Geno will start Jets preseason opener
The New York Jets released their first depth chart on Monday, and one training camp battle seems to be at or nearing its end: quarterback Geno Smith is listed as the starter, according to Darryl Slater of NJ.com. He will start the team's preseason opener against the Indianapolis Colts. Head coach Rex Ryan said that he's happy with the way that Smith has looked.
Smith was battling with Michael Vick, Matt Simms and Tajh Boyd for the starting quarterback job. Smith is entering his second year in the league and did not inspire much confidence in his rookie season. However, this hasn't seemed like much of a battle throughout camp thus far, with Vick stating multiple times that Smith is going to be the starter.
Marquess Wilson injury
Chicago Bears wide receiver Marquess Wilson took a hard fall while trying to haul in a deep pass in practice on Monday, and he'll have to miss some time with a fractured collarbone. It's unclear how long Wilson will have to miss, as the severity is not known. Players have come back from an injury like that in just a few weeks, while Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers missed nearly half a season -- seven weeks.
Wilson was expected to step into the No. 3 receiver role with the Bears this season. If he has to miss all or the majority of the preseason, those hopes could take a hit. Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery are the starters, but with Earl Bennett leaving this offseason, the door was and possibly still is open for Wilson if he can get back in time.
The Tennessee Titans visited the Atlanta Falcon's for a joint practice on Monday. There's no tackling and no full-on 11-on-11 drills or anything of the sort, but of course that doesn't mean things can't get heated. It didn't take long for a fight to break out at the joint practice:
These practices are generally held so both teams can get a change of pace. It's not for a greater challenge, but rather to shake things up. Contact is supposed to be light but, as you can see above, fighting does happen.
Jeremy Maclin injury
The Philadelphia Eagles suffered a scare on Monday when wide receiver Jeremy Maclin sustained an injury. Early in the practice, Maclin made a catch during one-on-one drills and landed awkwardly. He was "hobbling" his way to the sideline, according to Matt Lombardo of NJ.com. Maclin spent some time with trainers, skipped the kick and punt return drills, and then hauled in a reception during 7-on-7 drills.
From there, Maclin appeared to pull himself out of the practice session, according to the report. He spent "several minutes" kneeling on the ground with a member of the training staff. At no point did he leave to get further examination, so that's probably a good sign. Given that lack of general panic, it stands to reason that Maclin simply tweaked something and will be back sooner rather than later.
Monte Ball appendectomy
Denver Broncos running back Montee Ball may miss the remainder of the team's training camp and preseason due to an appendectomy. The surgery was scheduled for Monday, and the timeline for recovery could and should have Ball back for the start of the regular season, according to the report.
Ball is the team's starter and has been the top guy in training camp thus far. Ball reportedly came in "not feeling very good" and the team's medical staff got him to a doctor, at which point the surgery was scheduled. Ronnie Hillman and C.J. Anderson will pick up the majority of the snaps in training camp while Ball is sidelined during his recovery. He's not likely to lose his starting job at this point.
Rob Gronkowski not practicing
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is not practicing with the team on Monday. New England is holding a joint practice with Washington, and it sounds like the team is holding Gronkowski out as a precaution, according to Ben Volin of the Boston Globe.
Gronkowski is recovering from knee surgery and it sounds like there have been no setbacks to this point. That's definitely a good sign given Gronkowski's extensive injury history. Keeping him out of a joint practice is probably a smart move given that, as we learned above, things can get heated. Gronkowski can take care of himself, but he hasn't been doing full work at practice even when it's just the Patriots, so this is not much of a surprise.