The offseason is officially in the rearview mirror. NFL training camps began in earnest this week, and there’s plenty of injury news and rosters to review. We’ll begin our tour of the league in Cincinnati, where Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow will miss time after undergoing surgery.
Joe Burrow to have appendix removed
Burrow will be temporarily sidelined after undergoing surgery to remove his appendix, according to NFL Network’s Rapoport. Recovery time after appendix removal is typically 1-3 weeks, so Burrow could return in time for Cincinnati’s first preseason game (though it’s highly unlikely he’ll play in that contest even if he’s available).
Meanwhile, backup quarterback Brandon Allen will take most of the snaps under center. The Bengals will also get an extended look at former UDFA Jake Browning, who originally joined the practice squad last September. Cincinnati could add another developmental signal-caller in the coming days.
Broncos’ Randy Gregory and Billy Turner head to PUP.
The Broncos will be without two potential starters when training camp begins. Both edge rusher Randy Gregory and offensive lineman Billy Turner have been placed on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list.
Gregory, who signed a five-year, $70 million contract with Denver this offseason after recording six catches and 47 pressures for the Cowboys, underwent shoulder surgery in March. If he remains on the PUP through the regular season, Gregory will be forced to miss at least four games. However, he is recovering well and is expected to be ready for Week 1, as general manager George Paton told reporters.
Turner is competing to become Denver’s starting right tackle, but missing time early in camp won’t help him beat out Bobby Massie and Calvin Anderson in that training camp battle. The veteran lineman is “progressing well” per Mike Klis of 9News, and it appears he’ll be available for the start of the season as well. Given his experience in the front five, the Broncos could make him a utility lineman.
The colts not talking to Julio Jones
The Colts could use more wide receiver depth, and a meeting between Matt Ryan and Julio Jones could make sense for all parties. But general manager Chris Ballard said Indianapolis isn’t talking to the free agent receiver.
“I know there are reports out there, but those reports are wrong,” Ballard told reporters today, adding that he doesn’t feel any “desperation” about Indy’s pass-catching depth chart.
However, Ballard said the Colts are still “in the mix” to re-sign WR TY Hilton, who remains on the open market after spending the last decade with Indianapolis. Hilton, 32, reportedly received interest from at least two unknown teams this offseason after posting a 23-331-3 line in 2021. He played last year on an $8 million, one-year contract.
Michael Pittman Jr. is a rising star for the Colts, but they have few proven options behind him. Rookie second-round pick Alec Pierce is a candidate to start, as is Parris Campbell, even though injuries have limited him to eight games in three seasons. Ashton Dulin, Mike Strachan, Dezmon Paton and Keke Coutee round out the rest of Indy’s WR room.
Roquan Smith holding out at Bears camp.
The NFL’s new CBA has made holds a thing of the past by making fines mandatory and irrevocable, but holds, in which a player attends camp but doesn’t practice, will continue. That’s the strategy Bears linebacker Roquan Smith is using as he seeks a new contract.
Smith is heading into the final year of his rookie contract and will be paid $9,375 on his fifth-year option. The two-time second-team All-Pro is likely looking for at least $18 million annually in his next pact and may cross the $19 million threshold that only Fred Warner and Shaquille (formerly Darius) Leonard have reached.
Meanwhile, veteran running back Robert Quinn also reported to Bears camp, but it’s unclear if he will practice. The 32-year-old isn’t a fit for a rebuilding Chicago team, and the Bears are likely to get something in return for him after he recorded 18 1/2 catches in 2021. Still, Bears general manager Ryan Poles said he hasn’t. discussed a possible trade for Quinn.
Panthers send LB Shaq Thompson to PUP
The Panthers placed linebacker Shaq Thomspon on the PUP list, but head coach Matt Rhule told reporters he expects Thomspon to be ready for Week 1. The longest-tenured member of Carolina’s defense, Thompson underwent knee surgery during the offseason. He is the veteran on a unit that includes young playmakers such as Brian Burns, Jaycee Horn, and Jeremy Chinn.
Veteran CB Buster Skrine Retires
Veteran NFL cornerback Buster Skrine has decided to retire, Titans head coach Mike Vrabel told reporters today. Skrine, 33, joined Tennessee last November and played well in seven games. He wasn’t expected to start in 2022 but could have been a valuable veteran option behind young corners like Caleb Farley, Kristian Fulton, Elijah Molden, and Roger McCreary.
Skrine was a fifth-round selection by the Browns in the 2011 NFL Draft. After four years in Cleveland, he signed a $25 million contract with the Jets. Skrine spent the 2019-20 season with the Bears before finishing his career with the 49ers and Titans last season. Overall, he appeared in 158 games (95 starts) and recorded 10 interceptions in an 11-year career.