Originally posted: September 12, 2017
American Football Conference
Baltimore Ravens RB Danny Woodhead (hamstring) is expected to miss 4-6 weeks of action with the injury he suffered in Week One at Cincinnati, the NFL Network reports. RB Buck Allen is slated to take over his complementary receiving back role to RB Terrance West.
Buffalo Bills RB LeSean McCoy won’t see a diminished workload anytime soon after getting 27 touches in the opener against the Jets, OC Rick Dennison told reporters. Although RB Mike Tolbert scored in his stead against the Jets, there are no plans to get Tolbert more involved in the offense.
Cleveland Browns WR Kenny Britt isn’t locked into remaining a starter, HC Hue Jackson told reporters after a disappointing debut plagued by drops. Although he’s still the best option opposite WR Corey Coleman, the team is looking to use RB Duke Johnson Jr. more as a wideout to supplement the passing game as a key safety valve for QB DeShone Kizer.
Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson (ankle) is leaning toward a team game-time decision whether he’s able to start over QB Tom Savage Thursday in Cincinnati.
Houston Texans TE C.J. Fiedorowicz (concussion) was placed on injured reserve, and his potential replacements, TEs Stephen Anderson (concussion) and Ryan Griffin (concussion) are also looking at missing some time, starting with Thursday in Cincinnati.
Indianapolis Colts QB Jacoby Brissett is likely to be the team’s new fill-in starter for QB Andrew Luck over QB Scott Tolzien in Week Two against the Cardinals, the Indianapolis Star reports.
Jacksonville Jaguars WR Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns will go forward as the team’s unquestioned new starters, and HC Doug Marrone told reporters he expects both to raise their game minus WR Allen Robinson. The team also signed WR Max McCaffrey, Christian’s brother, for depth.
Los Angeles Chargers QB Philip Rivers agreed to a restructured contract, ESPN reports. Rivers will be revved up for the team’s L.A. opener against a shaky Dolphins pass defense in Week Two.
New York Jets RB Matt Forte out-snapped RB Bilal Powell 35-30 in the Week One loss to Buffalo, ESPN notes. Powell is still considered barely first in line for touches in a marginal running game.
Tennessee Titans RB Derrick Henry, who was more effective with his 6 carries vs. starting RB DeMarco Murray‘s 16 against Oakland, hasn’t yet earned more work in the offense. Murray is expected to remain the workhorse for the short term after Henry works to rebound from a so-so preseason.
National Football Conference
Arizona Cardinals RB David Johnson (wrist) will be out 2-3 months, ESPN’s Adam Schefter was first to report. Following his injury against the Lions, the team re-signed RB Chris Johnson and also signed RB D.J. Foster off the Patriots’ practice squad. For now, RB Kerwynn Williams (early downs) and RB Andre Ellington (passing downs) will lead the replacement RBBC.
Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones is expected to be targeted and produce more in the Week Two potential shootout with the Packers, the team’s official website reports. HC Dan Quinn admitted Jones didn’t get the ball as much as the team liked against the Bears.
Carolina Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey‘s touches will continued to be managed as HC Ron Rivera told reporters the team wants to avoid wearing the rookie out. The 20 touches on 70 snaps in San Francisco may be about the cap for usage.
Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott saw the NFL file an appeal of preliminary injunction, according to multiple sources. Elliott will continue to start for the team for the foreseeable future, but there could be yet another big twist in his eligibility to play.
Green Bay Packers RB Ty Montgomery dominated snaps in the Week One win over Seattle, seeing 74 plays to rookie RB Jamaal Williams’ 6, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. That’s a ratio the team doesn’t plan to change soon, unless Montgomery gets more significantly dinged up.
Philadelphia Eagles K Jake Elliott was signed to replace K Caleb Sturgis (quadriceps), whom the team placed on injured reserve.
Seattle Seahawks RB Thomas Rawls (ankle) is expected to play in Week Two, HC Pete Carroll told reporters. He would immediately start vs. San Francisco over RBs Eddie Lacy and Chris Carson.
Seattle Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett played on only 26 offense snaps in Week One as the clear #3 wideout behind WR Paul Richardson, who lined up on offense for almost the entire game. He is being eased into the mix after his leg injury, HC Pete Carroll said, and should see a steady increase in work and targets after getting just three in Grene Bay.
Washington Redskins RB Samaje Perine was relegated to special teams only while active for his NFL debut in Week One. HC Jay Gruden wants to see more out of Perine in practice before trusting him with early-down running game touches behind RB Rob Kelley.
Tim Montgomery on Josh Gordon: ‘He’s coming’
Tuesday, September 12, 2017, 8:51pm
Tim Montgomery, the former Olympic Gold medalist and world-record holder who’s been working with Josh Gordon, said the Browns receiver is still in rehab but hopes to have his indefinite drug ban lifted soon after he gets out on Sept. 21.
“He’s coming,” Montgomery told cleveland.com. “I think he’s going to be there this season.”
Montgomery, who owns N.U.M.A. Speed in Gainesville, Fla., said Gordon checked himself back into rehab on June 21 in the hopes that a 90-day stint would be enough to convince the NFL to let him back in the league.
It’s Gordon’s fourth known trip to rehab, and he’s set to be released in a little over a week.
“He’s been clean, so we’re hoping after 90 days he’s reinstated and they put him back in the league, which it looks like they’re going to do that,” said Montgomery.
Gordon’s bid for reinstatement was denied on May 11, but he was told he could re-apply in fall. The league says Gordon’s reinstatement is “not under active consideration yet” according to another link in the story. It’s a bit of a lengthy read, but it’s likely the league will proceed with caution given Gordon has been suspended for 43 of his last 48 games, and faltered each team he’s been allowed back in, including last season on a conditional basis, the story pointed out.
Texans to start QB DeShaun Watson on TNF
Tuesday, September 12, 2017, 6:41pm
While Texans coach Bill O’Brien refused to name his starting quarterback for Thursday night’s bout with the Bengals, the decision has already been made.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Network’s James Palmer reported Tuesday that rookie Deshaun Watson has earned the nod over veteran Tom Savage, per sources. The game will be aired exclusively on NFL Network.
The first-rounder becomes the ninth quarterback to start under O’Brien since 2014, the most by any NFL team during that span.
The decision comes as little surprise after Palmer reported that Watson took every snap with the first-string offensive line during the walkthrough portion of Tuesday’s practice. Watson did tweak his ankle in Week 1 but is good to go.
Texan still mum on starting QB
Tuesday, September 12, 2017, 6:01pm
Texans coach Bill O’Brien on Tuesday declined to name a starting quarterback for Thursday night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson relieved Tom Savage in the second half of Sunday’s 29-7 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars after Savage and the offense struggled to move the ball. Savage was 7-of-13 for 62 yards and was sacked six times. Watson did not fare much better, going 12-of-23 for 102 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Watson did tweak his ankle in Sunday’s game and was listed as limited in Monday’s practice. The Texans play the Bengals on Thursday night.
Cards make it official, sign RB Chris Johnson
Tuesday, September 12, 2017, 5:58pm
The Cardinals officially placed running back David Johnson on injured reserve, meaning he will miss at least eight weeks before being eligible to return. He will undergo surgery for a dislocated wrist and is expected to miss 2-3 months.
The team also made the signings of running backs Chris Johnson and D.J. Foster official. Foster was signed off the Patriots practice squad. Chris Johnson was with the Cardinals until they released him Sept. 2.
Related players: Andre Ellington, Kerwynn Williams
This certainly muddies the Cards RB situation and puts a dent in Williams fantasy upside as eventually both Johnson and Williams will be battling for early down carries. As we stated earlier today, Tarik Cohen and Javorius Allen are now more attractive pickups on your wire.
Titans WR Corey Davis leads team in targets Week 1
Tuesday, September 12, 2017, 1:58pm
Corey Davis, the fifth overall pick in the draft, didn’t start the Titans game after missing the entire preseason with a hamstring injury. But he caught six of his team-high 10 targets for 69 yards, and played 42 of 64 possible offensive snaps (66 percent).
The story said Davis started to get fatigued and made some mistakes or the numbers may have been higher.
Eagles sign K Jake Elliott
Tuesday, September 12, 2017, 1:54pm
The Eagles have signed rookie kicker Jake Elliott off the Cincinnati Bengals practice squad, and placed Caleb Sturgis on injured reserve with a hip injury, according to a report from Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.
Elliott is a former Bengal 5th round pick.
Cardinals RB David Johnson needs wrist surgery, out 2-3 months
Tuesday, September 12, 2017, 12:00pm
Schefter: Cardinals are placing RB David Johnson on IR, per source, but with the chance to return this season. Johnson is expected to miss 2-3 months, source tells ESPN.
La Canfora: Cardinals intend to sign Chris Johnson with today’s MRI confirmed wrist surgery and IR (possibly to return) for David Johnson.
Related players: Kerwynn Williams, Andre Ellington
The earliest Johnson could return would be Week 10. The Cardinals play on Thursday that week (11/9), and that would be very close to two months of recovery. A three-month recovery timetable would put Johnson’s return around Week 14. Owners need to hold onto Johnson if they can, if only to see how his recovery is shaping up in late October. At that point, if the Cardinals are already out of the playoff hunt (unlikely, but possible), the team will probably just shut Johnson down for the year. In the meantime, Kerwynn Williams is likely to lead the team in carries while Andre Ellington is the favorite to assume most of Johnson’s role in the passing game. If the Cardinals do sign Chris Johnson, it puts a dent in Williams’ upside as a ballcarrier since the two will be vying for carries on early downs. As far as this week’s waiver wire goes, Tarik Cohen (especially in PPR leagues) and Javorius Allen are more attractive pickups than any of the Arizona running backs, but there is certainly a path for Williams and/or Ellington to turn into viable RB2/flex plays.
Saints Beat: RB Adrian Peterson could be odd man out
Tuesday, September 12, 2017, 11:10am
The Saints clearly prefer both Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara on passing downs – and they’re a pass-first team even when they aren’t playing from behind.
Kamara actually led the Saints’ backs with 31 snaps Monday since he lined up as a receiver several times. He caught four passes for 20 yards. Ingram, who is the Saints’ most trusted pass protector, had 26 snaps and caught five passes for 54 yards. Kamara and Ingram were on the field together a handful of times.
Peterson only played nine snaps in his debut. He did lead the team with 18 yards rushing, if you consider that good news. The story said he’ll continue to see work and even get some targets. However it looks like Kamara is going to be more involved in the running game than expected, according to the story. But, the Saints don’t appear any better off at running the ball than they were last season.
Jerry Jones expects Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott to play Sunday
Tuesday, September 12, 2017, 11:05am
Jerry Jones expects Ezekiel Elliott to be on the field Sunday when the Cowboys play the Denver Broncos. Beyond that, the Cowboys owner and general manager wasn’t making his thoughts known Tuesday morning.
“We’ve got a good narration going with the media that are really doing, in my mind, a pretty good job of explaining it to our fans,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM] of Elliott’s legal situation. “I’m not going to try to trump that, but the bottom line is, I do expect him Sunday.”
Jones wouldn’t commit to Elliott’s longterm status because it’s still possible he’s suspended. But as long as the process is still being sorted out, Elliott will be allowed to play. Jones said expect a similar workload to the 24 carries he received in Week 1 as long as Elliott takes the field.
Zimmer: RB Dalvin Cook’s debut ‘outstanding’
Tuesday, September 12, 2017, 9:31am
Dalvin Cook expected to sleep well Monday night.
The rookie running back made his regular-season debut at U.S. Bank Stadium and had, in the words of Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer, an “outstanding” night.
Cook racked up 127 yards on 22 attempts, averaging 5.8 yards per carry, in the Vikings 29-19 defeat of the Saints.
Related players: Latavius Murray, Jerick McKinnon
With a revamped offensive line, the Viking run game looked good Monday night. Murray didn’t help his case by fumbling on his first carry as a Viking and finished with just two carries for six yards. Cook looks to be the clear RB1 in Minnesota.
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