The eve of the first wave of preseason games presented a bevy of news for fantasy owners to pause and consider, particularly regarding some of the more unsettled running back situations around the league.
In St. Louis, coach Jeff Fisher announced that Daryl Richardson is the current frontrunner for starting duties at running back. By virtue of the extensive experience he gained behind Steven Jackson last season, Richardson currently tops the depth chart ahead of fellow second-year back Isaiah Pead, who struggled to land playing time as a rookie. Even so, Pead and rookie Zac Stacy still remain in the picture for the starting job, with their performance in Thursday's game against the Browns providing a good opportunity for either back to impress the coaching staff.
In Pittsburgh, Isaac Redman was listed as the No. 1 back on the Steelers' first depth chart unveiled Wednesday. Like Richardson, Redman's appointment at the top seems to be rooted in his experience, as he's been in the organization longer than the other starting candidates. At this stage of camp, rookie Le'Veon Bell is still viewed as the favorite to start Week 1, though Redman, Jonathan Dwyer and LaRod Stephens-Howling have plenty of time to vault ahead of him.
In Green Bay, Eddie Lacy's quick start to training camp has made him the club's No. 1 back thus far in the eyes of many, but he was dealt a temporary setback Wednesday, exiting practice with a hamstring injury. There's no word yet if it will keep him out of Friday's preseason opener, but either way, the injury isn't expected to greatly damage Lacy's stock. Holdovers James Starks and Alex Green, along with rookie Johnathan Franklin, would assume Lacy's carries if he's unable to go Friday.
In Miami, Lamar Miller returned to practice Wednesday but appeared to be limping throughout, participating in drills on an off-and-on basis. While it still looks like he's less than 100 percent, the fact that he was practicing is a sign the Dolphins don't think the injury is overly problematic. Coach Joe Philbin will likely monitor Miller's workload carefully in Friday's game against the Jaguars, with Daniel Thomas and Mike Gillislee perhaps on tap to see extra carries as a result.
In Arizona, coach Bruce Arians plans to play Rashard Mendenhall (knee) the entire first quarter of Friday's game after he returned to practice Tuesday. With Ryan Williams ruled out Friday with knee issues of his own, Mendenhall has maintained a firm grip on the starting job throughout camp.
In Indianapolis, Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) reported that he plans to return to practice next week. His placement on the PUP list to open camp has allowed Vick Ballard and Donald Brown to see further reps with the first-team, but Bradshaw is expected to claim the starting job once he proven he's fully healthy.
On the injury front for some more established backs, Trent Richardson (shin), Maurice Jones-Drew (foot), and LeSean McCoy (knee) have all been banged up at various points in training camp and have seen reduced workloads as a result. None of the injuries are considered major, though Richardson has already been ruled out for Thursday's preseason game.
Continuing with the trend of devastating knee injuries we've noticed in camp thus far, Joseph Morgan of the Saints appears to be the latest casualty. Morgan tore his meniscus and partially severed his ACL, robbing the Saints of their top deep threat. Youngsters Kenny Stills and Nick Toon and veteran Steve Breaston move up the depth chart as a result, with Stills seemingly providing the closest match of Morgan's speed and big-play ability.
Other wide receiver quick hits:
Mike Wallace (groin) returned to practice Wednesday after he was sidelined for most of the past two weeks of camp. In wouldn't be shocking if Wallace missed Friday's preseason game due to his limited practice time, but he's well on his way to being ready for Week 1.
Cecil Shorts (left calf) is expected to miss Friday's preseason opener. The injury isn't considered major and the Jaguars appear to just be erring on the side of caution.
Likewise, Vincent Brown has been ruled out for the Chargers' preseason opener Thursday due to a hamstring injury. The Chargers just lost Danario Alexander to a season-ending ACL injury earlier in the week and are understandably hesitant to let Brown, the team's top replacement option for Alexander, worsen his ailment.
Randall Cobb sat out Wednesday's practice with a biceps issue but still expects to play in Friday's preseason opener. If that's indeed the case, he likely wouldn't stay in the game for more than a drive or two.