We scour the news around the NFL to bring you what matters most for you and your dynasty team: the most current news on players, both superstars and the relative unknowns, and analysis to decipher the respective situations.
After undergoing offseason back surgery to remove a non-cancerous cyst , Tony Romo has been cleared for the opening of training camp. The 33-year-old Cowboy passer did not participate in any of the offseason activities or minicamps, but should be good to go at this point.
In a recent Florida Times Union article, Jacksonville Jaguars Offensive Coordinator Jedd Fisch was on the record saying it was too early to predict how much Maurice Jones-Drew would be utilized in the offense until more is known about his surgically repaired foot. Per Fisch, "We have to make sure he can just not plant off his foot, but be tackled on his foot and be able to bounce right back up and be able to withstand a lot of carries... When we start seeing those things, we'll have a better feel of what type of guy he can be." Let's remember that Jones-Drew had surgery to repair a Lisfranc fracture just eight months ago. Given the concern over Jones-Drew's foot, he will either be a great value or frustrating to dynasty owners.
Chicago Bears tailback Matt Forte is liking his role in the new offense of coach Marc Trestman. Forte said, "In this offense, the running back runs a lot of routes and is able to catch the ball a lot. I'm able to catch the ball; I'm willing to catch it. I expect a lot out of myself." The Bears back could have a huge season, buoyed by increased receptions.
According to the Charlotte Observer, Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart was forced to withdraw from a recent golf tournament due to ankle issues. While it was merely a golf outing, how can fantasy owners feel confident in a back whose ankles are too sore for golf? Footballguys own Dr. Jene Bramel is afraid the injury is much worse than previously reported. This is definitely a situation to monitor.
The San Francisco 49ers placed running back Marcus Lattimore on the active/non-football injury list this past week. The rookie is coming off the severe knee injury suffered in college and will likely use the 2013 season to heal and recover. In a related move, the team placed fellow back Kendall Hunter on the active/PUP list. Hunter tore his Achilles just eight months ago and is on track to be back on the field for part of training camp.
After giving up hope he will ever be able to contribute to the team, the Detroit Lions waived running back Jahvid Best this past week. Still only 24 years of age, Best has not played football in 21 months. This move was just a formality.
The Tampa Bay Times reported last week that newly acquired back and returner Jeffrey Demps still may join the team in the coming weeks. Demps has stated that track and field events are his primary focus and will try to fit football in as time allows. The Florida product is a very fast and could contribute on special teams if ever committing to football.
Last week, Pierre Garcon received full medical clearance on his shoulder when training camp opens. Many are aware of Garcon's toe issues, but he had surgery to repair a torn labrum after the season. When on the field, the Redskins receiver is one of the better fantasy pass catchers, and could be a sleeper if his health allows.
Jacksonville Jaguars General Manager Dave Caldwell recently stated that suspended receiver Justin Blackmon may be limited at the start of training camp after undergoing groin surgery. Caldwell went on to say that he does not anticipate his star receiver opening camp on the PUP list. The four-game suspension will allow ample time for the groin to recover.
Michael Crabtree was placed on the active/PUP. Also, the 49ers placed fellow receivers Mario Manningham and Kyle Williams on the active/PUP list due to their respective knee injuries. Manningham is still a ways from practicing after undergoing surgery on his ACL and PCL. Williams is recovering from ACL surgery. The loss of these three veterans will give youngsters more practice reps in training camp.
New York Jets pass receiver Santonio Holmes is still unable to participate in full weight-bearing running on his injured foot. Expect the veteran receiver to be placed on the active/PUP list very soon. At this point, Holmes looks like a longshot to be ready for the season opener after being idle for so long.
The New Orleans Saints placed rookie receiver Kenny Stills on the non-football injury list. Stills was a fifth round pick from the University of Oklahoma. He is unlikely to make an impact in 2013, but could be a great stash for the future.
The New England Patriots waived wide receiver Donald Jones this past week. It was an interesting move as Jones had worked with the starters earlier in the offseason. The one takeaway is that New England seems to be planning for Julian Edelman and one of the two rookies (Aaron Dobson and Josh Boyce) to join Danny Amendola in the starting lineup. Dobson and Edelman have received little press this summer but each could have a big season.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution recently ran a story on Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez where the ageless veteran re-stated that this will be his final season in the NFL. Dynasty owners see Gonzalez as either a player to quickly sell or a cheap one-year fix for a competitive team. His value will only decline as the season progresses.
Cleveland Browns Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner recently remarked that reserve tight end Gary Barnidge has played well. This should come as little surprise to many as Barnidge was brought over by Head Coach Rob Chudzinski from Carolina. Even at Louisville, Barnidge was a great receiver. Given the tight end-friendly offense, Barnidge is a player to monitor in camp. He could be a viable fantasy option if Jordan Cameron misses time.
Tampa Bay kicker Connor Barth ruptured the Achilles tendon on his right leg during a charity basketball game. This is his kicking leg so the injury is problematic for his career. The injury is very serious. Lawrence Tynes was signed to a one-year deal to take Barth's spot.
If you have questions of any variety, please feel free to reach out to me on Twitter (Twitter.com/JeffTefertiller) or email Tefertiller@Footballguys.com
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