Wednesday NFL preview: Getting Matt Cassel up to speed in Dallas

NFL Nation reporters look ahead to what Wednesday has in store for each team.


Buffalo Bills: The Bills' trip to Miami this weekend will be Richie Incognito's first time back to Sun Life Stadium since being suspended in 2013. Incognito said Tuesday that he still is friends with several Dolphins players and staffers but added that he still will want to "give it to" his former team. Incognito is expected to be named a captain when the Bills call the coin toss before the game. -- Mike Rodak

Miami Dolphins: Dolphins Pro Bowl defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is expected to meet with the Miami media today as the team prepares for the Bills. Among the important topics will be how to get Suh more involved after registering just three tackles in the first two games. -- James Walker

New England Patriots: The Patriots will turn their focus to the Jaguars after having Tuesday off. Run defense will be a focus, as the team is allowing opponents to rush for an average of 5.7 yards per carry, which ranks last in the NFL. Led by QB Blake Bortles, who is always a threat to run, the Jaguars can present some issues for opponents in that area of the game. -- Mike Reiss

New York Jets: With Eric Decker (knee) uncertain this week and Chris Owusu (leg) unlikely to play, the Jets have to restack their wide-receiver rotation: Quincy Enunwa figures to have an expanded role, possibly as the team's No. 2, while second-round pick Devin Smith could make his NFL debut. There also is a possibility the Jets could dust the cobwebs off Jeremy Kerley, who has played just two offensive snaps so far this season. -- Rich Cimini


Baltimore Ravens: Starting running back Justin Forsett played only 42 snaps Sunday, just seven more than backup Lorenzo Taliaferro. Forsett said he was limited by the Ravens' rotation at running back, not by injury. Taliaferro was the team's primary red-zone back and scored Baltimore's only rushing touchdown of the year. Forsett's role going forward should be monitored. -- Jamison Hensley

Cincinnati Bengals: Andy Dalton's last three games against the Ravens have gone dramatically better than the first five. He had a 1-4 record against Baltimore at the start of his career, but boasts a 3-0 mark against the Ravens of late. As the Bengals start installing their game plan for their first division game of the season, Dalton will be under the microscope. He's off to a good start this season, having not been intercepted or sacked in the first two games. When he holds his news conference on Wednesday, it will be interesting to hear his perspective on how he can keep that going against a desperate 0-2 Ravens team. -- Coley Harvey

Cleveland Browns: The Browns are expected to announce whether Johnny Manziel or Josh McCown will start at quarterback. After leading the team to its first win of the season on Sunday, Manziel will be the popular choice, but the team was prepared to start McCown last week had he cleared the concussion test. Mike Pettine's decision will be telling. -- Pat McManamon

Pittsburgh Steelers: Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell will practice for the first time since serving a two-game suspension. Bell will assume lead tailback duties, with DeAngelo Williams backing him up, but expect the Steelers to utilize Bell's elite pass-catching ability all over the field this week against the Rams. -- Jeremy Fowler


Houston Texans: Establishing the run better, even without starting running back Arian Foster, is a priority for the Texans. As coach Bill O'Brien said on his local radio show, he'll examine his own play calling: "What do our players run the best? When are we running these runs? What down and distance are we calling it on? I think there's an overall analysis that we have to do to get better in the running game." -- Tania Ganguli

Indianapolis Colts: CB Greg Toler is still being classified as week-to-week with his neck injury, but he is closer to returning to the field. Coach Chuck Pagano said Toler may begin practicing on a limited basis. Toler has been out since injuring his neck against Chicago on Aug. 22. -- Mike Wells

Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jaguars can't seem to catch a break with injuries. They lost RB Denard Robinson with a knee sprain. And now WR Rashad Greene has been placed on short-term IR after undergoing surgery to repair a ligament in his hand; he is the ninth starter or key reserve to go down within the last month. -- Mike DiRocco

Tennessee Titans: Marcus Mariota and Ken Whisenhunt indicated after the Titans' loss at Cleveland that the rookie quarterback's ankle injury was nothing serious. However, we'll find out if there are any limits on him Wednesday, when the team holds its first practice to prepare for Sunday's home opener against the Colts. -- Paul Kuharsky


Denver Broncos: It's only a two-game sample size, but it is worth noting that wide receiver Jordan Norwood has played 98 snaps on offense (65.3 percent). That's far more than even the Broncos would have predicted as training camp drew to a close. Norwood has worked as the No. 3 in the offense and is expected to maintain that role in the near future. His increased playing time has come at the expense of Andre Caldwell (17 percent of the offense's snaps) and Cody Latimer (six percent). -- Jeff Legwold

Kansas City Chiefs: One of the interesting duels in Monday night's game at Green Bay will feature rookie Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Peters has an interception in each of his two NFL games and returned one for a touchdown last week against Peyton Manning and the Broncos. Rodgers has thrown 545 passes, 43 for touchdowns, since his last interception at Lambeau Field. -- Adam Teicher

Oakland Raiders: The Raiders have to work on penalties. They drew 16 flags in Week 2, the second-highest figure in the league behind the Cowboys' 18. It was a problem in the preseason, and it has continued into the regular season. Oakland coach Jack Del Rio said he is most concerned with pre-snap penalties. Expect it to be a point of emphasis during Wednesday's practice. -- Bill Williamson

San Diego Chargers: Rookie running back Melvin Gordon ranks 10th in the NFL with 139 rushing yards through two games, averaging 4.6 yards per carry. San Diego wants to run the football to set up Philip Rivers and the passing game. Their ability to do that will depend on which version of the Minnesota Vikings' defense shows up: the one that got gashed by the 49ers in Week 1 (230 rushing yards) or the one that allowed just 38 yards on the ground against the Detroit Lions last week. -- Eric D. Williams


Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys will begin getting Matt Cassel up to speed with their offense when he arrives on Wednesday after the trade with the Buffalo Bills. Cassel has some familiarity with the offense, having spent 2014 with the Vikings under offensive coordinator Norv Turner, who has had an influence on Jason Garrett. The Cowboys will not try to overwhelm Cassel with too much too soon and plan to call up Kellen Moore from the practice squad. -- Todd Archer

New York Giants: The Giants have allowed the third-fewest rushing yards in the league through the first two weeks (68 yards per game), but they're paying close attention to the tape on Washington running backs Alfred Morris and Matt Jones in advance of Thursday night's contest. The Giants know they're going to have to stop the run in order to force quarterback Kirk Cousins into mistakes downfield, and Washington's powerful backfield duo is more imposing than anything they saw from Dallas or Atlanta, both of which had more success throwing to their backs than they did running with them. -- Dan Graziano

Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles' first real practice in preparation for the Jets will focus on straightening out their running game and coming up with a rotation at inside linebacker. With Kiko Alonso and Mychal Kendricks likely to be out, DeMeco Ryans and Jordan Hicks are the possible starters at the inside linebacker spots. Brad Jones and Najee Goode also could play in various packages. Everyone involved needs some practice time together. -- Phil Sheridan

Washington Redskins: One thing to look for from rookie running back Matt Jones going forward is how well he lowers his shoulder on runs. The Redskins loved his 39-yard touchdown run because it showed good speed, but he also had a four-yard gain in which he bulldozed a linebacker. The Redskins have worked hard with him at lowering his shoulder pads, so that he can run with more power. It will be a continued point emphasis for the 6-foot-2 Jones. -- John Keim


Chicago Bears: Preparations are underway for quarterback Jimmy Clausen to start Sunday at Seattle. Wednesday is Clausen's first practice as the Bears No. 1 quarterback since Week 16 of last year, when Jay Cutler got benched by ex-head coach Marc Trestman. It remains to be seen if Clausen will have a full complement of weapons to work with versus the Seahawks. Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery is day-to-day with calf and hamstring injuries that kept him out of the loss to Arizona. However, Jeffery is not believed to be seriously hurt and is likely to return in the coming weeks. -- Jeff Dickerson

Detroit Lions: The Lions will to pay attention to how Matthew Stafford is handling his various injuries during Wednesday's practice. It will be his first true work of the week -- if he practices -- and give a good indication of where he could be at heading into a critical Sunday night game against Denver. Stafford has been dealing with a multitude of injuries, including one to his throwing arm and what colleague Adam Schefter reported Monday as bruised ribs. The fact that the Lions didn't bring in a quarterback for a workout on Tuesday is potentially a sign that Stafford will be available against the Broncos. -- Michael Rothstein

Green Bay Packers: If it seems quiet around Lambeau Field these days, that's because the Packers won't return to the practice field until Thursday. Coach Mike McCarthy gave his players Monday and Tuesday off following Sunday's win over the Seahawks. They will be at the stadium on Wednesday but not on the field and not available to reporters for another day in advance of Monday night's game against the Chiefs. -- Rob Demovsky

Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings will continue to keep an eye on kicker Blair Walsh, who missed an extra point on Sunday. This came after he pushed a field goal wide right in the season opener and went 5 of 11 on field goals in the preseason. Walsh hit two field goals on Sunday but has missed at least one field goal or extra point in six of the Vikings' seven preseason and regular-season games. -- Ben Goessling


Atlanta Falcons: As the Falcons get back to practice on Wednesday, one of the lingering questions is how long turf toe will keep Devin Hester sidelined. The dynamic kicker returner missed the first two games, and turf toe can take up to four weeks to heal. It would be a surprise to see Hester return this week against the Cowboys. -- Vaughn McClure

Carolina Panthers: The Luke Kuechly watch resumes on Wednesday. Coach Ron Rivera said on Monday he hopes his middle linebacker is cleared to take part in non-contact drills, which is his next step in the concussion protocol. After that, Kuechly still will need final clearance from the independent physician before playing on Sunday. You know Kuechly is itching to get back on the field for the NFC South opener against New Orleans, a team he had an NFL-record-tying 24 tackles against in 2013. -- David Newton

New Orleans Saints: We'll find out today if Drew Brees is able to practice as he rehabs a bruised rotator cuff. No matter who plays quarterback, the Saints will need their run game to deliver more than it has so far. They are loaded with talent -- Mark Ingram, C.J. Spiller and Khiry Robinson -- but they have underachieved, ranking in the bottom fourth of the NFL in rushing yards per game (79) and yards per carry (3.36). -- Mike Triplett

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jameis Winston said in the offseason that he is most looking forward to playing J.J. Watt in the NFL. Has he seen Watt play? Tampa Bay's much-maligned offensive line improved in a Week 2 win over New Orleans but will need to put bodies on Watt early and often to give Winston a chance. -- Jeremy Fowler


Arizona Cardinals: The Cardinals likely will have two old faces returning to the offensive line on Wednesday: right tackle Bobby Massie and left guard Mike Iupati. Massie missed the first two games because of a suspension, and Iupati has been out for more than a month with a meniscus injury. -- Josh Weinfuss

St. Louis Rams: Once again, the Rams are not tipping their hand when it comes to the status of running back Todd Gurley. But Gurley's chances of debuting against the Steelers on Sunday are more realistic than they were last week. Barring a setback, if Gurley doesn't return this week, it will almost certainly happen in Week 4. For now, the Rams are monitoring his progress in practice and formulating a plan for how much he'll be used when the time comes. Jeff Fisher has said Gurley will be on a pitch count when he comes back, so even if he plays, don't expect a full workload right away. -- Nick Wagoner

San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers' running game should get a boost on Wednesday as Reggie Bush, who strained his left calf on his second carry of the season opener, Tweeted on Tuesday that he was "looking forward to getting back on the field this week." -- Paul Gutierrez

Seattle Seahawks: During Sunday night's loss to the Packers, the Seattle coaches encouraged Russell Wilson to use his legs to help the offense. Wilson ran 10 times for 78 yards -- on designed plays, reads and scrambles. With Marshawn Lynch yet to get going, the Seahawks will continue to count on Wilson to help with the run game. -- Sheil Kapadia