Teams got to work on Monday with padded practices across many 2020 NFL training camps, bringing optimism for potential future stars like Miami’s Tua Tagovailoa and devastating injury news for Dallas’ Gerald McCoy and San Francisco’s Jalen Hurd.
At Giants camp, the Joe Judge era kicked off with a different kind of practice that included no jersey numbers and players running for mistakes made on the field. The Bears’ quarterback derby kicked off, Jordan Love got to work next to Aaron Rodgers, and new Colts teammates Philip Rivers and T.Y. Hilton looked like they have been a duo for years.
Here’s what you need to know from camps across the league for Monday:
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Cowboys DT McCoy to have season-ending surgery
Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Gerald McCoy ruptured his right quadriceps tendon during the first padded practice of training camp Monday and will undergo season-ending surgery, according to team executive vice president Stephen Jones. McCoy was hurt during individual drills and was unable to put weight on his leg after he was examined by the team’s medical staff. Before ducking into the locker room, McCoy attempted to take some steps unassisted but could not. An MRI revealed the tear.
Tua looks healthy in Dolphins’ first padded practice
The Tua Tagovailoa era in Miami took another step Monday when the Dolphins’ future franchise quarterback participated in his first padded football practice since suffering a posterior wall fracture and right hip dislocation in November. He was seen throwing two passes — both short completions — while most of his plays were handoffs during three team drill sessions that he ran Monday. “We’re taking this one day at a time with Tua, as we are with every player, and hoping that he improves on a daily basis,” coach Brian Flores said before practice. “Like any rookie, he needs the snaps and he needs the reps to improve and get better and give himself a chance.”
Judge introduces a new normal at Giants camp
New York Giants practices aren’t just going to be tiring for players with Joe Judge in charge. Coaches, too, might be wiped by the fast-paced environment and intense workouts that have them occasionally running laps with players. That was just one of the noticeable differences on Monday at the first Giants full-padded practice. Players, and sometimes coaches, were running laps after mistakes or miscues. At one point, an entire 11-man offensive unit jogged around the field because Judge, in his first year as a head coach, or someone from his coaching staff was unhappy with some sloppiness on the field. “There are consequences on the field for making mistakes,” Judge said.
Washington hires Wright as NFL’s first Black president
Washington has hired Jason Wright as team president, making him the first Black team president in NFL history and only the fourth former player to ascend to that role. More than any historic aspect, Wright said that what excites him is the convergence of his two worlds: football and business. “It’s a huge moment to bring those two worlds together,” he told ESPN. “What other job would they come together at such a unique time for an organization at the point our team is? I’m just happy I landed in this role at that time. There are other reasons it’s historic, but that’s a byproduct of me being the right and qualified candidate at this time. All of that is just icing on the cake.”
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) August 17, 2020
I just texted this to Jon Gruden. pic.twitter.com/tpL6JtSU4f
— Frank Caliendo (@FrankCaliendo) August 17, 2020
— New York Jets (@nyjets) August 17, 2020
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) August 17, 2020
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) August 17, 2020
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 17, 2020
— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) August 17, 2020
Drew Brees just said “Tay-meis” while discussing his backup QBs. He said it was a slip of the tongue — but I think he also just sparked a new T-shirt idea. https://t.co/fmrvdsFyWR
— Mike Triplett (@MikeTriplett) August 17, 2020
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) August 17, 2020
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) August 17, 2020
New twist to the ball security drill: boxing gloves to punch the ball out. Haven’t seen boxing gloves on the practice field since they put them on CB Ahmad Carroll to keep him from holding. ? https://t.co/ChpjKTB8nZ pic.twitter.com/a5XV2OspsE
— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) August 17, 2020
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) August 17, 2020
— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) August 17, 2020
— New York Giants (@Giants) August 17, 2020
“I don’t know what came over me. At least I didn’t get hurt. That was the positive thing.”
Panthers coach Matt Rhule on showing defensive linemen how to hit the blocking dummy
What our NFL Nation reporters saw Monday
Stefon Diggs’ first padded practice with the Bills was a resounding success. The new wide receiver looked sharp as he took passes from Josh Allen in position and team drills, even beating recently signed cornerback Josh Norman for a touchdown during one-on-one drills. Norman allowed his share of catches Monday morning but flashed his trademark ball-punching trait as well, breaking up a pass to John Brown. Norman was brought in to compete for a starting cornerback job with incumbent starter Levi Wallace, who did not practice because of a sore back. — Marcel Louis-Jacques
The Bears’ quarterback battle officially kicked off with Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles essentially splitting reps in Chicago’s opening padded practice. Trubisky, who was the first quarterback in the huddle, tweaked his mechanics in the offseason in an attempt to improve his accuracy. Trubisky and Foles misfired on occasion — Trubisky almost threw an interception into tight coverage over the middle on one snap — but coach Matt Nagy said he was generally pleased with how the quarterbacks broke the huddle and ran the offense in individual and team drills. Nagy added on Monday that he intends to stretch out the quarterback competition “as long as possible.” — Jeff Dickerson
Stephen A. Smith believes that with Nick Foles now with the Bears, Khalil Mack may want to ride it out a little longer, as the outcome could be greater.
Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green was held out of the end of Monday’s practice for precautionary reasons, coach Zac Taylor said. Green appeared to tweak something in his left leg and was spotted stretching it out before he returned to watch the end of practice with the rest of his team. It’s too early to determine if it’s a serious issue, but given Green’s injury history, it’s something worth watching the rest of the week. — Ben Baby
It was difficult to clearly identify the QB1 from the Patriots’ first practice in full pads. The top three of Brian Hoyer, Jarrett Stidham and Cam Newton all received equal reps. Experience in the system showed for Hoyer and Stidham. At one point, it looked like Newton was going to change something at the line of scrimmage. He hesitated briefly, looking back to the other QBs, before sticking with the original plan. The pass was incomplete. That reflected the learning curve Newton is working to navigate. — Mike Reiss
The Raiders’ first padded practice was more “popping” than thumping, and no, there wasn’t tackling to the ground. But that is the case with every camp, not just strange ones where there was no true in-person offseason program. Still, second-year defensive end Clelin Ferrell, the surprise No. 4 overall pick of the 2019 draft, looked noticeably bigger, stronger and more physical coming off the edge. Left tackle Kolton Miller acquitted himself well in their battles. And while running back Josh Jacobs appeared to tweak his left ankle early in a pass-blocking drill when he got rolled up on, he never came off the field. Also, quarterback Derek Carr is finding a rhythm with speedy rookie wideout Henry Ruggs III, twice hooking up with him for 50-yard TDs in 7-on-7s. Only a handful of offensive linemen and defensive backs jumped in the cooling-off box behind the sidelines. It was a safe and sane start to the hitting portion of camp for coach Jon Gruden, who turned 57 on Monday, and the practice DJ paid homage during a break by playing the beginning to 50 Cent’s seminal “In Da Club” hit and the Beatles’ classic “Birthday.” Gruden snarled. — Paul Gutierrez
Jordan Love isn’t off to a fast start, but the way Tim Boyle has played, the Packers shouldn’t have concerns about their first-round pick needing to develop quickly. Without any semblance of an offseason, Love’s first two training camp practices were his first work in 11-on-11 NFL drills. He has completed just 4 of 10 passes in such periods with one touchdown (to Jake Kumerow). “There’s a lot going on in his mind right now, just trying to decipher the play and what he has to do and then you’ve got to read coverage; that’s to be expected for any young quarterback,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said. Meanwhile, Boyle, who might be more impacted in the short term by the Packers’ decision to take Love than Aaron Rodgers, said his heart “dropped a little bit” when he watched the Packers draft Love but added “at that point, it’s out of your control and it’s time to go back to work.” Boyle is still getting QB2 reps and has been sharp. He has completed 11 of 13 passes in team periods, including a pair of perfectly placed balls down the seam to Darrius Shepherd and AJ Dillon on Monday. — Rob Demovsky
The Chiefs saw their backup tight end, Ricky Seals-Jones, leave their practice field on a motorized cart with a leg injury, leaving them with one healthy player at the position behind Travis Kelce. The Chiefs once favored multiple-tight end formations, but since their depth is now at wide receiver, Kelce might be running solo for many of the snaps this season. — Adam Teicher
Who needs a full offseason of working out together to work on chemistry? Evidently not new Colts starting quarterback Philip Rivers and receiver T.Y. Hilton. The two, together in their first practice in pads, looked like they had been teammates for quite some time the way they had it going during practice Monday. Rivers signed a one-year, $25 million contract with the Colts in March after 16 years with the Chargers. Coach Frank Reich said Hilton and Rivers were able to get in sync so quickly because they’re both “instinctual, smart” football players. — Mike Wells
With the Cowboys using multiple looks on defense, DeMarcus Lawrence is getting some time as a stand-up outside linebacker after lining up as a defensive end in his first six seasons. Lawrence has shown the ability to capture the edge and nearly had a pass breakup while dropping in coverage. Mike McCarthy saw Julius Peppers execute a similar transition in Green Bay. “The opportunity to particularly play in a two-point stance on first and second down, especially with someone like D-Law’s experience and his instincts and awareness at the line of scrimmage, it will give him more vision to play to the tendencies and mannerism of the offense,” McCarthy said. — Todd Archer
Rookie LT Mekhi Becton generated the most buzz on the first practice day in pads. The massive first-round pick (6-foot-7, 363 pounds) showed his athleticism and power by de-cleating LB Neville Hewitt on a second-level block — “a pretty good thud,” Hewitt said. RB Frank Gore was impressed with Becton, saying, “You see him out there. He’s just different, man.” But as Bill Parcells would say, “Let’s not put him in Canton just yet.” Becton did have a couple of hiccups, including a whiff in a pass-blocking drill. — Rich Cimini
It was a different-looking Giants practice. It was a Joe Judge Giants practice. That means no numbers on the backs of jerseys, players running laps and plenty of yelling, screaming and expletives. The Giants are running fast-paced, efficient, high-intensity practices with different drills being synchronized on multiple fields at the same time. It was … different. And about what was expected from the hyper-detailed Judge. His explanation for having players run laps after silly miscues was that there are “consequences for making mistakes.” His thinking behind players not having numbers is that they should know their teammates well enough to anticipate what they’re doing without reading their name on the back of a jersey. These are the new Joe Judge Giants. — Jordan Raanan
Ravens linebacker Matthew Judon doesn’t realize reporters are asking questions from their parked cars and implores them not to video chat and drive.
Lamar Jackson has worked with wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown this offseason, and their chemistry was evident in the first padded practice of training camp. Jackson hit Brown on a 15-yard deep slant down the seam and hit him again on a long touchdown pass when Brown got behind cornerback Marcus Peters. Brown took a strong first step into establishing himself as the true No. 1 wide receiver in the Ravens’ offense. Asked about the next step in the development of Jackson, cornerback Marlon Humphrey said: “It’s kind of hard to really put a cap on what he can do. Just off the things he did last year, he’s on a path really no one has ever been close to.” — Jamison Hensley
It was the Texans’ first outdoor padded practice on Monday, and J.J. Watt was not in attendance. As is also the case with several other veteran players, the Texans are managing Watt’s workload in training camp. Instead of practicing each day, some of the veterans are in the weight room or training room while the rest of the team practices. “Obviously, J.J. has played a ton of football for us at a very high level,” coach Bill O’Brien said. “He’s on a different type of plan. I’m not sure how much you’ll see him out there this week. He’ll be out there eventually, but he’s on a different type of plan just like a lot of other guys.” — Sarah Barshop
Jeff Okudah, the No. 3 overall pick in this year’s draft, primarily worked with the second team during the first padded practice of training camp Monday, with Amani Oruwariye taking first-team reps at corner alongside Desmond Trufant. No real reason to read into that yet as only one rookie really got first-team reps — third-round pick Jonah Jackson at right guard, where he’s expected to compete with Kenny Wiggins for the starting job. Okudah did get a practice indoctrination, too, having to go up against Pro Bowl receiver Kenny Golladay in one-on-ones and getting beaten on one rep pretty handily. — Michael Rothstein
We finally got our first glimpse of the 2020 Saints. And nothing stood out more than their fascinating QB trio of Drew Brees, Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill. In one drill, Brees and Winston actually lined up side by side, dropped back and threw in lockstep, which was cool to see. Winston did have one pass intercepted in full-team drills when it bounced off the hands of rookie receiver Juwan Johnson. But you couldn’t miss Winston’s big arm, and Brees and Sean Payton have praised him so far for his talent and enthusiasm. — Mike Triplett
Bill Belichick joins KJZ and breaks down what he’s seen among the Patriots quarterbacks. Belichick also praises Cam Newton’s work ethic.
A scary moment during a rainy first day of pads in Cleveland came when linebacker Mack Wilson tackled Pro Bowl running back Nick Chubb high. Chubb exited practice, walking off the field with a trainer. The severity of any injury Chubb might have suffered is unclear. Chubb came 47 yards away from winning the NFL rushing title last season. — Jake Trotter
Let’s just say Broncos coach Vic Fangio was less than enthused about the team’s work in Monday’s practice — the first day of training camp the Broncos have been in pads. The Broncos had limited contact, but their 11-on-11 work between the No. 1 offense and No. 1 defense was still the closest thing to a game they have had so far in camp. But with no offseason program, the Broncos still had more than a few wrinkles to smooth out. “It was just OK,” Fangio said. “It wasn’t as crisp as I thought it would be.” — Jeff Legwold
Rookie receiver Jalen Reagor was impressive in his training camp debut. He worked with the first team opposite DeSean Jackson and shook loose for a pair of long gainers down the seam from Carson Wentz. He got a lot of work at punt returner as well. While it wasn’t perfect — he let the ball hit the turf a couple of times while fielding punts — his explosiveness and ability were clear to see. Rookie or not, it seems the Eagles are looking to get the ball in his hands quite a bit. — Tim McManus
The first day of full pads gave a little glimpse into why the Jaguars selected offensive lineman Ben Bartch from Division III St. John’s University in Minnesota in the fourth round. Bartch more than held his own in one-on-one pass-rush drills. He was going up against veteran Timmy Jernigan, and while this was Jernigan’s first practice after joining the team and passing his COVID tests, he still has played in the league for six years. But Bartch drove him to the ground on one rep and held Jernigan up on the other while working at right guard. Granted, it’s early and Jernigan didn’t have the benefit of a week of practice, but it looks like the Jaguars have to be encouraged by what they saw. — Michael DiRocco
Jamal Adams made his first splash play of Seahawks training camp when he picked off Russell Wilson in the red zone Monday. Adams went up to snag Wilson’s over-the-middle throw, then, with Bruce Irvin serving as his escort, ran the ball all the way to the other end of the field to simulate a pick-six. That’s why the Seahawks gave up two first-round picks (and then some) to get Adams from the Jets, right? Not exactly. For all the ways Adams has stood out en route to two Pro Bowls and a First Team All-Pro selection in his first three seasons, he only has two career interceptions. He isn’t considered a ballhawk. But the Seahawks, coming off perhaps their worst defensive season of the Pete Carroll era, will take whatever Adams can give them in that regard. — Brady Henderson
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