NFL training camp Sunday best: Giants’ Saquon Barkley turns heads, Titans’ Derrick Henry breaks helmets

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Many NFL training camps wrapped up Sunday after Hall of Fame ceremonies in Canton, Ohio, though some took it easy while others took time off.

Running backs took center stage with the New York Giants and Tennessee Titans as Saquon Barkley continues to impress, while video showed Derrick Henry breaking a helmet with a stiff arm.

The Jacksonville Jaguars and Las Vegas Raiders already have a preseason game under their belts, and the rest of the league will join them this week. Thursday’s action kicks off with two games – the Giants at the New England Patriots and the Titans at the Baltimore Ravens – followed by five games on Friday, eight games on Saturday and one game next Sunday.

Here’s what you need to know from camps around the league.

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What our NFL Nation reporters saw Sunday

Seattle Seahawks: If Drew Lock has gained ground on Geno Smith in the eyes of the Seahawks’ decision makers, it wasn’t apparent during Sunday’s review. Smith took all the first-team reps while Lock worked exclusively with the No. 2 offense as Seattle’s quarterback competition looked to remain status quo.

Smith has gotten pretty much all of the first-team reps through the first week and a half of training camp, but it seemed like that could — and should — start to change based on Lock’s strong performance in Saturday’s mock game . He was clearly the better quarterback despite four of his five series coming with the No. 2 offense and against the No. 1 defense. Smith underwhelmed while mostly leading the first-team offense against backup defenders. Yet it was still all Smith with them on Sunday.

Coach Pete Carroll didn’t have much in the way of ratings on how anyone did in his press conference after the fake play, saying he should watch the film first. He was not available after the review. The Seahawks have an off day on Monday, so there may not be more clarity on where their quarterback battle stands until Tuesday. — Brady Henderson

Green Bay Packers: Keisean Nixon was perhaps the most understated move the Packers made this offseason. But given his history on special teams and his connection to new special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia, he could be a significant addition. Nixon played nearly 700 special teams snaps over the past three seasons for Bisaccia, who held the same position with the Raiders (until he was promoted to interim head coach during last season). What’s more, Nixon could be the Packers’ top backup cornerback behind the starting trio of Jaire Alexander, Rasul Douglas and Eric Stokes.

That’s what made his return to training on Sunday important. He missed the first nine practices with a groin injury, but was activated from the non-football injury list on Sunday. “He’s a guy that we’re excited to get back and hopefully he can pick up where he left off,” coach Matt LaFleur said Sunday. He could also be a coup; Nixon signed a one-year, $965,000 contract with no guaranteed money. –Rob Demovsky

Minnesota Vikings: Two of the Vikings’ top three draft picks got first-team reps Sunday, a combination of their progress and the team’s attempt to limit the work of some established veterans. Safety Lewis Cine, the No. 32 overall pick in the draft, got his reps while veteran Harrison Smith rotated in and out of the lineup. Right guard Ed Ingram, selected No. 59 overall, worked the entire practice at right guard while veteran Jesse Davis got time off. Ingram has been part of a competition at right guard that includes Davis and fellow veteran Chris Reed, and based on his draft position, it’s probably only a matter of time before he pushes into the starting lineup permanently. The same goes for Cine, even though Smith and sophomore Camryn Bynum have been first-team safeties for most of camp. –Kevin Seifert

San Francisco 49ers: Niners quarterback Trey Lance finished with a concussion in Saturday’s practice, but it didn’t carry over Sunday. In fact, Lance had one of his toughest outings this camp, completing just 4 of 12 passes, which included a bad interception forced into linebacker Fred Warner in the final period of the day. Lance had two passes dropped and was without starting tackles Trent Williams and Mike McGlinchey (both of whom got rest days). According to receiver Brandon Aiyuk, Lance wasn’t fazed by the performance and immediately talked to teammates about the pieces he wants back and how he (and they) can do better in the next session. “The best thing about Trey is that he walked off the practice field and he was still the exact same way,” Aiyuk said. “We don’t worry about him at all. We’ll take a look at it later today and then we’ll move on.” — Nick Wagoner

New York Giants: The summer is going well for Barkley, and Sunday was no different. Barkley looked determined and quick as the Giants primarily practiced red zone runs. Coach Brian Daboll has already called Barkley “explosive” this summer. It was evident when he cut on a run in midfield and beat everyone to the left pylon. Center Jon Feliciano said afterward that this version of Barkley is the best he’s seen from a running back on any of his teams. Just a year ago, Barkley was rehabbing a torn ACL in his right knee and was not cleared for contact. This year looks very different, and just in time as he enters the final year of his rookie contract. –Jordan Raanan

Carolina Panthers: The Panthers were off, but got good news when an MRI scan showed no major damage to the left knee that defensive end Marquis Haynes injured during Saturday’s scrimmage. The staff expects Haynes to be day-to-day when the team resumes practice on Monday. That doesn’t mean general manager Scott Fitterer won’t continue to look for depth eventually. Veteran Carlos Dunlap was under consideration until he signed with the Chiefs. Jason Pierre-Paul, 33, remains a free agent and could be an option. The Panthers can wait until teams start cutting to add depth. However, the fact that Haynes’ injury was not serious lessens the sense of urgency. — David Newton

Kansas City Chiefs: The offense was sloppy at times, especially in one period where it committed three straight false start penalties. Coach Andy Reid took the unusual step of throwing Patrick Mahomes and the other starters off the field before allowing them to return later. Offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy later said the Chiefs need to do a better job of not allowing one bad play to affect the next. –Adam Teicher

Indianapolis Colts: Veteran cornerback Stephon Gilmore continued a stretch of strong practices with another impressive day. Among Gilmore’s highlights was a play where he jumped a sideline route in front of receiver Parris Campbell, making an interception for a potential pick-6 against quarterback Matt Ryan. “I can just tell you from a quarterback’s perspective, he’s the kind of cornerback you fear,” coach Frank Reich said. “The way he sees the game, he knows what’s coming before it comes.” The ongoing chess match between Gilmore and Ryan has been an intriguing subplot in this camp. “Unfortunately,” Ryan said, “this isn’t the first time he’s picked on me.” –Stephen Holder


Today’s best NFL news

RB Kareem Hunt requests trade, but Browns decline: Running back Kareem Hunt, who is seeking a contract extension, has requested a trade from the Cleveland Browns, but the team has privately rejected that request, a source confirmed to ESPN. Hunt, who is in the final year of a two-year, $12 million deal, had missed team drills the past two practices but returned to them Sunday.

Rodger Saffold joins Bills training camp after recovering from car accident: After a litany of injuries to start training camp, the Buffalo Bills’ offensive line is getting healthier. Guard Rodger Saffold was activated from the non-football injured list and was in uniform for the team’s training camp practice. Saffold started training camp on the NFI roster after suffering rib injuries in a car accident. He signed with the Bills as a free agent this offseason and is expected to be their starting left guard. Saffold appeared to be limited in his first practice back.

Bears wide receiver N’Keal Harry’s ankle injury is believed to be serious: Chicago Bears wide receiver N’Keal Harry suffered what appeared to be a serious ankle injury during practice, a source told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. Harry went down on the first play of team drills when a screen pass was thrown in his direction. The wide receiver appeared to have his left ankle rolled up when linebacker Nicholas Morrow tackled him. The 24-year-old receiver could not bear any weight on the ankle and had to be helped off the field by a trainer and teammate. The team is still awaiting further evaluation of the severity of Harry’s injury, and no decision has been made on how long he will be sidelined.


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