Thursday NFL Notes

Arian Foster (calf) has been out for over two months due to a strained calf, but the Texans expect him to come off the PUP list and resume practicing Sunday. While Foster should have plenty of time to get right before Week 1, the situation bears further monitoring. He entered each of the last two seasons with injury concerns, but it looks like Foster has a chance to break the streak this year.

After missing four consecutive practices, Dez Bryant (hip) returned to the field Thursday and reportedly made a difficult one-handed catch over No. 1 cornerback Brandon Carr. Bryant is hoping to play in Sunday's Hall of Fame Game against the Dolphins, although he will probably sit out if there is any doubt at all about his hip. This isn't shaping up to be a major issue, and doesn't seem to be affecting the tremendous amount of hype surrounding Bryant this season.

Josh Gordon (knee) returned to practice on a limited basis Thursday. Patellar tendinitis held him out earlier in the week, but the Browns don't sound too concerned, and Gordon should be able to get some work in during the preseason. He is serving a two-game suspension to start the year, so there won't be any need to rush him back if the tendinitis persists for longer than expected.

Justin Forsett was spotted in a walking boot after spraining his right big toe during Thursday's practice.  He will undergo further testing Friday, and any extended absence could create an opportunity for Denard Robinson or Jordan Todman. Health pending, Forsett is expected to serve as the top backup to Maurice Jones-Drew.

Hakeem Nicks (groin) doesn't seem to be having any issues with the knee that required arthroscopic surgery in the offseason, but groin tightness caused him to miss a full practice Thursday for the first time since the beginning of training camp. He was a limited participant earlier in the week, and the Giants are currently treating this as a day-to-day issue rather than a setback. If the groin feels better when Nicks wakes up Friday, he will probably return to practice.

DeSean Jackson left Thursday's practice with a toe injury. Early reports indicate that it's probably nothing serious, but with Jeremy Maclin already out for the season with a torn ACL, we'll forgive the Eagles if they're feeling a bit worried. Riley Cooper and Jason Avant should see plenty of first-team snaps throughout training camp, and the same may be true to a lesser extent for Damaris Johnson and Arrelious Benn; the latter of whom is currently dealing with a knee injury of his own.

Julian Edelman (foot) returned to practice Thursday and is no longer on the PUP list. He is one of many receivers competing for playing time behind No. 1 option Danny Amendola in a shockingly unsettled New England offense. Edelman has more experience in the Patriots' system than any other wide receiver on the roster, which could prove to be a major advantage. Other candidates for playing time include Aaron Dobson, Josh Boyce, Michael Jenkins, Matthew Slater, and Kamar Aiken. The competition appears to be wide open.

Da'Rick Rogers is an undrafted free agent, but he has already made an impression on Bills head coach Doug Marrone. Rogers is hardly your typical UDFA, as his physical abilities are more in line with what one would expect from a receiver drafted in the first three rounds. He has been taking some snaps with the first-team offense, and while he's undoubtedly a long shot to earn a starting gig, Rogers should have a very real chance to make the final roster. There's some serious long term upside here if Rogers can avoid the kind of non-football problems that caused him to fall out of the draft.

The 49ers are thinking about adding a veteran receiver, so both Austin Collie (knee) and Laurent Robinson will be brought in for visits. Collie's 2012 campaign ended early thanks to a ruptured patella tendon, and he is known for his concussion history more so than his productive play. Robinson entered 2012 with a reputation for being injury-prone, and then proceeded to suffer a reported four concussions. Both receivers have already had discussions with multiple teams but remain unsigned.


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