AFC Notes: Colts, Jaguars, Texans, Titans

     

Colts

  • Kevin Bowen of 107.5 The Fan mentions Colts’ HC Frank Reich had a vague update on TE Trey Burton‘s calf injury, noting “those things can range in the number of weeks, generally more than two weeks” and also adding the team would see how the injury “settles down” before making a definitive statement.
  • Bowen thinks Burton could miss the season opener, and even more time, which would be a significant loss for the Colts.
  • Reich also once again pointed out RB Marlon Mack is the unquestioned starter, while also saying that RB Jonathan Taylor is going to be a “major contributor” in 2020.
  • With notable differences between the two running backs, Reich notes Mack had a fantastic camp in which he showcased he was the slightly quicker back who could accelerate within holes faster. Meanwhile, Taylor is still the bigger of the two players and possesses exciting speed in the open field.
  • Bowen believes Mack will be the lead back early in the season with Taylor still offering a wealth of opportunity off the bench.
  • Bowen also wonders if there is room on the roster for DT Sheldon Day, who is yet to practice but is “making progress.
  • Recently released FB Roosevelt Nix did not take many starting reps in camp and only had value to the Colts on special teams. (Bowen)
  • With the release of Nix, RB Jordan Wilkins could make the Colts’ roster as the fourth running back. (Stephen Holder)
  • Colts DC Matt Eberflus thinks CB Xavier Rhodes has done a solid job of transitioning to Indianapolis’ defense: “He’s doing well. … When he does it really well, he’s a really efficient player in his man covers and the techniques he’s done before, and he’s learning some variation now in terms of playing zone.” (Joel Erickson)
  • Eberflus isn’t sure when third-round S Julian Blackmon will be 100 percent but he likes what he’s seen so far. (George Bremer)
  • Colts OC Nick Sirianni is happy with the growth he’s seen from fourth-round QB Jacob Eason: “Great arm strength. I see decision-making continue to get better and better and better. … I keep seeing improved ‘get us into the right play, get us into the right position, handling the different looks.’ That’s exciting, because that’s the hard part.” (Erickson)

Jaguars

Jaguars RB coach Terry Robiskie weighed in on why Jacksonville made the decision to move on from RB Leonard Fournette

“I don’t think it had anything to do with not seeing from Leonard,” Robiskie said via NFL Media’s Nick Shook. “I think it had everything to do with seeing from the other guys, you know what I mean? Just like we talked about a minute ago as far as my blessing that Chris Thompson is in the meeting room, I think it was the same phenomenal blessing to have Leonard on the practice field and have a bunch of young guys watching him out there on the field and showing us how we want to hit this one, how we want to run that or whatever that situation was.

“It was just a blessing to have him out there to demonstrate it and to show to the guys how we want it done. Because I’ve got a group of young guys that haven’t played a lot of football. Now it’s all about them, it’s about me trying to pull their talent out of them and get them to play, get them to play well and get them to play up to par, especially to be able to do that as a unit, to try to get them to do it collectively.”

  • Adam Schefter reports that Fournette has officially filed a grievance against Jacksonville to try to recoup the $4.167 million in base salary that the team voided.
  • Per Mark Long of the Associated Press, though, some players went to the front office and said they were tired of Fournette. 
  • Because Jaguars RB Ryquell Armstead still hasn’t practiced much after a stay on the COVID-19 list and other missed practices, the team likely will enter Week 1 with Chris Thompson, Devine Ozigbo and potentially UDFA James Robinson in the backfield. (Demetrius Harvey)
  • The Jaguars will host free-agent CB Kayvon Webster for a visit on Wednesday. (Ian Rapoport)

Texans

At this time last year, the Texans were busy bees as they worked on trades to not only ship out DE Jadeveon Clowney but also bring in LT Laremy Tunsil and WR Kenny Stills as a part of a mega-deal with Miami. The reaction was loud and not particularly positive toward the architect of those moves, Texans HC Bill O’Brien. However, O’Brien doesn’t have any regrets a year later. 

“Look, I think that was a day where we made some moves that we felt were in the best interest of the team, not only last year but moving into the future. I believe that if you look at the players that we were able to acquire or maybe — whether it was a pick we used to acquire a player, I believe it made us a better team,” O’Brien said via NFL Media’s Kevin Patra. “I have trouble remembering my own wedding anniversary so I’m glad you brought up that anniversary. But look, I think that this year’s a little bit different. I wouldn’t expect us to celebrate that anniversary tomorrow with a bunch of trades, but you never know.

“But I do think that it improved our team. Did it improve it to where we want to be? No, but everybody is involved in that. Coaching, playing. We’ve won a bunch of games over that last couple of years, but we all know that us and the city of Houston want us to do better and we’re working hard to do better. But I do believe that day made us a better team both last year and in some ways into the future.”

  • Texans OC Tim Kelly says G Zach Fulton has been awesome so far in camp after restructuring his deal and is the starter at right guard. (Aaron Wilson)

Titans

  • Jim Wyatt of the team website writes that as long as Titans OLB Vic Beasley is out, the team will rely on Kamalei Correa, Derick Roberson and 2019 fifth-rounder D’Andre Walker to rush the passer alongside Harold Landry.
  • However, Roberson had to leave practice Tuesday with an injury and was unable to put weight on his legs after being carted off the field to the team facility. (Erik Bacharach)
  • Titans G Nate Davis also had to leave with an apparent left leg injury, limping off the field and also taking the cart back to the facility. (Turron Davenport)
  • Titans HC Mike Vrabel provided another update on Beasley’s status: “He’s doing more than he did yesterday or last week. His improvement in understanding our defensive system is better than what it was in the zoom meetings. He’s continuing to work and try to return as soon as possible.” (Davenport)
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