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Former Bills special teams standout Mark Pike dies at 57

Wed Dec 8 4:38pm ET

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) Mark Pike, a Bills special teams standout during Buffalo's AFC championship-winning runs in the 1990s, died Wednesday following a battle with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He was 57.

The Buffalo Bills announced Pike died after his condition worsened as a result of COVID-19 followed by a bout with pneumonia. Pike was from Elizabethtown, Kentucky, and had resettled in the area following a 12-year career with the Bills, spanning 1987-98.

Listed as both a linebacker and defensive end, Pike was selected by the Bills in the seventh round of the 1986 draft out of Georgia Tech. At 6-foot-4 and 272 pounds, Pike carved a niche on Buffalo's special teams units. He still holds the franchise record in being credited with 255 career special teams tackles. The total ranks second in the NFL behind New England's Larry Izzo, who was credited with 298.

Pike played alongside receiver Steve Tasker in providing Bills' coverage units a combination of size and speed.

''He was a big man who played special teams which was a matchup nightmare for our opponents,'' Tasker told the Bills' website. ''While I would draw some people out and they would have to defend my speed and my ability to keep leverage and cut the field off, he was a breaking bulldozer, man. He was an absolute freight train.''

Pike was part of Buffalo's Jim Kelly-led teams which made, and lost, four consecutive Super Bowl appearances spanning the 1990-93 seasons.

Pike is survived by his wife Sharon, their sons Ezekiel and Malachi, and daughter Kramer. Funeral arrangements were not immediately available.

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Player Notes
Ezekiel Elliott Dec 8 4:43pm ET
Ezekiel Elliott

Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott (knee) fully participated in practice Wednesday, Dec. 8.

Fantasy Spin: Elliott has been held to under 50 rushing yards in each of the last four games but has been involved in the passing game during those games. He should see plenty of touches this week and can be at least a No. 2 running back in fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Noah Brown Dec 8 4:43pm ET
Noah Brown

Dallas Cowboys WR Noah Brown (groin) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Dec. 8. WR Cedrick Wilson (ankle) was limited during practice.

From TheHuddle

Mike Williams Dec 8 4:43pm ET
Mike Williams

Los Angeles Chargers WR Mike Williams was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday, Dec. 8.

Fantasy Spin: Williams probably will miss the Week 14 game since it is only a few days away. Jalen Guyton may be the main option in the passing game if Williams and Keenan Allen are not able to play and can be a No. 3 receiver in fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Alvin Kamara Dec 8 4:30pm ET
Alvin Kamara

New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (knee) was a full participant in practice on Wednesday and is expected to play in Week 14 against the New York Jets. Kamara has been out since Week 9, but all signs are pointing toward him having a full workload this weekend, especially with veteran Mark Ingram II on the COVID-19 list. Despite the long layoff due to his knee injury, Kamara will be a must-start RB1 in his return against a Jets defense that has allowed the third-most rushing yards per game (133.4) and the most fantasy points per game to RBs in 2021. If Ingram isn't cleared by Sunday's game, expect Ty Montgomery and Tony Jones Jr. to spell Kamara in his return.

From RotoBaller

Taysom Hill Dec 8 4:30pm ET
Taysom Hill

New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill (finger) was a full participant in practice on Wednesday. It confirms an earlier report that he was in line to play in Week 14 against the New York Jets despite suffering from mallet finger in last Thursday's loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Hill won't need surgery on his finger, but that doesn't mean that the 31-year-old will be very accurate throwing the football the rest of the season. Luckily, he'll be facing a Jets defense that just isn't good. They've allowed the fourth-most passing yards per game (263.4), although they've allowed the third-fewest rushing yards to QBs. Hill isn't valuable for his arm. He should run enough to be a low-end QB1 after going for 101 yards on 11 attempts in his first start of the year last week.

From RotoBaller

J.D. McKissic Dec 8 4:23pm ET
J.D. McKissic

Washington Football Team RB J.D. McKissic (concussion) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Dec. 8.

Fantasy Spin: McKissic still needs to pass the concussion tests to play, so his status for Week 14 is uncertain. He can be at least a flex option when healthy, but fantasy players will need a backup plan ready in case he sits again.

From TheHuddle

Curtis Samuel Dec 8 4:23pm ET
Curtis Samuel

Washington Football Team WR Curtis Samuel (groin) was limited during practice Wednesday, Dec. 8.

Fantasy Spin: Samuel received only two touches in the last game and finished with negative two yards. He is still working his way back from the injury but can be avoided in fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Landon Collins Dec 8 4:23pm ET
Landon Collins

Washington Football Team S Landon Collins (foot), LB Jamin Davis (concussion) and OG Wes Schweitzer (ankle) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Dec. 8. DT Jonathan Allen (groin), LB Jordan Kunaszyk (hamstring), C Tyler Larsen (knee) and OG Brandon Scherff (knee) were limited during practice.

From TheHuddle

Kenny Golladay Dec 8 4:20pm ET
Kenny Golladay

New York Giants wide receiver Kenny Golladay (ribs) was moving gingerly during individual drills on Wednesday and went to a side field to work with trainers. He was officially listed as a non-practice participant. The Giants receivers are pretty much all injured, which is nothing new for 2021. Rookie Kadarius Toney (oblique, quadriceps) missed another practice, and Sterling Shepard (quadriceps) hasn't played since Week 8. If quarterback Mike Glennon is able to return from his concussion with Daniel Jones (neck) likely out, he might not have many good options to throw the ball to. This entire Giants offense is stuck in the mud, and their injury situation hasn't helped. Golladay had three catches for 37 yards before leaving the game last Sunday. Darius Slayton is one of the only healthy Giants receivers.

From RotoBaller

Kadarius Toney Dec 8 4:20pm ET
Kadarius Toney

New York Giants rookie wide receiver Kadarius Toney (oblique, quadriceps) missed another practice session on Wednesday and only worked on a side field with trainers. Toney has missed the last two games, and it's looking like Sterling Shepard (quadriceps), who hasn't played since Week 8, is closer to returning than Toney. Kenny Golladay (ribs) is hurt again and is in danger of missing Week 14 against the Los Angeles Chargers this weekend. What's new for the Giants this year? Fantasy managers shouldn't be relying on Toney this weekend, even if he's active, with either Mike Glennon (concussion) or Jake Fromm expected to make the start under center at quarterback. Darius Slayton is one of the few healthy wideouts for this team.

From RotoBaller

Mike Glennon Dec 8 4:20pm ET
Mike Glennon

The New York Giants are "optimistic" that quarterback Mike Glennon (head) will be cleared from the league's concussion protocol and be ready to play against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, according to head coach Joe Judge. Glennon will start this weekend if he clears the protocol. He wasn't able to practice on Wednesday, but he still has a few more days to gain clearance. Daniel Jones (neck) remains limited in practice, but he's expected to miss a second straight game and has yet to be cleared for contact in practices. If Glennon isn't cleared, Jake Fromm would make his first career NFL start. The Chargers defense is a very strong streaming option in fantasy in Week 14, especially considering how beat up New York's receivers are as well.

From RotoBaller

Mark Ingram Dec 8 4:13pm ET
Mark Ingram

New Orleans Saints RB Mark Ingram will be placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.

Fantasy Spin: Ingram's status for Week 14 is in question since the game is only a few days away. Fantasy players can monitor the situation but may need to look for other options in their lineups.

From TheHuddle

Mike Glennon Dec 8 4:10pm ET
Mike Glennon

New York Giants quarterback Mike Glennon (concussion) only worked on a side field during practice on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Daniel Jones (neck) continued to be limited after missing last week's game. Jones is unlikely to return in Week 14 against the Los Angeles Chargers, so if Glennon cannot clear the league's concussion protocol, it will be Jake Fromm making his first NFL start on Sunday. If that's the case, fantasy managers may want to avoid all of the Giants offensive weapons in fantasy. Just last week, Fromm was getting repetitions on the Buffalo Bills practice squad. No matter how New York's QB situation shakes out this week, the Chargers defense will be a strong play in fantasy. Glennon went 23-for-44 for 187 yards, no touchdowns and an interception in the Week 13 loss to the Miami Dolphins.

From RotoBaller

Tee Higgins Dec 8 4:00pm ET
Tee Higgins

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins (ankle) wasn't seen at the portion of practice open to the media on Wednesday. Higgins picked up an ankle injury in the Week 13 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, but he managed to score a touchdown for the second straight week and put up over 100 yards receiving for the second straight week with a season-high 138 yards on 14 targets and nine receptions. Higgins' ankle injury isn't believed to be serious, but fantasy managers will want to keep an eye on his practice status over the next couple of days. As long as he returns and is active on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers, he should be a locked-in WR2 in fantasy. Rookie Ja'Marr Chase and Tyler Boyd would have higher ceilings if Higgins was unable to play.

From RotoBaller

Joe Mixon Dec 8 4:00pm ET
Joe Mixon

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said that running back Joe Mixon (illness) is out sick on Wednesday. Mixon injured his neck in the second half of the Week 13 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, but he returned to the contest and the injury isn't an issue heading into Week 14 against the San Francisco 49ers. Those that roster Mixon may want to snag Samaje Perine off the waiver wire as insurance, but as long as Mixon returns to practice at some point this week, he should be good to go and would be a high-end RB1 against a Niners defense that has been a top-10 matchup in terms of fantasy points per week to the RB position all year.

From RotoBaller

Saquon Barkley Dec 8 3:53pm ET
Saquon Barkley

New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley (ankle) was limited during practice Wednesday, Dec. 8. The Giants did not hold a practice Wednesday, so this is an estimation.

Fantasy Spin: Barkley is back on the injury report, so fantasy players will need monitor the situation over the next few days. He will see plenty of touches if he plays and can be a No. 2 running back in most leagues.

From TheHuddle

Sterling Shepard Dec 8 3:53pm ET
Sterling Shepard

New York Giants WR Sterling Shepard (quadriceps) was limited during practice Wednesday, Dec. 8. The Giants did not hold a practice Wednesday, so this is an estimation.

Fantasy Spin: Shepard returned to practice last week and may have a chance to be in uniform in Week 14. Fantasy players will know more about the situation later in the week, but he could be a possible flex option in deeper leagues if he plays.

From TheHuddle

Adoree' Jackson Dec 8 3:53pm ET
Adoree' Jackson

New York Giants CB Adoree' Jackson (quadriceps) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Dec. 8. The Giants did not hold a practice Wednesday, so this is an estimation.

From TheHuddle

Greg Joseph Dec 8 3:50pm ET
Greg Joseph

Minnesota Vikings kicker Greg Joseph has been near the top of the league in points all season, currently sitting at seventh on the year. While Joseph has only attempted the 14th most PAT's in a conservative Viking offense, he is sixth in field goal attempts and has made six from beyond 50 yards, good for third in the league. Minnesota is 21st in fourth-down attempts in 2021 and as long as the coaching staff continues to opt for field goals in the red zone, Joseph will be one of the top options at the position. Joseph and the Vikings take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 14, a team giving up the fifth-most points to opposing fantasy kickers.

From RotoBaller

D'Andre Swift Dec 8 3:50pm ET
D'Andre Swift

Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell said that running back D'Andre Swift (shoulder) is "improving," but there still isn't much of an update on the status of his return. Swift isn't believed to have taken part in the team's walkthrough practice on Wednesday ahead of their Week 14 date against the Denver Broncos on the road. Fantasy managers shouldn't be shocked at all if the 22-year-old misses a second straight game after suffering an AC joint sprain in Week 12. Jamaal Williams saw 17 of the team's 24 backfield carries and went for 71 yards in the team's first win of the season last Sunday. Against a stout Broncos defense, Williams would be more of a low-end RB2 if he makes another start in place of the injured Swift.

From RotoBaller