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.
Free-agent WR Antonio Brown has had communication 'with a few teams that are interested,' according to agent Drew Rosenhaus Saturday, Sept. 21. Rosenhaus adds those teams 'want information regarding his legal situation and the NFL investigation.' A deal isn't likely to happen until the league's investigation is resolved, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
New England Patriots S Nate Ebner (groin) was added to the injury report Saturday, Sept. 21, and is considered questionable for Sunday.
Arizona Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson won't be traded, according to general manager Steve Keim Friday, Sept. 20. 'We're not trading Pat and that's something we've been very consistent with, from (team President) Michael (Bidwill) to myself to coach (Kliff Kingsbury),' Keim said. 'When you look at the kind of player Pat is, and I think arguably the best corner in the National Football League, all you have to do is say, 'Does this make your team better or worse?' And I think to lose someone like Pat Peterson would make us worse.' Peterson remains under contract with the Cardinals through the end of next season when he'll carry a $13.2 million cap hit.
Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (concussion) could be 'weeks' away from a return to the field, according to a source Saturday, Sept. 21. Reed hasn't played yet this season and has already been ruled out for Monday Night Football against the Chicago Bears.
Fantasy Spin: Reed is free to drop in all formats with fantasy managers best off streaming the position based on weekly matchups.
Detroit Lions DE Da'Shawn Hand (elbow) was ruled out for Week 3 Saturday, Sept. 21. Hand had been considered questionable.
Detroit Lions WR Marvin Hall was added to the active roster from the practice squad Saturday, Sept. 21. WR Chris Lacy was released from the active roster and DE Jonathan Wynn was signed to the practice squad.
Washington Redskins DL Jonathan Allen (knee), CB Fabian Moreau (ankle), OT Morgan Moses (knee), S Montae Nicholson (foot) and WR Robert Davis (knee) were all full participants in practice Saturday, Sept. 21. CB Quinton Dunbar (knee), QB Colt McCoy (fibula) and LB Cassanova McKinzy (hip) didn't participate. Allen and Dunbar are considered questionable for Monday against the Chicago Bears. McCoy and McKinzy have been ruled out.
Seattle Seahawks DE Ziggy Ansah (shoulder) will make his season debut Sunday, Sept. 22, against the New Orleans Saints. 'Ziggy's ready to play,' Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said Friday, Sept. 20. 'Ready to play football. We're excited to see that. It has been a really good process to get him to this where he's in good shape too. He's worked hard and long, so he's in better shape than sometimes when a guy is just coming back. We'll be able to get him a bunch of plays here in this game, and we're looking forward to his participation with us.'
Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (concussion) was ruled out for Week 3 Saturday, Sept. 21. He'll miss Washington's game against the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football.
Fantasy Spin: Backup Vernon Davis has seven catches for 88 yards and a touchdown through two games in place of Reed this season. Fantasy managers should be moving on from Reed at this point with Davis just one of the viable replacements available on the waiver wire.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen has seen his production capped by Kirk Cousins' rough start, though he secured 5-of-8 targets for 75 yards in Week 2. He has a golden opportunity to break out in Week 3's tilt as the Vikings will face the Raiders and their tissue-soft secondary at home. Thielen lines up everywhere, but he should see Daryl Worley (4.64 40-yard dash) the most in coverage on Sunday. Advantage - Adam Thielen. The Vikings are big favorites (-8.5), which will likely lead to featuring Dalvin Cook and the rushing attack. However, Thielen should still be started as a low-end WR1/high-end WR2 as his 26% target share leads the team and he should be able to torch the Raiders even on limited opportunities. He's also a sneaky tournament play in daily formats as he could go under-owned and has a high ceiling.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs is coming off a Week 2 performance where he caught just 1-of-7 targets, but the catch resulted in a 49-yard touchdown that saved his fantasy day. He had another touchdown called back in the contest. Diggs has been a victim of Cousins' erratic play and low passing volume, but his Week 3 matchup against the Oakland Raiders is enticing. He'll square off against Gareon Conley and the rest of the Oakland defensive backfield, a group that has gotten absolutely ripped by receivers this season. They've allowed a combined 104.9 PPR points to wide receivers through Week 2 (vs. DEN, vs. KC). Start Diggs as a mid-range WR2 in this beatable matchup. His high target share in this offense gives him a decent floor and a high ceiling, which also puts him in play for daily tournaments as a reduced-ownership play.
Chicago Bears DT Bilal Nichols (hand) did not participate in practice Saturday, Sept. 21 and has been ruled out for the team's Week 3 game Monday, Sept. 23. OG Kyle Long (hip) also did not practice Saturday and is listed as questionable. TE Trey Burton (groin), S Eddie Jackson (shoulder) and PK Eddy Pineiro (knee) were limited as are listed as questionable. DT Eddie Goldman (oblique) fully participated in practice and was removed from the Week 3 injury report.
Free-agent WR Antonio Brown (Patriots) attracted interest from the Seattle Seahawks after his release from the Oakland Raiders, but that no longer appears to be the case after he was released Friday, Sept. 20, by the New England Patriots. 'We're pretty well set (at wide receiver) right now,' Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said when asked about Brown at a Friday news conference. 'We kind of know where we're going with that.'
Fantasy Spin: With the issues surrounding Brown morphing from bizarre to decidedly more serious, don't expect to see him in the league for the rest of the season.
Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook is leading the league in rushing through two weeks, carrying 41 times for 265 yards (6.5 YPC) and three touchdowns. His 20.5 attempts/game only trails Marlon Mack, and his three runs of 20 or more yards also lead the NFL. Minnesota has run the highest percentage of run plays in the NFL and that is unlikely to change this week as they are 8.5-point favorites at home. The Oakland Raiders have only allowed 98 rushing yards (vs. DEN) and 31 rushing yards (vs. KC) through Week 2, but they haven't faced a running back like Dalvin Cook and the likelihood of seeing 20+ touches yet again pushes him way up the rankings. Consider "Chef" Dalvin a top-tier RB1 in this delicious matchup at home.
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Demarcus Robinson had a huge game versus the Oakland Raiders in Week 2. He caught all six of his targets for 172 yards and two touchdowns in the victory. Robinson was one of the most popular pickups throughout the week, but fantasy owners should get ready for disappointment. Robinson will once again be involved in the offense, but Sammy Watkins and Mecole Hardman will see targets as well. It was rare that Robinson caught all of his targets, and one of them being a 44 yard touchdown due to blown coverage. The Baltimore Ravens secondary isn't much better, but fantasy owners shouldn't expect the same result twice. Robinson is someone to be looked at as a shaky WR2 or a reliable WR3 for Week 3.
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce came to play in the Week 2 victory over the Oakland Raiders. Kelce caught seven of his nine targets for 107 yards and one touchdown. The Chiefs offense doesn't seem to ever slow down and that should be the case again in Week 3. The Baltimore Ravens Defense is coming off a game where they gave up 349 passing yards to rookie quarterback Kyler Murray. Earl Thomas should be able to slow down Kelce somewhat, but fantasy owners should expect a TE1 type of performance from him once again.
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman was able to make some noise for the team in the victory over the Oakland Raiders in Week 2. Hardman caught four passes for 61 yards and a touchdown in that contest. Tyreek Hill (shoulder) remains sidelined, so Hardman will continue to have decent fantasy value. Demarcus Robinson outplayed Hardman last week, but who knows if that will happen again. The Baltimore Ravens secondary is shaky, so the Chiefs should have no issues on offense. Hardman has WR2 upside, but at worst he's a solid WR3 for Week 3 against Baltimore.
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins saw a team-high 13 targets in the victory over the Oakland Raiders in Week 2. However, Watkins hauled in just six of those balls for 49 yards and didn't find the end zone. It was a disappointing game for fantasy owners as Watkins was expected to be much better with Tyreek Hill (shoulder) sidelined. Watkins will get a chance to rebound here against a Baltimore Ravens Defense in Week 3. The same defense that just got carved up by rookie quarterback Kyler Murray last week for 349 passing yards. Fantasy owners can hope that Watkins will fulfill his WR1 potential in Week 3.
Chicago Bears WR Cordarrelle Patterson has a fan in Bears head coach Matt Nagy, who is trying to find the best way to utilize Patterson's speed and play-making ability on offense. 'Now what he's morphed into as a player throughout his (NFL) career, it's pretty unique,' Nagy said. 'As a play-caller it allowed you to be flexible with what you can do. You saw (against the Broncos) we were able to get him on the edge. He's a big dude that's flying around there with a lot of speed.'
Fantasy Spin: Courtesy of a big 46-yard run in Week 2, Patterson only has 51 yards on four touches, including a 3-yard reception, this season, meaning he's most likely to play the role of fantasy vulture -- as he did a season ago in New England -- stealing valuable touches and points from the rest of the Bears' already fringe fantasy cast.
Kansas City Chiefs running back LeSean McCoy should be looking at a heavier workload for Sunday's Week 3 contest versus the Baltimore Ravens. Lead back Damien Williams (knee) has already been ruled out for this one. McCoy has been battling an ankle issue, so the Chiefs will be cautious about that. Darwin Thompson is going to see some snaps as well, so McCoy isn't overloaded. McCoy is a low-end RB2 for Week 3, but he could have more upside. It all depends on how McCoy's ankle is feeling on Sunday.