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'Inside Training Camp Live' Buzz: Colts RB Jonathan Taylor (ankle) excused from practice; Titans seeing 'vintage' DeAndre Hopkins

The 2023 regular season is just around the corner, and NFL Network has you covered with wall-to-wall training camp coverage each day starting at 10 a.m. ET. Follow along here for some of the best sights, sounds and moments from "Inside Training Camp Live" and around the NFL.

Colts give Taylor excused absence

Colts running back Jonathan Taylor received an excused absence from practice as he continues to seek treatment for his ankle injury, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday on Inside Training Camp Live.

Taylor has not been with the team since at least Monday, according to Rapoport, who says his absence will continue "for a little bit" as he hopes to ensure he's 100% healthy when the 2023 season begins.

"Who he plays for when that season begins is a whole other topic," Rapoport added on ITC Live. "Obviously, that's something we've discussed -- the trade request is still outstanding -- but that is going on with Taylor today."

A trade request came about following Taylor's meeting with Colts owner Jim Irsay last month. The former All-Pro wants a contract extension that puts him in line with the league's highest-paid running backs, but the Colts have not yet made a contract offer, according to Rapoport.

Taylor is coming off a down year that paled in comparison to the 24-year-old's breakout campaign in 2021. The ankle injury certainly factored into Taylor's subpar season, which was limited to 11 games and saw career lows in just about every stat category imaginable. He underwent surgery on the ankle in January.

While his status with Indianapolis remains in question, Taylor will be rehabbing his ankle for a full return, wherever that may be.

'Vintage' Hopkins seen at Titans camp

Tennessee landed the big-play wideout it needed in DeAndre Hopkins just ahead of training camp, and Ryan Tannehill is already enjoying his new target in practice.

"He's been a big addition," the Titans quarterback said of Hopkins on Inside Training Camp Live on Tuesday. "We've seen some huge plays from him. Vintage Hopkins that you've seen across his career of tight, contested catches when he's able to elevate or make the extended catch. So, as a quarterback, it's been a lot of fun to find those areas where I can put the ball where only he can get it and then he's making the play."

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport said on ITC Live that Hopkins' journey to Tennessee was a "long, winding road," but the fact that he ultimately chose the Titans is telling that the All-Pro WR believes they will be good in 2023.

Success hasn't been unfamiliar in Tennessee during Mike Vrabel's tenure as head coach. A big part of that has been an old-school philosophy of a reliable ground attack through Derrick Henry and a pesky defense. Pass rusher Harold Landry, who missed all of last season after tearing his ACL in the final stages of training camp, is gearing up for a healthy return in 2023, and it portends to be a big plus for a team that narrowly missed the playoffs last year.

"It means a lot," Titans safety Kevin Byard said of Landry's return on ITC Live. "Harold has been there since 2018, a guy that has always been dependable -- obviously had his injury last year -- but he's been working his tail off this entire offseason to make sure that he's right where he needs to be."

Byard is licking his chops now that the Titans' pass rush is returning to form.

"I'm expecting something huge from (Landry) this year and, you know, we talk about this pass rush and this defensive line that we have with Harold coming back and obviously adding Arden Key, these guys are looking really, really good during training camp," he said. "Obviously, as a safety, it's always good to have those guys down there eating on the front seven."

Cowboys' Gilmore: CB Diggs 'can be the best in the business'

Trevon Diggs burst onto the scene in 2021 with an 11-interception campaign that instantly turned him into one of the most exciting defenders in the NFL. Stephon Gilmore believes the budding Cowboys cornerback can be even better.

Joining Inside Training Camp Live on Tuesday, Gilmore spoke on how he's taking Diggs under his wing amid his first training camp with Dallas.

"We've been able to jell as soon as we got into the meeting room," Gilmore told NFL Network's Rhett Lewis and David Carr. "I feel like he's turned into a little brother for me. He's a smart player, has all the athletic ability. (I'm) just trying to teach him some technique stuff that could take his game to the next level because I do believe he can be the best in the business. Just trying to do as much as I can to help him out and make plays on the other side."

Diggs followed up his breakout campaign last year with another Pro Bowl season, but opposing quarterbacks grew a conscience when looking his way, resulting in just three picks in 2022. That doesn't mean Diggs isn't continuing to perfect his extraordinary ball skills, a talent the elder, 2019 Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year is trying to adopt.

"He's special," Gilmore said. "Like, he told me just now, 'When the ball is in the air. it's mine.' You gotta have that mindset at the cornerback position. It's just so pretty seeing cause he played receiver, so it's so natural to him. I gotta steal that from him."

The effects of Dallas' acquisition of Gilmore this offseason may be two-fold with the defense gaining an experienced veteran that can help elevate Diggs' game. Three-fold if you consider the Cowboys' secondary helping out an aggressive pass rush headed by rising superstar Micah Parsons.

"I think we can do pretty much anything they want us to do," Gilmore said of the defense as a whole. "Tre can cover whoever, I can cover whoever, and with our rush, too, that's going to give us a great chance to be a great defense. I love this defense; they allow us to play fast, we disguise a lot, it's not confusing. I'm just super excited."

Sanders: Lions 'geeked' about rookie RB

Barry Sanders was in attendance for the Lions' joint practice with the New York Giants on Tuesday, and the legendary running back is just as excited as everyone else in Detroit for the 2023 season.

"I think this team is well-balanced," the Hall of Famer told NFL Network's Andrew Siciliano and Brian Baldinger on Inside Training Camp Live. "Obviously, they have to be feeling good about the way they finished last season although you're only going to get so much push from what you did last year. But if you're building on that, you've been working in the offseason, I feel like things are certainly set up for them in the division, and yes, me along with some of the other Lions fans, we are excited about this season. We know that really the sky is the limit."

The Lions finished 9-8 after a 1-6 start in 2022. Although their second-half run didn't equate to a playoff berth, Detroit gained steam by spoiling Green Bay's postseason hopes in Week 18. Sanders believes the retooled RB room that now features David Montgomery and rookie Jahmyr Gibbs will help balance an offense that finished last season ranked top-five in yards (380.0) and points per game (26.6).

"They want to be balanced and the guys they have in the room, that's what they're there for. They're there to make plays in the passing game, in the running game," Sanders said. "Being in this division, we've seen what David Montgomery can do game in and game out. He's a 1,000-yard rusher every year, pretty much. So, we're looking hopefully for the same production. I believe they couldn't more geeked about Jahmyr Gibbs and being able to get him early in the first round, and what they've seen so far and his attitude and his approach to practice. When you get a young running back in camp and you see him in real live action with other players to see whether that speed transfers, whether he still has that speed, whether he still has that zip that he had in college. I think, so far, we see that he's going to be a guy that makes plays."

The NFL has certainly taken notice of Detroit's revival, scheduling Dan Campbell's squad in five prime-time games in 2023, including the season opener against the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs on Sept. 7.

Of course, that only puts more pressure on a franchise that hasn't won a playoff game since the 1991 season (eight-game losing streak), when Sanders was in Year 3 of an extraordinary career. The Lions legend believes 2023 could be the year for the calamitous narrative to change.

"It would mean so much, and I think that has to be in the back of this team's mind, changing that narrative," Sanders said of Detroit's postseason aspirations. "We've all heard it, we've all had to live with it. It's there. That's how it is and that remains the reality at this point, but I know that if there's any team that can change that, then it's this group and coach Campbell and just sort of how he's built the last few years and the product they put on the field. So, yeah, I think if there's any team that's going to do it, this the right time to do it right now."

Broncos WR Sutton to reemerge under Payton?

One of the most impressive seasons by a wide receiver in NFL history happened in 2019 under Sean Payton's direction in New Orleans. Can Courtland Sutton replicate that type of production in 2023?

Reporting from Englewood, Colorado, on Inside Training Camp Live, NFL Network's James Palmer says the Broncos have reason to believe that ahead of Payton's first season in Denver.

"What stands out to me is Courtland Sutton," Palmer said Tuesday. "Remember in 2019, his second year in the NFL? The guy had over 1,100 yards, six touchdowns and everybody was thinking he's going to make this big jump. He has the ACL (injury), and we haven't really seen that 2019 Courtland Sutton. This staff thinks they're kind of seeing that in this camp right now...

"The reason why I bring him up is because there was another big-bodied receiver that Sean Payton had a lot of success with and that was Michael Thomas. Obviously, Drew Brees played a huge part in that, but when they went back and watched 2019 film, that's where Sean Payton saw a lot of similarities between Mike Thomas and Courtland Sutton."

Thomas set an NFL record with 149 receptions in 2019, which generated nine touchdowns and a league-high 1,725 receiving yards. Sutton happened to have his best season that year, catching 72 balls for 1,112 yards and six TDs to earn his only Pro Bowl bid. An ACL tear in Week 1 of 2020 disrupted Sutton's rise, but the 27-year-old is working to reclaim his on-field consistency.

Palmer added that Sutton told him he's trimmed down about 10 pounds and that he's changed his offseason routine because he hasn't been happy with his preparation the past two years.

Broncos' All-Pro cornerback Patrick Surtain II is already seeing the difference.

"I just see him getting better each and every week," Surtain told Palmer on ITC Live. "You can tell he wants it. He's been competing at a high level, making plays. Me and him be battling each and every day, and with a great receiver like that, that makes me better. It's like iron sharpens iron. We get better each and every day we go at it. Court, he's gonna be one of them guys this year. I can't wait for it."

Harbaugh: 'Ball is in J.K.'s court'

Two weeks have passed since Ravens veterans reported to Owings Mills, Maryland, on July 25. J.K. Dobbins not only remains on the physically unable to perform list while waiting for his knee to be 100 percent, he's still absent from camp. Coach John Harbaugh, who previously admitted there's "some complexity" to Dobbins' absence, told reporters Tuesday he expects his running back to return soon, but that the "ball is in J.K.'s court." Harbaugh also said he spoke to Dobbins as recently as Monday. Still, conversations don't carry as much weight as actually hitting the practice field in full.

Regardless of if Dobbins is staying away due to a business decision -- he hinted to as much about missing minicamp and is entering the last year of his rookie deal -- or if he's solely focused on rehabbing away from the team, the Ravens have continued prepping without him even as they hope for his return.

One way in which Baltimore shielded itself from Dobbins not being ready to go was signing veteran RB Melvin Gordon on July 21. Gordon, entering Year 9, has been competing among other RBs Gus Edwards and Justice Hill thus far in camp. And although he hasn't played alongside Dobbins before, he feels he has a read of the locker room and sees "no bitter feelings" toward Dobbins over the assumed RB1's absence. Edwards also spoke up for the 24-year-old back, stating, "I know he's going to be ready because that's the type of guy he is."

Raiders confident in Jacobs' readiness whenever he returns

Josh Jacobs continues to avoid Raiders training camp in the aftermath of failing to reach a long-term agreement to avoid the franchise tag, and Las Vegas coaches continue to answer questions optimistically about how he'll still factor into the team's season.

On Aug. 1, head coach Josh McDaniels made it clear he understands Jacobs' process and looks forward to "getting him back and integrated into the group."

On Tuesday, running backs coach Kennedy Polamalu fielded a question about the difficulty of last year's rushing leader picking up speed once he returns after missing time.

"He's a pro," he said, per Tashan Reed of The Athletic. "He's in his fifth year. He knows how to take care of his body and go from there."

Polamalu has a point, which Jacobs has made for him again and again in his career to this point. The 25-year-old back already has three 1,000-yard rushing seasons, two Pro Bowls and an All-Pro campaign under his belt. In 2022, he posted career highs in total touches (393), rushing yards (1,653), yards per carry (4.9) and receiving yards (400) while blowing away his previous mark for first downs contributed (70) with 109.

That he put together the finest year of his career was both a blessing and a curse of the Raiders, who likely didn't expect such an output considering they had declined Jacobs' fifth-year option. A year later, Jacobs wants either more security, more cash or both in comparison to the $10.091 million franchise tag that remains unsigned, and he's so far been willing to stay home to prove it.

The most important question likely isn't how quickly Jacobs can return to form once back in the fold, it's if and when he'll actually come back at all.

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