NFL News & Analysis

NFL training camp roundup: Highlights and storylines from Aug. 23

2RJ54HD San Francisco 49ers quarterback Sam Darnold plays against the Denver Broncos during an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vasquez)

Left tackle Duane Brown activated off PUP list

New York Jets left tackle Duane Brown was activated off the physically unable to perform (PUP) list Wednesday.

Brown battled a shoulder injury for most of the 2022 season, finishing the year with career lows in overall grade (57.8) and run-blocking grade (44.4). Prior to last year, Brown had finished as a top-40 tackle in every season of his career, aside from his rookie campaign in 2008.

The Jets' offensive line has struggled mightily to protect quarterbacks in training camp. They landed 23rd in Sam Monson’s offensive line rankings heading into the season, but the floor is certainly lower if Brown (who turns 38 years old next week) and Mekhi Becton (who has played fewer than 800 snaps in three years) are unable to stay on the field as the starting tackles.

Dolphins' interest in Jonathan Taylor is “real”

On Monday, the Indianapolis Colts gave star running back Jonathan Taylor permission to seek a trade. The Miami Dolphins have “real” interest, according to the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson.

Taylor is the latest running back Miami has been linked to this offseason. Dalvin Cook and Saquon Barkley were two other names floated around as possibilities in recent months. Taylor is one year removed from an 87.1 overall grade (first among 62 qualifying running backs), a season in which he led the league with 1,311 yards after contact and 68 missed tackles forced on runs.

The Dolphins have a crowded backfield at the moment. Raheem Mostert leads all running backs with 5.4 yards per attempt since 2019. Jeff Wilson Jr. ran for 414 yards and four touchdowns after being acquired from the San Francisco 49ers halfway through the 2022 season. De’Von Achane was selected in the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft and is the fastest running back in the class. Myles Gaskin, Salvon Ahmed and Chris Brooks are also in the mix and have stood out at times in camp and the preseason.

If Miami were to land Taylor, he would be running behind an offensive line that ranked seventh in run-blocking grade in 2022 and would be surrounded by elite playmakers at the wide receiver position, cementing his status as a fantasy RB1 moving forward.

49ers name Sam Darnold No. 2 quarterback, Trey Lance‘s future uncertain

The San Francisco 49ers announced that Sam Darnold will be their backup quarterback behind starter Brock Purdy. 2021 third overall pick Trey Lance will be third string on the roster for now, but a trade elsewhere is a possibility, per NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.

Lance has played just 124 snaps over his first two NFL seasons after the 49ers gave up a massive haul to trade up and draft him in 2021. He’s played 62 snaps this preseason, completing 22 of 33 passes for 285 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Lance's overall grade sits at 56.0, and he has zero big-time throws and three turnover-worthy plays.

Darnold has played well this preseason, earning a 76.8 overall grade across 26 dropbacks. He has completed one big-time throw and does not have a turnover-worthy play.

It appears that the writing is on the wall and the 49ers may ultimately move on from Lance this year. A change of scenery and a fresh start may be the best option for Lance, who is still just 23 years old.

WR DJ Chark Jr. expected to miss time with hamstring injury

The Carolina Panthers could be without starting wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. for the foreseeable future after head coach Frank Reich declined to expand on the veteran's injury Wednesday.

The news comes nine days after wide receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. was carted off the practice field with a back injury. He is expected to miss a few weeks.

Chark is in his first year with the Panthers after spending his first four with the Jacksonville Jaguars and 2022 with the Detroit Lions. He has been a productive receiver when on the field but has never played a full season and appeared in just 15 games over the past two seasons.

Rookie Jonathan Mingo could be forced to play significant snaps to begin the year alongside Adam Thielen. Mingo, a second-round pick out of Ole Miss, averaged 16.9 yards per reception while showing serious improvement as a route runner last year.


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