Murray recently underwent a minor procedure on the ring finger on his right hand to address an issue that dates back to the start of the 2016 season. Although he missed a little practice time in June, the seventh-year Oklahoma product should be operating at full speed from the outset of training camp.
Riddick, who spent the final five weeks of the 2016 season on injured reserve, wasn't able to practice with the team most of the offseason after undergoing surgery on both of his wrists late last year. It remains to be seen how the Lions will manage his workload going forward, but it's imperative that Riddick's wrists remain healthy, as he'll need them in order to maintain his status as an elite pass-catcher out of the backfield.
Johnson is officially designated as a running back, but with Isaiah Crowell atop the depth chart there, his versatility is likely to allow him to see the field elsewhere. With 114 receptions for 1,048 yards through his first two seasons, Johnson has proven plenty capable in the passing game, and the Browns are in search of a slot replacement for the departed Andrew Hawkins. With the expectation that Johnson could start in that role, his fantasy value is only on the rise, which comes after he already averaged 4.9 yards per rush last season.
Morris saw just 69 carries and averaged merely 3.5 yards per rush in his first season with the Cowboys last year. Of course, that came while Elliott emerged as one of the league's best all-around tailbacks. With backup Darren McFadden also boasting a three-down skill set, Morris likely won't be needed if both Elliott and McFadden are available this term, which could result in him being released ahead of the regular season. However, if Elliott is handed a short suspension to begin the campaign, as has been speculated in the wake of a league investigation, Morris could at least retain his roster spot until the second-year star returns. Knowing that, it'll be interesting to see what the future holds for both Elliott and Morris.
Perine, who was drafted in the fourth round this year after finishing his college career as Oklahoma's all-time leading rusher, enters his first season jockeying for positioning behind Kelley on Washington's depth chart. While Kelley has been deemed the team's starter heading into camp, Perine figures to be his biggest competitor for carries, as Chris Thompson is more of a pass-catching back and Matt Jones was wildly disappointing last year. Fortunately for Perine, if he gets going in a given game, the Redskins are prepared to reward him with more touches, which would inevitably boost his fantasy stock. In the meantime, though, the rookie will aim to gain some comfort in Washington's offense as camp kicks off.
Kelley went from an undrafted rookie to Washington's starting tailback by the end of his first season, when he finished with a team-high 704 rushing yards and seven total touchdowns. In doing so, Kelley had nearly 250 more yards on the ground than his next closest teammate, and he averaged a commendable 4.2 yards per carry along the way. After that production, Kelley has rightfully earned top pegging on the Redskins' depth chart as this season gets underway. Entering camp, rookie fourth-rounder Semaje Perine figures to be Kelley's biggest competition for lead back duties, but along with having the job as his to lose, Kelley should benefit from transforming his body this offseason. Despite having January surgery to clean up his knee, Kelley reportedly dropped from 18 to 13 percent body fat and appeared more muscular in offseason workouts. That improvement and Kelley's higher comfort in Washington's offense makes him an interesting commodity to monitor in the buildup to his second season.
Murray signed a three-year, $15 million contract in March and underwent surgery to address bone spurs shortly thereafter. He was expected to be ready for the start of training camp, so this isn't a good sign. If he's slow to participate in full practices, he could quickly fall behind Dalvin Cook in the competition for touches at running back. However, the move to place Murray on the PUP list could be temporary and he could be removed early in training camp.
Freeman is currently set to earn $1.79 million this season in the final year of his rookie contract. However, following back-to-back campaigns with at least 1,500 yards from scrimmage and 13 touchdowns, the former fourth-rounder clearly deserves a raise. Falcons management recognizes that it's time to reward Freeman, and in order to avoid a distraction during training camp, they intend to seal a new deal with Freeman in short order.
Eight months removed from tearing his ACL, Bernard appears to be progressing very well in his recovery. Whether he'll be cleared for full activity remains to be seen, and being cleared for work in camp is merely a step toward being cleared for an eventual return to game action. It's believed that the addition of Joe Mixon in April's draft will leave Bernard positioned to work mostly in third-down situations once he's ready to play again.
This all but confirms Mathews will be sent packing once he passes a physical to prove he's recovered from the neck injury that curtailed his 2016 season, since cutting the 2010 first-rounder would save Philadelphia roughly $4 million in cap space. However, Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News reported that Mathews likely won't be re-evaluated until "sometime in August", so it still may be a while until that comes to fruition. For now, the Eagles will open training camp with LeGarrette Blount, Darren Sproles and Wendell Smallwood leading the charge at running back.