Training Camp Preview: AFC South

Wed Jul 20 10:16am ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer

Related photo caption below

Titans need Henry back healthy


This is the third in a series of training camp previews. The previews give you a quick look at each team, going over position battles and injuries to watch in camp. The season is right around the corner.

Titans

The Titans had another great season last year but came up short in the playoffs. Tennessee certainly has a lot of talent on both sides of the ball, but can’t seem to get over the hump. Will this be the year? The team might be running out of time with Derrick Henry another year older. The window could be closing, making this camp an important one to see if this team can take one more step forward. That Titans hold training camp at Saint Thomas Sports Park in Nashville, Tenn.

Position battle: The Titans traded their No. 1 receiver, A.J. Brown this offseason, leaving some big shoes to fill at receiver. The team did bring in Robert Woods and Treylon Burks to help fill that void. Nick Westbrook-Ikhine also will be in the mix to start, though, do don’t discount him. All three players will battle it out for the right to start in Tennessee. Burks is the projected top receiver but missing workouts this offseason didn’t help matters for him. He had some asthma issues, causing him to miss time. And Woods is recovering from a torn ACL, so nothing is certain with this receiver room right now. It should get sorted out this training camp. 

Injury watch: Derrick Henry missed half of last season because of a foot injury, which required surgery. This is a serious injury to return, but Henry has looked great in offseason workouts and looks back to 100 percent. This is still an injury to watch going forward. Just make sure he is back to his old self in camp and preseason action before using a high draft pick on him this year. 

Colts

The Colts made a change at quarterback once again this offseason. Indy traded for Matt Ryan and dealt Carson Wentz after just a season. The Colts hope Ryan can steady the ship at quarterback and take this team to a new level. Ryan certainly has the track record to help this team reach new heights. So much of the focus of this camp will be getting Ryan up to speed in the offense. Ryan and the offense will get going at Grand Park in Westfield, Ind.

Position battle: Michael Pittman is the No. 1 receiver for the Colts, but the starter opposite him is up for grabs. Parris Campbell and rookie Alex Pierce should challenge for that other starter spot. Campbell has performed well on the field but hasn’t been able to stay healthy. Pierce is a very talented rookie, but could need some seasoning before he is ready to jump into a starting role. This one is really up for grabs.

Injury watch: Parris Campbell has played 15 games in three seasons. He has a world of talent and has produced when on the field, but he can’t stay healthy. He is returning from foot surgery this time. His health will be a big thing to watch this training camp for the Colts. Campbell can be a difference maker for the offense, but needs to be on the field.  

Jaguars

The Jaguars were a disaster last year because of a coaching situation that didn’t work out. The team made changes to the coaching staff once again, hoping this is the right fit. Training camp will be a good time for the coaching staff to get the team on the same page. Plus, the Jaguars made a lot of changes to the roster this offseason, hoping to find new talent for franchise quarterback Trevor Lawrence. There is a lot of new in Jacksonville, which should make for an intriguing training camp. Jacksonville trains at the Episcopal School of Jacksonville in Jacksonville, Fla.

Position battle: The Jaguars added plenty of playmakers offensively this offseason. The receiver spot really looks different with Christian Kirk and Zay Jones added to the mix. Marvin Jones and Laviska Shenault are still around, though, and will look for playing time. These four players should battle it out for playing time this camp and preseason. 

Injury watch: Travis Etienne missed his entire rookie season because of a Lisfranc injury suffered during the preseason. He is well on his road to recovery and should be all systems go for training camp and the start of the season. As long as he is healthy, Etienne will play a huge role for the Jaguars offense. He has a load of talent and can be used on a variety ways offensively. 

Texans 

Houston had another tough season last year, leading to another change to the head coach. Veteran Lovie Smith will look to get this team going in the right direction. The good news is the Texans have a lot of young talent and competed hard last year. This team might not be as far off as many think. We will get a better idea during training camp and preseason action, though. Houston holds training camp at the Houston Methodist Training Center in Houston, Texas. 

Position battle: The Texans are looking for a No. 1 running back. The team drafted Dameon Pierce but he is not going to be handed the job by any means, especially since he was a fourth-round pick. Marlon Mack might be No. 1 on the depth chart right now, followed by Rex Burkhead. It would seem Pierce has the best chance to emerge, but Mack could be the one to open the season as the starter. 

Injury watch: Marlon Mack has a chance to be the starter for the Texans, but will need to be healthy and at full strength to win that job. He has played six games the last two seasons. Last year he was a healthy scratch much of the season, but injuries have always been an issue for Mack throughout his career. They are always going to be a concern going forward for Mack. Hopefully, he has a clean camp and can earn a big role with the team.  

Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at jeff@rtsports.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.

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Phillip Lindsay Oct 3 11:40pm ET
Phillip Lindsay

Indianapolis Colts running back Phillip Lindsay spent all the offseason with Indy before being a final cut during training camp. Now, Lindsay is back with the Colts and could start factoring into their gameplan. Head coach Frank Reich mentioned that Lindsay would begin getting into the equation, assuming Jonathan Taylor (ankle) is unable to play on Thursday Night Football. It's a short week, so the Colts might not want to push it with Taylor. Instead, Nyheim Hines and Lindsay would be the focal point in the backfield, assuming Taylor is out. It's hard to imagine Lindsay being a reliable streaming option against the tough Broncos defense.

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Cairo Santos Oct 3 11:40pm ET
Cairo Santos

Chicago Bears kicker Cairo Santos (personal) missed the Week 4 matchup against the New York Giants. The 30-year-old was dealing with a personal matter and was away from the team for a week. Now, Santos has returned and should resume his role as the primary kicker in Chicago. Michael Badgley started in his place on Sunday and connected on four field goals in the loss. The expectation is that Badgley will return to the practice squad, but someone might scoop him up soon after that performance.

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Kevin Givens Oct 3 10:50pm ET
Kevin Givens

San Francisco 49ers star defensive lineman Arik Armstead (foot), who came into the Monday night game against the Los Angeles Rams questionable with his foot injury, aggravated his foot injury and was ruled out for the rest of the game in the fourth quarter. The 28-year-old has been dealing with plantar fasciitis in his foot, and on a short week heading into Week 5 against the Carolina Panthers, Armstead might have a tough time getting cleared to play. With Armstead and Javon Kinlaw (knee) injured on the interior of the 49ers defensive line, backups Kevin Givens and Hassan Ridgeway have been pressed into more playing time on Monday against LA.

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Jimmy Garoppolo Oct 3 10:20pm ET
Jimmy Garoppolo

San Francisco 49ers left tackle Colton McKivitz (knee), who was filling in for All-Pro Trent Williams (ankle), is out for the rest of the Monday night game against the Los Angeles Rams with a knee injury. Jaylon Moore is now filling in, with Blake Hance on deck. When Moore was forced to enter last Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos, the Broncos defense destroyed the Niners' offensive line and came after quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. San Francisco might have to devote some more help to Moore on Garoppolo's blind side for the rest of this Week 4 game to avoid something similar happening against the Rams strong defense.

From RotoBaller

Latavius Murray Oct 3 9:53pm ET
Latavius Murray

New Orleans Saints practice squad RB Latavius Murray will be signed to the Denver Broncos 53-man roster, according to a source.

Fantasy Spin: The Broncos have lost Javonte Williams to injury, so Murray should have a role right away. Murray likely will be behind Melvin Gordon in terms of workload, but he could be a flex option against certain opponents.

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Blake Martinez Oct 3 9:30pm ET
Blake Martinez

Linebacker Blake Martinez is signing a deal to join the Las Vegas Raiders according to The Score's Jordan Schultz. Martinez was released by the New York Giants right before the season started after a two-year tenure in the Big Apple. He will rejoin former Giants defensive coordinator Patrick Graham, who is now with the Raiders. Martinez posted four straight seasons of at least 144 tackles from 2017 to 2020 and could have some value in IDP leagues if he garners a full-time role with the Raiders. The terms of the deal have yet to be posted.

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Matthew Stafford Oct 3 9:20pm ET
Matthew Stafford

Los Angeles Rams offensive lineman Coleman Shelton left Week 4's Monday night game against the San Francisco 49ers with an ankle injury and was ruled out for the remainder of the game shortly after. Shelton injured his ankle during the first quarter and then tried to play on the following drive but ultimately ended up heading back into the locker room. Shelton was replaced on the offensive line by Jeremiah Kolone at center. Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford will have his hands full for the remainder of the game against the San Francisco defense.

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Latavius Murray Oct 3 9:10pm ET
Latavius Murray

The Denver Broncos signed running back Latavius Murray off of the New Orleans Saints' practice squad on Monday. Murray logged 11 rushes for 57 yards and a touchdown for the Saints against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 4 but he will now head to Denver to help fill out the running back room following the season-ending injury to Javonte Williams. Murray will join Melvin Gordon III and Mike Boone with the Broncos. It remains to be seen if Murray will have a role, or even suit up, against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 5's Thursday night game after he just played in London on Sunday. Murray will be worth monitoring in fantasy in case he carves out a significant role with the Broncos.

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Latavius Murray Oct 3 8:33pm ET
Latavius Murray

New Orleans Saints RB Latavius Murray and TE J.P. Holtz were returned to the practice squad Monday, Oct. 3, after being on the active roster for the Week 4 game.

From TheHuddle

Cole Beasley Oct 3 8:33pm ET
Cole Beasley

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Cole Beasley was returned to the practice squad Monday, Oct. 3, after being on the active roster for the Week 4 game.

From TheHuddle

Jordan Akins Oct 3 8:23pm ET
Jordan Akins

Houston Texans TE Jordan Akins and Mason Schreck were returned to the practice squad Monday, Oct. 3, after being on the active roster for the Week 4 game.

From TheHuddle

Treylon Burks Oct 3 8:13pm ET
Treylon Burks

Dynasty | Treylon Burks has been diagnosed with turf toe after being carted off the field in Sunday's game. Dynasty Analysis: The injury looked to be much worse than turf toe, but this is going to keep Burks off the field for a while. This is one of the most difficult injuries to return from during a season, so we'll keep an eye on his rehab starting this week. This is just the latest setback for Burks, who has struggled to stay on the field during his rookie season, let alone produce at a high level. He's in danger of falling out of the top ten rookies should others continue to step up while he's out of the lineup. Dynasty managers have no choice but to hold on to him for the moment.

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Tua Tagovailoa Oct 3 8:13pm ET
Tua Tagovailoa

Dynasty | Tua Tagovailoa will not play for the Dolphins this week against the Jets. Dynasty Analysis: It seems the Dolphins may have received the memo from the rest of America wondering why he was ever on the field last week in the first place. Tua is dealing with a significant concussion and while his date to return to the field is unknown, there is little to no chance we see him until he's more than 100% ready to play. Miami has come under fire for how they've handled his injuries this season and are clearly under the microscope. As for Tua, his ranking of QB16 is secure, but we'll need to see him back on the field before moving him up.

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Brian Robinson Jr. Oct 3 8:13pm ET
Brian Robinson Jr.

Dynasty | With Brian Robinson set to return from IR, Antonio Gibson's grasp on the starting running back job is tenuous at best. Dynasty Analysis: Robinson was clearly in the lead for the job this summer and Gibson hasn't really done anything to likely convince the Washington coaches he should be the answer. While Robinson may be eased into the job, it seems unlikely Gibson will hold him off for long. Gibson has posted just 173 yards this year, averaging averaging a pedestrian 3.3 yards per carry in the process. At this point, savvy owners are likely looking to peddle him before his ranking of RB21 starts to tank.

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Randy Gregory Oct 3 8:00pm ET
Randy Gregory

Denver Broncos defensive end Randy Gregory (knee) is undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery and will be sidelined anywhere from two to six weeks, depending on how he recovers, according to a source. The good news for Gregory is that his ACL is still intact, so he'll be able to return after a few weeks of rest and recovery. The 29-year-old pass-rusher has been a big force on Denver's defensive line through the first four weeks, compiling two sacks, nine tackles (six solo), seven QB hits and two forced fumbles, so his absence is surely bad news for a Broncos defense that got dominated by the division-rival Las Vegas Raiders in their Week 4 loss. The Broncos defense/special teams unit won't be anything more than a low-upside streaming option in Week 5 against the Indianapolis Colts.

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Chase Young Oct 3 8:00pm ET
Chase Young

Washington Commanders defensive end Chase Young (knee) will not be activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list this week, according to head coach Ron Rivera. Young will miss at least one more game and probably more as he continues to recover from ACL and MCL tears in his right knee last November. The 23-year-old former first-rounder made the Pro Bowl in his rookie season in 2020 when he had 7.5 sacks and 44 tackles (32 solo), but he played in only nine games in 2021 and finished with just 1.5 sacks and 26 tackles (15 solo). At full health, he will be a big boost to the Commanders' pass rush and he should be worth a look in IDP formats down the stretch as well.

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Russell Wilson Oct 3 7:50pm ET
Russell Wilson

Denver Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett said quarterback Russell Wilson (shoulder) would have been limited on Monday if the team had a real practice. Hackett said Wilson "got dinged up a little bit" in the Week 4 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday. It's something to keep an eye on, but Wilson doesn't appear to be in any danger of missing the Week 5 contest against the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday night. The 33-year-old QB accounted for three touchdowns on Sunday (two passing, one rushing), but he threw for only 237 yards on a season-low 25 attempts. Against a Colts defense that's allowing 16.2 fantasy points per game to signal-callers through four weeks, Wilson will be in play as a low-end QB1 in fantasy.

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Brian Robinson Jr. Oct 3 7:50pm ET
Brian Robinson Jr.

Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera said that rookie running back Brian Robinson (knee) will come off the Non-Football Injury list and the team will start his 21-day clock to return on Wednesday. Robinson was cleared by doctors to practice, and Rivera said it looks "very promising" that the 23-year-old could make his NFL debut in Week 5 against the Tennessee Titans. It wouldn't be surprising if the Commanders take it slow with Robinson, but once he is ready to contribute, it will be bad news for both Antonio Gibson and pass-catching back J.D. McKissic. Before being shot in an attempted robbery in D.C. just before the start of the regular season, Robinson was trending towards leading Washington's backfield. If he remains available on your league's waiver wire, scoop him up now and stash him.

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Rashod Bateman Oct 3 7:40pm ET
Rashod Bateman

Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said that wide receiver Rashod Bateman (foot) was dealing with a foot injury in the second half of the Week 4 loss to the Buffalo Bills, which is why he was not on the field in the fourth quarter. The Ravens are listing Bateman as day-to-day for now, so fantasy managers will need to keep an eye on his practice status throughout the week leading up to a Week 5 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday Night Football. Unless the 22-year-old suffers a setback this week, he should be on track to suit up this week. He played a season-low 44 percent of the snaps on Sunday and caught just three of six targets for 17 yards. With better health in Week 5, fantasy managers will be hoping he can bounce back after scoring touchdowns in each of the first two weeks.

From RotoBaller

Melvin Gordon Oct 3 7:40pm ET
Melvin Gordon

With Denver Broncos running back Javonte Williams (knee) out for the season due to a torn ACL, the Broncos will have to rely more on Melvin Gordon III, who has fumbled five times in his last 44 carries over five games. Sunday's Week 4 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders marked the third time a Gordon fumble has been returned for a touchdown in the Broncos' last 12 games. The 29-year-old was listed as limited on Monday's practice estimate with a neck injury, but he should be fine ahead of Thursday night's Week 5 game against the Indianapolis Colts, where he should lead Denver's backfield despite his fumbling issues. Mike Boone might be involved as well the rest of the way, but Gordon should be Denver's primary back, giving him RB2 upside moving forward.

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