Chiefs coach Todd Haley has been reluctant to put pads on his players the first two weeks of training camp, unsure what kind of condition they arrived in after the NFL lockout wiped away the offseason. He scrapped any sort of scrimmage prior to their first exhibition game for the same reason.
Gazing around the league, Haley’s cautious approach is making him look like a genius.
Giants cornerback Prince Amukamara will miss about two months after breaking his foot, and fellow first-rounder Nick Fairley of the Detroit Lions is out most of camp after his own foot surgery.
Detroit’s second-round draft pick, running back Mikel Leshoure, is done for the year after tearing his Achilles’ tendon Monday — the 10th player to sustain the same season-ending injury since the lockout ended and players went back to work.
Now, every time someone gets banged up, it begs the question: Is the lockout to blame?
“I don’t know the answer to that,” Haley said. “That’s why, for the most part, we’ve been doing things as we’ve been doing them, which is one day at a time and doing the best job we can as a staff, evaluating our guys a number of different ways. And we always evaluate the physical readiness of guys.”
That evaluation is in hyperdrive with the first exhibition games scheduled for tonight.
“I think there’s 32 different answers to how coaches and players are approaching this,” said Dr. Thom Mayer, the NFL Players’ Association’s medical director. “(The lockout) has really changed the dynamic.”
Others who sustained season-ending Achilles’ injuries include Browns punter Reggie Hodges, who took a snap in the end zone, took one step and dropped like a sack of flour; Eagles defensive end Victor Abiamiri, who underwent surgery Wednesday in Philadelphia; and the Bengals’ Roddrick Muckelroy, a second-year linebacker and one of their top special teams players.
“That’s just part of football,” Cowboys tight end Jason Witten said.
Bill Parcells and Jerry Rice are joining ESPN as NFL analysts.
This is Parcells’ third stint with the network. The two-time Super Bowl-winning coach was a studio analyst in 2002 and ’07 between NFL jobs. He will appear on “Sunday NFL Countdown” and other shows.
Rice, the Hall of Fame wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers, will serve as an analyst on shows such as “NFL Live” and “SportsCenter.” Rice finished his playing career in 2004 with the Seattle Seahawks.
Also, former Green Bay running back Ahman Green will be a sideline analyst for the Big Ten network. Green was a third-round pick by the Seahawks in 1998.
Three-time Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins, who missed the first seven games last season because of a contract holdout, reportedly agreed to a six-year deal to remain with the Patriots. … Former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor’s pro day workout, which had been scheduled for Friday, has reportedly been postponed until the NFL decides on his status for Wednesday’s supplemental draft. … State and city officials showed off its newly completed upgrades to the Superdome in New Orleans, touting the improvements as having “all the bells and whistles” of a new facility. The project cost $336 million. … The Eagles signed former Giants receiver Steve Smith, who had microfracture knee surgery in December.