Colts GM Ryan Grigson says Trent Richardson "needs to answer the bell" and be "accountable."
They're interesting words from Grigson. Richardson gained eight yards on his first preseason carry, and has 26 yards on his last 13. "Trent, he needs to answer the bell and do his job to the best of his ability," said Grigson. "We’re all accountable here. ... He’s such a hard runner, we know how tough he is, but he’s got to produce just like all these guys do on this final 53." If this was an outward expression of disappointment from Grigson, it'd be a first from the Colts' organization, which has propped up T-Rich at every opportunity since trading for him last September. T-Rich's ADP has finally begun to dip. He's going late in the fifth round of standard drafts.
Bengals.com speculates RB Rex Burkhead may be dealing with an MCL sprain.
Beat writer Geoff Hobson does acknowledge an MCL sprain can be a 2-8 week injury, although this would obviously be far better news than a torn ligament. Asked about Burkhead's knee this week, coach Marvin Lewis would only say it's "sore." Lewis did say Burkhead should be out of his knee brace "in a few days."
The Indianapolis Star expects a "more even distribution" of targets in the Colts' pass-catching corps this season.
T.Y. Hilton finished 14th among NFL wideouts in targets last season, but might be lucky to finish top 20 in 2014. "It's week-to-week. It's all how they match up," is how GM Ryan Grigson described the Colts' target distribution. The Colts will use Hilton, Reggie Wayne, and Hakeem Nicks in three-wide sets, and Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener in two-tight end packages. Don't expect any member of this pass-catching corps to be a true target monster.
Andre Johnson is "showing no signs of rust" after missing a chunk of Texans camp with a hamstring injury.
Johnson reportedly showed up "all over the field" during Wednesday's Texans-Broncos joint practice and made one "incredible" catch in the back of the end zone. "He's a big part of what we're doing here," coach Bill O'Brien said. The No. 12 overall fantasy receiver a year ago, Johnson's ADP has dropped into the late fourth round. His QBs were Matt Schaub and Case Keenum in 2013.
After attending the Broncos-Texans joint practices, CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora came away believing Montee Ball (appendectomy) could play in Denver's preseason finale.
Per La Canfora, Ball is "doing a little bit more each day," and may ultimately make a "rapid" return. He donned full pads on Wednesday and worked individually with Peyton Manning during one period. "We will continue to upgrade that a little bit tomorrow," said coach John Fox. Ball's ADP is early in round two.
Knowshon Moreno says he's "ready" for game action.
Moreno appears to be fully recovered from his June knee scope. He broke off a 15-yard run at Wednesday's practice and "looked the best he's looked since returning," per the Miami Herald. Moreno also says he's gotten down to his ideal playing weight after reporting to OTAs too heavy. "I feel good," added Moreno. His status for Saturday's regular season dress rehearsal remains uncertain.
Dolphins UDFA RB Damien Williams has just 22 yards on 17 carries this preseason.
We noticed Williams get a taste of first-team action in Miami's second preseason game, although that was because Mike Gillislee, Knowshon Moreno, and Daniel Thomas were all inactive. "These next two weeks for him are going to be very important," coach Joe Philbin acknowledged of Williams' roster chances.
Dolphins rookie DB Walt Aikens is "out indefinitely" with a left hand injury.
It sounds like he may have fractured the hand, although that's just us connecting the dots. A fourth-round pick out of Liberty, Aikens was having a strong camp working as a swing defensive back, seeing action at both safety and corner.