Just like every year in recent memory, injuries have run through the league this summer during training camp and preseason. So, with not many headlines rolled out Tuesday, we’ll use the main part of Wednesday’s Dose to touch on some key injury news from around the league.
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Mike Evans was forced to leave the Bucs’ second preseason game Monday night with a strained hamstring. Coach Lovie Smith downplayed the injury Tuesday morning, but it was later revealed Evans will miss the remainder of the preseason. All indications are the Bucs expect their No. 1 receiver ready for Week 1, but we’ve seen soft-tissue ailments linger before, particularly with receivers. As long as Evans is back for the opener, he could become a good value for those holding their fantasy drafts after the preseason. Evans didn’t catch a single one of his five targets this preseason and could see his ADP drop even more. It’s already dipped a couple spots since the beginning of the month. Evans checked in at No. 22 in Evan Silva’s latest Top 200 on Tuesday.
After missing 10 days of action with knee tendinitis, Rueben Randle was back at Giants practice. This comes a day after coach Tom Coughlin expressed confusion over Randle’s extended absence. Randle’s had a knack for getting under the skin of his coaches, but he remains locked into three-wide sets in a potentially-high-speed Giants offense. Randle is currently going undrafted in 12-team leagues. He’s a great value pick worthy of a dart throw late in drafts just on talent alone.
Bad news out of Cowboys camp. Top cornerback Orlando Scandrick collided with undrafted rookie WR Lucky Whitehead on the practice field Tuesday evening and suffered a torn ACL and MCL in his right knee. It’s a mammoth loss for the Cowboys. Scandrick is easily their top cover man. Without Scandrick, the Cowboys will have to rely on Brandon Carr once again. Carr is coming off an up-and-down season where he was yanked from shadow duties toward the end of the year. First-round CB Byron Jones will also have to be thrown into the fire immediately. He’s working his way back from a shoulder injury suffered earlier in camp. Jones also underwent shoulder surgery in college. Morris Claiborne will be the third corner in sub-package duties and is coming off a torn patellar tendon.
The Patriots continue to be without WRs Julian Edelman (ankle) and Brandon LaFell (foot). Edelman hasn’t practiced since August 2, while LaFell remains on the active/PUP list and hasn’t practiced at all during camp. This is the main reason the Patriots went out and signed Reggie Wayne on Monday. Edelman, however, appears close to a return. There’s little doubt he’ll be ready come Week 1. LaFell, on the other hand, has been mentioned as a candidate to open the year on reserve/PUP.
In Other News…
A pair of veterans found new homes on Tuesday. Michael Vick inked a one-year deal with the Steelers, and Evan Mathis signed a one-year pact of his own with the Broncos. Vick will serve as Ben Roethlisberger’s backup with Bruce Gradkowski heading to I.R. after needing finger and shoulder surgeries. Mathis’ addition is a big one for Denver. After losing LT Ryan Clady to a torn ACL earlier this offseason, it was a bit of a who’s who up front for the Broncos. Mathis will slide in between rookie LT Ty Sambrailo and second-year C Matt Paradis. RG Louis Vasquez and RT Chris Clark round out the line. Mathis was Pro Football Focus’ No. 2 overall guard last season.
Coach Jay Gruden was adamant Tuesday that he won’t be benching Robert Griffin III. Although he suffered a concussion last Thursday in the Redskins’ second preseason game, RGIII will make the start in Saturday’s regular-season dress rehearsal against the Ravens. RGIII has never quite fit into Gruden’s offense, but he’s also been hurt a ton and unable to gather momentum. Kirk Cousins has predictably looked better against backups, and remains the No. 2. If RGIII is going to play with as much reckless abandon as he has this preseason, Cousins will be making starts in 2015.
Quarterback & Running Back Slants
Coach Pete Carroll said undrafted rookie Thomas Rawls isn’t competing with Christine Michael for No. 3 running back duties, as Michael appears to have sewn up the job. … Cleared for practice Monday, Rams first-rounder Todd Gurley took part in team drills for the first time Tuesday. … Chris Ivory said he’s been doing a lot more in the passing game this summer. He’s on the RB2 map. … Melvin Gordon is expected to get plenty of work in Saturday’s preseason game. … Bengals released QB Josh Johnson, locking in A.J. McCarron as Andy Dalton’s backup. … Ryan Tannehill’s deep ball has looked noticeably better than it has in his previous three seasons. … Coach Mike Pettine said rookie Duke Johnson has looked “explosive” since returning to practice. … Jameis Winston’s right ankle “injury” isn’t believed to be serious. … Joique Bell (knee, Achilles’) expects to be ready come Week 1. … Coach Gary Kubiak said Ronnie Hillman deserves more snaps. Montee Ball is being pushed for No. 3 running back duties by Juwan Thompson. … ESPN Giants reporter Dan Graziano thinks there’s a chance Andre Williams could pass Rashad Jennings on the depth chart. … Mark Ingram wants to be used more in the passing game. This is what he said last year, too.
Wide Receiver & Tight End Slants
Brian Quick (shoulder surgery) will play in Saturday’s preseason game after being cleared for practice on Monday. … The Lions have no plans to manage Clavin Johnson’s snaps this season. … Jordan Reed (hamstring) said he’s 100 percent after returning to practice Tuesday. New TE Derek Carrier is listed as Reed’s backup. … Rookie Ty Montgomery operated as the Packers’ No. 3 receiver in Tuesday’s practice, ahead of Jeff Janis and Myles White. … Rookie DeVante Parker (foot) has yet to resume cutting. … Breshad Perriman (knee) remains sidelined at Ravens practice. He’s been out since July 30. … DeSean Jackson (shoulder) is expected to miss Saturday’s preseason game. He’ll be fine for Week 1. … Sammy Watkins (glute) is still out at Bills practice. … Charles Clay is battling a “nagging” right knee injury. … Victor Cruz confirmed he is dealing with calf inflammation. … Devin Funchess (hamstring) returned to practice Tuesday. His ADP has climbed four rounds since Kelvin Benjamin tore his ACL a week ago Wednesday. … Vikings TE Chase Ford isn’t expected to make the 53-man roster. … Jace Amaro remains sidelined with a sprained shoulder. … Percy Harvin (hip) was back at practice Tuesday. … Coach John Fox, a notorious hider of injuries, said Alshon Jeffery (calf) remains day-to-day.