Ken Walker still hasn’t returned to practice

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Seahawks rookie running back Ken Walker III still hasn’t returned to practice. The team listed Walker as a non-participant Thursday, four days before the season opener against the Broncos.

Coach Pete Carroll said Walker was in the morning walk-through.

After Walker underwent a hernia procedure in mid-August, the Seahawks pointed toward his return for the season opener, but Walker’s availability for Week 1 remains in doubt.

Walker played 12 offensive snaps and one on special teams in the preseason opener against Pittsburgh. He had five carries for 19 yards, one catch for 11 yards and a kickoff return for 22 yards.

Walker missed the rest of the preseason with his injury.

The Seahawks drafted Walker 41st overall to pair with Rashaad Penny.

Long snapper Tyler Ott (shoulder), cornerback Artie Burns (groin) and linebacker Alton Robinson (knee) also did not practice Thursday.

Offensive tackle Jake Curhan (elbow), offensive guard Damien Lewis (knee/ankle), cornerback Sidney Jones IV (concussion), linebacker Boye Mafe (shoulder) and safety Ryan Neal (ankle) were limited.

Offensive guard Gabe Jackson (knee) had a full practice.

Treylon Burks ready to “go out there and play my brand of football”

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After an up-and-down offseason and preseason, Titans rookie receiver Treylon Burks is ready for the start of the season.

“Words can’t explain (how excited I am),” Burks said, via Jim Wyatt of the team website. “(I just) need to do the things I am coached to do, do the things my teammates hold me accountable for and just play ball.”

The Titans drafted Burks after trading No. 1 receiver A.J. Brown to the Eagles on draft night. Burks experienced issues related to his asthma in the organized team activities, was “unavailable” for the mandatory minicamp and had to answer questions about his conditioning.

But in the preseason, Burks caught four passes for 37 yards and a touchdown, and coach Mike Vrabel said he was “really encouraged by some of the things that (Burks) did, especially without the football.”

Burks is ready to put everything behind him and show why the Titans made him a first-round choice.

“I just want to go out there and play my brand of football, and the team’s brand of football,” Burks said. “Be physical, fast, and go have fun.”

It’s official: Dameon Pierce earns starting job

NFL: AUG 03 Houston Texans Training Camp
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It wasn’t that long ago that rookie running back Dameon Pierce was third on the Texans’ depth chart. On Tuesday, Pierce’s spot in the starting lineup became official.

The team released its updated depth chart, and Pierce is listed as RB1.

He began training camp behind Marlon Mack and Rex Burkhead. But Mack no longer is with the Texans, who cut him from the active roster and the practice squad roster, and Burkhead is Pierce’s backup.

Pierce quickly established himself in the preseason, rushing for 86 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries in two games.

He is expected to help improve the team’s running game, which ranked 32nd in the league with 1,422 yards. The Texans averaged 3.4 yards per rush and scored only eight rushing touchdowns in 2021.

Ken Walker’s status for season opener remains uncertain

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Running back Ken Walker III underwent a hernia procedure in mid-August, and the Seahawks pointed toward his return for the season opener. That remains up in the air a week before their game against the Broncos.

“He was working some today,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Monday, via Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. “He is running, catching some balls and doing stuff. We will see what happens. This is an injury that is unpredictable in the recovery. He is doing pretty well, though. He has to be able to tolerate it. Fortunately, we are playing Monday night, so we will have an extra day, and we will see.”

Walker played 12 offensive snaps and one on special teams in the preseason opener against Pittsburgh. He had five carries for 19 yards, one catch for 11 yards and a kickoff return for 22 yards.

Walker, though, missed the rest of the preseason with his injury.

The Seahawks drafted Walker 41st overall to pair with Rashaad Penny, who returned to practice Monday after a bout with COVID-19.

Tyler Smith: Returning to left tackle from left guard is like riding a bike


The Cowboys had nine-time Pro Bowler Jason Peters in for a visit Thursday. They haven’t signed him yet but could soon.

That might not affect their plans for the season opener with rookie Tyler Smith penciled in as the starter.

The Cowboys selected Smith in the first round of the 2022 draft to be their left tackle of the future. The future just arrived sooner than expected. Tyron Smith‘s surgery to repair a torn hamstring will keep him out of the lineup for most, if not all, of the season.

He’s very calm,” right guard Zack Martin said of Tyler Smith, via Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News. “He’s been great since the moment he got in here. He’s asked the right questions. He’s worked hard. He cares about it, which you can’t ask any more than that from a young first-round pick like Tyler. Again, he’s done a great job.

“It’s going to be a little bit of a learning curve. But I think it will help him, learning on the fly a little bit. I think he’s the type of guy who rises to the occasion. I’m excited to see him play.”

Tyler Smith hasn’t played left tackle in a game since last season at Tulsa. He has not taken reps there since offseason workouts in June.

Smith spent training camp competing with Connor McGovern for the starting left guard job, which coach Mike McCarthy had said McGovern was winning. But Smith practiced with the first-team offense at left tackle Thursday.

“I’ve always been a left-side player, so it has helped definitely [the] transition, knowing not too many things are changing,” Smith said. “I’m still generating power from the same areas. It’s just a different footwork, little bit of a different stance, different things you’ve got to tighten up. It’s like riding a bike.”

Patriots place Tyquan Thornton on injured reserve

NFL: AUG 17 Patriots Panthers Joint-Practice
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The Patriots placed rookie receiver Tyquan Thornton on injured reserve, the team announced Thursday. The second-round draft selection broke his collarbone last weekend and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks.

The Patriots, though, have given him a chance to return this season by waiting to move him onto injured reserve. He will become eligible to return after missing four games.

The team did not immediately fill his roster spot.

New England also announced the signing of receiver Lynn Bowden Jr. to the practice squad and the release of defensive lineman Henry Anderson from injured reserve.

The Dolphins cut Bowden on Tuesday.

Rams place Daniel Hardy on injured reserve

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The Rams placed outside linebacker Daniel Hardy on injured reserve, the team announced Thursday. That gives Hardy a chance to return this season.

He has an ankle injury and now must miss a minimum of four games before he can get back on the active roster.

The Rams used the 235th overall selection in the 2022 draft on the Montana State product.

Hardy moved from linebacker to defensive end last season and earned FCS second-team All-American and first-team All-Big Sky. He totaled the sixth-most sacks in the FCS (16.5) and ninth-most tackles for loss in the FCS (24.5).

Cardinals are releasing Devon Kennard

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The Cardinals’ own website predicted before training camp that veteran Devon Kennard was a “lock” to make the roster. But even a strong training camp and a spot atop the depth chart at one of the outside linebacker spots couldn’t win him a job.

The Cardinals are cutting Kennard, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports.

The team drafted Myjai Sanders and Jesse Luketa in the third round this spring. Sanders is listed as the backup to Kennard with Luketa the third-stringer. So obviously the Cardinals saw enough from the rookies to be confident they could move on from Kennard.

Kennard agreed to a pay cut in March to remain in Arizona.

Kennard had a non-guaranteed base salary of $6.75 million with $250,000 available in per-game roster bonuses. His original cap hit was just over $9.083 million.

He played 15 games and started three times for the Cardinals last year and had 24 tackles and a fumble recovery.

Reports: Brian Robinson shot multiple times in robbery attempt against him

Washington Commanders Training Camp
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Commanders rookie running back Brian Robinson was shot multiple times in a robbery attempt, JP Finlay of reports.

Finlay reports it’s non-life threatening, and Robinson is in stable condition.

Tom Pelissero of NFL Media adds that at least two bullets struck Robinson in the lower body.

Robinson, 23, appeared to be leading the running back competition with Antonio Gibson. He did not play in Saturday night’s preseason loss to the Ravens.

In the first two preseason games, Robinson ran 14 times for 57 yards and a touchdown and caught two passes for 15 yards.

The Commanders made him a third-round draft choice out of Alabama, where he spent five seasons.

UPDATE 7:30 P.M.: Grant Paulsen of 106.7 The Fan reports Robinson was the victim of a carjacking when he was shot in Washington, D.C., and police still are searching for the suspects.

Saints left tackle Trevor Penning carted to training room

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Saints left tackle Trevor Penning was injured on a goal-line play on the team’s first possession. He went into the injury tent on the sideline and eventually was carted to the training room.

Rod Walker of The Times-Picayune reports that Penning wore no shoe on his left foot as he departed.

The Saints have not announced Penning’s injury or his status.

Penning was injured on Mark Ingram‘s 1-yard touchdown run when tight end Juwan Johnson accidentally hit Penning in the back of his legs.

The Saints drafted Penning in the first round as a replacement for Terron Armstead, who signed with the Dolphins in the offseason. Armstead made three Pro Bowls in his nine seasons in New Orleans, but he played only eight games last season because of elbow and knee injuries.

The team was counting on Penning to start this season, though James Hurst is listed atop the depth chart at the position.

Jameis Winston played one series and went 4-for-4 for 59 yards. Andy Dalton replaced him and went 5-for-5 for 73 yards. The Saints scored touchdowns on their first two possessions.

Trent McDuffie in concussion protocol

NFL: AUG 07 Kansas City Chiefs Training Camp
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Chiefs rookie cornerback Trent McDuffie needs reps, so he played in Thursday night’s final preseason game. McDuffie, though, didn’t last long.

On a third-and-two play on the Packers’ first possession, Tyler Goodson caught a short pass from Jordan Love. McDuffie pushed him out of bounds after a 1-yard gain.

Unfortunately for McDuffie, his head hit Goodson’s hip.

The first-round draft pick was evaluated for a head injury and placed into concussion protocol.

He played 14 snaps on defense and five on special teams in the first preseason game and nine defensive snaps and three on special teams in the second preseason game.

The Chiefs list McDuffie as a starter opposite L'Jarius Sneed on their depth chart, but they have 17 days until their season opener against the Cardinals.

Mike McCarthy: If the season started today, Connor McGovern would start at LG

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The Cowboys used the 24th overall pick on Tulsa offensive tackle Tyler Smith. It was assumed, based on his draft status, that the team would make him the walk-in starter at left guard, a vacancy created with Connor Williams‘ departure in free agency.

But Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday that Connor McGovern, a third-round selection in 2019, has the edge in the competition at the position.

“Those decisions aren’t going to be made (today),” McCarthy said, via video from the team. “If we started today, Connor would play there. Left guard. We’ll see. Tyler’s coming along strong. He does a lot of good things. He’s like the rest of our rookies. They need to play. They just need to play and keep getting better. Connor definitely has value at other positions, which I value a lot. I think he’s a damn good fullback. I think if he lined up and played fullback, 10-12 plays a game, I think he’d be recognized for it. We’re looking at all those things, because it’s a long season, and we want to be able to get in and out of as many personnel groups as we can.”

Coaches don’t always mean what they say, and the season doesn’t start today. Whether McCarthy’s comment was meant to motivate Smith, or as a pat on the back for McGovern, or for some other reason, it still will come as a surprise if Smith isn’t in the starting lineup against the Buccaneers on Sept. 11.

Both players played 37 snaps in the first preseason game and 29 in the second. Smith is out of practice this week with an ankle injury, but the Cowboys haven’t ruled him out of Friday’s preseason finale.

McGovern has gotten work at center this week, and the Cowboys still will flex him out to fullback in the Mac subpackage.

“We’ll get there when we get there,” McCarthy said of the starter at left guard. “. . .I don’t think you take a rookie and just line him up as the starter either. That’s why you have competition. That’s why those two guys are competing for the position. That’s only going to make us better at the left guard position.”

McGovern has 14 career starts, including six at left guard last season. If the Cowboys were going to start him at left guard, they wouldn’t have drafted Smith in the first round. Or shouldn’t have.

Tyler Linderbaum returns to practice


Rookie center Tyler Linderbaum returned to practice Tuesday, 19 days after injuring his foot, Clifton Brown of the team website reports.

Linderbaum still is expected to start after the Ravens traded up to select him with the 25th overall selection. The Ravens open the season Sept. 11 against the Jets.

Coach John Harbaugh said earlier this month that Linderbaum “doesn’t make very many mistakes.”

Receiver Tylan Wallace, who missed last week with a knee injury, also was back to work with teammates Tuesday.

Receiver Demarcus Robinson, who signed with the team this week, participated in his first practice with the Ravens.

Left tackle Ronnie Stanley (ankle) and outside linebacker Tyus Bowser (Achilles) remained sidelined.

“Ronnie and Tyus have both gone really hard with the conditioning,” Harbaugh said. “I watched Ronnie out here before practice with the trainers. He looks like he’s in really good shape and Tyus looks like he’s in really good shape.

“Could you speed it up a little bit if they looked really great at practice? You probably could. We’ll just have to see how it goes and see how they feel. A lot of it is how the player feels at that point.”

The Ravens also practiced without running back Mike Davis, defensive tackle Travis Jones (knee), wide receiver James Proche II, cornerbacks Jalyn Armour-Davis and Pepe Williams, tight ends Nick Boyle and Charlie Kolar, offensive linemen Ben Cleveland and Daniel Faalele and outside linebacker David Ojabo.

Texans place John Metchie on reserve/non-football illness list

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The Texans placed rookie receiver John Metchie on the reserve/non-football illness list Tuesday, according to the NFL’s personnel report.

Metchie said last month that he expected to miss the 2022 season after a leukemia diagnosis.

The 44th overall selection was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), the most curable form of leukemia. APL has complete remission rates of 90 percent and cure rates of approximately 80 percent and even higher among low-risk patients, according to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Metchie caught 96 passes for 1,142 yards and eight touchdowns last season before tearing his ACL in the SEC Championship Game. His ACL recovery was on track before his diagnosis.

Giants place Darrian Beavers, Ricky Seals-Jones, Andre Miller on injured reserve

New York Giants Mandatory Minicamp
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The Giants made no cuts Tuesday but still reached the 80-player roster limit. The team placed three players on injured reserve and two on the reserve/physically unable to perform list.

Rookie inside linebacker Darrian Beavers and tight ends Ricky Seals-Jones and Andre Miller landed on injured reserve. Offensive linemen Nick Gates and Matt Peart will begin the season on PUP, forcing them to miss a minimum of four games.

Beavers, the Giants’ sixth-round selection this spring, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in Sunday night’s preseason game against the Bengals. He is the second member of the 2022 draft class to go on IR with a torn ACL, joining offensive lineman Marcus McKethan, a fifth-round choice, on the season-ending list.

Seals-Jones, a six-year veteran signed by the Giants on March 17, has a toe injury.

Miller, who is converting to tight end after playing receiver at the University of Maine, injured a forearm in a training camp practice.

The Giants have Daniel Bellinger, Chris Myarick, Jordan Akins and rookie Austin Allen left on their roster at tight end.

Gates and Peart are working their way back from season-ending injuries from last season. Gates fractured his lower left leg at Washington on Sept. 16, and Peart tore an ACL at Philadelphia on Dec. 26.