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5 Biggest NFL Training Camp Headlines For Thursday

Sam Spiegelman breaks down the biggest NFL training camp news, including the latest on Brandon Bostick’s rise, Geno Atkins’ injury, Dez Bryant’s contract, and more.

Geno Atkins
Geno Atkins

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

As training camps across the NFL get underway, XN Sports will report the top headlines of each day.

With the preseason nearing, there is no shortage of intrigue and optimism, key injuries, and potential holdouts, as well as late offseason signings.

Here are the top five headlines for Thursday:

McFadden running ahead of MJD

Darren McFadden — not free-agent signee Maurice Jones-Drew — is running with the first-team offense and is on track to start at running back, according to Sports Illustrated.

McFadden is younger and more explosive, but also more injury prone. He’s never played a full season. It looks like it’s going to be a backfield timeshare in Oakland.

Bostick leading the Pack

Brandon Bostick has been working as the first-string tight end.

Bostick is competing with Andrew Quarless and rookie Richard Rodgers as Green Bay looks to replace Jermichael Finley, who by the way is still available on the free-agent market.

Atkins activated

Geno Atkins has been cleared to practice and removed from the Bengals’ active/PUP list. Finally, it’s some good news in the Atkins story, as he recovers from a torn ACL. All along, there was conflicting news out of Cincinnati, and whether Atkins would be ready by the regular season was unknown. However, this is a very positive sign for the defense.

Rookie hands

The biggest knock on first-round pick Eric Ebron so far: he’s having trouble catching the ball. The Detroit Free Press said as eloquently as “an inordinate number of dropped passes” have hindered his big plays. First-year Lions coach Jim Caldwell told reporters Ebron’s drops as a result of having to know so many positions — from tight end to slot receiver to a position out of the backfield.

Latest on Smith, Bryant contract talks

Alex Smith wants to be paid like he’s Jay Cutler. Kansas City won’t budge. The two sides will table contract talks if they begin to become a distraction, per the Kansas City Star. In other words, a deal before the season seems extremely unlikely. Dez Bryant is also in the market for a new deal, but instead the Cowboys inked their left tackle, Tyron Smith, to an eight-year, $98 million extension. How does that effect Bryant’s chances of getting a deal?

There are conflicting reports on the matter. Bryant is a free agent after this season.

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