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Training Camp

Training Camp Buzz: Blake Bortles prioritizing playing opportunity over practice squad

The 2020 regular season is just around the corner, and NFL Network has you covered with wall-to-wall training camp coverage each day starting at 1 p.m. ET. Follow along here for some of the best sights, sounds and moments from "Inside Training Camp Live" and around the NFL.

  • Blake Bortles is looking for a chance to play again, not just practice. NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported the free-agent quarterback is holding out for an opportunity that could include getting on the field. The former Jaguars starter is staying in shape and throwing several times per week, per Pelissero. His plan is to remain available to all 32 teams rather than join a practice squad. It's a calculated approach as NFL teams explore keeping extra QBs on their extended roster in the event that an active one contracts COVID-19. After five years in Jacksonville, the 28-year-old Bortles spent the 2019 season with the Rams but attempted just two passes over three appearances.
  • As K'Lavon Chaisson commences his NFL career, there are two quarterbacks in particular he's looking to sack. "No. 1, it would probably be Lamar [Jackson]," the Jaguars pass rusher said. "I feel like he's one of the most elusive quarterbacks that you're ever going to go against. Obviously you have to beat the tackle, but I feel like the job gets 10 times harder after you do that, just actually trying to bring him to the ground and track him down." Chaisson's second pick? Former LSU teammate Joe Burrow. "I never really got a chance to tackle him," Chaisson laughed. He'll have his chances with both this year, as Jacksonville plays at Cincinnati in Week 4 and at Baltimore in Week 15. After finally parting ways with Yannick Ngakoue, the Jags will be counting that much more on the 20th overall selection of the 2020 draft to make such plays.
  • The Rams' offense figures to be more of a passing outfit in 2020 given the lack of a lead back and exile of former All-Pro Todd Gurley. The bigger question is who beyond Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods will be a regular recipient of Jared Goff's targets. That role used to belong to Brandin Cooks, who was traded in the offseason for a second-round pick that became Van Jefferson. Fittingly, the rookie wideout might be ready to replicate Cook's downfield prowess sooner rather than later. "That wide receiver No. 12 has been making some real big plays," Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald said, per NFL Network's Omar Ruiz. "... He can definitely make an impact in this league right away." Jefferson has been catching his new teammates' attention since Day 1 of training camp. Soon he could be catching a lot of passes.
  • After three years of spelling and then splitting carries with Melvin Gordon, Austin Ekeler has the Chargers' starting job all to himself. But he's relatively new to the RB1 game and thus could need reinforcements himself. Rookie Joshua Kelley is making his case. NFL Network's Jim Trotter reported the fourth-round pick's performance in camp has generated "a lot of intrigue" from within. He's gotten extra work while Justin Jackson, slated to be Ekeler's primary backup, has been out with a toe injury. Moreover, the 200-pound Ekeler has never previously been a workhorse, handling more than 15 carries just twice in his career. It all creates more opportunity for Kelley. "What I'm told right now by staff members I talk to is Joshua Kelley is raw," Trotter added, "but he has a lot of upside."

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