Tom Brady missed practice on Tuesday to be in New York for settlement talks relating to DeflateGate, but those negotiations yielded no progress as it appears more and more likely that Brady and the NFL are not going to be able to reach a settlement in this case.
Instead of staying in the Big Apple to attend Wednesday's federal court hearing, Brady has decided to join his teammates in West Virginia, where the New England Patriots are scheduled to hold joint practices with the New Orleans Saints in advance of their preseason matchup on Saturday night.
While Brady was away, Jimmy Garoppolo took all the reps at quarterback as the Patriots held an unpadded walk-through at Gillette Stadium this afternoon. According to NESN.com's Doug Kyed, the second-year signal caller completed 9 of 14 passes with two interceptions during the hour-long practice session.
Peyton Manning to play Saturday
Peyton Manning will get his first taste of preseason football in 2015, as Denver Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak told reporters after Tuesday's practice that the 39-year-old quarterback will play Saturday against the Houston Texans. Manning, who sat out the opener last week, is expected to be on the field for "a quarter-and-a-half to a full half."
It is not unusual for Manning to get a bunch of reps during the preseason. In 2013 and 2014, he played in each of the Broncos' first three preseason games before sitting out the finale. This will be Manning's first live game action in Kubiak's zone-blocking offense, so it will be interesting to see how he fares in the new scheme.
While Manning's anticipated debut might get the headlines, a couple kickers stole the show at the Broncos' practice on Tuesday. Brandon McManus and Connor Barth, who are battling for one of two kicking spots, engaged in a kick-off and didn't disappoint the fans watching at Dove Valley. They must love that mile high air.
In last practice period for #Broncos McManus made a 70 yard FG and Connor Barth followed with a 65-yarder.— Jeff Legwold (@Jeff_Legwold) August 18, 2015
Another intriguing storyline to follow in the game is the return of Kubiak to Houston, where he was the head coach for eight seasons from 2006-13.
Injured Eagles return to practice
One of the most watched players in Philadelphia this offseason is linebacker Kiko Alonso, a former Oregon player who was acquired in exchange for LeSean McCoy. Alonso was sidelined with a concussion two weeks ago in practice and missed the team's first preseason game against Indianapolis. He suited up for Tuesday's practice and participated in position drills. According to Bleeding Green Nation, Alonso will be eased back into practices but it is unknown yet if he will play against the Ravens on Saturday.
In addition to the injured linebacker, running back DeMarco Murray has been limited in practices and didn't see any playing time during the first preseason game. Murray was a full participant in Tuesday's practice and should see playing time throughout the remainder of the preseason.
The Eagles also had linebacker Mychal Kendricks and safety Jerome Couplin back at practice, while linebacker DeMeco Ryans, tight end Zach Ertz and safety Earl Wolff still sidelined due to injuries.
Seahawks welcome back Earl Thomas
Seattle safety Earl Thomas returned to practice on Tuesday and the team can certainly use the help. Back in February, the four-year veteran underwent shoulder surgery for a torn labrum. He missed the entire training camp and first preseason game, but it looks like he could suit up early in the regular season.
Thomas' counterpart safety Kam Chancellor is still holding out for a new contract, and Seattle doesn't appear to be budging, leaving the Seahawks with a lot of holes in the secondary. With Thomas back, the team can at least focus on preparing him for the season opener; they aren't taking any chances, though, as they had Thomas wear a bright red no-contact jersey.
Jets' Geno Smith not likely for IR
Following Jets quarterback Geno Smith getting sucker punched in the jaw by since-removed player IK Enemkpali, the idea of putting him on the short-term injured reserve list has been thrown around. The team noted Tuesday that it wasn't very likely, which could be indicative that they think he could return sooner than the eight-week projection.
Mike Maccagnan says short-term IR for Geno Smith is a "possibility"... But "would not be likely" #nyj— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) August 18, 2015
Given the fact that he was throwing around a football two days after surgery to fix his face, the team probably assumes he's feeling much better already. Coaches reprimanded Smith to ensure he heals safely and quickly.
Andy Dalton still in charge
Nothing has changed in Cincinnati as far as who is under center and who leads the offense. Last year, offensive coordinator Hugh Jackson put his faith in Dalton and, despite another season short of expectations, gained more respect for the quarterback.
"It's his offense and he's taking control," Jackson said, according to ESPN. "I don't think he's playing around with it."
The now-veteran QB had issues last week and again on Monday with center Russell Bodine snapping the ball over his head. Instead of Jackson handling the situation, he sat back and let Dalton work with Bodine to find their own rhythm.
Chiefs' Eric Fisher day-to-day
Kansas City felt another blow as its second starting tackle went out with a high ankle sprain on Monday. Fisher was up walking on the sideline, which quieted reports he could miss several weeks as originally suggested. At the worst he is expected to be back in time for Week 1 of the regular season, but the team noted that it isn't giving a specific timeline.
Burkholder on Fisher’s high ankle sprain: "We don’t put out time frames because these are different. He’s literally day-to-day."— Terez A. Paylor (@TerezPaylor) August 18, 2015
The Chiefs need someone to fill that role until either Fisher or Jeff Allen is ready to go again.