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Training Camp Notes: Full Nelson

Jordy Nelson is officially back! It was just about a year ago - August 23, 2015 to be exact - that Aaron Rodgers' favorite target tore his ACL in a preseason game, ending his season before it began; but now Jordy will make his triumphant return to the field after passed his physical and being activated from Green Bay's PUP list. While it's a good bet that Mike McCarthy and his staff will ease the WR back into action, this is a terrific sign that Nelson is in great shape to start the 2016 season healthy and ready to go.

  • Another former stud fantasy wide receiver has been activated off the PUP list; Steve Smith Sr. will return to practice nine months after tearing his achilles and ending what was supposed to be his final season. Smith is one of those guys that is impossible not to root for, and thus it would be great to see him come back and produce in what will (likely) be his swan song. And honestly, I think he might be able to do it. Smith looked good last season prior to getting injured, and seemed to have a great rapport with Joe Flacco. Furthermore, he's a legendary worker and competitor, so if anyone could return from this type of injury, at the age of 37 no less, it's him.
  • Speaking of returns: Tony Romo will compete in live action for the first time since last November, as the 36-year-old is expected to play in Friday's preseason game against the Dolphins. I don't expect Romo to play much, but it's still nice to see him back on the field. Also, keep an eye on rookie Dak Prescott who was outstanding in the team's first preseason game and is in line to be Romo's backup this season; which obviously means he could see significant playing time since Romo is anything but the bastion of health. Having said that, I wouldn't take a shot on Prescott except in dynasties or the deepest of leagues, but should the aged Romo go down, the rookie could make for an interesting upside play based on his solid skill set and the amount of talent surrounding him in Dallas' offense.
  • Let's stick with the positivity theme as Matt Fortre was able to take part in team contact drills for the first time, as the veteran RB seems finally be 100% after missing much of camp with a hamstring injury. Ok, that's the end of the positivity. Despite his return to the field, Forte still worries me. I'm not a big fan of soft-tissue injuries to begin with, and even less of a fan when it's a 30-year-old with a lot of tread on his tires; not to mention the not tiny contract the team gave Bilal Powell this offseason to backup Forte (aka steal touches from). Between the injury and the potential for Bilal's thievery, I'm down on Forte heading into the season.
  • More negativity. Despite being activated from their PUP list last week, the Seahawks are still unsure if Jimmy Graham will be ready to start the season. Pete Carroll said Graham "feels good," but also refused to commit to a timetable defining when the tight end would be able to return to game action, and admitted they will "be careful" with him along the way. Translation: you cannot count on Jimmy Graham from a health perspective. Add in his poor performance last season prior to the injury, and I'll be avoiding Graham in all leagues, at least for now.
  • Speaking of Seattle, the Seahawks continue to have one of the most interesting, and potentially troublesome for fantasy, RB situations as we head into the heart of draft season. Thomas Rawls continues to progress in his return from offseason ankle surgery, but he's seemingly ceded some of his hold on the starting job in the process. Christine Michael continues to excel with the first team reps he's being given while also completely winning over the coaching staff with his new positive attitude. Furthermore, Rawls is not expected to participate in any preseason games, which gives a boy named Christine even more opportunities to try and earn regular season touches, at Rawls' expense of course. While I still like taking the risk on Rawls based on his talent and upside, Michael has become a must-own handcuff if you decide to take the plunge on Rawls.
  • Lastly, a quick kicker note: Josh Brown has been suspended one game for violating the league's personal conduct policy. C'mon Josh, you're a kicker; get it together. End of kicker note.