Alex Boone holdout situation gets conflicting reports, Derek Carr returns to practice and more

James Brady
August 18, 2014

Alex Boone is still holding out, and though it stands to reason the San Francisco 49ers have offered him something it's unclear what they've offered at this point.

Position Battles

San Francisco 49ers right guard Alex Boone is still holding out, to the point where we've already heard about trade rumors. But that doesn't mean the two sides aren't talking and trying to hammer out a deal, though there is conflicting news regarding the specifics of what exactly is going on as of Monday. One report, via Gil Brandt of the NFL Network, claims that the 49ers offered Boone "top 12" guard money, and another suggests that Boone wouldn't dream of declining such an offer.

The latter report (that Boone turned down a large offer) has more writers backing it, starting with Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports. On top of that, David Fucillo of Niners Nation is skeptical of the original report -- not necessarily for its overall authenticity, but for its lack of information. In today's NFL, "top 12" can mean so many different things from a contract standpoint. For now, it's unclear where Boone and the 49ers stand.

But there are still battles going along San Francisco's offensive line. Guys like Joe Looney, Ryan Seymour, Marcus Martin and Carter Bykowski are all competing for various spots along the line, and Niners Nation has a breakdown of the snaps from the game Sunday which should provide some insight. Seymour got a lot of playing time in this game, but Looney played more in the first preseason game.

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The Chicago Bears have recently shuffled things at the wide receiver position. Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery are the starters, but the No. 3 spot is open since the team released Eric Weems and since Marquess Wilson broke his collarbone. Wilson will likely miss a good portion of the regular season, meaning someone has to step into that No. 3 role.

Head coach Marc Trestman said Josh Morgan will be the guy to step into that role, according to Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune. But while Morgan will have the edge thanks to his knowledge of the system, the recently signed Santonio Holmes might have something to say about that. Holmes has struggled with injuries during the past couple seasons, but if he's healthy he should push Morgan for the No. 3 receiver role.

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The Jacksonville Jaguars have said that rookie quarterback Blake Bortles isn't competing with Chad Henne for the starting role, but he's expected to get some playing time with the starters when Jacksonville takes on the Detroit Lions on Friday. On top of that, Bortles managed to get some playing time with the first-team offense in practice on Friday, according to Ryan O'Halloran of The Florida Times-Union.

Bortles didn't get a ton of practice time with them, however. Bortles took just three reps with the starters in 11-on-11 drills, and only a few more than that in 7-on-7 drills. Still, this is progress, especially given that the Jaguars planned on keeping Bortles away from the starters just a couple weeks ago. His strong play in the preseason is the obvious cause of this change of heart.

Injuries

Miami Dolphins running back Daniel Thomas returned to practice on Monday, according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. Thomas missed over two weeks of practice due to a hamstring injury, which is unfortunate given that he was battling for a spot on the roster and the running back depth chart. Thomas carried the ball 109 times for 406 yards with four touchdowns last season.

Thomas is behind both Lamar Miller and Knowshon Moreno, and is primarily battling Mike Gillislee for the third running back spot. Having already missed two preseason games, it will be tough to make a case for a spot if he can't make it to the team's third outing, against the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday.

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We've also got the daily Rob Gronkowski update. The New England Patriots tight end participated in 11-on-11 drills for the first time this offseason, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN. Reiss also reports that there were a "lot of balls thrown his way," which is obviously a good sign. Gronkowski played only 18 games over the last two seasons due to multiple serious injuries, and his recovery from knee surgery has been coming along slowly.

For what it's worth, Gronkowski has been adamant that a Week 1 return is likely. He confirmed that this is still the case following practice on Monday, again via Reiss.

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Just three days after sustaining a concussion and a big hit to his ribs, Oakland Raiders rookie quarterback Derek Carr returned to practice on Monday. It's definitely surprising given how bad the injury looked during the game, but the Raiders know what Carr is feeling a lot better than any of us do. Besides, we've seen guys get right up and be totally fine after hits that have looked similar to those that have knocked players out for entire seasons.


It's also worth noting that Carr likely won't see much time with the starters in the third exhibition game, as head coach Dennis Allen says the team will play starter Matt Schaub a good deal, via Vic Tafur of SFGate.com.

Jones wanted Manziel ... bad

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones wanted quarterback Johnny Manziel so much that he had to be physically restrained by his son and Cowboys vice president, Stephen Jones. That's according to one author, Jim Dent, who says that Jones had a draft card with Manziel's name on it and was prepared to turn it in when Stephen Jones stepped in and "snatched" it away.

Jones himself said that he was "that close" to drafting Manziel in previous interviews. Dallas' interest in Manziel was well-known, though the move didn't really make sense given the large contract extension given to Tony Romo. Manziel would have had to sit for at least two years and probably longer. The Cowboys ended up selecting offensive lineman Zack Martin with the No. 16 pick.

Charles injured while moving out of dorms

Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles has a significant injury history, but the foot injury that made him a surprise scratch from Sunday's preseason game against the Carolina Panthers is considered minor. Any physical issue is worth talking about when it concerns Charles, but in this case it sounds like he'll be back sooner rather than later.

But how he got banged up is a bit interesting. Charles was hurt while moving out of the dorms, and was moving a box when he tripped. He twisted his foot, "rolled his foot over on the curb," head coach Andy Reid revealed in a Monday conference call. He did say that x-rays and MRIs were done, however, and that they came back clear.

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