Sat Aug 17 6:30pm ET
By PAT GRAHAM
AP Sports Writer
Players: Jimmy Garoppolo
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo throws a pass during a combined NFL training camp with the Denver Broncos Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, at the Broncos' headquarters in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Retired NFL head coach Mike Shanahan, center, talks to reporters during a combined NFL training camp at which the Denver Broncos hosted the San Francisco 49ers Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, at the Broncos' headquarters in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, back, tosses a ball as defensive backs coach Joe Woods looks on during a combined NFL training camp with the Denver Broncos Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, at the Broncos' headquarters in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio, left, chats with San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan during a combined NFL training camp Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, at the Broncos' headquarters in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) Mike Shanahan patrolled the sideline with his familiar stare as he watched his son's team practice against his former one.
No way could the former head coach stay away from the Denver Broncos headquarters this weekend.
For a decade, Shanahan avoided the facility where he won two Super Bowl titles before getting fired after the 2008 season.
Time, though, has thawed any hard feelings. And so has golf with Broncos boss John Elway, who made it clear that Shanahan was always welcome around team headquarters.
Shanahan certainly had good reason to drop by the past two days with Denver holding joint practices with the San Francisco 49ers coached by his son, Kyle.
''It's great to be back,'' said the elder Shanahan, who won back-to-back Super Bowl titles with Elway under center in the late 1990s. ''I haven't been here in 10 years and to see all the changes, a lot of people you were here before working with - it's great to see.''
Shanahan been a frequent guest of the 49ers since his son was hired by San Francisco in 2017. He mentored Jimmy Garoppolo after the QB suffered a torn ACL three games into the 2018 season. The two talked schemes and blitzes with Garoppolo's year finished.
''It was a chance for him to relax and have some fun and at the same time get to study some football together,'' Shanahan said.
Shanahan does miss coaching. A lot. Shanahan hasn't been a head coach since going 3-13 with Washington in 2013. He had conversations with Elway and nearly got another shot with the Broncos, who have turned things over to 60-year-old first-time head coach Vic Fangio.
''It didn't work out and sometimes it works out for the right reasons,'' said Shanahan, who also attended a Broncos practice last month. ''I made a decision a long time ago, right when I got fired, I said if I didn't get the right job right away that gave us a chance to win a Super Bowl, that I was going to do what I'm doing - be a dad, follow your son and the organization and be a part of that.''
Kyle Shanahan didn't get a chance to spend much time with his dad Saturday.
He had a practice to run.
Still, it was a surreal experience to be on the same turf where his father guided all those Broncos teams. Although the facilities have been updated, it's still the familiar place where he used to spend a bulk of his teen years.
''I've got a lot of memories here,'' Kyle Shanahan said. ''It's a very special place for me.''
Same goes for Mike Shanahan, who has a standing invitation to return anytime he wants - with one exception.
''Unless we're playing the 49ers in a real game,'' cracked Fangio, whose team faces the 49ers in a preseason matchup Monday night.
Shanahan has long been friends with Fangio, forged by years and years of matching wits. That helped pave the way for Shanahan's return. So did rounds of golf with Elway.
''It's always good to see him out here because I enjoy talking football with him,'' Elway said. ''As you all know, he's very knowledgeable in the game, so I'm glad that he's able to come back and know that this is home for him.''
One question that makes Shanahan sheepish is the notion that he belongs in the Broncos' Ring of Fame or even in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
''When people just mention you about those things, you go, `Wait a minute,''' said Shanahan, who amassed 170 wins with the Raiders, Broncos and Washington. ''You think Hall of Fame and you just say, `what a great honor,' when people talk to you about it. ... But I never even think about things you can't control.''
Shanahan does think the Broncos made the right move in hiring Fangio, who's trying to turn around a franchise that hasn't been to the postseason since winning the Super Bowl following the 2015 season in Peyton Manning's final game.
''No-nonsense guy, that understands the game,'' Shanahan said of Fangio. ''I think players will follow him very quickly.''
Naturally, Shanahan's a big fan of the coach in San Francisco, too. He believes the 49ers have put the pieces around his son to be competitive.
''All you want to have is the opportunity to have success,'' the father said. ''Kyle has been given that opportunity.''
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas finished with a season-low five receptions (seven targets) for 54 yards and a touchdown during the win over Seattle on Sunday. After compiling 20 catches on 26 looks coming into this one, his decline in attention from quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was somewhat troubling, to say the least. Nonetheless, he is expected to bounce back as he continues to build a rapport with Bridgewater, so now is not the time to sell-low. Keep him rolling against the Cowboys in Week 4 in a Sunday Night Football showdown.
New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara had a day on Sunday, finishing the win over with Seahawks with 69 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries to go along with 92 yards and a touchdown off of nine receptions. After failing to find the end zone through the first two weeks of 2019, this was easily the most impressive outing for the 24-year-old as he was a favorite of quarterback Teddy Bridgewater throughout the contest. Look for Kamara to stay on track in Week 4 against the Cowboys, with Kamara likely getting the same amount of attention from Bridgewater.
New York Giants star running back Saquon Barkley was diagnosed with a high ankle sprain, and there is speculation that the team could hold him out through the Week 11 bye. This would obviously be a deadly blow for both the Giants and fantasy teams. If this were to come true, it would put Barkley back in time for the fantasy playoffs, but the Giants would face the Bears in Week 12, Packers in Week 13 and Eagles in Week 14 before getting much easier matchups against the Dolphins and Redskins. Due to the speculative nature of the recovery time, you can't drop Barkley. However, holding him for eight weeks if you're not already 3-0 could also be tough. If you can find a confident owner in your re-draft league who is willing to give start-able players to acquire Saquon, it might not be a bad idea to make a move. Wayne Gallman will take over as the Giants lead back, but the team figures to throw far more, making Gallman just a RB3 or FLEX, depending on the matchup.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Teddy Bridgewater finished with 177 yards and two touchdowns on 19-for-27 passing in the win over the Seahawks on Sunday. The Stellar play of the Saints' offensive line kept pressure off of the 26-year-old, allowing Bridgewater to connect with Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas throughout the contest while walking away with a 70 percent completion percentage. With rumblings of Taysom Hill being involved to some degree coming into this one, Bridgewater made his case to remain the starter moving forward. Bridgewater isn't as mobile as he used to be, but with so many weapons at his disposal on the offensive end of the ball, he could be a useful starter in deeper fantasy leagues until Drew Brees (hand) is able to return.
New York Giants LB Alec Ogletree (hamstring), LB Tae Davis (concussion) and WR Russell Shepard (foot) were injured in Week 3 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Philadelphia Eagles WR Alshon Jeffery (calf) stands a good chance of playing in Week 4 after missing Week 3 with a calf injury, according to comments made by head coach Doug Pederson.
Fantasy Spin: Before his fantasy owners celebrate, the Eagles play Thursday night on the road against the Green Bay Packers, meaning he has less time to heal up and a difficult matchup. Nevertheless, Philadelphia needs the playmaking ability he provides, especially after losing the last two weeks. Consider him a WR3 this week if he can go.
Indianapolis Colts S Malik Hooker (knee) is expected to miss four to six weeks with a torn meniscus in his knee, according to a source via ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Updating a previous report, New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley (ankle) is expected to be sidelined anywhere from four to eight weeks - with the longer timeline being the more likely of the two outcomes - with the high-ankle sprain he suffered in Week 3 versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Fantasy Spin: ESPN's Adam Schefter speculates Barkley could return after the team's Week 11 bye in order to play the last six games of the season. Wayne Gallman is the only running back on the roster at the moment, meaning he will likely see the bulk of the workload for the immediate future even in the likely event New York adds a running back in the near future. However, he'll likely be little more than a flex option most weeks.
Detroit Lions CB Darius Slay (hamstring) left the game for good early in the third quarter with a hamstring injury in Week 3 against the Philadelphia Eagles. He offered only a 'we'll see' when asked if he'll be able to play in Week 4 versus the Kansas City Chiefs, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
Updating previous reports, Jacksonville Jaguars CB Jalen Ramsey (illness) will not practice due to an illness Monday, Sept. 23. A source told ESPN's Josina Anderson that Ramsey is actually sick and not trying to force the team's hand in regards to his recent trade demands.
Detroit Lions DT Mike Daniels (foot) was spotted in a walking boot following the team's Week 3 game versus the Philadelphia Eagles.
Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (foot) will not play in Week 4 against the Houston Texans. 'What Cam needs right now is time and rest for his foot. We want him at 100 percent when he's ready, so there's no exact timetable for his return. At this point, we're going to go forward with Kyle (Allen) as our starter,' head coach Ron Rivera said.
Fantasy Spin: Allen was brilliant in his place in Week 3, throwing for four touchdowns against the Arizona Cardinals. Rivera immediately shot down any speculation Newton will not remain the starter when he's healthy, although the jury remains out on when that will be. Allen will remain on the streaming radar in Week 4.
Updating previous reports, Atlanta Falcons S Keanu Neal (Achilles) will miss the remainder of the 2019 season after tearing his Achilles tendon in Week 3 against the Indianapolis Colts.
Updating previous reports, New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley (ankle) is expected to miss several weeks due to his high-ankle sprain, according to sources.
Fantasy Spin: It's not a surprise, and it's going to sting all Barkley owners. Wayne Gallman is expected to take over for Barkley, but he is not the answer in fantasy and won't be much more than a flex option in good matchups. Look for the Giants to find someone to bring in from the outside to at least share the work.
Updating an earlier report, Jacksonville Jaguars CB Jalen Ramsey (illness) will be examined by team doctors Monday, Sept. 23.
New England Patriots WR Julian Edelman (ribs) will have more tests done, and he may have an MRI Monday, Sept. 23.
Fantasy Spin: Edelman has a positive outlook for Week 4 unless something more severe is found. He's a good WR2 universally.
Jacksonville Jaguars CB Jalen Ramsey (illness) will not practice Monday, Sept. 23, or maybe all week, due to illness.
Updating previous reports, Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (quadriceps) aggravated the quadriceps injury he had coming into the game Sunday, Sept. 22. Hilton re-injured it a couple of plays before he scored a touchdown, but he didn't want to leave the game before the drive was over because he knew he wasn't coming back. He'll have tests done for re-evaluation.
Fantasy Spin: If he's able to recover in time for Week 4, he'll have a great matchup against the Oakland Raiders. More will be known later in the day after tests are done.
San Francisco 49ers WR Dante Pettis caught four of his five targets for 20 yards and a touchdown in Week 3 versus the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Fantasy Spin: Sadly, all of those marks are season highs. Pettis was quiet for most of the game, but his TD catch with 1:15 remaining was the game-winner and very much a "trust throw" from Jimmy Garoppolo as he split two defenders from about five yards away. It seems likely Pettis will eventually find his way back into head coach Kyle Shanahan's good graces and be fantasy relevant again soon, but he should be on waivers in most normal-sized leagues now. He'll have a chance to prove himself again after the team's Week 4 bye.
San Francisco 49ers RB Matt Breida ran 14 times for 68 yards and hauled in two of his three targets for 20 yards in Week 3 versus the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Fantasy Spin: Breida's 16 touches are a season high, but his upside is capped by sharing touches with Raheem Mostert outside the red zone and losing goal-line work to Jeff Wilson. The frustrating thing for fantasy owners is San Francisco is averaging nearly 40 rushing attempts and unable to make any one of its three backs anything more than a flex option. Breida has the most consistent role of the bunch, and he figures to remain a high-end flex when the 49ers return from their bye to meet the Cleveland Browns in Week 5.