Trent Richardson back at practice
Richardson returned to practice today and reportedly participated in all individual and team drills. Pat Shurmur told reporters after practice that Richardson will start if he’s ready. It’s interesting that the team allowed him to go fully so early in the week, but there were indications that Richardson had looked very good on the side. They also likely want to know as soon as possible if Richardson’s knee will recover after a full day of practice. Better to know on Tuesday and have time to adjust the game plan as needed.
Post-practice swelling and soreness will still be a concern for Richardson. It won’t be surprising to see Richardson do less in practice tomorrow, but if he’s limited through Thursday it’s obviously a bad sign for his Week 1 workload. If he practices fully all week, the Browns may be willing to give him a full workload against the Eagles.
Jason Witten limited, to have another scan Tuesday
It has been three weeks since Witten’s spleen injury. He’s no longer at risk for delayed rupture and/or a surgical procedure, but he’s yet to be cleared for contact. He’ll have another scan tomorrow to see if the residual blood has resorbed and ensure that the tissue around his spleen has healed. Even if the scan is clear, however, and Witten is cleared for contact, it’s extremely unlikely that Witten will be considered football-ready 24 hours later. Expect the Cowboys to work him back into practice next week and have him ready for Week 2. If Witten cannot be cleared for contact after tomorrow’s scan, Week 2 (and possibly Week 3) will be in doubt.
Hakeem Nicks misses practice with foot soreness
After practicing fully most of last week, Nicks missed practice both Sunday and Monday with soreness in his foot. Nicks has remained adamant that he’ll play when asked by reporters about the missed practice time and there hasn’t been any indication that there’s been a setback with the foot. Still, it’s unusual for a player to miss the final full practice before a game. For now, expect Nicks to play but don’t discount the possibility that he’ll play less than a full complement of snaps.
After two weeks of optimism from Ryan Mathews, it’s been quiet over the weekend. Still less than four weeks from his clavicle fracture, I think the earliest we’ll see Mathews cleared for contact is next week. It generally takes six weeks for a bone to heal and I continue to believe we’ll see the Chargers err on the side of caution with Mathews. I think it’s much more likely that we’ll see Mathews in Week 3 than Week 2.
Edit: Mathews returned to practice in his helmet and shoulder pads, sparking speculation that he was close to returning. There was no indication that he was cleared for contact, something that Mathews later confirmed to the media, saying that he’s still waiting for clearance and hinting that there’s no immediate plan for that to happen.
Edit: Austin Collie was back to a full practice today and is expected to play in Week 1. This isn’t a major surprise — there had been no evidence of ongoing or prolonged symptoms and many neurologists are comfortable clearing an athlete for contact regardless of previous history if the latest concussion was not severe and symptoms resolve quickly.
It’s still not clear how much Adrian Peterson can do in Week 1. The Vikings only kept three tailbacks on the final 53 man roster. While that suggests they believe Peterson is close, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s a lock to do more than suit up in Week 1. He’s made it through a practice in pads now, but don’t expect the Vikings to give him 20+ touches this week.
Steve Smith practiced fully yesterday and Ron Rivera said he looked 100%. He’s expected to play this week. The news isn’t as promising with Jonathan Stewart. Still rehabbing in the pool and on the treadmill, Stewart’s Week 1 status remains in doubt.
Jon Beason was also back to a full practice. Barring a setback with his hamstring injury, he’ll start in Week 1. With Thomas Davis asserting himself as an important part of Carolina’s defensive subpackages, however, there’s no guarantee that Beason will play every down. We could see a rotation of Beason, Davis and promising rookie Luke Kuechly against Tampa Bay.
Brian Urlacher has given conflicting statements about his health recently, telling reporters that his knee is pain free and he’s ready to go but that his knee will never be the same. Urlacher did acknowledge that there would be some restrictions placed on him by the team. Presumably, that means limited practice time early in the week. But it could also mean that Urlacher will rotate out in some defensive packages and play less than every down.
Romeo Crennel told reporters that he was optimistic that Brandon Flowers, who’s missed the entire preseason with a foot/heel injury, and Derrick Johnson, who left the final preseason game with an ankle injury, would be able to play in Week 1.
Categories: News and Notes