As the 2022 NFL training camps prepare to kick into high gear, the league’s young starting quarterbacks are getting valuable reps.
At New England Patriots‘ camp on Friday, spectators expected the quarterback McJones would increase his level of performance after the offense was almost completely ruled out, scoring just one touchdown on 11 reps in a red zone drill at the end of Thursday’s practice.
Jones did not disappoint, showing that his connection with the tight end John Smith is in a better place than he was for most of 2021. On one play, Jones threw a pass about 20 yards to Smith from behind the end zone, with safety Kyle Dagger in coverage, and Smith jumped high to catch the pass for a touchdown. Smith, who then grabbed another touchdown from Jones, then followed with an emphatic spike.
While mostly sharp, Jones threw his first interception of the side – straight into the chest of the cornerback Jalen Windmills.
In Philadelphia, quarterback Jalen hurts and the offense had a turbulent outing on Friday after a solid performance in opening practice. In Tennessee and Washington, it was the young receivers who made their mark.
Here’s what you need to know about league camps:
What our NFL Nation reporters saw today
Washington Commanders: Second year receiver Dynami Brown must be a bigger threat to Washington in his sophomore season. A third-round pick in 2021, he caught just eight assists. But his speed always excites Washington, and on Friday he made a terrific catch. On the play, quarterback Carson Wentz thrown deep down the left side to Brown. Corner Kendall Fuller was in perfect position to intercept the ball with Brown stuck to his side. But as Fuller stretched for the ball, Brown jumped up and reached the veteran and caught the ball as they fell to the ground. -John Keim
Philadelphia Eagles: Strategist Jalen hurts and the offense struggled after a strong performance in the opening practice.
“It didn’t look good”, center Jason Kelce said.
“It’s Day 2 of camp. We’re going to get it right,” Goedert said. –Tim McManus
Tennessee Titans: Rookie wide receiver Treylon Burk made another day of work exceptional. He used his height to create separation and gain one-on-one reps. The momentum shifted to group practice periods when he caught a few passes from Ryan Tannehill in traffic through the middle. –Turron Davenport
Green Bay Packers: Given his injury history, it would have been easy to say “the same old Samy Watkinswhen he started camp on the non-football-related injury (NFI) list. But the veteran receiver the Packers signed in the offseason was relieved after he was able to start training on Day 3 of camp. He said he felt what he called “a tweak” in one of his hamstrings after pre-camp training.
“The next day I went out and ran some routes and I ran and I felt good, and I think I was kind of in my head [thinking]”Man, it happened again,” Watkins said. “But it was really nothing.” His return to practice on Friday came on a day when the Packers only completed a short half-speed practice. Still, Watkins was able to catch a few passes from Aaron Rodgers as he slowly returned. — Rob Demovsky
Kansas City Chiefs: New defensive end Carlos Dunlap was not in practice. Dunlap told the Chiefs he needed a few days to get his house in order and wouldn’t be returning to camp until the middle of next week. -Adam Teicher
New England Patriots: Rookie Guard weird cole, the team’s first-round pick, ended practice with an exclamation point when coach Bill Belichick called him up for a punt competition. The 6-foot-5, 305-pound Strange carried a punt, then when undrafted rookie defensive lineman DamMarcus Mitchell (Purdue) missed his attempt, Strange followed by catching another with a soccer ball already within reach. It sparked a wild celebration by the offense, which didn’t necessarily earn anything other than bragging rights. –Mike Reiss
New York Jets: Newly signed linebacker Kwon Alexander will be brought in slowly as he gets into football shape. The Jets’ plan is to have him work on his own for a few days before heading to the training ground next week for limited work. He hadn’t been signed since the end of last season, so he didn’t have an offseason program. He will be used in the strongside and weakside linebacker positions, starting as a backup.
“No expectations,” said coach Robert Saleh, who coached him in San Francisco. “[He] just has to do what he always does, which is bring a lot of juice, a lot of energy.” — Rich Cimini
Carolina Panthers: The Panthers ranked in the bottom half of the NFL last season in scoring before halftime, so at the end of practice coach Matt Rhule gave quarterbacks Sam Darnold and Mayfield Baker everyone a chance to see what they could do with 1:45 left on the clock. Darnold designed a touchdown practice through pass interference on a deep pass and a circus catch in the end zone by a wide receiver Shi Smith after the ball has been deflected by a defender.
Mayfield’s group produced a long field goal as time expired. Carolina also ranked in the bottom half of the league in the red zone in 2021. Darnold went 0-for-4 in his first series there on Friday. Mayfield went 1 for 4. Darnold completed his first deep practice pass with a strike over 40 yards for Marshall Jr Terrace. –David Newton
Buffalo Tickets: Start-up safety Micah Hyde was injured while trying to intercept a Josh Allen pass. Hyde dropped the ball as it fell to the ground. After a few seconds, security starts Jordan Poyer waved to the team’s athletic trainers, who came to take care of Hyde. Several Bills players knelt as Hyde was watched, and the music was turned off.
He limped off the field with their help and held the back of his leg at one point before getting into the passenger seat of the cart, which took him to the team locker room. Hyde is suffering from a hip and gluteal injury which is still being evaluated. He and Poyer are arguably the best safety tandem in the NFL, so any missed time would be a big loss for this Bills defense. Jaquan Johnson and Damar Hamlin filled in for Hyde the rest of practice. –Alaina Getzenberg
Top NFL news of the day
Washington defensive end Chase Young will miss at least the season opener — and possibly more — with a knee injury he suffered late last year. A team source told ESPN earlier this month that Young would return mid-September at the earliest.
Watt, from Arizona, doesn’t like to wear the Guardian cap during training camp and was quick to share his thoughts on Friday.
“You feel like a bobblehead,” Watt deadpanned. “Like you’re gonna fall. I’m probably gonna get fined for that. That’s great. … There’s 15,000 gone.”
The Guardian cap is required for all offensive linemen, defensive linemen, tight ends and linebackers during practices from training camp through game two of the preseason.
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