NFL training camp roundup: Highlights and storylines from Aug. 22

2RHYCRK Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) warms up before a preseason NFL football game against the New York Jets, Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

RB Jonathan Taylor given permission to seek a trade

The Indianapolis Colts have given star running back Jonathan Taylor permission to seek a trade, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Taylor requested a trade earlier in the offseason, but the Colts did not seem interested in moving on from the All-Pro back at the time. He is seeking a new contract as he enters the final year of his rookie deal.

The former Wisconsin Badger hurt his ankle in Week 4 of the 2022 season, an injury that lingered throughout the season prior to his being shut down in December. Taylor’s 87.1 overall grade in 2021 ranked first among 62 qualifying running backs, and he led the league with 1,311 yards after contact and 68 missed tackles forced on runs.

Any team interested in trading for Taylor must be willing to part with premium draft capital and commit big money to the running back position. It’s a hefty price, but Taylor could be the missing piece for a contending team in the next few years.

WR Terry McLaurin dealing with toe injury

Washington Commanders wide receiver Terry McLaurin left Monday night’s game against the Baltimore Ravens in the second quarter after suffering a toe injury.

X-rays on McLaurin’s toe were negative. The injury, best known as “turf toe,” will require an MRI on Tuesday to rule out any other potential concerns. Prior to the injury, McLaurin played 35 snaps, catching all three targets thrown his way for 39 yards.

McLaurin has been one of the most underrated receivers since entering the league in 2019. Despite inconsistent quarterback play, he’s finished as a top-20 overall receiver in three of the four years and has never earned an overall grade lower than 78.3. The Commanders open their regular season Sept. 10 against the Arizona Cardinals.

Buccaneers name Baker Mayfield as their Week 1 starting QB

Baker Mayfield will be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers starting quarterback Sept. 10 against the Minnesota Vikings, according to head coach Todd Bowles.

Mayfield beat out Kyle Trask, who is coming off an impressive performance against the New York Jets. Trask played 61 snaps, completing 20 of 28 passes for 218 yards and one touchdown. He finished the game with two big-time throws and a 78.4 overall grade.

Mayfield ended the 2022 season with a career-low 50.6 overall grade, ranking 37th out of 39 qualifying quarterbacks. He began his career with the Cleveland Browns and earned top-17 grades in each of the first three seasons, peaking at 85.7 overall in 2020 (eighth among 38 qualifying quarterbacks that season).

WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba to undergo wrist surgery

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba broke a bone in his wrist and will undergo surgery Tuesday in Philadelphia. There is a chance he is ready for the season opener Sept. 10 against the Los Angeles Rams, but that is unclear at the moment, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

The injury occurred on a 48-yard catch-and-run in the second quarter against the Dallas Cowboys Saturday night. He caught six of his seven targets for 83 yards over the first two preseason games, despite playing just 17 receiving snaps in that span.

Smith-Njigba was the first wide receiver taken in the 2023 NFL Draft (20th overall). His most impressive season at Ohio State came in 2021, when his 4.01 yards per route run was better than teammates Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave, who were both selected within the first 11 picks of the 2022 NFL Draft. With Smith-Njigba, D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, the Seahawks have one of the top receiving trios in the NFL, landing fifth on Trevor Sikkema's receiving corps rankings heading into the 2023 season.


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