News and Notes from Wednesday Night's "Red Zone" Radio Program
Fantasy News and Notes 10-23-13:
BYE WEEKS: Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, Indianapolis, San Diego, Tennessee
Cleveland has benched Brandon Weeden and have decided to go with Jason Campbell as their starting QB week 8. Campbell has been nothing special the last few seasons (or really at any time of his career) despite opportunities so whether this is a permanent move, or a trial period remains to be seen. At the very least the Browns know they can turn to 43 year old Jeff Garcia if necessary.
The Vikings announced today that Josh Freeman is experiencing concussion like symptoms. Since I came away from Monday's night's game feeling a little woozy and dazed and confused myself, I can only imagine what it was like from his perspective. But seriously, he isn't likely to get clearance to play this week so the Vikings are turning back to Christian Ponder as their starting QB this week. I have to believe that this is a blessing for the Vikings as it gives them an excuse to sit Freeman and let him get better acquainted with the playbook before shuffling him back into the lineup for another try. For Ponder, this is truly a last chance to either reclaim the job, or show potential 2014 suitors he deserves a shot.
Peyton Manning sat out practice today to rest an ankle injury he originally suffered back in week 6 against Jacksonville. It's minor and Manning is not believed to be in any danger of not playing this week.
Miami's Ryan Tannehill was listed as limited today because of a shoulder injury. Tannehill is expected to be fine for week 8 though.
Even though Blaine Gabbert has been cleared to practice and return to game action after missing the last few games with a hamstring injury, the Jaguars are sticking with Chad Henne as their starting QB week 8.
Here's news you already knew to expect: Tampa Bay has officially ruled Doug Martin out for Thursday night. The Bucs and Martin are still holding out hope he'll be able to play later this season. HIs shoulder injury has a timetable of 4-6 weeks for recovery to the point he could possibly play despite it, but he's going to likely need surgery and with a 6 month recovery time for that, I'd think the team might want to do that sooner rather than later. At 0-6, I'd have to imagine saner heads will prevail and Martin will go to injured reserve once the last shred of mathematical possibility of the playoffs have been stripped away. Mike James will start tomorrow night in Martin's place.
Adrian Peterson sat out practice today because of the hamstring strain he played through Monday night. Peterson is currently expected to be fine and start without issue.
Steven Jackson was able to practice in limited fashion today and barring any setbacks between now and the weekend he is expected to play. He probably won't be at full strength, but he should be the lead RB. Jacquizz Rodgers likely will handle much of the passing down duties though as he has excelled in that capacity the last 3 weeks. Jason Snelling projects to be the odd man out. Snelling sat out practice today with an ankle injury anyway.
DeMarco Murray was able to practice in very limited fashion today for Dallas. While this is good news in that his knee injury isn't serious, it's still expected that the Cowboys will exercise caution with him and I doubt he'll play this week. Joseph Randle did well enough as his replacement week 7 and unless Murray surprises me by being able to play, Randle will start again this week.
Neither Fred Jackson nor C.J. Spiller practiced today. Jackson is nursing the knee injury he aggravated week 7 and Spiller is still hobbled by an ankle injury. Both players are tentatively expected to play week 8 though.
Brandon Jacobs was unable to practice today because of his hamstring injury. If he doesn't practice by Friday he's not going to play. Even if active, it's likely to be a 3 headed committee with him, Peyton Hillis and rookie Michael Cox at RB, rendering none of them viable options.
There was hope Mark Ingram was going to be able to play week 8 after missing the last several weeks with a toe injury, but he was unable to practice today and has to be considered very questionable at this point. This just means more playing time for Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas, which is good for their fantasy outlooks.
Frank Gore was limited in practice today with a listed ankle injury. It's not believed to be anything serious and Gore should be just fine to steamroll Jacksonville's dead last ranked fantasy run defense in London this week.
Rashard Mendenhall sat out practice today with a toe injury. It's unknown if this was really just a day of rest for him or whether it's an aggravation of the toe injury he played through earlier in the season. Currently, if I had to start an Arizona RB, I'd be more inclined to start Andre Ellington over Mendenhall.
Green Bay's James Starks was able to practice in full today and it now looks like he stands a good chance of being active week 8. Starks has missed the last several games with a knee injury, but he's nothing more than a handcuff for Eddie Lacy owners.
Although Tampa Bay listed Mike Williams as Questionable for tomorrow night's game with his hamstring injury, he did practice in full today and is expected to play. It's not a particularly good matchup though against Carolina's 6th best fantasy pass defense so you may want to think about keeping him benched.
Carolina's Steve Smith is listed as Probable for tomorrow night. Smith has a minor ankle issue but is expected to be fine.
Roddy White sat out practice today. If he doesn't practice by Friday I would expect that the Falcons would sit him week 8 so he can continue to try healing up the hamstring and ankle injuries he's dealing with.
Calvin Johnson sat out practice today. Looks like we're back to the normal routine for Megatron where he sits out Wednesday practices, and sometimes Thursday as well, but returns on Friday and is a stud on Sunday. He certainly was his stud self week 7.
Jacksonville's duo of Justin Blackmon (hamstring) and Cecil Shorts (clavicle) both were held out of practice today. They played their respective injuries week 7 and there's been no reported setbacks so I assume they are just getting some days of rest. Both are expected to play without issue week 8.
DeSean Jackson is not on the practice report injury list for the Eagles. It looks like his foot injury is very minor and he should be fine for week 8.
James Jones missed practice today because of his knee injury and his status for Sunday night is very questionable. If he doesn’t practice by Friday I would expect he would sit out this week. Tentatively expect Jarrett Boykin to start again in his place.
Larry Fitzgerald was listed as a full participant in practice today. It's hoped that Fitz is finally getting closer to 100% as he tries to recover from his lingering hamstring injury.
Danny Amendola took part in a limited practice today. How limited is unknown but it's a good sign he's at least been cleared to do that as he tries to return from a concussion. Hopefully the tight-lipped Patriots let some information leak about him by Friday.
Miles Austin was limited in practice today. There is talk in Dallas that the team may decide to shut down Austin so he can get his hamstring healed up 100%. Austin isn't producing on the field and the emergence of rookie Terrence Williams and second year player Cole Beasley makes it a viable option.
Leonard Hankerson sat out Redskins practice with a foot injury. No word if it's serious enough to put his status for week 8 in jeopardy. If he misses practice tomorrow I'd recommend not trusting him.
Cincinnati's Marvin Jones sat out practice today with a shoulder injury he suffered week 7. He played through it though and tentatively should be okay for week 8.
Among WR's who were either limited in practice or did not participate but are fully expected to be fine for week 8, the list includes the Cowboys Dez Bryant (hamstring; wrist), Denver's duo of Eric Decker (toe) and Wes Welker (ankle), and New England's Julian Edelman.
Jimmy Graham sat out practice today because of his foot injury. This is sounding like Graham is going to questionable and be the dreaded "game time decision". Graham owners should have another option ready to go as a precaution. Ben Watson would start for New Orleans if Graham can't play.
And I was right about Rob Gronkowski. He was limited in practice today. Few teams play as many games with their injury report than the Patriots so even though I expect he's going to be limited each day, and then listed as Questionable come Friday, I am fairly confident he'll play week 8 without issue. He appeared to have emerged from playing week 7 without aggravating his arm or back injuries.
Greg Olsen is listed as Probable for tomorrow night's game and is fine to consider as you normally would despite his lingering foot injury.
Washington's Jordan Reed practiced in full today and is expected to be fine for week 8 despite having a hip injury.
The 49ers Vernon Davis practiced in full. Davis has been playing through a minor hamstring strain and is fully expected to be fine for this week.
The Jets Jeff Cumberland sat out practice with a hamstring injury. It's uncertain whether this is serious enough to put his week 8 status in doubt or not. We should know more tomorrow.
Kansas City's Anthony Fasano was limited because of knee and ankle injuries. Fasano played through them week 7 and is expected to do so again week 8.
Blair Walsh was listed as limited for Minnesota because of the hamstring strain he has in his non-kicking leg. Walsh is expected to be okay for this week though.