Though Amendola underwent a procedure on his left knee this offseason and also had bone spurs removed from his ankle, ESPN's Mike Reiss relays that he has been informed that the wideout's ailments have been portrayed as "minor" and "not a long-term" concern.
The report also encouragingly notes that Amendola's rehab "has been on a positive track and he's already moving well." While the wideout's on-field activities figure to be limited as training camp approaches, the ESPN report offers an optimistic angle which suggests that Amendola in on pace to be ready for the start of the coming season. In the meantime, with top wideout Julian Edelman bouncing back from foot woes, the likes of Chris Hogan, Nate Washington, Aaron Dobson, Malcolm Mitchell and Devin Lucien should see added reps during the Patriots' upcoming OTAs and minicamps.
The Patriots are highly optimistic Edelman (foot) will be ready for training camp, CSN New England reports.
Edelman broke his left foot Nov. 15 and missed the rest of the regular season, but he returned for New England's two playoff games, catching 17 passes for 153 yards on a whopping 29 targets. He then had a minor clean-up procedure on his foot during the offseason, and while he was recently spotted wearing a protective boot, the Patriots reportedly aren't too concerned. Assuming he recovers as expected, Edelman could spend a good portion of camp working with Jimmy Garoppolo, who's in line to replace Tom Brady (suspension) for the first four games of the season. Though facing long odds, Brady may file further appeals in an effort to have his suspension overturned or delayed.
Although the Patriots continue to take a cautious approach, Lewis (knee) is progressing well in his recovery form a torn ACL, ESPN.com reports.
With training camp still two months away, the Patriots have no incentive to rush Lewis' progress. Having suffered his torn ACL in early November, Lewis will be 10 months removed from the incident by Week 1. If healthy, he figures to again work in tandem with LeGarrette Blount in the New England backfield. Lewis is believed to be on track for Week 1.
Brady and his legal team will file their appeal Monday of the four-game suspension that was reinstated April 25 for his alleged role in "Deflategate", the Boston Herald reports.
Brady will seek a second hearing by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which will then have to decide by majority vote whether to rehear Brady's case. Should Brady be granted another hearing, he and the NFLPA's legal team are expected to present a case centered around commissioner Roger Goodell's mishandling of the situation, particularly as it regards to the NFL's collective bargaining agreement. Monday marked the last day for Brady to file his appeal, and if the court refuses to rehear the case, Brady could then appeal his four-game suspension to the Supreme Court.
Butler missed the Pro Bowl due to a sprained knee, Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald reports. "There was a play on third down [in the AFC championship game] when I made a tackle or something like that and bent my knee back," Butler said Friday in San Francisco. "It swelled up pretty bad. I didn't feel it during the game because of all the adrenaline pumping. When we got back, it swelled up pretty bad, and the team just decided it was a good thing to sit me out."
Butler became instantly famous with his game-winning interception of Russell Wilson in last year's Super Bowl, and the loss of Darrelle Revis in free agency elevated him to the Patriots' No. 1 cornerback. The pseudo promotion worked wonders, as Butler notched 67 tackles (56 solo), 15 passes defended, and two interceptions while regularly drawing the opponent's top wide receiver over the course of his second campaign. While his recovery effort won't include surgery, rest and regular icing sessions have been his regimen to date.
Steward has been placed on injured reserve due to a back injury suffered in Sunday's win over Houston, BuffaloBills.com reports.
Starter Nigel Bradham may not be able to make it back from his ankle injury this week. If that doesn't happen, the Bills would be down their top two guys at the inside linebacker spot next to Preston Brown.
Flacco (torn ACL) recently began running and throwing short passes, ESPN reports.
Flacco also said he's been able to put weight on his left knee, even doing squats in the weight room. He hopes to be ready for the start of training camp, and while that may be a bit optimistic, the rapid progress bodes well for his Week 1 availability. With Steve Smith (Achilles), Breshad Perriman (knee) and Crockett Gillmore (shoulder) also recovering from major injuries, the entire Baltimore passing game will require close monitoring in the coming months. The team did sign a pair of veteran reinforcements in the form of Mike Wallace and Ben Watson.
Gillmore (shoulder/back) only needs surgery on one shoulder and could be ready for OTAs, Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun reports.
Previously expected to have multiple procedures this offseason, Gillmore apparently needs just the one surgery. Baltimore's recent signing of Ben Watson led to speculation that the team wasn't counting on having Gillmore available in 2016, but it now seems that isn't the case. Despite mostly playing well as a starter in 2015, Gillmore will likely have a part-time role during the upcoming season, as both Watson and 2015 second-round selection Maxx Williams figure to be involved in the passing game.
Perriman (knee) returned to full speed during the Ravens' OTAs this week.
Perriman lost his rookie season due to a reoccurring PCL injury last year, but has now gotten to the point where he no longer thinks about his knee while running. At this week's OTAs, Perriman reportedly showed great burst and deep speed. The 2015 first-rounder also practiced with the Ravens' first-team offense on Thursday, and should compete with Steve Smith (Achilles), Mike Wallace and Kamar Aiken for snaps during training camp.
Pitta (hip) had a strong showing at OTAs on Thursday, Don Markus of the Baltimore Sun reports. "To be honest, I feel really good physically out there. I haven't played football for awhile, so there are things that I'm getting back used to...I feel like I'm running like I want to, and used to, so that's very encouraging," said Pitta.
Pitta's return to practice after missing all of last season due to a serious hip injury is a step in the right direction for the veteran tight end, but OTAs are nowhere near as physical as what he'll be up against when the Ravens begin training camp in July. As such, Pitta's progress should likely be taken with a grain of salt at this point because until he's able to make it through full contact practices, it will be difficult to determine how his hip will hold up. If Pitta is able to return to form this season, he'll be another weapon at the tight end position for Joe Flacco, who already has the likes of Ben Watson, Crockett Gillmore, and Maxx Williams at his disposal.
Though Smith acknowledged that he is still in the early stages of his recovery from a torn Achilles, the wideout expressed optimism Monday that he would be ready for the start of the 2016 season, ESPN.com reports.
Smith, who turns 37 in May, originally planned for 2015 to be his last season in the NFL, but in the wake of Achilles' surgery on Nov. 9, the veteran wideout announced in late December that he planned to return to the Ravens for the 2016 season. With that in mind, when asked if he thought he'd be ready for the start of the upcoming regular season, Smith replied, "yeah, I think I'll be fine." While such an outcome is hardly a lock, Smith's reputation as one of the toughest players in the league does give him a solid chance to overcome what he calls the toughest injury of his productive NFL career, which began in 2001.
Boyle has been suspended for the first 10 games of the 2016 campaign due to a violation of the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs, Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun reports.
Boyle was utilized sparsely as a rookie in 2015, hauling in 18 balls for 153 yards over the course of 11 games. However, he received his first suspension related to PEDs on Dec. 7 and subsequently missed the final four contests of the season. With Boyle out of the picture for most of next season, the Ravens rely upon Crockett Gillmore (back) and Maxx Williams to man tight end.
Acquired from the Dolphins in exchange for a late-round draft pick just a few weeks ago, Davis quickly emerged as the nickel back for a corner-needy Baltimore defense. The former third-round draft pick initially acquitted himself well, only to suffer a torn ACL Sunday against Cleveland.
The Ravens will not pick up the fifth-year option on Elam's (biceps) rookie contract, the Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec reports.
The 32nd overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, Elam struggled mightily through his first two seasons, then missed all of 2015 with a torn biceps. He should be healthy for training camp but will likely just compete for backup role. The Ravens signed Eric Weddle to start at one safety spot, and they're expected to test out converted cornerback Lardarius Webb at the other.
Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome expects Suggs (torn Achilles) to return for the 2016 season, The Baltimore Sun reports.
Suggs suffered the second torn Achilles of his career in Week 1, leaving the Baltimore defense without arguably its most important player for the entire season. He made a miraculously quick recovery from the injury back in 2012, but he didn't return to his usual form until the following season. Now 33 years old, Suggs is signed through 2018 on a contract that has team-friendly cap numbers, but with a high percentage of the money guaranteed. While it would be shocking if he opted for retirement, there's no assurance that he'll ever be a dominant player again.