NFL training camps continued Wednesday, with more teams donning pads and ramping up the intensity as we get closer to preseason games. Quarterbacks are starting to look more dialed in -- check out some of the perfectly placed highlight throws below -- and all eyes continue to be on offense vs. defense battles at practices.
On Wednesday, we saw Jimmy Garoppolo's "pitch count" training camp plan in action, the Patriots' offense making strides and glimpses of how the Washington pass game could be different in 2023. Here's what you need to know from camps across the league.
Top NFL news of the day
A day after Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank said he believed in quarterback Desmond Ridder as the future of the position with his franchise, Ridder said hearing his team's owner say that was "comforting." Ridder, a third-round pick in 2022 out of Cincinnati, is entering his first full season as the starting quarterback after replacing Marcus Mariota for the final four games of last year's campaign.
Bengals running back Joe Mixon said he agreed to take a pay cut ahead of the upcoming season because he felt a "sacrifice" was needed to help the team's Super Bowl run. In July, Mixon and the Bengals agreed to restructure his four-year contract extension he signed in 2020. According to Roster Management System, his new cash value of $5.8 million is nearly a $3 million decrease from his cash value in 2022.
What our NFL Nation reporters saw and heard today
Las Vegas Raiders: Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who is being eased into training camp after undergoing surgery on his left foot in March, left practice Wednesday about three-quarters of the way through as he was on a "pitch count" as part of his rehab plan, according to a source. Garoppolo sat out practice Friday, and the Raiders will also be off Thursday. With Garoppolo in the locker room, rookie Aidan O'Connell got the majority of first-team reps and had a nice connection with receiver Davante Adams on an out route to the right sideline. -- Paul Gutierrez
Washington Commanders: The Commanders have spent a good chunk of time working on the passing game with their running backs and tight ends. Coach Ron Rivera has often said one thing he liked about new coordinator Eric Bieniemy was his desire to get the ball to the running backs in space. So far, that's what the Commanders have shown in practice. Second-year back Brian Robinson Jr. will be one beneficiary of that strategy -- and he has shown terrific hands throughout training camp. He'll be their main power runner, but he has increased his value because of his hands and improved route-running. Robinson caught another touchdown pass Wednesday when he grabbed a ball in the flat for a 5-yard score, and he has caught passes off a variety of routes this summer. -- John Keim
Baltimore Ravens: Starting cornerback Rock Ya-Sin pulled up after a one-on-one drill and went down holding a knee. Ya-Sin, who is in his first season with Baltimore, walked gingerly back to the locker room with a trainer. "The initial indication is it's not a serious thing," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "But let's wait and see." The Ravens don't have much experience at outside cornerback beyond Ya-Sin and Marlon Humphrey. The other outside corners are Jalyn Armour-Davis, Kevon Seymour and Kyu Kelly. -- Jamison Hensley
Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs practiced for the ninth time at training camp without defensive tackle Chris Jones, who is holding out for an improved contract. "I talk to Chris but not necessarily about contract stuff," quarterback Patrick Mahomes said. "We just talk about football, how he's doing. He's working out, staying in shape. All of that will handle itself. All I can do is be supportive, be a good teammate. That's one of the guys that's been a staple of this organization for a long time. Hopefully, we get him back in camp as soon as possible." The Chiefs did get another defensive tackle back to practice, though: Tershawn Wharton worked for the first time at camp after missing most of last season with a knee injury. -- Adam Teicher
Jacksonville Jaguars: Wide receiver Calvin Ridley was the star of the Jags' camp through the first six practices, but No. 7 was a little rough. He dropped four passes in team, 7-on-7 and one-on-one drills Wednesday. Ridley was dealing with a toe injury that he suffered during Tuesday's practice, and coach Doug Pederson said the team was going to limit how much running he did. After Wednesday's practice the Jaguars said Ridley's injury was related to the cleats he had been wearing. He switched to a different pair, and that is expected to solve the issue and keep the injury from getting worse. -- Michael DiRocco
New England Patriots: Quarterback Mac Jones busted out a Griddy at one point late in full-pads practice, as the offense was having success in the red zone, highlighted by TD throws to DeVante Parker and JuJu Smith-Schuster. That got a rise out of the crowd and reflected how the offense under the direction of coordinator Bill O'Brien is light-years ahead of where it was at this point last year. As for the celebrations, which included Jones dancing with his fellow receivers, Smith-Schuster said: "Mac pulls up and we just make up new dances as we go. ... When he is having fun, we are having fun and the confidence level is through the roof." -- Mike Reiss
Los Angeles Chargers: Cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. has continued his ascent in training camp. Proving his versatility by playing outside and in the slot, Samuel shut down the offense in the final drill of practice Wednesday on three consecutive plays -- including two pass breakups -- causing the defensive sideline to erupt in celebration. "He's gotten better and better," coach Brandon Staley said after the workout. "Going into this training camp, we've been able to see the versatility that we know that he has. ... You've seen him making plays inside and outside, and he's had to cover tough guys in both places. He just needs to keep improving." -- Lindsey Thiry
Pittsburgh Steelers: Have a day, Anthony McFarland Jr. The fourth-year running back, who saw action in only one game last season, had his best day of camp, with a standout one-on-one drill against Steelers linebackers. "One of the points that we're trying to drive home is, professionals make routine plays routinely, and I think that's been the thing that's gotten our attention regarding [McFarland]," coach Mike Tomlin said. Two times in a row, McFarland turned on the jets to beat opposing linebackers -- first Kwon Alexander and then Chapelle Russell -- for touchdowns. Later in the same drill, quarterback Kenny Pickett threaded a completion to McFarland as he was tightly covered by Alexander. After the play, Alexander high-fived McFarland. -- Brooke Pryor
New Orleans Saints: Saints running back Alvin Kamara was not at practice as he met with commissioner Roger Goodell to discuss his arrest in Las Vegas in 2022. The Saints moved practice indoors because of extreme heat, and for the first time in camp, the day belonged almost completely to the defense. Among the highlights of the day for that side: Defensive back Troy Pride Jr. picked off Jameis Winston in 11-on-11 drills, defensive end Payton Turner had several pressures and run stuffs in team drills, and linebacker D'Marco Jackson had a pass breakup in 7-on-7 drills. Cornerback Marshon Lattimore and wide receiver Mike Thomas also went up against each other three times in one-on-one drills, with Lattimore coming up with the pass breakup on the first try and Thomas getting the best of him on the second attempt. -- Katherine Terrell
Chicago Bears: The Bears defense made it known that it won Chicago's seventh and longest practice (2 hours, 20 minutes) on the most physical, intense day of camp. The first-team offense struggled in 7-on-7s, with three of four consecutive plays bouncing into the hands of defenders. At one point during 11-on-11s, offensive coordinator Luke Getsy laid into his group for not running back to the huddle. Quarterback Justin Fields got the offense back on track in the final two-minute drill, going 6-of-9 with three completions to tight end Cole Kmet, setting up a field goal. "Every little win that we have on the field we just need to have energy about it because that energy is contagious," Fields said. "That's one thing I think the defense does well. ... the DBs are always hyping stuff up. They're always, 'Ahhhhh,' and that just gets the whole defense going. I told the offense today that we just need to have that same juice as the defense did, but I feel that the defense came out and they competed well with us." -- Courtney Cronin
Denver Broncos: The Broncos signed cornerback Fabian Moreau on Tuesday night, and he was at practice Wednesday. They needed help because rookie Riley Moss had surgery to repair a sports hernia this week, and coach Sean Payton said the Broncos wanted a little more experience at the position. "All along we were looking at more of a veteran corner, we had talked about that coming out of our meetings last weekend," Payton said. "[Moreau] played quite a bit of snaps [749 for the Giants in 2022]. ... He's one of those players you know exactly what you're getting. There's a physicality, he's excelled [on special teams], but he is someone who's smart. We kind of looked at him for a long while." -- Jeff Legwold
Best NFL photos and videos
Dance on 'em Darby! pic.twitter.com/jrrUmxrTBd— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) August 2, 2023
DOTS. 🎯 pic.twitter.com/0NKagJ17vw— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) August 2, 2023
The Wright Tackle pic.twitter.com/RoXnWE28uy— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) August 2, 2023
it's giving main character energy pic.twitter.com/5lg18XOiyR— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) August 2, 2023
Kenny Pickett called for Allen Robinson on this last rep. Shows their chemistry on this TD. pic.twitter.com/1a8e5zHx8P— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 2, 2023
If you want it, go get it. pic.twitter.com/00dmdWmZAG— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) August 2, 2023
CeeDee Lamb vs. Kelvin Joseph pic.twitter.com/bkwQECxF5s— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) August 2, 2023
Didn't they say all good things come in 3s? pic.twitter.com/SRRnT53VSK— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) August 2, 2023
🦄 on the loose! pic.twitter.com/G5luYjRLUx— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) August 2, 2023
Pads just 𝙝𝙞𝙩 different 😤 pic.twitter.com/sQd6oHEzIL— New York Giants (@Giants) August 2, 2023
Falcons QB Desmond Ridder moving deep to short on throws pic.twitter.com/qzsNLRk1rL— Michael Rothstein (@mikerothstein) August 2, 2023
Does whatever a spider can 🕸️ pic.twitter.com/QC6U6iN39k— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) August 2, 2023
Man of the huddle pic.twitter.com/rz8ae2DO3o— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) August 2, 2023
Quadjee Harris 😳 pic.twitter.com/fBURi6ua6S— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 2, 2023
Postcards from St. Joe 📫 pic.twitter.com/7SHPFbtJVE— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) August 2, 2023
AIRKRAFT 🛫 pic.twitter.com/Ex80Z3qoXg— Green Bay Packers (@packers) August 2, 2023
It's called the DeMeco Effect pic.twitter.com/bYpBU2Jv3A— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) August 2, 2023
droppin' dimes 🎯 pic.twitter.com/6mZf7cexYR— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) August 2, 2023
Best of the rest from across the league
Ron Rivera on Jacoby Brissett: "Don't sleep on Jacoby. He's done a nice job as well. We have some really good QB play going on right now.'— John Keim (@john_keim) August 2, 2023
On the offense: "I like where we're headed."
Near fight breaks out among some O-D players by offense sidelines after a play. Bieniemy wasn't having it. Shouted for them to get back in the huddle and to "quit wasting (bleeping) time!" You don't mess with Bieniemy.— John Keim (@john_keim) August 2, 2023
Chargers WR Mike Williams and LT Rashawn Slater did not participate in a majority of team drills today. Coach Brandon Staley said they got in all the work they needed during individuals and that they were getting some extra rest going into an off day.— Lindsey Thiry (@LindseyThiry) August 2, 2023