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Thursday training camp preview for all 32 NFL teams

Pittsburgh's Le'Veon Bell and Dallas's Alfred Morris each have question marks surrounding their play. USA TODAY Sports, AP Photo

NFL Nation reporters assess the top storylines to watch Thursday for all 32 teams.

AFC East | AFC North| AFC South | AFC West
NFC East | NFC North | NFC South | NFC West


Buffalo Bills

The Bills return to the practice field Thursday after an off day Wednesday, and the biggest story will be the health status of tight end Charles Clay, who was not spotted at Tuesday's practice. During previous practices, the training staff frequently stretched Clay's back/hip area. He is a highly paid and important part of the Bills' offense, so his availability is important, especially after his injuries last season. — Mike Rodak

Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins reportedly worked out free-agent linebacker Brandon Spikes on Wednesday. That news marks a potentially interesting sign that Miami may not be too confident in its linebacker depth. Starters Kiko Alonso, Jelani Jenkins and Koa Misi all have durability concerns, and Miami has some young, unproven players on the bench. — James Walker

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New England Patriots

Martellus Bennett finished Wednesday's practice strong, with four straight completions from Tom Brady, as the two-tight end package of Bennett and Rob Gronkowski continues to show up. Bennett and Gronkowski seem to be raising each other's level of play, with Bennett saying, "It's been very fun playing with him because he's very passionate. … I think we've just been feeding off each other a lot." — Mike Reiss

New York Jets

Jace Amaro, coming off one of his best practices as a Jet, appears to be serious about claiming the starting job at tight end. The 2014 second-round pick, still trying to live up to expectations, is making plays in the passing game. If he shows improvement as a blocker, he can unseat Kellen Davis, known strictly as a blocker. Amaro would add versatility to the offense if he can carve out a role. — Rich Cimini


Baltimore Ravens

Mike Wallace had his best day of training camp, catching a couple of touchdown passes from Joe Flacco. Wallace could play a bigger role than expected, especially if Baltimore's other deep threats are slow to recover. Breshad Perriman remains on the physically unable to perform list with a knee injury, and rookie Chris Moore is wearing a protective boot on his left foot. That leaves Wallace as the only consistent downfield target for Flacco. The Ravens are coming off a season in which they ranked last in the NFL with a 10.4-yard per catch average. Baltimore is hoping to stretch the field more with Wallace. — Jamison Hensley

Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals could use a jolt of good luck after a turbulent Tuesday sacked one promising young player, possibly for the entire season (William Jackson III), and another (Tyler Kroft) for some extended preseason time. Luckily for Cincinnati, it didn't run the risk of losing players to injury Wednesday thanks to a built-in break with an early-camp off day. Aside from simply trying to stay healthy, Thursday will be a good test to see how the Bengals bounce back from a day away from physical activity. — Coley Harvey

Cleveland Browns

First-round pick Corey Coleman has been everything the Browns advertised. To this point in practice, Coleman looks strong, runs good routes and catches the ball well. He is one of the players who has stood out in camp, and certainly seems to be the real thing. — Pat McManamon

Pittsburgh Steelers

Le'Veon Bell is facing a potential four-game suspension, but the Steelers running back is looking healthy on the practice field. Less than nine months removed from major knee surgery, Bell is running and cutting with ease, and he put the moves on a few linebackers as a receiver in one-on-ones. The next step is being tackled, which the Steelers might not allow for quite a while. — Jeremy Fowler


Houston Texans

After a day of practice inside, one during which several veterans got a rest day, the Texans will head back outside for Thursday's practice. Tight end Stephen Anderson, an undrafted rookie (Cal), will continue to be tested. He has a chance to make the team as the Texans' primary pass-catching tight end. — Tania Ganguli

Indianapolis Colts

The Colts entered training camp with an open competition for the starting right guard and right tackle spots on the offensive line. One of those spots has been filled. Coach Chuck Pagano said Joe Reitz has earned the right to be the Colts' starting right tackle. Reitz started 14 games at different spots along the line last season. "He's played winning football, and he played a lot of winning football last year for us," Pagano said. "Again, we talk about abilities all the time, and you can check off all the boxes on him. Coachability, reliability, accountability, availability — just check them all off. The guy is a damn good football player, and he's tough and he's smart and he's a great teammate." — Mike Wells

Jacksonville Jaguars

Center Brandon Linder sat out Wednesday's practice with a groin strain, and the Jaguars will monitor the situation closely. They had several players with groin injuries that morphed into sports hernias last season (Toby Gerhart, Dan Skuta, Allen Hurns) and can't afford for that to happen with Linder. He's the team's best offensive lineman. — Mike DiRocco

Tennessee Titans

If Kendall Wright doesn't return after tweaking his hamstring as the Titans return from a day off, Harry Douglas will be working as the slot receiver with the first team. Douglas has been low-key since camp started, running mostly with the second team. His job was not secure heading into camp, and then the Titans added Andre Johnson before practice started. A big showing when given opportunities with QB Marcus Mariota is the best way for Douglas to make the Titans' final decisions at the position as difficult as possible. — Paul Kuharsky


Denver Broncos

After a day off for the players Tuesday, coach Gary Kubiak didn't get the kind of effort he wanted from the team on Wednesday. Kubiak had seen enough when he angrily told the players he wanted more, calling their effort "lethargic." It was out of character for the defending Super Bowl champion, but it did reaffirm that the Broncos are a talented, accomplished team in search of leaders after Peyton Manning's retirement (and DeMarcus Ware has not practiced in training camp because of a back troubles). In their absence, the Broncos need others to step up and show the way. — Jeff Legwold

Kansas City Chiefs

Teammates have been raving about the speed of rookie wide receiver Tyreek Hill. Pro Bowl cornerback Marcus Peters was the latest after he was beaten deep by Hill for a long touchdown in a training camp practice. "He's as fast as hell," said Peters, the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year last season. "That explosiveness, that's what we're going to need from him during the season." Hill will play some on offense when the Chiefs go to their multi-receiver formations. And he will be given the chance to be their punt and kickoff return specialist. — Adam Teicher

Oakland Raiders

The Raiders have been media darlings of late, a sexy pick to supplant the Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos atop the AFC West. So how is coach Jack Del Rio keeping his squad from believing the hype in camp? "Too much of anything is unhealthy," Del Rio said after resuming practice Wednesday following Tuesday's off day. "Whether it's paying attention to criticism or people tooting your horn … we set our own agenda." — Paul Gutierrez

San Diego Chargers

The intensity picked up on the second day of padded practice for the Chargers, with a couple fights breaking out after big hits. Second-year offensive tackle Tyreek Burwell went after Dexter McCoil in response to the big safety blasting receiver Isaiah Burse on a crossing route. Burwell tried to return the favor on a slip screen, lining up cornerback Richard Crawford for a big hit, which drew the ire of safety Jahleel Addae. Chargers coach Mike McCoy had to get in between the two. McCoy said he liked the effort, but he also wants the players to protect each other. "This is our team, and we've got to take care of one another," McCoy said. "But it's going to be physical." — Eric D. Williams


Dallas Cowboys

With RB Ezekiel Elliott set to miss some time with a right hamstring strain, Alfred Morris will move into the starter's role with the first-team offense. Darren McFadden, last season's leading rusher, is recovering from a broken elbow suffered in the spring and is expected to be ready by Week 1. Morris has had a strong start to camp and appears to be a great fit for this scheme. His vision allows him to see holes before they develop. Not known as much of a pass-catcher in his time with the Redskins, never having more than 17 receptions in a season, Morris has spent time after practice working on catching passes and running routes. — Todd Archer

New York Giants

Victor Cruz's comeback is coming along slowly. After missing almost two full seasons, the Giants are still trying to find out what they have in the former Pro Bowl receiver. They've been very cautious during team drills early in training, and that's not likely to change. The Giants could get a better sense of what they have on offense if Cruz can make more plays than he has to date and if Odell Beckham Jr. (lower leg) returns to practice. Beckham could return Thursday after missing the past two days. — Jordan Raanan

Philadelphia Eagles

With Ryan Mathews' ankle injury and now Wendell Smallwood's quadriceps injury, the Eagles are down to Darren Sproles, Kenjon Barner and a couple of undrafted rookies at running back. That would be a problem if games were being played, but at this point in training camp, it has a plus side. "With Ryan … and with Wendell not practicing right now, it's great for those guys to get so many reps and so many touches," coach Doug Pederson said. "It's just going to help the overall balance of the football team and put some good film on tape." — Phil Sheridan

Washington Redskins

The Redskins are taking it slow with second-round pick Su'a Cravens when it comes to learning a position. Cravens, who did not practice Wednesday because of a leg injury, has worked exclusively at linebacker since being drafted by Washington. He'll likely be a nickel/dime linebacker, but they'd eventually like him to be able to rush from the edge on occasion or play a nickel safety. "He's going to have to develop fast because we're going to count on him," Redskins coach Jay Gruden said. — John Keim


Chicago Bears

The spotlight is on receiver Alshon Jeffery, who left practice early Wednesday because of muscle tightness. Coach John Fox quickly downplayed the development, but keep in mind, Jeffery missed almost the entire preseason and seven regular-season games last year because of soft tissue problems. Jeffery's tightness is not believed to be serious, but it underscores the importance of Jeffery staying healthy. The Bears cannot afford for him to suffer through another injury-plagued season in 2016. The same holds true for inside linebacker Danny Trevathan, who exited practice because of a knee problem. Chicago is not deep enough to lose front-line players in camp and expect to compete for the NFC North. — Jeff Dickerson

Detroit Lions

He's a long shot to make the roster at this point because of Detroit's depth, but undrafted rookie receiver Quinshad Davis has made major strides in the first week of training camp. At best, he could push for the No. 5 receiver spot, and at worst, he's a name to stash for the future. The former North Carolina receiver has a large frame at 6-foot-3 and 218 pounds, and he has shown exceptional hands early in camp. He's caught almost everything thrown at him, including a couple one-handed catches and a couple of others where he's had to jump. "He's a guy that [has a] big body, gives you a really good target to throw to," coach Jim Caldwell said. "He's got a nice catching radius and he runs well … he's learning a lot, but I like what I see." — Michael Rothstein

Green Bay Packers

The Packers were planning to play backup quarterback Brett Hundley extensively in the Hall of Fame Game this Sunday — and perhaps might have started him if they decide not to play Aaron Rodgers — but that's up in the air now. Hundley did not practice Wednesday evening because of an ankle injury. It's not believed to be serious, but if he doesn't practice Thursday, he might not be able to play against the Colts on Sunday. "I'm more focused on these next two days in practice," coach Mike McCarthy said before Wednesday night's practice. "Brett got nicked in practice the other day. … He's kind of up in the air." — Rob Demovsky

Minnesota Vikings

As impressive as Linval Joseph has been during his first two seasons with the Vikings, coach Mike Zimmer believes there's more to get out of the nose tackle during this year's training camp. "The one area that we're trying to get him to use his ability more is in the pass rush," Zimmer said. "There's times when he shows it, and there's times where he wants to just hunker down. He loves playing the run, but if he could ever develop that mentality of when it's time to pass rush, I think he could go to the next level." — Ben Goessling


Atlanta Falcons

Dwight Freeney is scheduled to arrive in Atlanta on Thursday for his physical and to officially join the Falcons. Once he takes the field, it will be interesting to see how many reps he takes. Coach Dan Quinn said Freeney, 36, will be a nickel rusher, but Quinn wouldn't say how many reps Freeney might play in an actual game. Said defensive end Adrian Clayborn: "It's Dwight Freeney, so it's going to do nothing but make us better." — Vaughn McClure

Carolina Panthers

The Panthers will become the first NFL team to practice with a high school team in training camp when they take the field with Spartanburg (South Carolina) High on Thursday. OK, they won't be squaring off in individual or team drills. You won't have 310-pound defensive tackles taking on 17-year-olds who are 50 pounds (or more) lighter. The teams will go to their respective fields after warm-ups, stretching and a pep talk from Carolina coach Ron Rivera. But it's a good way for the NFL team to show its appreciation to the community of Spartanburg, where the Panthers hold their training camp (at Wofford College). You can bet quarterback Cam Newton will have fun with it. — David Newton

New Orleans Saints

The Saints' linebackers struggled in pass coverage last season — a big part of the reason why they set NFL records for TD passes allowed and opponents' passer rating. But they seem to have improved in that area so far this summer; Dannell Ellerbe is healthy, and versatile backup Craig Robertson signed as a free agent. Ellerbe looks fast and fluid on the field after playing in just seven games over the past two years. He had a nice downfield pass breakup against tight end Coby Fleener, and coach Sean Payton said recently, "We're a lot more athletic when he's out there." — Mike Triplett

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Coach Dirk Koetter announced after Wednesday's practice that Cameron Brate is at the top of the depth chart at tight end. To anyone observing practice, that shouldn't come as a surprise — he's looked the most consistent. So what does that mean for Austin Seferian-Jenkins? "Austin's working at it, that's all he can do right now," Koetter said. Also, wide receiver Mike Evans said he improved his diet and has dropped down to 220 pounds, the lightest he's weighed since college. "During OTAs I felt slow and heavy. Now I feel like I can run all day." — Jenna Laine


Arizona Cardinals

Even on the Cardinals' off day, they helped protect the future of their franchise by inking safety Tyrann Mathieu to a five-year extension worth $62.5 million that will keep him in Arizona through the 2021 season. When the Cardinals return to the practice field on Thursday, they will get a better sense of how some injured players are progressing, including nose tackle Corey Peters, who limped off the field late Tuesday, and wide receiver John Brown, who is undergoing the concussion protocol. — Josh Weinfuss

Los Angeles Rams

While top pick Jared Goff is getting the headlines, quarterback Case Keenum is leading the first team through training camp practices. Keenum has been steady and composed, something the Rams counted on when they named him the starter before OTAs in the spring. "When I'm at quarterback, I'm running the show," Keenum told the Associated Press. "It's my huddle, it's my squad, it's my offense, and I am taking ownership of it." — Nick Wagoner

San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers return to practice Thursday after a day off, and the quarterback competition between Blaine Gabbert and Colin Kaepernick is just getting started. Neither signal-caller has separated at this early juncture, and coach Chip Kelly says the team will take its time making a decision. Kelly pointed to the preseason games as "huge" for both players. — Paul Gutierrez

Seattle Seahawks

When training camp started, coach Pete Carroll said the team would monitor the progress of RB Thomas Rawls (ankle) and TE Jimmy Graham (patellar tendon) in segments. Wednesday offered the first break in camp, so we'll find out Thursday if there's an update with either of these players. The offensive line depth chart is also worth keeping an eye on. Assistant head coach Tom Cable indicated we could see some mixing and matching. Will he allow the starting five to build some continuity? Or has he already seen enough to make a change? — Sheil Kapadia


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