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NFL Playoffs League - FFL: Week 4 | NFL: Superbowl

Buccaneers-Lions Preview

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DETROIT (AP) - Jameis Winston has plenty to play for and Darius Slay does, too.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Detroit Lions have been eliminated from the playoff picture, putting their team goals out of reach.

But Winston and Slay are among a group of players who will have something at stake Sunday at Ford Field and over the last two games of the season.

Winston, who intends to play in Detroit with a small fracture in his right thumb, is in the final year of the contract he signed as the No. 1 pick overall in 2015.

The injury didn't stop him from throwing for a career-high 456 yards along with four touchdowns in last week's win against the Indianapolis Colts. But he also tossed three more interceptions to increase his NFL-high total to 23.

Even though his future is up in the air, Winston insisted he's not thinking about next season.

"I got an opponent to focus on and it's bigger than me," he said. "It's about this team, so we got to focus on how we are going to try to beat the Detroit Lions and whoever our opponent is next week."

Slay has one more season worth about $10 million on his deal, and there's a chance the standout cornerback may end up on another team next season. He publicly questioned the decision to trade safety Quandre Diggs to Seattle for a fifth-round pick earlier this season.

Here are some other things to watch when Tampa Bay (6-7) meets the Lions (3-9-1) in the Motor City:

EVANS OUT

Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans might miss the rest of the season after he pulled a hamstring during a 61-yard TD reception last weekend. He is among the NFL leaders with 1,157 yards receiving and eight touchdown catches.

The absence of the star receiver doesn't necessarily mean Detroit's secondary will catch a break. Chris Godwin ranks second in the league with 1,212 yards receiving. With nine receiving touchdowns, he trails only Detroit's Kenny Gollday in the NFL.

Tight ends O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate, who scored last week, may get more targets without Evans on the field. Receivers Breshad Perriman and Justin Watson each caught a touchdown pass last weekend and could get an opportunity to score again against the league's 30th-ranked defense against the pass.

"Nobody is going to be Mike, but just be yourself," coach Bruce Arians told the receiving corps. "Whoever is playing the position, be yourself, do your job, and catch the damn ball when it's thrown to you."

MISSING MARVIN

The Lions also lost a key receiver last weekend. Marvin Jones was placed on injured reserve after he hurt his ankle in a loss at Minnesota. He caught 62 passes for 779 yards and nine touchdowns this season.

Detroit signed Travis Fulgham off its practice squad to bolster its depth at the position. Veteran receiver Danny Amendola may play a larger role, and running back J.D. McKissic likely becomes an option at slot receiver.

"We'll be ready to go with whatever we got and work to move forward," said rookie quarterback David Blough, who will make his third straight start for the injured Matthew Stafford.

SUH RETURNS

For the second year in a row with a second team, Ndamukong Suh is set to face the franchise that drafted him No. 2 overall in 2011. He played with the Los Angeles Rams last year in Detroit before helping them reach the Super Bowl. Now he's back with the Buccaneers.

The 10th-year pro spent five seasons with the Lions before signing with Miami and spending three seasons with the Dolphins. The five-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle still has friends and fond memories in Detroit.

"Great people there, always showed me love, even when I'm there during the offseason," Suh said.

He signed with Tampa Bay as a free agent last May and has 1½ sacks and 13 quarterback hits. He also has recovered four fumbles, returning two of them for touchdowns.

"He has been playing lights out," Arians said.

KEEPING HOPE

The Lions have lost six straight, five without Stafford, and nine of 10. The tough stretch has increased the heat on coach Matt Patricia.

The former New England defensive coordinator has a 9-19-1 record overall in Detroit. His mentor, Patriots coach Bill Belichick, lost 19 games over his first two years as an NFL head coach in Cleveland and has become one of the game's greats on the sideline.

"Certainly, there's inspiration like that I think all the way across the board with a lot of great coaches," Patricia said.

CLOSING STRONG

Even though Tampa Bay will miss the playoffs for a 12th straight season, it can reach .500 in Detroit with a fourth straight win. The Buccaneers can finish the season with a winning record by closing the season with six wins in a row.

Arians, in his first season, is seeing a shift in the team's culture.

"Just watching our guys and how hard they practiced, in December, really can't ask for more as a coach," he said.---

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Player Notes
Philip Rivers Jan 28 4:40pm ET

Updating a previous story from Monday, the Los Angeles Chargers haven't officially moved on from quarterback Philip Rivers, as FOX Sports' Jay Glazer alluded to. All options remain available with the veteran gunslinger, including the franchise tag. However, the fact that Rivers moved his family 2,000 miles away from Los Angeles to Florida could factor into the decision on both sides. The writing seems to be on the wall for the Bolts to cut ties with Rivers when he becomes a free agent this March. The 38-year-old had one of the worst seasons of his career in 2019 in his 16th and likely final season with the Chargers. Rivers can still put up numbers as he gets closer to retirement, but fantasy owners will likely be drafting him as a backup for the 2020 season, no matter where he winds up.

From RotoBaller

Patrick Mahomes Jan 28 2:50pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt said the team could wait until next year to sign quarterback Patrick Mahomes to a long-term contract extension. "I don't want to say necessarily it has to be this offseason, but I will say that it's a priority to get him done," Hunt said. A first-round pick in 2017, Mahomes is eligible for a contract extension now that he's finished his third year in the NFL, but it sounds like the Chiefs aren't exactly in a hurry to get something done. The 24-year-old didn't post the gaudy numbers he had in 2018 -- 5,097 yards, 50 touchdowns -- but he was still more than adequate with 4,031 yards, 26 touchdowns and only five interceptions in 14 games. Mahomes is an elite signal-caller with exceptional athleticism with both his arm and legs. He's here to stay as a high-end QB1 and will take on the 49ers in the Super Bowl this Sunday.

From RotoBaller

Alex Collins Jan 28 12:43pm ET

Free-agent RB Alex Collins (Ravens) and QB Chris Streveler (CFL) worked out for the Miami Dolphins recently.

From TheHuddle

Dee Ford Jan 28 12:13pm ET

San Francisco 49ers DE Dee Ford (knee, hamstring) said he's not 100 percent and will play through pain of knee tendonitis and a hamstring injury in the Super Bowl.

From TheHuddle

LeSean McCoy Jan 27 10:10pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs running back LeSean McCoy, who hasn't had a touch since Week 15 and who was inactive for the AFC Championship against the Titans, said he's not ready to retire after this season. "Nah, I'm not ready to retire, yet," McCoy said. "I still can play. So, I'm not going to retire yet, but that day is coming. That day is definitely coming." The 31-year-old has taken a back seat to running backs Damien Williams and rookie Darwin Thompson down the stretch, and he's unlikely to have much of a role, if any, in the Super Bowl against the 49ers. Shady has become more of a mentor in the running back room than an on-field performer for fantasy owners.

From RotoBaller

Tevin Coleman Jan 27 10:03pm ET

San Francisco 49ers RB Tevin Coleman (shoulder) said his injured shoulder is feeling good but wants to see how his range of motion is and how he will be able to manage the pain in his shoulder.

Fantasy Spin: Fantasy players will need to monitor Coleman's practice participation this week to see if he will be in any danger of missing the Super Bowl. He will be part of a committee if he plays and can be a flex option.

From TheHuddle

Philip Rivers Jan 27 7:23pm ET

Los Angeles Chargers impending free-agent QB Philip Rivers' status with the Chargers is uncertain at this time, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The team may consider placing the franchise tag on him or let him leave in free agency.

Fantasy Spin: Fantasy players will need to monitor the situation to see where Rivers will be playing in 2020. He likely will find a starting job this offseason but may only be a No. 2 quarterback in fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

George Kittle Jan 27 6:23pm ET

San Francisco 49ers TE George Kittle (shoulder) said he has been playing the last two seasons with a torn labrum in his right shoulder and does not plan to have surgery on the shoulder.

Fantasy Spin: Kittle seems to be playing fine despite the injury and continues to be an important part of the running and passing game. He continues to be one of the top tight ends in the NFL and is a must-start fantasy option.

From TheHuddle

George Kittle Jan 27 6:00pm ET

San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (shoulder) said that he's been playing through a torn labrum in his right shoulder since the start of the 2018 season. "So I dislocated my shoulder last year," Kittle said Sunday on the Pardon My Take podcast, "and my labrum is completely torn. So I don't get surgery on it -- [The protective sleeve] basically helps me, so it doesn't hurt all the time." He didn't miss any games in 2018 and set the single-season record for receiving yards by a tight end with 1,377. Kittle said there's "no chance" he has surgery in the future. The 26-year-old has been quiet in the postseason with four catches for 35 yards in two games, but the Niners haven't really needed him with their ground game humming. That could change in the Super Bowl against the Chiefs on Feb. 2.

From RotoBaller

Tommylee Lewis Jan 27 5:43pm ET

Free-agent WR Tommylee Lewis (Lions) signed a Reserve/Future contract with the New Orleans Saints Monday, Jan. 27. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

From TheHuddle

Taylor Gabriel Jan 27 5:13pm ET

Chicago Bears WR Taylor Gabriel could be released this offseason since the team could save $4.5 million in salary cap space.

Fantasy Spin: Gabriel struggled with concussions this season but can be a role in an offense because of his playmaking abilities. He probably will be avoided in most fantasy leagues no matter where he plays in 2020.

From TheHuddle

Kareem Hunt Jan 27 3:20pm ET

Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt, who will be a free agent in March, emotionally admitted that he would fail a drug test to a police officer during a traffic stop recently. This was caught on video of the police officer's dash cam during the traffic stop. Hunt also admitted that the small amounts of marijuana found in the car were his, but the officer let Hunt off with just the speeding ticket. It remains to be seen if the NFL will consider a suspension for the 24-year-old from this incident. Hunt was released by the Chiefs during the 2018 season due to a domestic-violence incident, and he served a suspension before making his Browns debut in 2019. If he signs with another team this offseason and is given bell-cow duties in the backfield, Hunt could have RB1 upside.

From RotoBaller

Philip Rivers Jan 27 3:00pm ET

The Los Angeles Chargers have "moved on from Philip Rivers," according to FOX Sports' Jay Glazer. Rivers is set to become a free agent in March, and the writing was on the wall when he recently moved his entire family from San Diego to Florida. Rivers will end a 16-year run with the Chargers, but it remains to be seen where he'll land on the free-agent market this offseason. The Buccaneers are a popular expected destination, but that'll only be if they move on from Jameis Winston. Rivers completed 66 percent of his passes for 4,615 yards, 23 touchdowns and 20 interceptions in 2019 for a QB rating of 88.5. He might have a few more seasons left in him, but at 38 years old his arm strength is clearly deteriorating, and he'll probably be more of a QB2 in 2020, depending on where he winds up.

From RotoBaller

Jerry Hughes Jan 27 11:13am ET

The Buffalo Bills were cleared of violating policy over the reporting of DE Jerry Hughes' (wrist) wrist injury in 2019. Hughes posted to social media that he was undergoing surgery after playing the season with torn ligaments, but he was not listed on the injury report.

From TheHuddle

Fletcher Cox Jan 26 6:43pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles DT Fletcher Cox was credited with a 61-yard interception return for touchdown at the Pro Bowl on Sunday, Jan. 26.

From TheHuddle

Jack Doyle Jan 26 6:33pm ET

Indianapolis Colts TE Jack Doyle posted three catches for 63 yards and a touchdown on four targets for the AFC at the Pro Bowl Sunday, Jan. 26.

From TheHuddle

T.J. Watt Jan 26 6:33pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers DE T.J. Watt posted an 82-yard fumble return for touchdown in the fourth quarter for the AFC at the Pro Bowl in Orlando on Sunday, Jan. 26.

From TheHuddle

Mark Andrews Jan 26 6:23pm ET

Baltimore Ravens TE Mark Andrews ended up with a game-high nine receptions for an AFC-best 73 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets at the Pro Bowl on Sunday, Jan. 26.

From TheHuddle

D.J. Chark Jan 26 6:23pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars WR DJ Chark Jr. registered two grabs for 67 yards, including a 60-yard touchdown in the third quarter, for the AFC at the Pro Bowl on Sunday, Jan. 26.

From TheHuddle

Davante Adams Jan 26 6:13pm ET

Green Bay Packers WR Davante Adams ended up with a team-high six receptions for 61 yards and two touchdowns on seven targets for the NFC at the Pro Bowl Sunday, Jan. 26.

From TheHuddle