Week 3 of training camp wraps up around the AFC East with everyone getting their first preseason games in with the exception of the Jets, who are on their second.
Each team continues to work through injuries as players continue to harden their bodies to the rigors of weekly games again. The Dolphins and Jets have managed to avoid an onslaught of injuries which is a nice change from last season after they have several significant season-ending injuries.
The Patriots and Bills have longer injury lists but most are minor and should not drastically affect their respective Week 1 rosters.
Just as training camp was winding down at St. John Fisher, injury issues began to crop up, potentially affecting positional battles. Most of these are acclimation injuries which are typically soft tissue, but several of these can linger, affecting availability later in the season.
DE Von Miller (Right ACL)
Miller continues to work back from his right ACL tear, rehabbing off to the side. Interestingly, we haven’t seen much of Miller since late last week working through his rehab.
To have a setback such as a strain or knee soreness wouldn’t be surprising, but could affect his timeline in trying to return from PUP. If he did have a setback, it’s not an indication of the training staff or rehab, more so a result of ramping up to full activities.
LB Tyler Matakevich (Right calf)
Matakevich continues to work off to the side as he rehabs from a right calf strain suffered prior to training camp. I had expected that he would return this week, but the injury may have been more significant than expected or they are waiting to get through the first preseason game.
I do expect him to be activated sooner than later, but it remains to be seen how much longer he will be on PUP.
OT Dion Dawkins (Right thumb/hand)
Dawkins left practice Monday with the training staff after getting his hand “banged up” per the team. He returned with a brace on the right hand with extra support around his thumb area, not finishing practice.
He had a well-time day off on Tuesday before he was able to return on Wednesday, practicing with a brace on.
The immediate concern is that he suffered some type of thumb sprain if his thumb got caught in a jersey or bent backward on a block. We may get additional details that may help us identify any concerns in the coming days and weeks. Immediate concerns are the ability to grab and block edge rushers as they try to collapse the pocket. Considering this is his right hand, Dawkins could become vulnerable to a defensive end getting to the inside after a stunt move. However, there is enough time from now until the regular season that he can rehab the injury without it being an issue.
QB Josh Allen (Right elbow)
Another scare for Allen on Monday was when he left practice as trainers checked out his right arm/elbow area, but not missing any reps. Offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey noted that Allen needed to be stretched out before returning.
I do not believe the elbow is still bothering Allen after his injury last season, but anything he feels in his throwing mechanics should warrant a closer examination. Whether there was any soft tissue mobilization in the elbow or shoulder, it’s better to get ahead of any discomfort before it begins to linger.
Anytime QB1 is talking to training staff or goes down, we regrettably hold our breath.
FB Reggie Gilliam (Groin)
Gilliam went into the medical tent on Friday during the Return of the Blue and Red at the stadium. At the time on Friday, details were not available about the exact issue. On Sunday, the team announced that he suffered a groin strain, missing four practices.
While his roster spot is virtually assured, there have been several other groin strains this training camp, forcing players to miss time. I don’t expect this injury to linger, but it’s possible that he returns to practice sometime next week.
DT Ed Oliver (Back soreness)
Oliver has been working through back soreness after entering the medical tent late Friday during the stadium scrimmage.
He was able to practice on Sunday, suggesting there wasn’t an issue, but later missed Monday and Wednesday’s practices due to the soreness. He returned to practice Thursday and was not limited.
Considering how injured Oliver was last year and it still being early in training camp, it’s best to give these guys rest when they need it.
S Cam Lewis (Groin)
Lewis suffered a scare when he went up for a pass deflection on Sunday, colliding with X and coming down, hitting his head. Initial reports suggested a concussion but team updates indicated he suffered a groin injury.
He was unable to practice all week and is not expected to play in the preseason game.
RB Damien Harris (Right knee)
Harris left practice on Monday with what has been described as right knee soreness. There were not any reports of an injury during practice, but he missed Wednesday and Thursday’s practices, wearing a leg sleeve according to Alex Brasky.
Harris has had his share of injuries throughout his career, but last season’s injuries were to the left knee and thigh, not his right.
LB Leonard Floyd (Right Leg/foot)
Floyd missed a rep during Thursday’s practice when he appeared to work out his lower leg/foot area, per Matt Parrino. The side was not specified but he was able to return after the brief break.
LB Terrel Bernard (Hamstring)
Bernard left with the training staff early during Thursday’s practice with a hamstring strain, not returning to practice.
He has had his share of injuries during his collegiate career and with the competition at middle linebacker, this is an ill-timed injury. He could be looking at least at a week or two of time missed as he rehabs with a roughly 30 percent chance for it to reoccur later in the season. Fortunately, the Bills have been good about managing these issues with proper rehab and rest.
Returned to Practice
WR Bryan Thompson (Concussion)
Thompson suffered a concussion on July 30 and missed the following week, returning on 8/6. According to his publicly reported injury history, this was his first concussion and he took the normal amount of time to return that we typically see with NFL concussions.
WR Isaiah Coulter (Right knee)
Coulter has missed practice with a right knee injury originally sustained on July 31. According to Ryan O’Halloran of The Buffalo News, Coulter got his knee tangled up on a blocking drill. Depending on how his knee got twisted dictates the injury, but he was seen wearing a brace on his right knee on the sidelines.
He was able to return to practice on Wednesday, August 9 with no further updates. He likely still is not 100 percent but will need to gut through the injury during the preseason games to secure a roster spot.
DT Jordan Phillips (Right rotator cuff/labrum tear)
Phillips returned to practice on August 6, a week prior to six months removed from his shoulder surgery to repair his labrum and rotator cuff tear. Ryan O’Halloran of The Buffalo News detailed the extent of the damage in the linked article below, but it’s promising to see Phillips return.
He even highlighted how difficult the rehab was and it is a long rehab, especially with the damage in the shoulder. He is expected to return to full practice on August 16, barring setbacks. Considering he is in a defensive rotation, hopefully, this will allow him to ramp up to an acceptable level of play.
RB Nyhiem Hines (ACL)
Hines underwent surgery on August 8, several weeks following his jet ski accident that saw him tear his ACL, ending his 2023 season.
New England Patriots
Undisclosed injuries continue to be the most popular injury designation for the Patriots as they continue through training camp.
Not dressed include:
OT Trent Brown (Undisclosed)
Brown has been limited through training camp with an undisclosed injury, missing three practices this week but confirms that he will be ready for Week 1.
CB Jon Jones (Undisclosed)
Jones has missed practice during this week for undisclosed reasons dating back to August 3.
OT Cole Strange (Left knee)
Strange continues to miss practice following a left knee injury on July 31.
WR Matt Slater (Undisclosed)
Slater missed three practices dating back to the August 4 scrimmage in the stadium. He returned to practice Wednesday.
OL Bill Murray (Undisclosed)
Murray has not been able to practice since August 7.
RB Ty Montgomery (Left leg)
Montgomery continues to miss practice due to a collision with Terez Hall on July 27.
S/LB Marte Mapu (Right pectoral)
Mapu continues to be limited as he works back from his right pectoral tear in February. He should be cleared to play very soon in the preseason.
TE Johnny Lumpkin (Undisclosed)
Lumpkin ditched the red non-contact jersey on Wednesday after wearing it since
DE Trey Flowers (Undisclosed-PUP)
Flowers was re-signed to the team on Tuesday and immediately placed on PUP for an undisclosed injury.
New York Jets
Not much has been reported other than the players below dealing with several undisclosed injuries.
LB Quincey Williams, G Laken Tomlinson
CB Bryce Hall (Hamstring)
Hall suffered a hamstring strain potentially during the Hall of Fame preseason game.
DE Carl Lawson (Back)
CB Sauce Gardner (Quad)
OT Duane Brown (Left rotator cuff tear repair)
WR Garrett Wilson (Right ankle)
Wilson returned to individual drills following his ankle sprain earlier in training camp.
The Dolphins continue to minimize their injury issues this week, only reporting three new injuries.
RB De’Von Achane (Undisclosed)
Achane missed Saturday’s practice for unknown reasons and was day-to-day but only appeared to miss that practice before returning.
WR Jaylen Waddle (Right midsection/hip)
Waddle went down during a 11v11 rep on Wednesday and came up holding his right midsection suggesting ribs, abdomen, or even hip. This doesn’t appear to be significant but something to monitor until he practices in full.
WR Braylon Sanders (Knee)
Sanders suffered a knee injury during Tuesday’s joint practice with the Atlanta Falcons, requiring the cart to get off the field.
There was no structural damage and he is expected to return next week.
Top Photo Credit: AP Photo/Adrian Kraus