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Jerry Vainisi, GM of Bears' 1985 championship team, dies

Wed Oct 5 11:15pm ET
By ANDREW SELIGMAN
AP Sports Writer

CHICAGO (AP) Jerry Vainisi, the Chicago Bears' general manager when they won their lone Super Bowl championship, has died, the team announced on Wednesday. He was 80.

The team said he died Tuesday in suburban Oak Park, Ill.

A Chicago native who attended Georgetown University and Chicago-Kent College of Law, Vainisi joined the Bears in 1972 as controller and worked as the team's treasurer and lawyer. He became the team's general manager in 1983 after Jim Finks resigned.

Vainisi remained in that role for four years. He oversaw contract negotiations and worked with coach Mike Ditka and player personnel director Bill Tobin to run the team.

''I will always appreciate the few years I spent with Jerry and am forever grateful for his decision to hire me as the Bears controller in 1983, which started my 40-year career with the Bears,'' team President Ted Phillips said in a statement. ''My thoughts and prayers are with him and his entire family.''

The Bears went 47-17 during during Vainisi's tenure and fielded arguably the greatest team the league has seen in 1985.

With Hall of Famers Dan Hampton, Mike Singletary and Richard Dent leading one of the most ferocious defenses in NFL history and Walter Payton taking handoffs, the Bears shuffled their way to a 15-1 record and the franchise's only Super Bowl victory to date. It was Chicago's first NFL championship since 1963 and the ninth in all.

The Bears fired Vainisi after going 14-2 in 1986 and losing to Washington in the first round of the playoffs. Vainisi and then-president and chief executive officer Michael McCaskey were apparently at odds, though McCaskey said at the time the decision was mutual.

Chicago did not hire another general manager until Jerry Angelo in 2001. Tobin, Rod Graves, Dave Wannstedt and Mark Hatley served as de facto GMs in the interim.

Vainisi went on to work for the Detroit Lions and helped create the World League of American Football, which became NFL Europe. He later took over Hinshaw & Culbertson's sports and entertainment law division in Chicago and bought Forest Park Bank before becoming its chairman and CEO.

Vainisi is survived by friend Doris L. Vainisi, five children and 14 grandchildren. His brother Jack, a scout and personnel director for the Green Bay Packers, died from a heart attack in 1960 at 33.

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Waivering: Week 5

Player Notes
Russell Gage Oct 6 9:00am ET
Russell Gage

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Russell Gage (hamstring) was a limited participant in Wednesday's practice. The 26-year-old has been dealing with a hamstring issue since Week 1 but has yet to miss a game. He has caught 21 passes for 152 yards and a touchdown over four games in 2022. Gage is buried on the WR depth chart now that Mike Evans (suspension), Chris Godwin (hamstring), and Julio Jones (knee) have returned to action. Gage is expected to play but will see a dip in targets and is a boom-or-bust flex against his former team, the Atlanta Falcons, in Week 5.

From RotoBaller

Andy Isabella Oct 6 8:50am ET
Andy Isabella

Free agent wide receiver Andy Isabella signed with the Baltimore Ravens practice squad on Wednesday. The Arizona Cardinals released Isabella on Tuesday, and the Ravens quickly scooped him up. He had two catches for 21 yards over three games in 2022. The former second-round pick had 33 catches for 447 yards and three touchdowns over 39 games with Arizona. Isabella will be given a fresh start and will look to turn things around in Baltimore. The 25-year-old adds wide receiver depth to the Ravens but is not on the fantasy radar in 2022.

From RotoBaller

Allen Lazard Oct 6 1:20am ET
Allen Lazard

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard (ankle) was limited during Wednesday's practice. The 26-year-old is coming off a Week 4 win against the New England Patriots where he led Green Bay in receiving with six receptions for 116 yards. Lazard has been listed with ankle issues ever since his Week 1 absence due to a sprain. However, he has suited up every week since while continuously being listed on Wednesday's injury reports. With this trend in mind, managers shouldn't be too worried about his Week 5 status. Expect Lazard to suit up for the Packers' London matchup against the New York Giants.

From RotoBaller

J.K. Dobbins Oct 6 1:00am ET
J.K. Dobbins

Baltimore Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins (chest) was added to the injury report with a chest injury. The 23-year-old is coming off a productive outing against the Buffalo Bills where he had 63 total yards on 17 opportunities along with two touchdowns. Dobbins was listed with this same chest issue last Wednesday prior to Week 4, and he ended up practicing fully that Thursday. Based on this pattern, it appears that Wednesdays might just be days off for the third year back from now on. Expect Dobbins to suit up for Sunday Night Football in a Week 5 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals.

From RotoBaller

Greg Dulcich Oct 6 1:00am ET
Greg Dulcich

Denver Broncos tight end Greg Dulcich (hamstring) is staying on IR for another week. There were rumors that the rookie tight end could be making his season debut in Week 5 Thursday Night Football against the Indianapolis Colts. However, the Broncos have decided to play it safe with their short week and hold off on activating him from IR. With the former UCLA Bruin expected to return in Week 6, he could be in line to make a quick impact. The tight end room in Denver is wide open, especially with supposed starter Albert Okwuegbunam playing just one snap in the entirety of Week 4. Dulcich could be an interesting speculative stash for fantasy managers in need of tight-end production. Make sure to keep an eye on him ahead of his upcoming season debut.

From RotoBaller

Zay Jones Oct 6 1:00am ET
Zay Jones

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Zay Jones (ankle) was limited in Wednesday's practice. After missing Jacksonville's Week 4 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles with an ankle injury, the sixth-year wide receiver returned to practice on Wednesday. This return is a good sign as his Week 5 status appears to be pointing in the right direction. Jones will likely return to his role as Trevor Lawrence's WR2 against the Houston Texans at home. Consider him a low-end flex this week.

From RotoBaller

Dustin Hopkins Oct 6 1:00am ET
Dustin Hopkins

Los Angeles Chargers kicker Dustin Hopkins (quad) was a limited participant during Wednesday's practice. The nine-year veteran is coming off a performance where he was perfect on the day with two made field goals and four made extra-point attempts. It's unclear whether this injury will continue to be an issue, but Hopkins having a limited practice early in the week is a good sign for his availability. Keep an eye on his status ahead of the Chargers' upcoming Week 5 matchup against the Cleveland Browns.

From RotoBaller

Jakobi Meyers Oct 5 11:10pm ET
Jakobi Meyers

New England Patriots wide receiver Jakobi Meyers (knee) was limited at practice Wednesday. He had missed the last two games due to a knee issue. The 25-year-old was limited last week before being downgraded to out on Saturday for Week 4 versus the Green Packers. Meyers will look to log a full practice this week to increase his chances of suiting up for Week 6 against the Detroit Lions. He has caught 13 passes for 150 yards over two games in 2022. Meyers could be catching passes from third-string quarterback Bailey Zappe as Mac Jones (ankle) and Brian Hoyer (head) are dealing with injuries, making him flex play in deep-league formats if active.

From RotoBaller

Josh Palmer Oct 5 11:00pm ET
Josh Palmer

Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Joshua Palmer (ankle) was a limited participant in Wednesday's practice. Keenan Allen (hamstring) did not practice Wednesday, and his status is in question for Week 5. Palmer initially injured his ankle in the Week 4 win over the Houston Texans but is expected to play in Week 5 against the Cleveland Browns. He will continue to see an uptick in targets if Allen is ruled out again. Palmer has caught 14 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown over four games in 2022. Fantasy managers should continue to monitor the situation, as Palmer will only be a solid flex play if Allen remains sidelined.

From RotoBaller

Josh Allen Oct 5 10:50pm ET
Josh Allen

Pittsburgh Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick (knee) did not take part in practice on Wednesday, but he still has a chance to play in Week 5 against the Buffalo Bills. His availability for this Sunday's game will be determined later in the week. Fantasy managers in IDP leagues will have to continue to monitor the 25-year-old's progress the rest of the week. If Fitzpatrick is unavailable for this weekend, Bills quarterback Josh Allen could have a field day with Pittsburgh's secondary. The four-time All-Pro is usually a must-start defensive back in IDP lineups when he's on the field. Through the first four games, Fitzpatrick has racked up 32 tackles (19 solo), three interceptions (one returned for a touchdown) and four passes defensed.

From RotoBaller

Treylon Burks Oct 5 10:50pm ET
Treylon Burks

Tennessee Titans wide receiver Treylon Burks (toe) did not practice on Wednesday. He was diagnosed with turf toe and could potentially go on injured reserve, missing at least three games. The 22-year-old exited last Sunday's game against the Colts and did not return. The Titans have a bye in Week 6; they will be cautious with their rookie wide receiver and most likely rest him against the Washington Commanders. He has caught 10 passes for 129 yards over four games in 2022. Nick Westbrook-Ikhine and Kyle Philips will see an uptick in targets while Burks is sidelined, but despite the increase in usage, both wideouts are deep-league fliers.

From RotoBaller

Rashaad Penny Oct 5 10:50pm ET
Rashaad Penny

Seattle Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny (shoulder) was a non-participant at Wednesday's practice. He is dealing with a shoulder issue and was spotted on the side during warmups but did not practice. The 26-year-old shredded the Lions in the Week 4 win with 151 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Penny will have two more chances to practice before the Seahawks determine his status for Week 6 against the New Orleans Saints. Kenneth Walker III and DeeJay Dallas would see an uptick in usage if Penny cannot suit up in Week 6.

From RotoBaller

Allen Robinson Oct 5 10:40pm ET
Allen Robinson

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Allen Robinson II is off to a disappointing start with his new team and will look to be more involved in the offense. Rams head coach Sean McVay said the game plan is to spread the ball around more, including Robinson. "A lot of it is out of his [Robinson] control." The 29-year-old has caught nine passes for 95 yards and a touchdown over four games in 2022. He has been unable to get separation and has failed to build a rapport with Rams starting quarterback Matthew Stafford. "It's based on the different coverages they see defensively, where he's lined up," McVay added. Robinson has struggled this season and will look to break out of his slump in a tough matchup against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 5.

From RotoBaller

Jadeveon Clowney Oct 5 10:40pm ET
Jadeveon Clowney

Cleveland Browns All-Pro pass-rusher Myles Garrett (biceps, shoulder), who flipped his Porsche multiple times on Sept. 26, returned to practice on Wednesday after suffering a sprained left shoulder and strained right biceps in his scary car crash. The fact that he was able to practice early in the week means he has a good chance at playing this Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers after he missed last week's loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Fellow pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney (ankle) didn't practice Wednesday, but head coach Kevin Stefanski said he hopes Clowney will be able to play in Week 5. The 26-year-old Garrett has three sacks through three games and is typically a must-start defensive lineman in IDP leagues when he's active.

From RotoBaller

David Montgomery Oct 5 10:30pm ET
David Montgomery

Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery (ankle) was a non-participant in Wednesday's practice. He missed practice last week and was eventually ruled out for Week 4 against the New York Giants. The 25-year-old will have two more chances to practice determining his status for Week 5 against the Minnesota Vikings. Montgomery remains day-to-day. Khalil Herbert will be the lead Bear's lead back if Montgomery is ruled out. Herbert rushed 19 times for 77 yards and caught his only target for 24 yards in last Sunday's 20-12 loss to the Giants.

From RotoBaller

Richie James Oct 5 10:30pm ET
Richie James

New York Giants wide receivers Kenny Golladay (knee) and Richie James (ankle) and backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor (concussion) did not participate in practice Wednesday. Golladay will likely miss the Week 5 contest in London against the Green Bay Packers after suffering a sprained MCL in last week's win over the Chicago Bears. The 28-year-old has been an afterthought in New York's offense through four weeks, catching just two of six targets for 22 yards. He doesn't belong on fantasy rosters outside of the deepest of formats. James played a season-low 32 percent of the snaps last Sunday and caught one of three targets for just nine yards. The 27-year-old is in danger of missing this weekend's game and isn't much of an option for fantasy lineups to begin with, especially if one or both of Kadarius Toney and rookie Wan'Dale Robinson return in Week 5.

From RotoBaller

Austin Seibert Oct 5 10:30pm ET
Austin Seibert

Detroit Lions kicker Austin Seibert (groin) was a limited practice participant on Wednesday after missing the Week 4 loss to the Seattle Seahawks due to a right groin injury. It's a step in the right direction after he didn't practice at all last week before being inactive on Sunday. As long as the 25-year-old doesn't suffer a setback on Thursday or Friday, he'll have a good chance of returning to kick against the New England Patriots in Week 5. Through three games, Seibert has found himself on the streaming radar in fantasy because of the fact that the Lions offense is averaging a league-high 35.0 points so far. If he's active in Week 5, Seibert will be back on the streaming radar against New England.

From RotoBaller

Mo Alie-Cox Oct 5 10:20pm ET
Mo Alie-Cox

Indianapolis Colts tight end Mo Alie-Cox finally put together a strong performance during the last week's contest. He hauled in all six of his targets for 85 yards and two touchdowns in their loss. However, Alie-Cox offered very little to the offense before that breakout performance. That being said, it's going to be tough to trust him heading into the Week 5 matchup against the Denver Broncos. Fantasy managers should consider Alie-Cox a touchdown-dependent option for this week.

From RotoBaller

Wan'Dale Robinson Oct 5 10:20pm ET
Wan'Dale Robinson

New York Giants wide receivers Kadarius Toney (hamstring) and Wan'Dale Robinson (knee) were both limited in Wednesday's practice session. It looks as though the Giants receiving corps is getting healthier, although Kenny Golladay (knee) and Richie James Jr. (ankle) didn't practice. Toney has missed the last two games, while Robinson hasn't played since getting injured in his NFL debut in Week 1. There's a chance both Toney and Robinson return for the London game against the Green Bay Packers in Week 5, and there will be more opportunity with Sterling Shepard (knee) done for the year. However, it's really hard to count on any Giants receiver at this point, making Toney and Robinson merely deep-league stashes until they can prove themselves and stay healthy.

From RotoBaller

Kyle Pitts Oct 5 10:10pm ET
Kyle Pitts

Atlanta Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts (hamstring) missed the team's practice on Wednesday with a hamstring injury. It remains to be seen if Pitts is actually in danger of missing the Week 5 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but fantasy managers must have a backup plan in place in case he's inactive. The 21-year-old played a season-low 62 percent of the offensive snaps in a run-heavy game script in the win over the Cleveland Browns in Week 4, and he hasn't done much for fantasy managers outside of his five-catch, 87-yard performance in Week 3. Pitts caught just one of his four targets for 25 yards last Sunday. If he manages to return to practice this week and is active on Sunday, he'll be a low-end TE1, at best, against Tampa.

From RotoBaller