NFL Training Camp News and Notes: August 8

NFL Training Camp News and Notes: August 8

This article is part of our Training Camp Notes series.

We're just days away from the first full weekend of preseason action! Here's a breakdown of today's NFL news and notes.

Training Camp Storyline

Jaguars' Rushing Attack

Per John Shipley of SI.com, James Robinson (Achilles) handled first-team reps during Monday's practice.

After Cam Akers returned in less than six months from an Achilles' injury last year, the fact that Robinson is back on the field isn't as big a surprise as it would have been a year ago. Despite Robinson taking part in practice, he's still awaiting a return for clearance to participate in games. However, each account that has referenced his rehab notes that he's progressing very well.

Fantasy managers are treating Robinson as little more than an annoyance with Travis Etienne typically being drafted inside the top-15 running backs. On the other hand, Robinson is typically being selected around RB50. Although the Jaguars have given no indication as to how the backfield will be divided, all possibilities remain on the table. With Robinson having proven himself to be an excellent pass protector and receiver, he certainly could take on a large role as a pass-catching RB. It's also possible that Etienne could have work to do in pass protection, as his scouting profile typically pointed out that as an area that needed improvement. With Jacksonville having invested a first-round pick on Etienne, they should be plenty motivated to get them heavily involved in the offense. He profiles as an excellent receiver, but his dynamic running ability could make him a big factor in early downs. Unless clarity is provided during August, the ADP on these players is unlikely to see significant movement. Fantasy managers spending a high pick on Etienne need to be cognizant that Robinson could be a factor with potential to take away work. For those who believe this will happen, Robinson would become an excellent value pick.

Injuries

Darren Waller- Waller has now missed over a week of practices with an undisclosed injury. With no real idea as to what's going on here, fantasy managers need to be aware that this situation is beginning to linger. Fantasy gamers who are risk averse, may consider passing on Waller for an equivalent option when drafting. Otherwise, there is no concrete reason yet to lower him on personal draft boards.

Michael Gallup- Recently, Gallup has been on record by saying that he isn't optimistic that he'll be healthy by Week 1. And although that may be true, he was running and cutting on the side at Monday's practice. It should be noted that he has not been cleared to take part in actual practices. The good news is that he's on the field in some capacity, which could lead to him being ready at some point during the season. He's being drafted outside the top-55 WRs, and fantasy managers with the ability to stash him on a roster could end up with a value if he returns to full health at some point during the first quarter of the season.

Gus Edwards- Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic is suggesting that Edwards (knee) remains iffy in terms of his availability for Week 1. Despite this report, it simply comes from a beat reporter, so it's difficult to take it as little more than a reminder that the RB may not yet be at full health. Although he was almost in an equal time share with J.K. Dobbins down the stretch in 2020, Edwards is typically being drafted outside the top-60 RBs in fantasy drafts. Fantasy managers who feel that Edwards will be available for most of the season, will likely find him to be an outstanding bargain with potential for standalone value.

Jameis Winston- While recovering from an ACL injury that he suffered in Week 8 last season, Winston suffered a foot injury at Monday's practice. At first, the team thought it was an ankle injury, but a reevaluation proved otherwise. With no word provided as to when he may return, fantasy managers should just be aware that he's not currently at full health right now.

Job Battles

George Pickens- Although preseason depth charts that are provided by NFL teams frequently have little bearing, it should be noted that Pickens is currently listed as a starter for the Steelers. Based on training camp reports, Pickens has been playing extremely well in practices, which shouldn't necessarily be a surprise after he was selected in the second-round of this year's draft. Even if he isn't a starter in two-receiver sets, there's a strong chance that he sees plenty of snaps when the team puts three receivers on the field. He's typically being drafted outside the top-65 WRs, so he offers plenty of upside at a discount cost.

Jamison Crowder- Crowder showed well during Monday's practice, according to Joe Buscaglia of The Athletic, but he still appears to be in a battle with Isaiah McKenzie for the Bills' starting slot receiver role. Although Crowder has missed significant time over the years, when he's been on the field, he's been an extremely reliable and productive player. However, McKenzie, who is been in the league for five years, has yet to post a 300-yard receiving season on his resume. Aside from a big game against New England last year, McKenzie failed to reach 15 receiving yards in any game. Despite this role being up for grabs, it would seem that Crowder could eventually win out.

Raheem Mostert, Chase Edmonds- in another depth-chart report, the Dolphins currently have Mostert and Edmonds both listed with the first-string offense. Although anything can happen, Mostert is 30 years old while never seeing more than 137 carries in a season. Although he is well-versed in the new offense of scheme, he would seem to be an excellent fit as a change-of-pace player. In addition, the team paid Edmonds a substantial salary over two years, making him the only RB the team made a significant investment in. Unless Mostert has an unbelievable, it would be surprising if Edmonds wasn't the lead back to start the season.

Baker Mayfield- Even though it shouldn't be a surprise to fans who have seen both of the Panthers QBs playing in the past, Mike Garofolo of NFL Network is suggesting that Mayfield is putting himself in position to be the Week 1 starter. With weapons in the passing game such as DJ Moore and Christian McCaffrey, Mayfield may be able to produce as a top-20 option at QB.

Isiah Pacheco- According to Nate Taylor of The Athletic, Pacheco has caught the eye of coach Andy Reid. Although the coach noted that the rookie will run hard, he'll still have to learn the schemes, as well as when to run with patience. Although the initial report sounded glowing, it seems like there could be a rookie learning curve here. For now, it seems that Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Ronald Jones and Jerrick McKinnon may remain ahead of Pacheco on the depth chart.

Nick Westbrook-Ikhine- Titans' QB Ryan Tannehill said he has a lot of confidence in Westbrook-Ikhine. It appears as if his confidence has temporarily paid off, as the WR sits atop the depth chart along with Robert Woods. Last year, Westbrook-Ikhine started seven games while posting 476 receiving yards. Of course, it may be difficult to maintain that spot on the depth chart, as Tennessee spent a first-round draft pick on a Treylon Burks. It's not abnormal for teams to demote rookies while they earn their way into a prominent role. So, it may not be wise for fantasy managers to overreact to this news. However, this will be a situation to monitor this month.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jim Coventry
Coventry covers football for RotoWire. He started playing fantasy football in 1994 and won a national contest in 1996. He also nabbed five top-50 finishes in national contests from 2008 to 2012 before turning his attention to DFS. A published author, Coventry wrote a book about relationships, "The Secret of Life", in 2013.
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