In an interview with ESPN's Vaughn McClure, Sammy Watkins (foot) was noncommittal about his status for training camp.
Last week Watkins was adamant he would be ready for the start of training camp. Now he seems to be backing off that assertion. "Hopefully I'll be back," said Watkins. "If not, then cool. Get ready for the first game." Watkins admitted he hasn't run in 3-4 weeks but said he's "just being safe." Watkins is still on track for Week 1 but that's only if he doesn't encounter any setbacks.
Jimmy Kempski of PhillyVoice.com says Wendell Smallwood can't be trusted as a three-down back yet.
Smallwood may have the highest ceiling of any running back on the Eagles' roster but his inexperience as a pass protector could limit his playing time in year one. In college he was mostly used as safety valve in the flat on passing plays, rarely being asked to protect against blitzing linebackers. Smallwood will need to improve that part of his game, though he could be thrust into a larger role if (more likely when) lead back Ryan Mathews gets hurt.
Jimmy Kempski of PhillyVoice.com believes Carson Wentz will watch his rookie year from the sidelines.
Sam Bradford looks to be the starter while Kempski sees the Eagles going with Chase Daniel as the backup. Taking a red-shirt year used to be commonplace for rookie signal-callers but lately we've seen more of them get thrown into the fire in year one. However, the Eagles seem to be taking a more patient approach with Wentz. Daniel is a favorite of new coach Doug Pederson but it's still hard to envision Wentz falling to third on the depth chart after going No. 2 overall in this year's draft.
Brandon Copeland will compete for a defensive end spot at Lions training camp.
Copeland was a late bloomer, bouncing around the league as a practice-squad player after going undrafted out of Penn in 2013. He finally got a chance with the Lions last season and made the most of it by logging 14 tackles and half a sack while playing as a reserve linebacker and special teamer. Now he's made the transition to defensive end and will compete with Anthony Zettel and Deonte Gibson for one of the final roster spots.
Texans second-year DT Christian Covington is a candidate to start at right defensive end.
The Texans have an opening there following Jared Crick's departure this offseason. His primary competition will come from former Bengal Devon Still. Covington is making the transition to edge rusher after spending most of his first year as a backup nose tackle. He's maintained his speed despite bulking up to 310 pounds this offseason.
Texans OLB Jadeveon Clowney showcased a "bulkier" upper body at OTAs.
He improved his physique this offseason by working closely with strength and conditioning coach Craig Fitzgerald. Clowey enjoyed an injury-free spring, missing just one practice while battling the flu. "When he's been on the field, he's been pretty disruptive, pretty impactful," said GM Rick Smith. "Hopefully, he's had his share of [injuries] and he'll be on the field consistently." Clowney's immense talent has never been up for debate. But after missing 15 of his first 32 NFL games, Clowney faces real concerns about his durability.
Second-year DE Leonard Williams says he feels more comfortable than he did last season.
Williams had a terrific rookie year by all accounts but the 22-year-old still sees room for improvement, particularly as a pass-rusher. "I know the playbook now, so I don’t have to think as much when I’m out there, I can just play," said Williams. "I think I did really well in the running game last year, so during the offseason I’ve been working on my pass rushing." Defensive line coach Pepper Johnson has also seen a change in Williams this offseason. "He came in with a maturity, a professionalism," said Johnson. "But he just has taken it to another level." All signs point to a breakout season for the former No. 6 overall pick.
Jets OLB Trevor Reilly is on the roster bubble.
Reilly has been a useful special teams player for the Jets and has also contributed as a backup linebacker. However, the arrival of Jordan Jenkins and Freddie Bishop has put him firmly on the roster bubble. Reilly will need a stellar camp to preserve his roster spot.