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One trend you’ll notice if you follow training camp reporting in the NFL these days is how much less information you have access from a lot of teams than we used to. An example of that can be seen in Miami, where Jaylen Waddle has apparently missed a decent amount of time over the past few weeks in practice with an undisclosed right leg injury, something CBS Fantasy’s Dave Richard .
Waddle had his leg wrapped and was limited to stretching on the side, and coach Mike McDaniel acknowledged that they are being cautious with Waddle to prevent a further injury. Waddle has been sidelined for a couple of weeks with the injury, and while all indications at this point are that the injury isn’t considered serious, it’s something to keep an eye on over the next few weeks.
McDaniel is a new head coach, and we don’t quite know what to expect from him – is he a Pete Carroll type, who is always overwhelmingly optimistic, to the point where you don’t actually know whether to take anything he says at face value? He had plenty of praise for Waddle, as you can read in Dave’s piece from practice, which also noted that new Dolphins WR Tyreek Hill was “uncoverable, constantly shaking loose from coverage when he cut and speeding past defenders on downfield routes.”
Hill is still being drafted as a top-12 WR while Waddle is more of a WR2 coming off an excellent rookie season, but there are concerns about both – Jamey Eisenberg had Waddle as a bust pick even before this injury. The injury certainly doesn’t help his chances, even if it isn’t a serious issue at this point.
Waller has missed much of training camp with his injury, though it’s not actually clear how serious the issue is – Waller is engaged in contract negotiations with the team and it’s possible this is a de facto hold-in. For what it’s worth, Raiders coach Josh McDaniels has been pretty tight-lipped about Waller’s status, telling reporters he isn’t concerned about Waller but “said he didn’t feel comfortable making a prediction about his status for the Raiders regular-season opener against the Chargers,” per The Athletic’s Tashan Reed. I’m not too worried about Waller’s health at this point, but I think it’s fair to be a little down on him – he’s a 30-year-old who struggled to stay healthy, has missed much of his first training camp with a new coach, and has much more target competition in the form of Davante Adams. Waller is still going around the Round 5/6 turn, and there’s quite a bit of risk at that price.
Palmer, the Chargers No. 3 WR, suffered a concussion in the second week of preseason games, which is a shame because he was impressive in that game, going for three catches, 75 yards, and a touchdown before the injury. That he was already back to practicing Wednesday is a good sign that this isn’t a concern moving forward, and Palmer has some late-round sleeper appeal in what figures to be one of the best offenses in the league if he can carve out a bigger role after catching 33 passes for 353 yards and four scores as a rookie.
Ironically, the Giants got Shepard back the same day they seemingly lost Collin Johnson to his own ruptured Achilles. Shepard has about two weeks to work his way up to game speed, and with Johnson out and Kadarius Toney still not at practice while continuing to deal with lingering leg injuries, there could actually be room for Shepard to make an immediate impact. It’s a bit of a long shot, given how tough Achilles injuries can be to come back from, but it’s something to keep in the back of your mind. Shepard had seven or more catches in three of his first four games last season before injuries derailed him.
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