NFL training camp always provides storylines, but it seems like this one’s been more action-packed than usual. There have been brawls, tons of key players injured, and controversies all over the league. Let’s go over a few of the more interesting storylines so far.
Arian Foster’s surgery
Arian Foster has been one of the most productive and intriguing running backs of the past few years. In a recent interview, he finally openly outlined why he doesn’t believe in God, and how alienating this position can make him feel at times. The Houston Texans were hoping for a healthy Foster this season, as they’ve upgraded their defense and look poised to make a serious push into contention. Unfortunately, he injured his groin in early August, and it was soon revealed that his injury would require surgery. Some reports suggest he’ll be able to return by the second half of the season, but this is still a big blow to the Texans’ 2015-16 hopes. Alfred Blue can look forward to a lot of chances to prove his flashes from last year weren’t a fluke.
|Johnny Manziel is trying to reinvent himself. Will it work?|
Johnny Manziel’s return
Ladies and gentlemen, Johnny Football is trying to play himself back onto the football map. After early reports that he looked unprepared and rusty in training camp, Manziel showed flashes of brilliance and performed well in a preseason game against the Buffalo Bills. He went 10 for 18 with 118 yards and a 94.2 QBR rating, throwing a touchdown and protecting the football against an aggressive Bills defense. He even had a couple of signature Houdini moments, including a scrambling recovery for a downfield completion on the Browns’ attempt at a walkoff drive–that was called back because of an illegal man downfield. EJ Manuel led the Bills on an impressive last-minute drive that held up for an 11-10 victory, but Browns fans might have cause for encouragement at Manziel’s performance last night. He seems to he trying to keep a lower profile lately, eschewing the famous money sign and saying the right things more often. It remains to be seen whether he’ll make a full readjustment to the NFL, though.
Geno Smith’s jaw
Just when you thought it was safe to be a New York Jets fan…Gang Green’s quarterback, Geno Smith, has a broken jaw. Though reports on the incident vary, what’s known is that Geno’s jaw was broken in an altercation with Ike Enemkpali, a fringe player who clocked his QB over a $600 plane ticket. Wide receiver Brandon Marshall contradicted reports that Geno has instigated the fight, but after his surgery Geno found himself in controversy yet again–when he disobeyed his management and doctor’s instruction to avoid physical activity. Now, all he did was play catch with a young fan in the parking lot, and as we here at FanCheer are all about the fan, that doesn’t seem too bad! But opinions have varied on his decision to ignore doctor’s orders in this way, and we have to admit, there are safer ways to spend your time just days after having your jaw wired shut. Journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick looks like the next man up behind center for the Jets, and with the season around the corner, Jet fans have their fingers crossed.
Robert Griffin III has had his share of controversial attention this preseason, as when he was recently quoted (though one might say liberties were taken with the context of his statements) as saying he considers himself the best quarterback in the league. speculation still abounds regarding his candidacy for a long-term career as a starting NFL QB. His hopes took a big blow against the aggressive front four of the Detroit Lions last night, as RG3 spent four drives getting pummeled and eventually left with a concussion. Some observers, including at least one former player, questioned Washington’s decision to keep rolling him out there to take such punishment. One thing’s for sure: he’s now under the NFL’s concussion protocol, and his NFL future is even more uncertain.
NFL training camp is no stranger to on-field scuffling, but this year seems particularly feisty. Teams are going at each other during shared practice sessions, and there’s even talk of no longer having these sessions because of the danger of injury. For example, Dallas Cowboys fans must have gulped a bit when Dez Bryant took a haymaker square to the face this week, as the Cowboys and Saint Louis Rams got into it on the field. Luckily, the NFL season is getting closer and closer and shared practices will turn into real live NFL action!
There are tons more storylines developing in the NFL, including shifting fantasy rankings and the ongoing Deflategate sage. Which one do you think is most captivating? How will these various dramas turn out? Hit us up @Brackethead on Twitter and tell us what you think. You can also us #FanCrazy photos and make bold predictions on our Facebook wall. If you really want to show your stuff and win stuff while you support your team, head to www.gofancheer.com and download the app!
May the brackets always bust in your favor,
Brackethead & the folks at FanCheer