The NFL's preseason really gets going on Thursday night and over the next 22 nights, 14 will feature live-action football games for your viewing pleasure
NFL training camps continue to grind on, but we've got some good news for you: The NFL's preseason really gets going on Thursday night and over the next 22 nights, 14 will feature live-action football games for your viewing pleasure.
• Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy is ready for the preseason to get going, saying this following a fight-filled practice on Wednesday:
"I think if you look at this week historically it’s time to go play against somebody else," McCarthy said. "They’re tired of getting after each other and some plays linger on to the next, which is really an opportunity as a coach to correct that and the discipline that you have to have within the game to fight through that. But this has been going on for two weeks. We’re just ready to play a game."
• The Chicago Bears lost a valuable member of the defense as head coach Marc Trestman disclosed that nickel cornerback Kelvin Hayden suffered a torn hamstring that will require season-ending surgery. Hayden's injury opens the door for Zack Bowman, Sherrick McManis or Isaiah Frey to earn the nickel corner role, which was split by Hayden and D.J. Moore last season.
• Season-ending injuries struck the New Orleans Saints, as well. Wide receiver Joe Morgan, who had the inside track on the No. 3 receiver job, suffered a torn ACL. Morgan was a big-play threat for theSaints last season as eight of his 10 receptions gained 27 or more yards, including touchdown grabs of 34, 48 and 80 yards. The Saints also lost defensive end Kenyon Coleman to a torn pectoral muscle.Coleman was signed this offseason to help the defense transition to a 3-4 under Rob Ryan, Coleman's coordinator with the Dallas Cowboys. Coleman's injury will accelerate the learning process for 2012 third-round pick Akiem Hicks.
• No team has been hit with season-ending injuries quite like the Philadelphia Eagles, who lost wide receivers Jeremy Maclin and Arrelious Benn to torn ACLs during their training camp practices. Head coach Chip Kelly addressed the possibility that the practice surface has contributed to the injuries.
"We're looking into everything," said Kelly. "Obviously, when you have the same injury and it happens in a two‑week span or whatever it is. We're going to look at it and try to figure out, obviously, is it preventable? Is it something that we can make sure doesn't happen? But I don't have any information. I know we're looking at it. But a lot happens any time we have injuries. Our doctors and trainers are trying to figure that part out how the overall scope of everything we do. But it's something that we certainly are looking at right now."
• Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross addressed the media on Wednesday. The Dolphins spent big in free agency this offseason and are trying to get a new stadium deal in South Florida. To make those investments worth it, and for the stadium push to gain traction, the Dolphins will need to become a winner. Ross said winning consistently is the goal.
"We certainly want to make the playoffs," Ross said, via the Miami Herald. "That was all done with that in mind. But I want to see growth in the team, and building the foundation for this season and future seasons as well. I don't want to be a one-shot wonder."
A good start towards becoming a consistent winner: Wide receiver Mike Wallace returned to practice.
• Backup quarterback battle to watch this weekend involves the San Francisco 49ers. Head coach Jim Harbaugh says the battle between Colt McCoy and Scott Tolzien is "even" and that 2013 seventh-round pick B.J. Daniels is also in the mix.
• The Seattle Seahawks terminated the contract of wide receiver Early Doucet, who the team signed on Aug. 2. The team used the "Failure to Disclose Physical Condition" designation when they filed the release with the league office.
"He’s been banged up and he’s got some issues that we’re still working with right now," Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said of Doucet on Wednesday.
• Former Seahawks wide receiver Charly Martin was waived by the San Francisco 49ers on Tuesday and was claimed by the Jacksonville Jaguars, where former Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley is the head coach. Expect that Seattle-to-Jacksonville pipeline to busy all season, even if a few players take indirect routes.
• The Indianapolis Colts released nose tackle Brandon McKinney with an injury settlement. The Colts signed McKinney to a two-year, $2 million contract last April to play the nose in Chuck Pagano's 3-4 defense. McKinney spent last season on injured reserve and was placed on injured reserve again last month. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
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