Cowboys Pro Bowl LT Tyron Smith out for year with neck issue

Fri Oct 9 12:56pm ET

Dallas Cowboys offensive tackle Tyron Smith (77) stands on the field for warmups before an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)


Dallas Cowboys offensive tackle Tyron Smith (77) defends against pressure from Cleveland Browns defensive end Olivier Vernon (54) as quarterback Dak Prescott (4) looks to make a pass in the first half of an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)


FRISCO, Texas (AP) Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith is having season-ending neck surgery, another blow to a Dallas offensive line that will be without both starting tackles for the rest of the year.

Coach Mike McCarthy said Friday Smith's injury was a ''correctable situation,'' but didn't get into any timelines on when the seven-time Pro Bowler might be ready in the offseason.

Smith injured his neck in practice the week after the opener and missed two games before returning and playing all 82 snaps in last week's 49-38 loss to Cleveland. Dallas (1-3) is at home against the winless New York Giants on Sunday.

The Cowboys have been without right tackle La'el Collins all season because of a hip issue that ended up requiring season-ending surgery. Dallas also has been without backup tackle Cameron Erving, who injured a knee in the opener but could be close to returning.

Smith's durability hasn't been quite the same after the 2011 first-round pick played all but one game over his first five seasons. Smith has missed three games in each of the previous four years with a variety of injuries. Neck problems were among the issues.

The 29-year-old Smith has four years remaining on the $98 million, eight-year extension he signed in 2014.

''I haven't talked timelines or timetables,'' McCarthy said said. ''Frankly just my communication has been with our medical staff, our athletic trainers and most importantly Tyron. I think it's just important he gets the surgery. He wants to get it as soon as he can and he wants to get to work on the rehab process.''

A pair of young undrafted players in Terence Steele and Brandon Knight have taken most of the snaps at both tackle spots this season.

It's possible that four-time All-Pro right guard Zack Martin will move to tackle, at least until Erving is ready to return. Martin played right tackle in the second half of a 38-31 loss to Seattle when Steele, a rookie, was sick. It was the first time Martin had played tackle since the 2014 first-round pick was at Notre Dame.

The Cowboys have also had injury issues at center after six-year starter Travis Frederick retired in the offseason. Joe Looney injured his right knee on the first play against the Browns. Rookie Tyler Biadasz, a fourth-round pick, should get his first career start against the Giants.

Because of injuries and illness, left guard Connor Williams is the only Dallas lineman who has stayed in his primary position all season for a once-steady unit in a rare state of flux after years of being considered among the best in the league.

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Evan Engram Dec 3 6:00pm ET

New York Giants tight end Evan Engram has been the top-pass catcher in the offense over the last month and will look to keep that momentum in a road date with the Seahawks. Engram has nine-plus targets in four of his last five games and put up a season-high 129 yards last week. New York will likely be starting backup QB Colt McCoy this week, but fantasy managers should still trust Engram's volume given the dearth of startable tight end options. Engram is a must-start tight end in all formats.

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Todd Gurley Dec 3 6:00pm ET

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (hamstring), running back Todd Gurley II (knee), and tight end Hayden Hurst (ankle) all missed Thursday's practice. All three were able to practice in a limited fashion on Wednesday, so it's certainly not ideal to see a downgrade in their activity levels. Still, the Falcons could just be exercising caution with three important offensive players ahead of a divisional tilt with New Orleans. It is worth noting that Jones and Gurley missed last week's contest due to their injuries. If Jones or Hurst were unable to play, it would open up even more targets for Calvin Ridley (foot, ankle), who has gotten in two limited sessions so far this week. Backups Brian Hill and Ito Smith would operate in a committee if Gurley were to miss the contest.

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Graham Gano Dec 3 5:50pm ET

New York Giants kicker Graham Gano has been solid over the last several games but becomes a risky fantasy start with Big Blue likely starting backup QB Colt McCoy in Seattle. Gano is 5-for-five on 40-plus yard kicks over the last three weeks and hasn't missed a field goal since Week 2. Despite the accuracy, there's the risk the New York offense struggles to put up points making Gano a risky start in fantasy. Most fantasy managers should be able to find a better kicker option on waivers.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Nelson Agholor Dec 3 5:23pm ET

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Jeff Wilson Dec 3 5:00pm ET

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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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