AFC South Blog
Jacksonville Jaguars HC had high praise speaking of his newly drafted wide receiver calling Marqise Lee saying ""He has a chance to break one and is extremely quick. He's freakish in his skill set in some of the things he does." It's very much a confidence booster to Lee, who was drafted at No. 39 in the NFL draft. Lee is also having plenty of chances to show his talents after primary WR Cecil Shorts is expect to miss all of training camp with a hamstring injury.
Indianapolis Colts offensive guard Donald Thomas re-tore his quad Wednesday. This is the same injury he suffered back in Week 2 of the 2013 season. He has been rehabbing ever since and only recently returned to the practice field after missing OTAs. This injury will require surgery.
Perhaps "old" is the wrong word to use, because Reggie Wayne's 35-year-old body must think it's still 25.
Wayne, entering his 15th season, is about nine months removed from tearing his ACL. Yet, he said Thursday that he feels no pain and hasn't experienced any setbacks. He's been running routes and "effortlessly snatching passes out of the air" in training camp, according to Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star. After watching Wayne's first full-squad practice last week, head coach Chuck Pagano called his performance "really incredible.
"But again, it probably doesn't shock anybody here. It certainly doesn't shock me. We all know his mindset, his work ethic and his determination, and how bad he wanted to get back."
Most of the stuff printed about Jaguars running back Toby Gerhart this offseason has been about how he is going to absolutely dominate the touches out of Jacksonville's backfield. Three hundred carries seemed like a legitimate possibility by at least one beat writer just a few days ago. Today, offensive coordinator Jeff Fisch spoke with the media and came carrying a bucket of cold water. According to Eugene Frenette of the Florida Times-Union, Fisch said he "prefers" Gerhart not be a 300-carry player like Maurice Jones-Drew had been for the franchise. He wants backups such as Jordan Todman to pitch in as well.
Colts quarterback Andrew Luck finished just outside of the top 10 in pass attempts last season with 570. However, many Indy fans were left frustrated that the number wasn't greater. Instead, offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton decided to stick with an ineffective running game headed by Trent Richardson and his 3.0 yards-per-carry average. However, this season should be a little different, according to ESPN.com's Mike Wells.
"The Colts will run the ball because they want to have as much of a balanced offense as possible, but I don't think you'll hear them talk about a power-running game as much as last season," Wells wrote earlier this week. "They simply want to put points on the scoreboard whichever way necessary. With that said, and the weapons they have on the outside, Luck will have plenty of opportunities to throw the ball."
Veteran players missing a few training camp practices is usually no big deal and not worth a write-up. But when said players who have a debilitating history of hamstring injuries, you should pay attention. Thus, it's worth noting that Texans running back Arian Foster returned to practice Wednesday after missing a few days due to a hamstring ailment. However, a similar pain is keeping wide receiver Andre Johnson sidelined for now. He's been out of practice since Monday.
ESPN's Mike Wells reports that Richardson is back at practice Wednesday after missing the last several workouts with a hamstring injury. Richardson comes back to head an Indianapolis backfield worn thin by the recent loss of Colts RB Vick Ballard to an Achilles tear. Colts RB Ahmad Bradshaw impressed coaches while taking reps with the offensive starters during Richardson's absence. Richardson struggled with nagging hamstring injuries during his first year in Indianapolis.
Hilton left practice with a finger injury, and was later seen on the sidelines with ice and a hand wrap, according to Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star. Hilton led Colts receivers last year with 82 catches on 138 targets for 1,083 yards. Hilton became Colts QB Andrew Luck's leading target after Colts WR Reggie Wayne was lost for the season to a knee injury.
Here's something to really pay attention to: The Texans have been in camp for three days, and wide receiver Andre Johnson and running back Arian Foster are already hurt.
Specifically, both have hamstring injuries. Johnson injured his right hamstring while diving for a pass during Monday's practice. Foster hasn't practiced since leaving Sunday's session early.
Johnson said his hamstring is just "a little tight" and is not worried about it. Neither is head coach Bill O'Brien, who referred to the injuries as minor.
"Those guys have played a lot of football," O'Brien said. "We'll make sure we do a good job of managing them through the season."
It has been announced running back Chris Rainey has been released from the Colts. Coach Chuck Pagano stated that, "It's an in-house deal," giving us no indication of why the running back was released. Rainey did not record a single run in the 2013 season and was not a contributing player on special teams. In 2013 he was released by the Steelers after allegedly slapping a woman in the face.