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7/29/2014
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News and Views
Showing results 11 - 30 of 200   NEXT >>
Rivera: Kelvin Benjamin Has A Bone Bruise; Injury Isn't Serious (7/28 2:42 PT)

The Facts: Following up on a previous item. ... According to Charlotte Observer staffer Joseph Person, HC Ron Rivera told reporters that Benjamin has a bone bruise. It's stable, but swelling. Reported by FootballDiehards.com

Diehards Line: NFL Network's Ian Rapoport adds that Benjamin's recovery will be a matter of "days, not weeks." That's good news for the Panthers and to fantasy football owners who might not be relying so much on Benjamin as a high-end prospect, but who need Cam Newton to have as many weapons possible at his disposal.

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Julio Jones Looking Sharp When On The Field (7/28 2:35 PT)

The Facts: The Falcons are bringing Jones back slowly after his second foot surgery, but when he's been on the field during training camp the receiver has looked like his dominant self. ESPN.com's Vaughn McClure reported that Jones looked explosive on Sunday in his most extensive practice session. McClure wrote that Jones didn't have problems cutting, was "stopping on a dime" and displayed no apparent effects of the surgery.  Reported by NFL.com

Diehards Line: As NFL.com notes, when healthy, Jones is a transformative piece for the Falcons' offense. Now that Tony Gonzalez is retired, Jones represents the team's one weapon that defenses must scheme to slow down. According to McClure, Jones was "spectacular and in sync with Matt Ryan" during Sunday's session. Not having to dust the cobwebs off their chemistry is a big positive early in training camp, especially considering the Falcons will continue to hold Jones out of some practices (including today's fully-padded session). ... Stay tuned. We'll have a close eye on Jones over the next six weeks.

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Giants Setting Unreachable Goal For Eli Manning's Completion Rate? (7/28 2:33 PT)

The Facts: The Giants are setting a high goal for Manning’s completion percentage this season. A very high goal. Giants QBs coach Danny Langsdorf told reporters today that he wants Manning to reach a 70 percent completion rate this season.  Reported by Profootballtalk.com

Diehards Line: As PFT's Michael David Smith put it, "Frankly, that’s preposterous." Manning completed just 57.5 percent of his passes last season, and his career completion percentage is 58.5 percent. The highest rate he’s ever had in any season was 2010, when he completed 62.9 percent of his passes. Smith went on to suggest that unless the Giants are planning an offense that consists of nothing more than dump-offs to running backs, the idea that a career 58.5 percent passer is suddenly going to become a 70 percent passer is silly. A 70 percent completion rate has only been reached five times in NFL history: Twice by Drew Brees and once each by Ken Anderson, Steve Young and Joe Montana. It’s less common than a 5,000-yard passing season or a 2,000-yard rushing season.

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Coughlin Disappointed That Odell Beckham Is Missing Time (7/28 2:31 PT)

The Facts: The Giants believe Beckham is exactly the type of talent who can help Eli Manning put last year's struggles in the rearview. Beckham has to be on the field to make a difference, of course. The rookie wide receiver missed his fourth straight training camp practice on Sunday with a hamstring injury. Afterwards, HC Tom Coughlin was asked about being disappointed. "It's more than that," Coughlin said, according to ESPN.com. "We're trying to put a team together. We saw too much of that in the spring." Reported by NFL.com

Diehards Line: Beckham was held out of several practices during OTAs and minicamp because of the same hamstring injury. Coughlin called out Beckham last week after he stopped short on a deep route, leading to a Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie interception. "He's got some work to do, just like they all do," Coughlin said after that practice. On Sunday, Coughlin made it clear his frustration is not with Beckham, but the lingering nature of the hamstring injury. There are just six weeks to go before the New York Giants begin the regular season against the Detroit Lions. And the more Beckham misses before then, the less likely he is to make an impact when Week 1 hits.

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Pierre Garcon Has Minor Hamstring Issue; Dealing With It Appropriately (7/28 2:16 PT)

The Facts: Garcon tweaked his right hamstring early in Monday’s practice and opted to take it easy for the remainder of the session as a precaution. “Just being smart,” Garcon said. “There’s no real need to keep playing through it right now, early in the season. Just got to be smart and get it healed up.” Reported by CSNWashington.com

Diehards Line: Garcon was hurt as he reeled in a fade pass over cornerback David Amerson. After securing the ball, Garcon reached for his right hamstring and was in obvious discomfort. He watched the remainder of practice from the sidelines. The Redskins do not have an afternoon walkthrough Monday and are off Tuesday. “I’ll be good,” Garcon said, stopping short of saying he’ll return Wednesday. “No need to really rush it, or trying put everything to the wall right now. It is the first week of training camp.” HC Jay Gruden also did not sound concerned. “He had a little soreness in his hamstring,” he said. “He’ll be okay. ..." We'll be following up.

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Don't Expect To See Much Adrian Peterson In Preseason Games (7/28 1:11 PT)

The Facts: Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that HC Mike Zimmer said there is “nothing to see” from Peterson in the preseason that the team needs to prepare for the season. Zimmer allowed that Peterson may make a cameo appearance if the running back feels it will benefit him to see action in a preseason game, but it doesn’t look like the coaching staff views it as any kind of a priority. Reported by Profootballtalk.com

Diehards Line: As PFT's Josh Alper pointed out, whatever the Vikings offense winds up looking like this season, Peterson is going to be playing a major role in it. The injury risks involved with playing Peterson, then, are pretty great when the rewards for preseason reps are going to be low for a player of his stature. There are more rewards to be found in giving the rest of the offensive players work, though, and that sounds like the priority in Minnesota this summer. And that's something fantasy football owners can appreciate.

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Ray Rice Won't Appeal His Suspension (7/28 11:15 PT)

The Facts: Following up on the ongoing story. ... Rice did not appeal his two-game suspension from the NFL, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.  Reported by ESPN.com

Diehards Line: This move was not a surprise considering Rice received a lighter punishment than expected. Rice, who was suspended Thursday, had three days to appeal the decision. Rice will miss the season opener against the AFC North defending champion Cincinnati Bengals and a Thursday night game against the rival Pittsburgh Steelers. He can participate in training camp and all the preseason games. Rice, though, won't be able to practice with the team from Aug. 30 to Sept. 11. Bernard Pierce, the team's top backup running back, said he is ready to fill in for Rice.

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Golden Tate Activated From PUP List (7/28 11:07 PT)

The Facts: The Lions have activated Tate from the Physically Unable to Perform list and the team’s biggest free agent addition is expected to take part in his first camp practice as a member of the Lions.  Reported by Profootballtalk.com

Diehards Line: As PFT notes, Tate’s return to practice will allow him to speed up the process of familiarizing himself with the offense being installed by offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi this offseason. Coach Jim Caldwell said, via the Detroit Free Press, that quarterback Matthew Stafford has shown good command of the offense and as PFT notes, getting the guys catching his passes on the same page will be an important next step of the process in Detroit.

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Colts Waive RB Chris Rainey (7/28 11:02 PT)

The Facts: Despite the recent loss of Vick Ballard and other questions in the backfield, the Colts announced they waived running back Chris Rainey on Monday. Reported by Profootballtalk.com

Diehards Line: The team gave no reason for cutting the running back, whom HC Chuck Pagano recently raved about at Colts training camp. The coach said he looked like the "old Chris Rainey" from his time in high school and at Florida. The Indianapolis Star later reported that Rainey's release was conduct related and Pagano is expected to address the matter. The Colts signed Rainey, 26, last season, but he played in just two games as a returner. Whatever the case, the Colts' already thin backfield is now thinner.

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Kelvin Benjamin Scheduled For Precautionary MRI (7/28 9:40 PT)

The Facts: The Panthers announced this morning that Benjamin was “getting a precautionary MRI” after banging knees with a teammate in practice yesterday. Reported by Profootballtalk.com

Diehards Line: As PFT's Darin Gantt suggests, Benjamin wasn’t going to replace veteran Steve Smith immediately anyway, but if he’s out any amount of time, they could be in real trouble throwing the ball if the rookie's injury costs him valuable developmental time. Remember: We're talking about a team with Jason Avant and Jerricho Cotchery as their next best receiving options on the outside. ... Stay tuned.

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Dez Bryant Wants A New Deal But Will Be Patient (7/28 3:04 PT)

The Facts: The Cowboys have had several discussions with the agent for Bryant about a lucrative, long-term extension, but the sides are not close to a deal as the team opens training camp, according to multiple sources. Reported by ESPN.com

Diehards Line: Bryant believes he has earned the right to be among the highest-paid receivers in the league, but he understands he likely will have to wait to cash in with a new contract. Coming off his first Pro Bowl appearance, Bryant is entering the final year of his rookie deal and is due to make $1.78 million this season. Bryant, 25, who caught 93 passes for 1,233 yards and 13 touchdowns last season, has made it clear that he believes he's in that tier of playmakers and should get a contract that reflects as much. Asked Thursday whether he's a top-five receiver, Bryant said it wasn't his job to say, then added with a laugh, "But you know, there's stats." Since the start of the 2012 season, Bryant is tied for first in the NFL with 25 touchdown catches and ranks sixth in receiving yards (2,615) and seventh in receptions (185). And extension or not, Bryant will be on the field and almost certainly continuing to put up numbers that will satisfy fantasy football owners.

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Kyle Rudolph Gets Five-Year Contract Extension (7/28 2:55 PT)

The Facts: The Vikings and Rudolph signed a five-year contract extension worth $36.5 million. "I'm extremely excited to get this extension completed and continue my career with the Minnesota Vikings," Rudolph said. "I've said all along I wanted to stay in Minnesota. I love the fans, the community and, most importantly, I'm excited about where this team is going." Reported by NFL.com

Diehards Line: According to NFL Network, the tight end gets an average of $7.3 million per year in new money (fifth highest at his position), and can earn up to $40 million total. Rudolph receives $19.4 million in guaranteed money (third highest). Since being drafted in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft, the pass-catching tight end has toiled with subpar QB play but has still impressed. He put up 53 catches for 493 yards and nine touchdowns in 2012, a Pro Bowl season. He failed to follow up his impressive season in 2013, though, missing half the year with a fractured left foot. With the selection of Teddy Bridgewater, there's hope for the 6-6, 259-pounder to enjoy some quality QB play. Add in a dynamic player ready to break out (Cordarrelle Patterson), and Rudolph is primed for big things in Norv Turner's offense.

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Teddy Bridgewater Splitting Reps With Cassel (7/28 2:53 PT)

The Facts: Bridgewater is generating "huge optimism" in Minnesota, according to FOXSports' Jay Glazer. Bridgewater and veteran Matt Cassel are "pretty much splitting reps" at training camp, per Glazer, who noted that the rookie signal-caller has "definitely been more impressive than they expected." Reported by NFL.com

Diehards Line: As NFL.com notes, that praise aligns with recent accolades from OC Norv Turner, who said last week that Bridgewater "probably should've gone in the first 10 picks. ..." The rookie was knocked for a lack of arm strength during the draft process, but Turner -- a lover of the deep vertical route -- crowed over Bridgewater's "outstanding" long ball and expressed full confidence in the former Louisville star running his offense. Whatever the case, Cassel is nothing more than a bridge quarterback. If his young challenger continues to bloom, Bridgewater has a chance to see the field as soon as Week 1.

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Matt Schaub Getting His Mojo Back In Oakland? (7/28 2:52 PT)

The Facts: A year ago, on Day 2 or 3 of training camp, coaches and players started to notice a lack of zip in Matt Flynn's passes. His confidence, and months later Flynn himself, followed his arm strength out the door. The early returns this year have been much better. Second-round pick Derek Carr is zipping passes, not looking like a rookie. And the guy that GM Reggie McKenzie traded for this year to be the starter, Schaub, looks the part. "Matt's our quarterback and he's done a great job ever since he got here," HC Dennis Allen said. Reported by the San Francisco Chronicle

Diehards Line: Schaub lost his starting job last season in Houston, and threw interceptions that were returned for touchdowns in a record four straight games. DT Antonio Smith was there, and now he is in Oakland after signing with the Raiders. "Schaubby's getting his mojo back," Smith said. ... We'll see. Given the current league-wide depth at the position, there are no guarantees Schaub will even be drafted in most fantasy football leagues. But that doesn't mean he isn't worth watching as a potential free-agent pickup once the season starts.

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Geno Smith Expects To Be A Top-5 QB... At Some Point (7/28 2:51 PT)

The Facts: Smith is the worst starting quarterback in the NFL, according to a recent ESPN survey, but he expects to be closer to the top than the bottom over the next year or two. "The thing about it is, you have to climb up," Smith told ESPN.com on Saturday after practice. "If I'm No. 32, by this time next year or the year after, I expect to be in the top 5." Reported by ESPN.com

Diehards Line: As ESPN.com's Rich Cimini suggested, that was a bold statement, considering his struggles through most of last season, but Smith reported to training camp with a greater sense of confidence, according to coaches and teammates. They say he made huge strides in the offseason. But the league remains skeptical. ESPN polled 26 coaches and personnel executives, asking them to rate this season's 32 projected starting quarterbacks. Smith finished dead last. Fantasy football owners are only slightly higher on Smith; his current ADP is QB30.

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LaMichael James Could Miss A Month With Dislocated Elbow (7/28 2:50 PT)

The Facts: Following up on a previous item. ... One day after it was announced No. 2 running back Kendall Hunter tore his ACL, James was carted off the field with a dislocated elbow. James is expected to miss a month, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported, per a source informed of the prognosis.  Reported by NFL.com

Diehards Line: The third-year back suffered the injury while participating in a blitz pick up drill. That leaves just two healthy backs (who are locks to make the team) for the Niners -- Frank Gore and second-round pick Carlos Hyde. Marcus Lattimore is currently on the non-football injury list as he attempts to recover from serious knee injuries in college. James had just 12 rushes last year, but also returned kicks and punts for the team. He reportedly was shopped by the 49ers in April.

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Cordarrelle Patterson Takes Part In Sunday Walkthrough (7/27 6:58 PT)

The Facts: b Patterson got off to a slow start at Minnesota's training camp, though, spending Friday and Saturday sidelined with a reportedly "minor" foot injury. He made strides Sunday with a "little bit of work" during a walkthrough, but the second-year wideout confirmed that he's battling pain after injuring his foot while "training" before camp.  Reported by NFL.com

Diehards Line: Patterson said he doesn't know when he'll return to full practice, per Andrew Krammer of KSTP-AM. As previously noted, HC Mike Zimmmer said on Saturday that Patterson is improving. The fact he got on the field Sunday is further evidence of that. Still, given expectations for the second-year receiver, Patterson is a player we'll continue watch closely. Stay tuned.

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Christine Michael Nicks A Shoulder (7/27 6:45 PT)

The Facts: Michael left practice early on Sunday with a shoulder injury. "He just banged his shoulder a little bit,” HC Pete Carroll told reporters after practice. “They think he will be ready to go on Tuesday.”  Reported by Profootballtalk.com

Diehards Line: This with Marshawn Lynch absent due to a contract holdout. As PFT's Mike Florio points out, the injury serves as a reminder that Plan B can quickly becomes Plan C and so on, unless and until Lynch returns to the fold. Until that happens -- and until Michael returns to work -- Robert Turbin is next man up. More as developments warrant.

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LaMichael James Carted Off With Injury (7/27 6:35 PT)

The Facts: One day after it was announced No. 2 RB Kendall Hunter suffered a torn ACL, LaMichael James was carted off the field with an apparent left wrist/arm injury, per CSN Bay Area.  Reported by NFL.com

Diehards Line: The injury occurred while James was participating in a blitz pick up drill. We'll be following up as further details come to light, it doesn't bode well that he was carted off with an upper-body injury.

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Haslam Reiterates: Cutting Josh Gordon Not An Option (7/27 12:05 PT)

The Facts: Browns owner Jimmy Haslam said the team never discussed the option of releasing the talented-but-troubled Gordon. Asked if releasing Gordon was ever an option, Haslam simply said, "No."  Reported by the Redzone.org

Diehards Line: Gordon is facing a minimum one-year ban for failing an offseason drug test, and also was arrested for a DWI this offseason. His hearing in front of commissioner Roger Goodell is set for Aug. 1. ... Worth noting: On the team's first day of open training camp practice, Gordon got very little time with the starters, working instead with the third team. It's safe to say the Browns are preparing for the worst.

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