Training Camp Notes: August 14
August 15, 2016 | Matt Terelle
Kelvin Benjamin Not in Shape
It came out on Sunday that third-year receiver Kelvin Benjamin is still not where he needs to be from a conditioning standpoint. The young wideout missed all of the 2015 season after tearing his ACL in training camp last year. According to Panthers coach Ron Rivera, Benjamin has been getting winded during team drills and he would like to get him to where he can play around 30-35 snaps by the end of the preseason. This definitely puts a damper on a player who many thought would be a strong WR2 this season. There’s a good chance he’s in shape by the end of the preseason, but this is not a good look for a player coming off the board in the third round of fantasy drafts. Add in the fact that the weapons around Cam Newton are significantly upgraded from Benjamin’s rookie year and you have the makings of a player who could disappoint this year.
Devontae Booker Impressing Broncos Brass
Rookie running back Devontae Booker has been impressing his coaches in training camp and has a good shot at supplanting Ronnie Hillman as the team’s number two running back by the time training camp is over. He continues to see work with the first team when C.J. Anderson needs a break, ahead of Hillman. Booker is shaping up as a late-round flyer in fantasy drafts as he would hold instant value in Gary Kubiak’s zone-blocking running scheme if something were to happen to Anderson.
Jaelen Makes a Strong Statement
Second-year receiver Jaelen Strong had a big night in Sunday night’s preseason action between the Texans and the 49ers. He hauled in four passes for 42 yards on six targets, although he did play behind Texans rookie receiver Will Fuller. This came as somewhat of a shock as Strong was listed as the team’s starter opposite DeAndre Hopkins earlier in the week. Either way, Strong is more interesting in dynasty leagues than he is in season-long formats as he will likely end up as the third receiver on a team that wants to run the ball.
Jared Goff Gives Rams a Scare
Jared Goff surely gave Rams fans a scare in preseason action on Saturday night as he was pulled from the game at halftime after taking a hit on his non-throwing shoulder. The plan had been for Goff to play most of the third quarter before the injury changed that. Goff had a lackluster debut, completing just 4 of 9 passes for 38 yards and one interception. Slow performance aside, the team is expecting him back at practice this week.
Vance McDonald added fuel to his sleeper status fire as he hauled in a touchdown from Blaine Gabbert in the first quarter of Sunday night’s preseason action. He finished the day with two grabs for 54 yards. Keep him in mind if you are interested in taking a late round flier at the tight end position.
Malcolm Mitchell suffered what appeared to be a devastating injury in preseason action on Thursday night, but he got some good news after the MRI results came back. It turns out nothing major is wrong with Mitchell’s elbow and he’s expected to be active for the start of the season.
Carson Wentz is expected to miss the rest of the preseason after he suffered a hairline fracture in his ribs during his preseason game on Thursday. Originally the team thought his ribs were just sore, but it appears the situation is a little more serious. This is bad news for the rookie signal caller who needs all the reps he can get as he tries to acclimate to the NFL.