Brian Hoyer to start 2nd preseason game ahead of Johnny Manziel and more

Matt Brigidi
SB Nation

Training camp is still ongoing, which means the quarterback battle between Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel is in full swing. Hoyer is still ahead ... for now.

Position Battles

The biggest position battle news comes from the Cleveland Browns, where Johnny Manziel is battling Brian Hoyer for the starting quarterback role. Hoyer was named the starter for the preseason opener, and neither he nor Manziel, who came in halfway through the second quarter, did enough to seriously gain a leg up on the other. So it's no surprise that the Browns are going to start Hoyer again against Washington on Monday, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.

Hoyer completed 6 of 14 passes for 92 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. Manziel completed 7 of 11 passes for 63 yards, also without touchdowns or interceptions, but also added 27 yards rushing off six carries. It's a close battle at this point, but the Browns have said they would like to have a starter by the third preseason game.

In other quarterback news, the Green Bay Packers may not end up with Matt Flynn as the primary backup. Flynn was signed to be the guy behind Aaron Rodgers this past offseason, but Scott Tolzien has been pushing him in practice. On top of that, Tolzien looked much better than Flynn in the preseason opener. Flynn initially had the leg-up on Tolzien, despite Tolzien being with the team last season, due to his superior understanding of Mike McCarthy's offense.

A full offseason of working hard after getting in some reps last season, Tolzien has narrowed the gap considerably, Chris Wesseling of NFL.com reports.

For the Baltimore Ravens, the progress of rookie safety Terrence Brooks is promising. Brooks is listed as the third safety on the depth chart, behind veterans Darian Stewart and Jeromy Miles. But Brooks is getting more and more time with the first- and second-team during practice, according to Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun. Obviously, it would be huge for Brooks to start in his rookie year, and the Ravens would like nothing more than for him to earn a spot.


Injuries

Knowshon Moreno is off the PUP list, but the new Miami Dolphins' running back apparently still has a little ways to go before he can participate in the preseason.


Moreno was a splashy name acquired at a reasonable price this offseason to help the Dolphins' troubles in the running game. After one game, it appears that his return from a knee procedure will be heartily welcomed. Miami managed just 52 yards rushing on 21 carries during the preseason opener. It's also important that Moreno get back in time to actually battle for a starting spot, given that the Dolphins also like what Lamar Miller brings to the table.


Jeremy Maclin appears to be the Eagles' top option in the wake of DeSean Jackson departure, but he is still dealing with the nicks that have made him an inconsistent presence on the field. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, he is dealing with a tweaked hamstring that could keep him out of Friday night's preseason game against the New England Patriots. Maclin didn't practice and likely won't play.

Riley Cooper has also been limited this week, which could leave Philadelphia with Ifeanyi Momah, Jeff Maehl, and Arrelious Benn to produce downfield. Maclin will be their top option, and is certainly capable of posting big numbers, but his various nicks throughout the offseason are somewhat worrying.

Dwayne Bowe has struggled to hold onto the ball this preseason, and Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid thinks he knows shy.




Reid described Bowe's finger as "shot," and it remains to be seen how much the wide receiver will participate in Sunday's preseason game against the Carolina Panthers. He hasn't missed any practice time as a result of the injury. It's worth noting, however, that Bowe has struggled big time throughout the entirety of training camp, and is coming off one of his worst seasons yet.

Abraham reports to camp

Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker John Abraham reported to training camp on Thursday, according to ESPN, after missing nearly three weeks of practice. He wasn't injured and he wasn't holding out for a new contract, but he was arrested on June 29 and charged with DUI in Atlanta. Head coach Bruce Arians has only revealed that Abraham has been out for personal reasons.

Abraham is still one of the better pass-rushers in the league despite being 36 years old. He managed 11.5 sacks and made the Pro Bowl last season, despite not gaining a starting role until Week 4. He's a capable all-around player and will start at the weakside linebacker spot once he's back up to speed and in shape, which shouldn't take long.

Jones, White out of practice

Atlanta Falcons wide receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White were held out of practice on Thursday. The star receivers were not held out for injury purposes, though. White was simply given a day off, while Jones is maintaining a schedule that has him practicing and sitting on alternate days, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The Falcons were a mess last season, and the receiver position embodied that. Jones played in just five games before going down with a season-ending injury, while White managed to play in 13 games, but served as nothing more than a decoy for multiple outings. Big things are expected out of the pair when they're healthy, though.

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