NFL training camp 2023 live updates: Bryce Young sees pressure

ByESPN staff ESPN logo
Saturday, August 5, 2023

After a significant mile marker of theNFL preseasonwas reached Thursday night when the Cleveland Browns defeated theNew York Jetsin theHall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio, teams were back at it on the training camp circuit Friday.

A three-game suspension for (and apology from) Saints running back Alvin Kamaraand deals for NFL veterans Cameron Jordan and Marcedes Lewis were among the buzzed-about items, while the Atlanta Falcons sustained a worrying setback when cornerback Jeff Okudah was carted off the field with an ankle injury. Meanwhile in the realm of young quarterbacks seeking to fine-tune their skills,Bryce Young of the Carolina Panthers and Sam Howell of the Washington Commanders both got a frustrating taste of what NFL life can be like with shaky pressure up front.

With the Hall of Fame game now in the rear view, NFLdepth chartsfigure to remain in flux ahead of the league's next preseason matchups, just six days away. One of the teams with a key decision to make is the Houston Texans, who will need an answer at center after 2022 starterScott Quessenberry was lost to injured reserve with a knee injury sustained Thursday. Houston opens the preseason Thursday at New England.

Here's what you need to know from camps across the league.

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Saints RB Alvin Kamara suspended three games, talks about Las Vegas fight at length for the first time

Kamara's three-game suspension was handed down Friday, the same day the running back discussed the events that led to his league discipline. He pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of breach of peace for his involvement in a Feb. 2022 altercation in Las Vegas, and remains subject to league discipline. Kamara apologized for the incident, saying, "I was completely wrong, embarrassed the Saints, embarrassed my family, my mother, embarrassed myself, embarrassed the city and the shield, obviously I embarrassed the NFL."

Falcons CB Jeffrey Okudah carted off with ankle injury, awaits MRI

Okudah was injured during a one-on-one drill, and was on the ground for a minute or two before a cart came to the side of the field to take him back to the locker room. While he was on the cart, a trainer was holding Okudah's right leg. "You really never know until you get an MRI," Falcons coach Arthur Smith said of his status after practice. Atlanta obtained Okudah from the Detroit Lionsfor a fifth-round draft pick in April. The No. 3 overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft by the Lions, Okudah has missed 25 of a possible 50 games because of injury over his three-year NFL career.

Niners' Brock Purdy says elbow feels normal; not 'scared' of hits

Purdy is now 11 days and eight practices into this training camp, and all signs continue to point toward him being fully cleared soon and handling starting quarterback duties when the Niners open the regular season on Sept. 10 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Saints DE Cameron Jordan getting two-year, $27.5M extension

The Saints and Jordan agreed to a two-year, $27.5 million guaranteed contract extension that ties the franchise's all-time sacks leader to New Orleans through the 2025 season, his agents, Doug Hendrickson and CJ LaBoy, told ESPN's Adam Schefter on Friday. The 34-year-old Jordan's new contract offers the most guarantees and average salary in NFL history for a defensive player his age.

NFL suspends Chiefs' Charles Omenihu for six games

Omenihu was suspended by the NFL for the season's first six games because of a violation of the league's personal conduct policy. Omenihu, then with the San Francisco 49ers, was arrested in January in San Jose, California, on suspicion of misdemeanor domestic violence. According to the San Jose police, a woman who identified herself as Omenihu's girlfriend said he pushed her to the ground. Omenihu joined the Chiefs this offseason as a free agent after four NFL seasons split with the Houston Texans and the 49ers.

Bucs' Tristan Wirfs seeing psychologist over move to left tackle

The All-Pro Wirfs said Friday that the move from right to left tackle this spring became a source of such debilitating anxiety that he began seeing team sports psychologist Joe Carella for help. "It seems like so minuscule, like oh, you're just flipping sides, but I was like having breakdowns about it," Wirfs said. "I'm like, 'I can't sit here with these thoughts anymore, I'm just kind of setting myself up for failure.' I would just think about, 'I am going to suck' or like, 'I am not going to be able to do it' all day long." Wirfs started 46 games for the Bucs at right tackle since his rookie season in 2020. But when longtime Bucs left tackle Donovan Smith was cut in March due to salary cap issues and the team wasn't able to draft a replacement, it meant Wirfs would move to the left side.

Seahawks WR Dee Eskridge handed six-game suspension

Eskridge has been suspended for the team's first six games of the 2023 season due to a violation of the NFL's personal conduct policy, the league announced Friday. It was not immediately clear what led to Eskridge's suspension. Eskridge, who projects as the Seahawks' fourth receiver, will be allowed to return to the team's active roster on Monday, Oct. 23, following Seattle's Week 7 game against the Arizona Cardinals. A second-round pick in 2021, Eskridge has been limited to 20 games and 17 catches over two seasons because of various injuries, including a severe concussion he suffered in his NFL debut.

Source: Vikings DL James Lynch tears ACL, likely out for '23

Lynch suffered a torn ACL during a training camp practice Thursday night and is expected to miss the 2023 season, a source confirmed to ESPN on Friday. Lynch, a fourth-round pick in the 2020 draft, started three games for the Vikings over the past two years. But he was in a roster battle this summer as the team transitions to new defensive coordinator Brian Flores' scheme. Lynch will be eligible for unrestricted free agency next spring.

Free agent TE Marcedes Lewis joins Bears

The NFL draft class of 2006 plays on. Lewis, the 39-year-old veteran tight end previously with the Packers (2018-22) and Jaguars (2006-17), agreed to a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears, he told ESPN's Adam Schefter on Friday. It would be his 18th NFL season, which would break a tie with Jason Witten and Tony Gonzalez for the most played at the tight end position. Lewis has played in 251 career games, which ranks fifth among active players and 52nd all time.

Texans C Scott Quessenberry placed on IR with torn ACL, MCL

The Texans placed Quessenberry on injured reserve after he tore his ACL and MCL during Thursday's practice. He started 16 games for the Texans last season. Candidates to replace him in the lineup include second-round rookie Juice Scruggs (Penn State), sixth-round rookie Jarrett Patterson (Notre Dame) and offseason free acquisition Michael Deiter, who started eight games at center for the Miami Dolphins in 2021.

Cowboys sign safety Malik Hooker to three-year extension worth $24 million max

The Cowboys continued to lock down key parts of their secondary with Hooker, who received an $8 million signing bonus, joining cornerbackTrevon Diggs and safetyDonovan Wilson as members of the group to receive new deals heading into 2023. Hooker, a first-round pick by the Colts in 2017, started just six of 16 games with Dallas last year but played 861 snaps, third-most in the secondary behind Wilson and Diggs.


What our NFL Nation reporters saw and heard on Friday

Green Bay Packers: Want to know what Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst has made of Jordan Love's first seven practices as the starting quarterback? "Not much," Gutekunst said Friday with a chuckle that suggested he thinks it's far too early to draw any conclusions. Unofficially, Love's completion percentage of 53.2 percent during all team (11-on-11) periods combined seems a tad low, even for camp. His best day was the fourth practice of camp, when he completed 16-of-22 passes. He was a solid 7-of-12 (with an impressive 67-yard deep ball to Christian Watson) the next day but hasn't been over 50 percent in either of the last two sessions.

"He's done a really nice job," Gutekunst said. "Just like last year, I think the defense kind of had the offense early. That's usually a little bit of the case. It certainly was last year and it has been this year. They've made some strides over the past few days here, I think. The next two weeks, with the opportunities that this football team is going to have, with the joint practices, Family Night and the two preseason games, that will be very big for us." -- Rob Demovsky

Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens offense vented frustration after struggling to make some plays. Quarterback Lamar Jackson punted the ball downfield following another play that was stopped by the offensive line not picking up the blitz. Then, tight end Mark Andrews flashed the middle finger and shouted an expletive at a referee after he didn't draw a defensive pass interference penalty. "It's a reflection of their perfectionism," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "They're chasing perfection, and that's what you want to see from your players. When the players take on that personality, I think it's because they feel they're capable of it. So, a few plays they didn't make and they're mad about them, that's good." -- Jamison Hensley

Los Angeles Chargers: Don't count wide receiver Joshua Palmer out. Palmer became the forgotten name among the Bolts wide receivers after the selection of Quentin Johnston with a first-round pick from TCU to provide a deep threat for quarterback Justin Herbert. However, Palmer -- who last season led the receivers room with 72 catches -- has put together a standout training camp through seven practices. Following a standout one-handed grab earlier in the week, on Friday Palmer caught a deep ball between two defenders that resulted in the defense dropping to complete push-ups. The Chargers are on pace to open the season with four versatile playmakers at the position, including veterans Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. -- Lindsey Thiry

Las Vegas Raiders: It was a big Friday for the Raiders defense after a day off, as rookie CB Jakorian Bennett, S Isaiah Pola-Mao and LB Robert Spillane all picked off QB Jimmy Garoppolo during the indoor practice. Rookie S Jaydon Grant also had an interception. Garoppolo, who left Wednesday's practice early as he was on a "pitch count," nearly saw his bad day get worse as he had his surgically-repaired left foot stepped on in 11-on-11 drills. Garoppolo limped off the field two plays later but returned to the practice field. -- Paul Gutierrez

Denver Broncos: For the first time in years, former Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase was at Broncos' practice Friday. Gase's father-in-law, Joe Vitt, is the senior defensive assistant on Sean Payton's staff. Gase was the Broncos' wide receivers coach 2009-2010, the quarterbacks coach 2011-2012 and offensive coordinator in 2013 and 2014. "We met Adam, I think, way back when he was coaching, I want to say even before he was here,'' Payton said. "We've always had a good relationship. When they had an off week he would come by so his kids could see their grandfather and grandmother. I've known him for a long time ... been a while since he's been here.''"

Since the start of training camp -- since the start of the team's offseason program -- Payton has said the kind of pre-snap penalties that plagued the Bronco on both sides of the ball last season, but especially the offense, must be eliminated. The Broncos' offense, which was one of the league's worst last season with 23 false start penalties in '22, had some issues with pre-snap penalties in a two-minute drill in Friday's practice and it didn't escape Payton's gaze. Payton spoke to the team about it when practice ended, after the first-team offense failed to move the ball in one situation when it needed a touchdown. And he said he'll do more than talk about it as well. I just finished talking about it, too many fouls there,'' Payton said. " ... Before you ever get going you put yourself in hole. It's something, obviously, we've got to improve on. There's a point at which you pull the player out. There's an emphasis to it, but there's got to be more than just that. It's got to go away.'' -- Jeff Legwold

Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs have been in training camp for two weeks, and there's been no change on their running back depth chart. Clyde Edwards-Helaire is still the starter while Isiah Pacheco--who took the job from Edwards-Helaire at midseason last year and helped the Chiefs to the Super Bowl championship -- is limited in his participation after having hand and shoulder surgeries. With every passing day that Pacheco is withheld from contact drills, it increases the chance Edwards-Helaire will be the starter in the Sept. 7 regular-season opener against the Lions. "Whatever I've been asked to do I've been doing it and it's been going pretty smooth for me,'' Edwards-Helaire said. "Whenever my number is called I know I'll be there to do my job and do what I need to do as far as being on the field as a running back.'' -- Adam Teicher

Tennessee Titans: Titans rookie offensive lineman Peter Skoronski continues to get a baptism by fire against veterans Jeffery Simmons and Denico Autry. Skoronski and Autry had multiple battles in one-on-ones. The rookie held his own on quite a few reps. Those battles continued into the team period where Autry bull-rushed Skoronski into the backfield on one of the reps. "I'm really fortunate to face guys like that because it forces me to elevate my game," Skoronski said after practice. Skoronski played tackle in college, but is playing left guard in training camp. He remained at guard Friday after the team released Jamarco Jones who was taking most of the first team reps. Veteran Chris Hubbard got the first-team reps at right tackle in place of Jones. -- Turron Davenport

Carolina Panthers: Rookie quarterback Bryce Young was under more pressure than normal Friday, getting sacked (unofficially) four times and pressured out of the pocket a few more times. The defense was impressive, starting with a sack by Brian Burns. Equally impressive was Young didn't throw an interception in team drills after having five straight days with one. So he's not forcing anything. He finished 6-for-8 passing in team drills, including a touchdown to DJ Chark Jr. in a red zone drill. Chark is becoming one of Young's favorite targets, particularly in the red zone. But the pressure did seem to frustrate Young -- who seldom shows frustration -- a bit. He spiked the ball on the ground hard after one. Perhaps the fact that right tackle Taylor Motonwas absent because of a vet day played a role in the protection breakdowns. -- David Newton

Philadelphia Eagles: Coach Nick Sirianni has been getting after his players at camp. On Friday, it was Jalen Hurts that got an earful. After a third-down QB run came short of the first-down marker during a two-minute drill, Hurts ran off the field instead of handing the ball to the referee to save time. Sirianni made it known it was on Hurts if the clock hit zero before they were able to get off a field goal attempt. Hurts offered an inaudible reply but quickly accepted responsibility, as shown by the pushups he knocked out on the sideline a few beats later. Attention to detail has been a sticking point for Sirianni this summer, and as this interaction showed, no one is above criticism. -- Tim McManus

Washington Commanders: Washington's offense remains a big work in progress; it can be hard to accurately assess its progress while facing a defense that should rank among the NFL's best. The Commanders' offensive line, with new starters at four positions, has struggled to protect quarterback Sam Howell from arguably the league's best front. On Friday, it was more of the same as the line applied consistent pressure on Howell. It leads to frustration -- indeed, after one play, right guard Sam Cosmi body slammed defensive tackle Phidarian Mathis to the ground. Cosmi later said they're not "taking crap" from anyone. The line has done fine in the run game, but in order for Howell to succeed they must start to mesh in protection. Last year's group allowed pressure on 32.9% of the snaps -- only six teams were worse. The new group can't repeat that ineptitude. -- John Keim

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