August 31st Training Camp Notes
August 31, 2015 | Chet
Brian Hoyer was named the regular season Texans starter last week and made that decision look like a good one Sunday afternoon. He completed 7 of his 11 pass attempts for 82 yards, including this jewel to one Mr. Deandre Hopkins with his very first chuck of the ball. Deandre made an acrobatic (almost) catch later on in the drive that almost resulted in a touchdown. These aren’t eye-popping stats by any means but what we’re concerned about is whether or not possible fantasy stud Hopkins will be targeted consistently by his new quarterback.
While their obvious WR1 should be double-teamed and closely guarded it should be opening up holes for the guys on the other side of field. So far Cecil Shorts hasn’t grabbed on to those reins as his 2 catches through three games will attest. Rookie Jaelen Strong was a much larger part of the offense with Hoyer and Ryan Mallett under center; he snagged 5 receptions for 40 yards and a Mallett touchdown.
The Carolina Panthers and more specifically, Cam Newton, got themselves some amazing news on Sunday as they welcomed Devin Funchess back to the practice field. The last thing this receiving crew needs is for their rookie wideout to continue to have nagging hamstring problems that could keep him out of the huddle in the regular season. Or maybe the last thing they need is to lean on Jerricho Cotchery who left the preseason game Friday after pulling his groin. Funchess is set to be on the field once the regular season kicks off but if his hamstring starts to unravel again this entire offense will feel the brunt of it.
The Green Bay Packers kept Aaron Rodgers out of their Week 3 preseason matchup with he Philadelphia Eagles to ensure health, but maybe they should have been doing the same with their now number 1 wide receiver. On just the third play of the game Randall Cobb tried to haul in a pass along the sideline before being knocked down out of bounds, as he popped back up he clutched his shoulder and apparently believed he had broken his collarbone. The eventual result is a much better one; a sprained right shoulder that shouldn’t keep him out of any regular season action. Rodgers and the Packers will need his health to solidify a receiving corp that doesn’t exactly have the most depth right now. With the Jordy Nelson season ending injury just a week prior, it was becoming well known knowledge that Davante Adams was someone who needed to be on everybody’s radar. If this Randall Cobb shoulder lingers for any amount of time, everyone will need to start thinking about rookie 3rd round pick Ty Montgomery as well.
As the EJ Manuel-Tyrod Taylor-Matt Cassel conundrum continues in Buffalo, there is at least one piece of the passing game that is tied to a starting position; Charles Clay. The tight end accepted $24 Million from the Bills in the offseason and he accepted a 67 yard touchdown from EJ Manuel on Saturday night. Three quarterbacks without much of an arm and a no. 2 WR in Percy Harvin who has faded from fantasy relevance should equate to some decent volume for Clay. The short attack offense should lead to some good bye-week replacement and TE streaming fodder.
In sad news for both old men and old men who carry footballs on fields; Fred Jackson has been released this morning. The 34 year old trudged along for 1,000+ total yards in five of the last six seasons, including a 10 touchdown season as recently as 2013. Although it may seem like a slap in the face to release an 8-year veteran of your team so early in the cutting process, it should actually give Fred a chance to slip into another team’s roster. He could end up a part of the Cowboys’ RBBC, for example. This is nothing but positives for LeSean McCoy’s owners as this should put him in line for a healthy Week 1 start in as close to a “bell cow” scenario as there is in the NFL nowadays.
Some preseason nastiness you don’t want to miss: