Monday camp preview: Key players return for Patriots, Seahawks

NFL Nation reporters assess the top storylines to watch Monday for every team.

NFC East | NFC North | NFC South | NFC West
AFC East | AFC North| AFC South | AFC West


Buffalo Bills

The Bills will return Monday from their off day, which was marred by news from ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter that an initial MRI on rookie linebacker Reggie Ragland's injured left knee showed what appears to be a partial ACL tear. Ragland will get a second opinion Monday, but as he does, the Bills will have two new veteran linebackers on the field -- Brandon Spikes and David Hawthorne -- who could step in for Ragland this season if he requires surgery. -- Mike Rodak

Miami Dolphins

Look for Dolphins coach Adam Gase to be hard on his offense Monday, which mustered only 49 yards and one first down on eight drives in Saturday night's scrimmage. Although execution was lacking, Gase said what surprised him most was the lack of energy offensively, and that will be a focus this week as the Dolphins prepare for their preseason opener against the Giants. -- James Walker

New England Patriots

Receiver Julian Edelman and tight end Clay Harbor, both of whom passed their physicals Sunday to come off the PUP list, should be working their way into more drills. They didn't take part in Sunday's scrimmage, but Edelman worked to the side with quarterback Tom Brady. "It feels good," he said. "To get out here and get to see the fellas in pads, that's the fun thing about this time of the year." -- Mike Reiss

New York Jets

The most intriguing positional battle -- kicker -- will heat up this week as the Jets prepare to open the preseason. Incumbent Nick Folk is being challenged by undrafted rookie Ross Martin, who has impressed on the practice field. Martin helped his cause Saturday night, drilling a 48-yard field goal despite a bad snap and a bad hold. Martin must be able to handle the pressure of a game before he can lay claim to Folk's job. -- Rich Cimini


Baltimore Ravens

The injury to starting left tackle Ronnie Stanley on Saturday night wasn't a serious one, but it was a reminder about how thin the team is at protecting Joe Flacco's blind side. The Ravens replaced Stanley, the No. 6 overall pick in the draft, with rookie fourth-round pick Alex Lewis. Baltimore tried to sign veteran Jake Long just before the start of training camp, but talks broke down when he declined to sign an injury waiver. It's apparent that the Ravens need to add a better insurance policy at left tackle, and that could come before the regular season after the final major cutdown by teams. -- Jamison Hensley

Cincinnati Bengals

Backup second-year tight end C.J. Uzomah has suddenly become an important man at Bengals camp. Injuries to other tight ends Tyler Eifert, Tyler Kroft, Matt Lengel and H-back Ryan Hewitt have caused Uzomah to suddenly leapfrog to the front of the depth chart at the position. As the Bengals get past their off day Sunday and ease into a new week, they'll be continuing to load up Uzomah's plate. So far, he has been handling the extra reps and attention well. In Saturday's simulated game at Paul Brown Stadium, he caught a 31-yard pass that helped set up his 12-yard touchdown catch two plays later. -- Coley Harvey

Cleveland Browns

There is a high likelihood that Hue Jackson will name Robert Griffin III the team's starting quarterback Monday. Jackson had said he would name the starter before the preseason opener, which is Friday. Griffin has taken every first-team snap throughout camp. He also played well in scrimmages Friday and Saturday, making him a near lock to start. -- Pat McManamon

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers are hoping to get tight end Ladarius Green (ankle) practice-ready, but he has spent all of training camp on the PUP list and is restricted to light running and cutting on the field each day. Green said he's making more progress behind the scenes, but quarterback Ben Roethlisberger needs to develop chemistry with his new weapon eventually. Meanwhile, second-year tight end Jesse James will enter this week's joint practices with the Lions as the first-stringer. And former USC product Xavier Grimble is having a strong camp at the position. -- Jeremy Fowler


Houston Texans

The Texans will practice inside to get away from the Houston heat, and will likely have outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney and running back Lamar Miller back after they both missed practice Sunday. Coach Bill O'Brien said they both were given off days to "monitor how many reps they get," but Miller tweaked his ankle in Saturday's practice and had to leave briefly to have his ankle retaped. -- Sarah Barshop

Indianapolis Colts

The Colts didn't get a chance to kick off their preseason Sunday night because of the field conditions at Tom Benson Stadium. Quarterback Andrew Luck didn't know if the Hall of Fame game cancellation was real. "I thought it was a joke at first, honestly," he said. "Sort of like a pull-your-leg, preseason type of a joke." Indianapolis' preseason debut will now take place Saturday night in Buffalo. -- ESPN.com staff

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kelvin Beachum (knee) returned to practice Sunday after missing three days -- including Friday's scrimmage -- but he only did individual work. If he handled that well, he should be able to be a full participant Monday. This is the time the battle with Luke Joeckel to be the starter at left tackle should be heating up, but Beachum hasn't done much. The Jaguars need to solidify the left side of the offensive line as soon as possible. -- Mike DiRocco

Tennessee Titans

The Titans haven't practiced since Friday morning because their Saturday night scrimmage at Nissan Stadium was canceled because of threatening weather. Monday night's practice, originally scheduled for team headquarters, has been moved to the stadium. Perhaps Mike Mularkey will carry over the live tackling period or two that was slated for Saturday night. Wide receiver Kendall Wright has now had five days off since tweaking his hamstring. His return is important for the three wide-receiver set, but the Titans have not put a timetable on when he'll be available. -- Paul Kuharsky


Denver Broncos

The Broncos hope to get two injured starters back on the practice field this week. Cornerback Aqib Talib, who was wounded in the right leg in a shooting incident in early June, is poised to return to the practice field in the coming days. Meanwhile, the Broncos hope guard Ty Sambrailo is close to coming back from an elbow injury. Talib must pass a physical and then be moved to the active roster. He missed most of the team's OTAs and minicamp with the injuries and has not practiced in training camp. Sambrailo suffered a right elbow injury early last week and has worn a brace on his right arm since. -- Jeff Legwold

Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs plan to play quarterback Nick Foles in Saturday's preseason opener against the Seahawks at Arrowhead Stadium. Considering that he signed only last week, the Chiefs have been giving Foles a generous amount of work in practice. Foles had one season in Andy Reid's system as a rookie for the Eagles in 2012. "I just have to make sure he's got it down," Reid said. "Everything he's doing right now is new to him for this team, obviously. There's a little bit of carryover but we've put a lot of new stuff in since he's been with us [in Philadelphia]." -- Adam Teicher

Oakland Raiders

The moral of the story, apparently? Don't punch a player who is wearing a helmet. A day after getting kicked out of practice for fighting with left guard Kelechi Osemele -- twice -- defensive end Mario Edwards Jr., was still "a little sore" but will be OK, according to coach Jack Del Rio. "You can have unfortunate things happen when guys go at it like that," Del Rio said, "so we're just thankful that nothing significant came of it and we learned a big-time lesson on how important it is to take care of each other and be good teammates and still challenge each other but be respectful." -- Paul Gutierrez

San Diego Chargers

San Diego coach Mike McCoy said his team will get prepared for its first game week with the Chargers hitting the road to face the Titans in the team's preseason opener this weekend. One player to watch this week is wide receiver Keenan Allen, who participated in individual work Saturday but was held out of team drills after having his foot stepped on during Friday's practice. "He's fine," McCoy said about Allen. "We just decided to do some things in the individual part and hold him out. We wanted to see some other guys, too." -- Eric D. Williams


Dallas Cowboys

Fullback Rod Smith might like the Cowboys' second off day of camp more than most. With Ezekiel Elliott missing time because of a tight hamstring, and Darren McFadden (elbow) and Lance Dunbar (knee) unable to practice, Smith has taken turns at tailback behind Alfred Morris and Darius Jackson. The versatility will help his cause when it comes to the final cut to the 53-man roster. If the Cowboys are ever in an emergency situation, he can fill in. He is not a smashmouth fullback, but he has improved in part because of his tailback experience. He can see the holes the way a tailback would. Add in his work on special teams' ability and Smith might be able to find his way onto the 53-man roster. -- Todd Archer

New York Giants

The Giants rookies have really made their mark early in training camp. First-round pick Eli Apple is already receiving plenty of first-team snaps at cornerback, even with proven veterans Janoris Jenkins and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on the roster. Apple has earned them by playing well. So has wide receiver Sterling Shepard, the Giants' second-round pick. He has been one of the early stars at camp working with the first-team offense. The Giants' prized rookies look to keep it going Monday when the Giants return to practice following a day off. -- Jordan Raanan

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles will continue to have live hitting periods during training camp despite a couple of injuries over the past few days. Monday's practice is the last full session before Thursday night's preseason opener. "I think [the hitting] is going to pay off for us," defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said. "Coach [Doug Pederson] wants to build a tough, physical team, and that doesn't happen by accident. That doesn't happen with just hoping that it happens. Hope isn't a very good strategy." -- Phil Sheridan

Washington Redskins

Rookie corner Kendall Fuller continues to impress the coaches, who alternate him as the No. 1 slot corner along with Dashaun Phillips. Fuller, coming off microfracture surgery at Virginia Tech, has been healthy and looks sharp in practice. When the Redskins drafted Fuller, they did not expect him to come so far so fast because of the injury. "He works so hard and is very conscientious about what he's doing mentally," Redskins coach Jay Gruden said. "He's progressing in every facet." -- John Keim


Chicago Bears

Coach John Fox is expected to update center Hroniss Grasu's status Monday. Grasu suffered a non-contact right knee injury on Saturday that many in the organization fear is a torn ACL. The Bears claimed they were still gathering information about the extent of Grasu's injury on Sunday, but the club is preparing to move ahead with either veteran Ted Larsen or rookie second-round pick Cody Whitehair at center. Larsen has played primarily guard for most of his NFL career, but he did start games at center for the Bucs. Whitehair is the odds on favorite to open the year at left guard, but he also took some center reps in the offseason. -- Jeff Dickerson

Detroit Lions

The status of tight end Eric Ebron is the main focus for the Lions as they return to practice Monday morning before heading to Pennsylvania the rest of the week for practices with the Steelers and then the preseason opener in Pittsburgh. Ebron fell to the ground clutching his right leg during Saturday's mock game. He was carted off the field, and NFL Network initially reported it was an Achilles injury. Nothing has been confirmed yet, and Ebron has appeared mostly upbeat on Twitter since the injury. If Ebron is out for any length of time, the Lions have a massive hole at tight end that needs to be filled. At this point, Detroit is down all three tight ends from last season: Ebron, Brandon Pettigrew (PUP) and Tim Wright (IR). -- Michael Rothstein

Green Bay Packers

Brett Favre didn't get to play the Packers' first series on Sunday night -- and neither did the rest of the team. The game against the Colts was canceled because of the field conditions at Tom Benson Stadium. Guard T.J. Lang, who didn't make the trip to Canton, Ohio, called it an "embarrassing day" for the NFL. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers wasn't going to play in the game, but he felt bad for undrafted rookie Joe Callahan, who was going to get to get the start. Green Bay's preseason will now kick off Friday night at home against the Browns. -- ESPN.com staff

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings on Monday plan to release their first depth chart of camp, which should provide a clearer sense of where things stand at wide receiver before the team's first preseason game. Coach Mike Zimmer had said not to read too much into Adam Thielen's larger workload with the first-team offense, but it at least seems clear the fourth-year player could have a larger role beyond special teams in 2016. He's competing with Charles Johnson, Jarius Wright and rookie Laquon Treadwell for playing time alongside Stefon Diggs. -- Ben Goessling


Atlanta Falcons

As the Falcons move closer to Thursday night's first preseason game against the Redskins, it will be worth monitoring the inside linebacker rotation going into the game. Sunday, rookie De'Vondre Campbell and Sean Weatherspoon worked with the first team at inside linebacker, and Paul Worrilow and rookie Deion Jones worked with the second team. Worrilow and Jones are batting at middle linebacker, but Worrilow is getting work at weakside linebacker when playing with Jones. Weatherspoon, meanwhile, is getting work in the middle with Campbell settling in at the weakside spot. Said one teammate about which young player has made an impression, "Haven't you seen Dre [Campbell] out there?" -- Vaughn McClure

Carolina Panthers

Hold off on the Panthers starting two rookie cornerbacks. Robert McClain got a lot of work with the first team on Sunday over third-round pick Daryl Worley. McClain didn't sign with Carolina until late last season, but with Bene' Benwikere and Charles Tillman out because of injuries, he started both playoff games and the Super Bowl. He's a veteran who offers some experience to the unit. In other words, it's way too early to pencil in two rookies as the starters. -- David Newton

New Orleans Saints

The Saints are scheduled to practice Monday at their training camp site in West Virginia, then hop on a plane bound for New England, where they will spend two days practicing with the Patriots before playing their preseason opener Thursday night. It will be interesting to see if New Orleans' young defense can keep up its hot start to training camp against Brady, Gronk & Co. The Saints have simplified their scheme under coordinator Dennis Allen, who is intent on letting them play fast and aggressive. So far it has helped lead to a surprising total of seven interceptions by Drew Brees in nine days of full-team drills. Brees threw three of them Saturday and said it might have been his roughest training camp practice ever. -- Mike Triplett

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bucs finished out the week with a strong defensive practice Saturday -- Chris Conte had two picks off Jameis Winston and nearly had a third, but it slipped through his hands. The defensive line was also bringing a lot of heat up front. Should fans be alarmed for the offense? Defensive coordinator Mike Smith is throwing the kitchen sink at Winston in practice, including a lot of disguises and unique fronts Saturday. Coach Dirk Koetter, who calls plays on offense, sees it as a good thing. "It's really good work for us -- it's not the easiest thing," Koetter said. "Trust me, they're not just standing in their cover-two and cover-three." -- Jenna Laine


Arizona Cardinals

Cardinals coach Bruce Arians will get another opportunity to see how his players respond in practice after a day off -- but this time it was a day off on the weekend. Once on the field, the Cardinals will begin their first game week of the preseason even though in the past they've done a small amount of game-planning. This week could be critical for bubble players such as wide receiver Chris Hubert, who has caught the attention of Arians and fellow receiver Larry Fitzgerald. Hubert has a been a touchdown machine in camp but has an uphill battle ahead of him to make the 53-man roster but could make some headway this week. -- Josh Weinfuss

Los Angeles Rams

Saturday's scrimmage was easily rookie quarterback Jared Goff's best practice yet. He looked comfortable and was consistently on target. In a two-minute drill, he drove the team down the field for a touchdown. "I don't know if you saw the two-minute drill, but that stuff was real nice." Rams coach Jeff Fisher said. "He was locked in, focused. He knew exactly where the play clock was, the game clock, timeouts, everything." -- ESPN.com staff

San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers are a week into training camp and coach Chip Kelly says the attention will turn this week to more situational work in practice as they prepare for the preseason opener against the Texans. The team has the day off Monday but this week will bring more clarity to some position battles, including at quarterback, as the 49ers practice against the Texans on Friday before Sunday's game. -- Nick Wagoner

Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks got good news over the weekend as running back Thomas Rawls was taken off of the PUP list. Rawls suffered a season-ending ankle injury last December that required surgery. Coach Pete Carroll said the team was not going to rush Rawls, but this is a good sign that he's still on pace to be ready to go in Week 1 of the regular season. The Seahawks have an off day Monday, but Rawls will be back on the field with his teammates Tuesday, and we'll get a chance to see how he looks physically. -- Sheil Kapadia