Dennis Pitta
Ravens' Dennis Pitta: Participates in OTAs, encouraged by progress
Dennis Pitta, TE, BAL
5/28/2016
News: 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.

Analysis: 

Cameron Brate
Buccaneers' Cameron Brate: Shines during Thursday OTA session
Cameron Brate, TE, TB
5/27/2016
News: Brate enjoyed a particularly productive OTA session Thursday, Joe Kania of the team's official site reports.

The third-year Harvard product made a habit of exceeding expectations during his unexpected opportunity during 2015, and continued that trend in Thursday's OTA session. Brate made an eye-opening one-handed catch during the individual drills that kicked off practice, and also notched multiple receptions during team drills. The 24-year-old brought in 23 of 30 targets last season for 288 yards, while also notching the first three touchdowns of his career. The additional playing time largely came as a result of Austin Seferian-Jenkins' extended absence with a shoulder injury, but Brate played well enough to continue logging a decent amount of snaps after the starter's return in the latter part of the season. While he's currently listed behind Luke Stocker on the tight end depth chart, the latter's limited pass-catching ability renders Brate as the second-best pass-catching threat at tight end for the Bucs.

Analysis: 

Jimmy Graham
Seahawks' Jimmy Graham: Will ease into training camp
Jimmy Graham, TE, SEA
5/26/2016
News: Although Graham (knee) is expected to "ease into training camp," head coach Pete Carroll believes that the tight end will be ready for the regular season, Curtis Crabtree of Sports Radio KJR reports.

The Seahawks held their first batch of OTAs this week, which Graham was unable to participate in, as expected. However, he fit in some light running and caught some passes on the side Thursday, so he seems to have reached a good place in his recovery from a torn patellar tendon in his right knee. In the end, his ability to handle snaps during the preseason will forecast if he's on pace to be on the field in Week 1.

Analysis: 

Eric Ebron
Lions' Eric Ebron: Missing OTA practice
Eric Ebron, TE, DET
5/26/2016
News: Ebron missed Thursday's OTA due to an unspecified injury, Tim Twentyman of Detroitlions.com reports.

Ebron is expected to be one of the main receiving targets for quarterback Matthew Stafford this season now that Calvin Johnson has retired, but the team doesn't seem to be too worried that Ebron missed practice. Head coach Jim Caldwell said in reference to Ebron, "He's coming along, so we've got a few guys with some bumps and bruises and some issues, but he should be back." While it remains unclear why the tight end is out, it doesn't appear he'll be out for too much longer, and he should be considered day to day for a return to practice.

Analysis: 

Tyler Kroft
Bengals' Tyler Kroft: Starter with Eifert out
Tyler Kroft, TE, CIN
5/25/2016
News: Kroft is the top tight end on the Bengals' depth chart while Tyler Eifert (ankle) is out, Cole Harvey of ESPN reports.

Kroft is normally the backup tight end to Eifert, but, now that Eifert had ankle surgery, Kroft will be the starter for the time being. Eifert's recovery is projected to take three months, which would equal a return in mid to late August. If that timetable holds true, Kroft will see added reps in training camp and the preseason, which could equate to extra time during the regular season. If Eifert's recovery takes any longer and lasts through the first few weeks of the season, then Kroft will be the team's first option to begin the year, which likely would mean increased numbers for the second-year tight end. Kroft saw extra time near the end of 2015 when Eifert missed time with a neck injury and a concussion. During that stretch, Kroft recorded 11 receptions on 14 targets for 129 yards and a touchdown.

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Jerome Cunningham
Titans' Jerome Cunningham: Awarded to Titans
Jerome Cunningham, TE, TEN
5/25/2016
News: Cunningham was claimed off waivers by the Titans.

This marks Cunningham's third team this calendar year, as the tight end was once waived by the Giants before getting the ax from the Jets on Tuesday. In nine games last season, the Southern Connecticut State product caught just eight passes for 59 yards. Now in Tennessee, Cunningham will provide depth behind Delanie Walker, Anthony Fasano, and Craig Stevens.

Analysis: 

Tyler Eifert
Bengals' Tyler Eifert: Might miss time early on
Tyler Eifert, TE, CIN
5/25/2016
News: Eifert, who will undergo ankle surgery Wednesday, could potentially miss the first couple games of the upcoming NFL season, ESPN.com reports.

Such a scenario remains speculative at this stage, given initial estimates relayed by the Cincinnati Enquirer that "a three-month recovery is anticipated, which puts Eifert's return to the field sometime in August." On the plus side, Eifert's upcoming surgery has been referred to as a "minimal procedure," so it's a little too early to count out the tight end for the Bengals' regular season opener on Sept. 11 against the Jets.

Analysis: 

Clive Walford
Raiders' Clive Walford: Should be cleared for camp
Clive Walford, TE, OAK
5/24/2016
News: Walford (knee) will likely be cleared before training camp, ESPN's Adam Caplan reports.

Walford is sitting out the first round of OTAs after injuring his knee in an offseason ATV accident. He may miss out on a few reps, but he should still have every opportunity to push for an increased role, likely at the expense of Mychal Rivera. The 2015 third-rounder caught 28 passes for 329 yards and three scores on 51 targets as a rookie; Rivera had 32 receptions for 280 yards and a touchdown on 46 targets.

Analysis: 

Virgil Green
Broncos' Virgil Green: Has finger surgery
Virgil Green, TE, DEN
5/24/2016
News: Green will miss most of OTAs after having finger surgery, Mike Klis of 9News reports.

Green should have plenty of time to recover before training camp starts, but his absence will allow Garrett Graham and Jeff Heuerman to take more reps with the first-team offense. Mostly used a No. 2 blocking tight end throughout his career, the 27-year-old Green finally has a good shot to earn an every-down role. Though unproven as a receiver, he has the necessary physical traits for success, having posted a 4.62 40-yard dash and 42.5-inch vertical at the 2011 combine. Granted, he's added a lot of weight since that time, in keeping with role as a block-first tight end. Green now hopes to find more of a balance as the likely starter on what should be a run-first team.

Analysis: 

Charles Clay
Bills' Charles Clay: Misses Tuesday practice with undisclosed injury
Charles Clay, TE, BUF
5/24/2016
News: Clay (back) missed Tuesday's OTA practice due to an unspecified health issue, Mike Rodak of ESPN reports.

Clay missed the final three games of last season with a back injury, after dealing with neck, calf and knee issues earlier in the year. He played 13+ games in each of his first five NFL seasons, but the persistent issues with one of his knees has led to questions about his long-term durability. If healthy, the 27-year-old Clay figures to be a key part of the Buffalo passing game - particularly if Sammy Watkins (broken foot) misses any time. There's been no indication that Clay's current injury is anything serious.

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