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NFL Training Camp Updates: News and Notes from the Second Week

As training camp picks up steam, the training camp updates become more important to keep tabs on. The New York Jets and Cleveland Browns have had their first preseason game while the other 30 teams prepare for the first  of their own. From injury news to preseason game performances and everything in between, this weekend article series continues to cover it all for you. That way, if you get busy and start stressing about missing important news, I’ve got it all in a one-stop spot. So, let’s take a look at the most notable news from the second full week of 2023 NFL training camp.

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Training Camp Updates You Need to Know From the Second Week

Contract Updates

Jonathan Taylor, RB, Indianapolis Colts

Jonathan Taylor remains out for the Colts. As far as we know, he is interested in playing elsewhere for the 2023 season and beyond. On the other side, Colts owner, Jim Irsay, claims the team has no interest in paying him. It’s clear at this point that the relationship here is all but tarnished. I’m not sure we ever see Taylor in a Colts uniform again, though he remains present at their practices. Drafting him right now is a risk given the complete uncertainty of his status for this season. The team added Kenyan Drake this week as the potential lead back in Taylor’s, as well as Zack Moss‘ (broken arm), absences.

Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints

This training camp update isn’t really contract-related, but the league finally has an answer in regards to suspending Alvin Kamara as a result of his off-the-field fight in February 2022 during Pro Bowl Weekend. Kamara will be suspended for the first three games of the 2023 NFL season. If you include the Saints’ Week 11 Bye, Kamara is, at a minimum, unavailable for four games during a typical fantasy football regular season. Kamara remains a high-upside target for those that invest in wide receivers early on in drafts and need value at the running back position later. However, Kamara’s top-five potential no longer exists. He will compete with Jamaal Williams and rookie Kendre Miller in the backfield. If he is to post RB1 numbers, he will need to flirt with 60 or receptions this season. I’m penciling in Kamara as an RB2 with a solid weekly floor.

Marlon Mack, RB, Arizona Cardinals

Return of The Mack! This training camp update doesn’t compare to Taylor or Kamara’s above, but it is worth mentioning nonetheless. Marlon Mack joins the Cardinals’ backfield of James Conner, Keaontay Ingram, Corey Clement, Ty’Son Williams, and Emari Demercado. It’s a lackluster group at baseline. Mack tore his Achilles in Week 1 of the 2020 season. Since then, he has just 185 total carries for three different teams. He’s a deep add for dynasty rosters, but nothing more.

Royce Freeman, RB, Los Angeles Rams

Royce Freeman is joining the Rams following the retirement of Sony Michel earlier this week. He completes a Rams running back room of Cam Akers, Kyren Williams, Ronnie Rivers, and rookie Zach Evans. Freeman has no more than 521 rushing yards in a single season and that was his rookie year in 2018. This is purely a depth move that should ensure the confidence L.A. has in Akers to lead the way.

Training Camp Related Injuries

Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams

A hamstring injury continues to hold Kupp out from practice. With five weeks until Week 1, I don’t see this injury as a huge concern for Kupp’s availability for the start of the season. We will likely see him back at practice before then. However, if your fantasy draft takes place in the coming weeks, and your league is worried about Kupp, take him at a possible discount. He remains a top-five option at the position as a legitimate overall WR1 candidate who can command 170 or more targets.

Garrett Wilson, WR, New York Jets

Wilson isn’t practicing due to a low ankle sprain. The Jets claim he will be back at practice this week when they link up with the Carolina Panthers. A little rest is a good thing for the 2022 Offensive Rookie of the Year given the time between now and the start of the season. There is no training camp update for Wilson that can compare to the behind-the-scenes footage we will get from HBO’s “Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the New York Jets” which premieres this week.

Tim Patrick, WR, Denver Broncos

After tearing his ACL during training camp last year, Tim Patrick, unfortunately, tore his Achilles during practice this week. That will end his season. This is an absolutely brutal training camp update. For fantasy football purposes, Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy, who were rumored to be on the trade block this off-season, are now confidently set up as the WR1 and WR2 of this offense in a big way. Tight end, Greg Dulcich, should also see a bump in value.

Isiah Pacheco, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

This is a brief and positive training camp update. Isiah Pacheco was dealing with both hand and shoulder injuries. His hand has been cleared so he’s back in practice. Pacheco is still waiting to get shoulder clearance, but should before Week 1. He is going to be the Chiefs starting running back for the 2023 season unless they pull off a stunner of a trade before then.

Kenneth Walker, Zach Charbonnet, and Kenny McIntosh, RBs, Seattle Seahawks

It’s never a good thing to list multiple players from the same team, especially at the same position, but that’s what this training camp update is. Earlier in the week, both Walker (groin) and Charbonnet (shoulder) were unavailable for practice due to their respective injuries. Since then, Walker remains “week-to-week”, but head coach Pete Carroll claims the Seahawks are being cautious with him. Charbonnet, however, returned to practice in full this weekend. Upon his return, though, seventh-round pick Kenny McIntosh sprained his knee during a scrimmage on Friday. So, as of now, Charbonnet is the best bet to lead this backfield until we get better news from Walker. It may be best to invest in Seahawks receivers given the situation. It’s worth noting Geno Smith threw the eighth-most pass attempts in the league last season.

Shane Zylstra, TE, Detroit Lions

All of the sudden rookie tight end Sam LaPorta finds himself in a position to see somewhat significant targets this season. With the loss of Zylstra to a signifcant knee injury, and the obvious absence of T.J. Hockenson (Minnesota Vikings), there are 62% of the Lions’ tight end targets from last season available. In the last two years at the University of Iowa, LaPorta posted two back-to-back seasons of 53+ receptions of 657+ receiving yards. The Lions used the 34th overall pick on the pass-catching tight end suggesting he could see the field sooner than later in 2023. LaPorta presents serious upside, at a shallow position in fantasy football, on last season’s fifth-highest scoring offense.

Scott Quessenberry, C, Houston Texans

You’re probably not expecting a training camp update about an offensive lineman, but this injury has a fantasy football impact. Quessenberry will miss the entire 2023 season with a torn ACL and MCL in his knee. In 2022, Quessenberry played 93.3% of the Texans’ snaps at center. Houston will now look to their reserves prior to rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud’s first season. The silver lining is that this injury occurred in early August rather than at the end of the month. Running backs in the same tier as Dameon Pierce probably get a slight bump over him now, but he should not see a significant downgrade. The Texans offensive line is still one of the best in the league, but the injury to Quessenberry is a notable one.

Preseason Performances

Rookie running back, Israel Abanikanda, scored the first touchdown of the preseason for the New York Jets. However, the Cleveland Browns got the win. The biggest story from this game is how well rookie quarterback, Dorian Thompson-Robinson, played for Cleveland. He completed eight of 11 passes for 82 yards and a score. DTR added another 36 yards on the ground with six rush attempts. He could carry this momentum into the backup role behind Deshaun Watson.

Also worth mentioning on the Browns is rookie wide receiver, Cedric Tillman. With his three targets, Tillman hauled in two of them for 35 yards. At 6’3″, 215 pounds, Tillman is one of the larger players of this 2023 rookie receiver class. He is a true X receiver that could fill in for Amari Cooper if he were to miss time for any reason this season. Elijah Moore should operate out of the slot while Donovan Peoples-Jones provides a deep threat taking the top off of the defense.

Miscellaneous Training Camp Notes

  • New England Patriots running back, Rhamondre Stevenson, wants us to ask head coach, Bill Belichick, why Stevenson sits out of practice some days. This training camp update indicates the team is managing Stevenson’s workload for a big season ahead. Stevenson’s RB13 finish in 2022 includes 279 touches, the fourth-most receptions by a running back, but with just six total touchdowns. There’s more meat on the bone to be had here.
  • The Denver Broncos starters will get some action in the team’s first preseason game. While he may not take part in that game, running back Javonte Williams will reportedly take a few snaps in their second game scheduled for Saturday, August 19.
  • James Cook is reportedly in line for a large role on the Buffalo Bills’ offense. Cook continues to see a lot of work with the first-team offense, specifically catching passes out of the backfield. As the lead back on this potent offense, Cook can certainly return high-end RB2 numbers. For a player that hasn’t recorded more than 140 touches in college or the pros, we’re asking a lot for him to handle an RB1 workload.
  • Justyn Ross is rising in the wide receiver rankings. It seems like every day there is a new video of him making a head-turning catch at Chiefs training camp. He’s still considered a late-round dart throw in fantasy.
  • The San Francisco 49ers quarterback battle seems to be clearing itself up each week. As of now, it seems Brock Purdy is trending toward a Week 1 start while Sam Darnold and Trey Lance continue to battle for the backup role. I believe all three will make the roster.

For more great rankings and analysis, make sure to check out our 2023 Fantasy Football Draft Kit!

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