Wed Sep 18 7:52pm ET
By MICHAEL WAGAMAN
In this July 29, 2019, file photo, Oakland Raiders center Richie Incognito stretches during NFL football training camp in Napa, Calif. Guard Richie Incognito returns to the Raiders after missing two games for a suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) Oakland Raiders left guard Richie Incognito practiced for the first time Wednesday after returning from a two-game suspension and said he's anxious to play. He's just as eager to leave his long history of troubles on and off the field in the past.
''The suspension's behind me, all the negative stuff is behind me. Just eyes forward, staying positive,'' Incognito said. ''Relishing the opportunity, enjoying every day in here because you don't know how many more you're going to have. And wanting to play well. Just really want to charge forward and make it right.''
It's a second restart with Oakland for Incognito, who signed with the Raiders in the offseason and spent all training camp working with the starting offense before heading to Arizona to work out while serving the suspension for violating the league's personal conduct policy.
While Incognito was out, the Raiders had mixed success offensively. Oakland was crisp in a season-opening win against Denver but fell flat after a fast start against Kansas City in Week 2.
Heading into Sunday's game in Minnesota, the Raiders are seventh in rushing behind rookie Josh Jacobs and 11th in overall offense.
Incognito doesn't think it will be a big adjustment to slide back into the starting offensive line, considering the time he spent practicing with the rest of the unit in training camp and the preseason.
''I played a lot of football in this league so I really don't anticipate it being an issue,'' Incognito said. ''I've made a lot of starts. It's pretty much all systems go. I'm just hoping to come back and add some nasty edge to that group, get after some people, put some people on the ground and get Josh going.''
Coach Jon Gruden welcomed Incognito back two days after saying the four-time Pro Bowl pick's return would be a jolt for an offense that is banged up. Jacobs (sore hip) joined right tackle Trent Brown (knee) and wide receivers Tyrell Williams (hip), J.J. Nelson (ankle) and Dwayne Harris (ankle) on the injury report. Brown and Harris were held out of practice Wednesday while the other three were limited.
''We didn't have as much full-speed work today as we normally do because of the injuries but we increased the reps,'' Gruden said. ''We increased the communication opportunities for Richie to get wired back in. All indications are good.''
For Incognito, it's another attempt at a fresh start after multiple suspensions and legal problems off the field. Unlike when he first signed with the Raiders, there is no looming discipline to deal with. No more working out alone or watching games from his couch, critiquing plays and rewinding the video to get better looks.
Incognito hasn't played in the NFL since a Jan. 7, 2018, playoff game while with Buffalo. The 36-year-old said he is taking nothing for granted.
''It'll be emotional for me and my family,'' Incognito said. ''It's been a long trip to get back here. We're just checking another box.''
The Raiders could be getting more help for their offensive line. Right guard Gabe Jackson, who has not practiced since suffering a right knee injury early in training camp, continues to make steady progress and could be cleared soon.
GRUDEN UNHAPPY: Because their Oct. 6 home game against the Chicago Bears was moved to London, the Raiders won't play in Oakland again until Nov. 9. They have a bye week following the game at Wembley Stadium, followed by two more road games. Gruden didn't sound too happy when asked about it. ''Still trying to understand how that happened,'' he said. ''We just have to showcase our mental toughness and deal with it. It's uncommon, maybe unprecedented, maybe unrealistic that this should ever happen in pro football. I'm not excited about it but we'll adapt and do the best we can.''
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Detroit Lions RB Kerryon Johnson (knee) underwent a procedure on his injured knee Tuesday, Oct. 22, and will be placed on the Reserve/Injured list, according to head coach Matt Patricia.
Fantasy Spin: Initial reports had Johnson missing "some time," but an IR designation would pretty much knock him out for the rest of the season. Sixth-round rookie Ty Johnson should handle the majority of snaps in his absence and should be added in all leagues, while J.D. McKissic figures to take the bulk of the work in the passing game. It's also entirely possible the Lions bring back C.J. Anderson to assume at least part of the early-down workload after cutting him earlier in the season.
Arizona Cardinals LB Ramik Wilson was released Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Free-agent LB Deone Bucannon (Buccaneers) signed an undisclosed contract with the New York Giants on Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Minnesota Vikings WR Adam Thielen (hamstring) did not participate in practice Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Houston Texans TE Logan Paulsen was released Tuesday, Oct. 22.
The San Francisco 49ers expect wide receiver Deebo Samuel (groin) to return in Week 8 against the Carolina Panthers. Samuel missed Week 7 but appears ready to practice and play against a tough Panthers pass defense this Sunday. Despite showing exciting flashes this season, the rookie is averaging just 4.4 targets and 33.6 yards per game. His fantasy value will be further impaired with the acquisition of veteran wideout Emmanuel Sanders. With the Niners leaning heavily on their running game and tight end George Kittle dominating target share, Samuel is gradually fading from redraft relevance. Hell be a desperation WR5 if he suits on in Week 8.
Minnesota Vikings CB Marcus Sherels was released on Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Indianapolis Colts S Malik Hooker (knee) told reporters he expects to play in Week 8 versus the Denver Broncos. Hooker has been sidelined since Week 3 with a torn meniscus.
The San Francisco 49ers traded for wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders from the Denver Broncos on Tuesday. Reported by ESPNs Adam Schefter, the Niners will ship 2020 third and fourth round picks to Denver for Sanders and a 2020 fifth rounder. The 10-year pro should instantly upgrade a Niners receiving corps that have been anonymous outside of stud tight end George Kittle. However, Sanders should be downgraded fantasy-wise as he enters a run-heavy offense while competing for looks against Kittle, a versatile backfield and an amalgam of wideouts. Hell be a risky WR3 in Week 8 against a tough Carolina Panthers pass defense. Other losers in the deal are receivers Dante Pettis, Deebo Samuel (groin) and Marquise Goodwin who all continue to slide outside of fantasy relevance.
New England Patriots wide receiver Mohamed Sanu will make his Patriots debut in Week 8 against a Browns Defense that is allowing the 14th fewest fantasy points to receivers. Sanu was acquired via trade from the Falcons and immediately brings size and physicality to a banged up wide receiving group in New England. Sanu caught 66 passes last season for 838 yards and four touchdowns but has been held to only 313 yards with one touchdown this season. Sanu is an excellent addition as a player that can bring the kind of size in the red zone that the Patriots have been lacking due to a banged up Josh Gordon and Rob Gronkowski's retirement in the preseason. Sanu should be thrown right into the mix against a Browns defense that has allowed 10-plus fantasy points to eight different receivers this season. He may lack the amount of targets, however, to garner anything higher than a WR4 play in Week 8.
Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders was traded along with a 2020 fifth-round pick to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for 2020 third- and fourth-round picks on Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Fantasy Spin: A move to San Francisco makes a ton of sense since his learning curve should not be steep; Broncos offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello was hired by Denver in the offseason in part to install the kind of offense 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan runs. Sanders should quickly become the top receiver in Shanahan's offense and serve as a high-end fantasy WR3 in short order.
Free-agent LB Malcolm Smith (49ers) was signed to an undisclosed contract by the Jacksonville Jaguars on Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Free-agent CB E.J. Gaines (Bills) is visiting the Houston Texans Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Kansas City Chiefs WR De'Anthony Thomas was released Tuesday, Oct. 22. QB Kyle Shurmur was signed to the 53-man roster. DT Braxton Hoyett was re-signed to the practice squad.
Minnesota Vikings WR Adam Thielen (hamstring) is improving quickly, and he has a chance to play in Week 8 Thursday, Oct. 24, according to head coach Mike Zimmer.
Fantasy Spin: Thielen would be a WR1 against the Washington Redskins, and the entire offense would suffer if he were out. Keep tabs on him Wednesday.
Free-agent WR Braxton Miller (Browns) was signed to the Carolina Panthers' practice squad Tuesday, Oct. 22. CB Natrell Jamerson (foot) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list, and WR DeAndrew White was signed to the 53-man roster.
Washington Redskins RB Adrian Peterson (ankle) has a Grade 1 high ankle sprain and a Grade 2 low ankle sprain.
Fantasy Spin: The Redskins play the Minnesota Vikings Thursday night, and it doesn't seem likely that Peterson will be available. Wendell Smallwood could see a larger role and be worth slotting in as a flex.
Atlanta Falcons WR Mohamed Sanu was acquired by the New England Patriots Tuesday, Oct. 22, in exchange for a second-round pick. The Patriots previously tried to acquire Sanu during the NFL draft.
Fantasy Spin: Sanu has been quiet with a 33-313-1 line in seven games this season, but he is a good possession receiver whose value in PPR leagues increases a bit. He should be rostered in all formats, but give him a week or two to get acclimated before you can expect results in your flex spot.
Free-agent DT Datone Jones (Jaguars) is visiting the Jacksonville Jaguars Tuesday, Oct. 22.
The New England Patriots Defense stifled the Jets from the opening drive as the team cruised to a 33-0 win on Monday Night Football. The Jets offense rarely stood a chance as the Patriots held Jets quarterback Sam Darnold to a 34% completion percentage, 86 passing yards and a quarterback rating of 3.6. New England also intercepted Darnold four times and the unit now has two shutouts on the season. The Patriots defense has quickly emerged as, by far, the best defense in the NFL and will be the top fantasy option at the position heading into Week 8's action.