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Hunt returns to field for Browns after NFL suspension

Sun Nov 10 7:53pm ET
By TOM WITHERS
AP Sports Writer

Players: Kareem Hunt

Buffalo Bills outside linebacker Lorenzo Alexander (57) breaks up a pass intended for Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt (27) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)


Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt (27) rushes against the Buffalo Bills during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)


CLEVELAND (AP) When Kareem Hunt arrived for his first game in nearly a year, an unexpected gift was waiting for him.

Sitting on the top shelf of his locker was a rock. Browns general manager John Dorsey left it and delivered Hunt a message.

''Always stay solid,'' Hunt said, holding the large stone in his hand. ''You've got to be solid as a rock.''

Hunt returned to football on Sunday, playing in an NFL game for the first time since he was suspended for eight games by the league following two violent, off-field altercations, one in which he shoved and kicked a woman during an argument.

The 24-year-old Hunt, who was released on Nov. 30 by the Kansas City Chiefs, had 30 yards rushing and 44 yards receiving as Cleveland snapped a four-game losing streak with a 19-16 win over the Buffalo Bills.

It was an emotional comeback for Hunt, a Cleveland native who often imagined playing for the Browns as he drove past FirstEnergy Stadium along Lake Erie's south shore.

''It was a dream always driving down 90, seeing the stadium right along the water,'' he said. ''I would be like, `Wow, that's a big stadium, way bigger than Willoughby South (his high school). I'd love to play in that' and honestly it's a dream come true to be able to play for my hometown and be able to be home.''

The Browns took a chance in signing Hunt, who won the league rushing title as a rookie in 2017 before his troubling actions careened his career off course. Dorsey drafted Hunt out of Toledo while he was the Chiefs GM and felt compelled to offer him redemption.

With Hunt on the field, the Browns are better. It's up to him to stay there.

Following his first game since Nov. 19 with Kansas City, Hunt said he felt grateful to be getting back to one of his passions.

''Honestly, there's not enough words to describe how I felt,'' he said. ''It was so emotional. Sometimes I was thankful, sad. A couple of times I thought I was going to shed a few (tears). It felt so good to be back out there. This is what I love to do. I couldn't be happier to be home, too. It felt good. My first real game playing for the Cleveland Browns we got a `W' so I'm happy.''

Player Notes
David Njoku Dec 11 6:00pm ET

Cleveland Browns tight end David Njoku (knee) was limited in practice on Wednesday. Njoku returned in Week 14 from a wrist injury that landed him on Injured Reserve after Week 2, and he played limited snaps on his way to just one catch for four yards in the win over the Bengals. The 23-year-old should be fine to play this weekend against the Cardinals. Arizona has been atrocious against opposing tight ends, but even so, Njoku is a boom/bust TE1/2 for fantasy owners feeling lucky in the second round of the fantasy playoffs.

From RotoBaller

Geronimo Allison Dec 11 6:00pm ET

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Geronimo Allison (knee) and tight end Jimmy Graham (wrist) were limited participants in Wednesday's practice. Graham was limited last week but was able to play against the Redskins, so he should suit up this week barring a setback. Allison, on the other hand, is a new addition to the report and will have to prove he's healthy in the final two sessions. If healthy, both would be shaky starts in Week 15 against the Chicago Bears.

From RotoBaller

Jaylen Samuels Dec 11 6:00pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Vance McDonald (concussion) and running back Jaylen Samuels (groin) both were missing from practice on Wednesday. Not only is McDonald questionable for Week 15 against the Bills on Sunday night, but he hasn't cleared 50 yards the entire season and has only three touchdowns. He has just five catches for 25 yards in the last three games combined. Even if he's active, he can't be trusted in fantasy lineups in a very difficult draw in Buffalo. Nick Vannett would be a desperation TE2 if McDonald is inactive. Samuels is basically useless in fantasy with James Conner (shoulder) expected to return this Sunday.

From RotoBaller

Gerald Everett Dec 11 5:50pm ET

Los Angeles Rams tight end Gerald Everett (knee) is considered "day-to-day" by head coach Sean McVay. "His knee is making progress, but not ready to get out there and practice with us yet." Everett has essentially been day-to-day since suffering the injury in Week 13. He's missed the last two games as a result and cannot be trusted for fantasy lineups in Week 15 against the Panthers. Starting the week off with another missed practice is a bad sign. Tyler Higbee has gone for 14 catches (19 targets) for 223 yards and a touchdown the last two weeks against the Cardinals and Seahawks with Everett sidelined. Higbee will keep his TE1 status in the fantasy playoffs if Everett remains out.

From RotoBaller

Jordan Howard Dec 11 5:50pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles running back Jordan Howard (shoulder) was a limited participant in practice on Wednesday. Howard has been close to playing for weeks it seems, but he has yet to be cleared and hasn't seen the field since Nov. 3 against the Bears. If he does return in Week 15 against the Redskins, he could have his workload monitored and limited because of the long layoff, making him more of a risky RB2/3. Rookie Miles Sanders has been the workhorse in Philly's backfield with Howard sidelined, and he'll maintain RB2 upside in a solid matchup this Sunday if Howard misses another game.

From RotoBaller

Mark Andrews Dec 11 5:50pm ET

Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews has been listed as questionable with a minor knee injury, but is expected to play Thursday Night against the Jets. Andrews was only able to record one catch on three targets for 14 yards before exiting the game in Sunday's Week 14 win over the Buffalo Bills. It's a possibility that Baltimore could sit Andrews to preserve his health as the Ravens make a push for first place. He was limited in practice Tuesday and Wednesday, but has been limited in practice for much of the season and has still played in every game. Through Week 14 of the season, Andrews leads the Ravens in targets, receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns. If Andrews is on the field he should be in your starting lineups against the Jets in Week 15.

From RotoBaller

Andy Isabella Dec 11 5:40pm ET

Arizona Cardinals wide receivers Christian Kirk (ankle) and Andy Isabella (shoulder) were both limited in practice on Wednesday. Both players should be on track to play in Week 15 against the Browns, but we'll keep an eye on their status the rest of the week. Kirk had eight catches on nine targets for 85 yards in the loss to the Steelers last week. He'll be an upside WR2 if he's able to play this weekend against Cleveland alongside Larry Fitzgerald. Other than his 88-yard touchdown catch on Halloween against the 49ers, Isabella has done very little (8-185-1) in his rookie season. He's purely a dynasty stash for his long-term upside.

From RotoBaller

Lamar Jackson Dec 11 5:40pm ET

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson was officially listed as questionable with a quadriceps injury for Week 15 but confidently confirmed Tuesday that he would start against the Jets on Thursday night. The Ravens face a Jets Defense that conceded 245 passing yards and 65 rushing yards from quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in Week 14, but did not allow the Dolphins to find the end zone. The Jets defense has allowed 21 total touchdowns and an average of 19 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks in 2019. At this point in the season, it's not looking like any team will be able to stop the Lamar Jackson train. Jackson could produce high-ceiling numbers in the best matchup he's had in weeks. It would be wise to throw him in your starting lineups in a game where he will likely break Michael Vick's single-season rushing record for a quarterback.

From RotoBaller

James White Dec 11 5:40pm ET

New England Patriots running back James White will take on a Bengals Defense in Week 15 that is allowing the eighth most fantasy points to opposing backs this season. The Patriots offense is in quite a slump right now but White has emerged as the lead back over the past few games. Teammate Sony Michel simply is not a threat in the passing game and White brings more versatility to the position. The Bengals have allowed 16 different running backs this season to post 10 or more fantasy points against them and look for quarterback Tom Brady to target White plenty in this contest. White will be a RB2/3 option in Week 15 with a solid chance at 100 total yards from scrimmage against the Bengals.

From RotoBaller

Nelson Agholor Dec 11 5:40pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Nelson Agholor (knee) remained out of practice on Wednesday after sitting out on Monday night against the Giants. Agholor has a chance to be fantasy relevant as the team's No. 1 receiver with Alshon Jeffery (foot) now done for the year in the final three games, but there's no guarantee that Agholor will play this Sunday against the Redskins. He had just two catches for 11 yards in the season opener against Washington. If Agholor is out for his second straight game, rookie J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and tight ends Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert would be the top three pass-catchers for Carson Wentz.

From RotoBaller

James Conner Dec 11 5:30pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) and running back James Conner (shoulder) were both full participants in practice on Wednesday. The Steelers are expecting to get both players back for Week 15 against the Bills on Sunday night. Smith-Schuster and Conner have both been out since Nov. 14 and will return to a difficult matchup against a strong Bills Defense. Their pending returns are bad news for Benny Snell Jr. and James Washington mostly. It's likely that Bills shutdown cornerback Tre'Davious White will shadow Smith-Schuster in his return on Sunday evening. This whole offense will receive a boost with both players on track to return, but it's still somewhat limited with Devlin Hodges leading the charge under center.

From RotoBaller

Mohamed Sanu Dec 11 5:30pm ET

New England Patriots wide receiver Mohamed Sanu (ankle) was listed as limited at practice on Wednesday. Sanu returned to the field last week but caught only one pass and it is clear that the ankle injury is hampering his ability to play at full speed. The Patriots will take on a Bengals Defense that is allowing the 10th fewest fantasy points to opposing receivers this season and have allowed only two touchdowns to receivers since Week 10. Sanu should be considered on course to suit up in Week 15 but the injury, combined with the state of the Patriots offense, makes him unusable in most fantasy formats.

From RotoBaller

Sony Michel Dec 11 5:30pm ET

New England Patriots running back Sony Michel will take on a Bengals Defense in Week 15 that is allowing the eighth most fantasy points to opposing backs this season. But Michel has completely fallen off the fantasy map as of late, totaling only 15 carries for 53 yards over his last two games. Matters got so bad for Michel last week that James White, Brandon Bolden and Rex Burkhead all saw more carries in the game than him. The second-year running back has been a major disappointment this season and pinning your fantasy hopes on him as a starter in Week 15 would be a mistake.

From RotoBaller

Tom Brady Dec 11 4:40pm ET

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will have an excellent chance to get his offense back on track this week against an awful Bengals team in Week 15. Brady and the Patriots offense has severely struggled the past few weeks and Brady has passed for only nine touchdowns over his last eight games. New England is trying to incorporate young receivers into the offense on the fly and Brady will go up against a Bengals Defense that is allowing the ninth most fantasy points to passers this season. The Bengals haven't allowed a substantial amount of touchdowns but certainly are lenient in passing yards allowed. This is a perfect opportunity to have a positive offensive day against an inferior opponent and Brady has a shot at top-10 numbers among QB's for Week 15.

From RotoBaller

Julian Edelman Dec 11 4:30pm ET

New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (knee, shoulder) did not take part in practice on Wednesday. Edelman has been on the injury report pretty much all year with nagging injuries, but he manages to play every week and remains quarterback Tom Brady's favorite aerial target. Edelman had eight catches on 12 targets for 95 yards and a touchdown in the Week 15 loss to the Chiefs. He's found paydirt in back-to-back weeks and has seen double-digit targets in every game since Oct. 6 against the Redskins. Expect him to return to practice later this week and play against Cincinnati, where he'll be a must-start in the fantasy playoffs.

From RotoBaller

Eli Manning Dec 11 4:20pm ET

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning is likely to make his second straight start in Week 15 against the Dolphins despite rookie Daniel Jones (ankle) returning to a limited practice on Wednesday, according to a team official. It could be the 38-year-old Manning's final home start for the G-Men. The decision will ultimately be head coach Pat Shurmur's, but the Giants will be cautious with Jones. Jones insisted he's improving and is pushing to play, but he's just hoping he can play in one of the final three games of the season. Manning was 15-for-30 for 203 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in the overtime loss to the Eagles on Monday night. Even in a juicy matchup with Miami, Manning would be a low-end QB2 for fantasy if he starts again.

From RotoBaller

Devonta Freeman Dec 11 4:20pm ET

Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman (knee) was held out of practice on Wednesday. The Falcons are likely just giving Freeman some rest early in the week after he went for 84 yards and his first rushing touchdown of the season on 17 carries in Week 14 against the Panthers. It was a breath of fresh air for his fantasy owners, but he could go right back to being a disappointment in Week 15 against a tough Niners defensive front. Consider Freeman more of a low-end RB2/high-end RB3 for this Sunday at San Francisco. He's one to fade in DFS.

From RotoBaller

Tyler Lockett Dec 11 4:10pm ET

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll thinks that wide receiver Tyler Lockett (illness, shin) is "really back" and ready to go for Week 15 against the Panthers. Since his 152-yard, two-touchdown performance against the Buccaneers on Nov. 3, Lockett has been missing in action for his fantasy owners. He hasn't gone over four catches or 43 yards in four games since, including a donut in Week 13 against the Vikings. Lockett had four catches for 43 yards in the Sunday night win over the Rams. There's always top-shelf upside here, but he's become more of a boom/bust WR3 in Seattle's run-first offense of late.

From RotoBaller

Chicago Bears Dec 11 4:10pm ET

The Chicago Bears Defense will take on the Packers in Week 15 and Green Bay is allowing the sixth fewest fantasy points to opposing defenses. The Bears defense is loaded with talent but have been extremely disappointing from a fantasy perspective this season. They currently rank outside of the top-15 in fantasy points scored among defenses and have 10 or more fantasy points only once over their last nine games. The biggest issue for the team has been a steep decline in turnovers and sacks from the previous season. The Packers offense hasn't lit up the league this season but the Bears defense lacks enough fantasy appeal to keep them on the bench in Week 15.

From RotoBaller

John Ross Dec 11 4:00pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver John Ross (foot) was limited in practice on Wednesday. In his return from Injured Reserve in Week 14 against the Browns, Ross was pretty much invisible, catching two of three targets for just 28 yards. The speedster is now dealing with a foot injury, but he should be able to play this Sunday against the Patriots at home. Ross can always break away for a touchdown as a deep-threat specialist, but he just can't be trusted in the fantasy playoffs in a tough matchup with New England. He'll be more of a boom-or-bust WR4/5, but his targets could go up with Auden Tate (knee) on Injured Reserve and A.J. Green (ankle) still nowhere close to returning.

From RotoBaller