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Joe's Notes: Week 4 Training Camp Summary - Footballguys

The Footballguys Training Camp Update Team and Joe Bryant take our comprehensive Footballguys Training Camp Updates and distills them down to the "Need To Know" level.

One of the best and most comprehensive features we do every year is our Footballguys Training Camp Updates. Every week in August, our Bob Henry and Jason Wood and their team of Footballguys Staffers cover every player that matters from every NFL team. It's incredible and frankly, probably worth the price of the Footballguys Season Long Pro subscription just by itself. Each edition is almost 40 pages long.

While I encourage you to read every word of every week, I also understand Life Happens. And one of the more valuable services Footballguys can add is saving you time. For this article, I had the idea of taking the comprehensive Training Camp Update and distilling it down into 80 proof shots of the Need-to-Know material. Some teams will have more news than others. Because that's how it works in real life. Much of it will be from the Camp Updates, some of it will be my takes but all of it will hopefully be useful to you. And make sure to jump on our Season Long Pro subscription to continue seeing this type of stuff all year long. And if this feature is helpful to you, shoot me an email at bryant@footballguys.comand let me know.

Let's get to it.


Arizona Cardinals | Depth Chart | Footballguys Team Report

  • Quarterback Sam Bradford will be the team's starting quarterback in Week 1 as the team continues to use caution with Josh Rosen.
  • Running back David Johnson will rest the last two preseason games and is locked in as the team's offensive threat.
  • Running backs Chase Edmonds and T.J. Logan looked explosive against the Cowboys and sit right under David Johnson on the depth chart.
  • Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald continues to get the offseason veteran treatment and sits out the preseason games.
  • Wide receivers Christian Kirk and Chad Williams still have a handle on WR2 and WR3 duties even with a quiet week.

Atlanta Falcons | Depth Chart | Footballguys Team Report

  • Quarterback Matt Ryan hasn't turned the ball over during the preseason and has put in extra work as a red zone decision-maker, but he will remain vulnerable to pressure against the better defensive units in the league.
  • Wide receiver Calvin Ridley has made big plays and will see significant red zone targets but has also dropped the ball enough that he could struggle for periods of the season if he begins overthinking his assignments.
  • Tight ends Austin Hooper and Eric Saubert will be productive players in the play-action passing game and Hooper could become of the biggest beneficiaries of red zone targets from Ryan.
  • Newly signed fullback Jalston Fowler is a running back/fullback hybrid with receiving skills, special teams experience, and ball carrying talent to earn the No. 3 spot on the running back depth chart and the No. 2 spot behind starting fullback Rick Ortiz.

Baltimore Ravens | Depth Chart | Footballguys Team Report

  • Quarterback Joe Flacco has great chemistry with his new receivers – a group that is much deeper than it was in 2017.
  • There has been little news on running back Alex Collins throughout the preseason – a good sign that his health is as expected and his role is secure.
  • Wide receivers Michael Crabtree and John Brown have excellent skills that complement each other well, with Crabtree able to run routes at all levels and Brown being a big-play specialist.
  • The wide receivers group is legitimately four players deep, with Willie Snead IV a capable slot player and Chris Moore's deep speed being an asset that will get him on the field.
  • Tight end Hayden Hurst is out three to four weeks after a procedure he required for a stress fracture.

Buffalo Bills | Depth Chart | Footballguys Team Report

  • Rookie quarterback Josh Allen had a rough start against the Bengals, getting sacked 5 times as the offensive line gave him very little protection.
  • Quarterback Nathan Peterman continued his strong preseason and looks like the favorite to open the season as the starter.
  • Running back LeSean McCoy sat out with a minor groin injury while Chris Ivory and Marcus Murphy split time with the starting offense.
  • The tight end position looks deep and continues to be a focal point of the offense, pointing to good things for Charles Clay this year.
  • Cornerback Vontae Davis appeared to be benched in the Bengals game, which opens up a new competition for the starting position.

Carolina Panthers | Depth Chart | Footballguys Team Report

  • Quarterback Cam Newton's competitive "Superman" nature has been rearing its head, but he has made great strides in assimilating to Norv Turner's system with an emphasis on quick, often shorter throws.
  • Quarterback Taylor Heinicke looks to have won the backup spot over Garrett Gilbert.
  • As much as head coach Ron Rivera seems to like wide receiver Damiere Byrd, he will most likely be relegated to the special teams unit.
  • Running back Christian McCaffrey looks much-improved between-the-tackles and will continue to be a primary target for a quarterback who will be looking to dump off a lot of balls behind a struggling offensive line.
  • Although McCaffrey will see a lot of work in the Panthers offense, tight end Greg Olsen remains an important go-to guy for his quarterback.

Chicago Bears | Depth Chart | Footballguys Team Report

  • Head coach Matt Nagy rested nearly all of the Bears starters in their second-to-last preseason game on Saturday afternoon.
  • Nagy continues to insist that running back Jordan Howard will remain on the field on third downs, which would bump up his fantasy value and likely hurt Tarik Cohen.
  • Rookie wide receiver Javon Wims exploded for 114 yards and a touchdown to make a strong case for a depth roster spot.
  • Tight Ends Adam Shaheen and Dion Sims both are out indefinitely with injuries, but Trey Burton could be very productive in this tight-end friendly offense.
  • Rookie linebacker Roquan Smith missed time this week with a hamstring problem after a 29-day holdout, leading to concerns about his readiness for Week 1.


Cincinnati Bengals | Depth Chart | Footballguys Team Report

  • Quarterback Andy Dalton was nearly perfect in the preseason dress rehearsal, throwing for 180 yards and 2 touchdowns in just a quarter and a half of action.
  • The running game again struggled with running backs Giovani Bernard and Joe Mixon combining for just 10 rushing yards.
  • Wide receiver John Ross has solidified his hold on a starting job and made a spectacular 57-yard touchdown catch on the Bengals' first offensive play.
  • Receivers A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd are also locked in as starters and both racked up over 50 receiving yards in the first half.
  • Tight end Tyler Eifert made his 2018 debut and came through unscathed. As long as he can remain healthy, he will be a big part of the offense.
  • The starting defense had five first-half sacks with defensive end Carl Lawson leading the way.

Cleveland Browns | Depth Chart | Footballguys Team Report

  • Quarterback Tyrod Taylor is the starter and should be ok after a finger injury scare against the Eagles.
  • Despite a poor showing against a tough Philadelphia defense, Quarterback Baker Mayfield has likely earned the backup job over Drew Stanton.
  • Wide receiver Josh Gordon was moved to the active roster and may be available to play in week one although coach Jackson said he won't start Week 1.
  • Wide receiver Rashard Higgins should see more playing time this year after a strong August.
  • Defensive end Myles Garrett flashed against the Eagles and is showing signs of having a big year.

Dallas Cowboys | Depth Chart | Footballguys Team Report

  • The offensive line is battling injury concerns, with All-Pro center Travis Frederick's auto-immune disease chief among them.
  • Quarterback Dak Prescott has strung together consecutive weeks of top-notch practices and was given the week off against the Cardinals.
  • Running back Ezekiel Elliott was given the night off against the Cardinals but is in fantastic shape and ready to be the offensive engine in Week 1.
  • Wide receiver Michael Gallup is the odds-on favorite to lead the team in targets after a phenomenal preseason, but the team will use up to five receivers regularly.
  • Tight end Blake Jarwin started the dress rehearsal but didn't do much. Rico Gathers, a forgotten man this preseason, was the most productive tight end of the game.

Denver Broncos | Depth Chart | Footballguys Team Report

  • Rookie running back Royce Freeman continues to shine as an all-around back, and he may be looking at the lion's share of the team's "committee."
  • Among the wide receivers, Emmanuel Sanders is a clear early favorite of quarterback Case Keenum's – while Demaryius Thomas has been quiet.
  • At tight end, Jeff Heuerman may be raining on Jake Butt's parade, drawing gobs of praise as a downfield playmaker and blocker.

Detroit Lions | Depth Chart | Footballguys Team Report

  • Quarterback Matthew Stafford has many weapons at his disposal, and he has a chance to have a big year.
  • Running back LeGarrette Blount got the start, but he also saw time late in the game, and the way the Lions have used their running backs has been confusing, pointing to a committee approach.
  • Wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr is going to get plenty of shots to make plays with the ball in the air as he has earned Stafford's trust via his ability to win in contested catch situations.
  • Wide receiver Kenny Golladay should see the field enough in three-receiver sets and is set up to be an excellent red-zone weapon.
  • Tight end Hakeem Valles has potentially played his way onto the roster, and he has a chance to fill a void at the position if Luke Willson's knee injury lingers.

Green Bay Packers | Depth Chart | Footballguys Team Report

  • Running Back Ty Montgomery's latest injury keeps the Packers' crowded running back outlook cloudy. Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams will eventually share ground duties, but injuries and Jones' suspension have made things murky.
  • Wide receiver Randall Cobb isn't specifically on the trading block, but comes expensively at a deep position – it's fair to wonder whether he's long for this roster.
  • With all of the impressive youngsters showcasing big-play chops, rookie wide receiver J'Mon Moore could be on the outside looking in for a roster spot.
  • Tight end Jimmy Graham continues to show great rapport with Aaron Rodgers, particularly on timing and goal-line routes.

Houston Texans | Depth Chart | Footballguys Team Report

  • Running back Lamar Miller is far and away the best running back on Houston's roster and should be a true three-down back.
  • Running Back Alfred Blue is the top backup; he's in line for a heavy workload should anything happen to Miller.
  • Wide Receiver Will Fuller V is nursing a minor hamstring injury, but his status for Week 1 is not in jeopardy.
  • Defensive end J.J. Watt and outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney, looked great in their preseason debuts. The Texans defense is loaded with talent.

Indianapolis Colts | Depth Chart | Footballguys Team Report

  • Andrew Luck had his best performance of the preseason. He showed he isn't afraid to scramble or take big hits, and delivered an accurate 15-yard strike to Eric Ebron for a touchdown. There's been some talk about Luck not having his fastball, but the mood seems good. He is dealing with a recent foot issue, but the team doesn't seem concerned.
  • Running back Marlon Mack (hamstring) may not make it back in time for Week 1. Jordan Wilkins, Nyhiem Hines, and Christine Michael have shared first-team reps in Mack's absence, but the trio combined for 37 yards on 27 carries Saturday night. This seems like a situation to avoid.
  • The shoulder sprain wide receiver T.Y. Hilton suffered last week was proven minor, as he suited up with no restrictions against the 49ers.
  • Tight end Eric Ebron was the star of the team's regular season dress rehearsal, catching all five of his targets for a team-high 54 yards and a touchdown.

Jacksonville Jaguars | Depth Chart | Footballguys Team Report

  • Quarterback Blake Bortles had a down game against Atlanta throwing two interceptions.
  • Running back Leonard Fournette looks ready for the season as he ran for 57 yards and a touchdown while catching three passes for 18 yards.
  • The Jaguars have been running two-back sets and look strong doing so with a trio of Fournette, Yeldon, and Grant – which may end up being the most talented running back trio in the league.
  • Wide receiver Marqise Lee was carted off the field with a knee injury which looked to be a season-ending injury.
  • Wide receiver Donte Moncrief finally had a strong showing and ended with three catches for 62 yards on five targets.
  • Wide receivers Keelan Cole, Dede Westbrook, Donte Moncrief, and D.J. Chark Jr will all see increased roles with the injury to Marqise Lee

Kansas City Chiefs | Depth Chart | Footballguys Team Report

  • Quarterback Patrick Mahomes operates a complex offense and he's doing a strong job of spreading the ball around to a multitude of talented targets, which is a great sign he's in store for a productive first year as a starter who is making big and small plays.
  • Running backs Kareem Hunt and Spencer Ware are healthy and should serve as one of the more productive backfield tandems in the league although Hunt should earn the majority of the touches.
  • Wide receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce are the favorites to remain the most productive targets in the passing game because they are targeted in every range of the field and the scheme continues to work to get them mismatches.
  • Wide receiver Sammy Watkins has gotten open throughout the summer and the coaching staff hasn't ruled out the possibility of Watkins becoming a production leader who will rival Hill but thus far, he is the receiver who is the target of the most miscommunications with Mahomes.
  • Linebackers Reggie Ragland and Anthony Hitchens are new to the Chiefs and haven't played enough to have great in-game communication, which leads to penalties and coverage mistakes that could plague this unit during the year.

Los Angeles Chargers | Depth Chart | Footballguys Team Report

  • Wide Receiver Tyrell Williams is nursing foot soreness.
  • While Wide Receiver Mike Williams played with the starters against the Saints, this was largely a result of Tyrell Williams sitting out with foot soreness. Mike Williams's usage in preseason points more towards a reserve to start the season than a first team player.
  • The tight ends have been unproductive thus far in camp. Virgil Green has been the starter, but his role has been small, allowing for expanded targets in the passing game to strong receiving options at running back and a deep wide receiver corps.

Los Angeles Rams | Depth Chart | Footballguys Team Report

  • The Rams offensive starters have yet to play during a preseason game and are unlikely to play in Week 4 of the preseason. The offense is expected to be good, but without much evidence from the preseason to see critical data points like the relationship between Jared Goff and Brandin Cooks.
  • Running back Malcolm Brown continues to earn the first usage behind Todd Gurley, but John Kelly has had the better camp. A key to monitor will likely be pass protection, where Brown is more proven and dependable than Kelly at this point in their respective careers.
  • All Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald continues to hold out without much progress on a new contract.

Miami Dolphins | Depth Chart | Footballguys Team Report

  • Quarterback Ryan Tannehill continues to have an efficient preseason, but the red zone area is still a struggle.
  • Running back Kenyan Drake has been the best player on the Dolphins offense and should be featured heavily.
  • Wide receiver DeVante Parker is out with a hand injury and will have to compete with Albert Wilson for a starting job when he returns.
  • Wider Receivers Danny Amendola and Kenny Stills are shaping up as the two top fantasy options at the position.
  • Tight end Mike Gesicki will be the go-to option in the red zone.

Minnesota Vikings | Depth Chart | Footballguys Team Report

  • Quarterback Kirk Cousins looked the part this week and showed a great connection with both wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen.
  • Running back Dalvin Cook is healthy and saw game action for the first time since Week 4 last season.
  • Running back Latavius Murray continues to demand touches and likely will be more than just a handcuff option to teammate Dalvin Cook.
  • Wide receiver Laquon Treadwell had a strong showing this week and is locked in as the teams WR3.
  • Tight end Kyle Rudolph continues a quiet offseason but still remains as Cousins top threat outside of Diggs and Thielen.

New England Patriots | Depth Chart | Footballguys Team Report

  • Running back Rex Burkhead's knee injury appears relatively minor, and he remains the leading candidate to handle most of the backfield work to open the year.
  • Rookie running back Sony Michel remains without a firm timetable to return; he may find himself sitting the first week or two of the season.
  • With the losses of wide receivers Kenny Britt (cut) and Eric Decker (retired), the Patriots' plans are coming into focus with Phillip Dorsett poised to start outside Week 1.
  • Returner and gadget receiver Cordarrelle Patterson looks set for an early-season role in the offense – he led the team in targets in the third preseason game.

New Orleans Saints | Depth Chart | Footballguys Team Report

  • Running back Alvin Kamara will remain the backfield's catalyst, but youngster Jonathan Williams has risen to the top of the heap to replace Mark Ingram II's interior running early on.
  • Veteran receivers Ted Ginn Jr and Cameron Meredith aren't standing out, but rookie Tre'Quan Smith continues to impress head coach Sean Payton.
  • Tight end Ben Watson looks healthy and rejuvenated for his 15th season – and there's reason to believe he'll be featured in a noticeable fashion.
  • The Saints acquired backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater in a trade Tuesday.

New York Giants | Depth Chart | Footballguys Team Report

  • Quarterback Eli Manning was surgically efficient in the preseason dress rehearsal.
  • Running back Saquon Barkley returned to practice on Sunday and looked no worse for wear.
  • The team reached an agreement for a new contract for star receiver Odell Beckham Jr Jr.
  • Tight end Evan Engram suffered a concussion and remains in the protocol.

New York Jets | Depth Chart | Footballguys Team Report

  • The Jets look headed for an RBBC, with rumors flying that they will ride the hot hand, potentially neutering both Isaiah Crowell and Bilal Powell.
  • Rookie quarterback Sam Darnold may be the starter, but you have to expect growing pains, which could negatively impact his receiver's production. The team traded quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to New Orleans.
  • To paraphrase a quarterback saying: If you have five tight ends, you have no tight ends.
  • Wide receiver Quincy Enunwa in the slot is intriguing and could get lots of passes thrown his way, but without a tight end, Terrell Pryor could be a red zone beast.

Oakland Raiders | Depth Chart | Footballguys Team Report

  • The Raiders starting offense has only played two series total in the preseason, making this new offense a mystery.
  • Running back Doug Martin is the biggest unknown factor for the Raiders at running back. He could carve out a big enough role to limit Marshawn Lynch's fantasy upside.
  • Running back Jalen Richard has played well and could overtake Martin for the backup job if Martin doesn't live up to the hype.
  • Wide receiver Amari Cooper made a 49-yard contested catch on his lone drive of Week 3, a rare sight last season given his struggles and foot injury.

Philadelphia Eagles | Depth Chart | Footballguys Team Report

  • Quarterback Carson Wentz has participated in team drills for more than a week and showcased himself to the Eagles brass in an intense workout before the Browns game. But he still hasn't been cleared for contact; putting his Week 1 status in doubt.
  • Although the Eagles running backs didn't participate in the bulk of the preseason, the depth chart is crystal clear: Jay Ajayi is the starter, Corey Clement will be worked into the base offense regularly, and Darren Sproles will play on passing downs and in some of Pederson's patented gadget plays.
  • Wide receiver Nelson Agholor should be okay for Week 1, but Alshon Jeffery is expected to miss at least the first two weeks of the regular season.
  • Rookie tight ends are rarely sound fantasy investments, but it's hard to ignore how well Dallas Goedert has practiced and played. Especially with Jeffery out.
  • Star tight end Zach Ertz should lead the team in targets and receptions this year if he stays healthy.

Pittsburgh Steelers | Depth Chart | Footballguys Team Report

  • Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's accuracy in practices has been "pinpoint," per head coach Mike Tomlin.
  • There has been talk running back Le'Veon Bell will report on Labor Day 9/3, but that isn't certain. Nobody seems worried he'll miss Week 1.
  • Wide receiver Antonio Brown was held out of Saturday's game but is practicing in individual and team drills, suggesting that his quadriceps injury won't interfere with his Week 1 status.
  • Wide receiver James Washington should secure the team's third receiver role early in the season, but his chemistry with Roethlisberger still needs work.
  • Tight end Vance McDonald was ruled out of the Week 3 preseason game mid-week; but he is close to returning to practices and hopeful that he'll be ready for Week 1.
  • Tight ends Jesse James and Xavier Grimble are also injured for Pittsburgh, leaving the potential scenario that Pittsburgh starts Week 1 without any of its NFL-experienced tight ends.

San Francisco 49ers | Depth Chart | Footballguys Team Report


Seattle Seahawks | Depth Chart | Footballguys Team Report

  • It's hard to write off a high draft pick like running back Rashaad Penny, but he could find himself well behind Chris Carson upon his return. There are worries about Penny's weight gain.
  • The offensive line played well against Minnesota, and if they can keep it up, a tight end might emerge with some production this year.
  • It goes without saying but we'll say it — the Seahawks will be in a whole lot of trouble if Russell Wilson goes down. Not a Nick Foles in sight.
  • Wide receiver Brandon Marshall may make a Week 1 start, but if Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett are back, his impact will be minimized.
  • Whether it ends up an RBBC or not, it seems like this year is the one where the quarterback doesn't lead the team in rushing yards.
  • Wide receiver Doug Baldwin admitted his knee is an ongoing problem and said he was about 85%.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers | Depth Chart | Footballguys Team Report

  • Wide receiver Chris Godwin has been the most productive red-zone receiver of the summer and could challenge Mike Evans as the leader for red zone production.
  • Running back Terrance West is visiting Tampa Bay and could earn a shot to compete for the third or fourth spot on the depth chart, especially with Ronald Jones disappointing early.
  • The defensive line has suffered enough injuries during August that the Buccaneers could have issues stopping the run early in the year.
  • Quarterback Jameis Winston has shown some improvement in the red zone and Ryan Fitzpatrick has been productive in the vertical game.

Tennessee Titans | Depth Chart | Footballguys Team Report

  • Quarterback Marcus Mariota and wide receiver Corey Davis continue to strengthen their rapport.
  • Head coach Mike Vrabel continues to insist the running back usage will depend on the game script.
  • Wide receiver Corey Davis is being used all over the formation to create mismatches.
  • Wide receiver Rishard Matthews has still not returned to practice and is nursing a knee injury.
  • Tight end Delanie Walker continues to sit with his toe injury.

Washington Redskins | Depth Chart | Footballguys Team Report

  • Quarterback Alex Smith's tepid dress rehearsal is of no concern as he's won his teammates over this summer and looked precise executing Jay Gruden's offense throughout training camp.
  • Running back Adrian Peterson started and dominated in the dress rehearsal game against the Broncos' starting defense.
  • Receiver Jamison Crowder hasn't played in the preseason with a groin injury, which raises some concern about his readiness for Week 1.
  • Receiver Paul Richardson Jr has been the best pass catcher on the team since returning to practice.
  • Tight end Jordan Reed is on track for a Week 1 start, and his preseason absences have been precautionary, not because of a new injury.

And that's that for this week. Let me know if you found this type of thing useful by shooting an email to bryant@footballguys.com. And keep up with me on Twitter by clicking the follow button below.