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FFL: Preseason | NFL: Week 1

Panthers' Bozeman carted off from practice with leg injury

Tue Aug 16 11:40am ET

Related photo caption below

Carolina Panthers' Bradley Bozeman arrives for the NFL football team's training camp wearing his helmet with a protective covering at Wofford College on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022, in Spartanburg, S.C. The NFL has made the use of Guardian Caps mandatory up until the second week of the preseason for offensive and defensive lineman, linebackers and tight ends. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) Carolina Panthers center Bradley Bozeman left Tuesday's joint practice session with the New England Patriots on a cart after suffering an apparent leg injury.

Bozeman got tangled up during an 11-on-11 period and was attended to by trainers for several minutes. He was able to sit upright and get to his feet on his own power. But he walked gingerly with trainers to a nearby cart before heading to the locker room.

The 6-foot-5, 325-pounder signed with the Panthers as a free agent this offseason after starting 48 of 49 games the last three seasons for the Baltimore Ravens.

Bozeman was brought in to improve the Panthers' offensive line, which allowed 52 sacks in 2021 - the fifth most in the NFL. He played left guard in 2019 and 2020 before moving to center last season.

He has been competing for the starting job at center with Pat Elflein, who began the day lined up with Carolina's projected first-team offense.

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Player Notes
Brandon Aiyuk Aug 16 12:50pm ET
Brandon Aiyuk

ESPN's Nick Wagoner doesn't believe it's outrageous to think that San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk could lead the team in receptions and yards in 2022, barring another injury. He has been the team's most consistent offensive performer in training camp, and the rapport he built with quarterback Trey Lance in the offseason is a real thing. Aiyuk looked good last summer before tapering off at the start of the regular season when he suffered a hamstring injury late in the preseason. The 24-year-old finished with 56 catches (84 targets) for 826 yards and five touchdowns in 17 regular season games in his second NFL season. With Deebo Samuel and George Kittle still around, Aiyuk should be considered a WR3 with upside in fantasy football drafts.

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George Pickens Aug 16 12:40pm ET
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No matter who wins the starting quarterback job for the Pittsburgh Steelers, rookie wide receiver George Pickens is likely to be a significant factor on offense this year. The Steelers also have Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool, but Pickens has carved out a role with his impressive footwork and contested-catch abilities. He's been a favorite target of both Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph, which makes him a stash candidate in single-year fantasy football drafts, at the very least. With the Steelers likely to push the ball down the field more often than in recent years, the 21-year-old has plenty of upside in his rookie season. ESPN's Brooke Pryor thinks it's a possibility that Pickens has nine or more receiving touchdowns.

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Jonathan Taylor Aug 16 12:30pm ET
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ESPN.com's Stephen Holder still thinks Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor is a good pick at No. 1 overall in fantasy football drafts, even with the Colts planning to reduce his workload in Year 3. Holder expects Taylor's touches to be lower than in 2021, but his propensity for big plays still makes him the best fantasy option. He had explosive plays (10-plus yards) on 15.1 percent of his carries last year. Among 1,000-yard rushers, only Nick Chubb had a higher rate at 18 percent. Taylor was also 12th among RBs with nine yards per catch, so he can also do damage in the passing attack. Quarterback Matt Ryan should make the Colts offense more efficient as well. Despite the possibility of a smaller workload in 2022, fantasy managers should still be plenty happy taking Taylor with the first overall selection.

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Saquon Barkley Aug 16 12:30pm ET
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New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley is expected to have a huge workload this year without much depth behind him, as long as he can stay healthy. Barkley has become an injury risk, but he has looked the best he has in years in training camp this summer. Quarterback Daniel Jones and head coach Brian Daboll have described Barkley as "explosive" to describe what they've seen. The strength of the Giants offensive line looks to be its run-blocking, and Barkley should be more involved in the passing game in 2022. The 25-year-old former second overall pick didn't look like himself last year while returning from injury, but he appears to be fully healthy now and is rising on draft boards as a low-end RB1.

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Jerry Jeudy Aug 16 12:20pm ET
Jerry Jeudy

With Denver Broncos wide receiver Tim Patrick (knee) out for the year, receivers Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy will have more prominent roles in the offense. Quarterback Russell Wilson has shown in training camp that he's going to move the ball around to find favorable matchups, but he's also shown in practices that when he really needs a completion or has been moved off his spot by the pass rush, he's looking for Sutton. But it remains to be seen if that tendency will hold up in games, and Jeudy is too good of a route-runner to not be a factor. If both Sutton and Jeudy stay healthy throughout the year, ESPN.com's Jeff Legwold thinks they'll both have their best years. Sutton is slightly more attractive as a WR2 in fantasy football because he has more experience and has a 1,000-yard season under his belt, but both pass-catchers could have very nice seasons with Wilson as their QB.

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Dameon Pierce Aug 16 12:20pm ET
Dameon Pierce

According to ESPN.com's DJ Bien-Aime, Houston Texans rookie running back Dameon Pierce could take over the starting job by the first month of the regular season. Former Indianapolis Colt Marlon Mack has the most production of the group, which also features Rex Burkhead, but Pierce is the most explosive. It's only a matter of time until offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton makes Pierce the lead guy in this backfield. Pierce looked good in the team's first preseason game on Saturday against the New Orleans Saints, too, carried five times for 49 yards. The 22-year-old fourth-rounder might not have a huge role early on, but he clearly has the most fantasy upside of any RB in Houston and is worth a late-round flier in single-year leagues as an RB3/4.

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Brian Robinson Jr. Aug 16 12:13pm ET
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Dynasty | Antonio Gibson is practicing with the Washington special teams this week. Dynasty Analysis: While everything in August needs to be taken with a giant grain of salt, it's clear Ron Rivera was not happy with Gibson's fumble-filled performance in the preseason opener. This, combined with the hot start from Brian Robinson, should have dynasty managers who have an un-handcuffed Gibson very concerned. After this week's game, Rivera was quoted as saying, "Antonio's got to run harder. When he starts to shuffle and go sideways, that's when he struggles." Putting Gibson on special teams is a clear shot across the bow. While there has been no changing of the guard on the top of the depth chart, Gibson needs to play better quickly. His hold on the ranking of RB19 may be generous.

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Antonio Gibson Aug 16 12:10pm ET
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Washington Commanders running back Antonio Gibson is playing the slot on the punt-block team in training camp practice, which appears to be a new development. Special teams coordinator Nate Kaczor likes running backs in the slot because the role is similar to pass protection. In the past, it's been rookie Brian Robinson in that spot. Robinson fumbled in the team's preseason opener against the Carolina Panthers and carried the ball two times for only four yards. Robinson looked much better in the first preseason action and could already be taking over as the team's primary running back. Gibson has produced 1,832 rushing yards and 18 rushing touchdowns in his first two NFL seasons, but J.D. McKissic will also steal touches away in 2022, making Gibson a shaky RB2 commodity entering the regular season.

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Chris Godwin Aug 16 12:00pm ET
Chris Godwin

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin (knee) has ramped up from individual drills to seven-on-seven work in the last two days of training camp practice. He's making slow and careful progress as he returns from surgery to fix a torn ACL in his right knee. Tampa isn't going to rush Godwin back this summer, but he still has a shot to be ready for the Week 1 regular season opener. The 26-year-old pass-catcher is surely a more risky fantasy selection this year coming off a major knee injury, but when healthy, he's one of quarterback Tom Brady's favorite targets, and he produced his second 1,000-yard season in 2021 in just 14 games played. Godwin is a WR3 target with upside in fantasy drafts this year.

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Najee Harris Aug 16 11:00am ET
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Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris (foot) returned to practice at training camp on Monday after he sat out of the team's preseason opener last weekend against the Seattle Seahawks. Harris was a full participant at practice for the first time in two weeks after working his way back from a foot injury. Harris' injury was never serious, but the Steelers chose to play it safe with their star running back and limit him early in camp. While the 24-year-old's workload should shrink a bit in his second NFL season after he led the league in touches in 2021, Harris will still be Pittsburgh's workhorse running back and is a no-doubt RB1 in fantasy football.

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Kyle Pitts Aug 16 11:00am ET
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Chase Claypool Aug 16 10:50am ET
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Joejuan Williams Aug 16 10:40am ET
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Rhamondre Stevenson Aug 16 10:40am ET
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Adam Shaheen Aug 16 10:30am ET
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The Miami Dolphins placed tight end Adam Shaheen (undisclosed), who didn't pass his physical to complete a trade to the Houston Texans last week, on Injured Reserve on Tuesday. Shaheen will miss the entire 2022 season and is scheduled to become a free agent next March. The 27-year-old former second-rounder caught 12 passes for 110 yards and no touchdowns on 16 targets in 12 games (seven starts) in 2021 in his second season in Miami. Mike Gesicki will be the team's top pass-catching tight end, with Durham Smythe, Hunter Long and Cethan Carter providing depth behind him. Shaheen wasn't really on the fantasy radar to begin with entering the 2022 season.

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Miles Sanders Aug 16 10:30am ET
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Philadelphia Eagles running back Miles Sanders (hamstring) isn't practicing on Tuesday at training camp due to a hamstring injury. Sanders also missed Sunday's practice with what was being called leg soreness at the time. The 25-year-old caught both of his targets for 20 yards in the team's preseason opener against the New York Jets last Friday. It doesn't sound like his injury is very severe, so he should be considered day-to-day for now. Sanders is still Philly's lead back, but his fantasy stock is down after he failed to find the end zone in 2021 while averaging only 11.4 carries and 2.8 targets per game as the starter. Kenneth Gainwell and Boston Scott should continue to steal valuable touches away, making Sanders more of a high-end RB3/flex in fantasy drafts.

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J.K. Dobbins Aug 16 10:10am ET
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Baltimore Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins (knee) returned to the practice field at training camp on Monday and looked more comfortable running and going through drills than he did for practices last week after he was activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list. "He looked good," head coach John Harbaugh said. "He's kind of back on track, and I thought he looked a little better than he did before. So, he continues to improve, and we'll see where it goes." The Ravens are hopeful that Dobbins will be ready in time for the Sept. 11 regular season opener, but there are no guarantees. The 23-year-old isn't likely to play in the preseason, but the important thing is he still has a chance to be ready for Week 1. When healthy, Dobbins should be the leader of this backfield, although he's a risky RB2 given his current status.

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Adam Shaheen Aug 16 10:03am ET
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Miami Dolphins TE Adam Shaheen (knee) was placed on season-ending Injured Reserve Tuesday, Aug. 16.

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Deshaun Watson Aug 15 11:30pm ET
Deshaun Watson

An MRI exam confirmed that Cleveland Browns center Dawson Deaton (knee) suffered a torn ACL in training camp practice on Monday, according to sources. It's a tough break for the Browns at an important position after starter Nick Harris (knee) went down the other day with a likely season-ending injury. Ethan Pocic, Brock Hoffman and Hjalte Froholdt are the remaining players at the position for Cleveland, with Pocic likely to be the starter heading into the 2022 regular season. Deaton, a rookie out of Texas Tech, will miss all of this year. It's more bad news for a Browns offense that continues to wait on a potential season-long suspension for quarterback Deshaun Watson.

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Ronald Jones II Aug 15 10:40pm ET
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Kansas City Chiefs running back Ronald Jones could fall off the 53-man roster, according to Nate Taylor of The Athletic. The former second round pick was expected to compete for a backup role during training camp. Jones managed only one rushing yard on four attempts during their preseason opener. It sounds like the 25-year-old is struggling and could fall off the depth chart completely. Isiah Pacheco and Jerick McKinnon should be on the rise after the first preseason matchup. Neither player is a great option, but are better late-round choices than Jones right now.

From RotoBaller