Sun Aug 18 10:48pm ET
By DENNIS WASZAK Jr.
AP Pro Football Writer
Players: Sam Darnold
In this July 25, 2019, file photo, New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell participates during practice at the NFL football team's training camp in Florham Park, N.J. Bell's debut with the New York Jets will not come until the regular season after Adam Gase announced the star running back will be held out of the final two preseason games. Gase says Sunday, Aug. 18, he was leaning toward that decision, but a season-ending knee injury to linebacker Avery Williamson in the Jets' preseason loss at Atlanta on Thursday night sealed it. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Le'Veon Bell will have to wait a little longer for his debut with the New York Jets.
Coach Adam Gase announced Sunday night that the star running back will be held out of the team's final two preseason games.
''I was about 99% sure heading into the preseason,'' Gase said after the Jets' practice at MetLife Stadium. ''It was all based off of how he practiced, conditioning and all those types of things.''
Gase and Bell spoke about the plan when training camp started, and Bell's snaps increased in practiced last week.
Bell has been practicing fully and looked good in training camp after sitting out all last season in a contract dispute with Pittsburgh. Gase and the Jets don't want to take any unnecessary risks with Bell.
''We'll just get him as game ready as possible,'' Gase said. ''He's not really going to know until we get into a real game, but I feel like he's in great shape and he's been contacting about as good as anybody on the practice field.
''So, I feel confident he'll be ready to go (in) Week 1.''
That would be the regular-season opener against Buffalo on Sept. 8. It will mark the first time Bell will play in a game since the Steelers' playoff loss to Jacksonville on Jan. 14, 2018 - a span of nearly 20 months.
''I'll see y'all in September,'' Bell wrote on Twitter about an hour after Gase's announcement.
Gase acknowledged that a season-ending knee injury to linebacker Avery Williamson in the Jets' preseason loss at Atlanta on Thursday night sealed his decision to sit Bell until the regular season.
''Like I said, I was about 99.9% sure what we were going to do,'' Gase said. ''That probably made it 100.''
Williamson tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee with 3:52 left in the first half with mostly backups playing. Cornerback Tevaughn Campbell dived to defend a pass in the end zone and hit into the linebacker's knee.
An MRI on Friday revealed the severity of the injury, and Williamson was placed on injured reserve Saturday.
Gase took the blame for leaving Williamson in the game as late as he did, and said he regretted doing so.
Williamson was playing a new position with the starters at weakside linebacker this season instead of middle linebacker with the arrival of C.J. Mosley. Williamson remained in the game with the second-team defense because backup Neville Hewitt is also playing a new spot, and Hewitt would benefit from the veteran's presence on the field.
''Just looking back on it and hindsight's 20/20, but I wish would've gotten him out of there a series earlier,'' Gase said. ''But, I've talked with him, and it's on me.''
CENTER OF ATTENTION
Recently unretired center Ryan Kalil practiced in team drills for the first time since signing with the Jets nearly three weeks ago.
The 34-year-old Kalil had retired after last season, his 12th with the Carolina Panthers. He has been working to get into football shape, and took the snaps with the first-team offense Sunday night.
''I'm feeling good,'' Kalil said. ''It was exciting. Obviously, I'm a little rusty - not rusty, but just playing slow, you know?''
Kalil said he is still getting used to quarterback Sam Darnold's cadence, which led to a couple of bad snaps, and doesn't quite have the offensive playbook down yet.
''They don't have a Rosetta Stone for this, so it's like learning a new language,'' Kalil said.
Gase said he's hoping to play Kalil in a series in the Jets' next preseason game Saturday night against New Orleans.
''I love football, I just do,'' he said. ''We all do. It took me walking away to know that it was done, that I really wanted it to not be done just quite yet. I'm so fired up.''
S Marcus Maye (shoulder) has shed the red no-contact pinnie and is a full participant at practice. ... LB Jamey Mosley (knee) didn't practice. ... LB Harvey Langi (knee) is set to return this week. ... RT Brandon Shell sat out the game at Atlanta after injuring a knee in practice, but should be OK. ''It was probably more of a scare than anything,'' Gase said.
Waiver Wire Adds: Week 4
Las Vegas Raiders rookie wide receiver Henry Ruggs III (hamstring) is considered a long shot to play in Week 4 against the Bills due to a lingering hamstring injury, according to a source. The first-rounder shouldn't be out for an extended amount of time, but it's a concern for a player that relies heavily on his speed. Ruggs is also dealing with a knee ailment, and both injuries are a concern to the team. The rookie also sat out last week, so you'll need to temper expectations for the speedster when he gets back on the field. With fellow rookie Bryan Edwards also out this Sunday, it should be Hunter Renfrow, Zay Jones and Nelson Agholor in three-wide sets against a tough Bills Defense. The only pass-catcher for Las Vegas that you should be starting is tight end Darren Waller.
Las Vegas Raiders rookie wide receiver Bryan Edwards (ankle) has been ruled out for Week 4 against the Bills as he battles an ankle sprain, according to a source. Edwards is considered week-to-week moving forward. There's a chance that the No. 81 overall pick in this year's draft misses additional games. Fellow rookie Henry Ruggs III missed last week with an injury, so the Raiders could be short-handed at the position in a tough matchup this Sunday. If both rookies are inactive, it would be Hunter Renfrow, Zay Jones and Nelson Agholor in three-wide sets. Tight end Darren Waller figures to dominate the passing-game targets yet again, and he's really the only pass-catcher of this group worth using in starting lineups for Las Vegas.
Washington Football Team rookie pass-rusher Chase Young (groin) suffered a moderate groin strain in the Week 3 loss to the Browns and is expected to be out in Week 4 against the Ravens, according to sources. The No. 2 overall pick already has 2.5 sacks in his first three games, but he's considered week-to-week at this point. The former Ohio State star has asserted himself at the next level right away and has become relevant in IDP leagues right off the bat, but you'll have to look elsewhere this week and possibly next. Against a high-powered Baltimore offense that is looking to bounce back after losing to the Chiefs on Monday night, Washington's defense shouldn't be in anyone's starting lineup this weekend, especially with Young on the sidelines.
An MRI exam on Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin (hamstring) on Tuesday confirmed a mild hamstring pull, according to a source. Godwin will be out for Week 4 against the Chargers and could also miss next Thursday's game against the Bears, but he shouldn't be out much more after that. You'll obviously need to sit Godwin on your bench if you roster him. In two games in 2020, the 24-year-old has been productive with 11 catches on 13 targets for 143 yards and a touchdown. His absence will mean more looks for both Mike Evans and Scotty Miller. Evans is a must-start each and every week, while Miller will become a flex sleeper in deeper PPR leagues.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin (hamstring) has a mild hamstring pull that will keep him out for Week 4.
Fantasy Spin: He could also miss Week 5 since it's on Thursday night. Justin Watson, who had two catches for 48 yards last week, figures to be a hot pickup on waivers. He'll be a flex option if Scotty Miller (hip, groin) continues to be ailed.
Detroit Lions running back Adrian Peterson had more snaps, carries and yards than the rest of the team's backfield in the Week 3 win over the Cardinals. Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell made it sound as though Peterson could wind up being the lead back for the team in the immediate future. Detroit went with a committee approach the first two weeks, but AD played 40 snaps last Sunday and carried the ball 22 times for 75 yards while also catching a pass for 10 yards. Bevell was the future Hall of Famer's coach back when he was with the Vikings, so they have some history. Peterson has outperformed rookie D'Andre Swift and Kerryon Johnson, so the younger backs will continue to spell him in certain situations. Peterson doesn't have a ton of upside left towards the end of his career, but he'll be in the RB3/flex consideration because of his secure role as the leader (for now) of this backfield.
Los Angeles Chargers WR Keenan Allen has 20 receptions on 29 targets for 228 yards and a touchdown in the two games QB Justin Herbert has started.
Fantasy Spin: Allen's production was expected to dip a bit this season with the departure of Philip Rivers, but with Herbert looking his way early and often, Allen seems poised to stay in the low-end WR1, high-end WR2 mix.
Dallas Cowboys WR Cedrick Wilson caught five passes for 107 yards and two touchdowns against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 3, but Todd Archer of ESPN.com believes Wilson won't be 'anything more than a bit piece' of the offense going forward.
Fantasy Spin: Wilson didn't have a target coming into Week 3, and he is still the No. 4 or No. 5 option in the passing game, at best. Don't overreact and waste a waiver claim on Wilson after one big performance against a terrible Seattle secondary.
Detroit Lions RB Adrian Peterson will continue to see a heavy workload, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said Tuesday, Sept. 29. 'He wants the ball, we want him to have it, and we'll just keep continuing to go there,' Bevell said.
Fantasy Spin: Peterson has 43 carries for 209 yards through three games, rushing 22 times in Week 3. Peterson is a volume-based flex play in his current role, but it would be a surprise if rookie D'Andre Swift doesn't see more touches as the year goes on.
Free-agent DT Myles Adams (Panthers, DB Damarious Randall (Raiders), DT Kobe Smith (Titans) and LB Tim Williams (Packers) tried out for the Seattle Seahawks Tuesday, Sept. 29.
Free-agent WR Ryan Switzer (Steelers) visited the Cleveland Browns Tuesday, Sept. 29.
The Pittsburgh Steelers defense was going to enter Week 4 as a premier unit no matter the circumstances. But after a COVID-19 outbreak within the Tennessee organization where multiple players and personnel tested positive (but were asymptomatic), Pittsburgh will face an offense that likely wont be able to practice for the entire week. Derrick Henry will be difficult to tackle no matter the prevailing circumstances, but the boost of facing off against a team that may be out of sync should make the Steelers a highly valuable defensive fantasy asset. The league may opt to push the contest to Monday, which would take Pittsburghs defense out of DFS consideration come Sunday, so fantasy managers will want to check back for the latest updates.
Free-agent WR Gary Jennings (Dolphins), QB Kyle Lauletta (Falcons) and WR Damion Willis (Browns) tried out for the Detroit Lions Tuesday, Sept. 29.
Free-agent DB Nate Brooks (Dolphins), WR Trevor Davis (Bears) and QB Shea Patterson (Chiefs) worked out for the Houston Texans Tuesday, Sept. 29. Undrafted free-agent Kelly Bryant (Missouri) also tried out.
Free-agent DB Nevelle Clarke (Vikings), DB Tino Ellis (Saints) and DB Teez Tabor (49ers) tried out for the Miami Dolphins Tuesday, Sept. 29.
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Dede Westbrook has hauled in just one reception for four yards this season, with the time that he has seen due primarily to DJ Chark Jr.s absence last Thursday versus Miami. After back-to-back seasons with 66 receptions, Westbrook will have an uphill battle to that level of production in 2020 due to the breakout nature of rookie Laviska Shenault Jr. Despite working his way back from an undisclosed off-season injury, there likely arent many fantasy managers still hanging on for production at this stage; Westbrook is a massive risk due to his slipping role among an offense that has a plethora of options when Chark is healthy.
Free-agent LB Kendall Donnerson (Raiders, OT John Leglue (Saints) and OT Timon Parris (Falcons) tried out for the Cincinnati Bengals Tuesday, Sept. 29.
The San Francisco 49ers Defense may have sustained significant blows by losing Nick Bosa (knee) and Solomon Thomas (knee) for the remainder of the season in Week 2, but that didnt stop them from looking strong against the Giants in Week 3. Looking ahead, theyll face a rocky Eagles offense that has had to answer questions about Carson Wentzs starting quarterback status since Sunday, with a Dolphins squad two weeks away that is quarterbacked by Ryan Fitzpatrick, who has tossed three interceptions this season. While their status as the preeminent defensive unit may have taken a step back, San Francisco still unquestionably has a defense worth rostering and deploying on a weekly basis until the group proves otherwise.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard benefited greatly from Davante Adams (hamstring) absence during Week 3, amassing six receptions for a career-high 146 receiving yards and a touchdown. Should Adams continue to be sidelined this Sunday against Atlanta, Lazard would track up the board as a premier WR option due to the Falcons propensity for being burned by opposing wideouts through the first three weeks. Even if Adams is cleared to return, Lazard has clearly developed a rapport with Rodgers, hauling in 13 of the 17 targets that he has seen thus far in 2020. With other potential favorable matchups against Tampa Bay and Houston on the horizon, Lazard can be added in most season-long formats as an upside play for October, and potentially beyond.