We scour the news around the NFL to bring you what matters most to you and your dynasty team: the most current news on players, both superstars and the relative unknowns, and analysis to decipher the respective situations. These are many of the major stories and not meant to be an exhaustive look at all of the recent happenings around the league.
The knee injury to Steelers passer Ben Roethlisberger will cost him time … maybe. Roethlisberger underwent surgery Monday on his torn meniscus. The surgery was to trim – not repair – which will shorten the timetable for return. There is an outside chance of a return this week against the Patriots. But, with the bye week coming in Week 8, the team may choose to hold its star out until after the bye. The thought of Landry Jones should be enough to make Antonio Brown owners nauseous.
Last Wednesday, the sight of running back Dion Lewis walking through the New England Patriots locker room sent beat writers astir. Chief among them was Kevin Duffy, who tweeted, “Another Dion Lewis sighting in locker room. Walking around, not limping, no brace. Could start practicing as early as next week.” Lewis is eligible to come off the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list this week. It is yet too soon to know whether Lewis is healthy enough to play, but there is no reason to rush him back with James White playing so well.
With Christine Michael playing so well, many fantasy owners have forgotten that Thomas Rawls was the Seahawks starter before breaking his fibula. Earlier this week, coach Pete Carroll said on the radio (710 ESPN Seattle) that Rawls is "couple weeks away from being cleared." We are expecting a November return for Rawls and an even timeshare with Michael. Michael has played too well not to be given consistent carries each week.
The Packers have been decimated at the running back position. Eddie Lacy has been dealing with an ankle injury and James Starks is expected to miss another three weeks of action. Mike Garafolo reported Monday via his Twitter feed that Starks recently underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus. With a Thursday night game this week, Green Bay is under the gun to find depth at the position. A loss to Chicago could be curtains for the Packers.
In a move that may end up being something to remember, the Pittsburgh Steelers signed tailback Karlos Williams to their practice squad. Williams wore out his welcome in Buffalo after showing up to camp overweight and garnering a four-game suspension. The Bills even canceled a tryout after the suspension was served. Pittsburgh took a chance on Williams because the Steelers desperately need depth at the running back position. Top running back, Le'Veon Bell, has missed a lot of games due to injury and suspension. Backup DeAngelo Williams is well over 30 years of age and should decline sooner than later.
Last week, wide receiver Sammy Watkins received good news on his injured foot. Venerable expert Dr. Robert Anderson examined Watkins and found that the young pass catcher does not require a second surgery on his foot. Anderson determined that Watkins just needs rest and rehabilitation. Ian Rapoport reported that the Bills receiver could return late in the season. Watkins was placed on injured reserve after Week 3 and is able to return in six weeks at the earliest. He will not be ready by then but could be in the lineup if Buffalo makes a playoff run.
Receiver Eric Decker was placed on injured reserve last week due to a torn rotator cuff. Decker will need surgery and a six-month recovery. Decker said of the injury, “"It's not a fun time … But obviously it's something that needs to be done to continue my career." It is a big disappointment for a passing offense in disarray. The Jets miss Decker’s red-zone ability. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick will need to rely even more heavily upon Brandon Marshall and Quincy Enunwa. Also, keep an eye on newly-acquired tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Seferian-Jenkins has always shown plenty of promise but has struggled with maturity issues. New York has not used the tight end frequently in the passing game, but the presence of the former second rounder, along with the Decker injury, could change things.
Fans and fantasy owners alike are cheering for Washington tight end Jordan Reed as he recovers from at least his fifth concussion. Given Reed’s history of concussion injuries, fantasy owners should not be expecting a return this week. We never know when then next Reed concussion will force retirement. Veteran Vernon Davis started in place of Reed and caught a touchdown in the victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.
Keep an eye on Ladarius Green this week. He is expected to return this week from the PUP list. Pittsburgh desperately needs a win this week against New England after the dismal showing Sunday against Miami. Green is looking to return from both ankle and head issues. Expectations need to be tempered for Green’s fantasy impact, at least for a few weeks. He played in San Diego up until this season and missed the entire preseason with an injury. He will need time to adjust to the Steelers. When asked about his return, Green replied, "I’m definitely excited to be back out there." His return will give the Pittsburgh passing game a boost. He is an upgrade over Jesse James as a receiver.
Colts tight end Dwayne Allen went down with an ankle injury in the Sunday night game against the Texans. After seeing the video of the play Allen went down, Footballguys resident doctor, Jene Bramel tweeted, “Looks like high ankle mechanism for Dwayne Allen. Location of ice pack also suggestive of high ankle injury.” Now is the time to roster Jack Doyle if he is available. He is a solid fantasy option, showing good routes and very good hands.
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