NFL training camp roundup: Highlights and storylines from Aug. 9

2MA4A5P Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Rashod Bateman (7) warms up before an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Sauce Gardner not practicing Wednesday due to injury

New York Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner did not participate in Wednesday’s practice after sustaining a quad injury in Tuesday's session. 

As a rookie, Gardner led all cornerbacks in overall grade (87.9) and coverage grade (90.0) on his way to Defensive Rookie of the Year honors.

New York’s defense ranked as the third-best coverage unit last season, thanks in large part to Gardner’s elite rookie campaign. The Jets top our list for best secondary units heading into the 2023 season and will likely be cautious with their young superstar over the next few days to ensure he is 100% heading into the regular season.

Dalton Kincaid impressing at camp

Rookie tight end Dalton Kincaid has been a standout player at camp and is gaining steam as a legitimate difference-maker in the Bills’ offense this season.

Kincaid was the first tight end taken in the 2023 NFL Draft (25th overall). According to The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia, quarterback Josh Allen has “complete trust” in the rookie and their on-field chemistry has been evident at camp.

Kincaid will be best utilized as a receiving tight end in the NFL. He finished last season with 70 receptions, 890 yards and eight touchdowns at Utah. He is on the smaller side for a tight end (listed at 240 pounds), which is worth noting since there were just three tight ends listed at 240 pounds or less in the NFL last season.

The expectation is that Buffalo will be running more two-tight end sets this season. Dawson Knox ranked eighth among 72 qualifying tight ends in run-blocking grade last season, so it appears the Bills have the ideal tight end duo in terms of complementing skill sets.

Rashod Bateman activated from PUP list

The Baltimore Ravens activated wide receiver Rashod Bateman from the physically unable to perform list Wednesday. Bateman had been sidelined since the start of training camp with a foot injury.

Wednesday was Bateman’s first activity at camp, and he was spotted doing individual drills. The team will likely proceed with caution in bringing the third-year wide receiver up to speed as the regular season approaches. In his absence, rookie Zay Flowers has been a standout performer at camp working alongside Odell Beckham Jr. on the first-team offense.

Bateman has played just 793 snaps over his first two years in the league. His best game as a pro came in Week 2 last season against the Miami Dolphins; he caught four of seven targets for 108 yards and a touchdown, including 86 yards after the catch.

De’Von Achane looking to climb the depth chart at Dolphins camp

Miami Dolphins rookie running back De’Von Achane has been making a strong impression at camp, and his teammates are noticing. Wide receiver Jaylen Waddle commented on his ability to break tackles and stay on his feet (despite his small frame), and safety Brandon Jones compared him to former Tennessee Titans speedster Chris Johnson.

Achane is currently on the third-team depth chart — behind Raheem Mostert/Jeff Wilson Jr. and Salvon Ahmed/Myles Gaskin, according to the Palm Beach Post’s Joe Schad. Mostert and Wilson have each battled their fair share of injuries over the years, and even as recently as camp the past two weeks, so it would not be a surprise to see Achane carve out a legitimate role in the offense once the season begins.

The Dolphins selected Achne with the 84th overall pick in April. He was easily the fastest back in the class, but even at 185 pounds, he’s more than just a speed back. Achane forced a missed tackle on 29% of his career attempts in college, tied for fifth among Power Five backs since 2020. With Achane, Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle and Raheem Mostert, among others, there is no offense with more pure speed than the Dolphins in 2023.


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