The Latest Buzz Around Every NFL Training Camp Entering Preseason Week 1

Nick KostoraContributor IIIAugust 6, 2012

The Latest Buzz Around Every NFL Training Camp Entering Preseason Week 1

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    NFL training camps are abuzz with news, updates, fresh storylines and other juicy tidbits to tide fans over until the start of the regular season.

    As the first week of preseason football begins, each NFL team is dealing with an assortment of happenings, injuries and issues.

    Here is all the latest buzz around each of the league's 32 franchises.

Arizona Cardinals

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    The quarterback battle in Arizona Cardinals training camp between Kevin Kolb and John Skelton took an unfortunate turn during the annual Hall of Fame Game on Sunday night.

    Kolb left the game with a rib contusion in the first half and returned for the second half in street clothes.

    His numbers pre-injury were less than impressive, as Kolb went 1-of-4 for four yards and an interception in three drives of action.

    John Skelton, meanwhile, went 4-of-6 for 72 yards.

Atlanta Falcons

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    After releasing running back Robbie Frey on Saturday, the Atlanta Falcons signed Richard Medlin on Sunday, per D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

    Medlin was undrafted in 2011 and signed shortly thereafter by the New England Patriots.

    The Falcons have plenty of options ahead of Medlin at running back, but he could hope to compete for punt or kick return positioning.

Baltimore Ravens

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    With the loss of Terrell Suggs and the free-agency departure of Jarret Johnson, the Baltimore Ravens need someone to emerge at outside linebacker.

    Sergio Kindle is one of the guys vying to do just that, but he may need some audial help along the way.

    Kindle suffered permanent loss of hearing in his left ear after fracturing his skull in 2010.

    To combat that loss, Kindle and the Ravens may equip his helmet with a microphone to better hear teammates on the field, per Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun (h/t NFL.com).

    As long as Kindle can avoid issues with the playbook that plagued him last season, he may be well on his way to a breakout 2012 campaign.

Buffalo Bills

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    The Buffalo Bills defense was overhauled from the outside after the additions of Mario Williams and Mark Anderson in free agency and the drafting of rookie Stephon Gilmore.

    However, it may be the work of a player already on the roster that is creating the most buzz in camp.

    Linebacker Arthur Moats has reportedly been making the most of his reps with the Bills' first-team defense and has had great progress in his development.

    Moats is battling with eight-year veteran Kirk Morrison for the starting strong-side linebacker position.

Carolina Panthers

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    Kicker competitions do happen, but rarely are both the punting and place-kicking duties up for grabs on the same roster.

    Such is the case at Carolina Panthers training camp, as a franchise so used to the stability of guys like John Kasay, Todd Sauerbrun and Jason Baker has two tough battles taking place.

    Veteran Olindo Mare is trying to keep his job from former CFL kicker Justin Medlock.

    Meanwhile, the punting spot is wide open as 12-year veteran Nick Harris duels it out with rookie Brad Nortman.

Chicago Bears

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    When the Chicago Bears added Devin Thomas to their roster in March, they probably thought they added a great special teams piece to their depth chart.

    After all, Thomas' performance in the NFC Championship Game with the New York Giants helped propel the team to the Super Bowl.

    Unfortunately, the Bears will never get a chance to see that kind of magic, as Thomas retired Sunday at the young age of 25.

    "I enjoyed playing it for awhile. I had my greatest moments obviously with the Giants," Thomas told the New York Daily News. "I felt my spirit going other ways. I just felt it was a good time to let the game go. I think this is the perfect time."

Cincinnati Bengals

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    Derrick Harvey never lived up to expectations after the Jacksonville Jaguars selected him eighth in the 2008 NFL draft.

    That notion was clearly reaffirmed Sunday when the Cincinnati Bengals (Harvey's third team) released him and left themselves stuck with his $60,000 signing bonus.

    Harvey has a total of 92 tackles and eight sacks in 52 career games.

Cleveland Browns

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    The Cleveland Browns have lost linebacker Chris Gocong for the season after he suffered a torn right Achilles during Saturday morning practice, per Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer.

    The Browns are already without starting linebacker Scott Fujita for the first three games of the season and are young on the depth chart behind these two veterans.

    Rookie linebackers James-Michael Johnson and Emmanuel Acho will stand alongside Kaluka Maiava in trying to fill these gaping holes at outside linebacker.

Dallas Cowboys

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    Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones appears to be warming up to troubled receiver Dez Bryant...at least for now.

    "I'm seeing him do what you almost expect from him," Jones said Sunday, per Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com

    This is a stark and promising contrast from previous comments Jones made about Bryant being one misstep away from being a former Cowboy.

    In other Cowboys receiver news, Miles Austin strained his hamstring in Saturday's practice and will be out for up to a week, per the Associated Press.

Denver Broncos

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    Denver Broncos running back Mario Fannin tore his Achilles during a team scrimmage on Saturday, per The Denver Post.

    The injury occurs nearly one year to the day after he suffered a torn ACL last season.

    Knowshon Moreno, Lance Ball and Jeremiah Johnson are left to compete for the third spot on the Broncos' running back depth chart.

    Willis McGahee and Ronnie Hillman have a firm hold on the No. 1 and No. 2 spots, respectively.

Detroit Lions

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    Detroit Lions defensive end Cliff Avril has decided to end his holdout and report to training camp, per the Associated Press.

    Avril is currently set to play under a one-year, $10.6 million franchise tender and will become a free agent after the season.

    Long-term contract negotiations had recently stalled, but Avril is essential to Detroit's defensive plans.

    He recorded a career-high 11 sacks last season and is Detroit's best pass-rusher.

Green Bay Packers

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    Green Bay Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings and offensive tackle Marshall Newhouse both sustained concussions during a scrimmage on Friday, per Weston Hodkiewicz of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

    Both players missed practice on Sunday, but neither was ruled out for the Packers' first preseason game on Thursday against the San Diego Chargers.

    The scrimmage they were injured in had a staggering reported attendance of 55,605 fans.

Houston Texans

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    Three injured Houston Texans will all make their returns to training camp on Monday.

    Nick Scurfield is reporting on the Texans' official website that wide receiver Andre Johnson (groin), left tackle Duane Brown (ankle) and cornerback Kareem Jackson (hamstring), who all suffered injuries this week, will be back on the field in time for the Texans' preseason opener against the Carolina Panthers on August 11.

    Any injury to Johnson has to be particularly scary considering his history, but he is recovering well from his minor groin injury.

Indianapolis Colts

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    There are plenty of typical "scrub rookies" that try to work their way onto NFL rosters.

    Andrew Luck, however, certainly is not one of them.

    The Indianapolis Colts rookie signal-caller may have claimed to feel like any other scrub on Sunday, but he has been more than impressive in his first week.

    Luck completed 122-of-162 passes for seven touchdowns and five interceptions in his first week of team drills.

    And yes, random stats like that are tracked.

Jacksonville Jaguars

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    Some stories out of training camp have little to do with actual football, and such is the case with what took place after the Jacksonville Jaguars training camp on Sunday.

    Head coach Mike Mularkey gathered the team and invited the 1,200 fans in attendance to watch the Olympic final of the women's 400-meter dash from inside of EverBank Field, per the Associated Press.

    Jaguars cornerback Aaron Ross' wife, Sanya Richards-Ross, was among the competitors and took home the gold in the event.

    Ross was in London for the event and will be back at practice Tuesday.

Kansas City Chiefs

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    What every Kansas City Chiefs fan (and plenty of fantasy owners) want to know heading into 2012 is the status of Jamaal Charles.

    Bleacher Report's own Matt Miller reports that his "trademark quickness and agility" are back and ready to go.

    Add to this the clean bills of health for Tony Moeaki and Eric Berry, and you have a Chiefs team ready to compete in the AFC West.

Miami Dolphins

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    Every team needs a punter, and the Miami Dolphins have locked theirs up for the next five years.

    The Dolphins came to terms with punter Brandon Fields on an extension that makes him the fifth-highest-paid punter in the NFL.

    Fields will receive $3.3 million in guaranteed money, and the deal is worth up to $13.3 million total.

    The 28-year-old punter averaged 48.8 yards per punt last season, third in the NFL.

Minnesota Vikings

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    The promising career of Minnesota Vikings rookie wide receiver Greg Childs took an unfortunate turn during practice on Saturday.

    Childs was carted of the field after tearing both of his patella tendons.

    The Arkansas product is now "almost surely" going to miss the entire 2012 season, per Tom Pelissero of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

    This leaves the Vikings with little to no depth at the position and a serious need to add weapons to Christian Ponder's arsenal.

New England Patriots

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    The New England Patriots depth chart refuses to settle down along the offensive line.

    The latest bit of shuffling is due to the retirement of 31-year-old offensive guard Robert Gallery, per Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald.

    Gallery, widely considered a bust at offensive tackle after being drafted second overall by the Oakland Raiders in 2004, provided some security at guard for the Patriots, but he is not too big of a loss.

    The Patriots had already entered camp without Logan Mankins and Brian Waters, while Dan Connolly, Ryan Wendell and Donald Thomas have taken starting reps at guard.

New Orleans Saints

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    There are new developments in the ongoing Jonathan Vilma saga, and they could result in the New Orleans Saints linebacker seeing the field in 2012.

    ESPN is reporting that the NFL has offered to reduce Vilma's suspension to eight games if he drops a civil lawsuit against commissioner Roger Goodell accusing him of defamation of character.

    Saints defensive end Will Smith, Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Anthony Hargrove and Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita could all see their sentences reduced as well if the settlement goes through.

New York Giants

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    New York Giants cornerback Terrell Thomas is scheduled to meet with Dr. James Andrews to find out the severity of his surgically repaired right ACL, per Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPNNewYork.com.

    ACL tears have become a common theme among Giants players recently.

    Wide receiver Domenik Hixon, linebacker Clint Sintim and cornerback Brian Witherspoon all have suffered multiple torn ACLs in recent years. 

    If Thomas does have to miss any extended time, Prince Amukamara, Michael Coe, Justin Tryon, Jayron Hosley and Bruce Johnson are all candidates to replace him as a starting cornerback.

New York Jets

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    One way or another, New York Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes seems to always find his way into the headlines.

    His latest news actually involves an on-field scare after coach Rex Ryan believed Holmes probably broke a rib during a scrimmage on Saturday night.

    The injury was caused by a clean hit from cornerback (and prospective wideout) Antonio Cromartie. 

    Luckily, Holmes did not break the rib, but he is day-to-day with the injury.

Oakland Raiders

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    Oakland Raiders linebacker Aaron Curry feels he is close to returning to the active roster following stem-cell therapy this offseason, per Paul Gutierrez of CSN Bay Area.

    The Raiders need everyone they can get at linebacker, and with star Rolando McClain potentially lost to a personal-conduct suspension, it is essential that Curry gets healthy and on the field.

    He has not lived up to the hype since coming out of Wake Forest, but he is still a solid presence at linebacker.

Philadelphia Eagles

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    After the tragic and startling death of his son, Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid left training camp to be with his family.

    Now, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie is saying Reid will be back with the team sometime this week, per NFL.com.

    Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg and defensive coordinator Juan Castillo have led the Eagles practices in his absence.

    Philadelphia's preseason schedule begins Thursday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger sat out practice Sunday to nurse his injured ankle, per Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

    The injury occurred during Saturday's practice after Roethlisberger was stepped on by an offensive lineman.

    Head coach Mike Tomlin and Roethlisberger himself both downplayed the severity of the injury, but it is the same ankle that hampered "Big Ben" during part of the 2011 season.

San Diego Chargers

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    With Ronnie Brown now on the San Diego Chargers depth chart, it only makes sense that the Wildcat formation makes an appearance at the team's training camp.

    Such was the case during practice Friday, as the Chargers went over the formation during walkthroughs, per Bill Williamson of ESPN.com.

    The Chargers do have a history of using the formation, dating back to the days of Darren Sproles and Legedu Naanee. 

    The Wildcat may never be a huge part of San Diego's offense, but it can't hurt to have an extra trick in the playbook.

San Francisco 49ers

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    Chemistry does not happen overnight, but time is not in the favor of Randy Moss at San Francisco 49ers training camp.

    Moss has reportedly not built any kind of on-field chemistry yet with any of the quarterbacks in 49ers camp, and the offense has struggled, especially in the red zone.

    Of course, the offense does have to face one of the NFL's top defenses every day in practice, but Moss and Alex Smith need to get on the same page sometime in the coming weeks.

Seattle Seahawks

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    The current state of the Seattle Seahawks receiving corps is anything but boring.

    Seattle parted ways with Antonio Bryant on Sunday, per NFL.com. Yes, Antonio Bryant, the same guy who has not played in an NFL game since 2009.

    This may not be an exciting piece of news, but it does come only a month after the Seahawks cut ties with wideout Mike Williams.

    This leaves the team with Sidney Rice as the clear No. 1 option and plenty of horses in the race for the No. 2 spot.

    Golden Tate, Braylon Edwards, Doug Baldwin, Ben Obomanu, Kris Durham and Ricardo Lockette are all vying for that position.

St. Louis Rams

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    Questions about St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford's durability are likely going to follow him throughout the 2012 season.

    The severe high-ankle sprain that forced him to miss six games in 2011 is still an issue and not yet at 100 percent, per Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

    Bradford feels the ankle is "as good as it's going to feel," but this is still cause for concern for the Rams.

    The quarterbacks on the depth chart behind Bradford include Kellen Clemens and Tom Brandstater.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Once upon a time, the Detroit Lions had to decide between drafting Ndamukong Suh or Gerald McCoy.

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are hoping McCoy finally showcases the skill that made that a tough decision for the Lions just a few short years ago.

    McCoy has not lived up to his potential since joining the Bucs roster, but he appears determined and ready to impress in 2012.

    Injuries have slowed him, to be sure, but 2012 is a fresh start. "Gerald McCoy is out here on a mission,” Bucs defensive tackle Roy Miller said, per Ira Kaufman of The Tampa Tribune

    Miller continued:

    He’s going against two Pro Bowl guards every day in Carl Nicks and Davin Joseph, and he’s making plays all over the field.  When you’ve got a guy with that kind of talent on a mission like that, something dangerous could happen.

    That is just the kind of buzz Tampa Bay fans are hoping for.

Tennessee Titans

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    Per NFL.com, Tennessee Titans wide receiver Kenny Britt will meet with commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday in regard to his recent DUI arrest.

    Britt has had eight different issues with the law since entering the league in 2009, and under the NFL's personal-conduct policy, he could be facing up to a year-long suspension.

    Britt is also battling with recovery from knee surgery and is currently on the Titans' physically unable to perform (PUP) list.

Washington Redskins

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    Washington Redskins training camp is on the move, or at least it will be next year.

    Per CBSSports.com, Virginia governor Bob McDonnell says the team has chosen four sites in the city of Richmond in which to hold training camp next season.

    The relocation package includes a $4 million investment by the state and $2 million from Loudoun County. 

    The Redskins' final "Fan Appreciation Day" at their current site in Ashburn, Va., had a tremendous turnout of 24,650 people.