Here are some Whispers we've been hearing from our sources around the NFC:
• The Vikings are leaning toward giving RB Adrian Peterson some preseason action. The way things stand, he’s way ahead of their expectations as far as rehab and Peterson is itching to get back on the field prior to his stated goal of Week One. This is the most encouraging sign yet since Peterson tore his ACL in December. It would be an upset if he was not playing soon.
• We hear Packers FB John Kuhn, who failed his physical at the start of training camp and has been slow recovering from a sprained knee suffered in the Packers’ playoff game last season, could get a legitimate challenge from undrafted rookie Nic Cooper, who put up monster numbers as a running back at Winston-Salem State before converting to fullback.
• One blast from the past in Lions camp is RS-CB Justin Miller, who hasn’t played in an NFL game since 2009. However, he’s just 28, and he was once a Pro Bowl returner. “He’s sort of transformed his body a little bit,” Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said. “He was a 205-210-pound corner, a little bit pudgy. He came in in great shape, was in the low 180s, ran really well.” Miller’s return ability would seem to be his greatest asset with Detroit, although the club is a bit unsettled at cornerback, too.
• Giants OLT Will Beatty, who quietly was having a nice first season as a starter before going down for the year, appears back to his normal self. The back injury does not appear to have hindered him much, and all signs point to Beatty being the left tackle in Week One if there are no further injuries.
• The goal for Cowboys third-round DE Tyrone Crawford is to get him up in the 295-pound range so that he can be more stout at the point of attack as a five-technique. He played as a 4-3 end in college in the 275-pound range, but Crawford reported to camp at 290. This likely will be a redshirt type of year for him, at least at first, but by season’s end he could earn more snaps in a rotation.
• The early reports on Eagles CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie are that he looks sharp in camp. Although receivers got past him deep a few times in the early practices, DRC’s makeup speed is phenomenal, which should allow him — and the Eagles — to play more aggressively with man coverages.
• The Redskins' claiming of WR Dezmon Briscoe, after he was cut early in camp by the Buccaneers, shows that the team is continuing to seek ways to add as many playmakers at the position as possible. It also sends a message to many of the team’s holdovers, including former No. 2 WR Anthony Armstrong, that few roster spots are locked in stone there.
• After nailing down a new multiyear contract for starting C Max Unger, we hear the Seahawks could begin focusing on a similar contract extension for hard-hitting Pro Bowl SS Kam Chancellor, who is entering the third year of a four-year rookie contract worth about $2.1 million. Chancellor is scheduled to receive a base salary of $540,000 this season.
• Does newly acquired Leonard Davis, a former first-round draft pick and three-time Pro Bowler, figure to seriously challenge for the Niners’ starting ORG job? “It all depends on how healthy he is, and if he can keep his weight under control,” one team insider said. “It’s possible they might be thinking about him strictly filling more of a situational role in those six- and seven-man lines that they like to go with.”
• While free-agent addition William Gay opened up the Cardinals’ training camp as the starting CB opposite Patrick Peterson, our sources in the desert think Greg Toler, who missed last season with a torn left ACL, will give the former Steeler a serious run for his money throughout training camp. Said one source on the scene, “Gay probably has a little edge in experience, but Toler is doing everything on the field. It’s going to be a real battle, and I could see things changing during the season.”
• Rams head coach Jeff Fisher apparently plans on continuing to treat new C Scott Wells with kid gloves in the early stages of training camp as the ex-Packer slowly but surely continues to recover from his arthroscopic knee surgery this past spring.
• While some evaluators have their doubts about whether DT Brian Price will ever play to his potential, the Bears were pleased to acquire him from the Bucs for a seventh-round pick. Price reportedly failed to complete a conditioning test because of a leg injury before the Bucs dealt him, but he passed a physical conducted by the Bears.
• Falcons DE Ray Edwards was hampered in 2011 after undergoing a knee procedure just before the start of last season. He reportedly underwent another knee operation this offseason, but he said in June that he was back at 100 percent. Our sources on the scene at Falcons training camp say they have not seen much burst from Edwards in the early going, though. Atlanta is hoping for a more productive season from Edwards, who recorded only 3½ sacks in ’11 after making eight and 8½ in the previous two seasons while he played opposite Jared Allen with the Vikings.