Thu Jan 10 8:38 am
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
This injury list is a little more full this week, but much of it is good news. Several players are expected to return from injury this week. The first round byes were a big plus to a lot of teams, helping heal some of these injured players. Here is the latest injury news from around the league. . . .
Blake Jarwin, TE, Cowboys. Jarwin injured his ankle last week and is out of practice to start the week. His status is up in the air right now. We'll know more later in the week but get other options ready. Jarwin is looking iffy to play right now.
Cole Beasley, WR, Cowboys. Beasley injured his ankle last week but played through the injury in the game. He is out of practice to start this week, though. He is looking questionable to play right now despite playing with the injury last week. He appears to be at less than full strength right now. Consider him a game-time decision.
Melvin Gordon, RB, Chargers. Gordon is dealing with two sore knees now. He is not practicing because of the injuries. He played with the injuries last week, though, and we fully expect him to be in the game this week. He might not be 100 percent but you can expect Gordon to give it all he has in this big game.
T.Y. Hilton, WR, Colts. Hilton continues to miss practice because of an ankle injury. He has practiced rarely in recent weeks but continues to gut it out come game time. Expect him to follow a similar pattern this week. Hilton should be good to go this week and play his usual big role in the game.
Carson Wentz, QB, Eagles. Wentz remains out of practice because of his back injury. Nick Foles will start another game for the Eagles and could remain the starter going forward if the Eagles advance. We aren't sure when Wentz will be healthy enough to play.
Golden Tate, WR, Eagles. Tate is dealing with a knee injury and has been limited in practice. He should be just fine for the game this weekend, though. The Eagles won't push him in practice too hard but this injury should not be a huge issue in the game.
Mike Wallace, WR, Eagles. Wallace has not played since being activated from Injured Reserve a few weeks back. He is practicing on a limited basis. It isn't known if this is the week he finally makes the returns. But even if he plays, expect Wallace to have a limited role in the game.
Alshon Jeffery, WR, Eagles. Jeffery has a rib injury but played with the injury last week and produced his usual big numbers as the top target in this offense. This injury seems minor even though Jeffery has been limited in practice to start the week. We would feel confident in using Jeffery this week. He should be just fine.
Todd Gurley, RB, Rams. Gurley is back practicing on a limited basis this week. His knee injury is progressing. Gurley might not be 100 percent for the game this week, but all indications are he should be healthy enough to play. He has some concerns because of the injury but as long as he is playing, fantasy teams should have high hopes for Gurley.
Sammy Watkins, WR, Chiefs. Watkins has missed the last several games because of a foot injury but is practicing some this week. There is a decent chance he returns to the lineup and assume his starting duties for the Chiefs. HIs return would be a boost for an already great Chiefs passing game. Watkins is trending towards a return this week.
Spencer Ware, RB, Chiefs. Ware was close to playing the last game of the season but ended up sitting out the game. He has been limited in practice because of a hamstring injury, but seems likely to return to the lineup this week. Ware is likely to serve as the backup to Damien Williams upon his return this week.
Hunter Henry, TE, Chargers. Henry is set to return from his torn ACL. He is practicing in full this week and ready to return to the starting lineup for the Chargers. Henry is a great asset in the passing game, so his return is a big plus for the Chargers.
Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.
Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (Achilles) said that he wouldn't restructure his current deal. "It aint happening. No way Jose," Sanders tweeted. The 31-year-old tore his Achilles in practice on Dec. 5 and is schedule to count $12.94 million against the salary cap in 2019. If Denver exercises his 2019 salary before March 12, he'd be guaranteed $1.5 million. The Broncos would save $10.25 million by cutting Sanders, leaving only $2.687 million in dead money. Before the injury, Sanders was the team's best receiver, catching 71 passes for 868 yards and four touchdowns while also throwing a TD and running one in. It remains to be seen if Sanders will even be ready for the start of next season, although his production has been fine when healthy. If the Broncos move on, Courtland Sutton would be the unquestioned No. 1 receiver going into his second year.
Jacksonville Jaguars PK Kai Forbath was released Tuesday, Feb. 19.
Baltimore Ravens TE Hayden Hurst (foot) is fully healthy again after a screw was recently removed from the foot he fractured last August. Hurst was able to play in 12 games in his rookie year.
New York Jets impending free-agent FS Terrence Brooks will not have his 2019 option picked up, according to a source.
Dallas Cowboys impending free-agent DE DeMarcus Lawrence will not sign the franchise tag if the Cowboys were to use that on him this offseason. Lawrence signed the franchise tag last year and is waiting for a long-term deal. The last day for franchise tags to be used is March 5.
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said his client will likely make a decision on his playing future "in the next couple of weeks." While Gronk looked somewhat rejuvenated late in the team's Super Bowl run, the 29-year-old has been worn down by injuries throughout his career and has clearly lost a step. He hasn't played a full season since 2011 and had 47 catches for only 682 yards and three touchdowns in 13 games last year. He'd still be in the TE1 conversation if he returns for another season, but Gronkowski is no longer what we'd call an elite TE1.
New York Jets DT Mike Pennel's option for the final two years of his contract was declined Tuesday, Feb. 19, by the team, per source, making Pennel a free agent heading into the new league year.
Miami Dolphins WR Albert Wilson is one of the best bets to remain with the team out of a wide receiver contingent that appears headed for upheaval, and new position coach Karl Dorrell has quickly become a fan. 'He was pretty dynamic wasn't he?' Dorrell said recently of Wilson. 'He's a very unique player. I'm really excited about him. .... I hear he's doing a really good job with the recovery process but you could tell when he was on the field, he had a number of ways to affect the defense and to make the defense really pay attention to where he is and things like that.'
Fantasy Spin: A hip injury cost Wilson all but seven games in 2018 but he still led the team with his 15-yard-per-reception average and finished third on the squad with his four receiving TDs. Wilson is a definite fantasy WR sleeper to keep an eye on this summer.
The New York Jets should pursue a trade for disgruntled Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown if they're serious about winning, a veteran team reporter wrote Tuesday, Feb. 19.
Fantasy Spin: QB Sam Darnold had Robby Anderson and Quincy Enunwa to work with in his rookie campaign, but Brown would be an obvious upgrade for just about any offense in the league and especially so for a young, up-and-coming QB. And with new head coach Adam Gase taking over, it would be the perfect time to add a new weapon.
Free-agent TE Charles Clay (Bills) signed a one-year contract Tuesday, Feb. 19, with the Arizona Cardinals.
Fantasy Spin: Clay's target, reception and fantasy-point totals have been declined in each of the last two seasons, and now he's going one from shaky offense to another. And although the Cards are in dire need of a pass-catching weapon like Clay, don't expect much more than a TE2 season.
The Arizona Cardinals are signing free-agent tight end Charles Clay to a one-year deal worth up to $3.25 million on Tuesday, according to a source. The deal includes a $350,000 signing bonus. Clay was an afterthought in Buffalo's offense the last couple years and had only 21 catches for 184 yards and no scores in 13 games last season. He's unlikely to produce much more in Arizona with Ricky Seals-Jones and veteran Jermaine Gresham also in the fold with a young quarterback still learning the speed of the NFL. Clay won't even be worth drafting in most fantasy leagues.
The Jacksonville Jaguars exercised the 2019 options for defensive end Calais Campbell, defensive end Lerentee McCray and safety Cody Davis. Campbell has been a Pro Bowl selection the last two years with the Jaguars and has accumulated 25 sacks in that time frame. He'll enter his 12th season in 2019 and had a franchise-record 14.5 sacks in 2017. He became the first player in team history to have back-to-back double-digit sacks when he registered 10.5 quarterback takedowns last season. Campbell is a four-time Pro Bowler and is certainly an IDP force.
The Jacksonville Jaguars declined the 2019 option for tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins on Tuesday, making him a free agent. He started the first five games of the season and caught 11 passes for 90 yards and a touchdown before missing the final 11 games with a core muscle injury. His best year came in 2017 with the Jets when he had 50 catches for 357 yards and three touchdowns. Between injuries and off-field issues, teams are unlikely to be knocking the door down to sign ASF this offseason.
Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, met with Steelers owner Art Rooney, general manager Kevin Colbert and executive Omar Kahn Tuesday, Feb. 19, and all left with the understanding that a trade will be the best route, according to sources.
Fantasy Spin: Brown will be a stud WR1 anywhere he goes, but he may slide a little in a different offense while learning new personnel.
Updating an earlier report, Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown has received word that the team will attempt to trade him, but he has not received permission to speak to other teams.
Former Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers was hired by the Jacksonville Jaguars Tuesday, Feb. 19, as a defensive assistant.
New York Giants impending free-agent SS Landon Collins isn't in active contract discussions with the Giants, according to sources.
Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers will not be asked to run a dramatically different offense than the one he has operated for most of his career, according to offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. 'When you take a guy like Aaron Rodgers, who is a very good football player, I mean, he's kind of one of those guys where you can kind of pretty much do a lot of everything. I think a lot of it is going to carry over. I think some of the language will be different but it's going to be a lot of the same premises for him,' Hackett told PackersNews.com.
Fantasy Spin: Rodgers is unlikely to be the overall QB1 in drafts this summer following the emergence of Patrick Mahomes, but he'll come off the board shortly thereafter as the QB2 or QB3. It will also be interesting to see how receptive the 35-year-old will be to the schemes of new head coach Matt LaFleur and Hackett, although it's hard to imagine he'll drop off considering how vanilla Mike McCarthy had become with his play-calling in recent years.
Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell is unlikely to receive a franchise or transition tag from the team, according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.
Impending free-agent LB C.J. Mosley and the Baltimore Ravens are reportedly optimistic they will agree to a long-term contract before the March 5 deadline for franchise tags, according to ESPN's Jamison Hensley.