NFL training camp 2023 live updates: Stroud gets the nod; Purdy held for preseason game

ByESPN staff ESPN logo
Tuesday, August 8, 2023

As 2023 NFL training camps continued Monday, news rolled in, including No. 2 pick C.J. Stroud being named the starter for the Houston Texans' first preseason game Thursday at the New England Patriots.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Devin White also spoke publicly for the first time since requesting a trade, and veteran quarterback Jacoby Brissett took reps with the Washington Commanders' first team.

New Orleans Saints quarterback Derek Carr also shined.

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

Top NFL news of the day

49ers unlikely to play QB Brock Purdy in preseason opener

49ers quarterback Brock Purdy's first preseason snaps in a game will likely have to wait until at least the Niners' second preseason contest set for Aug. 20 against the Denver Broncos. If they happen at all.

Rookie QB C.J. Stroud named starter for first preseason game

Stroud and third-year quarterback Davis Mills have been in a battle throughout camp for the starting spot, but coach DeMeco Ryans said Monday that the No. 2 pick from April's draft would get the start over Mills in the preseason opener. Stroud and Mills split first-team reps throughout most of training camp, but Stroud has started to get the majority of the snaps.

RB Kareem Hunt to visit the Saints on Tuesday

A day after theNew Orleans Saintsplaced running back Eno Benjamin on injured reserve with a ruptured Achilles, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported that they will bring in Kareem Hunt to add depth. The move also would help soften the blow from losing Alvin Kamara for the first three games after he was suspended because of a violation of the NFL's personal conduct policy.

LB Devin White speaks for first time since requesting a trade

Speaking publicly for the first time since requesting a trade this offseason, White, aPro Bowl linebacker, said Monday that he "got a little selfish" but that he has returned with a positive attitude and is focusing on the season.White said he sat down with coach Todd Bowles and general manager Jason Licht, and he said those interactions helped smooth things over.

Mike Vrabel: Assistant coach Terrell Williams to be head coach for preseason opener

Coach Mike Vrabel said he will have assistant head coach/defensive line coach Terrell Williams handle the head coach duties in the preseason opener against theChicago Bearson Saturday.Williams will handle in-game decisions, but Vrabel will still be with the team on the sideline. Vrabel complimented Williams for his ability to communicate with players on the team beyond his position group.

Pro Bowl FB Ricard works on Ravens offensive line in practice

Ricard, a Pro Bowl fullback the past four seasons, worked exclusively with the offensive line Monday after he was activated off the physically unable to perform list. He missed the first 10 practices of training camp after having offseason hip surgery, and he surprisingly switched positions in his return.

Kansas City Chiefs expect Pacheco, Toney to be ready for Week 1

The Kansas City Chiefs expect wide receiver Kadarius Toney and running back Isiah Pacheco to play in their regular-season opener against the Detroit Lions.


Best NFL videos and photos

What our NFL Nation reporters saw today

New Orleans Saints: The Saints ended Monday's practice with a spirited two-minute drill session, and Carr looked like the quarterback they were hoping he would be when they signed him to a massive deal this offseason. Carr did not have an incompletion during the session, which simulated 1 minute and 40 seconds remaining in the first half.

Carr completed passes to multiple players, including wide receiver Keith Kirkwood, wide receiver Chris Olave, tight end Juwan Johnson and running back Jamaal Williams. Johnson, who had three catches in that drill, made one of the best plays of the day, a back shoulder throw for a big gain. The Saints ended the session with a field goal by kicker Blake Grupe, who has been battling Wil Lutz for that spot all summer.

The Saints intend to go into this weekend sharp, as coach Dennis Allen said he plans to play his starters in their first preseason game Sunday. Allen said he thought Carr was "outstanding" in the two-minute session. -- Katherine Terrell

Washington Commanders:Quarterback Jacoby Brissett took first-team snaps in practice Monday for the first time since joining the team. However, it's not a sign that Sam Howell has lost his grip on the starting job. The Commanders planned to give Brissett some reps with the starters so he can gain a level of familiarity with them just in case he needs to play.

Also, the practice was more of a glorified jog-through as the starters did not work against one another, and they ran plays at about three-quarters speed. Earlier this week, coach Ron Rivera said "don't sleep on Jacoby," but there's no doubt it's always been Howell's job to lose. -- John Keim

Jacksonville Jaguars: Running back Tank Bigsby has been the Jaguars' most impressive rookie in camp, and it looks as if he's headed for a bigger role in the offense than many thought when Jacksonville drafted him in the third round.

He showed his power and speed Monday on the first live tackling action of camp when he scored on a 1-yard run in goal-line work and then broke off a 70ish-yard touchdown run in "move the ball" work.

Travis Etienne Jr. remains the top back and coach Doug Pederson said last week that Etienne had done a lot of work in the offseason on squaring his shoulders and reading holes better, but Bigsby has been impressive enough that he could eat into Etienne's workload. --Michael DiRocco

Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs were expecting a suspension for starting defensive end Charles Omenihu after his arrest in January in California on a domestic violence charge. They weren't necessarily expecting the six-game suspension to begin the regular season that he was given.

"We knew it was going to be something,'' coach Andy Reid said. "They went that direction. We'll work through it, and the other guys will step up. I think we have enough bodies there to take care of it.''

Among those players expected to fill in for Omenihu during his absence is first-round draft pick Felix Anudike-Uzomah, who has been working as one of the starters in the two most recent practice sessions.

"It looks like he's cutting it loose more,'' Reid said. "That normally means that he's picking it up a little better. You're seeing him play faster.'' -- Adam Teicher

Tennessee Titans:The defense won the day by limiting the passing game during 7-on-7 and team periods. But there is positive news for the Titans' offense in left tackle Andre Dillard. Dillard started the day with a solid showing in the OL/DL 1-on-1 period. He took on an outside speed rush from Arden Key on the first rep then gave up zero ground to Sam Okuayinonu.

Dillard finished the period by absorbing Denico Autry's attempt to bull-rush him. The good work transferred to the team period. Dillard started by stopping Autry on the first rep. Jayden Peevy tried to bull-rush him unsuccessfully on another rep. Then he and first-round pickPeter Skoronski picked up a stunt really well, resulting in more time for quarterbackRyan Tannehill in the pocket.

"He's gotten more comfortable being here and has gotten in better playing shape," coach Mike Vrabel said of Dillard. "The biggest thing has been his conditioning and confidence to go out there and block these guys." -- Turron Davenport

Dallas Cowboys: With Tony Pollard missing practice for personal reasons, the Cowboys got to see what life is like behind their starting running back. Veteran Ronald Jones is also missing because of a groin injury, so Rico Dowdle, Malik Davis and Deuce Vaughn all received first-team work. And it was a run-heavy (at least for a training camp session) day with 13 runs in a 28-play span.

All three had their moments, with Davis breaking loose on a fourth-and-8 run for a first down, Dowdle getting loose on an inside run and Vaughn juking his way to a nice gain after hiding behind the offensive line.

The Cowboys might still look for veteran help, but they want to give their young backs a lot of work in the preseason to show they can handle the roles behind Pollard. --Todd Archer

Cincinnati Bengals: Rookie running back Andrei Iosivas showed he's an intriguing prospect to watch throughout training camp. The sixth-round pick out of Princeton finished today's team drills with a solid catch down the left sideline. Despite being in double coverage, Iosivas hauled in the pass from quarterback Jake Browning, earning him kudos from the veterans. If Charlie Jones can't play in the preseason opener against Green Bay because of a left shoulder injury, Iosivas could get an extended look. --Ben Baby

Baltimore Ravens: Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. walked off the field around the middle of practice after making a sliding catch along the sideline. But Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Beckham is not dealing with an injury. "Just a rep count," Harbaugh said. "We're going to monitor that as we go. We'll be smart about it." The Ravens signed Beckham to a one-year, $15 million despite him not playing in a game since February 2022. He has had two ACL surgeries in his left knee over the past three years and has had a solid start to camp before his early exit on Monday. --Jamison Hensley

Buffalo Bills: Bills quarterback Josh Allen left the field briefly with head athletic trainer Nate Breske early in practice with attention seemingly focused on his right arm/elbow, the same arm that sustained a UCL injury last year. After a minor absence, Allen returned and participated fully with no obvious issues. His day included a two-minute drill near the end of practice that ended with an impressive touchdown throw to wide receiver Trent Sherfield in the corner of the end zone. Sherfield dove for the touchdown and kicked the ball toward the goal posts in celebration. Tight end Dalton Kincaid also had an impressive one-handed catch as he fell to the ground during practice, in addition to wide receiver KeeSean Johnson finishing practice with a couple of eye-catching plays, including a one-handed catch. -- Alaina Getzenberg

Seattle Seahawks: Tuesday's Seahawks practice was easily their feistiest of training camp. It included the most significant scuffle yet this summer, with receiver Dee Eskridge jamming his palm into Jerrick Reed's helmet as the rookie safety was celebrating an aggressive pass breakup by cornerback Artie Burns. There was another brief dustup later in practice as well as plenty of jawing and physical play throughout. All of which made for an intensity reminiscent of the Legion of Boom/Super Bowl days of a decade ago. "I think the competitive spirit is back," tight end Will Dissly said. "Even in walk-throughs, guys are getting after it. I think that's a good thing. I think that's what Pete [Carroll] wants this program to be about."

Best of the rest from across the league

Related Video