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Ravens WR Michael Campanaro Injured A Quad In OTAs Wednesday, May 27, 2015 | Time: 4:54 PT |  Reported by the Baltimore Sun
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The Facts: Campanaro suffered a quadriceps injury during organized team activities on Wednesday, according to NFL sources. The severity of the injury is still being determined.
Diehards Line: Campanaro was able to walk following the injury and will undergo a magnetic resonance imaging exam to find out if it's a strain or a tear, sources told the Baltimore Sun. Campanaro battled hamstring injuries last season that limited him to four games, seven catches and 102 yards and a touchdown. He is projected to play an increased role as a wide receiver and in the return game in his second season, provided that he's healthy. ... We'll follow up as needed.
Texans To Appear On HBO's Hard Knocks This Summer Wednesday, May 27, 2015 | Time: 2:19 PT |  Reported by NFL.com
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The Facts: Hard Knocks is coming to Houston. The Texans announced Wednesday that they will take part in the 10th season of the acclaimed HBO documentary series that offers an inside look at NFL training camp. The season premiers Aug. 11.
Diehards Line: The Texans are the first AFC South team to make a star turn on Hard Knocks and the fifth AFC team to appear on the show in the past six years. Houston was among the nine teams that the NFL could require to appear on the show in accordance to a league rule passed in 2013, though it's possible -- and probably likely -- that the franchise is a willing participant.
LeSean McCoy Nursing Minor Neck Issue Wednesday, May 27, 2015 | Time: 1:41 PT |  Reported by ESPN.com
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The Facts: McCoy was limited in Wednesday's organized team activity with a neck injury. He was held out of most drills during the practice, which was the second of OTAs but the first open to reporters. "He's got a little thing like in his neck or something like that, but it's not serious but it's one of those things where we don't need him out there," HC Rex Ryan said. "I don't even think he had a helmet -- he might have had a helmet out there but I'm not sure."
Diehards Line: Without McCoy, the Bills used a combination of Anthony Dixon and Fred Jackson at running back with their first team in 11-on-11 drills. Bryce Brown -- who has participated in OTAs after not taking part in voluntary workouts following the birth of his child -- and rookie Karlos Williams worked with the second and third teams at the far end of the field. McCoy joined receiver Sammy Watkins as veterans who did not take part in team drills Wednesday. Watkins underwent hip surgery earlier this year.
Zimmer: Adrian Peterson Can Play For Vikings... Or Not Play At All Wednesday, May 27, 2015 | Time: 12:28 PT |  Reported by Profootballtalk.com
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The Facts: If the Vikings are wavering from their plan to have Peterson in their backfield in 2015, they are doing a very good job of keeping it under wraps. Peterson isn’t with the Vikings for their organized team activities this week, something that was expected as Peterson has yet to report for any work with the team since having his suspension lifted in April. HC Mike Zimmer made it clear on Wednesday that his decision not to take part in practice hasn’t changed the team’s position, however. “He’s got two choices. He can play for us or not play,” Zimmer said.
Diehards Line: There you have it. ... Not playing would keep Peterson from earning the $12.75 million that the Vikings are set to pay him this season. There have been reports that Peterson still wants to be traded and suggestions from his camp that his willingness to rejoin the team might improve with some adjustments to the amount of guaranteed money in the remaining years of his contract, but as PFT's Josh Alper put it, "the former appears to be off the table and the latter may be unless Peterson decides to come to work. ..." More undoubtedly to come.
Geno Smith Still Has To Win The Starting Job Wednesday, May 27, 2015 | Time: 12:19 PT |  Reported by Profootballtalk.com
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The Facts: Perhaps Chan Gailey spoke too soon. Or just too honestly. After his OC said Smith was pegged as the starter and there would be no competition for the QB job, HC Todd Bowles said that wasn’t necessarily the case. “Chan’s very matter-of-fact,” Bowles said. “Come camp time, there will be competition at the spot. ... That doesn’t mean it’s going to stay like that.”
Diehards Line: Bowles explained that Gailey’s reference was largely because Fitzpatrick is coming off a broken leg, and that means that today, there’s not necessarily a competition because there can’t be an even distribution of reps (though Fitzpatrick did some work in OTAs). “You don’t start out having two or three games getting first-team reps,” Bowles said. “I view it as open competition. It’s [Smith’s] to lose.” And as PFT's Darin Gantt noted, "Based on [Smith's] track record, there’s a decent chance he will." Gantt went on to remind readers that Smith has 41 turnovers in two seasons, while Fitzpatrick has the benefit of background with Gailey in Buffalo and a resume of solid if unspectacular play. ... Stay tuned.
Derek Carr Taking Snaps; QB Still Not Throwing Wednesday, May 27, 2015 | Time: 12:14 PT |  Reported by CSNBayArea.com
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The Facts: Following up on the ongoing story. ... Carr put on a helmet and cleats for Tuesday’s OTA session, but didn’t do much more. He was active during individual drills and participated in some rushing practice. He only handed the ball off. Nothing more than that. “Derek was able to take some snaps,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “We’ll bring him along. Things with him are progressing.”
Diehards Line: The second-year pro is still recovering from a right ring finger injury suffered this offseason, and wasn’t expected to participate in this OTA series. There is some hope that he’ll be active for a mandatory minicamp starting on June 9. Regardless, it’s expected that he’ll be throwing without restriction when the Raiders start training camp in July. Backup Christian Ponder has taken the lion’s share of reps lately, with Matt McGloin and Cody Fajardo behind him. Ponder has been impressive in his role, and is trying to use this time to get better acclimated to the Raiders offense. Given that the Raiders expect Carr back soon, Del Rio believes the extra work will do Ponder some good.
Marcus Mariota Impresses Teammates With His Speed Wednesday, May 27, 2015 | Time: 12:11 PT |  Reported by the Nashville Tennessean
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The Facts: Mariota got his first real taste of NFL speed on Tuesday. During the first day of organized team activities, the rookie worked with the veterans for the first time. "It is definitely different. It is a lot faster, I think, compared to college,' Mariota said afterward. "Obviously this is my first day of practice with these guys, so just learning how to play at that tempo and at that speed. And being able to execute. ... This is the NFL, it's the best of the best. The speed is so much faster. There's so many great athletes."
Diehards Line: The good news? Veteran teammates were equally impressed with Mariota, especially his speed. According to Tennessean staffer Jim Wyatt, the rookie QB connected on some nice throws downfield and took off on a few occasions during practice. "He is faster than I thought,' linebacker Zach Brown said of Mariota. "He is an athletic quarterback. He didn't win the Heisman for nothing. ..." Mariota, selected second overall by the Titans out of Oregon, took part in the rookie minicamp earlier this month. On Tuesday the Titans held their first of 10 scheduled OTAs. Mariota lined up with the first group, as expected, during a running walk-through that was open to media. Zach Mettenberger was next in line.
Ryan Tannehill Couldn't Be Happier With His New Receiving Corps Wednesday, May 27, 2015 | Time: 12:09 PT |  Reported by NFL.com
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The Facts: The Dolphins overhauled their wide receiving corps over the winter months, adding youth and speed in spots slower veterans once occupied. First-round pick DeVante Parker, Kenny Stills and Greg Jennings joined slot-wonder Jarvis Landry. The group has newly uber-rich Ryan Tannehill fired up after just one day of organized team activities. "I think especially in our skill positions, guys I'm throwing the ball to," Tannehill said Tuesday. "As far as natural pass-catchers, guys that snag the ball with their hands and are athletic, I think it's definitely the most athletic group we've had."
Diehards Line:According to beat reporters at the Dolphins' practice Tuesday, Parker stood out, flashing a wide array of skills and making tough catches in traffic. Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor believes the offensive weapons now surrounding Tannehill -- combined with a more cohesive group (especially minus perceived troublemaker Mike Wallace) -- will help the quarterback make the leap into the upper echelon of signal-callers. "I don't know that you could script a better formula for a guy to be successful," Lazor said. As NFL.com summed up: "For a team that just handed its quarterback a massive new contract, the plan is for the glowing remarks in May to turn into actual production in October."
Alfred Morris Looking Forward To Running Inside More This Season Wednesday, May 27, 2015 | Time: 12:08 PT |  Reported by ESPN.com
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The Facts: The transition isn't a tough or difficult one for Morris. It's not just that the Redskins ran power last season, and dabbled in it his first two seasons, it's that he preferred that style in college as well. It's the style Washington likely will use more often this season. "I feel I'm better at downhill plays anyway," Morris said. "You know what's coming. It's a knockout, drag-out style of play. I don't shy away from contact. It's right up my alley. I thoroughly enjoy it."
Diehards Line: According to ESPN.com's John Keim, the Redskins won't abandon their outside zone game, but it also probably won't be used to the extent it was in the past. Morris ran for a combined 3,962 yards in his first three seasons when the outside zone was a staple. He set a club record with 1,613 yards rushing as a rookie. But, Florida Atlantic ran a lot of power with Morris, focusing on runs between the guards. His job: break inside the pulling guard's block and stay downhill. It requires patience, something Morris always showed -- he excelled at pressing the hole, setting up his blockers on the backside for success. Keim added that Morris could use a strong season, considering he's in the final year of his contract. Also, the Redskins just drafted running back Matt Jones in the third round. At 6-foot-2, 232 pounds, Jones has the makings of a power back the Redskins could have for a while. But HC Jay Gruden has made it clear Morris is their man. "Alfred is our feature back, obviously," he said, "but in the NFL nowadays it's important to have two, three guys that can carry the ball. If you want to commit to running the football, you've got to have a couple guys that can tote it, so Matt will just add to the number." Jones could make Morris a better draft-day value for those who aren't scared off by the rookie's presence.
Bills QB Battle Being Conducted As Evenly As Advertised Wednesday, May 27, 2015 | Time: 12:07 PT |  Reported by NFL.com
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The Facts: The Bills' quarterback battle began in earnest with the start of organized team activities on Tuesday. HC Rex Ryan said all four quarterbacks got equal reps, with Matt Cassel and EJ Manuel working with the starters and Tyrod Taylor and Jeff Tuel with the backups. Taylor and Manuel will work with the starters on Wednesday as the Bills employ a "two-spot" drill system with two offenses huddling simultaneously on either end of the field to increase reps. "You just keep rotating your guys like that," Ryan said. "But the big thing is you want to evaluate all your players, not just the first team or second team. You want everybody and to give guys fair chances and a lot of times, the cream will rise to the top and you'll see something."
Diehards Line: Ryan praised Taylor and Cassel for some nice deep throws and added that former first-round pick Manuel has displayed improvement. "The thing that stands out to me, it appears that EJ is getting a pretty good grasp of this system," Ryan said. "He's believing in what he's seeing and he's letting it rip. And that's kind of what you want from the guy. ..." As NFL.com suggests, it would be beneficial for the Bills' front office if Manuel could win the starting job, but nobody should expect resolution on this one before August.