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New turf at MetLife Stadium passes latest NFL inspection

Thu Sep 24 1:02pm ET
AP Sports Writer

San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa (97) is driven off the field after being injured during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in East Rutherford, N.J. After losing four players to knee injuries last week against the New York Jets, the Niners complained about a sticky new turf at MetLife Stadium and expressed some concern about returning to the same field a week later. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun, File)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) The turf at MetLife Stadium is good to go for Sunday's game between the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers.

The NFL said the latest inspection of the field on Wednesday showed the Field Turf surface meets all applicable standards and protocols for its field surfaces.

The examination was conducted by representatives from the NFL, NFLPA, MetLife Stadium, the Giants and Jets, Field Turf and the independent field inspector. It was conducted after the 49ers lodged complaints that the ''sticky'' surface caused at least four players to sustain knee injuries in a 31-13 win over the Jets on Sunday.

Defensive Rookie of the Year Nick Bosa and fellow lineman Solomon Thomas had season-ending ACL injuries. Running backs Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman are likely to be out several weeks with sprained knees.

San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garappolo sprained an ankle and may not play. Nick Mullens is the likely starter, coach Kyle Shanahan said Wednesday.

MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, is the home field of the Jets and Giants, who also own the roughly 80,000-seat stadium.

The Giants have worked out on the field almost every day in training camp, either practicing or engaging in walk-throughs. Coach Joe Judge said none of his players complained about the surface during that time.

The installation of the new turf surface was completed on June 8.

Games in New Jersey are currently being played without fans in attendance.

Player Notes
Alshon Jeffery Sep 24 1:30pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (foot) is on the practice field on Thursday with a helmet and looks to be ready to get some practice work in. Everything is pointing to Jeffery being ready to make his 2020 season debut within the next few weeks after he underwent surgery for a foot sprain last December. It will be much-needed for a struggling Philly offense that just placed rookie first-rounder Jalen Reagor (thumb) on Injured Reserve. J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Greg Ward and rookie John Hightower should see more playing time until both Jeffery and Reagor return, but DeSean Jackson is the only viable fantasy play in Week 3 against the Bengals as a boom/bust WR3/flex. Although the 30-year-old Jeffery has a much lower ceiling these days, he may be worth stashing if you have the room and are hurting at the receiver position.

From RotoBaller

Breshad Perriman Sep 24 1:20pm ET

New York Jets wide receiver Breshad Perriman (ankle) will not practice on Thursday, while wide receiver Chris Hogan (rib) is limited while dealing with a rib injury. On top of it, Jamison Crowder (hamstring) is expected to miss his second straight game against the Colts. Braxton Berrios and Josh Malone are the only other wideouts on the roster, although Lawrence Cager could get called up from the practice squad. Running back Le'Veon Bell is also out. The Jets offense is downright ugly, making the Colts Defense a strong streaming option this week. Perriman is considered week-to-week, but you should've already been looking to avoid him in standard 12-team leagues. Other than maybe tight end Chris Herndon as a flex sleeper, it would be smart to avoid Gang Green.

From RotoBaller

Christian Kirk Sep 24 1:00pm ET

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk (groin) is sitting out practice once again on Thursday as he continues to deal with a groin injury. He's currently listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions, but he may move to doubtful if he's unable to get in even a limited practice on Friday. If Kirk is out on Sunday, Andy Isabella could see an increased role in the offense, but is still a pretty risky player to start in fantasy this week. Isabella caught both of his targets for 67 yards in Week 2 while Kirk caught two of his four targets for 57 yards.

From RotoBaller

Minnesota Vikings Sep 24 12:30pm ET

The Minnesota Vikings are signing former Denver Broncos linebacker Todd Davis to a one-year deal on Thursday, according to a source. It'll give the Vikings some depth at the position following the season-ending injury to Anthony Barr (pectoral). Davis had two straight seasons of 100-plus tackles in Denver, so he could really help the Vikings make up for Barr's absence. However, with the Vikings getting trampled both on the ground and through the air through two weeks, you can continue avoiding them in fantasy football, especially with the Titans on the scheduled this weekend.

From RotoBaller

Jamison Crowder Sep 24 12:30pm ET

New York Jets head coach Adam Gase said that wide receiver Jamison Crowder (hamstring) is doubtful to play in Week 3 against the Colts. Crowder didn't practice on Wednesday and is expected to sit out on Thursday, too, making him likely to miss his second straight game. As quarterback Sam Darnold's favorite weapon, Crowder is really the only Jets receiver worth starting in most fantasy leagues at this point, but it looks like you'll have to go in another direction for another week. Breshad Perriman, Chris Hogan and Braxton Berrios should operate in three-receiver sets if Crowder misses another game, with tight end Chris Herndon being a sleeper in DFS and deeper leagues.

From RotoBaller

D.J. Chark Sep 24 12:20pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver D.J. Chark Jr. (back, chest), who is questionable for the Thursday night game against the Dolphins, is trending upward, but no final decision on his status will be made until closer to kickoff, according to a source. Chark has been limited in practice the last two days, so he has a good chance of being active. The 24-year-old has flown under the radar through two weeks with teammate Keelan Cole getting most of the recognition, but Chark remains the team's No. 1 wideout. If active, Chark should draw the coverage of cornerback Xavien Howard. He'll be a WR3 in fantasy for Week 3. If he sits, Cole, rookie Laviska Shenault Jr. and Chris Conley will see more work.

From RotoBaller

Baker Mayfield Sep 24 12:10pm ET

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield turned in a serviceable performance in a Week 2 win over the Cincinnati Bengals as he tossed two touchdowns and notched 219 passing yards. He will face off against the Washington Football Team at home in Week 3 in what could be a tough matchup. While Washington's secondary has been suspect, they boast a dominant pass rush that could give Mayfield fits on Sunday. That sets Mayfield up as a boom/bust QB2 in fantasy. It all depends on whether his offensive line can give him time to operate. If that happens, Mayfield could have a good afternoon. That being said, if Washington can hurry him consistently throughout the contest, it could look a lot like his Week 1 dud. Fantasy gamers should treat Mayfield as a low-end QB2 for Week 3.

From RotoBaller

Pittsburgh Steelers Sep 24 12:00pm ET

The Pittsburgh Steelers Defense is a strong option heading into a Week 3 matchup against the Houston Texans. Pittsburgh's defense has been one of the best in the league through two weeks and will face off against a leaky Houston offensive line that has allowed Deshaun Watson to get sacked eight times through two games. While Watson is a special talent, the Steelers defense is primed for another solid fantasy performance as four-point home favorites. Start the Pittsburgh D/ST in all formats for Week 3.

From RotoBaller

Eric Ebron Sep 24 10:30am ET

Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Eric Ebron is off to a slow start with his new team. Ebron has caught just four passes for 61 yards and has yet to find the end zone through two games. The veteran tight end has shown in past years that he has plenty of touchdown upside but it appears he's going to need to find the end zone to be useful in fantasy in 2020 as he's the fourth or fifth option at best in the Pittsburgh passing attack. Fantasy gamers should have a better starting option than Ebron in Week 3 as he's just a low-end TE2, even against a weak Houston Texans pass defense.

From RotoBaller

Chase Claypool Sep 24 10:30am ET

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool showed his explosiveness in Week 2 when he caught three passes for 88 yards and a touchdown. The rookie wideout is suddenly of interest in redraft leagues after catching all five of his targets for 127 yards and a score through two weeks. He draws a plus matchup against a weak Houston Texans Defense in Week 3. Fantasy gamers can fire up Claypool as a boom/bust flex in Week 3 but understand that he's a risky option. While he may grow into a larger role later in the season, Claypool isn't being targeted heavily and will need to break a big play to help in fantasy at this point.

From RotoBaller

Diontae Johnson Sep 24 10:20am ET

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson has lived up to the preseason hype so far through two games in the 2020 season. Johnson leads the team in targets (23), receptions (14), and receiving yards (149) at this point in the season. Fantasy gamers will want to lock Johnson into their starting lineups ahead of a Week 3 matchup against a leaky Houston Texans pass defense. Houston ranks just 23rd in DVOA against the pass through two games and have little chance at slowing the ascending Johnson. Treat Johnson as a low-end WR1 for Week 3 and a great value play in DFS contests as his price hasn't caught up with his production.

From RotoBaller

Jordan Reed Sep 24 10:10am ET

San Francisco 49ers tight end Jordan Reed was the focal point of the team's passing game in Week 2. Reed caught a team-high seven passes on eight targets for 50 yards and two touchdowns. The team's No. 1 tight end George Kittle (knee) returned to practice on a limited basis this week and is currently questionable to play in Week 3. If Kittle plays, Reed is a risky start and probably best to avoid. If Kittle sits again, Reed is a solid low-end starting tight end option. The team's starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle) is questionable for the game and if backup Nick Mullens gets the start, all 49ers pass-catchers figure to have a tougher time producing. Don't count on a repeat of Week 2 from Reed if Kittle sits and Mullens is under center, but he should still see enough targets to warrant starting.

From RotoBaller

Benny Snell Jr. Sep 24 10:10am ET

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Benny Snell Jr. struggled in a Week 2 win over the Denver Broncos. Many expected Snell to split carries with James Conner after the latter injured his ankle in Week 1, but instead Conner out-touched Snell 18 to four last week. If Snell is going to remain in a strict backup role then fantasy gamers should have little trouble finding a better option to start for Week 3. Treat Snell as a nothing more than a handcuff option to Conner going forward and leave him on the bench despite a favorable Week 3 matchup against the Houston Texans.

From RotoBaller

San Francisco 49ers Sep 24 10:10am ET

The 49ers Defense should be in position to have a solid fantasy output in Week 3, despite losing star defensive end Nick Bosa (ACL) for the season. The 49ers have a plethora of injuries on offense and that will likely lead to a defensive battle in Week 3 against the New York Giants. Giants quarterback Daniel Jones has three interceptions through two games and has been sacked seven times. Expect the 49ers to hold the Giants under 20 points while also forcing some turnovers, making them a solid starting option in Week 3.

From RotoBaller

JuJu Smith-Schuster Sep 24 10:10am ET

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster is off to a solid start in 2020, posting 13 receptions for 117 yards and two touchdowns through two games. It appears that Smith-Schuster has taken a back seat to Diontae Johnson in the passing attack but the former still has plenty of fantasy appeal in Week 3 against the Houston Texans. Houston's pass defense has struggled this season, ranking just 23rd in DVOA through their first two games. A Ben Roethlisberger-led passing attack has shown in years past that it can support two wide receivers in fantasy. Fantasy gamers can trust Smith-Schuster as a solid WR2 for Sunday's game.

From RotoBaller

Sep 24 10:03am ET

Chicago Bears DT John Jenkins (thumb) tore a ligament in his thumb in Week 2 and played through it, but he's likely out several games. DT Daniel McCullers was signed off the Pittsburgh Steelers' practice squad.

From TheHuddle

Jabaal Sheard Sep 24 10:03am ET

Free-agent LB Jabaal Sheard (Colts) is visiting the Detroit Lions Thursday, Sept. 24.

From TheHuddle

Brandon Aiyuk Sep 24 10:00am ET

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk caught two of his three targets for 21 yards in his NFL debut in Week 2. This week, Aiyuk could find himself catching passes from backup quarterback Nick Mullens if the team's starter Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle) is unable to go. Garoppolo is currently questionable for the game. Kendrick Bourne has been the team's most-targeted wide receiver so far this year and that should remain the case in Week 3. Meanwhile, the team might get George Kittle (knee) back in Week 3, which would lower Aiyuk's target potential even more. Aiyuk isn't a viable starting option this week and can be left on waivers with the team's projected No. 1 receiver Deebo Samuel (foot) likely to return soon.

From RotoBaller

James Conner Sep 24 10:00am ET

Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner showed that his ankle was healthy in Week 2 when he handled 18 touches in a win over the Denver Broncos. Conner saw the majority of the running back touches, showing that Pittsburgh intends to reinstall him as the bell-cow as long as he's healthy. Conner will face off against a shaky Houston Texans Defense in Week 3 in what is a favorable matchup for all of the Pittsburgh skill players. Houston's run defense ranks just 24th in DVOA through the first two games of the season. Treat Conner as an upside RB2 for Week 3.

From RotoBaller

D.J. Chark Sep 24 9:53am ET

Jacksonville Jaguars WR DJ Chark Jr. (chest, back) is trending upward, but no final decision will be made until closer to kickoff Thursday, Sept. 24.

Fantasy Spin: Chark is useable as a WR3, but if you have a healthier option on that WR3/flex apex, you can go with the latter.

From TheHuddle