Niles Paul - TE - Washington Redskins
Washington Redskins TE Niles Paul appears to have bulked up this offseason as the Redskins started organized team activities this week. Paul gained at least 20 pounds last offseason but lost all of that weight while sitting out due to his ankle injury.
Huddle Up: Paul was a wide receiver in college and even returned kicks early in his NFL career, so staying bulked up has been an issue. He'll need to stay healthy and keep the weight on to thrive in his role as Jordan Reed's backup.
DeSean Jackson - WR - Washington Redskins
Washington Redskins WR DeSean Jackson has not participated in voluntary workouts this week, but he has visited the Redskins. Head coach Jay Gruden said Jackson knows what kind of shape he has to be in and does expect him to participate in other voluntary workouts.
Huddle Up: Veterans take the "voluntary" in "voluntary workouts" quite seriously, and it's not as if Jackson needs to learn a new offense or prove anything to the coaches. In fact, Gruden and the Redskins would be perfectly happy if Jackson simply managed to stay healthy until his presence on the field is required.
Dez Bryant - WR - Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant (foot) will have more X-rays on his injured right foot soon, and he hopes to participate more as the offseason progresses. Bryant admitted that he needs to be patient during his recovery, but said he feels great. He did participate in the early part of organized team activities Wednesday, May 25, before his rehabilitation.
Huddle Up: Bryant's foot injury scuttled what was expected to be a big season last year, so it's imperative that he's fully recovered before returning to action. There's nothing he needs to do in May to prove he's a top fantasy wideout; a fully healthy Bryant hitting the field in August would do just fine.
Ladarius Green - TE - San Diego Chargers
Pittsburgh Steelers TE Ladarius Green (ankle) is out of organized team activities as he recovers from offseason ankle surgery. He doesn't have a firm timetable, but he's hopeful to be ready for training camp.
Huddle Up: If Green is to be the safety blanket Heath Miller was for Ben Roethlisberger, he's going to need some reps with his new quarterback. Hopefully he'll be at full go for the start of training camp; if he's not, fantasy owners will need to back off the expectations that are building for Green and his new role in Pittsburgh.
Ryan Fitzpatrick - QB - New York Jets
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles said he's 'hopeful' that QB Ryan Fitzpatrick is re-signed by training camp. However, Bowles didn't say he's confident.
Huddle Up: How many different ways can we say it? The Jets want Fitzpatrick back, Fitzpatrick wants to be back. Get it done already!
Eddie Lacy - RB - Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers RB Eddie Lacy still weighs 'in the 240s,' according to a source. Lacy did P90X workouts in the offseason and turned to basketball and boxing, too. It was reported back in April that Lacy had already lost 15 to 18 pounds. Head coach Mike McCarthy characterized Lacy's condition as 'so far, so good.' 'Eddie will be fine,' McCarthy said. 'I believe he'll hit the target that we're all looking for when the lights come on.'
Huddle Up: It was clear that Lacy's girth was a hinderance last season, so any work he's doing to get into better playing shape can only help. We'll know more when the Packers open training camp in July.
Ezekiel Elliott - RB - Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott must compete to earn a starting role this year, according to running backs coach Gary Brown. Elliott was drafted fourth overall by the Cowboys and will compete with RBs Darren McFadden and Alfred Morris. 'It's a lot faster pace,' Elliott said. 'The game moves so much faster. Yesterday, I'm not going to lie, I was a little bit shell-shocked. But today I came out. I was a little bit more prepared and was more ready mentally so it was a little bit easier for me.'
Huddle Up: The learning curve definitely is not as steep for rookie RBs, and expect the fourth-overall pick to comfortably win the starting gig with his strong, pro-ready skill set.
Ameer Abdullah - RB - Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions RB Ameer Abdullah (shoulder) had surgery to fix a torn labrum in his shoulder in January and could miss the rest of the offseason, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. Abdullah led the team in rushing last year with 597 yards. He's said to be ahead of schedule in his rehab, but the Lions are being cautious with him until training camp. Abdullah is expected to be the starting running back in 2016.
Huddle Up: Yikes! Not the way those banking on a strong sophomore season from Abdullah wanted to see his offseason start. Definitely a player to track the rest of the summer whether you already own him or not.
Drew Brees - QB - New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees, who said he hasn't had contract extension talks in two months, will not negotiate a new contract during the 2016 season. He doesn't plan to miss any offseason activities, whether a deal gets done or not.
Huddle Up: Brees turned 37 in January and looks to be on the downside of a great career. Expect any extension to be of the short-term variety with low risk for the Saints.
Trent Richardson - RB - Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Ravens RB Trent Richardson is dealing with a hamstring injury Thursday, May 26, that he suffered last week.
Huddle Up: Not surprising, but definitely something that doesn't belong on the itinerary of player with a whole bunch to prove and coming off a season out of the league.
Kelvin Benjamin - WR - Carolina Panthers
Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee) is back at practice in organized team activities Thursday, May 26, for the first time since tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee in training camp last year. Carolina is likely to ease him back into work, though, after he totaled 1,008 receiving yards and nine touchdowns as a rookie.
Huddle Up: Definitely expect the Panthers to treat Benjamin with kid gloves as he's expected to return to his No. 1 WR status. In The Huddle's preliminary player rankings, Benjamin checks in at 18th among WRs.
Brandin Cooks - WR - New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints WR Brandin Cooks (undisclosed) is out of practice Thursday, May 26, and working on the side with trainers.
Huddle Up: The Saints are notoriously hush-hush with injuries, but it doesn't sound too alarming if Cooks is at least still getting in some work on the side. Stay tuned ...
DeMarco Murray - RB - Tennessee Titans
Tennessee Titans RB DeMarco Murray has received praise from both head coach Mike Mularkey and QB Marcus Mariota during organized team activities this week. 'I certainly liked some of the cuts I saw,' Mularkey said. 'Even without pads on, those were cuts he wasn't going to get touched on. It was going to be an explosive run. You can tell when a play is going to work and not work.'
Huddle Up: Perhaps the Titans' run offense suits Murray better than the square-peg-in-the-round-hole fit he had in Chip Kelly's Philly offense a year ago. Look for Murray to wind up being the lead horse in the Titans' RBBC, which also will feature second-round pick Derrick Henry.
Pierre Thomas - RB - Washington Redskins
Free-agent RB Pierre Thomas (Redskins) is still receiving interest from the Washington Redskins, but Thomas may want to wait until the season begins before signing with a team like he did last season.
Huddle Up: Right now Matt Jones is in line for feature back carries, but Thomas could horn in on both those and Chris Thompson's passing game work. It's a situation worth keeping an eye on.
Arian Foster - RB - Houston Texans
Free-agent RB Arian Foster (Texans) is still receiving interest from the Miami Dolphins.
Huddle Up: Foster is working his way back from an Achilles' tendon injury, and with the Dolphins unproven and unsettled at running back Adam Gase could turn to Foster to fill the void. A healthy Foster in a Matt Forte-like role would have plenty of fantasy value.
Marcus Mariota - QB - Tennessee Titans
Updating a previous report, Tennessee Titans QB Marcus Mariota is up to 225 pounds this year compared to the 220 pounds he played at last season, not 210 pounds as previously reported.
Huddle Up: A few extra pounds should help Mariota absorb the hits he's bound to take. So long as it doesn't slow down his elusiveness, his bulking up is a positive development for the Titans.
Jordy Nelson - WR - Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers WR Jordy Nelson (knee) is right on schedule in his recovery from a torn anterior cruciate ligament, according to head coach Mike McCarthy. It's still unclear if Nelson will participate in organized team activities.
Huddle Up: It's your weekly "everything is fine, nothing to see here" update regarding Nelson. No reason to think he won't return to top-10 fantasy form unless we learn of a setback. And really, fantasy owners won't be able to judge for themselves until they see (or don't see) Nelson on the field in training camp and the preseason.
Clive Walford - TE - Oakland Raiders
Oakland Raiders TE Clive Walford (knee) is expected to be cleared well before the beginning of training camp. He did not participate in organized team activities Tuesday, May 24.
Huddle Up: Bigger things are expected of Walford, and him getting on the field as soon as possible will help in that regard. It will also help fantasy owners put a little more faith in him.
Kendall Wright - WR - Tennessee Titans
Tennessee Titans WR Kendall Wright said he feels more explosive at his current 195 pounds, 12 pounds heavier than he was last season.
Huddle Up: Bigger, with more explosiveness? That's an ideal combination for Wright, who will lead a revamped Titans receiver rotation that includes a second-year Dorial Green-Beckham and free agent signee Rishard Matthews.
Tyler Eifert - TE - Cincinnati Bengals
Updating previous reports, Cincinnati Bengals TE Tyler Eifert (ankle) will undergo surgery to repair a loose ligament on the side of his foot and could miss the first couple of games of the regular season, according to a source.
Huddle Up: Horrible news for the Bengals, who already lost their No. 2 and No. 2 receivers to free agency this offseason. And horrible news for the oft-injured Eifert, who blossomed as a top target last season. The situation provides an opportunity for rookie wideout Tyler Boyd and backup tight end Tyler Kroft. If only the Bengals had more guys named Tyler to fill the void.
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