Wed Oct 2 1:43pm ET
By DENNIS WASZAK Jr.
AP Pro Football Writer
In this Sept. 8, 2019, file photo, New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) makes a pass during an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, in East Rutherford, N.J. Darnold has been cleared by doctors for non-contact activities, but his availability for New York's game at Philadelphia remains uncertain. Coach Adam Gase says Monday, Sept. 30, 2019, that Darnold can begin throwing footballs at practice this week but can't yet lift weights as he continues to recover from a bout with mononucleosis that has sidelined him the last two games. (AP Photo/Steve Luciano, File)
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) Sam Darnold was back on the field, breaking down the pre-practice huddle and tossing passes while looking as though he hadn’t missed a beat.
The New York Jets and their quarterback still need to wait before they know if he can play in a game.
Darnold practiced Wednesday for the first time since being diagnosed with mononucleosis three weeks ago. He still hasn’t been cleared for physical contact or lifting weights, leaving his availability for New York’s game at Philadelphia on Sunday uncertain.
“I like our odds better than what they’ve been,” coach Adam Gase said. “Last week, if we would have been playing a game, I would have said it was really low. I like the fact that things have looked and progressed in the right direction. ... There’s just some gray there still.”
Gase said Darnold will have additional tests Friday and the team will lean on the doctors to determine what the quarterback can do physically. The size of the quarterback’s spleen is being monitored. Swelling of the organ is a common symptom of mononucleosis. Damage to the spleen, including a rupture, is a serious - and, in some cases, life-threatening - situation, so the Jets and Darnold are being cautious.
Darnold was wearing a red no-contact jersey during practice, a common sight around NFL camps for quarterbacks. But, Gase doesn’t normally have his QBs wear them.
“No one’s going to touch him today,” Gase said. “I can promise you that.”
Gase acknowledged that the Jets could go as far as Sunday morning before determining whether Darnold will play against the Eagles or Luke Falk will make his second straight start. Falk will also get snaps during team drills this week. The team’s only other healthy quarterback is Mike White, who was signed to the practice squad last week.
“Ideally, it would be nice to say, this is what we’re doing,” Gase said. “That’s just not the situation. We’ve just got to keep talking to the doctors every day, keep talking with him and we have to be prepared to go either way.”
Gase spoke to the media before practice, so he was uncertain at that point as to how Darnold would look during practice - or how much work the quarterback would get.
“I just don’t know how it’s going to go,” Gase said. “We could go out there and plans could change. He could take every rep. It could go either way.”
The 22-year-old Darnold was diagnosed with mononucleosis on Sept. 11 and has missed two games because of the illness. He recently acknowledged he felt a bit under the weather - a sign the symptoms were beginning to affect him - in the season-opening loss to Buffalo on Sept. 8.
Darnold went 28 of 41 for 175 yards and a touchdown against the Bills, but wasn’t as sharp as he had been throughout training camp and the preseason.
The quarterback spoke Monday about not being concerned about his conditioning if he’s cleared to play, but more on his throwing and timing. Those are aspects of Darnold’s situation that will be evaluated by Gase, his coaches, general manager Joe Douglas - along with the trainers and doctors - to be certain that no one is rushing to get him back on the field, including the quarterback himself.
“That’s why it can’t just be one person,” Gase said. “That’s why Joe and those guys have to be involved. The training staff, the doctors. ... If it’s up to Sam, I know what’s going to happen. If it’s me, yeah. That’s why Joe is an important part of this. For him to say if it doesn’t look right.”
NOTES: LG Kelechi Osemele was expected to be limited with shoulder and knee ailments. ... WR Josh Bellamy (shoulder) was also expected to be limited. ... LB C.J. Mosley (groin), LB Jordan Jenkins (calf), WR Demaryius Thomas (hamstring) and RB/KR Trenton Cannon (hamstring) were all expected to sit out as they rehabilitate their injuries. ... The Jets signed OL Brandon Hitner to the practice squad Tuesday after Denver signed OT Calvin Anderson to its active roster from New York’s practice squad.
The Oakland Raiders Defense is coming off back-to-back stellar weeks and is in a superb spot to keep the trend going in Week 12. Led by the reigning Defensive Player of the Week Maxx Crosby, they've piled up 10 sacks and five turnovers in their last two games, helping them earn double-digit fantasy point totals in each contest. Their Jets opponent this weekend is allowing the second-most fantasy points to the D/ST position, and the third-most sacks in the league (41). Managers looking for a streaming option this week should ride the Raiders defense with confidence.
Oakland Raiders tight end Darren Waller has underwhelmed in recent weeks after a scorching start to the 2019 season, but he will look to rebound in Week 12. After averaging over seven catches and 80 yards a game through his first six contests, he's averaged just 3/45 in his four games since. The 26-year-old has still led the team in targets (22) in this span, so owners shouldn't hesitate to put him into lineups this week. Waller be a low-end TE1 versus a Jets Defense that's been surprisingly stingy versus the position in 2019.
Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr will be on the streaming radar once again in Week 12 when the team travels to New York to face the Jets. He'll face a defense that has allowed the 11th-most fantasy points to the position this season, including serving up big games to Ryan Fitzpatrick, Gardner Minshew, and Dwayne Haskins in recent weeks. Carr has put up respectable fantasy numbers since their Week 6 bye, and should have no trouble connecting with his receivers versus this mediocre secondary. The veteran's sturdy floor makes him a safe streaming option this Sunday with four fantasy-relevant quarterbacks on their bye week.
Oakland Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (shoulder) was listed as limited for Wednesday's practice, but is in no danger of missing Sunday's game versus the Jets. It's nothing new for the rookie's designation as the team is merely managing his workload after a heavy usage so far this season. Jacobs will be a fringe RB1 versus a Jets team that ranks first in the league in rush yards per game (79.1), but they've still been beaten with 10 touchdowns on the ground. Owners shouldn't hesitate putting Jacobs into their lineups in Week 12 despite the unfriendly matchup.
Denver Broncos wide receiver Tim Patrick (shoulder) missed practice on Wednesday. Patrick had four catches on a healthy eight targets for 77 yards in his season debut in Week 11 against the Vikings. Assuming he can play in Week 12 against the Bills, Patrick should once again be the No. 2 behind Courtland Sutton. However, against a stingy Bills Defense and with inexperienced quarterback Brandon Allen remaining under center, Patrick doesn't have a ton of upside as a deep league flex play. If he can't get cleared this Sunday, Daesean Hamilton would be the No. 2.
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Robert Woods was not with the team for practice on Wednesday, and head coach Sean McVay said there is no update on his personal matter. Woods was a surprise inactive last Sunday night because of personal issues, and it's unclear when he might return to the team. For that reason you'll need to have a backup plan in place for Week 12 when the Rams face the Ravens on Monday night. Woods will be even more of a risk with the game being on Monday. With Brandin Cooks (concussion) on track to return this week as well, Woods would be a boom/bust WR3 with how poorly quarterback Jared Goff has played of late. Baltimore's defense is trending up right now, so LA's passing attack could struggle again.
Washington Redskins DE Jonathan Allen (ankle, knee) and DT Daron Payne (ankle) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 20. FS Montae Nicholson (ankle) and DT Tim Settle (hamstring) were limited during practice. S Deshazor Everett (ankle), LB Cole Holcomb (thumb), CB Josh Norman (hamstring) and P Tress Way (shin) fully participated in practice.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers OT Demar Dotson (non-injury), LB Anthony Nelson (hamstring), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (knee) and S M.J. Stewart (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 20. DE William Gholston (ankle) and LB Carl Nassib (groin) were limited during practice.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (foot) was held out of practice on Wednesday. The Falcons are likely just giving the veteran some rest late in the season. Jones has battled nagging injuries to his lower body the last several seasons but usually plays through them and remains productive. The 30-year-old hasn't scored a touchdown since Sept. 22, but he's had at least 79 yards receiving in the last five games and has 100-yard performances two times in that span. He'll be a strong WR1 with the Bucs leaky secondary coming to town this Sunday. Jones should be targeted heavily with tight end Austin Hooper (knee) out for another week.
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett (leg) will not practice on Wednesday, but he could be limited on the field on Thursday. Coming out of the bye week, head coach Pete Carroll expects Lockett to play in Week 12 against the Eagles. He was a bust in Week 10 after going off for 152 yards and two touchdowns in Week 9, but Lockett always has WR1 upside with MVP candidate Russell Wilson throwing him passes. The volume isn't always there in this run-first offense, but Lockett could easily break a big play or two against Philly's secondary this Sunday. Check back on Thursday to see if Lockett returns to the practice field. If he does, he should be on track to play this weekend.
Washington Redskins TE Vernon Davis (concussion) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 20.
Fantasy Spin: Davis still has not been cleared to play by the doctors, so fantasy players should keep an eye on the situation. He should be avoided in all fantasy leagues until he is back on the field.
Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan (ankle) didn't participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 20.
Fantasy Spin: Ryan completed 21 of 31 pass attempts for 311 yards and a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers in Week 11. He's one of the top options this week against a horrid Tampa Bay Buccaneers secondary.
Washington Redskins WR Paul Richardson (hamstring) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 20.
Fantasy Spin: Richardson was not able to play in the Week 11 game but appears to have a chance to play this week. He has posted seven receptions and 76 yards in his last two games but can be avoided this week if fantasy players have better options.
Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman (foot), S Kemal Ishmael (concussion), DE John Cominsky (ankle), TE Austin Hooper (knee), DE Takkarist McKinley (shoulder) and DE Adrian Clayborn (groin) didn't practice Wednesday, Nov. 20. CB Desmond Trufant (toe) was limited.
Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (foot) was held out of practice Wednesday, Nov. 20.
Fantasy Spin: The injury isn't expected to keep Jones out of action against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 12. Jones caught six of eight targets for 91 yards against the Carolina Panthers in Week 11, but he hasn't found the end zone since Week 3.
Washington Redskins RB Chris Thompson (toe) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 20.
Fantasy Spin: Thompson appears to have a chance to play this week, so fantasy players should check on his status later this week. He would be used mostly as a receiver out of a backfield when he returns and would only be a flex option in deeper point-per-reception leagues.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper (knee) was a full participant in practice on Wednesday. Cooper continues to battle through injuries this year, but he's fully expected to play in Week 12's showdown with the Patriots on the road. He'll likely be shadowed by shutdown cornerback Stephon Gilmore in this one, but Cooper is a must-start fantasy commodity as long as he's playing. With that said, Dallas' No. 1 wideout will be more of a low-end WR1 this weekend, and fantasy owners should temper expectations just a bit.
New England Patriots WR Mohamed Sanu (ankle) didn't practice Wednesday, Nov. 20.
Fantasy Spin: Sanu had a monster game in Week 9 while catching 10 of 14 targets for 81 yards and his first touchdown with the team, but he took a big step last week with just two catches for four yards. He's a risky flex option only to be considered in deeper leagues.
New England Patriots WR Phillip Dorsett (concussion) didn't participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 20.
Fantasy Spin: Dorsett caught his fifth touchdown of the season last week against the Philadelphia Eagles. He doesn't have more than three catches in a game since Week 3, but the Patriots' high-scoring offense provides enough opportunities to keep him in consideration as a flex option.
Washington Redskins RB Adrian Peterson (toe) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 20.
Fantasy Spin: Peterson probably will return to practice later in the week and should have a good chance to play in Week 12. He received only 11 touches last week with Derrius Guice back in the lineup and probably will see a similar workload this week. Fantasy players may be able to find better options to use and can keep him on the bench.