Best of Wednesday at NFL training camps: Jimmy Garoppolo’s pitch count, Patriots’ improved offense

NFL training camps continued on Wednesday, with more teams donning pads and ramping up the intensity as we get closer and closer to preseason games. Quarterbacks are starting to look more dialed in — check out some of the perfectly placed highlight throws below — and all eyes continue to be on offense vs. defense battles at practices.

On Wednesday, we saw Jimmy Garoppolo’s “pitch count” training camp plan in action, the Patriots’ offense making strides and glimpses of how the Washington pass game could be different in 2023. Here’s what you need to know from camps across the league.

Top NFL news of the day

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What our NFL Nation reporters saw and heard today

Las Vegas Raiders: Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who is being eased into training camp after undergoing surgery on his left foot in March, left practice Wednesday about ¾ of the way through as he was on a “pitch count” as part of his rehab plan, according to a source. Garoppolo sat out practice on Friday, and the Raiders will also be off on Thursday. With Garoppolo in the locker room, rookie Aidan O’Connell got the majority of first-team reps and had a nice connection with receiver Davante Adams on an out route to the right sideline. — Paul Gutierrez

Washington Commanders: The Commanders have spent a good chunk of time working on the passing game with their running backs and tight ends. Coach Ron Rivera has often said that one thing he liked about new coordinator Eric Bieniemy was his desire to get the ball to the running backs in space. So far, that’s what the Commanders have shown in practice. Second-year back Brian Robinson Jr. will be one beneficiary of that strategy — and he has shown terrific hands throughout training camp. He’ll be their main power runner, but he has increased his value because of his hands and improved route-running. Robinson caught another touchdown pass Wednesday when he grabbed a ball in the flat for a five-yard score, but he has caught passes off a variety of routes this summer. — John Keim

Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs practiced for the ninth time at training camp without defensive tackle Chris Jones, who is holding out for an improved contract. “I talk to Chris but not necessarily about contract stuff,” quarterback Patrick Mahomes said. “We just talk about football, how he’s doing. He’s working out, staying in shape. All of that will handle itself. All I can do is be supportive, be a good teammate. That’s one of the guys that’s been a staple of this organization for a long time. Hopefully we get him back in camp as soon as possible.” The Chiefs did get another defensive tackle back to practice, though: Tershawn Wharton worked for the first time at camp after missing most of last season with a knee injury. — Adam Teicher

Jacksonville Jaguars: Wide receiver Calvin Ridley was the star of the Jags camp through the first six practices, but No. 7 was a little rough. He dropped four passes in team, 7-on-7 and 1-on-1 drills on Wednesday. Ridley was dealing with a toe injury that he suffered during Tuesday’s practice, and coach Doug Pederson said the team was going to limit how much running he did. After Wednesday’s practice the Jaguars said Ridley’s injury was related to the cleats he had been wearing. He switched to a different pair, and that is expected to solve the issue and keep the injury from getting worse. — Michael DiRocco

New England Patriots: Quarterback Mac Jones busted out a Griddy at one point late in full-pads practice, as the offense was having success in the red zone, highlighted by TD throws to DeVante Parker and JuJu Smith-Schuster. That got a rise out of the crowd and reflected how the offense under the direction of coordinator Bill O’Brien is lightyears ahead of where it was at this point last year. As for the celebrations, which included Jones dancing with his fellow receivers, Smith-Schuster said: “Mac pulls up and we just make up new dances as we go. … When he is having fun, we are having fun and the confidence level is through the roof.” — Mike Reiss

New Orleans Saints: Saints running back Alvin Kamara was not at practice on Wednesday as he met with commissioner Roger Goodell to discuss his arrest in Las Vegas in 2022. The Saints moved practice indoors due to extreme heat, and for the first time in camp, the day belonged almost completely to the defense. Among the highlights of the day for that side: Defensive back Troy Pride Jr. picked off Jameis Winston in 11-on-11 drills, defensive end Payton Turner had several pressures and run stuffs in team drills, and linebacker D’Marco Jackson had a pass breakup in 7-on-7 drills. Cornerback Marshon Lattimore and wide receiver Mike Thomas also went up against each other three times in 1-on-1 drills, with Lattimore coming up with the pass breakup on the first try and Thomas getting the best of him on the second attempt. — Katherine Terrell

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