Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel will get some time with the starters during Friday's training camp session, according to Pat McManamon of ESPN. Head coach Mike Pettine said that Josh McCown is still "firmly" the starter, but it is surprising to see Manziel getting these snaps regardless.
McCown was an offseason signing, and presumably needs all the time he can get with the starters throughout training camp and the preseason. Picking up an entirely new offense isn't exactly a simple task, and if Manziel is definitely going to be the backup, one would think he'll spend all of his time with the backup units.
It's worth noting that reviews of Manziel's play from camp have been mostly positive thus far. He's shown a lot of progress, which was to be expected given the low floor on that kind of thing what with his multiple off-field instances and poor play a season ago. Still, it wouldn't be the most surprising thing if Manziel works his way into an actual, tangible quarterback competition with McCown by the time the regular season rolls around.
Below, we've got more news and notes from the NFL on Thursday:
Top tier linebackers dealing with injuries
Two of the best linebackers in the NFL are dealing with injuries at this stage of training camp. Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews, who might be the best in the league at what he does, missed his third consecutive practice on Thursday. Matthews cited a sore knee as the cause for his absence on Tuesday, though it's unclear if we're dealing with something a little more serious than that a couple days later.
Then there's Kiko Alonso, who joined the Philadelphia Eagles via a trade this offseason. Alonso suffered a concussion during Tuesday's practice session and will now have to go through the league's concussion protocols. Obviously, Alonso has a lot to pick up on, given he's a newcomer to this team and this defense, but the Eagles can afford to take it very slow and be cautious with a player of Alonso's caliber.
Lots of running back updates
It feels like there's a lot more change and competition at running back this offseason than any other in recent memory, and we've got updates on multiple teams' situations from Thursday.
- Atlanta Falcons rookie Tevin Coleman was already out of Thursday's session with an injury, but Devonta Freeman, his chief competition for the starting role, sustained a hamstring injury on Thursday and could miss some time, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
- The Oakland Raiders activated running back Trent Richardson from the non-football injury list on Thursday. Richardson is still just 25 years old and will be given a chance to redeem himself this season with the Raiders. In other news, Latavius Murray has been taking the first-team reps and seems primed to become the team's top running back, as reported by Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- LeSean McCoy returned to 11-on-11 drills for the Buffalo Bills on Thursday, according to Mike Rodak of ESPN. This is good news, as McCoy missed some time with "toe soreness," which was somewhat worrying given his turf toe injuries in the past. Seems like that's all behind him at this stage.
- The Dallas Cowboys should look more changed than any other team at running back this season. They lost DeMarco Murray to the Philadelphia Eagles in free agency and signed Darren McFadden to help out at the position. Things aren't going as planned, though, as Ryan Williams had to be released due to knee injuries, McFadden has a hamstring injury and Lance Dunbar now has an ankle injury to consider. Joseph Randle should have a pretty firm grasp on the starting job at this stage.
- Houston Texans running back Arian Foster will have surgery on his groin Friday, and won't be able to return to "full form" in two to three months, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.
- Miami Dolphins running back LaMichael James eschewed job security by asking the San Francisco 49ers for his release, and that might be paying off as he is challenging Damien Williams for the backup running back job behind Lamar Miller, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.
Other news from camp
Washington wide receiver DeSean Jackson went down with a shoulder injury on Thursday, running into a blocking sled while doing 1-on-1 drills with defensive backs. The sled was in the back of the end zone (where it probably shouldn't have been) and Jackson ran into it with his right shoulder. It doesn't sound incredibly serious, but he should miss some time due to the injury, which has been referred to as a separated shoulder.
DeSean Jackson goes down on the first play of 1-on-1s. pic.twitter.com/BuQEfNlBfi— michael phillips (@michaelpRTD) August 6, 2015
Chicago Bears wide receiver Kevin White is expected to earn a starting role opposite Alshon Jeffery, but the rookie first-round pick has to get healthy first. White has been down with a shin injury since early June, and reports on Thursday suggested that he could wind up starting the regular season on the physically unable to perform list. If that happens, he'd have to miss the first six games of the season.
Washington cornerback DeAngelo Hall was also among those injured, and he is expected to miss some time, as reported by Dianna Marie Russini of ESPN. Browns running back Glenn Winston underwent a knee scope on the day, according to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer and all of this is going on with the Denver Broncos:
Also, here's Cam Newton making a one-handed catch look stupidly easy, just because, via Jonathan Jones of The Charlotte Observer: