News and Views
The Facts: Allison is dealing with a hamstring injury that kept him out of practices this week.
Diehards Line:Despite not logging in any practices this week, Allison appears to be ready for action on Sunday. He scored a touchdown against the Falcons in Week 8 and could see some action if Jordy Nelson is being used as a decoy today.
The Facts: Adams missed practiced all week with an ankle injury, but is expected to play on Sunday against the Falcons.
Diehards Line:It did not look good for Adams all week as he was unable to log in a practice, but it appears that he will be ready to go on Sunday. He caught 12 passes for 74 yards against the Falcons earlier this season.
The Facts: Nelson is dealing with fractured ribs that kept him out of the Divisional Round game against the Cowboys.
Diehards Line:He practiced a couple of times this week, but with no contact and was deemed questionable all week. It appears that he will tough it out for the NFC Championship game on Sunday, but you have to ask yourself how effective will he be because of the injury.
The Facts: Mariota had a metal plate implanted to his fractured fibula in a surgical procedure three weeks ago and a Wednesday update on his condition from coach Mike Mularkey was a positive one. "I spoke with Marcus this afternoon," Mularkey said. "He actually had an appointment, and they did a good thorough checkup on him. He's on track. He's doing great. He should be back when we get this thing rolling. I can't tell you exact times of when he's going to practice, but he should be ready for the season, which is what we want him for. But he's doing good. He's going to be a very good patient, if I have anything to do with it."
Diehards Line: Mariota was instructed to keep weight off the leg for two months after surgery and had a recovery timeline of 4-5 months before he’d be able to ramp up his football activity. That would fall around the time the Titans are going through organized team activities this offseason and Mularkey said that timeline remains in place. Whether it comes in OTAs or during training camp, the Titans will likely be cautious with their franchise quarterback when he first resumes on-field work as the goal will be to have him ready to roll come September.
The Facts: Anthony Lynn's hire comes with some question marks about his pedigree as a first-time coach, but more than one player is pumped about the Los Angeles Chargers' new man in charge. "They say he is a running backs guru, so obviously I'm fired up!" said Gordon.
Diehards Line:Lynn took over the Bills' offensive coordinator role early in 2016 and helped guide the best rushing attack in the NFL. Buffalo earned 164.4 rushing yards per game -- 14.6 yards per game more than the Dallas Cowboys, the next closest team. Buffalo's 5.3 yards per attempt bested second place (Cleveland) by .4 yards. Whether as OC last season, or as an RBs coach prior to that, Lynn has overseen nine 1,000-yard rushing seasons in 14 years coaching the position (since 2003). "This (hire) really means a lot," Gordon said. ... Gordon finished three yards shy of 1,000 yards thanks to injuries that wiped away the final three games of his season. The second-year pro earned 10 TDs in just 13 games. Gordon had a meager 3.9 yards per carry but displayed a burst and power to break first contact behind an offensive line that opened few holes.
The Facts: Did Flacco's rehab from a 2015 knee injury cause his up-and-down 2016 season? "The recovery from what everybody else says that they are not back completely, did that mess with his mind? Did that mess with his timing, his accuracy?" owner Steve Bisciotti said, via the team's official website. "I think it did."
Diehards Line: Flacco disagreed, dismissing the idea that the lingering effects of the injury caused any struggles. "I don't think it had an effect on me this year," Flacco said earlier this month. The quarterback later conceded that the knee injury suffered in 2015 can still use some healing (i.e. it wasn't 100 percent this season). "When you are only seven or eight months out of an injury, no matter what it is, there is going to be a growing process for it," he said. "This offseason will definitely help with that." Flacco set a franchise record for passing yards in a season with 4,317 -- the first time he'd broken 4,000 in his nine-year career. Yet he was woefully inconsistent while attempting a career-high 672 passes -- 58 more than his previous high in 2013. Bisciotti believes a full offseason of work will lead to a more consistent Flacco and help Baltimore back to the playoffs after missing the past two years.
The Facts: New HC Sean McDermott has made the most important hire on his staff. Rick Dennison will be the Bills' offensive coordinator, the team announced. Dennison spent the last two years as the Broncos' offensive coordinator under Gary Kubiak but was not retained by new head coach Vance Joseph.
Diehards Line:Dennison was in his second stint as the Broncos’ offensive coordinator, having also served in that role from 2006 to 2008, and he was also offensive coordinator of the Texans from 2010 to 2013. As PFT notes, in Buffalo, Dennison will run the offense for a new head coach who comes from the defensive side of the ball. Dennison and McDermott have never worked together, but McDermott apparently feels confident that Dennison is the right coach for the job. Dennison joins a Bills team that has a big decision to make on whether to keep Tyrod Taylor as the starting quarterback. Dennison was the quarterbacks coach of the Ravens in 2014 when Taylor was in Baltimore as Joe Flacco’s backup, so that could be a sign that Taylor remains in the Bills’ offensive plans.
The Facts: The Packers didn't have a change in status for any of their injured wide receivers during Thursday's practice.
Diehards Line: Jordy Nelson was on the field for the second straight day, but media in Green Bay report that he wasn’t wearing pads while going through drills with his teammates. Nelson said on Wednesday that the team was still waiting to see that he was “fully functional” after breaking ribs during the Wild Card round. Davante Adams and Geronimo Allison remained out as well with an ankle and hamstring injury respectively. Coach Mike McCarthy hasn’t made a ruling about Sunday for any of them, but said that he would probably be ruling them out if it were the regular season. HC Mike McCarthy said the team wouldn’t look to the practice squad or outside the organization in the event all three can’t play against the Falcons. Randall Cobb, Jeff Janis and Trevor Davis are the other wideouts on the active roster with Ty Montgomery also experienced at the position in his pre-running back days and tight end Jared Cook playing a big role as a receiver.