Tuesday camp preview: Monitoring Clay Matthews' health and more

AP Images/Mike Roemer

NFL Nation reporters look ahead to Tuesday practices at their teams' training camps.


Buffalo Bills: A deluge of rain Monday night could put the Bills' 10 a.m. Tuesday practice in jeopardy, but if they are able to hit the field, Matt Cassel will remain in the spotlight. Cassel, who will start in Friday's preseason opener, had his best practice of training camp Monday. Coach Rex Ryan wants to see a quarterback string together quality practices and separate himself from the competition. Cassel has that opportunity ahead of him. -- Mike Rodak

Miami Dolphins: Things are getting chippy. Defensive tackle Kendall Montgomery and offensive tackle Ja'Wuan James got into the first scuffle of Dolphins training camp on Monday, which is a sign it's time to face other teams. Miami will play the Chicago Bears in Thursday's preseason opener. -- James Walker

New England Patriots: The Patriots are expected to make Jimmy Garoppolo and newly signed Ryan Lindley available to reporters after practice. As it has for most of training camp, the spotlight will continue to shine bright on the backup quarterbacks with Tom Brady's suspension looming (pending litigation). -- Mike Reiss

New York Jets: After a ragged practice on Monday, the Jets need to refocus and snap out of their training camp funk. The spotlight will be on Geno Smith, who is coming off a two-interception day -- his first two of camp. -- Rich Cimini


Baltimore Ravens: Starting cornerback Lardarius Webb got beat on a deep pass Monday by rookie wide receiver Darren Waller and then left practice with a hamstring tweak. This continues what's been an uneven camp for Webb, leaving open the possibility that Rashaan Melvin or Kyle Arrington could pass Webb on the depth chart. -- Jamison Hensley

Cincinnati Bengals: Will the fisticuffs we saw Saturday between players from Washington and Houston play out in Cincinnati on Tuesday? Bengals coach Marvin Lewis and Giants coach Tom Coughlin certainly hope not. Some Bengals veterans aren't making any promises, although they plan on exhibiting patience ahead of the first day of the teams' joint practice. After a couple of minor scuffles in their last two practices, the Bengals clearly are ready to hit someone else. -- Coley Harvey

Cleveland Browns: The Browns will hold their final practice before the preseason opener on Thursday against Washington. Coach Mike Pettine is expected to provide some guidance on how he'll use his quarterbacks as well as the status of left tackle Joe Thomas, who had his right leg rolled up on during practice Monday. The injury wasn't considered serious. -- Pat McManamon

Pittsburgh Steelers: The injury to kicker Shaun Suisham -- reportedly a torn ACL -- means the Steelers will likely spend the next few days ensuring this position is stable. That could mean working out several veterans that have reliable track records, such as Billy Cundiff and Shayne Graham. -- Jeremy Fowler


Houston Texans: Early Tuesday morning, Texans coach Bill O'Brien is sitting down with Matt Dissinger, the director of Hard Knocks, to review the first episode for any issues that reveal a competitive advantage. O'Brien has been complimentary of the way the show's crew has handled filming, but O'Brien has couched that by saying, "We'll see when the show comes out." The first episode airs tonight at 10 p.m. ET. -- Tania Ganguli

Indianapolis Colts: Earlier in camp, the secondary momentarily earned bragging rights when they intercepted Andrew Luck three times in one practice. But Luck has dominated the defense since then, throwing only one interception off a tipped pass since Aug. 5. We'll see if Vontae Davis & Co. can challenge the offense a bit more in the passing game Tuesday. -- Mike Wells

Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jaguars had only two members of their projecting starting defensive line available to practice Monday, with tackle Roy Miller and end Jared Odrick both battling sore left knees and their statuses for the week is uncertain. Odrick is day-to-day but Miller will continue to be evaluated. It wouldn't be a surprise if the Jaguars shut one or both down for the week to ensure they're available for the preseason opener. -- Mike DiRocco

Tennessee Titans: The Titans' defense has played increasingly better over the past three or four days. It seems the group is finding a rhythm, and that should be a good sign for what it can do Friday night in Atlanta. Tuesday morning, the D will continue to work on the late-game situations. Last season, the Titans allowed 7.9 points per game in the fourth quarter, 28th in the NFL. -- Paul Kuharsky


Denver Broncos: The Broncos don't have many major roster questions, but two of the biggest are on special teams at punt returner and kicker. The team has done plenty of end-of-game situational work throughout camp to try and get answers. With the preseason games approaching, the Broncos want to see who steps forward -- both in the practices that remain this week and in Friday's preseason opener in Seattle. -- Jeff Legwold

Kansas City Chiefs: With Sean Smith suspended for the season's first three games, the Chiefs have moved rookie cornerback Marcus Peters into the starting lineup. Expect that to continue, but don't view it as Smith being permanently demoted. Smith is still the team's only established cornerback and remains an integral part of a defense that ranked second overall against the pass last season (203.3 yards per game). -- Adam Teicher

Oakland Raiders: The Raiders are going to get rookie tight end Clive Walford on the field for training camp, perhaps as early as Tuesday. If not, Wednesday is a target date for the Miami product. The Raiders have not discussed Walford's injury -- ESPN's Adam Caplan reported Walford has a hamstring injury -- but coach Jack Del Rio said Sunday that Walford is close to returning. He was a star in the offseason program, and the team wants him to be an early contributor. -- Bill Williamson

San Diego Chargers: Coach Mike McCoy continued his preparation for Thursday's game against the Dallas Cowboys by working on the two-minute drill and other clock management situations. McCoy said his team will do more of the same on Tuesday. Running back Melvin Gordon said he's ready for his first game action. "We definitely get some live reps here," Gordon said. "But it will be good to get that against a different team." -- Eric D. Williams


Dallas Cowboys: This will be the Cowboys' final practice before going to San Diego on Wednesday for the preseason opener. The starters are unlikely to play against the Chargers, which will give a little extra attention to the battle brewing between Dustin Vaughan and undrafted rookie Jameill Showers for the No. 3 QB job. Vaughan has more experience, but Showers has flashed in practices lately and can play some special teams. -- Todd Archer

New York Giants: The Giants will practice against the Bengals on Tuesday in Cincinnati. It's expected to be a full-pad affair, so you can glean a lot about the injury statuses of various Giants players by looking at who did and didn't make the trip. Victor Cruz, Prince Amukamara, Ereck Flowers, Weston Richburg and starting safety candidate Bennett Jackson are all in Cincy, while Geoff Schwartz and Nat Berhe were left home. You have to start to wonder if Schwartz and Berhe's situations could linger and threaten their availability for Week 1. -- Dan Graziano

Philadelphia Eagles: As they return to practice after a day off, the Eagles will have to find out who can take JaCorey Shepherd's spot at nickel corner. The rookie tore his ACL during Sunday's practice, the second Eagle to do so in a week. Eric Rowe, Randall Evans, Jaylen Watkins and Denzel Rice will compete for the chance to line up against Andrew Luck next Sunday. -- Phil Sheridan

Washington Redskins: The Redskins only have one more practice Tuesday before they start setting their lineups for Thursday's preseason opener in Cleveland. In the past, Washington has only used the starters for one or two series, but the plan is to have the first-stringers -- including Robert Griffin III -- play at least one quarter against the Browns. Last preseason, Griffin only attempted 20 passes; that number should be topped this year. -- John Keim


Chicago Bears: The offense will look to have another strong practice after receivers Alshon Jeffery and Marquess Wilson routinely beat Chicago's secondary on Monday. Jeffery, in particular, is having a dominant camp as he enters the final year of his contract. -- Jeff Dickerson

Detroit Lions: The Lions will have their last full practice before Thursday's preseason opener. One of the biggest things to watch will be what the second teams look like. This is when things start to shake out for the bottom half of the roster, and the Lions have a lot of openings there. -- Michael Rothstein

Green Bay Packers: If Clay Matthews can make it through Tuesday's practice, then it's possible we'll see him in Thursday's preseason opener in New England. Matthews practiced Monday on what coach Mike McCarthy called a "trial return" after he missed the previous five practices because of a sore knee. Afterward, Matthews said he had no problems with his knee, but the real test will be to see if the soreness returns on Tuesday. -- Rob Demovsky

Minnesota Vikings: After a day off on Monday, the Vikings will return to Mankato, Minnesota, for their final three days of training camp. They will hold a morning walk-through on Tuesday, followed by an afternoon practice, as they get ready for their home preseason opener on Saturday against Tampa Bay. -- Ben Goessling


Atlanta Falcons: The Falcons' top two running backs, Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman, appear unlikely to play in Friday's exhibition opener against Tennessee while nursing hamstring strains. So who will start at running back? The depth chart would say Antone Smith, who continues to flash his well-known explosiveness. But undrafted rookie Terron Ward has been getting the most first-team reps in practice, and Falcons coach Dan Quinn is impressed with Ward's attention to detail. We'll see if Tuesday's practice provides more clarity on Smith or Ward being first up against the Titans. -- Vaughn McClure

Carolina Panthers: One thing you probably won't see is another fight involving quarterback Cam Newton. You probably won't see a fight between any teammates. Coach Ron Rivera detests exchanges that escalate into fights, particularly when they involve his franchise quarterback. But you might see Newton and cornerback Josh Norman talk to the media about their exchange after both were silenced Monday. -- David Newton

New Orleans Saints: The competition between the New Orleans Saints' pass-rushers is heating up this week as they install more live-game situations leading up to Thursday's preseason opener in Baltimore. Cameron Jordan is entrenched as the starting right DE spot, but ends/linebackers Anthony Spencer, Kasim Edebali, Hau'oli Kikaha, Ronald Powell and Parys Haralson have been rotating in and out of the lineup behind him. Edebali has probably been the most impressive of the group so far, but all are in the mix. -- Mike Triplett

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: As the Bucs return to practice Tuesday after having Monday off, one of the focuses will be on the competition for the third receiver spot. Louis Murphy, who held that role last year, has been out with an injury since the start of camp. That has given rookie Kenny Bell and second-year pro Robert Herron an opportunity, and both have responded well. Bell has been making big plays, and Herron has shown marked improvement from his rookie year. -- Pat Yasinskas


Arizona Cardinals: With each passing day, the Cardinals get closer to having running back Andre Ellington returning to full strength. He went through individual drills Monday but was held out of team activities. His hamstring is nearly back to 100 percent and Ellington said if there's a game, he'll play in it, referring to Saturday's preseason tilt against Kansas City. -- Josh Weinfuss

St. Louis Rams: The Rams will hold their final open-to-the-public practice of training camp on Tuesday. Approximately 309 miles to the northeast, a group of 32 NFL owners will be having high-level discussions on whether it's the final open-to-the-public practice the Rams ever hold in St. Louis. Coach Jeff Fisher has done a good job of keeping his team's focus on football, but it's safe to say there will be a few inquiring minds wanting to know what's happening before and after Tuesday's workout. -- Nick Wagoner

San Francisco 49ers: The Niners return after a day off, having closed a spirited practice on Sunday with a "live" goal-line drill in which Jarryd Hayne, the Australian rugby star trying to make it as an NFL running back, was absolutely drilled by Tank Carradine and Shayne Skov. Hayne scored on the next snap, but we'll see how the Aussie is feeling physically on Tuesday. -- Paul Gutierrez

Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks' morning practice should provide additional clues as to where things stand with the two starting jobs still up for grabs along the O-line. While Alvin Bailey appears to be the front-runner at left guard, it's much tighter at center with Lemuel Jeanpierre and Drew Nowak competing to replace Max Unger, who was sent to New Orleans in the Jimmy Graham trade. Also, with Kam Chancellor's holdout now in its second week, Dion Bailey has emerged as a player to watch as Seattle considers its alternatives at strong safety. -- Brady Henderson