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FFL: Playoff Week 2 | NFL: Week 14

Colts embrace high expectations as training camp opens

Wed Jul 24 1:55pm ET
By MICHAEL MAROT
AP Sports Writer

Players: Andrew Luck, Jack Doyle, Spencer Ware, Ross Travis, Daurice Fountain, Deon Cain

Indianapolis Colts cornerback Pierre Desir (35) speaks during a player availability before the start of the NFL team's football training camp in Westfield, Ind., Wednesday, July 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)


Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard talks about the status of players during an availability before the start of the NFL team's football training camp in Westfield, Ind., Wednesday, July 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)


Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Darius Leonard (53) answers questions during a player availability before the start of the NFL team's football training camp in Westfield, Ind., Wednesday, July 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)


WESTFIELD, Ind. (AP) A strained calf prevented Andrew Luck from throwing at the Indianapolis Colts' offseason workouts.

Unlike the past two summers, nobody at training camp seems terribly worried.

General manager Chris Ballard said Wednesday the Colts will limit the work of Luck and a handful of his teammates as a precaution when practice begins Thursday.

''He didn't do anything this spring and we don't want him to have a setback,'' Ballard said after the Colts reported to their complex in Westfield, a northwestern suburb of Indianapolis. ''We're just making sure we're taking all the right steps with him and with all of these guys.''

The other players on that list include tight ends Jack Doyle and Ross Travis, starting safety Clayton Geathers, and receiver Deon Cain, all coming back from injuries. Second-year receiver Daurice Fountain could miss a few days, too, after rolling an ankle during a private workout. Running back Spencer Ware has been placed on the physically unable to perform list with an undisclosed muscle injury.

Previously, Ballard said second-year coach Frank Reich also would give extra days off to older veterans such as longtime left tackle Anthony Castonzo and defensive end Justin Houston, a free agent signee. And the Colts intend to be especially cautious with players during the first week of camp when Ballard said data show most injuries occur.

Outsiders don't appear to be worried. With expectations of the Colts making a deep playoff run soaring, players are downplaying the talk and focusing on what they need to get done over the next three weeks at Grand Park Sports Campus.

''We always talk about blocking out the noise,'' All-Pro linebacker Darius Leonard said. ''I just have a laser focus so I'm coming in with the same mentality as last year.''

There is good reason for hope.

After missing the entire 2017 season following surgery on his throwing shoulder, Luck returned last year and led the Colts to their first playoff appearance in four years. He delivered with perhaps, the best season of his seven-year career and ran away with the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year award.

Many believe he'll be even better in his second season in coach Frank Reich's offense and playing behind a young offensive line that brings back all five starters from a unit that allowed a league-low 18 sacks in 2018.

''Andrew has really been able to have even more input into the system this year in the meetings and putting his imprint on what we are doing now, knowing what he likes, what he doesn't like, and why he likes what he likes within our system,'' Reich said during the team's three-day minicamp in June. ''I think it has taken the meetings to a higher level.''

Luck and Reich did not speak Wednesday, though Luck is expected to return to the field Thursday.

But older Colts have been seen all this play out before.

Following an AFC championship game loss in January 2015, many prognosticators tabbed the Colts as a Super Bowl favorite heading into the 2015 season. Instead, Luck missed nine games with myriad injuries and finished the season on injured reserve as the Colts stumbled to an 8-8 record and failed to make the playoffs.

A year later, Ballard joined the team following the firing of Ryan Grigson. Last year, Reich replaced the fired Chuck Pagano.

Luck & Co. have not forgotten what went wrong and may be wary of buying into the hype again. Ballard embraces the chatter.

''Expectations are a good thing, not a bad thing. That's a good thing,'' he said. ''But every year is a new year, it just is. We don't want to be a momentum team, we want to continue to work and get better.''

Player Notes
Noah Fant Dec 8 4:00pm ET

Denver Broncos tight end Noah Fant was carted off the field in Week 14's game against the Houston Texans. The rookie suffered a foot injury and was taken to the locker room on a cart but was later seen returning to the sideline, also on the cart. With the Broncos up 38-17 in the fourth quarter, there's no reason to rush Fant back into the game. Before leaving, he'd caught four passes for 113 yards and a touchdown.

From RotoBaller

DeVante Parker Dec 8 3:30pm ET

Miami Dolphins wide receivers Devante Parker (concussion) and Albert Wilson (concussion) have both been ruled out for Sunday's game at the Jets. Parker had two catches for 28 yards before being evaluated for a concussion and Wilson had just one catch for five yards. The Dolphins will update the status of each after the game but both are question marks for next week. Allen Hurns and Isaiah Ford are the leading receivers for Miami with tight end Mike Gesicki also expected to see more usage if Parker were to miss time.

From RotoBaller

Mohamed Sanu Dec 8 3:23pm ET

New England Patriots WR Mohamed Sanu (ankle) is officially active for the team's Week 14 game.

Fantasy Spin: Sanu has had one good game since joining the Patriots but has been dealing with the ankle injury. He should see a solid amount of targets and can be a No. 3 receiver or flex option in fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Jameis Winston Dec 8 3:23pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston (hand) suffered a right hand injury during the Week 14 game and is considered questionable to return.

Fantasy Spin: Fantasy players should keep an eye on the situation to see if Winston will miss an extended period of time because of the injury. Ryan Griffin would take over the starting job if Winston is sidelined but should be avoided in fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Desmond Trufant Dec 8 3:23pm ET

Atlanta Falcons CB Desmond Trufant (forearm) suffered a forearm injury during the Week 14 game and is considered questionable to return.

From TheHuddle

A'Shawn Robinson Dec 8 3:23pm ET

Detroit Lions DT A'Shawn Robinson (shoulder) suffered a shoulder injury during the Week 14 game and is considered questionable to return.

From TheHuddle

Auden Tate Dec 8 3:20pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Auden Tate was forced to leave Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns with an apparent ankle injury. Tate went down awkwardly on his ankle in the third quarter after making a catch, and while he was able to walk off the field under his own power, he was soon after walking to the locker room with his gloves and helmet off. There has been no official announcement yet, but Tate looked doubtful to return at best. Before getting hurt, he made one catch for 16 yards on four targets.

From RotoBaller

Julian Edelman Dec 8 3:13pm ET

New England Patriots WR Julian Edelman (shoulder) is officially active for the team's Week 14 game.

Fantasy Spin: Edelman continues to be the main option in the passing game for the Patriots and will see plenty of targets this week. He is a must-start option in all leagues.

From TheHuddle

Jared Cook Dec 8 3:10pm ET

New Orleans Saints tight end Jared Cook (concussion) has been ruled out for the remainder of Sunday's game with the 49ers. Cook took a hit to the head that was flagged for targeting a defenseless receiver while coming down with his second touchdown of the day. Cook was evaluated for a possible head injury and has been ruled out according to the team's Twitter account. Josh Hill is now listed as the team's starting tight end but he won't have any fantasy relevance. Expect Taysom Hill to play the role of tight end for New Orleans near the goal line.

From RotoBaller

Derrius Guice Dec 8 3:10pm ET

Washington Redskins running back Derrius Guice has been ruled out for the remainder of Week 14's game against the Green Bay Packers. Guice exited due to a knee injury and was immediately labeled as questionable to return. Not much later, he was ruled out for the rest of the contest. Before being forced to leave, Guice ran the ball five times for an explosive 42 yards. With all of Guice's previous knee issues, this is of course something to keep an eye on heading into Week 15 as well. Adrian Peterson will carry the load for Washington on the ground for as long as Guice is out.

From RotoBaller

Dec 8 3:03pm ET

The Oakland Raiders have declared LB Kyle Wilber, WR Hunter Renfrow, CB Isaiah Johnson, DL Terrell McClain, QB Mike Glennon, OG Trent Brown and RB Josh Jacobs inactive for Week 14.

From TheHuddle

JuJu Smith-Schuster Dec 8 3:03pm ET

The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared CB Artie Burns, QB Paxton Lynch, LB Tuzar Skipper, RB James Conner, OT Chukwuma Okorafor, TE Zach Gentry and WR JuJu Smith-Schuster inactive for Week 14.

From TheHuddle

Damien Williams Dec 8 3:03pm ET

The Kansas City Chiefs have declared QB Chad Henne, CB Rashad Fenton, RB Damien Williams, OT Jackson Barton, CB Morris Claiborne, TE Deon Yelder and OG Nick Allegretti inactive for Week 14.

From TheHuddle

Josh Jacobs Dec 8 3:00pm ET

Oakland Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (shoulder) has been ruled out for week 14 vs Tennessee. Jacobs was attempting to play through a broken shoulder plate but was ruled out after testing his shoulder with trainers during pregame warmups. Jalen Richard and Deandre Washington would likely split work in Jacobs' absence with Richard having more fantasy relevance thanks to his role in the passing game.

From RotoBaller

Jared Cook Dec 8 2:53pm ET

Updating a previous report, New Orleans Saints TE Jared Cook (concussion) suffered a concussion during the Week 14 game and will not return.

Fantasy Spin: Cook will need to pass all of the concussion tests before he is cleared to play, so his status for Week 15 is uncertain. Josh Hill would be the main tight end for the Saints if Cook misses time and could be a low-end No. 1 tight end in deeper leagues.

From TheHuddle

Mark Andrews Dec 8 2:53pm ET

Baltimore Ravens TE Mark Andrews (knee) suffered a knee injury during the Week 14 game and is considered doubtful to return.

Fantasy Spin: Fantasy players will need to keep an eye on the situation since Andrews has been one of the better tight ends in the NFL. Hayden Hurst and Nick Boyle would see more targets if Andrew misses any time and could be starting options in some leagues.

From TheHuddle

Seth DeValve Dec 8 2:43pm ET

The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared DT Carl Davis, DB Ronnie Harrison, TE Seth DeValve, CB Tae Hayes, QB Joshua Dobbs, OT Brandon Thomas and DT Dontavius Russell inactive for Week 14.

From TheHuddle

Denzel Perryman Dec 8 2:43pm ET

The Los Angeles Chargers have declared LB Denzel Perryman, OG Spencer Drango, DB Tevaughn Campbell, DL Jerry Tillery, QB Easton Stick, OT Trey Pipkins and S Roderic Teamer inactive for Week 14.

From TheHuddle

Quinton Dunbar Dec 8 2:43pm ET

Washington Redskins CB Quinton Dunbar (hamstring) suffered a hamstring injury during the Week 14 game and is considered questionable to return.

From TheHuddle

Derrius Guice Dec 8 2:40pm ET

Washington Redskins running back Derrius Guice (knee) exited Sunday's game vs the Packers and is being evaluated for a possible knee injury. Guice walked off under his own power, but given his injury history, there's reason to be concerned. The team doctors were looking at his left knee which is the one he injured earlier this season. The Redskins have listed him as questionable to return. Adrian Peterson would see an uptick in carries in Guice's absence.

From RotoBaller