Training Camp Notes: August 30th
August 31, 2016 | Justin Edwards
Teddy Bridgewater’s Season Done
The biggest and worst news to come out of training camp yesterday and maybe the summer of 2016 is the loss of Bridgewater’s season. He dislocated his left knee and tore his ACL on a non-contact play during practice on Tuesday, an injury that was apparently gruesome enough that players either left the field or dropped down to pray immediately. Coach Mike Zimmer called the rest of practice off and was able to address the media in the late afternoon. Without yet knowing the severity of the injury you could sense that he knew he likely lost his quarterback for the season, “I’m not going to let this team feel sorry for itself. We’re going to grieve today and be upset about it. It’s more about our feelings for Teddy and him as a person and getting better than it is about anything else. Teddy’s a great kid and he’ll be back as soon as he possibly can if it is real bad. But we’re going to keep fighting.”
Teddy went 12-for-16 for 161 yards and a TD through the air in week 3 of the preseason, racking up 66 of those yards while under pressure. That contest added to his already-impressive preseason in which he was PFF’s second-highest rated QB, the Vikings as a whole have been the top-graded team.
Though Zimmer says he has confidence in backup Shaun Hill, it’s not likely Minnesota wants to go that route for an entire season; Hill has thrown 252 passes over the last five seasons, playing in a combined 16 games while starting 8 for three different teams. Taylor Heinicke has been injured all preseason and Joel Stave is an undrafted free agent. It may be time to look outside of the team’s depth chart, even though it doesn’t get a lot rosier out there. Mark Sanchez will likely be cut after losing the job and probably playing behind rookie Paxton Lynch in Denver, Mike Glennon is playing behind last year’s first overall pick, Colin Kaepernick has lost his job to Blaine Gabbert (but is owed $12M), Geno Smith is the Jets’ no. 3 QB behind newly re-signed Ryan Fitzpatrick and rookie Christian Hackenberg, aaaaand last but not least Josh McCown is playing behind Robert Griffin III and next to rookie Cody Kessler. You get all that? Good. While Cleveland would almost assuredly like Kessler to have some veteran leadership on the sidelines from someone like McCown, we all know how much they like draft picks! Browns want a large chunk for Josh McCown – a mid round pick at least – and the Vikings should probably be willing to pay it considering their other options.
If it does end up being Shaun Hill behind center, expect Minnesota to show us the same, if not more, of the heavy running attack of last year. They threw fewer than any other team last year and it’s going to be more of the same, don’t expect to see a ton of Laquon Treadwell fantasy startable weeks. For that matter, don’t start anyone in this passing game unless you own Stefon Diggs.
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Josh Gordon Humbled?
As much as we’re all loving the sights of Josh Gordon back on an NFL football field doing things like this and this, the fact remains that none of it actually counts until he gets off of suspension on October 9th against the Patriots. Thursday night will be his last game or practice with the Browns for months and it seems as if a tad bit of maturity is showing through in his last week prior to the suspension. Speaking of his impressive showing against Tampa Bay last Friday he commented, “(It gave me) that sense of nostalgia of, this is where I belong, this is where I need to be, this stage was meant for me to play on. That’s what I’m meant to do. Just doing it consistently and being here for this team, that’s really where it starts at and that’s what I want to do.” It’s certainly what we want him to do, as well. Josh won’t be completely withheld from team functions as he is free to come in each morning to workout and be sit in on meetings. In the above interview he actually sounds excited to be a part of these team activities and new coach Hue Jackson is excited to have him; “It’s really important…He’s been off to a pretty good start. I mean, if you can score a touchdown a game and catch some long ones, that’s pretty good. … Obviously he won’t be able to be out there with the team at practice, but he’ll be able to be in the building, which is a huge plus and we really appreciate the league allowing him to do that.”
While McCown might still be a question mark there is no doubt that Cleveland will be keeping Josh Gordon, the rumors of trade after their draft full of wide receivers are simply whispers in the wind at this point.
There were some semi-intriguing releases for fantasy purposes, possibly not in year-long leagues, but names to keep an eye on in dynasty, at least.
Bengals release Brandon Tate – long time punt returner was cut to make room for rookie Alex Erickson, who will take over the role.
Titans Release David Cobb – Obviously not ‘exotic’ enough for this team’s plans. Averaged 2.8 yards on 52 carries last season as a fifth-round rookie. Accumulated 2,829 rushing yards and 20 scores over his final two collegiate seasons for Minnesota.
Ravens Release Lorenzo Taliaferro – Still recovering from last October’s foot surgery, he isn’t expected to play until at least week 7 of this year and was stuck behind Justin Forsett, Buck Allen, Terrance West and rookie Kenneth Dixon.
Chargers release Zach Mettenberger – The QB for my highest grossing #DFS win ever (yes, I’m serious) will now be looking for a new team to carry a clipboard for.
Some notable injury designations
Bills send Shaw Lawson to PUP, Reggie Ragland on IR
Chiefs put Justin Houston on PUP
49ers place Bruce Ellington on IR
Patriots put Dion Lewis on PUP