It appears Mecole Hardman got banged up at practice today.
Herbie Toepe of the KC Star reported he left the field on a cart with both Andy Reid and Brett Veach checking on him.
We will likely find out how serious this injury is in the coming days, but the optics don’t seem good right now.
Hardman’s role was already in question with the signing of Marquez Valdez-Scantling. That was magnified a bit when Hardman only saw three of 11 first team snaps with Patrick Mahomes in the preseason despite being lister as a “starter”.
If somewhat serious, this would allow more opportunities for Skyy Moore to see immediate playing time. Moore is an intriguing prospect who has had positive reports so far in camp. Moore likely was going to start seeing starting time by the end of the year, but this just may move the timeline up quite a bit.
He was also the wide receiver who caught the 76 yard touchdown from Lance in their first preseason game last Friday.
David Lombardi of the Athletic had some interesting analysis on the long touchdown pass to Gray during the preseason. He noted that “Lance released that football only 2.5 seconds after the snap. That’s a remarkably quick split for a long throw and a testament to Gray’s blazing speed. Deep passes can take over three seconds to develop, but Gray sprung open on the go route quickly enough to render the play’s pass protection adequate.”
It became interesting when he got drafted in the third round by the 49ers. While he does stylistically match up well with a QB like Trey Lance, we should temper expectations with him.
Gray can certainly be a deep threat and big “splash play” wide receiver, but due to his college profile it’s unlikely he amounts to much more than that. Regardless his play style and ability to take the top off the defense should earn him some opportunities to play as a rookie.
Joe Burrow is back!
Burrow is back practicing in 11-on-11s today relieving any doubt that he would miss time due to his appendix rupturing.
The plan is for Burrow to sit out all of preseason but he feels confident that he will be ready for week 1.
This is great news and just confirms Burrow is on pace to start the year fully healthy.
Coming off his second year off the ACL injury along with elite weapons in Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins, it’s not out of the question that Joe Burrow gets close to breaking some of the single season passing records.
Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal had this to say about Nelson Agholor today: “Agholor continued to have a fantastic camp. He looked like the Patriots best receiver on Tuesday, hauling in four of Jones’ 11 completions in full-teams. Agholor also had a highlight-reel touchdown when he jumped over two players (Jaycee Horn and Myles Hartsfield) to make a great catch on a 20-yard Jones pass.”
It makes sense that they would want Nelson Agholor involved. He has the third highest cap number on the New England Patriots at $14.9 million. But Agholor only received 11.5% of the teams receiving share last season despite the high price tag.
We should temper expectations when it comes to Agholor. It is important to note that the contract along with his camp performances will likely earn him a starter role by default. Whether he produces when he is on the field is a major question.
I believe he will be behind Jakobi Meyers in the pecking order at minimum in the passing attack.
Pete Carroll told reporters that Kenneth Walker had a “procedure”, but that it’s not a sports hernia.
I’m sure we will get updates on his specific timeline here in the coming days, but it does certainly look that playing in week one is in question for him.
Pete Carroll is known to be an extreme optimist when it comes to injuries so we need to take everything he says at face value when it comes to his recovery time. There’s a legit chance that this knocks him out for the first few weeks of the season.
We already know rookies already have an uphill battle to playing time as it is and now this just puts him behind the curve.
Considering that Rashaad Penny looked like one of the best running backs in the NFL at the end of the season last year, it’s not totally out of the question that Walker gets “Rashaad Pennied” as a rookie. By that I mean being drafted highly, but playing as a clear backup to the starting running back with minimal opportunities.
Walker is clearly a talented running back with loads of potential to be one of the better running backs in the league, but it might take some time with him due to the talent in front of him and now this injury.