday, Gibson took the field first. However, he fumbled to end the Commanders' second offensive possession. Robinson took over thereafter and ripped off some big runs, including gains of 11, six and five yards before plunging into the end zone for a one-yard score. Gibson eventually re-entered the game with the second team but did little to salvage his performance. This went from a situation to approach cautiously to one of the more interesting battles to follow for the rest of training camp and the preseason.

Job Battles

  • Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield battling to be the Panthers' Week 1 quarterback is likely the truest quarterback competition in the league. Both played relatively well Saturday. Mayfield led a drive that ended with a field goal and connected with Shi Smith on some short passes to move the ball efficiently. Darnold took advantage of the short field that Gibson's aforementioned fumble afforded the Panthers' offense and connected with Rashard Higgins for a touchdown. Mayfield started Saturday, but after the game, coach Matt Rhule declined to name a starter for the regular season.
  • Mitch Trubisky played only one drive for the Steelers. He was sharp and seems to have a significant advantage for the starting role to begin the season. Both Mason Rudolph and Kenny Pickett showed flashes of effectiveness as well.
  • Isiah Pacheco continues to trend up. Not only was he on the field during Patrick Mahomes' lone possession, but he also entered the game before Ronald Jones. If Pacheco can earn the backup job in Kansas City, he could prove to be one of the better values in drafts (until ADP catches up) because Clyde Edwards-Helaire hasn't proven capable of being a three-down back.
  • The 49ers' backfield is also one to watch after news emerged that Elijah Mitchell might not play at all during the preseason. Jeff Wilson didn't play in Saturday's preseason game, likely because he's second on the depth chart. That leaves a battle between Trey Sermon and Tyrion Davis-Price for the third and fourth roles. As we saw in 2021, it's difficult to prognosticate how coach Kyle Shanahan will utilize his backs, but it's worth being familiar with the situation to pounce on potential value once one back is able to emerge (assuming Mitchell isn't healthy).

Injuries

  • Zach Wilson suffered a torn meniscus and bone bruise during Friday's game. While hardly a minor injury, that's close to a best-case scenario for Wilson and the Jets, as he should be back early in the season, if not ready for Week 1.
  • It's not likely to be anything of note within the next couple weeks, but DJ Moore missed Saturday's game with a sore shoulder. It was originally reported that he was a healthy scratch, but that turned out to be inaccurate. There's no indication it's a severe problem.
  • Danny Gray had a 99-yard performance in Friday's exhibition against the Packers, though he suffered a hip and back injury in the process. Gray could challenge for the third-receiver role in San Francisco if he proves healthy.

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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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