OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Lamar Jackson tested positive for COVID-19 and missed Baltimore’s first practice of training camp.

Coach John Harbaugh announced Jackson’s positive test after practice Wednesday and said running back Gus Edwards also tested positive. He would not go into much more detail about either case.

“It’s just part of the deal. It’s just the way the world is right now,” Harbaugh said. “We have 90% vaccinated, and I think we’re going to go above that, too, real soon here. So we’re in really great shape with the vaccinations.”

Jackson missed one game last season, in Week 12, when he also tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Jackson, who won MVP honors in 2019, is entering his fourth season with Baltimore. He threw for 2,757 yards with 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions last season. He’s also rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of the past two seasons.

Baltimore won a playoff game with Jackson for the first time last season, but the Ravens were then eliminated at Buffalo.

Edwards signed a contract extension through 2023 this offseason. He ran for 723 yards last season, helping the Ravens rank first in the NFL in rushing for a second consecutive year.

COWBOYS: Quarterback Dak Prescott left practice due to a muscle strain in his throwing arm.

The Cowboys didn’t want to push it and don’t consider it to be anything serious, according to media relations director Rich Dalrymple.

Prescott had an MRI, which showed a showed a muscle strain in his right shoulder and he’ll be further evaluated on a day-to-day basis.

Prescott, who had no issues through the first four practices of training camp, started normally. But he stopped during one-on-one drills with the receivers and defensive backs. He had an extended conversation with head athletic trainer Jim Maurer as they looked as his right arm.

Prescott stayed on the field through the next two drills as backup Garrett Gilbert worked with the first team offense in seven-on-seven drills.

JETS: The New York Jets kicked off their first practice of training camp without their hoped-for franchise quarterback. Zach Wilson remained unsigned, the only first-round draft pick to not have a deal done after San Francisco signed quarterback Trey Lance earlier in the day.

With Wilson, the No. 2 overall selection, still not signed, Mike White took the first snap at practice for the Jets. James Morgan is New York’s only other quarterback on the roster.

Wilson’s contract is slotted, per the NFL rookie wage scale, to be worth $35.15 million over four years and includes a $22.9 million signing bonus. But it appears the sides are working out offset language – a sticking point in the negotiations. That practice, shared by most NFL teams, provides clubs with financial protection if they release the player before the end of a contract.

The situation is eerily reminiscent to that of Sam Darnold, the No. 3 overall pick in 2018 who missed the first three days of training camp practices before signing his rookie deal.

The former BYU star – once he signs – is expected to start Week 1 for the Jets, who moved on from Darnold in the offseason by trading him to Carolina a few weeks before the draft. Wilson became the Jets’ highest-drafted quarterback since Joe Namath went No. 1 overall in the 1965 AFL draft. New York has been looking for a consistently successful franchise quarterback since Namath’s last game for the Jets in 1976, and the team is hoping Wilson can be that player.

PACKERS: Aaron Rodgers returned from a tumultuous offseason of uncertainty eager to get the Green Bay Packers to the Super Bowl after falling a step short the last two years.

Nobody’s making any promises regarding the 37-year-old quarterback’s future beyond 2021.

The reigning MVP participated in the Packers’ first training-camp workout, then he made it clear in a news conference that some of the issues that caused him to skip the team’s organized team activities and mandatory minicamp remain unresolved.

Does he expect to be back with the Packers next season?

“I really don’t know,” Rodgers said. “I think I’m just going to focus on this year. There’s a lot of moving pieces besides myself, expiring contracts from a number of guys, so there’s going to be a lot of tough decisions at the end of the year. I’m just going to enjoy this year and then revisit that conversation at the end of the season.”

Asked about the issues that led to his frustration, Rodgers gave a reply that lasted nearly six minutes.

The three-time MVP wanted to have a voice in the decision-making process and believed the organization didn’t treat departing high-character veterans with enough respect – mentioning more than a dozen former Packers, including Charles Woodson, Jordy Nelson and Julius Peppers.

He also hoped the Packers would commit to him beyond this season and asked to help recruit free agents. Rodgers indicated he didn’t get the answer he wanted and that the organization instead offered him more money.

GM Brian Gutekunst said Rodgers would be involved in the team’s decision-making process, but added that’s not a change from how the Packers have operated in the past.

One potential transaction could indicate Rodgers is getting a bigger role.

Veteran receiver Randall Cobb sent out a tweet with the message “I’M COMING HOME!” along with a picture of himself in a Packers uniform. Cobb spent his first eight seasons in Green Bay before playing for Dallas in 2019 and Houston in 2020.

Gutekunst said he couldn’t comment on Cobb because a trade with Houston hasn’t been finalized, but Rodgers noted that “I’m really excited Randall’s coming back.”

TEXANS: Deshaun Watson was on the field for the start of training camp with the Houston Texans on Wednesday. The future of the quarterback is uncertain after he asked for a trade in January before 22 women filed lawsuits alleging that he sexually assaulted or harassed them in March. Houston police and the NFL are investigating the allegations, but no charges have been filed.

Watson still wishes to be traded and reported to training camp solely to avoid being fined. He would have faced fines of $50,000 a day if he didn’t report.

Watson wore his red No. 4 jersey over a gray hoodie with sweatpants as he went through individual drills with the rest of the quarterbacks as practice began on Wednesday. He chatted with teammates and coaches during breaks in the action.

General Manager Nick Caserio spoke before practice and was evasive when questioned about Watson’s status with the team.

DOLPHINS: Miami Coach Brian Flores says he hopes to resolve a contract dispute with All-Pro cornerback Xavien Howard, who has requested a trade. Flores said it’s still possible to keep Howard in Miami and happy about his situation.

“There’s a way,” Flores said Wednesday on the Dolphins’ flagship radio station, WQAM-AM. “I think we just continue to have discussions with him, his representation, and keep the lines of communication open, continue having dialogue, and hopefully work something out.”

Howard reported for the start of training camp Tuesday to avoid being fined, and then posted a statement on social media saying he doesn’t feel valued or respected by the team. Howard skipped mandatory minicamp in June and is unhappy with the $75.25 million, five-year extension he signed two years ago.

“We expect him to contribute the same way he has,” Flores said. “We’ll understand his concerns, and we’ll just try to work through this as best we can.”

PANTHERS: Carolina quarterback Sam Darnold has had two coronavirus vaccination shots and will be considered fully vaccinated on July 30, according to a person familiar with the situation. Darnold had his second shot on July 16 and will be considered fully vaccinated 14 days later, said the person, who spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday on condition of anonymity because the team does not disclose players’ vaccination status.

Darnold spoke to the media on Tuesday without a mask and wearing a red band on his wrist when the Panthers arrived at training camp but wouldn’t say if he’d been vaccinated. Unvaccinated players are required to wear masks while speaking to reporters.

Several other Carolina players, including running back Christian McCaffrey, have also declined to say whether they’ve been vaccinated, citing personal privacy.

Darnold had said last month he was undecided on whether he would get vaccinated, saying that he “still has to think about all those certain things that go into it.”

“For me, I was just making personal decisions the whole way,” Darnold said on Tuesday. “That was pretty much it for me in terms of getting vaccinated or not. It’s been a personal decision the whole time so I weighed my options and made my decision that way.”

COLTS: Indianapolis right tackle Braden Smith signed a four-year contract extension Wednesday, a deal that will make him one of the NFL’s highest-paid offensive lineman. A person with knowledge of the deal said Smith would earn $72.4 million with $42 million guaranteed. The person requested anonymity because terms of the deal were not released publicly.

The Colts made the announcement less than an hour before they held their first training camp practice. The move will keep Smith off the free agency market in March.

“It’s kind of a little bit of a relief, knowing where you’re going to be the next few years,” Smith said after practice. “Indy is home. They paid me and now I want to pay them back.”

Smith wasn’t even expected to play tackle when the Colts selected him in the second round of the 2018 NFL draft, No. 37 overall. He was projected as a guard.

But as injuries ravaged the offensive line in training camp, they moved the rookie to tackle. He won the starting job and has been a mainstay on one of the league’s best offensive lines. He’s started 43 of 45 career games in his first three seasons and teammates lobbied publicly for him to make the Pro Bowl last season.

BENGALS: Joe Burrow says his surgically repaired knee is “just about 100%,” but the Cincinnati Bengals really don’t want anyone knocking their star quarterback around until absolutely necessary.

Burrow likely will not see much action in the three preseason games, staying away from most contact until Cincinnati’s regular-season opener against Minnesota on Sept. 12.

That doesn’t mean he won’t be working hard in practice after finally getting cleared for all football activities 10 days ago.

“Just another day at the office,” Burrow said Wednesday on the opening day of training camp. “Feeling great, still getting stronger in my legs.”

49ERS: QB Trey Lance signed his rookie contract ahead of the team’s first practice of training camp.

Selected No. 3 overall in the draft, Lance will receive a fully guaranteed four-year, $34.1 million deal. The Niners have the option to add a fifth year, as teams do with all first-rounders.

Lance practiced and looked sharp, impressing Coach Kyle Shanahan with a pair of deep balls to Deebo Samuel and George Kittle.


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