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Training Camp Daily Dose

Joe Burrow, Justin Jefferson Likely For Week 1

by Rivers McCown
Updated On: August 20, 2021, 1:29 pm ET

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Training camp injury news is the injury news that everybody wants to hear. By that, I mean there's no tight timelines for players to actually get preseason work in, and unless an injury is serious, we've been allotted plenty of time for nagging knees or shoulders to heal. So unless there's an indefinite injury, or something that's not disclosed in a real way, what we tend to get is boundless optimism. We have almost a month until the regular season, and that means there's a lot of ballgame left for healing. And, hey, that ties together a lot of the injury news we've got!

Joe Burrow won't play this Saturday, looks likely for Week 1

Bengals head coach Zac Taylor told reporters that his quarterback, who has not exactly had a sterling camp even if things are trending in the right direction, won't play against the Washington Football Team this Saturday. Burrow practiced and looked just fine in drills. Bengals owner Mike Brown set an expectation in a media luncheon during July that Burrow probably wouldn't play at all in the preseason, but Taylor has previously said that he'd be open to getting Burrow some reps. Not this week, though. And assuming the Bengals don't break longstanding "last game of preseason = mass rest day for starters" tradition, the first time we see Burrow play another team will be in Week 1. 

That's big news for preseason DFS fans of the Washington defense and/or Kyle Shurmur. It probably shouldn't be moving markets on Burrow's ADP, which has settled around the QB12-15 range. 

Justin Jefferson returns to practice after spraining AC joint on August 6th

10 days after Bashaud Breeland landed on him, Jefferson was on the practice field for the Vikings on Monday taking part in a limited fashion. The Vikings didn't send out Mike Zimmer for a presser after practice, but it seems safe to assume that Jefferson is trending in the right direction even if he may not partake in Saturday's game against Indianapolis. Already nearly two weeks into rehab and recovery, it's a sign that Jefferson can be drafted with some confidence as we near the peak of fantasy football draft season in late August/early September. 

Elijah Moore will likely sit another week, Robert Saleh "hopeful" he can return next week

Jets coach Robert Saleh laid it out in very calm terms in his presser on Monday: they're not expecting Elijah Moore this week, they're hopeful he'll play against Philadelphia in the preseason finale, and they're not worried about his status for Week 1. What a soothing voice. The preseason hype around Moore had his ADP booming, but maybe this quad injury will take him off the radar of a few of the more hesitant managers in your fantasy league. For that matter, missing another preseason week would do wonders to keep him hidden. Please take all the time you need, Elijah. And nobody needs you scoring a bunch of touchdowns against Philadelphia in that finale either, you know? Maybe just take one slant past a few open-space defenders and call it a night. 

In Moore's absence, the Jets figure to send a lot of preseason targets at Vyncint Smith and Denzel Mims yet again. To some extend I would like to see Moore and Zach Wilson work together in a game, since Wilson showed up to camp fairly late. But the talent is so clear and it doesn't take a lot of convoluted route combinations for Moore to get open. It can be an easy pitch-and-catch. 

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Dak Prescott does individual drills, Mike McCarthy threatens to sit him for rest of preseason

Speaking to reporters after Prescott returned to practice, McCarthy said that if Prescott wasn't playing against the Texans this Saturday, he wasn't going to play in the final week of the preseason either. That's not much of a surprise, though it's good to have it codified that you can count on Ben "The Noochie" DiNucci in this week's preseason barnburner. The more important portion of the show was that Prescott threw at practice on his much-MRI'ed shoulder and seemed by all media accounts to put plenty of zip on the ball. He was held out of the team practice portions, but as McCarthy hinted at, there isn't much of a rush to get him onto the field and him being setback-free is more important. I'm sure we'll all find out more on Hard Knocks this week. 

Prescott continues to be about the QB4-QB6 in most drafts despite the prognosis and as long as reports out of practice continue to trend in the right direction, that should put him in a great space for stacks if you're one of those "I don't believe in Dan Quinn's defensive turnaround powers" types that believes more 400-yard Prescott games are in our immediate future. 

Quick QB/RB notes

Frank Reich told reporters that he "[felt] good about where we're at right now," in regards to Carson Wentz's injury. The recent news has been pretty positive for Wentz, who isn't wearing a boot. If he does miss regular season games, he may not miss many of them ... Darrynton Evans sat out practice again today for the Titans after suffering a knee injury against Atlanta. Brian Hill took the majority of the early snaps without Derrick Henry playing. A prolonged absence for Evans would set Hill up as the clear run downs backup. Hill might get a lot of snaps in preseason DFS against a Tampa unit that "probably won't play any starters" according to its head coach ... Phillip Lindsay handled most of the run attempts and snaps for the Texans first-team offense in their first preseason game, and a David Johnson quote from before that game circulated on Monday that talked about a "reduced role" -- but the context of that quote wasn't necessarily as clear as you might think. Johnson handled at least 78% of the Texans' offensive snaps in all but one of the games he started and finished in 2020. Even playing 50% of the snaps would be a "reduced role," technically. This isn't to say you shouldn't be interested in Lindsay, who is the better back based on last season's results, but don't go into your draft thinking Lindsay is a run-downs starter for sure. ... Zach Moss and D'Andre Swift were both back on the field Monday as they try to return from a hamstring sprain and a groin sprain, respectively. 

Quick WR/TE notes

Anthony Miller's dislocated shoulder against the Packers should hold him out for a few weeks but he avoided structural damage, per Aaron Wilson. That could put him on track to return in the first few weeks, assuming he makes the final Texans roster. Keke Coutee would likely be the main beneficiary of Miller being hurt or cut. ... DJ Chark took a step towards returning from his "minor break" in his hand Monday, showing up on the practice field and running some routes, but he didn't participate in drills ... Stefon Diggs continued to be absent from practice on Monday and has now missed a solid week of practice, but Sean McDermott remained unconcerned after Sunday's practice and Diggs had time to ask his Twitter followers if we'd been to the moon or not as well as show off some good coaching.

Rivers McCown

Rivers McCown has been writing about football since 2009, most notably at Football Outsiders and covering the Texans for The Athletic. He most recently wrote that thing you just read. He hails from Houston, TX, and has not been traded to Arizona for magic beans yet. You can say nice things about him on Twitter @riversmccown, and you can yell at him on Twitter @RotoPat.