Jones, who suffered a hamstring injury last week, was not on the practice field Wednesday in the portion open to the media. Colt McCoy could be the fill-in for the Giants, who play at the Seattle Seahawks (8-3) on Sunday (4:05 p.m. ET, Fox).
Elsewhere, Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs missed practice Wednesday after suffering a sprained right ankle last week. The Raiders (6-5) play at the winless New York Jets on Sunday (1 p.m. ET, CBS). Also, prior to their NFC South showdown between New Orleans and Atlanta, it is still unknown whether Falcons’ star wide receiver Julio Jones will be able to play in Week 13.
Here’s a roundup of the biggest injuries from ESPN’s NFL Nation:
Is Matt Milano healthy enough to play after four weeks of rest? The Bills’ defense is knocking on the doorstep of its 2019 form, if it isn’t there already. But Milano’s presence as a pass-defending linebacker is still missed, and Buffalo will need all hands on deck during a critical stretch of games over the next five weeks. Especially against a creative offense such as San Francisco’s on Monday night (8:15 ET, ESPN), the Bills (8-3) could use Milano’s skill set. — Marcel Louis-Jacques
Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa sat out last Sunday’s game because of a jammed left throwing thumb, and the rookie appears to have a 50-50 chance to play Sunday against the Bengals. He continues to practice in a limited capacity wearing black tape on his thumb, but it seems likely to again come down to whether coach Brian Flores thinks Tagovailoa is effective enough throwing with the injured thumb compared to a healthy Ryan Fitzpatrick. — Cameron Wolfe
Third-year cornerback J.C. Jackson, whose six interceptions lead the team, was knocked out of Sunday’s win against the Cardinals after landing hard on his back and hip in the fourth quarter. He was spotted at the start of Wednesday’s practice but was limited in his overall participation. If he can’t go on Sunday against the Chargers, veteran Jason McCourty is a top candidate to replace him in the starting lineup. — Mike Reiss
The Jets are relatively healthy. The biggest question for Sunday’s game against the Raiders is on the offensive line, where right tackle George Fant (knee/ankle) isn’t practicing and could miss his second straight start. He would be replaced again by Chuma Edoga. Quarterback Sam Darnold (shoulder) is healthy and practicing fully. — Rich Cimini
Ravens quarterback Robert Griffin III pulled his hamstring in the second quarter at Pittsburgh and left midway through the fourth quarter because of the injury. “I don’t know if it’ll linger,” said Griffin, who expects to get a scan Thursday to determine the severity of the injury. Reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson will finish his 10-day quarantine in time to play Tuesday against the Dallas Cowboys, but current health status is unknown. “We’re wishing him a speedy recovery,” Ravens wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown said. — Jamison Hensley
The Bengals don’t have any massive injury questions. However, cornerback Darius Phillips has been cleared to return from injured reserve and could be available to play as early as this week. If he comes back, he could be in the mix to be a starting outside cornerback. While the impact on Miami’s passing attack would be marginal, that scenario gives Cincinnati another much-needed player at that spot. — Ben Baby
Pro Bowl cornerback Denzel Ward is unlikely to play at Tennessee after suffering a calf strain Nov. 22. Ward sat out Sunday’s game at Jacksonville and is being termed “week-to-week” by Browns coach Kevin Stefanski. — Jake Trotter
The Steelers are the NFL’s lone unbeaten team, but their defense might have taken another massive hit with an injury to linebacker Bud Dupree in the win against the Ravens on Wednesday. Dupree’s knee appeared to go out and he limped off the field. Dupree, playing this season on the franchise tag, had a breakout year in 2019 playing opposite T.J. Watt, and he has eight sacks this season. With Dupree out for any amount of time, rookie Alex Highsmith would be in line for an increased role. Dupree and Watt are the foundational tandem of the Steelers’ pass rush, and losing Dupree would be a significant blow to one of the league’s top units. — Brooke Pryor
The Texans, on Wednesday, started the 21-day practice window for running back David Johnson, who is on injured reserve because of a concussion. Johnson could return Sunday against the Colts, and interim coach Romeo Crennel said the running back “has made progress” toward that return. — Sarah Barshop
Left tackle Anthony Castonzo, to no surprise, did not practice Wednesday because of a sprained MCL suffered early in the second quarter of Sunday’s game against Tennessee. The Colts do not have a set timetable on when they expect Castonzo in the lineup. “We’ll trust him and the doctors and the trainers, and kind of give him the freedom to test this thing out as he sees fit,” Colts coach Frank Reich said. Le’Raven Clark is the front-runner to start at left tackle against Houston, but the Colts are leaving numerous possibilities open, including moving right tackle Braden Smith or left guard Quenton Nelson. — Mike Wells
Field Yates picks Michael Pittman Jr. and Jakobi Meyers as two WRs that fantasy managers should consider adding off of the waiver wire.
Wide receivers DJ Chark Jr. (ribs) and Chris Conley (hip) were back on the field in a limited basis and appear on track to return to the lineup Sunday at Minnesota. The Jaguars nearly pulled off an upset of Cleveland last week without those two players in veteran quarterback Mike Glennon‘s first start since Week 4 of the 2017 season. If they’re back, especially Chark, that gives Glennon more help against one of the league’s worst pass defenses (Vikings are 25th at 261.3 yards per game). — Mike DiRocco
Titans tight end Jonnu Smith missed practice Wednesday because of a knee injury. He had been nursing an ankle injury for a good part of the season but still managed to play through it. Smith hasn’t been a factor in the past three games, including a zero-catch outing against the Colts last week. But keep an eye on Smith because the Titans will need to get him involved in the offense down the stretch. — Turron Davenport
With cornerback Bryce Callahan (foot) already ruled out for at least three weeks as he was moved to injured reserve, the injury to keep an eye on is running back Phillip Lindsay (knee). Lindsay did not practice Wednesday, but Broncos coach Vic Fangio said the team was “optimistic” Lindsay would be able to play at least some Sunday in Kansas City. It has been a tough season physically for Lindsay who has sat out three games, the second half of two others and most of the second half this past Sunday because of injuries. Despite that time missed, Lindsay has six of the Broncos’ nine rushing plays this season of at least 20 yards. — Jeff Legwold
Stephania Bell breaks down Phillip Lindsay’s injury and Julian Edelman’s placement on the COVID-19 list.
Cornerback Bashaud Breeland was sent home Wednesday because of a stomach virus. There’s a good chance he will recover in time to be available to play Sunday night against the Broncos. The Chiefs would feel his loss if he doesn’t play because Breeland has had a good season and is a steadying presence for an otherwise young group of cornerbacks. — Adam Teicher
Running back Josh Jacobs suffered a sprained right ankle trying to get that extra yard late in the Raiders’ embarrassing 43-6 loss at Atlanta on Sunday and he missed practice on Wednesday. “He’s confident he’s going to be able to play [at the Jets],” Raiders coach Jon Gruden said. “I don’t think he was 100 percent [Sunday]. I think he tried to fight through it.” Indeed, a hip issue popped up on the Raiders’ injury report late in the week and Jacobs was limited to a career-low 27 yards rushing. Fullback Alec Ingold, who is dealing with a rib injury, and third-down back Jalen Richard being sick and inactive, limited the Raiders at the position. Even with a healthy Devontae Booker, Gruden intimated the Raiders could get Richard back this week, as well as Theo Riddick coming off the reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday. “And hopefully,” Gruden said, “our man Josh Jacobs is ready to roll.” — Paul Gutierrez
Justin Jackson (knee) is eligible to come off of injured reserve, and Chargers coach Anthony Lynn says the running back is expected to return Sunday against New England. Running back Kallen Ballage has an ankle injury he is rehabbing in hopes of being re-signed for next season. Ballage was signed when Jackson went down but has been productive until this latest injury. Defensive end Melvin Ingram is still out with a knee injury, which means teammate Joey Bosa will be freed up. Ingram has10 tackles so far this season, well behind his 48 from all of last season. — Shelley Smith
The Cowboys did not put out an official injury report Wednesday with a kickoff next Tuesday, but defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence worked on the resistance cords during the part of the session that was open to the media. He has been dealing with a knee issue for a good portion of the season and was slowed by something in the Thanksgiving loss to the Washington Football Team. Lawrence has all 4.5 of his sacks in the past seven games and has found something of a groove as a pass-rusher. Potentially facing Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, the Cowboys will need Lawrence to be ready to go. — Todd Archer
Quarterback Daniel Jones (hamstring) did not practice Wednesday. He worked with trainers and said he’s “feeling better.” But Jones also said he was unsure if he could have played had there been a game for the Giants on Wednesday. Luckily there wasn’t. But he also wouldn’t say if he did any running, only that he underwent treatment and did some exercises in the training room. It seems like a stretch for Jones to be ready to face the Seahawks on Sunday. Barring a miraculous recovery, it will be Colt McCoy starting in Seattle. — Jordan Raanan
Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, the centerpiece of the Eagles’ defense, was sidelined to start the week with a neck injury. If he can’t go in Week 13, the task of slowing Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers becomes all the more difficult. On a more positive note, tight end Zach Ertz (ankle) was activated off injured reserve and could play for the first time since Week 6. — Tim McManus
Safety Deshazor Everett participated in some positional work Wednesday, but he’s still dealing with an ankle sprain that has sidelined him the past two weeks. The feeling last week was that Everett was more likely to miss the Week 13 Pittsburgh game. Whether having an extra day will help him remains to be seen. If he can’t play, Washington will use the combination of Troy Apke and Jeremy Reaves to fill the free safety spot. Also, offensive tackle Cornelius Lucas (ankle) took part in an offensive walk-through. If he can play, then Morgan Moses would return to his right tackle position. — John Keim
Bears defensive tackle Akiem Hicks missed practice on Wednesday and is day-to-day with a hamstring injury. “In regards to Akiem, I do think he’s getting better,” coach Matt Nagy said. “I’m hoping that he will be able to go [against the Lions on Sunday].” Last week, the Packers exploited Hicks’ absence up front by running the ball with great success versus Chicago’s normally sturdy defense. Hicks, who is one of the Bears’ best defensive players, has been sidelined since he pulled the hamstring muscle versus the Minnesota Vikings on Nov. 16. — Jeff Dickerson
Kenny Golladay (hip) remains out for the Lions and didn’t practice Wednesday after being limited the past two Wednesdays. Interim coach Darrell Bevell didn’t want to use the term setback, though, when describing his star wide receiver. “He’s pushing himself. … It’s a day-in, day-out thing where we monitor it,” Bevell said. “We push him to a certain level, next day, see how that level — [how] the body reacts to it, and then we come back the next day and go from that plan, that day forward.” — Michael Rothstein
The offensive line, and it’s not just one spot, is a concern for the Packers this week. Green Bay expects to be without center Corey Linsley for multiple weeks because of the knee injury he suffered Sunday against the Bears, and right guard Lucas Patrick (toe) was only a limited participant on Wednesday. Elgton Jenkins, who moved from left guard to center after Linsley’s injury, likely will start at center against the Eagles with rookie Jon Runyan Jr. set to start at left guard, making his first career start. But if Patrick can’t go, then perhaps Green Bay will move Billy Turner inside from right tackle and bring in Rick Wagner to start at right tackle, which is how the team finished the game against the Bears. — Rob Demovsky
Scott Spratt says Dalvin Cook will have difficulty producing fantasy numbers because of the top run defenses that are upcoming on the Vikings’ schedule.
Dalvin Cook said he “freaked out” upon initially injuring his ankle against Carolina but defended his durability entering Week 13. The running back was limited in practice Wednesday but says he’ll be ready to go against Jacksonville. Elsewhere, Irv Smith Jr. continues to be sidelined with a back injury that popped up after the Dallas game. Without their No. 2 tight end, the Vikings have been calling Kyle Rudolph’s number more frequently in recent weeks. — Courtney Cronin
It has been an issue already this season, but the health of wide receiver Julio Jones (hamstring) is a question once again. He was limited in Wednesday’s practice, as was teammate Calvin Ridley (foot/ankle) and running back Todd Gurley (knee). Jones and Gurley did not play in this past Sunday’s win over the Raiders. Jones has missed three games this season, including last week, with hamstring struggles, but the Falcons are hopeful he will be available against the Saints this week. After returning the first time this season, he re-aggravated it against the Packers. The second time he returned after a missed game this season, Jones had eight receptions for 137 yards and two touchdowns against the Vikings. — Jeff Legwold
Wide receiver DJ Moore injured his right ankle late in Carolina’s loss at Minnesota, and as of Monday, coach Matt Rhule wouldn’t rule him out when the team returns from its bye for a Dec. 13 game against Denver. Rhule didn’t let on how serious the injury was, but that he left the door open for Moore to face the Broncos could be taken as a good sign. Keep in mind Rhule looks for every competitive advantage he can get with injuries, so don’t read too much into this. Moore leads Carolina wide receivers with four touchdown catches, but he’s fourth on the team in catches with 50. — David Newton
Starting left tackle Terron Armstead remains on the reserve/COVID-19 list, and it’s unclear if he has a chance to return this week. That’s a significant loss since he is one of the Saints’ elite talents at one of the game’s most important positions. Also, starting cornerback Janoris Jenkins missed practice Wednesday after leaving the Saints’ Week 12 win early with a knee injury. He would be especially missed if the Falcons have both wide receivers Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley healthy. — Mike Triplett
The two players who will benefit the most from the Buccaneers having a Week 13 bye? Cornerback Jamel Dean, who missed last week’s game with a concussion, and left tackle Donovan Smith, who played the entire game with an ankle injury after arriving at the stadium in a boot. Coach Bruce Arians said of Smith: “He tried it out and told me, ‘I can probably play a half. I don’t know if I’ll finish the game, but I can give you a half.’ He played the whole game. He gutted it out. I know a lot of people want to tear on that guy — he’s a heck of a football player for me.” — Jenna Laine
Cardinals left guard Justin Pugh is still dealing with an ankle injury suffered Sunday in New England. If he can’t play Sunday against the Rams, it’s likely Max Garcia will take his spot in the lineup. The Cardinals’ offensive line is anchoring a run game that ranks first in the NFL with 5.04 yards per play and fourth with 155.9 yards per game. — Josh Weinfuss
Field Yates explains that this season more than ever is the year to carry a second QB for insurance purposes.
Coach Sean McVay says the Rams came out of Week 12 with “typical bumps and bruises,” so barring any issues that come up during this week’s practices, the active roster should be good to go on Sunday against the Cardinals. The exception remains rookie reserve outside linebacker Terrell Lewis, who was inactive last Sunday because of a lingering knee issue, and is “week-to-week,” according to McVay. — Lindsey Thiry
Niners running back Tevin Coleman returned to practice last week for the first time since re-injuring his knee in a Week 8 loss to Seattle, but he was not active against the Rams. That means he should be a week closer to returning and with the extra day of rest going into the Monday Night Football matchup with Buffalo, Coleman has a better chance to return and offer more depth at a position the Niners will lean heavily on against the Bills. — Nick Wagoner
The foot injury that defensive end Carlos Dunlap suffered Monday night sounds as though it could have been much worse. Coach Pete Carroll said an MRI revealed “there’s a little something going on, but nothing serious.” Dunlap’s status for this week’s game against the Giants is uncertain. “We just need to see how it goes and how he handles the week,” Carroll said. “I can’t tell you how he’ll be on game day yet, but we’re hopeful and he’s hopeful he’ll be able to play.” Dunlap has four sacks in as many games with Seattle. — Brady Henderson
NFL mandatory minicamps 2021 — Derek Carr’s stance, Julio Jones’ debut, Tua Tagovailoa’s rough day and more
From quarterback Derek Carr making a bold statement about his commitment to the Las Vegas Raiders to Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa throwing five interceptions in a heavy rainstorm to wide receiver Julio Jones taking the field in the Tennessee Titans‘ No. 2 uniform, some of the big names in the NFL made waves on Tuesday during NFL mandatory minicamps.
Eighteen NFL teams opened their mandatory three-day minicamps this week. Ten held theirs last week, with four teams electing to cancel. Teams that opted out of mandatory minicamps this week are the Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts and San Francisco 49ers. The Philadelphia Eagles were the first team to skip theirs when they did so a week ago.
While practices were underway for half the league, much of the talk of Tuesday’s camps included the players who haven’t stepped foot on the field because of ongoing contract negotiations. Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard, New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore and Seattle Seahawks safety Jamal Adams were among the notable players absent from their respective team facilities.
Teams already have been going through organized team activities, but this marks the first time that many veterans will take the field since the end of the 2020 NFL season. That includes some players who joined new teams this offseason, including prized free agents and edge rushers Matt Judon (Patriots) and Yannick Ngakoue (Raiders).
Here are some snapshots, many from ESPN’s NFL Nation reporters who are on the scene at this week’s activities, from Tuesday’s minicamps:
Top news of the day
Carr says he has no desire to leave Raiders
Las Vegas quarterback Derek Carr re-asserted his desire to remain with the team that drafted him in the second round in 2014. “I’d probably quit football if I had to play for somebody else,” Carr said.
Derek Carr explains why he has no interest in playing for a franchise other than the Raiders.
Howard not at Dolphins camp over ‘unique’ situation
Xavien Howard, who hasn’t shown up to any portion of the Dolphins’ voluntary offseason program this year, was not in attendance for minicamp meetings Tuesday, and he’s officially a holdout as he seeks a new contract. Coach Brian Flores noted the cornerback’s situation is “unique” in regard to his contract because Howard feels like he has outplayed the five-year, $75.25 million extension he signed in May 2019.
Dolphins coach Brian Flores discusses the team’s desire to keep Xavien Howard amid a contract dispute.
Packers’ Rodgers jokes about ‘quiet offseason’
Aaron Rodgers, who has dominated the NFL headlines this spring because of his dissatisfaction with Green Bay, showed his sense of humor during a promotional video in advance of the July 6 golf match featuring Rodgers and PGA Tour star Bryson DeChambeau against Tom Brady and Phil Mickelson.
Adam Schefter says Green Bay’s front office isn’t doing itself any favors when it comes to keeping Aaron Rodgers.
More NFL headlines:
Julio Jones footwork drill with WR coach Rob Moore. Nice grab at the end. pic.twitter.com/SnLSPThdT6
— TURRON DAVENPORT (@TDavenport_NFL) June 15, 2021
Cam Newton with a little hop in his step upon arrival. pic.twitter.com/y37cfPjGKr
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) June 15, 2021
Joe Burrow News Conference https://t.co/Ve1fqIbpv6
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) June 15, 2021
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) June 15, 2021
Day 1 of minicamp is in the books after this play by the first team in the red zone. Chad Beebe make a catch in the corner of the end zone; think Mackensie Alexander was supposed to be on him. pic.twitter.com/Q9HNDbyIjx
— Courtney Cronin (@CourtneyRCronin) June 15, 2021
I got you!! 😂 https://t.co/jlh7Zwe7nb
— Joe Haden (@joehaden23) June 15, 2021
we missed this pic.twitter.com/1q4J8FDpg4
— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) June 15, 2021
Off & running at Day 1️⃣ of minicamp! pic.twitter.com/bcVONrlpsI
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) June 15, 2021
Day 1 of Dolphins mandatory minicamp. Tua Tagovailoa going through some warmup reps. pic.twitter.com/31nTB9DXY3
— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) June 15, 2021
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) June 15, 2021
— Marcel Louis-Jacques (@Marcel_LJ) June 15, 2021
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) June 15, 2021
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) June 15, 2021
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) June 15, 2021
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) June 15, 2021
Quotes of the day
“I played with Julio [Jones], Mohamed Sanu, since Day 1, those guys, I feel like I’ve been moving toward that way of I can do it by myself. Obviously I’m not by myself, we have other players who are really good, but I feel like I’ve been ready and I just needed an opportunity to get in those positions.”
Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley
“I was surprised. … You never like to see things like that.”
Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce on Le’Veon Bell’s comments about coach Andy Reid
“I wore 9 in college my senior and junior year. I’m one of 10 children, so I got 9 siblings – every time I go out there, I represent them. I like 9; that’s one of the reasons I rock it. And 99 was taken, so I chose to use the new rule.”
Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon on his jersey number
“You don’t feel like yourself, even when you pass the symptoms. There’s a certain level or feeling you have when you’re ready, and COVID made it a little harder to get to that good feeling.”
Ravens defensive end Calais Campbell has had no post-COVID issues the past couple of months
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) June 15, 2021
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) June 15, 2021
Here to 𝗛 𝗨 𝗦 𝗧 𝗟 𝗘. pic.twitter.com/2GuxKobTs3
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) June 15, 2021
Just the beginning 🔥 pic.twitter.com/FuwE7uoKBH
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) June 15, 2021
Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers jokes about his ‘quiet offseason’ in interview for July 6 golf match
Through everything that has happened surrounding Aaron Rodgers this offseason, one thing is clear: He still understands sarcasm.
The reigning MVP, who has dominated the NFL headlines this spring because of his dissatisfaction with the Green Bay Packers, showed his sense of humor Tuesday during a promotional video in advance of the July 6 golf match featuring Rodgers and PGA Tour star Bryson DeChambeau against Tom Brady and Phil Mickelson.
TNT’s Brian Anderson, who hosted the video conference, set up Rodgers with this: “You’ve really kept a low profile this offseason, I’ve hardly seen your name at all and you haven’t hosted any TV shows or been involved in any kind of controversy or anything. It’s been a nice, peaceful offseason for you, it sounds like.”
Rodgers’ reply was both deadpan and dripping with irony.
“It’s been one of those quiet offseasons you dream about, where you can kind of just go through your process on your own, quietly,” Rodgers said. “And that’s all you can ask for as an older player in the league and someone who’s been around for a long time and just enjoys that time to yourself, just relax, to not be bothered, to not have any obligations or anything going on.
“I think that’s what this offseason has been about. It’s been about really enjoying my time and spending it where I want to spend it, not feeling like I have to go anywhere but still be an NFL player at the same time. It’s been great.”
Rodgers skipped his only actual obligation, the Packers’ mandatory minicamp last week, and is subject to fines of $93,085. He also missed the entire offseason program, thereby forfeiting his $500,000 workout bonus.
The Packers have publicly maintained their desire to have Rodgers back for “2021 and beyond,” as team president Mark Murphy put it earlier this offseason, but it’s unclear whether Rodgers will report for training camp next month or will hold out and try to force a trade. Since the news of Rodgers’ unhappiness with the Packers broke on the afternoon of this year’s draft, the Packers have insisted they will not trade him.
Earlier this month, Murphy wrote that the situation has divided the Packers’ fan base and added that the less said publicly about the situation, the better. However, Murphy didn’t heed his own advice last week when, during a speaking engagement, he referred to Rodgers as “a complicated fella,” saying he was echoing how former Packers general manager Ted Thompson once described him.
It’s unclear whether the T-shirt Rodgers wore for Tuesday’s videoconference, which read “I’m offended,” was in response to Murphy’s comment.
Carolina Panthers WR Robby Anderson says he sees new ‘glow’ in QB Sam Darnold
“When I walked in the building I could see a new energy out of him, like a glow, charisma that I didn’t really see in New York,” said Anderson, who played with Darnold in 2018-19. “I can definitely see the difference in him so far.”
Anderson was the only Carolina player not seen by media for any of the voluntary portions of on-the-field offseason workouts.
So Tuesday, the first of a three-day mandatory camp, was the first time Anderson had a chance to work with Darnold since the Jets’ 2019 finale against Buffalo when they connected three times for 18 yards.
“You know when a person can see like a glow, energy, their aura?” Anderson said. “I could kind of see that when I walked in the building.”
Anderson was Darnold’s favorite target with the Jets. He had 102 catches for 1,431 yards and 11 touchdowns during their time together.
Stopping short of making a prediction, Anderson expects better things for them in Joe Brady’s system at Carolina, where in 2020 Anderson had a career-best 95 catches for 1,096 yards and three touchdowns.
“The New York system was a little more complex, had a lot of nuances that was more difficult for everybody, not just him, not just me,” Anderson said. “This system is a little more graspable.”
New Carolina edge rusher Haason Reddick hasn’t played with Darnold before, but he likes what he has seen.
“Sam’s completing passes,” said Reddick, an offseason free-agent signing from Arizona. “It looks like he’s playing intelligent football.”
Coach Matt Rhule just wants Darnold, who struggled with consistency with the Jets, completing only 59.8% of his passes and going 13-25 as the starter, to continue playing “good” football in practice.
“I don’t want him to have great days right now … just steady progress to make good days roll into great days,” he said of the quarterback Carolina traded for before the draft.
Anderson, who should help Darnold’s growth because of their past chemistry, didn’t go into detail on why he stayed in South Florida throughout the voluntary portions of OTAs.
“I’m to the point of my career where I know how to get myself ready,” he said. “So it wasn’t nothing against the team or nothing like that. I feel I capitalized on this time. The work I was putting in with my trainer, I was on a good program.
“I didn’t want to step away from that.”
Rhule said it was great to have Anderson back even though Anderson wasn’t in all the team drills.
“Robby is a guy that brings energy to the practice field,” he said. “He’s in great shape. You can tell he’s been working hard. We had a goal of like three to four reps in a team drills. I’m not going to over-rep anybody.”
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