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Ravens S Thomas respectfully gears up for return to Seattle

Wed Oct 16 4:27pm ET
By DAVID GINSBURG
AP Sports Writer

Players: Russell Wilson

In this Sept. 8, 2019, file photo, Baltimore Ravens free safety Earl Thomas (29) intercepts a pass, as Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker (11), attempts to tackle, during the first half at an NFL football game, in Miami Gardens, Fla. Over the course of nine NFL seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, Earl Thomas picked off 28 passes, earned a Super Bowl ring and was selected to the Pro Bowl six times. Those are some of the memories the standout safety will take across the country before he faces former team on Sunday as a member of the Baltimore Ravens.(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)


OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) Over the course of nine NFL seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, Earl Thomas picked off 28 passes, earned a Super Bowl ring and was selected to the Pro Bowl six times.

Those are some of the memories the standout safety will take across the country before he faces his former team Sunday as a member of the Baltimore Ravens.

''They gave me my first shot. I won so many games there, grew up as a young man there,'' Thomas said Wednesday. ''So I'm always going to respect that organization and always going to be a part of it.''

The 30-year-old Thomas started 125 games in Seattle, but his 2018 season began with a training camp holdout and effectively ended when he extended his middle finger toward the Seahawks bench while being carted off the field with a broken leg in Week 4.

Thomas, however, views his exit as the result of the team's desire to save salary cap space while retaining their linebackers.

''I feel like they were kind of trying to phase me out,'' Thomas said.

Seattle coach Pete Carroll has a different take on the circumstances surrounding Thomas' departure.

''I wish he could have played with us and we could have stayed together forever. But it didn't work out that way,'' Carroll said. ''We parted ways. That's it.''

After losing safety Eric Weddle to free agency, the Ravens were delighted to provide Thomas with a four-year, $55 million contract. The deal surprised him, not just monetarily but in who offered it.

''I thought maybe the Cowboys, to be totally honest,'' he recalled. ''I thought that's what the story was looking like until the money got funny.''

And so ended a successful run in Seattle that included seven playoff appearances, two Super Bowl games and a brutish defense nicknamed ''The Legion of Boom.''

''He went on and pursued another opportunity, got a great shot with the Ravens,'' Carroll said. ''Earl was an incredible competitor, and I loved coaching him. I think it will be fun playing against him.''

Seattle's loss has been a boon to the AFC North-leading Ravens (4-2). Thomas already has an interception and 19 tackles in addition to providing leadership in the locker room and on the field.

''He has taken to the whole thing,'' coach John Harbaugh said. ''He believes in what we're doing and how we're doing it, culture-wise and football-wise. I love being around him. I love his demeanor. I love his desire to be great, and I think it's rubbing off on the guys.''

Thomas has no idea what to expect from Seattle fans who cheered for him for the better part of the past decade.

''I thought about it late at night,'' he said. ''Hopefully they respect what I've done and I get a couple of cheers, not too many boos. Whatever happens, happens. But hopefully it's love.''

Thomas said he's feeling ''no emotions yet'' but can't guarantee it will stay that way when he walks into the stadium he used to call home.

''Maybe when I get to the visiting locker room and see how that feels, maybe it will add something to it,'' he said. ''But other than that, it's business as usual. I'm going out there to compete, make plays and try to help us win.''

Understanding that this game has to be meaningful for Thomas, Harbaugh made the newcomer one of the team captains on Sunday.

''I'm sure that he's excited and looking forward to it,'' Harbaugh said. ''He's got a lot of friends there and the fan base there, I think for anybody it would be a meaningful thing.''

Thomas will be part of an ever-changing secondary that is without injured starters Tony Jefferson, DeShon Elliott, Tavon Young and Jimmy Smith. Baltimore traded for two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Marcus Peters on Tuesday and signed safety Bennett Jackson from the New York Jets practice squad.

Both expect to be used Sunday against the Seahawks (5-1), who have the league's eighth-ranked pass offense behind quarterback Russell Wilson. Peters was expected to join the team on Thursday.

''To me, he's one of the top corners in the league,'' Harbaugh said of Peters. ''He fits in real well and gives us another weapon back there.''

Player Notes
N'Keal Harry Nov 17 12:50pm ET

New England Patriots rookie wide receiver N'Keal Harry (ankle) is expected to make his NFL debut in Week 11 against the Eagles. The first-round pick has been practicing since Oct. 15 and was placed on the active roster before the Week 9 game against the Ravens, but he didn't dress for that game. Harry has some obvious upside in New England, but he's missed a lot of development time and will be behind wideouts Mohamed Sanu, Julian Edelman and Phillip Dorsett. There's a chance that Harry pushes Dorsett for playing time in three-receiver sets, but that may not happen right away, and he remains a long shot for meaningful production in redraft leagues down the stretch. Harry should be owned in all dynasty/keeper leagues, however.

From RotoBaller

Zach Ertz Nov 17 12:20pm ET

The Philadelphia Eagles are in discussions for a long-term contract extension with tight end Zach Ertz, offensive tackle Lane Johnson and safety Malcolm Jenkins, according to league sources. Ertz signed his last extension in January of 2015 and has become one of the best tight ends in the league since then. Johnson is considered by some as the best right tackle in all of football, while Jenkins has emerged as a leader for Philly's defense. Despite somewhat of a down year in 2019, Ertz leads the Eagles in receptions (46) and yards (527) while finding the end zone just two times. With Alshon Jeffery (ankle) out in Week 11 against the Patriots, Ertz could be set up for another big game.

From RotoBaller

Zach Ertz Nov 17 12:13pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles TE Zach Ertz has talked with the Eagles about a possible contract extension, according to sources.

Fantasy Spin: Ertz is not posting the numbers he did last season but still has been a consistent starting option for fantasy players. He should be a weekly starting option in all leagues and likely will have a big role in the passing game this week with Alshon Jeffery sidelined.

From TheHuddle

Phillip Lindsay Nov 17 12:10pm ET

The Denver Broncos are expected to ride running back Phillip Lindsay more in the backfield over Royce Freeman in Week 11 against the Vikings on the road. Lindsay and Freeman have been in a near-even timeshare for most of the season, which has really given Lindsay owners headaches after his breakout rookie season in 2018. But Freeman had just 15 yards on five carries in the Week 9 win over the Browns, and it sounds as though Denver wants to get Lindsay more involved this week against a tough Minnesota run defense. Lindsay is the back to own, and he'll have more RB2 upside this week, although Denver's offense could struggle with Brandon Allen making his second start at quarterback.

From RotoBaller

Damon Harrison Nov 17 12:03pm ET

Detroit Lions DT Damon Harrison (groin) is active for Week 11's game against the Dallas Cowboys.

From TheHuddle

Matthew Stafford Nov 17 12:03pm ET

Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford (back) may be sidelined for as many as six weeks because tiny, non-displaced fractures in the upper thoracic spine.

Fantasy Spin: It is not known if Stafford will be able to play again this season, so fantasy players will need to monitor the situation. Jeff Driskel will continue to be the starting quarterback but should be avoided in fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Donte Jackson Nov 17 12:03pm ET

Carolina Panthers CB Donte Jackson (hip) is active for Week 11's game against the Atlanta Falcons.

From TheHuddle

Le'Veon Bell Nov 17 12:00pm ET

New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell (knee, illness, ribs) and wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (hamstring, knee) are both active for Week 11 against the Redskins. Bell continues to fight through injuries in a disappointing first season with Gang Green, but he has another opportunity to break out against a weak Redskins front. He'll have low-end RB1/high-end RB2 appeal. If Bell can't get it done today for fantasy owners, there's not much hope that he'll be an RB1 the rest of the way. Thomas had a decent day in Week 10 but remains third on the receiver depth chart behind Jamison Crowder and Robby Anderson. Despite the good matchup, Thomas is a low-upside WR4/5 in deeper fantasy leagues.

From RotoBaller

T.J. Yeldon Nov 17 11:53am ET

The Buffalo Bills have declared TE Tommy Sweeney, WR Duke Williams, OL Ike Boettger, OT Ryan Bates, DT Vincent Taylor, S Dean Marlowe and RB T.J. Yeldon inactive for Week 11.

From TheHuddle

Mike Davis Nov 17 11:53am ET

The Carolina Panthers have declared LB Christian Miller, LB Jordan Kunaszyk, CB Ross Cockrell, DL Kyle Love, WR Brandon Zylstra, OT Dennis Daley and RB Mike Davis inactive for Week 11.

From TheHuddle

Demaryius Thomas Nov 17 11:53am ET

New York Jets WR Demaryius Thomas (hamstring, knee) is active for Week 11's game against the Washington Redskins.

From TheHuddle

Andrew Sendejo Nov 17 11:53am ET

Minnesota Vikings S Andrew Sendejo will start Week 11's game against the Denver Broncos in place of injured S Anthony Harris (groin).

From TheHuddle

Le'Veon Bell Nov 17 11:53am ET

New York Jets RB Le'Veon Bell (illness, knee, ribs) is officially active for the team's Week 11 game.

Fantasy Spin: Bell has been a big part of the offense for the Jets and should continue to receive a significant amount of touches. He will have a favorable matchup this week and is a must-start option in all leagues.

From TheHuddle

Deshaun Watson Nov 17 11:50am ET

Houston Texans left tackle Laremy Tunsil (shoulder) is expected to play in Week 11 against the Ravens, according to a source. Tunsil missed the Week 9 game but was able to heal up during the Week 10 bye. His presence is great news for the protection of quarterback Deshaun Watson in what is expected to be a high-scoring affair between two potent offenses. As usual, Watson will be a top-five fantasy quarterback on Sunday despite not having wide receiver Will Fuller in the fold.

From RotoBaller

Devonta Freeman Nov 17 11:43am ET

The Atlanta Falcons have declared FS Kemal Ishmael, DT Deadrin Senat, TE Austin Hooper, DL John Cominsky, WR Brandon Powell, RB Devonta Freeman and OL Matt Gono inactive for Week 11.

From TheHuddle

Devin Smith Nov 17 11:43am ET

The Dallas Cowboys have declared OT Connor Williams, DT Trysten Hill, LB Luke Gifford, FS Jeff Heath, WR Cedrick Wilson, DE Joe Jackson and WR Devin Smith inactive for Week 11.

From TheHuddle

T Y Hilton Nov 17 11:43am ET

The Indianapolis Colts have declared CB Pierre Desir, CB Quincy Wilson, OT Le'Raven Clark, WR T.Y. Hilton, RB Jordan Wilkins, QB Chad Kelly and WR Parris Campbell inactive for Week 11.

From TheHuddle

Vernon Davis Nov 17 11:43am ET

The Washington Redskins have declared DT Tim Settle, CB Deshazor Everett, WR Paul Richardson, OG Ross Pierschbacher, RB Chris Thompson, TE Vernon Davis and QB Colt McCoy inactive for Week 11.

From TheHuddle

Marshon Lattimore Nov 17 11:43am ET

The New Orleans Saints have declared WR Deonte Harris, OT Andrus Peat, WR Austin Carr, DE Carl Granderson, OT Ethan Greenidge, TE Dan Arnold and CB Marshon Lattimore inactive for Week 11.

From TheHuddle

Adrian Peterson Nov 17 11:40am ET

Washington Redskins running back Adrian Peterson is expected to remain the starter in Week 11 against the Jets despite Derrius Guice (knee) returning for the first time since the season opener, according to a source. It's likely that Guice receives his carries and catches on third down to start. His role could grow as the season wears on, but he won't make Peterson a healthy scratch like he was in Week 1 when Jay Gruden was still the head coach. Peterson has seen at least 18 touches in three of the last four games and has gone over 100 yards in two of them. He remains the starter, but he'll inevitably lose valuable touches to Guice, making him a low-upside RB3 in a low-scoring offense led by a rookie quarterback. Guice has even less appeal as a desperation RB3/flex in PPR formats after a long layoff.

From RotoBaller