OTAs are getting underway around the NFL, and along with the practice time comes a merciful onslaught of tangible news. Check out the highlights from Thursday below -- including an injury to Trent Richardson, hope for Chris Ivory, and the return of Johnny Jolly -- as well as reaction from SB Nation's network of blogs.
Trent Richardson is being held out of OTAs by the Cleveland Browns due to a pulled shin muscle. The move is considered cautionary for the moment. Given Richardson's importance to the offense, the move is also probably a wise one.
Richardson manged to miss just one game last season, despite dealing with a litany injuries late in the year. He played through finger and rib injuries before finally being felled by a hurt ankle in Week 17. Richardson had an impressive rookie campaign, during which he racked up 1,317 total yards and 12 total touchdowns. He'll be asked to play a critical role once again, especially if the Browns can't pass the ball.
Ivory was always an effective running back for the New Orleans Saints, averaging 5.1 yard per carry over three seasons, but he never took over as the team's outright starter. You can blame the team's deep stable of ball carriers, the coaching staff or the offensive gameplan. Regardless, Ivory is finally getting his shot to become a featured running back during OTAs with the New York Jets.
Ivory doesn't have much competition in the way. Last year's starter, Shonn Greene, signed with the Tennessee Titans this offseason. The next man up, Mike Goodson, has also never been a full-time starter. The starting role may be Ivory's for the taking, though it remains to be seen whether he, or anyone, can be effective behind the Jets' offensive line.
Jolly finished a court-ordered drug treatment program Wednesday, and is expected to join the Green Bay Packers for the start of OTAs. Jolly was once a key figure in the Packers' defensive line rotation, but has not played in the NFL since 2009. After several league suspensions, he was eventually sentenced to prison for codeine possession. The NFL reinstated Jolly this past February, and after he received his diploma from rehab, the Packers have a graciously given him another shot at continuing his playing career. Regardless of whether he wins a roster spot, here's to Jolly getting clean and, hopefully, staying that way.
New York Giants fullback Henry Hynoski will undergo surgery to repair a damaged left MCL and a chipped lateral plateau in his knee after colliding with running back Andre Brown during OTAs on Wednesday. Hynoski hopes to be ready for the start of the regular season but, as Big Blue View points out, that might be a tad unrealistic. He will likely miss most of training camp, at the very least. Hynoski graded out as the eighth-best fullback in the league last season, according to Pro Football Focus.
While the Giants would no doubt like to see Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz in practice, a side benefit will be extra reps for the team's subordinate wideouts. Ramses Barden re-signed with the Giants on Thursday, and will be a beneficiary of his teammates' absences.
Barden flashed potential last season with a nine-reception, 138-yard performance against the Carolina Panthers in Week 4. He only had four receptions over the rest of the season, however. Barden will have to fight hard for a roster spot this season, considering the Giants' depth at receiver. He'll have plenty of opportunities to prove himself in the coming days, however.