Indianapolis Colts' Adam Vinatieri (4) kicks a field goal from the hold of Rigoberto Sanchez during the second half of the team's NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich throws the challenge flag during the first half against the Pittsburgh Steelers in an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Don Wright)
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Brian Hoyer (2) takes a snap against the Pittsburgh Steelers after Jacoby Brissett was injured in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Houston Texans inside linebacker Zach Cunningham (41) tackles Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew (15) during the second half of an NFL football game at Wembley Stadium, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in London. (AP Photo/Ian Walton)
Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone walks the sidelines during the first half of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans at Wembley Stadium, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in London. (AP Photo/Ian Walton)
Jaguars QB Nick Foles holds a ball during a NFL training session of the Jacksonville Jaguars at the at Allianz Park in London, Friday, Nov. 1, 2019. The Jacksonville Jaguars are preparing for an NFL regular season game against the Houston Texans in London on Sunday. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Nick Foles’ long-awaited return will come with all the typical emotions Sunday.
The Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback is excited to play, eager to prove he’s healthy and optimistic about keeping his team in the playoff hunt. And, the most anticipated part for Foles might be his brief reunion with Colts coach Frank Reich, the man who helped revive his career.
“He’s a guy that I admire more than anything,” Foles said. “He’s a guy that has impacted my life so much, and he’s going to be on the opposing sideline, so that’s going to be fun.”
Foles entered the league as a third-round pick, full of promise. But after four seasons and 35 starts in Philadelphia and St. Louis, Foles found himself in the backup role in Kansas City and then Philadelphia, where Reich was in his second season as offensive coordinator.
Then, when MVP front-runner Carson Wentz went down with a late-season injury and the Eagles’ offense started to sputter, Reich made an adjustment for the playoffs and everything changed.
Foles led the Eagles to the Super Bowl title, was named Super Bowl MVP and Reich took the job in Indianapolis.
On Sunday, they’ll be on opposite sidelines in Indianapolis.
“I think it will be emotional seeing him because of what he means to me,” Foles said. “He’s one of the greatest people I’ve ever met, so when he went there, I was so excited for him. But I’m going to go out there and play.”
The Colts (5-4) don’t have much film on Foles.
He took only 11 snaps before breaking his left collarbone then turned the job over to rookie Gardner Minshew who became an instant sensation because of his moustache and his ability to win.
Now with the Jags (4-5) needing a division win, Foles returns - just in time for Reich to help give his defensive coaches a scouting report.
“I sat down and spoke with (defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus) about Nick’s abilities, mindset and that kind of thing - not a whole lot to be honest with you,” Reich said. “I told him what I thought about a few things, in detail about a few things.”
Indy is dealing with its own issues.
For the first time in 13 months, they’ve lost back-to-back games. They’ve fallen out of the AFC South lead and are dealing with their own quarterback situation as Jacoby Brissett tries to play with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee. Brian Hoyer replaced Brissett each of the past two weeks but Brissett was a full participant in practice and is expected to reclaim his starting job Sunday.
But for Foles, this game comes with a personal touch.
“He’d get up in front of the team after a loss or tough time and he just kept it real and he kept it light, he was joyful,” Foles said of Reich. “There was something different in his heart. But seeing him handle his everyday life like he did, with the joy he had, and how he spoke to people and loved everyone, was the most impactful thing and it was really special to be around. And obviously, he’s an amazing coach, he knows football.”
Adam Vinatieri has missed six extra points and five field goals this season, and it was a hot topic all week in Indy.
The Colts brought in free agents for tryouts Tuesday before opting to stick with the 24-year veteran who is the league’s career scoring leader. Reich continues to insist he has full confidence in his kicker.
“I believe whatever we’re going through is just a phase and he is going to help us win games and get to where we want to go,” Reich said.
Indy won 11 of the first 14 games in this series, but lately Jacksonville has had the upper hand.
The Jags have won three of four under coach Doug Marrone and have not allowed a point in the past three halves against the Colts. Indy has only been shut out twice since 2003 - and both came against Jacksonville during Marrone’s tenure.
“We still have to keep developing, we still have to get these guys better,” Marrone said. “We need to get better and better each week.”
While Indy’s offense has languished the past few weeks, the defense has played well.
In the past five games, Indy is allowing an average of 18.2 points - a number that is even lower when an interception return for a touchdown is subtracted. But the difference isn’t just showing up on the scoreboard.
Reich and Eberflus say they see it on tape, play after play.
Buffalo Bills wide receiver John Brown is coming off of his worst game of the season. He caught just three passes for 26 yards in Week 13, only the second time he'd been held under 50 receiving yards in a game on the season. This week, the Bills face a tough Ravens Defense and they'll likely need to rely on Brown, one of their top playmakers, in order to stay in the game. Expect Brown to see around seven targets in the game, giving him a good chance for four or five catches and a few big plays. He's a WR2 this week.
Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley has been on a roll lately. He's topped 70 receiving yards in three of his past four games and has scored touchdowns in two straight. He's earned more targets than the team's No. 1 receiver John Brown each of the past two weeks. This week, the Bills face a tough Ravens Defense and quarterback Josh Allen may need to rely on Beasley as his short-yardage safety net once again. Expect Beasley to see around seven or eight targets in the game, making him a solid WR3 or flex play in PPR leagues. In non-PPR, he's a bit risky, but could still be considered a low-end WR3 or flex.
Buffalo Bills running back Devin Singletary has 55 touches over his past three games and figures to have a heavy workload once again in Week 14 against the Ravens. Singletary is averaging a remarkable 5.6 yards per carry on the year and has topped 100 yards in each of his past two games. The Ravens allow the sixth-fewest rushing yards per game in the league and they will pose a challenge for Singletary, but his talent and workload should be enough to make his day solid. Expect around 18 touches for Singletary, giving him a solid shot to gain between 80 and 100 yards.
Buffalo Bills running back Frank Gore has continued to be heavily involved in the team's offense. He has had double-digit touches in three straight games. However, he's struggled to make the most of his touches, particularly in Week 13, when he rushed for just 11 yards on nine carries. Devin Singletary is the clear No. 1 running back in the offense, with Gore behind him. The Bills face a tough Ravens run defense this week and it will be hard enough for Singletary to find running room, so it's impossible to trust Gore in the matchup. He can be left on waivers or dropped at this point.
Buffalo Bills running back T.J. Yeldon has been inactive for six straight weeks and there's little reason to believe that streak will end against the Ravens this week. The Bills are going exclusively with Devin Singletary and Frank Gore at this point, making Yeldon unworthy of ownership in any league format.
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen has scored multiple touchdowns in eight straight games, but this week, he has a particularly difficult test against the Ravens, who are allowing just 18.2 points per game on the year. Allen has done well against tough matchups vs. the Cowboys and Broncos the past two weeks, so there's reason to believe he could end up fine once again this week. If you have better options on the table, you might want to consider benching Allen in one-quarterback leagues. In two-quarterback leagues, he's good to go as a mid-tier QB2.
New York Giants QB Eli Manning is 'very likely' to start against the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday, Dec. 9, according to head coach Pat Shurmur.
Fantasy Spin: An ankle injury is the culprit for Daniel Jones, who is expected to give way to Manning on MNF. It would certainly be a nice moment if Manning stepped in and led his team to an upset win in prime time, but it seems unlikely given the team's overall struggles and Manning's before he got benched. He's not worth rolling the dice on.
Oakland Raiders LB Quentin Poling and OG Kyle Kalis were released from the practice squad on Wednesday, Dec. 4.
San Francisco 49ers WRs Trent Taylor (foot) and Jalen Hurd (back) will not be activated from the Reserve/Injured list and will miss the remainder of the 2019 season, according to NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco.
The San Francisco 49ers re-signed free agent CB Antone Exum to a one-year contract on Wednesday, Dec. 4.
Former Philadelphia Eagles WR Mack Hollins was claimed off waivers by the Miami Dolphins Wednesday, Dec. 4. The Dolphins also signed C Evan Brown off the New York Giants practice squad, waived/injured CB Ken Crawley (shoulder) and waived OG Chris Reed.
Los Angeles Rams TE Gerald Everett (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Dec. 4.
Fantasy Spin: Everett did not play last week because of the injury and could miss another game if he does not practice this week. Fantasy players should look for other options to use and keep Everett on the bench.
Kansas City Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill (hamstring) fully participated in practice Wednesday, Dec. 4.
Fantasy Spin: Hill has been targeted at least eight times in four of the last five games and will continue to be one of the main options in the passing game for the Chiefs. He should be a starting option in all leagues this week.
Kansas City Chiefs CB Morris Claiborne (shoulder), CB Rashad Fenton (hamstring) and RB Darrel Williams (hamstring) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Dec. 4. DE Frank Clark (shoulder) was limited during practice. OT Eric Fisher (groin), CB Kendall Fuller (thumb), S Jordan Lucas (shoulder), DT Derrick Nnadi (elbow) and DE Alex Okafor (ankle) fully participated in practice.
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (back) said his back is healing "as it should" and that the injury won't be something that's an issue in 2020 or beyond. Stafford will miss his fifth straight game in Week 14 against the Vikings, though, and it seems unlikely he'll return in 2019. The Lions are 0-4 in Stafford's absence and are now down to third-stringer David Blough after Jeff Driskel (hamstring) was put on Injured Reserve last weekend. Before his injury, Stafford had 2,499 yards and 19 touchdowns in the first eight games of the season. He was on pace to set career highs in passer rating (106) and yards per attempt (8.6). Heading into next season, Stafford will be a highly coveted high-end QB2 for fantasy owners.
Kansas City Chiefs RB Damien Williams (rib) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Dec. 4.
Fantasy Spin: Williams may have a chance to play in the Week 14 game but probably will have to practice at some point this week. Fantasy players will need to check on his status later in the week because he should be a starting option if he plays.
Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes (knee) fully participated in practice Wednesday, Dec. 4.
Fantasy Spin: Mahomes has thrown for under 200 yards in each of the last two games and has only two touchdowns during that span. He will be facing a tough New England Patriots defense this week but can still be a starting option in all fantasy leagues.
New England Patriots DE Byron Cowart (head) and C Ted Karras (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Dec. 4. LB Ja'Whaun Bentley (knee), OT Marcus Cannon (illness), SS Patrick Chung (heel) and CB Jason McCourty (groin) were limited during practice.
Seattle Seahawks FB Nick Bellore (quadriceps), TE Luke Willson (hamstring), OT Duane Brown (biceps, knee), CB Neiko Thorpe (core) and LB Mychal Kendricks (hamstring) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Dec. 4. TE Jacob Hollister (quadriceps), OG Mike Iupati (neck), DE Ziggy Ansah (neck) and DE Jadeveon Clowney (core) were limited during practice.
New England Patriots WR Mohamed Sanu (ankle) was limited during practice Wednesday, Dec. 4.
Fantasy Spin: Sanu has been held to 23 yards or less in three of the four games he has played for the Patriots and has not shown good chemistry with Tom Brady. He could be a flex option in some leagues but is not a must-start option.