Trey Burton
Eagles' Trey Burton: Competing for slot role
Trey Burton, TE, PHI
2:48 AM
News: With the trade of Jordan Matthews to Buffalo, Burton has been talked about as a possibility to play the slot, Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Nelson Agholor is the front-runner to step up and start in the slot, but should he disappoint again, Burton and rookie wide receiver Mack Hollins have been discussed as options. Carson Wentz praised Burton on Tuesday, saying he thought he could really trust the fourth-year TE. With that kind of endorsement from one's QB, Burton could be poised for a larger role in the Eagles' offense this season no matter what specific role he fills.

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Darrell Daniels
Colts' Darell Daniels: Getting No. 2 TE reps
Darrell Daniels, TE, IND
1:33 AM
News: Brandon Williams and Daniels have taken most of injured Erik Swoope's practice reps this week, the Greensburg Daily News reports.

Daniels, an undrafted free agent, has a chance to make the roster with Swoope expected to miss several weeks after minor knee surgery. Daniels spent his college career at Washington, where he accumulated 47 receptions for 728 yards and five touchdowns over three seasons. It's conceivable he could win a steady role in the offense if Swoope's injury is a long-term issue.

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Bucky Hodges
Vikings' Bucky Hodges: Slow start to preseason
Bucky Hodges, TE, MIN
1:23 AM
News: Hodges remains behind Kyle Carter on the depth chart as the No. 4 tight end as his development has been slow in training camp, ESPN reports. He did not have a reception in Minnesota's first preseason game.

The 2017 sixth-round draft pick has intriguing size and speed (6-foot-6, with a 4.57-second 40-yard dash), but he may be more o of a long-term project than someone who will make an immediate impact this season.

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Alan Cross
Buccaneers' Alan Cross: Continues earning accolades
Alan Cross, TE, TB
8/16/2017
News: Cross, whose two-reception, 30 yard-effort in last Friday's preseason opener against the Bengals earned him praise from head coach Dirk Koetter, has a chance to earn a backup tight end role once again this season, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Cross beat the odds last season to make the roster as an undrafted free agent and is on a quest to do the same in 2017, despite the significant upgrade in talent at the top of the positional depth chart. Dynamic first-round pick O.J. Howard and the emerging Cameron Brate are naturally locks for the final roster, while veteran Luke Stocker is likely to be kept around for a seventh season due to his in-line blocking prowess. That leaves Cross in a battle with the likes of Austin Johnson, Tevin Westbrook and the impressive Antony Auclair for a possible fourth tight end spot, one that he'll look to get the upper hand in during Thursday's contest versus the Jaguars.

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Vance McDonald
49ers' Vance McDonald: Emerging from pack as top option
Vance McDonald, TE, SF
8/16/2017
News: General manager John Lynch said that he is "very pleased" with McDonald's performance in a crowded tight end competition during training camp, Cam Inman of The Mercury News reports.

Lynch's positive statement comes just a week after head coach Kyle Shanahan showered the veteran tight end with praise. While the club explored trading McDonald and his lengthy contract this offseason, the positive reviews we are hearing out of camp signal that he is the favorite to regain the 49ers' starting tight end job leading up to Week 1.

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Eric Ebron
Lions' Eric Ebron: Hamstring injury lingers
Eric Ebron, TE, DET
8/16/2017
News: Ebron missed Wednesday's practice due to a lingering hamstring injury, Kyle Meinke of MLive.com reports.

Ebron has yet to complete a full practice in training camp as he tends to the ailment, and fellow tight ends Tim Wright, Cole Wick and Khari Lee all joined him on the sideline Wednesday. There's no telling when the Lions will remove the shackles from Ebron, but his continued absence is worrisome with three weeks remaining until the team puts together the game plan for the regular-season opener against the Cardinals.

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Rico Gathers
Cowboys' Rico Gathers: Enters concussion protocol
Rico Gathers, TE, DAL
8/16/2017
News: Gathers (head) is entering the NFL's concussion protocol, NFL Network's James Palmer reports.

The former college basketball player has been a revelation through two preseason games, catching seven of 10 targets for 106 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He's probably still more of a long-term project than anything else, but it isn't out of the question that the tight end could have a limited role in his second NFL season, after spending all of last year on the practice squad. He'll first need to pass through the league's protocol, presumably missing at least one exhibition outing in the process.

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Ricky Seals-Jones
Cardinals' Ricky Seals-Jones: Doesn't practice Tuesday
Ricky Seals-Jones, TE, ARI
8/16/2017
News: Seals-Jones (ankle) didn't partake in practice Tuesday, Kyle Odegard of the Cardinals' official site reports.

An undrafted free agent, Seals-Jones has a hill to climb in his quest for a spot on the 53-man roster, sitting behind Jermaine Gresham, Troy Niklas and Ifeanyi Momah in the tight-end pecking order, at least. So far, Seals-Jones has hauled in his only preseason target for nine yards, while logging 26 snaps on offense and 11 as a special teamer.

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David Njoku
Browns' David Njoku: Plans to face Giants
David Njoku, TE, CLE
8/16/2017
News: Njoku (back) plans to play in Monday's preseason game against the Giants, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal reports.

Njoku missed the preseason opener but returned to practice Saturday, allowing plenty of time to prepare for Monday's contest. He'll likely get most of his snaps with the backup units, which should give him a chance to build chemistry with DeShone Kizer in a game setting. The Kizer-Njoku connection probably won't be prolific this season, but the Browns hope it can be a big part of their long-term plan.

Analysis: 

George Kittle
49ers' George Kittle: Still limited at practice
George Kittle, TE, SF
8/16/2017
News: Kittle (hamstring) was limited at Wednesday's practice, Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com reports.

Though he was removed from the Niners' injury report at one point last week, Kittle was held out of the team's preseason opener and has subsequently been limited at practice. Rare as it may be for a fifth-round rookie to earn a starting job, Kittle should still have a shot to unseat Vance McDonald if he gets past the nagging hamstring injury soon.

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