Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. banged up; Week 1 availability in doubt?
You all have probably seen the highlight many times by now. Beckham took a direct hit to his left leg during Monday night's game versus the Browns. Although he jogged off the field, he promptly crumbled to the ground in pain once inside the tunnel. The All-Pro has been diagnosed with a sprained ankle, which really seems like the best-case scenario for the Giants given the possibilities. However, reports have emerged stating that Beckham may not be able to play in the Giants' Week 1 showdown versus the Cowboys.
If Beckham indeed has a standard ankle sprain -- not the high-ankle variety -- and no other significant ligament damage, I have a hard time believing that he won't be ready to go nearly three weeks post-injury. These reports are probably stirring up more drama than actually exists. Don't move Beckham in your WR rankings.
Hey, speaking of WR rankings, these are fresh out the oven!
Your weekly non-update update on Colts QB Andrew Luck
Last month, Luck would not offer a timetable for his return to the field following offseason shoulder surgery. This past Tuesday, nearly a month later, head coach Chuck Pagano informed everyone that nothing has changed since. Viva progress!
It's past time to start lowering Luck on your draft board, and it's probably best to the do the same with the like of T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief as well. This situation's ongoing uncertainty is reflected by where I placed those two players in my WR rankings.
RB Le'Veon Bell announces when he will report to the Steelers
You know the excitement you feel when you learn when your favorite TV show's new season is going to debut? We had a moment like that in the NFL this week as Bell tweeted the date he will apparently report to Pittsburgh. The fantasy stud is looking for a long-term contract and has held out of training camp. But he was always expected to come back before the regular season kicked off. He remains a consensus top-two fantasy player.
Dolphins WR DeVante Parker is 'a faster Alshon,' says QB Jay Cutler
Cutler should know; he and Jeffery spent five years together as teammates in Chicago, and he helped Jeffery put up some fabulous numbers in 2013 and 2014. I think Parker, another young, rangy big-play threat, could experience similar success with Cutler and head coach Adam Gase. That's one reason why I have him slotted in front of teammate Jarvis Landry in my wide receiver rankings.
Chemistry growing between Cowboys QB Dak Prescott and WR Dez Bryant
Dak said so himself this week, and that rapport has been apparent during the preseason. Bryant deserves to be targeted more often anyway, even with the Cowboys' run-centric offense. This could be the start of something good for No. 88.
A QB change in Jacksonville
Chad Henne, not Blake Bortles, will be the Jaguars' starting quarterback Thursday night against the Panthers. The team hasn't made the switch official for Week 1, but the fact that Henne is getting the nod in what's traditionally viewed as the dress rehearsal game is a pretty good indication of what's to come. Bortles' play throughout his short career in general but especially this month has made him unworthy of any job security at this point. However, at least we know he has a connection with Allen Robinson. Even if those two clicked the most only in garbage time, that all still counts in the fantasy game. Henne may be steadier than the former first-rounder, but he won't have nearly as much chemistry Jacksonville's receivers. In Henne's 2.5-game stint as the Jags' starter in 2014, he targeted Robinson just 11 times. Demoting Bortles could be the right move for the team, but I don't think it's best for Robinson's fantasy value.
Trevor Siemian is the Broncos' official starting QB
While the Jaguars are mulling over a change, the Broncos will stick with Siemian for the second year in a row. There really wasn't much competition from Paxton Lynch. Siemian, needless to say, is an uninspiring fantasy option even though he has some wonderful receivers.
Anquan Boldin retires
One of the toughest wideouts of his era, the 36-year-old called it a career after less than two weeks as a part of the Bills. He racked up 1,076 receptions, 13,779 receiving yards and 83 total touchdowns over 14 seasons. Although a solid producer for many years, his best fantasy output came as a rookie in 2003 as he posted a 101-1,377-8 line.
A short run through the rest of the injury report
Falcons WR Julio Jones (foot): We might actually get to see Jones on the field Saturday versus the Cardinals. He has been methodical in his recovery from offseason foot surgery and has yet to play in a preseason game. However, he'll be just fine for Week 1, barring any setbacks.
Falcons RB Devonta Freeman (concussion): Jones' teammate has reportedly progressed to the final stages of the league's concussion protocol. He won't play this week, but his return seems not too far off in the distance.
Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette (foot): Fournette is back in full pads at practice, but he's working out on the sidelines and the team isn't quite ready to throw him back into game action. Fournette's left foot has been bothering him since he was at LSU, and this latest pain flared up during Week 1 of the preseason. The Jags still think he will be good to go once the games count.
Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins (hand): Hopkins has been missed the past two weeks of practices due to a hand injury. However, there doesn't seem to be much concern surrounding his regular-season status. Houston is most likely playing it safe with its best offensive player.
Panthers QB Cam Newton (shoulder): Newton is pushing forward in his shoulder rehab and might actually play tonight versus the Jaguars, according to head coach Ron Rivera. It would be fantastic to see how Newton looks five months removed from shoulder surgery and following what has been a tough summer for him as he tries to get his arm firing again.
Ravens RB Danny Woodhead (hamstring): Woodhead, whose durability is always a question mark, might be out for the rest of the preseason, but the Ravens are hoping he'll be available in time for Week 1. That's not a sure thing, however, so keep a close watch on this story. Terrance West could see his early-season value soar if Woodhead misses any meaningful games.
Giants WR Brandon Marshall (shoulder): Marshall is officially listed as day-to-day. He has missed some practices, yet he should be fine for Week 1.
Seahawks RBs Thomas Rawls (ankle) and C.J. Prosise (groin): Both maladies appear to be minor, but it's a frustrating development for two guys who have been injured often, especially Prosise. He underwent an MRI this week that showed nothing and the team would like to see him on the field Friday against the Chiefs.
Colts WR Donte Moncrief (shoulder): At least Moncrief is on the practice field, but he's sporting a non-contact jersey to protect his ailing shoulder. Specifically, he's dealing with a sprained AC joint. However, he should be active come Week 1. Moncrief experienced shoulder pain throughout last season after fracturing his scapula in September.
Titans WR Corey Davis (hamstring): You won't see this first-round rookie on the field this weekend, but the Titans think he might be able to play in their final preseason game. Davis has been classified as week-to-week since straining his hamstring Aug. 3.
Ravens QB Joe Flacco (back): Per usual, Flacco remains out of practice. Still, the Ravens keep saying that they expect him to be under center on Sept. 10. Given how Ryan Mallett has played this month, they should be praying for Flacco's return.
Players who returned to practice over the past week include Bears RB Jordan Howard; Patriots RB Mike Gillislee; Packers RB Ty Montgomery; Jets RB Matt Forte; Eagles RB Wendall Smallwood; Jaguars RB T.J. Yeldon; Bills WR Jordan Matthews; Cardinals WR John Brown and Redskins TE Jordan Reed.
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