Injuries — everything from torn ACLs, hamstrings, pectorals and Achilles tendons — have hit teams hard and fast early in training camp.
Just a couple of days into full padded practices during 2020 NFL training camps and major injuries have popped up around the league.
A torn Achilles tendon, a torn ACL and a concussions are among the injuries suffered early. Players such as Vince Biegel, Gerald McCoy, Robert Alford and Nick Chubb are among those sidelined. The lack of OTAs and in-person training/workouts because of the coronavirus pandemic left coaches and player personnel wondering what they’d see in regard to injury. Just two days in, it’s on full display.
Here’s what you need to know from camps across the league:
Top news of the day
Evans: Brady already my among my fave teammates
“[Tom Brady]’s the GOAT, on and off the field. It’s crazy. He’s a superstar — the most accomplished player in our game in history, and he’s just like everybody else,” Tampa Bay wide receiver Mike Evans said. “He just works extremely hard, he’s always taking care of his body. He loves his family. He loves family time. He’s just cool. He’s a real down-to-earth guy.”
Jags DE Lynch tells team he’s retiring
The Jaguars suffered another loss along their defensive line when veteran end Aaron Lynch told them on Monday he is retiring for personal reasons. The 27-year-old is the sixth defensive lineman to either opt out, go on injured reserve or retire since July 31. Lynch’s retirement comes one day after veteran end/tackle Rodney Gunter said he was stepping away from the game because of a heart problem.
Bears coach Matt Nagy spoke in generally positive terms about quarterback Mitchell Trubisky‘s training camp performance to date, but Nagy said he needs more time to determine whether Trubisky became a better player in the offseason after the 2017 second overall pick finished 2019 ranked near the bottom of the league in most statistical categories. “We don’t have enough right now,” Nagy said Tuesday. “I wish I could tell you we had enough. But there’s just not enough with where we’re at. We need to see more. I can’t give you a fair statement or opinion with that.”
Quotes of the day
“He’s the whole package in terms of who he is and how he plays.”
Ravens coach John Harbaugh on Lamar Jackson
“A little extra work never hurt nobody!”
Titans running back Derrick Henry on the sand pit
What our NFL Nation reporters saw Tuesday
Jets wide receiver Vyncint Smith underwent core-muscle surgery and will be lost for up to two months. Receiver Chris Hogan, who underwent a physical, is expected to practice in the coming days. The team is also hoping to get rookie Denzel Mims (hamstring) back next week. Don’t be surprised if general manager Joe Douglas pulls off a trade before the opener. — Rich Cimini
Coach Matt Rhule promised more team drills than a typical NFL camp, and boy did he come through on Tuesday. The Panthers had 89 snaps during a hot, humid session that featured a lot of 11-on-11. Rhule said with no preseason games or offseason workouts he wanted to see how players reacted to red zone and other situational drills. The defense, despite a lot of new faces and youth, more than held its own, getting the offense to fumble three times. Practice fittingly ended with the defense making two big stops on plays from the 2-yard line. Both led to an eruption of celebrations. “Sometimes you have to play with situations and learn from them,” Rhule said. — David Newton
Bears receivers and defensive backs squared off in a spirited one-on-one goal line passing drill that featured plenty of trash-talking and celebrations. Chicago’s offense took the lead early in the drill, highlighted by tight end Jimmy Graham chucking the football high in the air whenever he scored a touchdown. The defense closed the gap, but when the air horn sounded to signal to end of the period, wide receivers coach Mike Furrey sprinted off and declared the offense the winner. Furrey then grabbed a replica WWE championship belt and verbally sparred with Chicago’s defensive sideline. Coach Matt Nagy said the competition was all in good fun. — Jeff Dickerson
Quarterback Jarrett Stidham threw three interceptions and Cam Newton overthrew a deep pass over the middle to wide receiver Damiere Byrd that could have been a big play. Those were two of the main takeaways in the Patriots’ quarterback battle, as veteran Brian Hoyer seemed to be the most steady on the second day of full-pads practice. Hoyer has hooked up with practice squad wideout Devin Ross on beautiful deep-ball plays in each of the first practices of the week. — Mike Reiss
For a team that had nary an important injury last season other than Davante Adams‘ four-game absence because of turf toe, it was worth wondering if the Packers’ luck — and even coach Matt LaFleur called it mostly luck — will change this year after what happened on the first day of full pads in practice. Already without starting center Corey Linsley (who was held out for what LaFleur said was a “precautionary” reason), they saw perhaps their two most important players not named Adams and Aaron Rodgers drop out of the workout. First, outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith disappeared from the field about halfway through for reasons unknown, and then left tackle David Bakhtiari limped off because of an apparent issue with his left foot or ankle. In between, defensive tackle Montravius Adams had to be carted off the field after suffering a lower right leg injury. “I think a lot of it is luck. We were pretty fortunate to not endure too many significant injuries,” Lafleur said. “It was a combined effort to try to put together a plan in place to keep these guys healthy but also there was a lot of luck involved in that as well.” — Rob Demovsky
No fans surrounding the field, some masks on coaches and players, and a lot of “Hard Knocks” cameras and microphones. That was the scene on Day 1 of Rams training camp Tuesday at their training facility in Thousand Oaks, California. The two-hour practice provided the first glimpse of what’s expected to be an intriguing running back competition as Malcolm Brown, Darrell Henderson, Cam Akers and John Kelly battle to replace Todd Gurley. But the standout unit of the day was the defense, as young defensive backs Darious Williams and Terrell Burgess intercepted passes by John Wolford and Jared Goff, respectively, then the final whistle was blown when Aaron Donald burst through the line to bat down a Wolford pass attempt at the line of scrimmage. — Lindsey Thiry
The big news on the Falcons’ first day in pads was seeing both running back Todd Gurley and center Alex Mack sitting out in shorts and T-shirts for what the team called load management. Falcons coach Dan Quinn hinted at limiting training camp reps for Gurley, who has left knee issues, and Mack, who turns 35 in November. It gave the Falcons a chance to get a longer look at Brian Hill and Ito Smith at running back and Justin McCray at center. — Vaughn McClure
Jaguars tight end coach Ron Middleton said he feels bad for second-year tight end Josh Oliver, who is to undergo surgery to repair a broken bone in his left foot. Oliver suffered the injury while running in drills on Sunday, and it’s the third major injury he’s dealt with since he was drafted in the third round in 2019. Oliver suffered a severe hamstring injury in last year’s training camp when he was tackled by safety Andrew Wingard. That kept him out of the first six games, and he caught just three passes in the next four games before a back injury landed him on injured reserve. Now he’ll miss significant time again, depending on how the surgery goes and how quickly he heals. — Mike DeRocco
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill returned to practice after not being on the field on Monday. Tannehill took part in all of the team and 7-on-7 drills. Running back Derrick Henry went to the sand pit to get some extra conditioning in after the first team period and during special teams. Linebacker Rashaan Evans joined him for some extra work as well. — Turron Davenport
The Colts have to find a kicker for the first time since Adam Vinatieri became a fixture at the position in Indianapolis in 2006. The players competing for the job are Chase McLaughlin, whom the Colts signed once Vinatieri was shut down late in the 2019 season, and undrafted rookie free agent Rodrigo Blankenship out of Georgia. To make the competition more intense, particularly since there are no preseason games, Colts coach Frank Reich increased the kicking stakes in practice Tuesday. Players with jersey numbers 1-49 were paired with one kicker (McLaughlin) and players with jersey numbers 50-99 were with the other kicker (Blankenship). The losing team — and kicker — had to run sideline to sideline. McLaughlin was a perfect 7-of-7 on kicks. Blankenship was 6-of-7, with his lone miss coming from about 47 yards out. That meant players including linebacker Darius Leonard and defensive lineman DeForest Buckner had to run with Blankenship. — Mike Wells
Pittsburgh Steelers rookie offensive lineman Kevin Dotson went down with what appeared to be a left injury at the end of one team period. Coach Mike Tomlin didn’t have an update on the specific injury in his post-practice Zoom, but Dotson had to be helped off the field. He got an assist from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who stood with him while the medical staff evaluated his knee and then knelt beside him for a brief moment before helping him to the tunnel. “He’s a teammate,” Tomlin said of Roethlisberger. “He’s been there. He’s been down on the field before. He knows the fear associated with that … often times the fear of the injury is worse than the injury itself. He’s doing what considerate, thoughtful leaders do.” — Brooke Pryor
Tua Tagovailoa update on Day 2 of Dolphins camp: The rookie quarterback saw a lot more action in passing game. He went 7-for-7 during three team drives he led, with the same good mobility, along with some solid throws on slant and crossing routes, with wide receiver Mack Hollins being his favorite target. He did have two botched under-center exchanges snaps with second-year offensive lineman Michael Deiter, who is trying to learn the center position in hopes of being a swing backup guard/center for Miami, but it was unclear who was at fault. — Cameron Wolfe
The 49ers’ lack of depth at wide receiver following a spate of injuries has been well documented, but what’s lost in that is that there are some major opportunities now available for others. On Tuesday, it was former second-round pick Dante Pettis taking advantage of his additional chances. Pettis connected with all three Niners quarterbacks for a handful of catches and had perhaps his best practice as a pro. Pettis had a disappointing 2019 and this is a big camp for him to solidify his spot on the roster. — Nick Wagoner
It took a day of pads, but rookie running back D’Andre Swift found a way to catch the attention of his teammates and observers during individual drills. Swift, lined up against varying linebackers including Jarrad Davis throughout the pass-catching drill, continuously made his teammates look silly trying to cover him. Swift found ways to get open during every rep — although he did drop one of the passes thrown to him — and showed the type of receiving skills at running back Detroit hasn’t had since Theo Riddick. It’s something to consider as he and Kerryon Johnson fight for carries this fall. Swift’s hands and receiving skills could put him in a good position to be on the field, particularly on third downs. — Mike Rothstein