Wed Aug 17 6:02pm ET
By TIM BOOTH
AP Sports Writer
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Drew Lock (2) throws a pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger)
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Drew Lock, rear, throws a touchdown pass to wide receiver Dareke Young (83) against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger)
RENTON, Wash. (AP) Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Wednesday the team had no indication quarterback Drew Lock had COVID-19 symptoms until the end of practice a day earlier and lamented the QB missing out on a chance to start Thursday's preseason game against Chicago.
Carroll said Lock reported no symptoms prior to the start of Tuesday's practice but by the end of the session was feeling worn down. The team canceled an extra throwing session Lock was supposed to have with DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and others and got him tested.
Carroll said this is the second time Lock has contracted COVID-19 after getting it last year while playing for Denver.
''He barely made it off the field. He was dragging. We were going to do some post-practice work and thought `nah, let's get him out of here,''' Carroll said.
How it affects Seattle's quarterback competition between Lock and Geno Smith is a major unknown. Thursday's game was supposed to be Lock's chance to start and get playing time with parts of Seattle's starting offense after Smith got the starting nod last weekend in Pittsburgh.
In theory, a strong performance by Smith - who has been in the lead throughout the offseason and camp - against the Bears could potentially wrap up the job.
Carroll said he was mostly disappointed that Lock wouldn't be able to get the additional reps in a game setting that weren't available in practice because Seattle is playing on a short week.
''He did need them. This week is a screwed up week for a guy to get a bunch of turns and all that,'' Carroll said. ''He worked with the ones yesterday in prep for the game and so that's really all he got.''
Lock's five-day quarantine could have him back with the team early next week, but Carroll wouldn't say if the team will plan for Lock to start the preseason finale at Dallas on Aug. 26.
''We'll have to wait and see. Let's see what happens. We don't need to make that decision yet,'' Carroll said.
Carroll also said running back Ken Walker III is undergoing a procedure to repair a hernia, but it's not a sports hernia or a core muscle injury. Carroll remains optimistic that Walker will be back in time for the season opener on Sept. 12.
Dynasty | Seahawks rookie running back Kenneth Walker will miss the remainder of the preseason after undergoing a "procedue" Dynasty Analysis: There was not explanation by Pete Carroll as to what the surgery was for and no guarantee that Walker would be back by week one of the regular season, though he said that was the goal. Rashaad Penny has returned from a minor injury and now looks to have the starting role all to himself though other depth chart names will still factor. The Seahawks are a leaking ship in multiple spots but there has been excitement surrounding the run-game following the team's selection of Walker. As long as the rookie returns quickly and without setback, he'll remain a highly selected rookie. He's listed as DLF's RB17.
Seattle Seahawks rookie running back Kenneth Walker III (hernia) underwent a procedure to fix a hernia -- not a "sports hernia" or core-muscle injury -- and is expected to make a full recovery. If all goes well, the plan is for him to be available in Week 1 against the Denver Broncos. Walker's hernia came to light on Tuesday, with head coach Peter Carroll saying the hope is to have the 21-year-old ready for the start of the regular season. The second-rounder's hernia doesn't appear to be a major issue, but it shouldn't be ignored by fantasy managers. Walker is expected to have a role alongside the injury-prone Rashaad Penny. He's definitely worth a handcuff for those that draft Penny, and he could also have RB3/flex appeal in 2022. If he misses any time to start the year, Travis Homer and DeeJay Dallas will be asked to step up behind Penny.
Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh announced on Wednesday that quarterback Lamar Jackson won't play in the team's second preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. Jackson was also held out of the preseason opener last week. The 25-year-old is determined to bounce back strong in 2022 after a disappointing end to his 2021 season in which he missed some time down the stretch with an ankle injury. Even though Jackson isn't a prototypical passer, his elite rushing ability on the ground continues to make him a top-five fantasy option at the position.
The Atlanta Falcons signed former Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers wide receiver KeeSean Johnson to an undisclosed deal on Wednesday. The Falcons can never have too much receiver depth after losing Calvin Ridley to a year-long suspension and Russell Gage in free agency in the offseason, but Johnson will merely be trying to win a spot on the roster to open the 2022 season. The 25-year-old was cut by the Niners on Monday. The former sixth-round selection by the Arizona Cardinals in 2019 spent the 2021 season with the Philadelphia Eagles, but he didn't play in a regular season game. In two years with the Cardinals, Johnson had 36 catches on 65 targets for 360 yards and one touchdown in 18 games (five starts).
The New England Patriots have been manufacturing touches for tight end Jonnu Smith, and he made some notable plays in Wednesday's joint practice with the Carolina Panthers. The Patriots are trying to get the ball in Smith's hands in several ways and there's a clear emphasis on getting him involved. Smith was making plays last summer as well, but a minor injury slowed his development. His overall production was down in his first year in New England, but he still ranked eighth in yards after the catch over expected among receivers with at least 45 targets. The 26-year-old should produce better numbers in his second year with the team in 2022, but Hunter Henry's presence, especially in the red zone, makes Smith a low-end TE2 in fantasy football.
New Orleans Saints head coach Dennis Allen had good things to say about wide receiver Michael Thomas on Wednesday. "When I watch Michael Thomas at practice, I see the Michael Thomas that I saw pre-injury. I see a big, strong, physical, receiver that makes a ton of contested catches. I saw it in these practices. I see a guy that looks pretty good," Allen said. Thomas missed all of last year with an ankle injury, but he's expected to be full-go for Week 1 and should continue to slowly rise up fantasy draft boards as long as he stays healthy in training camp. A lot has changed since the 29-year-old was the best pass-catcher in the league in 2019, but Thomas could return to being the team's No. 1 wideout in 2022, even after the additions of rookie Chris Olave and Jarvis Landry.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (foot, knee) will not play in the team's second preseason game on Friday against the Green Bay Packers, according to head coach Dennis Allen. Winston is still out after spraining his foot last week, and he's also attempting to return from a torn ACL in his knee last year. The Saints aren't going to rush the 28-year-old back in meaningless games, but they'd like to get him some action in the final preseason game next week. New Orleans won't ask him to do much on offense in 2022, especially early in the year, but he has plenty of weapons through the air with Michael Thomas (ankle) looking like his pre-injury self this summer. Winston will be a midrange QB2 in his second year as the team's starter under center.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb (foot) isn't practicing on Wednesday against the Los Angeles Chargers due to a foot injury, but he's walking around without a protective boot. Lamb will almost certainly be held out of the team's second preseason game this week, but it remains to be seen if this is an injury that fantasy managers should be concerned about. Michael Gallup (knee) and James Washington (foot) won't be ready for the start of the regular season, so Dallas' receiving group has been thinned out considerably. While Lamb is likely to see plenty of attention from opposing defenses with Amari Cooper now in Cleveland, a big target share is guaranteed, making him a no-doubt WR1 in fantasy football.
Jacksonville Jaguars DL Malcom Brown was released on Wednesday, Aug. 17.
Denver Broncos running back Melvin Gordon III said that the coaching staff wants Javonte Williams "to be the guy" after he received the first snaps at training camp practice on Wednesday. It was expected that Williams would be more of the 1A to Gordon's 1B this year after the two basically split carries down the middle in 2021. The second-year running back is much more explosive with more big-play ability in an offense that should be more productive with quarterback Russell Wilson now in town. However, Gordon isn't going away, which caps Williams' fantasy ceiling in Year 2. Still, Williams will be a high-end RB2 target in fantasy drafts, and he has obvious RB1 upside if Gordon gets injured or put in the doghouse at any point in 2022.
New Orleans Saints QB Jameis Winston won't play in preseason Week 2, head coach Dennis Allen said on Wednesday, Aug. 17. Winston was dealing with a foot injury recently but has been taking part in practices.
Fantasy Spin: Considering Winston hasn't played in live-game action since October of last year after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament, getting some preseason reps would no doubt be beneficial. It remains to be seen if that will happen, though. Winston is a QB2 entering 2022.
New Orleans Saints WR Michael Thomas looks like he did before his injury, head coach Dennis Allen said on Wednesday, Aug. 17. 'When I watch Michael Thomas at practice, I see the Michael Thomas that I saw pre-injury,' Allen said. 'I see a big, strong, physical, receiver that makes a ton of contested catches. I saw it in these practices. I see a guy that looks pretty good.'
Fantasy Spin: From all accounts, Thomas has been having a good training camp and looks to be back to form ahead of 2022. Thomas could prove to be a major steal if he falls to the middle rounds of drafts. We'll tentatively call him a WR2 with elite upside for now until we see it on the field.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers estimated that it's realistic to think both running backs Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon could surpass 50 receptions in 2022. Jones has had 49, 47 and 52 catches the last three seasons in head coach Matt LaFleur's offense, while Dillon had 34 in 2021. "We have runs to both of them, we have swing passes to them, we have screens, we have down-the-field stuff, we have action stuff, we have scat protection, we have six-man, seven-man protection stuff," Rodgers said. "There's a lot in the offense for those two guys." It confirms the fact that Jones and Dillon have standalone fantasy value, especially in PPR leagues as the Packers look for pass-catchers to step up with Davante Adams, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown all out of town.
Dynasty | Texans sophomore receiver Nico Collins is having a good training camp and is a breakout candidate in 2022 Dynasty Analysis: The team is looking for ways to get Collins singled up in coverage so he can use his size and body to gain separation and make plays. He's reportedly been working with Texans great Andre Johnson in his routes while emulating Johnson's work ethic as well. As a rookie, Collins produced a 33/446/1 stat line and is a good bet to well outproduce those numbers in his second season. Opposing secondaries will prioritize Brandin Cooks, allowing Collins to win on single coverage with his size. Found as DLF's WR62, Nico Collins is a low-valued starting receiver with a long runway to greater production in the future. As such, he makes for an intriguing "buy now" candidate ahead of kick off of the 2022 regular season.
Dynasty | Giants receiver Collin Johnson is in a groove in training camp and has been lauded by head coach Brian Daboll for his flexibility and intelligence. Dynasty Analysis: Johnson's name continues to emerge nearly every day from Giants training camp and, with high priced asset Kenny Golladay continuing to struggle, it could be Johnson to the rescue. At 6'6", Johnson is a huge target who has been modestly productive in the past but without the role to produce at a higher degree. That may be changing in 2022 should the soon-to-be 25-year-old continue his camp momentum. Unranked on DLF's receiver rankings, it's difficult to project Johnson to any material production given his size and history, but he's a name to stay abreast over the next few weeks as camps grind to a close.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles said that wide receiver Julio Jones will not play in the team's second preseason game this Saturday against the Tennessee Titans. Jones is taking part in joint practices with the Titans this week, but the Bucs will hold the veteran pass-catcher out as a precaution. Mike Evans (hamstring), Russell Gage (leg) and Chris Godwin (knee) are also sidelined at training camp, so Cyril Grayson Jr., Tyler Johnson, Breshad Perriman, Jaelon Darden, Scotty Miller and others will see more playing time against Tennessee on Saturday. Jones will be competing for targets in a crowded receiver room in Tampa this year, but he could see plenty of targets early in the year if Godwin isn't ready to return from his ACL tear.
Tennessee Titans rookie wide receiver Treylon Burks left Wednesday's training camp practice early on Wednesday due to undisclosed reasons. It remains to be seen if Burks is actually injured, but he was slowed in offseason workouts by asthma and conditioning issues. Stay tuned for more updates on the 22-year-old's condition. Jones has often been compared to former Titans wideout A.J. Brown, who is now in Philadelphia, and the rookie pass-catcher is expected to play a big role in the team's passing attack in his first NFL season alongside Robert Woods. For his upside alone, Burks is worth a late-round flier in single-season formats, but fantasy managers should temper expectations in this run-first offense.
Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins (illness) was cleared to practice on Wednesday, Aug. 17, after testing positive for COVID-19 recently.
Las Vegas Raiders DLs Bilal Nichols and Johnathan Hankins and WR Dillon Stoner were removed from the active/physically unable to perform list on Wednesday, Aug. 17.