Best of Sunday at NFL training camps: Teddy Bridgewater in uniform; Kyler Murray, Larry Fitzgerald play chess


Donning the same number he has worn since high school, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater showed off his blue and black No. 5 jersey on Sunday during the Carolina Panthers‘ 2020 training camp.

Bridgewater wasn’t the only player trying on new threads, as Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler said he’s “feeling clean” after sporting his No. 30 uniform.

Other highlights from Sunday’s camps include Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray, an avid chess player, going head-to-head with veteran wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald in the locker room, and Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott offering words of advice during the coronavirus pandemic: “Back up or mask up.”

Here’s what you need to know from camps across the league:

Jump to the best of the day:
Photos | Videos | Notes from NFL Nation reporters

Top news of the day

Jaguars place Gardner Minshew on reserve/COVID-19 list
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew was one of five players the team placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, the team announced Sunday. In addition to Minshew, the team also placed running back Ryquell Armstead, tight end Charles Jones, receiver Michael Walker and safety Andrew Wingard on the list. A player doesn’t have to test positive for the virus to be placed on the list. They also could be quarantined after being around an infected person. The Jaguars have announced Minshew as their starter in 2020 after he threw for 3,271 yards and 21 touchdowns with six interceptions as a rookie in 2019.

Sources: Matt LaCosse now eighth Patriot to opt out

Tight end Matt LaCosse has decided to opt out of the 2020 season, sources told ESPN’s Field Yates, upping the New England Patriots‘ total of opt-out players to eight — easily the most of any team in the NFL. LaCosse, 27, was entering his second year with the Patriots and sixth in the NFL. His wife, Jessica, is pregnant and due during the season, a source said. In addition to LaCosse, other top Patriots players to opt out of the 2020 season are starting linebacker Dont’a Hightower, starting safety Patrick Chung, starting right tackle Marcus Cannon and core special-teamer Brandon Bolden.

Source: Lions’ Geronimo Allison opting out of season
Detroit Lions receiver Geronimo Allison has decided to opt out of the 2020 season, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Sunday. Allison signed with Detroit in the offseason from Green Bay, where he had 89 catches for 1,045 yards and six touchdowns from 2016 to ’19. The Lions signed Allison, 26, to provide depth behind outside receivers Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones. Detroit gave him a one-year, $910,000 deal with a $137,500 signing bonus when he signed.


Best videos

Best photos

Quotes of the day

“As long as we’re keeping score it won’t be too difficult.”

Saints receiver Michael Thomas on NFL games without fans

“I just want to see the cops be arrested for who killed Breonna Taylor and the investigation for Stephon Clark get reopened.”

Panthers linebacker Shaq Thompson on how NFL can support Black Lives Matter

What our NFL Nation reporters saw today

Wide receiver Jalen Reagor‘s stock is ticking upward, even before the Philadelphia Eagles take the practice field. Reagor said he is training at the X and Z positions — a departure from earlier this season, when coach Doug Pederson said he would be learning one spot to start. And you can tell special teams coach Dave Fipp is anxious to get him involved in the return game. “Jalen’s obviously a really explosive player,” Fipp said. “When the ball is in his hands, he’s electric.” The 2020 first-round pick will likely take on a bigger role with Marquise Goodwin opting out of the 2020 season. — Tim McManus

Defensive tackle Kawann Short is the only one of five captains who returns from last season’s Carolina Panthers, and Short spent last season on injured reserve with a shoulder injury that required surgery. After an unusual offseason because of the coronavirus pandemic, Short faces a rebuilding team in which he is one of four defensive starters returning. Short considered opting out but has decided to play. He’s appreciative for all the strict measures Carolina has taken to insure the safety of everyone. “The process is crazy,” Short said on Sunday. “I mean, as soon as you get out of the car you have to do a test. You can’t really get in the parking lot without a mask. Hand sanitizers everywhere. Then after that, before you get to the door, you have to fill out a survey and have another temperature check. We have these monitors where you can’t get too close to anybody [8 feet for more than 10 minutes and an alarm goes off]. … It was overwhelming, but it’s the right thing to do.” The good news for Short is he has 2020 first-round pick Derrick Brown beside him and the shoulder is ready to go. — David Newton

Now that defensive leader C.J. Mosley has opted out because of coronavirus concerns, the issue becomes: How do the Jets replace him at linebacker? Avery Williamson (75 career starts), Patrick Onwuasor (32), Neville Hewitt (23) and James Burgess, Jr. (21) are an experienced group, which helps. The spotlight shines on Williamson, currently on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list after missing last season because of ACL surgery. Once pegged as a potential salary-cap casualty, he could wind up as the Jets’ starting Mike linebacker, if healthy. — Rich Cimini

Veteran fullback Jamize Olawale became the third Dallas Cowboys player to opt out of the season, joining cornerback Maurice Canady and wide receiver Stephen Guidry. Olawale has been the Cowboys’ starting fullback the past two seasons, and the team picked up his 2020 option earlier in the offseason. His absence might not seem big, but coach Mike McCarthy relied on a fullback while coach of the Green Bay Packers. The only other listed fullback on the roster is undrafted rookie Sewo Olonilua. — Todd Archer

The Pittsburgh Steelers placed two more players on the reserve/COVID-19 list Sunday. Wide receiver James Washington and running back Jaylen Samuels joined DB Justin Layne and DB Arrion Springs on the list. Samuels and Washington are both entering their third seasons in the NFL. Washington took a step forward in Year 2, adding 735 receiving yards and three touchdowns, making the most of his increased playing time during JuJu Smith-Schuster‘s injury. Samuels, a versatile back, had 175 rushing yards and one touchdown last season. The Steelers also released eight players, including former Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett, leaving the team with four quarterbacks in camp: Ben Roethlisberger, Mason Rudolph, Duck Hodges and Paxton Lynch. — Brooke Pryor

The Green Bay Packers are going with a 90-man roster — for now. General manager Brian Gutekunst said Sunday that they will operate under the split-squad rules to start camp. “Technically our roster is right around 83 with some of the COVID [reserve] guys that won’t count,” he said. “We’re going to do the split squad thing. How long we’re going to do that for, we’ll kind of determine as we go forward.” Teams have to reduce rosters to 80 before the first padded practice on Aug. 17. Teams who reduce to 80 before that can hold full-squad (not split) sessions. “It’s really the rookies and a certain portion of the players who were injured last year and then the veterans, and that’s how we’d have to keep them split,” Gutekunst said. “That’s where we are right now.” — Rob Demovsky

With tight end Matt LaCosse deciding to opt out of the 2020 season on Sunday, it upped the New England Patriots‘ total to eight players deciding not to play. That’s easily an NFL high. LaCosse projected to make the initial roster, complementing rookies Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene, both whom the Patriots traded up to select in the third round of the draft. So his absence will put even more pressure on the rookies for immediate contributions. — Mike Reiss

New York Giants coach Joe Judge had to call an early audible. The Giants wanted to go the 90-man roster route and give every player a look, but in the end, it was not possible. So the Giants trimmed their roster, cutting eight players, including running back Jon Hilliman and outside linebacker Chris Peace. Defensive end Leonard Williams (hamstring) was also designated a non-football injury. The Giants deemed it necessary to get down to the 80-man roster option in order to have full-team walk-throughs, even during this acclimation period. Judge, ultimately, needed to get his players working together on the field, and thought this was necessary to have his team ready for the season. — Jordan Raanan

Veteran wide receiver Michael Thomas doesn’t hold back when expressing his thoughts on the New Orleans Saints adding Emmanuel Sanders to the team: “Any time you have the chance to play with another veteran guy who has played a lot of football, has played in championship games and has won a lot of games, plays the same position as you, you always get excited. Being a receiver, you always want to free up the coverage, you always want to get the defense to have to go man or something or figure out what they have to do. … We have a lot of weapons, and the more weapons we add the more exciting it’s gonna get. It’s just simple math.” — Mike Triplett

The Cleveland Browns placed wide receiver Jarvis Landry on the physically unable to perform list following his physical over the weekend. However, the receiver remains on schedule to be ready before the start of the season. Landry underwent offseason surgery to address a hip injury that plagued him all last year. He has never missed a game in six seasons in the NFL, and has said his goal is to keep that streak alive. — Jake Trotter

The Atlanta Falcons now have six players on the reserve/COVID-19 list after starting linebacker Foye Oluokun was moved to the list Sunday. He joined defensive tackle Tyeler Davison, fullback Keith Smith, safety Jamal Carter, safety Jaylinn Hawkins, and quarterback Danny Etling. The Falcons can’t comment on the status of the players, but sources said Smith and Carter were asymptomatic after testing positive, and that Etling could return Monday or Tuesday. The Falcons have 79 players active and six on that reserve list, which does not count against the active roster. The Falcons cut punter Ryan Allen on Sunday after drafting a punter in Sterling Hofrichter, and they waived tight end Caleb Repp, center Austin Capps, tackle Scottie Dill, and linebacker Jordan Williams. They have yet to add veteran cornerback Darqueze Dennard, who is believed to be going through the necessary testing to join the team this week. The Falcons have to be at the new 80-man roster limit by Aug. 16, so more moves will come as guys return from the COVID-19 list. — Vaughn McClure

Baltimore Ravens starting center Matt Skura was placed on the PUP list to begin training camp. Skura suffered a season-ending knee injury in November, but he is expected to return at some point in camp. “I’m optimistic about Matt, I really am,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said last week. “But we’ll be careful.” Skura will battle Patrick Mekari and Bradley Bozeman for the starting center job for the Ravens, who led the NFL in scoring last season. — Jamison Hensley

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