Best of Day 1 at NFL minicamps: No-shows, Luck throws, more

Updated: June 12, 2018

5:09 PM ET

Let’s go minicamping.

This week, 28 of the league’s teams are on the practice field for mandatory minicamps. The Bears, Dolphins, Patriots and Lions got a head start on minicamp last week.

Over the next three days, coaches will put their players through evaluations and drills for the last time before training camp — and the players are expected to be there. Unless they’re holding out.

Here’s some of the best stuff from around the league:


Colts QB Andrew Luck outlines his short and long-term goals in his recovery from shoulder surgery.

Luck throws!

Exclamation points are warranted here. Andrew Luck, who has been recovering from a January 2017 shoulder surgery, was throwing at minicamp Tuesday. The last time he had thrown a ball was October 2017.


Colts reporter Mike Wells says Andrew Luck started throwing with a college-sized football at Indianapolis minicamp.

Winston’s focus

Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston said that improving his accuracy on the deep ball has been an area of focus this offseason. He also believes he has improved chemistry with wideout DeSean Jackson, even with Jackson not being present for all OTAs. They got some work in outside the facility.

Who’s not here?

The annual tradition of top players sitting out mandatory minicamps is here. So far, the list is headlined by a 1,200-yard rusher and the league’ defensive player of the year.

Cardinals RB David Johnson didn’t show up for the first day of minicamp Tuesday and coach Steve Wilks didn’t want to talk about it. He wanted to focus on the players who were here while QB Sam Bradford wasn’t worried about Johnson missing any practices.

Pete Carroll gave the standard response when asked about Earl Thomas skipping the Seahawks’ mandatory minicamp: “I wish he was here. That would be nice. But we’re focusing on the guys that are here, so we’ll see how that goes.”

Those not at minicamp:


Bill Polian, Adam Schefter and Tedy Bruschi offer their takes on a player like David Johnson skipping minicamp when he has an existing contract.

OBJ in action

Even with a possible contract showdown looming, Odell Beckham Jr. was out catching passes at minicamp.

Odell Beckham Jr. was at mandatory minicamp
Tuesday and practiced, even if it wasn’t in live drills.

Beckham is recovering from a broken leg and will not participate in team drills.

What’s up with Jon Gruden Co.?

Jon Gruden has long admired Marshawn Lynch’s ability to run routes. Lynch’s receiving ability has been on display during camp today.

Sherman shows up

49ers CB Richard Sherman did indeed go through individual drills during the team’s Tuesday minicamp practice. He’s still aiming to be full go at the start of training camp. It’s excitement any time you get back on the field, you get to compete. “Getting back for training camp will be a lot of fun,” Sherman said. “I’m sure I’ll be excited for like the first three practices, like out of my mind and then I’ll get back into the rhythm of understanding it’s one practice at a time but it’s been fun. Obviously I’m excited to get back. My body is feeling like it has before so I’m happy about that.”

Pictures from Pittsburgh

A Ben Roethlisberger tradition: Throwing without a helmet during individual drills. The helmet goes on once the 11-man action starts.

Antonio Brown says hello to the officials, then directs his kids to the sideline of the practice field.

Antonio Brown, while serving at a local food bank on behalf of Campbell’s Chunky Soup, told ESPN that his pointed pre-minicamp comments Tuesday “felt good.” “Any time you get to express yourself in a positive way, it’s a good thing,” Brown said. “I want to inspire change. I’m not out here trying to be a preacher, but I want to speak things that are truthful, not to be combative, but to let people know you’re aware of what’s out there. We are human. We are men. I just hate to be put under the pressure where anything can be said. You have to explain the situation. I want to help the athletes coming after me.”

Don’t sleep on Virgil Green

The Chargers’ No. 1 tight end now that Hunter Henry is out for the year, Virgil Green believes the NFL sleeps on him every season. However, while he would love to score 10 TDs, Green said he’s more concerned about winning games. Green also talked about his love for run blocking: “I love being a dog,” Green said. “I love burying people, and I can’t wait to get the pads on.”

Rookie watch

Rookie QB Sam Darnold took 12 of the 50 reps with the first-team offense and was workmanlike in the Jets’ first minicamp practice. His worst moment was a telegraphed sideline pass that should’ve been intercepted. He hit Robby Anderson on a deep ball, but it was underthrown, causing Anderson to pause on his route. Darnold’s best moment came in a red-zone period, when he looked off a defender and zipped a 5-yard TD to Eric Tomlinson. Bottom line: Darnold is making mistakes, but he avoids calamitous turnovers. That’s encouraging, especially after 22 turnovers last season for USC.

Other than the four snaps Josh Allen took with the first team, Nathan Peterman took the other 18 snaps with the Bills’ top unit in 11-on-11 work during Tuesday’s minicamp practice. Peterman, who also looked sharp with the first team last Thursday at OTAs, went 10-of-13 passing and ended the practice with a well-executed touchdown to undrafted rookie free agent wide receiver Cam Phillips.

Eagles losing the dog masks


Doug Pederson is looking forward to the Super Bowl champions making the transition from “underdogs” to “the hunted” this season.

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