Packers' Richard Rodgers: Leads tight end competition
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(7/22/2016) Rodgers appears to be the Packers' top tight end going into training camp, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Rodgers' 58 receptions last season were the second-most by a tight end in Packers history, but his at times brutal inability to gain yards after the catch caused frustration. In response, Green Bay signed Jared Cook, an excellent athlete, this offseason, but after having foot surgery in June, the veteran could be somewhat limited as the season approaches. That would allow a reportedly more slender Rodgers to continue to see the bulk of first-team reps at tight end, where his consistency and familiarity with the Packers' offense could give him a further advantage on Cook when it comes to playing time.

Matt Spaeth: Released by Steelers
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(7/21/2016) Spaeth was released by the Steelers on Thursday.

The Steelers decided to part ways with the ten-year veteran after he failed his physical, signing free agent rookie tight end Mandel Dixon in his place. According to GM Kevin Colbert, Spaeth "never fully recovered from knee surgery that occurred this offseason, and will not be ready to return to football activities at this time." Combined with the retirement of Heath Miller in February, the Steelers now only have one tight end on their current roster from last season. Spaeth could attract the attention of a team looking to add a veteran presence at tight end, but it could be hard for him to find another opportunity until he is fully healed from his knee surgery.

Cowboys' Gavin Escobar: Could be ready for Week 1
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(7/19/2016) Cowboys executive VVP Stephen Jones said Monday that Escobar (Achilles) could be recovered in time to play Week 1 against the Giants, David Helman of reports. "I think Gavin will be ready to start the season," Jones said.

Escobar tore his Achilles tendon in mid-December last year, but he appears to be well ahead of schedule in his rehab. Even if he is in the lineup to begin the regular season though, he's still stuck behind Jason Witten on the depth chart and would be little more than an occasional red zone option in a stacked passing game.

Texans' Ryan Griffin: Expected back for trianing camp
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(7/14/2016) Head coach Bill O'Brien expects Griffin (Achilles) to be healthy for the start of training camp, the Texans' official site reports.

Although Texans tight ends combined for just 77 targets and 41 receptions last season, Griffin did lead the way with 32 and 20, respectively, despite losing seven games to injury. The team didn't address the position with any notable free agents or draft picks, but rookie UDFA Stephen Anderson could compete for a role in the slot. Houston hasn't had a fantasy-relevant tight end since Garrett Graham put together a solid stretch during the middle of the 2013 season.

Vikings' Rhett Ellison: Expects a full recovery by training camp
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(7/12/2016) Ellison (knee) anticipates a full recovery by training camp, the Twin Cities-Pioneer Press reports.

Ellison suffered a torn patellar tendon in last year's season finale against the Packers, but hasn't reported any setbacks in his recovery and anticipates being 100 percent for training camp. He enters camp firmly behind Kyle Rudolph and MyCole Pruitt on the depth chart.

Cowboys' Gavin Escobar: PUP list likely
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(7/11/2016) Escobar (Achilles) is expected to begin this season on the Cowboy's PUP list, The Dallas Morning News reports.

Escobar tore his right Achilles back in December, capping him at a career-low eight catches for 64 yards and a touchdown last season. Now entering the final year of his rookie contract, the rather underwhelming 2013 second-rounder's recent injury will probably prevent him from being available for the Cowboys' first six regular season games. Even when he returns to the fold, Escobar is unlikely to carve out a very meaningful role in Dallas' offense as long as fellow tight end Jason Witten is around.

Cardinals' Ifeanyi Momah: Recovered from 2015 preseason knee injury
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(7/7/2016) Momah (torn meniscus) didn't miss a single practice during Arizona's offseason program, reports.

Momah suffered the knee injury on the final day of the 2015 preseason, but he now appears healthy and should be full-go for the start of training camp. A converted wideout, Momah is a 6-7, 255-pound specimen with soft hands. However, he's yet to log a snap in the NFL, and could be hard-pressed to realize his potential buried under Darren Fells, Jermaine Gresham, and Troy Niklas on the tight end depth chart, not to mention a slew of talented wide receivers he'd have to compete with for targets should he earn playing time.

Steelers' Ladarius Green: May miss start of training camp
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(7/5/2016) Green (ankle) may not be ready for the start of training camp, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette reports.

When asked if he would be available for the beginning of training camp come July 29, Green essentially responded, "I hope." Although no setbacks from his ankle surgery have been reported, in March Green had initially stated he was expecting to be ready. This decrease in optimism shouldn't spell concern for his Week 1 availability, but, nonetheless, Green could use all the practice time he's afforded in order to acclimate himself into the starting tight end role in Pittsburgh's offense previously manned by Heath Miller (retired).

Packers' Jared Cook: Claims to be over foot surgery
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(7/3/2016) Cook (foot) declared he is fully healthy after undergoing early-June foot surgery, The Gwinnett Daily Post reports.

Though encouraging, Cook's claim should be taken with a grain of salt, as players tend to be over-optimistic when it comes to their own health. Ultimately, the status of his foot cannot be officially confirmed until Green Bay's medical staff is able to check it out themselves. That confirmation may still be weeks away, though, as the Packer's training camp doesn't begin until July 26.

Texans' C.J. Fiedorowicz: Improving as pass catcher
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(6/27/2016) Fiedorowicz has impressed Houston tight ends coach John Perry, who told Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, "He's a little underrated as a pass-catcher just because maybe all the stats aren't there. One of the things I always point out he very rarely doesn't catch the ball. He's got a great catch radius. He's an effective guy that way."

While Fiedorowicz improved from four catches (seven targets) in his rookie season to catching 17 of his 24 targets in 2015, it's hard to envision him gaining a bigger receiving role going forward, particularly with the offseason makeover the Texans' offense underwent. Ryan Griffin, who was limited to nine games last season, is the leading threat as a receiver from the position. If Griffin's healthy, Fiedorowicz's targets will likely decrease in 2016.

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