Here’s a roundup of news and notes from around the NFL on Day 3 of training camps:
Bears reveal Halas Hall makeover
Over the course of the week, teams have been posting photos of their new setups for what will be a somewhat surreal training camp and season.
On Thursday, the Chicago Bears published a series of photos of their newly socially-distanced setup which includes a practice field-turned-classroom with assigned seats for team meetings:
It’s a really interesting and complete look at how teams are tackling social distancing in training camps, and shows first-hand some of the many challenges ahead. Check out the full photo gallery here.
Buccaneers’ Brate talks about his experience with COVID-19
Now cleared and with the team, Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate opened up about his experience after testing positive for Coronavirus this off-season.
Brate, who dealt with minor symptoms, has been urging others who have and recovered from COVID-19 to donate plasma as it contains COVID-19 antibodies that could help others fight the virus.
The 6-foot-5 tight end also met his new co-worker on Thursday:
Titans’ Beasley reporting to camp ‘in the near future’
There has been a very noticeable absence in Tennessee this week, as free-agent signee Vic Beasley has not reported to camp.
The pass-rusher’s unexplained failure to report forced landed him on the Titans’ reserve to open camp. The club’s general manager, Jon Robinson, said in a statement on Thursday that he has spoken with Beasley and that the player will be reporting “in the near future.”
“On Tuesday July 28th, we placed Vic Beasley on the Reserve Did Not Report list. I have been in contact with Vic, he is not here, he understands his absence is unexcused, and he told me he will be reporting to camp in the near future,” Robinson said in the statement. “Our current focus is on the players that are here now, getting everyone acclimated to the protocols, our building, and our football program. We will have the same acclimation process with Vic when he reports.”
Panthers release Gano
Veteran Graham Gano’s time in Carolina has come to an end Thursday according to Adam Schefter, ending an eight-year tenure with the team.
Gano was sidelined with a knee injury all of last season, with the Panthers turning to Joey Slye in his place.
Yup, still feels weird
If you need a reminder that Philip Rivers is indeed an Indianapolis Colt, this one’s for you:
Jaguars’ Ngakoue hasn’t reported to camp
Jacksonville defensive end Yannick Ngakoue has yet to join the team at training camp and head coach Doug Marrone says he hasn’t spoken with the fifth-year player, who is the only member of the club to not report.
Reports earlier this year indicated Ngakoue wanted to be traded. The Jaguars placed the franchise tag on him, but he hasn’t signed it.
Big Ben’s throwing ‘going well’
Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin told reporters on Thursday that veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been throwing, and that it “has been going well.” The 38-year-old QB hasn’t played since later September, as elbow surgery last fall ended his season just three weeks into the campaign.
During Thursday’s media availability, Tomlin also spoke strongly about how he’s communicating his message of responsibility to his players and the role everyone has in keeping one another safe:
Extra motivation for Mahomes
What do you get when you take a season MVP, make him a Super Bowl MVP a year later, and then put a chip on his shoulder?
Feels like we’re gonna find out pretty soon.
The NFL released Nos. 10-1 of its annual Top 100 Players and Mahomes came in at No. 4 behind Aaron Donald (third), Russell Wilson (second) and top man Lamar Jackson. Having the reigning champ finish fourth created a bit of a stir, but it’s a familiar place for Mahomes…
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) July 30, 2020
Harbaugh addresses Jackson’s desire to sign Brown
Lamar Jackson spoke earlier this week about wanting the Baltimore Ravens to sign receiver Antonio Brown. Asked about it Thursday, head coach John Harbaugh had this to say:
“I respect him for feeling that way. I respect his opinion on it,” Harbaugh said of Jackson’s comments. “I definitely appreciate hearing how that workout went whenever it was — I mean, it was a long time ago now. But we will look at any and every player at all times. So, Antonio Brown is no exception.
“Decisions will be made based on whenever they’re made and I don’t think he’s really available to even sign right now so it’s not really a conversation that you have until he’s available to sign. Maybe I’m wrong about that. That’s something I will have to ask (Ravens general manager) Eric (DeCosta) about, where that stands with the league and the player, but that’s where we stand on it. At least from my perspective.”
While Brown actually is able to be signed by a team, it seems unlikely for a number of reasons both on and off the field — first of which are the serious allegations that emerged against him last year, including an ongoing investigation for sexual assault and rape. On the field, Brown’s tenure with the Steelers ended last year in a dramatic split, and his departure from the Raiders before even suiting up with the team was even more tumultuous and raised questions about his health while a short stint with the New England Patriots saw him cut after just one game.
Vikings’ Barr among latest to be placed on COVID reserve list
Packers kicker Mason Crosby was also added to the list on Thursday.
Bills send rookies home after positive COVID-19 tests
“As we were informed by medical experts as training camp opened, we expected to have positive tests for COVID,” the team told ESPN. “With 5 since the beginning of the testing period last Tuesday, we decided to take a disciplined, proactive and preventative approach to hopefully eliminate additional cases within our team.”
Buccaneers sign McCoy
Running back LeSean McCoy is signed for another season, and this time he’s joining Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski in Tampa Bay.
Per Ian Rapoport, McCoy will earn the veteran minimum with Tampa Bay.
McCoy, 32, spent last season with the Kansas City Chiefs. He has spent the bulk of his career in Philadelphia, where he played for six years before four seasons in Buffalo.