NFL

Training camp watch: Manziel get first-team reps

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TSN.ca Staff
8/4/2014 5:53:17 PM
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With NFL training camps underway, the league is abuzz with position battles, injury news and rookies making an immediate impact.

Each day, TSN.ca provides the latest rumours, reports and speculation from around the NFL beat.

Given His Shot

After a strong showing in the team's scrimmage on Saturday, Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel opened practice with the Browns first-team offence on Monday.

Manziel electrified the crowd in Akron, Ohio on Saturday while reportedly outperforming incumbent Brian Hoyer.

On his first play on Monday, Manziel connected with Travis Benjamin on a 40-yard pass, which Benjamin retreated to catch due to being underthrown. Manziel's next pass was tipped and intercepted by safety Donte Whitner

This is the first known involvement for Manziel with the first-team offence in training camp.

Out of the Woods?

Buffalo Bills quarterback EJ Manuel called the decision to give second-year receiver Robert Woods no snaps with the first team offence in Sunday's Hall of Fame game, "a bit surprising."

Woods is coming off a productive rookie season where he caught 40 passes for 587 yards and three touchdowns. He caught four balls for 49 yards and a touchdown working with quarterbacks Jeff Tuel and Thad Lewis on Sunday night.

"A little bit (surprised) for Woody not to be in with us with the ones. A bit surprising," Manuel said told ESPN.com. "But he did great. He did great. Woody's going to be Woody with whatever he's given. So I was still glad to see him go out there and do a great job."

The first-team offence featured Mike Williams and rookie first-round pick Sammy Watkins on the outside with Chris Hogan taking snaps in the slot position.

Woods said after the game he was given no reason for being left off the field from the first-team offence, but that would produce with whoever played with.

"It is what it is," the 2013 second-round pick said. "I just come out here and make plays whenever I'm in on the field."

Wounded Eagle

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper suffered a foot injury over the weekend and is in a walking boot.

Cooper is expected to return to practice later this week and though his status for the Eagles first preseason game is in jeopardy, Cooper should be fully healthy for the regular season.

The 26-year-old (who will be 27 in September) signed a five-year contract extension following his strong 2013 season. Cooper caught 47 passes for 835 yards and eight touchdowns last season.

Cooper faces competition for his starting position from rookie Jordan Matthews in the spot opposite Jeremy Maclin.

Struggling Shaq

The New York Daily News reports Jets fourth-round pick receiver Shaq Evans has struggled with drops throughout training camp.

Evans, one of two wide receivers drafted in the fourth-round this year by the Jets, is not listed amongst the top-six receivers on the Jets current depth chart.

Evans' struggles continue a disappointing trend for the Jets, as second-round selection tight end Jace Amaro is reportedly also struggling in camp. Due to their draft position, however, both players should make the team's 53-man roster for the regular season.

The Daily News described the entire Jets draft class as looking "green."

Johnny Manziel (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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