With the first week of the preseason in the books, teams are back at practice getting ready for Week 2. Monday's session was mostly positive relative to injuries, as there were no big injuries to speak of and many big-name players rejoined their respective teams after missing time.
The biggest name: New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. He took part in 7-on-7 team drills on Monday, the first time he's done that this offseason, according to Tom E. Curran of CSN New England. Gronkowski practicing now is an encouraging sign that he could be available for the regular season opener on Sept. 7. He's said in the past that he hopes to be ready for Week 1, but it's unclear if he'll get any time in the preseason.
Gronkowski has missed 14 regular season games due to various injuries over the past two seasons. Any progress is welcome news to Patriots fans.
Unfortunately, not all the news from Monday was good. Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis confirmed that wide receiver Marvin Jones will have to miss "a few weeks" due to a foot injury. Jones has already had surgery on the foot, and could be out the remainder of the preseason. Jones had a pin put in his foot, which is typical for fractures. He was expected to be one of the Cincinnati's top receivers in 2014 after setting career highs in receptions (51), receiving yards (712) and touchdowns (10) last season.
New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has been sidelined with a hamstring injury since the first day of training camp, much to the frustration of head coachTom Coughlin. On Monday, though, Beckham took a step in the right direction by participating in individual drills and looking solid, as reported by Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News.
Beckham was the Giants' first-round pick, and he's expected to make an impact early and often in his career. The Giants want to get him on the field as soon as possible without making his hamstring injury even worse. Playing at some point in the preseason is an obvious goal.
Also for the Patriots: wide receiver Aaron Dobson was out there on the practice field. Dobson is returning from surgery to repair a stress fracture in his foot, and came in to work with the team for about an hour before moving to the side field for individual drills, per Christopher Price of WEEI 93.7 FM. Dobson still has a long way to go before he's 100 percent, but Monday was definitely a good sign.
Arian Foster is the starting running back for the Houston Texans, and most assumed Andre Brown would be his backup, in much the same way that Ben Tate filled the role last season. But it was Jonathan Grimes who started Saturday's preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals, and it's Grimes who is getting the lion's share of carries in practice.
Brown didn't get any playing time in the aforementioned preseason game, and now appears to be the fourth running back. He didn't get much playing time during Monday's practice session, according to the Houston Chronicle. Grimes was the backup and rookie Alfred Blue came on third. Head coach Bill O'Brien said that Grimes' experience is what pushes him ahead of Blue.
Then there's the backup job in Jacksonville that's currently up for grabs. Toby Gerhart is entrenched as the starter, with Jordan Todman as the primary backup. But Todman's job could soon belong to rookie Storm Johnson. Alex Marvez of FOX Sports recently completed a trip to Jaguars camp and he suggested that Johnson has a "legitimate chance" to jump Todman for the top backup spot.
Gerhart is currently dealing with a hip injury that has kept him out of practice and the team's preseason opener. But he plans to return to action on Tuesday, so there will be fewer first-team reps to go around, meaning the Todman/Johnson battle could reach a conclusion in the near future.
Dolphins looking at quarterbacks
The Miami Dolphins may not be going with Matt Moore as their primary backup for long. The Dolphins had a workout with free agent quarterbacks Rex Grossman, John Skelton and Brady Quinn on Monday, as reported by the Miami Herald. There have been reports already that have suggested Grossman and Skelton will not be signed, but it's still notable.
Ryan Tannehill is the starter, and he's not giving that job up any time soon. The issue with Moore is that he has $4 million in base salary this season, and he's been dealing with a shoulder injury throughout training camp. It wouldn't be surprising to see the Dolphins make a move in the near future.
Jackson expects to play Monday
Washington wide receiver DeSean Jackson returned to practice on Monday and took part in team drills, per the Washington Post. It's the first time Jackson has taken part in said drills since injuring his ankle on Wednesday. Jackson said that, based on how he felt in practice, that he'd "be out there, flying around with my teammates" when Washington faces the Cleveland Browns.
Jackson is coming off the best season of his career and will be Washington's primary receiving option this season. Getting in as much work as possible with quarterback Robert Griffin III has to be a point of focus. It wouldn't be the end of the world if he had to miss another preseason game, though, as there's still time until the ever-important third game.