Longtime Steelers lineman, broadcaster Ilkin fighting ALS

Fri Oct 9 12:26pm ET

PITTSBURGH (AP) Longtime Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman and radio broadcaster Tunch Ilkin has been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

The 63-year-old Ilkin, a two-time Pro Bowler who played 13 of his 14 NFL seasons in Pittsburgh during a career that ran from 1980-93 and has served as an analyst on the team's radio broadcasts since 1998, made the announcement in a video posted on Friday.

ALS is a ''progressive nervous system disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord'' according to the Mayo Clinic. Ilkin, who was born in Turkey before his parents moved to the U.S. when he was a toddler, did not disclose when he was diagnosed but noted the diagnosis was confirmed by the Cleveland Clinic.

Ilkin said he is currently taking medication and has some difficulty in the morning but added he gets stronger as the day goes on. He continues to lift weights four times a week in addition to daily hour-long walks and 30-minute trampoline workouts. There are no current plans for him to shift his duties on the team's radio broadcast, where he currently serves as a color analyst.

A devout Christian, Ilkin said he plans to attack his treatment aggressively.

''I want to fight this thing with the help of. God,'' Ilkin said. ''I'm not going to lie down and take this lightly.''

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Player Notes
New York Giants Dec 3 5:40pm ET

The New York Giants Defense has been a solid unit in fantasy in recent weeks, but that ends in Week 13 with a daunting matchup in Seattle. Russell Wilson and company have been one of the best offenses in football this season and New York hasn't been good enough to trust when they have a bad matchup. To make matters worse, the Giants will likely be starting backup QB Colt McCoy which puts the defense at risk to be playing with bad field position most of the afternoon. The Giants defense is not a recommended start in fantasy for this matchup.

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Breshad Perriman Dec 3 5:33pm ET

New York Jets LB Blake Cashman (hamstrings), OL Alex Lewis (non-injury), DL John Franklin-Myers (non-injury) and RB Frank Gore (non-injury) did not participate in practice Thursday, Dec. 3. OL George Fant (knee, ankle), OL Pat Elflein (shoulder) and WR Breshad Perriman (shoulder) were limited. OL Connor McGovern (elbow), QB Sam Darnold (shoulder) and OL Chuma Edoga (ankle) practiced in full.

From TheHuddle

Jimmy Graham Dec 3 5:33pm ET

Chicago Bears TE Jimmy Graham (non-injury) fully participated in practice Thursday, Dec. 3.

Fantasy Spin: Graham has been held to under 40 yards in seven of his last eight games and can be avoided in most fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Jordan Reed Dec 3 5:30pm ET

San Francisco 49ers tight end Jordan Reed has seen exactly six targets in each of his past two games. He caught five of his six targets for 62 yards in Week 10, but only managed two catches for 18 yards in Week 12. This week, the 49ers have a favorable matchup against the Buffalo Bills, who are allowing 373.1 yards from scrimmage per game on the year. Reed should see around six targets once again, which gives him a chance to deliver a decent PPR game, but his upside is limited. He shouldn't be started in any non-PPR leagues.

From RotoBaller

Alfred Morris Dec 3 5:30pm ET

New York Giants running backs Alfred Morris and Dion Lewis have split time as the backup to Wayne Gallman and neither has seen enough work to trust in fantasy. Morris has been the change-of-pace runner, but is yet to see double-digit carries in a game and has just one target on the season. Lewis, on the other hand, has been a passing-downs back and has just one game with more than three carries and that was back in Week 2 when Saquon Barkley (knee) left mid-game. Both can be left on waivers in fantasy.

From RotoBaller

San Francisco 49ers Dec 3 5:30pm ET

The 49ers Defense had a fantastic outing in Week 13, forcing four turnovers against the Los Angeles Rams. This week, however, they are in a tough spot as they face a Buffalo Bills team that is averaging 27.2 points per game on the year. While they may end up forcing a few Josh Allen turnovers, the 49ers could surrender around 30 or more points this week, which would make for a rough fantasy week. They can remain on the waiver wire this week as you look for other options.

From RotoBaller

Nelson Agholor Dec 3 5:23pm ET

Las Vegas Raiders S Johnathan Abram (knee), WR Nelson Agholor (ankle), DT Maliek Collins (hamstring, ankle) and RB Josh Jacobs (ankle) did not participate in practice for a second consecutive day Thursday, Dec. 3. CB Damon Arnette (concussion, neck), OG Denzelle Good (ankle), DT Maurice Hurst (ankle, calf), LB Nick Kwiatkoski (ankle), OT Sam Young (knee) and CB Isaiah Johnson (groin) were limited. RB Devontae Booker (back), S Erik Harris (cafl), C Rodney Hudson (knee), FB Alec Ingold (ribs), OG Gabe Jackson (knee), OT Kolton Miller (ankle), DE Carl Nassib (knee) and RB Jalen Richard (chest) practiced in full.

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Matthew Stafford Dec 3 5:23pm ET

Detroit Lions WR Quintez Cephus (non-injury), WR Kenny Golladay (hip), DL Da'Shawn Hand (groin), CB Jeff Okudah (shoulder) and RB D'Andre Swift (illness) did not participate in practice Thursday, Dec. 3. DE Austin Bryant (thigh), LB Christian Jones (knee) and QB Matthew Stafford (thumb) were limited. WR Danny Amendola (hip), TE Hunter Bryant (concussion) and CB Mike Ford (concussion) practiced in full.

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Brandon Aiyuk Dec 3 5:20pm ET

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk is set to make his return from the COVID-19/Reserve List in Week 13 against the Buffalo Bills. Aiyuk has tallied at least 75 receiving yards in each of his past three active games. Fellow receiver Deebo Samuel broke out in a big way in Week 12 with 11 catches on 13 targets. This week, Aiyuk and Samuel should split the bulk of the targets from quarterback Nick Mullens. The Bills are extremely vulnerable against the pass, allowing 243.5 passing yards per game, so both Aiyuk and Samuel should produce. Start Aiyuk with confidence as a WR3 this week.

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Wayne Gallman Dec 3 5:20pm ET

New York Giants running back Wayne Gallman has seen his touches increase in five-straight weeks and has burst into must-start status in fantasy as the lead-back for the G-Men. It's unlikely Gallman will handle more touches than the 27 he had last week, but with starting QB Daniel Jones (hamstring) unlikely to play this week Gallman will still see plenty of work against a middle-of-the-pack run defense in Seattle. Gallman has six touchdowns in his last five games and is the most likely Giant to find pay-dirt this week. Start Gallman as a volume-based RB2 in all formats.

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Jimmy Graham Dec 3 5:13pm ET

Chicago Bears LB Khalil Mack (back) did not participate in practice for a second consecutive day Thursday, Dec. 3. DT Akiem Hicks (hamstring), OT Charles Leno Jr. (toe) and OL Germain Ifedi (leg) were limited. TE Jimmy Graham (rest), CB Buster Skrine (rest), LB Danny Trevathan (rest), QB Nick Foles (hip), OL Rashaad Coward (knee), S Sherrick McManis (hand), LB Barkevious Mingo (shoulder), DT Brent Urban (ankle, hand), LB James Vaughters (knee) and LB Josh Woods (foot) practiced in full.

From TheHuddle

Jack Cichy Dec 3 5:13pm ET

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Jack Cichy was claimed off waivers by the New England Patriots Thursday, Dec. 3, according to a source.

From TheHuddle

Zach Ertz Dec 3 5:13pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles TE Zach Ertz (ankle) was limited during practice Thursday, Dec. 3.

Fantasy Spin: Ertz likely will be able to play in the Week 13 game, but it is not known if he will be eased into the offense or have his normal workload. He could be a low-end No. 1 tight end in some leagues but is not a must-start option.

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Deebo Samuel Dec 3 5:10pm ET

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel had his 2020 breakout performance in Week 12, when he caught 11 of his 13 targets for 133 yards. Samuel will likely see his targets go down this week as the team will get Brandon Aiyuk back from a stint on the COVID-19/Reserve List. However, the 49ers have a much better matchup this week against the Buffalo Bills than they did last week against the Los Angeles Rams. The Bills are allowing 243.5 passing yards per game this year. Both Samuel and Aiyuk should be able to do some damage. Start Samuel as a WR3 in all formats this week.

From RotoBaller

Jeff Wilson Dec 3 5:00pm ET

San Francisco 49ers running back Jeff Wilson Jr. carried the ball 12 times for 40 yards in his return to action in Week 12 against the Los Angeles Rams. He was the team's second rusher behind Raheem Mostert, who earned 16 carries in the game. Mostert figures to be the primary back once again in Week 13 as the 49ers face the Buffalo Bills, a team surrendering 129.6 yards per game on the ground. Wilson should see double-digit touches once again this week as long as Tevin Coleman (knee) remains out. He should also see some red zone touches as he's shown a knack for punching the ball into the end zone. Wilson doesn't have tremendous upside, but he's a flex option in deep leagues as the second back on a strong rushing offense against a weak rushing defense.

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Calvin Ridley Dec 3 4:53pm ET

Atlanta Falcons WR Calvin Ridley (ankle, foot) was limited during practice Thursday, Dec. 3.

Fantasy Spin: Ridley appears to be on track to play this week and may see a lot of targets with Julio Jones and Hayden Hurst uncertain for the game. He should be a No. 1 or No. 2 receiver in all fantasy leagues.

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Philip Rivers Dec 3 4:53pm ET

Indianapolis Colts OT Anthony Castonzo (knee), OT Chaz Green (back), LB Bobby Okereke (ankle), P Rigoberto Sanchez (illness), S Khari Willis (back, quad) and TE Jack Doyle (rest) did not participate in practice Thursday, Dec. 3. QB Philip Rivers (toe), DE Kemoko Turay (ankle) and DL Denico Autry (illness) were limited. TE Trey Burton (rest), DE Justin Houston (rest), WR Zach Pascal (knee), C Ryan Kelly (knee), CB Isaiah Rodgers (knee) and RB Jordan Wilkins (ribs) practiced in full.

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C.J. Prosise Dec 3 4:53pm ET

Houston Texans DT Ross Blacklock (illness), FB Cullen Gillaspia (back) and RB C.J. Prosise (illness) did not participate in practice Thursday, Dec. 3. P Bryan Anger (quad) and S Lonnie Johnson (knee) were limited.

From TheHuddle

Raheem Mostert Dec 3 4:50pm ET

San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert received 16 carries and two targets in his return to action in Week 12. His output was a bit underwhelming as he averaged just 2.7 yards per carry and lost a fumble, but it was a tough matchup against the Los Angeles Rams. He at least managed to save his day by scoring a touchdown. This week, Mostert has a better matchup against a Buffalo Bills Defense that is allowing 129.6 rushing yards per game. Mostert should see somewhere between 15 and 20 touches in the game, giving him a good chance to compile around 100 total yards or more with a score. Start him as a high-end RB2 in Week 13.

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A.J. Green Dec 3 4:43pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (non-injury) fully participated in practice Thursday, Dec. 3.

Fantasy Spin: Green was held without a catch last week with Brandon Allen as the starter but should have more success this week. Fantasy players can consider benching Green this week if they have better options available.

From TheHuddle