Wed Oct 16 4:27pm ET
By DAVID GINSBURG
AP Sports Writer
Players: Russell Wilson
In this Sept. 8, 2019, file photo, Baltimore Ravens free safety Earl Thomas (29) intercepts a pass, as Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker (11), attempts to tackle, during the first half at an NFL football game, in Miami Gardens, Fla. Over the course of nine NFL seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, Earl Thomas picked off 28 passes, earned a Super Bowl ring and was selected to the Pro Bowl six times. Those are some of the memories the standout safety will take across the country before he faces former team on Sunday as a member of the Baltimore Ravens.(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)
OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) Over the course of nine NFL seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, Earl Thomas picked off 28 passes, earned a Super Bowl ring and was selected to the Pro Bowl six times.
Those are some of the memories the standout safety will take across the country before he faces his former team Sunday as a member of the Baltimore Ravens.
''They gave me my first shot. I won so many games there, grew up as a young man there,'' Thomas said Wednesday. ''So I'm always going to respect that organization and always going to be a part of it.''
The 30-year-old Thomas started 125 games in Seattle, but his 2018 season began with a training camp holdout and effectively ended when he extended his middle finger toward the Seahawks bench while being carted off the field with a broken leg in Week 4.
Thomas, however, views his exit as the result of the team's desire to save salary cap space while retaining their linebackers.
''I feel like they were kind of trying to phase me out,'' Thomas said.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll has a different take on the circumstances surrounding Thomas' departure.
''I wish he could have played with us and we could have stayed together forever. But it didn't work out that way,'' Carroll said. ''We parted ways. That's it.''
After losing safety Eric Weddle to free agency, the Ravens were delighted to provide Thomas with a four-year, $55 million contract. The deal surprised him, not just monetarily but in who offered it.
''I thought maybe the Cowboys, to be totally honest,'' he recalled. ''I thought that's what the story was looking like until the money got funny.''
And so ended a successful run in Seattle that included seven playoff appearances, two Super Bowl games and a brutish defense nicknamed ''The Legion of Boom.''
''He went on and pursued another opportunity, got a great shot with the Ravens,'' Carroll said. ''Earl was an incredible competitor, and I loved coaching him. I think it will be fun playing against him.''
Seattle's loss has been a boon to the AFC North-leading Ravens (4-2). Thomas already has an interception and 19 tackles in addition to providing leadership in the locker room and on the field.
''He has taken to the whole thing,'' coach John Harbaugh said. ''He believes in what we're doing and how we're doing it, culture-wise and football-wise. I love being around him. I love his demeanor. I love his desire to be great, and I think it's rubbing off on the guys.''
Thomas has no idea what to expect from Seattle fans who cheered for him for the better part of the past decade.
''I thought about it late at night,'' he said. ''Hopefully they respect what I've done and I get a couple of cheers, not too many boos. Whatever happens, happens. But hopefully it's love.''
Thomas said he's feeling ''no emotions yet'' but can't guarantee it will stay that way when he walks into the stadium he used to call home.
''Maybe when I get to the visiting locker room and see how that feels, maybe it will add something to it,'' he said. ''But other than that, it's business as usual. I'm going out there to compete, make plays and try to help us win.''
Understanding that this game has to be meaningful for Thomas, Harbaugh made the newcomer one of the team captains on Sunday.
''I'm sure that he's excited and looking forward to it,'' Harbaugh said. ''He's got a lot of friends there and the fan base there, I think for anybody it would be a meaningful thing.''
Thomas will be part of an ever-changing secondary that is without injured starters Tony Jefferson, DeShon Elliott, Tavon Young and Jimmy Smith. Baltimore traded for two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Marcus Peters on Tuesday and signed safety Bennett Jackson from the New York Jets practice squad.
Both expect to be used Sunday against the Seahawks (5-1), who have the league's eighth-ranked pass offense behind quarterback Russell Wilson. Peters was expected to join the team on Thursday.
''To me, he's one of the top corners in the league,'' Harbaugh said of Peters. ''He fits in real well and gives us another weapon back there.''
The Denver Broncos will have a scout in attendance for free-agent QB Colin Kaepernick's (49ers) workout on Saturday, Nov. 13, according to general manager John Elway.
Seattle Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett (shin) returned to Seattle on Wednesday, Nov. 13, after spending the previous two nights in the hospital, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Lockett is expected to be ready to play when the team returns from its bye on Sunday, Nov. 24.
Fantasy Spin: Seattle's bye came at the right time for Lockett, who gets 13 days to recover from his shin contusion. There's unlikely to be more news on his injury this week but do keep an eye on things next week just to ensure everything is proceeding as planned.
Updating a previous report, Atlanta Falcons TE Austin Hooper (knee) is considered 'week to week' by the team, according to ESPN's Vaughn McClure, who added that head coach Dan Quinn denied an earlier report that Hooper will be sidelined for a month.
Fantasy Spin: Hooper is obviously one of the top fantasy tight ends this season, so the fewer games he misses the better. At this point all we're sure of is that Hooper won't play Sunday against the Panthers so make alternate plans, but don't cut Hooper unless you have no other option.
New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman will get a juicy matchup in Week 11 against a leaky Eagles secondary. Edelman has been as solid as a rock all season, posting 63 receptions for 663 yards and four touchdowns through his first nine games this season. Now he will face an Eagles Defense that is allowing the eighth most fantasy points to opposing receivers this season. They have surrendered 12 touchdowns to receivers and 11 different receivers have scored 10-plus fantasy points against them. The Patriots passing game should be able to exploit the Eagles, making Edelman a low-end WR1 for Week 11.
New England Patriots wide receiver Mohamed Sanu will look to build off his excellent performance in Week 9 when the Patriots take on the Eagles in Week 11. In his second game with his new team, Sanu caught 10 passes for 81 yards and one touchdown. The veteran now will face an Eagles Defense that is allowing the eighth most fantasy points to receivers this season. Sanu actually caught four passes for 16 yards against the Eagles in Week 2 but he played for the Falcons at the time. The Eagles secondary has allowed seven 100-yard receiving games to receivers this season, a number Sanu could conceivably achieve in Week 11. Sanu will carry WR2/3 value into Sunday's matchup.
The New England Patriots Defense will look to get back to its elite ways in Week 11 against the Eagles. The defense was exposed in Week 9 by the Ravens and have had an entire bye week to stew about it. They will face an Eagles offense that has been inconsistent this season and has allowed 12 sacks over their last four games. Before the Ravens game, the Patriots defense was on pace to break all sorts of fantasy records. Now they will have a chance to get back on track in Week 11 and should be considered a top-five fantasy play among defenses this coming Sunday.
New England Patriots running back Sony Michel will try and get his season on track against the Eagles in Week 11. It won't be easy as the Eagles Defense has allowed the eighth fewest fantasy points to opposing backs this season. Outside of the Cowboys Ezekiel Elliott rushing for 111 yards against them in Week 7, no other running back has posted more than 63 rushing yards in a single game. Michel's fantasy status has been saved by his six rushing touchdowns this season but must drastically improve upon his 3.3 yards per carry. The second-year running back could disappoint with this difficult matchup in Week 11.
New England Patriots running back James White is coming off the bye week with 44 receptions for 404 yards this season heading into Week 11's action. The veteran will go up against an Eagles Defense that is allowing the eighth fewest fantasy points to running backs this season. The Eagles have been tough on the run all season and have surrendered only one receiving touchdown to an opposing running back all season. The Patriots will still look to exploit the underneath passing game and White should see a solid amount of targets. But don't expect the world out of White in fantasy for Week 11.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Co. will be ready to roll of their bye week when they play the Eagles in Week 11. After a disappointing loss to the Ravens, the Patriots offense will look to get back on track against an Eagles Defense allowing the 15th most fantasy points to opposing passers. Brady is having another top-10 fantasy season at the quarterback position but has posted only modest totals the past few games. The Eagles secondary is still a mess but the defensive unit has allowed only an average of 15.1 fantasy points to quarterbacks over their last three games. But Brady is no average quarterback and should post top-10 totals once again in Week 11.
The Chicago Bears Defense will go up against a Rams offense in Week 11 that was manhandled by a feisty Steelers Defense last week. Los Angeles' offense has taken a step back this season and quarterback Jared Goff has already thrown nine interceptions this season. The Bears defense still is posting decent fantasy numbers but the takeaways have been on the decline over the past month. The Rams will be without multiple starters on their offensive line for this important game and the Bears defense will be an appealing choice with Khalil Mack and Co. can take advantage in Week 11.
Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery will face a Rams Defense that is allowing the 11th fewest fantasy points to opposing backs this season. Montgomery's touches have been on the rise but, for the most part, his yardage is capping around 60-80 total yards a game. This is will be a challenging marker to hit against a Rams defense that hasn't allowed more than 66 rushing yards to a single running back since Week 5. The rookie does have three touchdowns over his last three games and will need a score to post RB2-type fantasy numbers in Week 11.
Chicago Bears running back Tarik Cohen will look to make an explosive play on Sunday Night Football when the Bears take on the Rams in Week 11. Cohen is coming off one of his more active games of the season, posting 37 total yards with one touchdown against the Lions last week. Cohen is a threat in the passing game but the Rams Defense has not allowed an opposing running back to post more than 35 receiving yards against them since Week 1. The Bears offense is still a major work in progress, making Cohen a very risky FLEX play in most fantasy formats for Week 11.
Chicago Bears wide receiver Taylor Gabriel will take on a Rams Defense that is allowing the 12th fewest fantasy points to opposing receivers this season. Gabriel caught four passes for 39 yards and one touchdown in last week's win and could see plenty of targets with teammate Allen Robinson being shadowed by top corner Jalen Ramsey. The Rams secondary, however, has been tough on wide receivers this season. Outside of a three-touchdown meltdown against the Seahawks, the Rams have allowed only four touchdowns to receivers all season. Gabriel should see at least one deep target in the game and will be no more than a dart-throw in deeper fantasy formats for Week 11.
Chicago Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky will try and bring his team back to .500 against the Rams in Week 11, Trubisky bounced back after a horrific showing against the Eagles by throwing three touchdowns against the Lions last week. But he will have a more challenging test this week against a Rams Defense that is allowing the 11th fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. They have, however, allowed an average of 281 yards passing over their last six games, The season is on the brink for both teams but Trubisky can't be trusted to deliver in fantasy for Week 11.
Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson will have a tough test against the Rams in Week 11. Robinson has been the only consistent source of production for the Bears this season, heading into the game with 53 receptions for 618 yards and three touchdowns. But he should see plenty of Jalen Ramsey shadowing him throughout the game and the Rams are allowing the 12th fewest fantasy points to receivers. In addition, outside of allowing three touchdowns in Week 5 to Seahawks receivers, the Rams have surrendered only four touchdowns to receivers all season. Touchdowns have already been hard to come by for the Bears offense this season and Robinson could struggle to post WR2 numbers in Week 11.
The San Francisco 49ers signed free agent DE Damontre Moore to a one-year deal on Wednesday, Nov. 13.
San Francisco 49ers DL Ronald Blair (knee) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list on Wednesday, Nov. 13.
New York Jets head coach Adam Gase will return for the 2020 season, owner Christopher Johnson said Wednesday, Nov. 13. In fact, the owner said no changes will be made to the coaching staff during or after the season.
The Miami Dolphins will not activated CB Aqib Talib (ribs) from the Reserve/Injured list, so he will miss the remainder of the 2019 season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers S M.J. Stewart (knee) will miss 'possible three to four' weeks due to the knee injury he suffered in Week 10, head coach Bruce Arians said Wednesday, Nov. 13.