NFL OTAs and Minicamp Recap: Caleb Williams Discusses Development, Anthony Richardson Sits Out, and More Top Storylines

    With NFL OTAs and minicamps underway, we're tracking the latest news, rumors, injuries, holdouts, and other developments coming out of spring practices.

    Football never sleeps. While NFL training camps are still weeks away, teams are getting in work during the spring via organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamps. Contact isn’t permitted during these practices, but OTAs and minicamps can give a club’s decision-makers their first impression of how their squad will look in 2024.

    With that in mind, we’re tracking every bit of news coming out of OTAs and minicamps in early June.

    Here are the top stories from Thursday’s NFL practices.

    Latest News and Notes From NFL OTAs and Minicamp

    Chicago Bears

    • While Chicago Bears QB Caleb Williams could hit the ground running after being selected No. 1 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft, the USC product admits he has things to work on as he enters his rookie season.
    • “First, I ask questions,” Williams said Thursday. “I ask questions to coach. I asked about my progression. I asked where he wants me to be, where I should be. And then, obviously, I have my own goals set for myself, and that’s to be perfect. Obviously, you strive for something like that, and you don’t ever reach it, but you keep striving for it. Whether it’s a day that I like or a day that I don’t, there’s always good and bad in it.”
    • Williams has been working under center more with the Bears than with the Trojans, forcing him to work on his cadence.
    • “I feel that I’ve gotten better with the cadence,” Williams said. “I feel that progression-wise, going through all the reads, throwing a little bit better with anticipation, getting more reps with the wide receiver, that obviously helps.”

    Cincinnati Bengals

    Detroit Lions

    • Defensive tackle D.J. Reader is the only player on the Detroit Lions roster who may not be ready for the beginning of training camp, head coach Dan Campbell announced on Thursday.
    • Reader, 29, suffered a torn quadriceps tendon in his right leg while playing for the Bengals in Week 15 of the 2023 season. He went down with the same injury in his left leg in 2020.
    • “That’s not something that we were caught off guard by,” Campbell said. “We knew this would take a minute here.”
    • The Lions signed Reader in free agency this offseason, handing him a two-year deal worth $22 million, with $7.425 million guaranteed.

    Indianapolis Colts

    • The Indianapolis Colts held second-year QB Anthony Richardson out of Thursday’s practice after he experienced shoulder soreness on Wednesday, head coach Shane Steichen announced.
    • Richardson missed most of his rookie campaign after suffering a Grade 3 AC joint sprain in his right shoulder in Week 5. However, Richardson and Steichen downplayed the severity of last year’s No. 4 overall pick missing practice.
    • “Rest assured, if we played on Sunday, he’d be starting,” Steichen said. “He just had some soreness in his arm, so we just — precautionary reasons — just held him out today.”
    • “It’s nothing to worry about,” Richardson said. “I’ve dealt with this before. Normally, I just ice up and just go back at it again. But they said, ‘There’s no need to try to rush out there for the last day when we got the season coming up.’ I’ve got six weeks to keep practicing and keep throwing and just keep getting my shoulder healthy.”

    Kansas City Chiefs

    • The Kansas City Chiefs canceled today’s practice after defensive lineman BJ Thompson suffered a seizure and went into cardiac arrest during a special teams meeting. Fortunately, Thompson was immediately assisted by the Chiefs’ medical staff and is in stable condition.

    Miami Dolphins

    • New Miami Dolphins WR Odell Beckham Jr. didn’t participate in the club’s practices this week, leading Pro Football Network’s Adam Beasley to believe that OBJ could be dealing with a minor injury.
    • “Everybody is excited to see players when they first get here specifically, and a player of that caliber, everyone is pumped up,” Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel said Wednesday. “But systematically, what we try to do is learn the player and develop a relationship with them and adjust to their body on their timeline so we can have the most beneficial, communicative relationship of maintaining health.
    • Will Miami add a free agent offensive or defensive lineman this summer? McDaniel suggested a signing was unlikely, per Beasley.
    • “Like I’ve said before, you know [general manager] Chris Grier’s always working and combing,” McDaniel said. “I am very happy with our current orchestration of both those units. The offensive line, there’s a little more history and experience, personally, with all the guys involved.”
    • “On [the] defensive line, there’s more new, so the guys are working to get things tied together with the entire defense in that regard. The newer offensive linemen that we do have are working to master a new scheme.”

    Philadelphia Eagles

    • The Philadelphia Eagles are starting over on offense under new play-caller Kellen Moore. On Thursday, QB Jalen Hurts said about 95% of the Eagles’ offense is new, per Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94 WIP.
    • “I think this whole entire offseason it’s been about learning,” Hurts said. “Learning about taking in new knowledge, new perspective with the minds we have in the room … When you get to a point where you kind of feel, ‘Hey, I’m gonna feel comfortable with this. I’m gonna like this.’ But that time comes when you can rep it, rep it, rep it later on.”
    • Free agent additions Devin White and Zack Baun have emerged as the Eagles’ starting linebacker tandem this summer, as Pro Football Network’s Anthony DiBona writes. While White and Baun may face competition from fellow LBs Nakobe Dean or Jeremiah Trotter Jr., they’re atop the depth chart for now.

    MORE: NFL Playoff Predictor

    San Francisco 49ers

    • While the San Francisco 49ers added other running backs behind All-Pro Christian McCaffrey this offseason, Elijah Mitchell is still the club’s “clear” No. 2 RB, according to The Athletic’s David Lombardi.
    • Mitchell is the Niners’ most complete backup, but he has dealt with numerous injuries, missing 24 of 51 games over his three seasons in the Bay Area. A pending free agent, Mitchell could put himself on other teams’ radars if he flashes behind CMC in 2024.
    • San Francisco used a 2024 fourth-round draft pick on Lousiville’s Isaac Guerendo, who never topped 900 rushing yards in college but ran a 4.44 40-yard dash at 221 pounds. Jordan Mason, Patrick Taylor, and Cody Schrader round out the 49ers’ RB room.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    • Sterling Shepard has found a new home. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed the longtime New York Giants WR to a one-year deal on Thursday, as NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported.
    • Shepard, 31, posted 872 receiving yards in his 2018 rookie season but saw his role with the Giants dwindle after that hot start. He appeared in 15 games in 2023 but played just 15% of New York’s offensive snaps and caught only 10 passes.
    • Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Trey Palmer, and Jalen McMillan are locks for Tampa Bay’s WR depth chart, but Shepard could compete for a WR5/6 role this summer.

    Tennessee Titans

    • First-year Tennessee Titans head coach Brian Callahan said quarterbacks Mason Rudolph and Malik Willis are competing for the team’s backup job behind Will Levis, per Jim Wyatt of the club’s website.
    • “They’ll split reps pretty evenly,” Callahan said. “They’ll get a chance to play quite a bit in the preseason. That’s usually where it separates — the game action, where you really get the evaluation.”
    • It’s hard to imagine that Rudolph won’t win the Titans’ QB2 gig. Tennessee gave him $2.7 million guaranteed this offseason after he led the Pittsburgh Steelers into the playoffs with a 3-0 regular-season record in 2023.
    • Willis was the Titans’ third-round draft choice in 2022, but neither Callahan nor GM Ran Carthon were involved in Willis’ selection.

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