|News, Notes & Quotes from
One | Week Two | Week
Three | Week Four
Heed these following words of caution. Training Camp Hype (“TCH”)
is not the bible of fantasy football insight. When you view the
information contained in this article, remember that every NFL team
is fraught with the delivery of misinformation, sometimes to psyche
out an opponent, other times to motivate players within its own
camp and other times simply because the teams have no concept of
reality (i.e. the Oakland Raiders).
Here's the hype for Week 3...
Cardinals did some shuffling this week at the quarterback position.
Out is Max Hall (shoulder), in steps Brodie Croyle. Kevin Kolb got
off to a sluggish start against the Chargers but rallied with an
80-yd touchdown pass to Larry Fitzgerald… a play improvised
at the line of scrimmage. "That was the first of many, hopefully,"
Kolb said of the touchdown. "It was a no-huddle, a call on
the line. We have been working on it, and that is the kind of stuff
we want to get to, where we can communicate things once we get up
Beanie Wells is taking a liking to his new workhorse role, rushing
for 63 yards on 10 carries. He still represents good value (ADP
6.03) and can likely be had as your RB3.
The starting wide receiver spot opposite Fitzgerald may be a
fantasy wasteland this season. Andre Roberts will sit atop the
depth chart, but expect Early Doucet and Stephen Williams to get
their fair share of opportunities as well. The addition of pass-catching
Todd Heap also weakens the fantasy value of the Cardinals wideouts
not name Fitzgerald.
Falcons continued to show their pass-happy ways with 42 attempts
by Matt Ryan in the first half of Saturday’s preseason game
against the Steelers. The Falcons could be using the preseason to
work on their spread offense but it appears Matt Ryan is headed
for a big fantasy season provided he can stay healthy. “We
still have work to do,” Ryan said. “We still have
some improving to do. We still have time to do it. We have these
two weeks. We need to take full advantage of these two weeks so
that when the regular season does roll around, when we go to Chicago,
we are at our very best.”.
wide receiver Torrey
Smith is pressing and dropping too many passes this preseason.
"Torrey just has to go out there and play, use his abilities,"
Flacco said. "Got to make a move, run by guys, use his hands,
go out there and play confidently and use his ability and make moves.
I think he has a tendency to overthink things. He always wants to
do the right thing. He always comes up to me and tells me he wants
to do the right thing.”
Receiver Lee Evans missed practice Saturday and was wearing a
boot on his left foot. He’s expected to return to practice
this week but don’t expect to see him on the field during
the Raven’s final preseason game on Thursday against Atlanta.
Receiver Donald Jones is out for the remainder of the preseason
with a head injury. Jones is expected to replace Lee Evans in
the starting lineup opposite Steve Johnson and there’s no
indication he won’t be ready for the assignment Week 1.
Marcus Easley started at wide receiver in place of Jones on Saturday
and totaled 5 catches, 51 yards, and 1 TD.
Despite the rumors of C.J. Spiller potentially landing the starting
running back job he continues to run behind Fred Jackson in practice
and in the preseason games and hasn’t done enough to convince
coaches he should be anything more than a backup. Spiller has
12 carries for 34 yards thus far in the preseason.
the Panthers have yet to officially name a starting QB, it appears
rookie Cam Newton will be under center Week 1. He turned in another
underwhelming performance on Saturday going 6 of 19 for 75 yards
but with Jimmy Clausen looking mediocre at best, the Panther’s
don’t’ have much of a choice. "The big thing
is to continue to see how he handles everything. We have to really
study him and watch him. We have to make sure he's progressing
in the right direction," Rivera
said Saturday."This is a very sincere thing for us. We
don't want to just say, 'Hey, you're the guy,' and walk away from
it. At the same time, we want him to understand that he is working
towards being our guy." Newton’s struggles will weigh
heavily on Steve Smith’s fantasy value forcing him into
WR4 or WR5 territory.
Roy Williams, Johnny Knox watch continues. Williams made his first
two catches of the preseason Saturday night but has a ways to
go in building chemistry with QB Jay Cutler. ‘We’re
still working on it, so we’ll see how it goes,’’
Cutler said. Dan
Pompei of the Chicago Tribune suggests the coaches had unrealistic
expectations for Williams… “I think a good chance
exists that Knox will end up starting again unless Williams suddenly
turns it on. I'm not writing off Williams yet. But if he keeps
playing like he's played, he is not one of the Bears' top three
receivers. I maintain that the Bears coaches should have kept
Knox the starter at the beginning of camp and allowed the receivers
to separate themselves. They probably had unrealistic expectations
for Williams and it looks like he has been miscast as starter/savior.”
Running Back Chester Taylor’s time in Chicago appears to
be coming to an end. He did not play in the Bears preseason game.
No doubt Chicago would like to work a trade but a release is the
more likely scenario for Taylor.
back Cedric Benson is on an “excused absence” as he
stands trial on an assault charge in Austin Texas. Benson is accused
of punching a bar employee. He was also arrested in July for an
incident with an ex-roommate. If the non-action taken against
Tennessee wideout Kenny Britt is any indication, it’s unlikely
any discipline will be handed down by Roger Goodell against Benson
for this incident.
Tight End Bo Scaife who was acquired this offseason, injured
his shoulder against Carolina and is hoping around the country
to see specialist. Don’t expect him back anytime soon or
to impact Jermaine Gresham’s fantasy value. Scaife is a
candidate for IR.
wide receiver injury news, Jordan Norwood had been running as
the first string slot receiver but is missing practice after suffering
a knee injury in Thursday’s preseason game. Mohamed Massaquoi
(foot) revealed that he broke his foot during an informal offseason
workout organized by QB Colt McCoy. Massaquoi returned to practice
on Sunday. It’s unknown if he will play in the final regular
season game but he expects to regain his starting role once healthy.
With Brandon Jackson (turf toe) likely out for a month+ and Montario
Hardesty (knee) just returning from knee surgery, don’t
be surprised if the Browns sign a veteran RB after final roster
cuts are made. Hardesty participated in the Brown’s preseason
game against the Eagles (5 carries, 15 yards) but still has a
ways to go before he challenges Peyton Hillis for significant
playing time. “I don’t know what to think in terms
of the durability there right now,” Browns coach Pat
Shurmur said Sunday. “We’ve got a couple guys,
a guy that’s coming back from injury and one that’s
banged up right now. We’re keeping our eyes open at a lot
of positions to possibly help bolster the roster, but we’ll
see how that goes as we finish our fourth preseason game.”
backs DeMarco Murray (hamstring) and Tashard Choice (calf) made
there preseason debut this week rushing 7 times for 32 yards.
Murray played with the Cowboys second team and against the Vikings
backups. Both are expected to backup Felix Jones once the season
begins. "I don’t want to dismiss [some other running
backs, though]. We’ve got a couple of young ones back there.
But I’m certainly comfortable with those guys. I think we’re
fortunate to have them."
WR Miles Austin sat out the contest as he nurses a hamstring
injury. He also missed practice time this week but the Cowboys
insist his time on the sidelines is precautionary.
Tight End Martellus Bennett left the game with a high-ankle sprain.
“I don’t know the length of time [he’ll be out],”
Jones said. “It would be a big setback for us.”
Decker and Eddie Royal appear to be 2a and 2b in the pecking order
for Kyle Orton. Both are getting their share of targets which
means fantasy owners will pull there hair out trying to determine
which is a good start in any given week.
Tight End Julius Thomas continues to impress and should have
no problems making the team as the pass-catching tight end. He
will continue to be listed #2 on the depth chart behind Daniel
Fells who is a better blocker. Richard Quinn (knee) was released.
hype around the Lions’ offense is second only to the Cowboys
among fantasy owners this preseason… and probably justified.
Matthew Stafford turned in an all-pro performance (12-14, 200yds,
2TDs) with a perfect QB rating Saturday night against the Patriots.
"You judge quarterbacks by their ability to get you in a
good play, to make good decisions, throw accurate passes and lead
teams to scores. He's done that."
Running backs Aaron Brown and Jerome Harrison saw the bulk of
the carries against the Patriots while Jahvid Best (concussion)
and Maurice Morris (broken hand) sat out the contest. WR Titus
Young saw his first preseason game action catching one pass for
19 yards. He’s still the front-runner for the teams #3 receiver
but won’t have much of fantasy impact, as he’s fifth
in line for targets behind Johnson, Burleson, Pettigrew, and Sheffler.
Green Bay Packers
Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel stirred
the fantasy pot this week by suggesting Ryan Grant may not
make the team. With James Starks, Alex Green and John Kuhn locked
in, the final halfback spot may come down to Grant or Dimitri
Nance. Grant “hasn’t looked like his old self”
but it’s hard to imagine the Packers keeping Nance over
Grant after reworking Grants contract this off-season.
A couple dinged up receiving threats for the Packers missed practice
time this week. WR Greg Jennings missed Friday’s preseason
game with a bruised knee and TE Jermichael Finley sat out practice
Sunday after spraining his ankle Friday. Neither injury is considered
to be serious.
week after torching the New Orleans Saints and squashing all concerns
about his health, running back Arian Foster is once again giving
fantasy owners concerns. Foster aggravated the hamstring injury
that sidelined him two weeks earlier in camp. Head coach Gary
Kubiak put on his happy
face… "Everything's positive today," Kubiak
said. "It's the same thing we dealt with at the start of
camp. Until he's there, though, there's going to be a concern.
All indications are positive." Kubiak went on to say the
running back Derrick Ward is #2 on the depth chart but we’ll
how the depth chart changes after the final preseason game this
week. Ben Tate and Ward are both draft-worthy in 12-team leagues.
week with no Peyton Manning on the field for the Colts and while
the team is being quiet about the timetable for his return (probably
because they don’t really know), Manning spoke a bit on
the subject during halftime of Friday’s preseason game…
"I’ve never missed a game in my entire career because
of injury," he said. "I sure don’t want to start
in Week 1 of this season. "I still have some time,"
he added. "I’m going to use that time. At the appropriate
time, I think I’ll know what the right decision is."
In the meantime Kerry Collins signed a two-year contract and will
start Week 1 if Manning can’t go.
Jaguars first team offense sputtered against Buffalo Saturday
night gaining a total of 12 yards on their first three possessions.
Quarterback David Garrard did lead two scoring drives, both against
the Bills’ backups. Blaine Gabbert didn’t fare much
better and will head into the season as Garrard’s backup.
Running back Rashad Jennings left the game with a sprained knee
and isn’t likely to play next week against St. Louis. We’ll
see how much this injury affects his workload as the coaching
staff has been insinuating a bigger role for Jennings this season.
Kansas City Chiefs
say the Chiefs have looked mediocre on offense this preseason
would be an insult to “mediocre”. Terrible would be
a better word. The passing game has looked out of sync and Jamaal
Charles (6 carries, 16 yards) has been kept under wraps. The only
thing we do know is that Dexter McCluster will be primarily used
as a running back this season and is expected to see work on third-downs
provided he’s not a complete liability in the pass protection.
Head coach Todd
Haley confessed that TE Tony Moeaki isn’t fully recovered
from off-season knee surgery. “I don’t think he’s
where he was when the year ended last year,” coach Todd
Haley said. “He’s essentially a week behind. But I
think he’s coming on here now. He’s catching up physically
to a lot of the guys because he was on the side working but not
in the same manner that everybody else was. That will slow you
down a little bit.”
Bush has secured the starting running back position with the Dolphins,
but the situation with the backups is suddenly in flux. Rookie
second-round pick Daniel Thomas was expected to challenge Bush
for a starting spot, and it was assumed that the signing of Larry
Johnson was merely to provide additional insurance. However, reports
out of Miami indicate that Johnson has been taking first-team
reps behind Bush, with Thomas relegated to practicing with the
second unit. When asked about the situation, Dolphins head coach
Tony Sparano stated that Johnson was in the mix and that the team
needed to evaluate him. While that is a far cry from stating that
Johnson is ahead of Thomas on the depth chart, the Dolphins are
clearly letting Thomas know that he needs to perform in order
to open the season as Bush’s top backup.
After a season in which Brandon Marshall found the end zone just
three times, the Dolphins’ offensive coaches vowed to come
up with ways to get more big plays out of their No. 1 receiver.
Marshall looked impressive this week against the Buccaneers, catching
a long touchdown pass and making another big play that unfortunately
ended when a defender punched the ball out of Marshall’s
hands from behind. With opposing defenses having to game plan
for Reggie Bush as a receiver out of the backfield, Marshall figures
to face more single coverage in 2011. That should bode well for
his touchdown count, as should another season with quarterback
most observers around the league view Minnesota’s wide receivers
as one of the lower-tier units in the league, Vikings management
has a number of tough roster decisions to make at the position.
Percy Harvin and Bernard Berrian are expected to open the season
as the starters, but besides those two, no one is a lock to make
the roster. Former Falcon Michael Jenkins is the team’s
most experienced backup capable of playing outside, but he could
lose his spot to some of the team’s younger players. Former
Bears Devin Aromashodu and Juaquin Iglesias have performed well,
with Arosmashodu in particular making a strong push for a roster
spot. Other roster candidates include speedster Jaymar Johnson,
former CFL star Emmanual Arceneaux, and Greg Camarillo, who is
likely the team’s best slot receiver outside of Harvin.
New England Patriots
running back Steven Ridley has had an impressive preseason, and
with injuries limiting Danny Woodhead and fellow rookie Shane
Vereen, he had a solid grasp on the top backup role to starter
BenJarvus Green-Ellis. However, Ridley didn’t play in the
team’s third preseason game, and in true Patriot fashion,
no information was forthcoming as to why he didn’t take
to the field. Reports out of New England have speculated that
Ridley suffered a hamstring injury during the second preseason
game, but how serious the injury was remains in question. With
a surplus of capable running backs on the roster, any time that
Ridley misses decreases his chance of earning substantial playing
time during the regular season.
Third year wide receiver Brandon Tate appears in jeopardy of
losing his roster spot. The Patriots generally keep six wide receivers,
and with Taylor Price looking like the team’s top backup
and Julian Edelman as the best slot receiver behind Wes Welker,
Tate is battling with special teams standout Matt Slater for the
sixth spot on the depth chart. Working in Tate’s favor is
his ability as a returner.
New Orleans Saints
a lucrative, long-term contract extension and Reggie Bush in Miami,
Lance Moore is expected to take on a larger role in New Orleans’
high-powered offense, but a groin injury is causing him to miss
some time. He isn’t expected to play again in the preseason,
and that may hinder his performance for the first few games of
the regular season. While the Saints expect him to be in the lineup
on opening day, they will likely not want to risk his having a
setback, so it’s a situation that should be monitored.
Rookie running back Mark Ingram missed a pair of practices with
swelling in his knee, forcing him to wear a brace when he did
return. Ingram had knee problems in college, and while this current
issue won’t cause him to miss significant time, it does
reinforce the notion that he will share the team’s running
back duties with Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles. Ingram is expected
to get the goal-line work (as he did Sunday night), making him
the most valuable Saints running back to own, but a timeshare
is all but certain for him in his rookie season.
New York Giants
Bradshaw, who is expected to open the season as the Giants’
starting running back, is out with a back injury that is causing
worry for head coach Tom Coughlin. Bradshaw’s injury has
been described as lingering, which raises additional concerns
about his ability to remain healthy for an entire season. Whether
Coughlin’s concerns are genuine or merely a ploy to get
Bradshaw back on the practice field remains to be seen. However,
the situation should be monitored given Bradshaw’s injury
history and the presence of former starter Brandon Jacobs.
Look for second-year receiver Victor Cruz to win the battle to
replace departed Steve Smith as the Giants’ top slot receiver.
Although Cruz may not be the team’s top backup on the outside
should starters Hakeem Nicks or Mario Manningham get injured,
he has had a solid training camp and is the team’s best
receiver out of the slot. Look for Domenik Hixon to be the top
option outside, with Ramses Barden potentially taking over that
role by midseason, once he gets back up to speed after his recovery
from a broken ankle.
New York Jets
a veteran squad, there is little news coming out of Jets camp.
Quarterback Mark Brunell hasn’t played in the last two preseason
games, courtesy of a calf injury. He is also returning from a
broken hand. Despite his absence, Brunell’s roster spot
as the top backup to starter Mark Sanchez is secure.
Running back Shonn Greene has recovered from a skin infection
and will be ready to start the season. Greene is in line for an
increased workload—provided he can stay healthy—with
LaDainian Tomlinson expected to spell Green and take on more of
a pass-receiving role.
With the Giants–Jets preseason tilt moved to Monday night,
wide receiver Plaxico Burress gets another couple of days to recover
from soreness in his back. He is expected to play, and that additional
playing time will allow him to expand his rapport with Sanchez.
Burress has had a solid preseason, but the back injury comes as
no surprise given his age and his lengthy absence from the league.
It simply reinforces the notion that he may be in and out of the
lineup throughout the 2011 season.
Raiders wasted little time in signing Terrelle Pryor to a contract.
Taken in the third round of the supplemental draft, Pryor will
serve a five-game suspension to start his career but shapes up
as an intriguing prospect for a Raiders team that has had numerous
problems at quarterback over the last decade. Coming off an up-and-down
2010 campaign, incumbent starter Jason Campbell needs to have
a strong season to secure his position as the starter. If Pryor
can improve in the passing game, he has a chance to start in 2012
if Campbell doesn’t have the Raiders contending for a playoff
spot this season.
receiver Jason Avant remains one of the more intriguing Eagles;
he could wind up starting on opening day, or he could be reduced
to a marginal role by midseason. With Jeremy Maclin still not
at full health, Avant may end up opposite DeSean Jackson in Week
1. However, he would be relegated to the third receiver role when
Maclin is ready, and he could drop down to fourth on the depth
chart when former Giant Steve Smith returns to the lineup.
Keeping with Smith, he made an unexpected return to the practice
field this week with the team removing him from the physically
unable to perform list. That means he will open the season on
the roster and not miss the first six games, as was expected.
However, he remains highly unlikely to be ready open for opening
As for Maclin, the Eagles remain confident that he will be a
go for Week 1, but it might not be a great idea to rely on him
in your fantasy lineup that week. His conditioning probably won’t
be at 100 percent, and with a solid veteran like Avant behind
him, there is a reasonable chance that Maclin will see the field
less than he normally would have in that first game.
Of all the Eagles’ offseason moves, the first one to blow
up on them appears to be the free agent signing of former Bronco
right tackle Ryan Harris. Harris will undergo surgery on his back
and will be out indefinitely. With former starter Winston Justice
coming back from injury, the Eagles have three options at the
position: They can move veteran backup guard Reggie Wells to right
tackle, go with the unproven King Dunlap, or move starting guard
Todd Herremans outside. With rookie first-round pick Todd Watkins
in line to start at right guard, quarterback Michael Vick’s
blind side protection might be a weakness early in 2011.
Steelers have a hole at left tackle with the departure of Max
Starks, and the competition to replace him has been somewhat underwhelming
so far this preseason. Veteran journeyman Jonathan Scott is holding
down the starting spot but will miss time with a knee injury.
The team had hoped that rookie second-round pick Marcus Gilbert
would challenge Scott, but he showed up at camp out of shape and
promptly suffered a hamstring injury. He is ready to return, but
likely doesn’t have enough time to win a starting spot on
Quarterback Byron Leftwich was expected to open the season as
Ben Roethlisberger’s backup, but those plans were scuttled
when he broke his left arm during this week’s preseason
game against the Falcons. He will likely be placed on injured
reserve, and Charlie Batch or Dennis Dixon will now backup Roethlisberger.
The Steelers had the possibility of moving one of their backups
in a trade, but that appears unlikely now.
St. Louis Rams
the Rams may not possess a true No. 1 receiver, they do have a
logjam at the position with eight or nine players that are worthy
of being on NFL rosters. The team’s backups will likely
need to contribute on special teams, which doesn’t bode
well for second-year receiver Danario Alexander. While Alexander
displayed intriguing potential as a rookie, he didn’t contribute
on special teams and may need to beat out Mike Sims-Walker, Brandon
Gibson, or Donnie Avery to make the squad. Since durability is
a major factor into roster decision-making, Alexander also has
his lengthy history of knee injuries working against him.
Tight end Michael Hoomanawanui rated as an interesting fantasy
prospect when training camp opened. He had played reasonably well
when healthy as a rookie, and new offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels
likes to involve the tight end in his game plan. However, Hoomanawanui
suffered a calf injury and will be out a couple of weeks, likely
ruining his chances of holding off impressive rookie Lance Kendricks,
a second-round pick, for the starting spot at tight end. Kendricks
has scored in two of three preseason games.
Running back Steven Jackson hasn’t seen much action in
the preseason, so it was nice to see him run over the Chiefs’
defense in this week’s preseason action, as he gained 72
yards on 15 carries and caught one ball for five yards. With the
Rams’ having invested heavily in the offensive line, Jackson
looks ready to bounce back from what was a subpar year for him
San Diego Chargers
though the Chargers have a hole at the No. 3 wide receiver position,
with Patrick Crayton recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his
ankle to remove bone spurs, don’t look for third-round pick
Vincent Brown to make much of a push to earn the job. The rookie
has missed significant time with a hamstring injury, and head
coach Norv Turner stated that he is way behind in learning the
team’s playbook. Rookies were in a tough position to earn
playing time this season due to the lockout, and Brown’s
injury will likely make him a non-factor for most, if not all,
Reports out of San Diego indicate that tight end Antonio Gates’
foot injury isn’t causing him any concern and that he will
be a go on opening day. The only thing that was holding Gates
back from being the top-ranked fantasy tight end were injury issues,
and with that out of the way, you can safely make him the top
tight end off the board in your fantasy league.
stalemate between 49ers starting running back Frank Gore and the
team’s management over his current contract has been a key
topic in San Francisco over the past couple of weeks. Although
Gore is their key offensive player—a workhorse back who
rarely comes off the field—the 49ers may not be willing
to meet his request for a renegotiated, long-term extension. They
have used draft picks in each of the last two years to replenish
the depth chart behind Gore, acquiring Anthony Dixon in 2010 and
Kendall Hunter in this year’s draft. Although neither player
has Gore’s skill set, Dixon provides potential as a between-the-tackles
runner and Hunter is more of a big-play, pass-receiving back.
Their presence decreases the need for San Francisco to re-up with
Gore, who is an old 28 given his workload and an injury history
that includes a fractured hip that prematurely ended his 2010
Quarterback Alex Smith appears to be doing everything possible
to squander his last chance with the 49ers. Smith continued his
unimpressive play this preseason with another poor outing this
week against the Texans. Smith completed just two of six passes
for 17 yards and threw an interception that was returned for a
touchdown. Although Smith is known for his mobility, he hasn’t
shown it as much as rookie second-round Colin Kaepernick has.
And that could be a key consideration in determining the team’s
starting quarterback, given the offensive line’s poor pass
protection. Look for Smith to be relegated to a backup role at
some point during the season, due to either injury or poor performance.
starting running back Marshawn Lynch missed time with a sore ankle
this week, but head coach Pete Carroll has stated that he will
be ready to start the season. Seattle is hoping that Lynch’s
strong play in the 2010 postseason will continue into the 2011
campaign and take some pressure off new starting quarterback Tarvaris
Jackson. Given that, and the fact that this is his first training
camp in Seattle, any time off for Lynch, who has been an inconsistent
performer for much of his career, is worrisome.
Despite the fact that it took until the fourth quarter of the
third preseason game for Seattle’s starting offense to score
their first touchdown of the year, there are no reports that Carroll
is questioning his decision to instill Jackson as his starting
quarterback. The decision was a curious one given Jackson’s
lack of a track record, and his lack of success in the preseason
makes it even more so. Although Carroll remains steadfast in his
belief in his quarterback, there can be little doubt that Jackson
will be on a short leash if the Seahawks struggle out of the gate.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Buccaneers avoided taking a hit with reports that cornerback Aqib
Talib will not be suspended for the first four games of the season
due to his latest off-the-field incident, which resulted in felony
weapons charges. Talib has run afoul of commissioner Roger Goodell
in the past, and this would have been his second suspension as
he enters his fourth year in the league. Don’t expect Goodell
to be quite so forgiving if Talib has further off-the-field issues.
Arrelious Benn made his preseason debut this week, catching one
pass for 12 yards. Benn will battle Dezmon Briscoe for the team’s
starting wide receiver spot opposite Mike Williams, with Briscoe
currently the front-runner because of his solid performance in
the preseason. However, it may have been telling that the coaches
chose to start Benn in his first game back from the torn ACL injury
that ended his 2010 season. Although Briscoe has solid size and
good hands, Benn offers more potential due to his superior speed
and playmaking ability. Even if Briscoe holds off Benn to start
on opening day, look for Benn to reclaim his starting spot at
some point this season.
Tampa Bay’s coaches had stated that they wanted to get
starting running back LeGarrette Blount more involved in the passing
game, and if this week’s preseason game is any indication,
they plan to follow through with that. Blount, who caught just
five passes in his rookie season, was targeted five times this
week, catching three passes for 62 yards, including an impressive
is nothing new to report on the Chris Johnson holdout situation.
Johnson and his representatives have made it known that the team
did little more than state their position with respect to his
holdout. With just one preseason game remaining, this situation
may not be resolved by opening day, and even if Johnson is signed
by them, he is a heightened injury risk for 2011.
With Kenny Britt out nursing hamstring and quad injuries, Damian
Williams has seen a significant number of first-team reps. The
2010 third-round pick contributed little as a rookie but entered
training camp with an outside chance to earn a starting position,
with only the disappointing Nate Washington and an injury-prone
Justin Gage behind Britt on the depth chart. In addition, Britt
recently met with league commissioner Roger Goodell, but reports
indicate that he will not face a league suspension due to his
numerous off-the-field incidents.
In other news relating to the Titans’ wide receivers, the
team signed veteran Kevin Curtis, who played in two games with
the Chiefs last season. At 31 years old, Curtis isn’t expected
to have a big role with the Titans, but if the team makes the
decision to go with their younger receivers, Curtis’s presence
could conceivably push the more expensive Nate Washington off
the roster. Curtis still has the speed to get deep and could fulfill
that role if Washington doesn’t earn a starting spot and
if the Titans are not willing to pay his salary.
Redskins’ quarterback situation remains a mystery with head
coach Mike Shanahan having rotated Rex Grossman and John Beck
two series at a time in this week’s preseason game against
the Ravens. Grossman has played well but may not have done enough
to unseat Beck, who was atop the depth chart at the beginning
of training camp. While Beck is rumored still to be Shanahan’s
choice to start on opening day, it wouldn’t be a surprise
if Grossman wins the job.
While the quarterback situation remains unresolved, there doesn’t
appear to be any such dilemma at running back. Against the Ravens,
Tim Hightower continued his strong preseason, and it would be
a shock if he doesn’t open the season as the starter. Rookie
Roy Helu has looked solid and has the highest upside of any back
on the roster, and injury-prone Ryan Torain looks like he will
be out of a job. Hightower makes for an RB3 if he wins the job,
but one of the riskier ones given Shanahan’s well-known
propensity for swapping out backs midseason.
Tight end Chris Cooley is having some swelling in his surgically
repaired knee and may end up losing time to backup Fred Davis
in 2011. While Cooley is a warrior, he isn’t getting any
younger, and the rebuilding Redskins may want to get a better
look at Davis in the coming season.