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What We Learned from NFL OTAs: Injuries, NFC West's PED Problems and More

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There are few things that say “unimportant” quite like NFL OTA’s. The minicamps that follow them certainly gives them a run for their money, but it’s still not the real thing. As a result of the new CBA, teams aren’t allowed to practice as much as they used to be and are allowed to get much less contact in when they do.

That hasn’t stopped the players from creating something in the way of news these last few weeks. For a look at some of the more cringe-worthy or head-shaky of these moments, take a peek below.

1. Injuries Taking Their Toll: Even with the diminished levels of contact in these OTA’s, players are still finding ways to get hurt. Seriously hurt, I might add. Both Michael Crabtree of the 49ers and Melvin Ingram of the Chargers are both looking at missing considerable portions of the 2013 season after getting injuries in the early going. The injuries were enough to prompt the Chargers signing Dwight Freeney and the 49ers to consider giving A.J. Jenkins playing time.

2. PED Problems in the NFC West: Not sure why, but the NFC West of all divisions has been hit incredibly hard with PED related suspension since the beginning of OTA’s. The list of suspended players in this division includes: Daryl Washington, Bruce Irvin, Isaiah Pead and Rokevious Watkins. These four players combine for a total of ten games missed with Washington and Irvin registering eight between them - four each.

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3. Who’s Calling the Plays in Dallas?: For nearly this entire offseason there has been some doubt about who’s going to call the plays in Dallas next season. Owner Jerry Jones suggested that Romo was going to have an increased role in the offense, and then Jason Garrett came out and denied that was the case. Then last week Jones said that Bill Callahan will call the plays, and Garrett has yet to confirm this either. Only certainty at this point, Garrett’s role in the offense is taking a serious hit.

4. Daryl Smith Signs in Baltimore: The Ravens had trouble on their hands when they had to replace one retired linebacker in Ray Lewis, but that problem was only made worse when his replacement retired as well just after signing with the club. Maybe the second time’s a charm? The good news for the Ravens is that Smith presents considerably more upside than McClain anyways.

5. No Shows at Wide Receiver for the Giants: For the New York Giants, neither Victor Cruz or Hakeem Nicks have made even a single appearance at the team's training facility. While Cruz is working out a new contract, there has been little if any word on what’s kept Nicks from the team.

You can follow J.D. Burke: @JDBurkeOV