Sun Dec 23 1:01pm ET
By The Associated Press
Players: Derek Anderson, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Stanton, Jimmy Graham, DeSean Jackson, Andy Dalton, Chris Ivory, Cam Newton, Rob Gronkowski, LeSean McCoy, Charles Clay, Travaris Cadet, Julio Jones, A.J. Green, Ryan Griffin, Randall Cobb, T Y Hilton, Giorgio Tavecchio, Russell Shepard, Lamar Miller, Bennie Fowler, David Fales, Tavon Austin, Quincy Enunwa, Jeremy Langford, Odell Beckham Jr., Taylor Heinicke, Carson Wentz, Mose Frazier, T.J. Yeldon , Jameis Winston, Kyle Sloter, Jonathan Williams, Cody Core, Josh Lambo, Davis Webb, Tim Boyle, Mike White, Tyler Boyd, Laquon Treadwell, Kyle Lauletta, D.J. Chark, Daurice Fountain, Justin Watson, Isaiah Ford, Allen Lazard, Jordan Franks, Mike Boone, Ray-Ray McCloud, Keke Coutee
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski performs field drills during NFL football practice, Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is active against Buffalo despite ongoing back and ankle issues, and Bills running back LeSean McCoy is active against the Patriots after a one-game absence with a left hamstring injury.
The NFC North champion Bears have ruled out injured Pro Bowl safety Eddie Jackson (ankle) and linebacker Aaron Lynch (elbow) for their game at San Francisco.
Jackson (sprained right ankle) picked off a tipped pass intended for Jimmy Graham at the goal line late in last week's win over Green Bay, then had to be helped off the field when his leg bent awkwardly as he tried to slide on the return. That play also ended Aaron Rodgers' NFL-record streak of 402 attempts without an interception.
NFL interception co-leader Xavien Howard, who has picked off seven passes and earned his first Pro Bowl nod, is inactive for the third week in a row for Miami because of a knee injury.
Falcons star wide receiver Julio Jones will play against the Panthers. He's been bothered all week with a shoulder/neck injury. Taylor Heinicke gets the start at quarterback for Carolina with Cam Newton sidelined with a lingering shoulder injury.
Green Bay will be without wide receiver Randall Cobb (concussion) against the New York Jets.
Cincinnati linebacker Vontaze Burfict is active after being listed as questionable with a concussion. The Bengals, who are already missing quarterback Andy Dalton and star receiver A.J. Green, will also be without receiver Tyler Boyd (knee), who leads the team with 76 catches for 1,028 yards and seven TD catches. Cody Core replaces Boyd.
Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was ruled out Friday with an injured quad. He's missed three straight games and will be replaced in the lineup by Bennie Fowler III because backup receiver Russell Shepard also is out with an ankle injury.
Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who has started seven games this season, was a healthy scratch for the first time. That makes Ryan Griffin the backup to Jameis Winston.
In other Week 16 lineup news around the league:
-New England defensive end Adrian Clayborn is inactive for the first time this season.
-Dallas cornerback Anthony Brown (hand, back) is missing a game for the first time in his three-year career. The Cowboys will give defensive end Taco Charlton a shot against the Buccaneers after their 2017 first-round pick was a healthy scratch the past two weeks. Right guard Zack Martin is active after missing the first game of his five-year career last week with a knee injury that he's been dealing with since the preseason.
-Minnesota Vikings middle linebacker Eric Kendricks (hamstring) is inactive at Detroit and second-year linebacker Eric Wilson is expected to make his third career start in his place.
-Dolphins safety T.J. McDonald is inactive because of an ankle injury. Torry McTyer will start for Howard, and Minkah Fitzpatrick will start for McDonald. Running back T.J. Yeldon is a healthy scratch for the Jaguars.
-Receiver DeSean Jackson is active for Tampa Bay against Dallas after missing three games with a toe injury. The Buccaneers are out of playoff contention but could keep the Cowboys from clinching the NFC East for the second straight week.
-The Giants will be without linebacker Alec Ogletree (concussion) who is second on the team with 93 tackles and center Spencer Pulley. Tae Davis starts in place of Ogletree with John Greco replacing Pulley in the starting lineup.
-Indy will be without safety Clayton Geathers (knee), middle linebacker Anthony Walker (shoulder) and right guard Mark Glowinski (ankle). T.Y. Hilton (ankle) is active for the Colts.
-Deadrin Senat will start at defensive tackle for the Falcons in place of Terrell McClain. Kyle Love gets the start for defensive tackle Kawann Short, who will miss his first game in six seasons for the Panthers with a calf injury. David Mayo starts at outside linebacker for Shaq Thompson, who was placed on injured reserve earlier this week.
-Packers offensive tackle Jason Spriggs is inactive with a concussion.
-Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa will miss his second straight game with an ankle injury.
-Linebacker Tanner Vallejo is inactive. He's been the Browns' base inside linebacker since Christian Kirksey (hamstring) was lost for the season.
-Already ruled out for Monday night's game at Oakland is Broncos cornerback Brendan Langley (concussion).
Here's the full list of inactives for the early afternoon games:
The Detroit Lions signed free-agent cornerback Rashaan Melvin to a one-year, $3.5 million deal on Friday, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Melvin played for the Patriots in 2015 when head coach Matt Patricia was the defensive coordinator. The 29-year-old has been mostly a starter the last three seasons with the Colts and Raiders and had a career-high three interceptions with the Colts in 2017. He could be the replacement for Nevin Lawson, who signed with the Raiders earlier this week.
The Oakland Raiders signed free-agent quarterback Mike Glennon to a one-year, $2 million deal on Friday, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The 29-year-old will be with his fourth different team in the last four seasons and will serve as Derek Carr's backup in silver and black. Glennon has played in 27 games (22 starts) and is 6-16 as a starter in his five seasons in the NFL. He has 35 touchdown passes, 20 interceptions and an 84.0 quarterback rating. Glennon won't be fantasy relevant.
The Pittsburgh Steelers informed safety Morgan Burnett that they will release him by April 1 per the player's request, according to his agent, Kevin Conner. Both parties discussed trade possibilities before the release, according to a source. Pittsburgh signed the safety to a three-year, $14.25 million contract last season that included a $4.25 million signing bonus. Burnett missed four of the first six games of 2018 due to injury and recorded 30 tackles and six pass deflections in a sub-package role in 11 games. The 30-year-old had previously played eight seasons with the Packers.
The Los Angeles Rams are matching the Detroit Lions offer sheet for restricted free-agent running back Malcolm Brown on Friday. Brown's deal with the Rams is for two years with a $3.3 million base salary, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. He'll receive $2.1 million in practice guarantees ($1 million base guaranteed and a $1.1 million roster bonus to be issued April 15). Brown landed on Injured Reserve in Week 13 with a clavicle injury. He played just 15 percent of the offensive snaps and had 264 yards from scrimmage and one receiving touchdown. He's merely depth behind Todd Gurley.
The New York Giants re-signed wide receiver Cody Latimer to an undisclosed deal on Friday. Latimer played in the first three games and the last two games of the 2018 season but just one of the 11 games in between in his first season in New York because of injuries. He battled a knee injury and also spent two months on Injured Reserve with a pulled hamstring. Latimer finished with only 11 receptions for 190 yards and one touchdown and also averaged 24.6 yards on five kickoff returns. He might have more opportunities to make noise in 2019 with Odell Beckham Jr. out of the picture, but Latimer still doesn't have much fantasy upside.
The New York Jets agreed to terms with free-agent quarterback Trevor Siemian on a one-year, $2 million deal on Wednesday, a source told NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Siemian can make up to $3 million in incentives. The 27-year-old former Bronco didn't play at all with the Vikings last year while backing up Kirk Cousins. He was the starter in Denver in 2016 and 2017, completing 59.3 percent of his passes for 30 touchdowns and 24 interceptions. New York's addition of Siemian likely means that veteran Josh McCown, a 40-year-old journeyman quarterback, will leave in free agency or retire. Siemian won't have any fantasy appeal in his new digs while backing up Sam Darnold.
The New Orleans Saints are expected to sign free-agent tight end Jared Cook, sources told NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Cook, who turns 32 next month, had a career year with the Raiders in 2018, catching 68 passes for 896 yards and six touchdowns. The veteran can stretch opposing defenses down the seam and should open up more space for star receiver Michael Thomas on the outside. While it would be foolish to expect Cook to put up better numbers than he did in Oakland, he should remain a strong TE1 option in the high-flying offense of the Saints.
Updating previous reports, Los Angeles Rams LB Clay Matthews' two-year deal has a $9.25 million base value with $5.5 million guaranteed.
Pittsburgh Steelers FS Morgan Burnett will be released by April 1, per the player's request, according to his agent, Kevin Conner.
Free-agent QB Robert Griffin III (Ravens) re-signed with the Baltimore Ravens Friday, March 22, on a two-year deal. Financial terms weren't disclosed, and the deal is pending a physical.
The New Orleans Saints signed long-time Minnesota Vikings punt returner Marcus Sherels to an undisclosed one-year deal on Thursday, according to a source. The 31-year-old was the Vikings primary punt returner for the last eight years and averaged 12.0 yards per punt return in 2018 to finish in the league's top five for the third time in the last six seasons. He was also used occasionally as a kickoff returner and was a backup cornerback. New Orleans ranked in the league's bottom 10 teams in punt return yardage the last two years. Sherels won't be an option in most fantasy leagues with his move to the Saints.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE O.J. Howard (ankle) spent time running routes and catching passes from Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes Thursday, March 21.
Fantasy Spin: Howard was having a TE1 campaign in 2018 before an injury ended his season early, but he should be back at full strength well before the start of next season. He is a big-play weapon from the tight end spot and could finish as a top-five fantasy option at his position.
The Baltimore Ravens re-signed backup quarterback Robert Griffin III on Thursday to an undisclosed two-year deal. The 29-year-old will continue to back up starter Lamar Jackson in 2019. The former first-round pick can be an invaluable source for Jackson as he matures heading into his second season, but RG3 will continue to have no fantasy value.
Chicago Bears RB Jordan Howard is unlikely to have a role in the offense if he remains with the team in 2019, in the opinion of Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.
Fantasy Spin: Howard has always struggled to make an impact in the passing game, and after regressing as a between-the-tackles runner last year, the Bears don't have much incentive to feature him in the offense. Feel free to take a flier on him in the final rounds of drafts, but don't count on him to be a contributor for your fantasy squad.
The Indianapolis Colts signed free-agent outside linebacker Justin Houston to a two-year deal worth $24 million on Thursday, a source told NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Houston had nine sacks for the Chiefs last year, but he was cut with the team trying to get younger and defense while transitioning from a 3-4 base defense to a 4-3 scheme. The Colts also run a 4-3, but they project to use him as a defensive end for the first time in his career. The 30-year-old has dealt with a nagging knee injury in recent years but still has 18.5 sacks in the last two years. The veteran will certainly help boost a weak Indy pass rush from a season ago.
Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (toe) has been working out with teammates this offseason, according to RB Adrian Peterson.
Fantasy Spin: Reed managed to play in 13 games last season, but it didn't translate into much production on the field. Between constant health issues and slipping per-game numbers, Reed is no more than a late-round lottery ticket heading into 2019.
Los Angeles Rams WR Cooper Kupp (knee) said his recovery is where it is 'supposed to be' at this point in the process.
Fantasy Spin: Kupp is expected to be ready for the start of the 2019 season. He was Jared Goff's go-to target on third downs and in the red zone prior to the injury, and Kupp should be able to deliver WR2 numbers, especially in PPR formats.
Los Angeles Chargers TE Hunter Henry (knee) is expected to be ready for the start of OTAs, according to general manager Tom Telesco.
Fantasy Spin: Assuming he doesn't suffer any setbacks, Henry should open the year as the starting tight end for the Chargers and a low-end TE1 candidate for fantasy owners.
Free-agent PK Stephen Gostkowski (Patriots) is making progress in contract talks with the New England Patriots. Gostkowski has also received interest from other teams.
Fantasy Spin: Gostkowski struggled at times this past season but still can be a weekly starting option in all fantasy leagues.
Free-agent DT Al Woods (Colts) met with the Detroit Lions Thursday, March 21.