2015 was a year of injuries and roster turnover in Baltimore. That's why the events of the last week had such a familiar feel.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh announced Tuesday that offensive tackle Eugene Monroe, who missed 10 games last season, is being held out of minicamp as a precaution since the team is working to potentially trade him. Translation: Monroe's time in Baltimore is done after parts of three seasons, two major injuries and one regrettable contract for general manager Ozzie Newsome.
The team received good news with second-year receiver Breshad Perrimanavoiding season-ending knee injury. But this is only good news in a relative sense. They still have a first-round pick from 2015 that hasn't played a regular-season snap and is a big durability risk heading, just like the team's 37-year-old No. 1 receiver, who's coming off a torn Achilles tendon.
Cornerback Jimmy Smith, like Steve Smith, is sitting out the team's mandatory minicamp. One report stated Jimmy Smithcan't move well at this point after undergoing foot surgery. The cornerback position is wide open or very thin after Smith, depending on if you're wearing purple-tinted glasses. The same could be said about the inside linebacker and defensive end positions. There are big battles ahead at running back and tight end. Joe Flacco is coming off a torn ACL and has yet to practice fully. Harbaugh also said pass rusher Elvis Dumervilunderwent "preventive surgery" recently, one of the more tiresome catchphrases of the offseason.
Add it all up, and the Ravens are one of the most fascinating teams to watch leading up to the season. They have the talent to bounce back into the playoffs, but they also have a lot of questions to answer.
"There is really not a time I would feel uncomfortable with him being the game right now, which is unusual for a rookie," offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "Over my years, I have had some really good running backs. But there were certain areas of the game where you would say if we do this that is not his cup of tea. But I think Zeke is well rounded. I don't think there is ever a down or distance or situation where he can't carry the load."
McFadden reportedly broke his elbow while trying to save an iPhone, which caused his running backs coach Gary Brown to question the strategy to The Dallas Morning News.
"He's got that pre-CBA money, so I don't think he needs the phone," Brown said.
- The Cowboys also announced defensive end Benson Mayowa underwent knee surgery this week. He was a restricted free agent the team signed away from Oakland. This isn't the sort of item we'd usually highlight, but the team is incredibly thin on the defensive line. Randy Gregory and Demarcus Lawrence face suspensions. Rookie defensive tackle Maliek Collins broke his foot. Some combination of the following players are in the mix at defensive end: Fourth-round pick Charles Tapper, Ryan Russell, Jack Crawford and David Irving.
- One bit of good news in Cowboys camp: Rolando McClain showed up for work. Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore also avoided a holdout despite a desire for a new contract. Chargers rookie Joey Bosa, meanwhile, remains unsigned and is skipping minicamp due to a disagreement about offset language in his potential deal.
"The injury of pregnancy I'd say," Williams said. Told that blaming his weight issues on his pregnant fiancée was a first, Williams topped himself:
"It definitely is a first, but I like to eat and then her being pregnant gave me an excuse to eat, so eating anything and everything," he said. "She'd wake up, one or two o'clock, 'I want a snack.' Well, I'm not going to sit here and watch you eat because I don't want you to feel bad, but it's back to football."
LeSean McCoy is also out of minicamp due to an injury. This hasn't been a fun offseason for Buffalo, but Bills fans shouldn't freak out. Last offseason was all overconfidence amid the Rex Ryan honeymoon. None of that helped. At least they know who their quarterback is now, and Tyrod Taylorreportedly has looked great all offseason.
- Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said Mark Sanchez and Trevor Siemian have "looked each other in the eye" all offseason and have been "banging on each other" for the top stop in the QB depth chart. But we're looking at Kubiak's actions, not his words. Sanchez has received all the first-team reps the last four practices -- that's more telling than public statements.
- As Von Miller waits for a new contract, general manager John Elway managed to close another deal. Underrated inside linebacker Brandon Marshall, cut by the Jaguars years ago, signed a four-year deal with $20 million in guarantees. The Broncos essentially chose to let Danny Trevathan leave town and wound up giving Marshall more guaranteed money to stay home. It's quite a success story.
"He's light-years ahead of where he was last year ... He's night-and-day."
While we believe Geno could play well given the chance, Bowles' comment about Ryan Fitzpatrick was more telling. There is no "drop-dead deadline" for Fitz to sign a contract with the team. Essentially the Jets are keeping his starting job open for him no matter how many light-years Geno rockets away from civilization.
"I'm gonna be looking sexy for her," Slay said via ESPN. "Who doesn't like Beyoncé? Man, who doesn't. I'm just waiting for her to get on her knee and marry me. Hov sees this interview and next thing you know, the whole Detroit Lions be gone. He gonna own the team."
We'll cover any Ford/Carter negotiations in Wednesday's minicamp recap. Until then ...