Fri Oct 9 5:21pm ET
By TERESA M. WALKER and BARRY WILNER
AP Pro Football Writers
In this Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, file photo, the entrance to the Tennessee Titans' practice facility is shown in Nashville, Tenn. A person familiar with the situation says the Tennessee Titans have their second straight day without positive coronavirus tests, giving them the potential to reopen their facility Wednesday after the NFLs first COVID-19 outbreak. The Titans had no positive tests Monday and continued that trend Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick wears two masks as he watches from the sideline during the first half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs , Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, in Kansas City. The New England Patriots have canceled practice amid reports that a third player has tested positive for the coronavirus. Sports Illustrated reported that reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore tested positive for the virus on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, and was added to the team's reserve/COVID-19 list. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
In this Sept. 27, 2020, file photo, members of the Tennessee Titans take part in the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, in Minneapolis. Tennessee will not be returning to the team's facility Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, after two more players tested positive in the NFL's first COVID-19 outbreak, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press. The Titans had no positive tests Monday or Tuesday for the first time after six consecutive days of positive results. A third straight day was necessary for the team to be allowed back in its headquarters.(AP Photo/Jim Mone)
New York Jets players and coaches have been sent home from their training facility after a presumptive positive coronavirus test, a person with direct knowledge of the test tells The Associated Press.
The player was retested and the results should be known later Friday, the person said on condition of anonymity because the NFL and the team have not released the information. If the second test comes back negative - it happened to Matthew Stafford in August - then he is not positive.
The lab used by the league is near the Jets' facility in Florham Park, New Jersey, so the retest result should come relatively quickly. Even if it is a positive, the NFL doesn't necessarily need to adjust the scheduled game Sunday with Arizona. The league has had 60 cases since testing began in which one player or staff member tested positive and there wasn't further transmission among the team.
By sending everyone home from the facility Friday morning, the Jets took the appropriate steps under the NFL/NFLPA COVID-19 protocols.
ESPN first reported the Jets' presumptive positive test.
''As of now, it's business as usual,'' Arizona coach Kliff Kingsbury said. ''We're heading out today and getting ready to play on Sunday until told otherwise.''
The Tennessee Titans got some good news Friday with no positive test results hours after the NFL rescheduled their game with Buffalo to Tuesday night, a person familiar with that situation told The Associated Press.
The Titans' outbreak increased to 23 on Thursday with 21 positive results returned since Sept. 29. Now the Titans have gone three of the past five days without a positive test after the latest results, according to the person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because neither the NFL nor the Titans announced the latest results.
The NFL announced Thursday night that the Titans (3-0) will host Buffalo (4-0) on Tuesday. The league already postponed, then rescheduled the Titans' game with Pittsburgh from Oct. 4 to Oct. 25 during the outbreak.
The Bills had been preparing and practicing all week for a Sunday game in Nashville. With the NFL rescheduling their game with Tennessee, the Bills announced they will not practice or have any availability Friday.
The league also rescheduled New England's game with Denver from Sunday to Monday.
''These scheduling decisions were made to ensure the health and safety of players, coaches and game day personnel and in consultation with medical experts,'' the NFL said in a statement Thursday night.
Five games now have been rescheduled because of the pandemic: Pittsburgh at Tennessee in Week 3 was moved to Oct. 25 with Pittsburgh-Baltimore also switched from Oct. 25 to Nov. 1. The Patriots now will play on Monday night for a second straight week after their game in Kansas City was postponed a day.
If the Titans' testing allows Tennessee to host Buffalo on Tuesday, the Bills' prime-time game against Kansas City in Buffalo will be moved from Thursday to the weekend. That would be the sixth NFL game to be rescheduled - all this month.
The Patriots worked remotely again Friday after reigning NFL Defensive Player of the year Stephon Gilmore joined quarterback Cam Newton on the reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday. New England also has a defensive tackle from the practice squad on the list in the league's other mini-outbreak.
The NFL told the Titans to close their facility on Sept. 29, and their last game was a 31-30 win over Minnesota on Sept. 27.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell warned all 32 teams Monday that following league protocols is mandatory and that violations forcing changes in the schedule could lead to being stripped of draft choices or even forfeiting games. The NFL also updated protocols on Oct. 2.
The Titans' outbreak increased to 23 Thursday with tight end MyCole Pruitt and a defensive back from the practice squad put on the reserve/COVID-19 list Thursday afternoon. The Titans' facility remains closed with the team still prohibited from any in-person activities.
Tennessee currently has 13 players on the reserve/COVID-19 list, including four starters and a long snapper.
In a memo to the 32 teams obtained by The Associated Press, the NFL's officiating office reminded ''all individuals must keep their masks in place when interacting with game officials on the field.''
''We have seen multiple occasions where head coaches have removed their masks to communicate with game officials during games,'' the memo from league executive Perry Fewell said. ''Doing so creates unnecessary, increased risk for the game official, the head coach, and others, and is inconsistent with the requirement that face coverings be worn at all times.''
The league threatened significant discipline against violators.
''Failure to adhere to the NFL-NFLPA COVID-19 related protocols will result in accountability measures being imposed against offending individuals and/or clubs, including fines, suspensions of persons involved, and/or the forfeiture of a draft choice(s),'' the memo said. ''Additionally, we have reminded game officials that if an individual not wearing a face covering approaches them inappropriately, they have the authority to take administrative or officiating action, including a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.''
The NFL Referees Association had complained to the league about coaches approaching them without masks properly in place.
Five Hot Plays: Week 13
New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (foot) and wide receiver Michael Thomas (ankle) were both limited participants in Thursday's practice. Both Thomas and Kamara have had their practice reps capped in each of the past two weeks as they continue to deal with their respective injuries. There's nothing to suggest that they won't be on the field come Sunday, though fantasy managers would be wise to keep a watchful eye on Friday's injury report. Both players should be in fantasy lineups if they're active, though they both carry a bit more risk than normal in the absence of Drew Brees (ribs, lung).
New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard has been the team's top-receiver since coming back from a toe injury in Week 7 and will look to stay hot against a beatable Seahawks secondary. Shepard has at least six catches in every game since Week 7 as he's been the lone trustworthy Giants receiver in fantasy. New York will likely be starting backup QB Colt McCoy this week so Shepard's ceiling is lowered some. However, Shepard should be started as a low-end WR2 in fantasy given his target share and a matchup with Seattle, who allows the most PPR fantasy points to opposing wide receivers.
New York Giants wide receiver Darius Slayton has been a boom-or-bust option for fantasy all season and is a risky start despite a good matchup in Seattle. Slayton's targets have been sporadic with a season-high of 11 targets and a season-low of one target. He's eclipsed 90 yards thrice, but has also been held under 10 yards twice. To make matters worse, New York will likely be without starter Daniel Jones (hamstring) and turn to 10-year journeyman Colt McCoy. Slayton is not a recommended start despite facing a Seahawks Defense that allows the most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Jack Cichy was claimed off waivers by the New England Patriots Thursday, Dec. 3, according to a source.
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.
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.