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 the recent happenings around the league.
Much ink has been spilled on the Sam Bradford knee injury after getting pulled from the game against the Chicago Bears last Monday night. Vikings head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman said, “Bradford has wear and tear in his knee. No bone bruise.” Coach Mike Zimmer chimed in, saying, “He aggravated his injury when he got tackled on one of the plays … He wanted to stay in there and fight but I didn't want to get him injured anymore." At this point, we hope Bradford gives his knee time to heal. He was not able to push off the injured knee so his short passes sailed and long passes fell short. Case Keenum has not played poorly and Teddy Bridgewater could return to the field soon. Kevin Seifert of ESPN wrote the following on Bridgewater last week, “Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater will be evaluated next Monday to determine if his knee is healthy enough to begin practicing, team athletic trainer Eric Sugarman said. The team will then decide whether to open a three-week window that would end either with his activation to the 53-man roster or a shutdown for the season. Bridgewater has not practiced since dislocating his kneecap, tearing his ACL and suffering other injuries in August 2016.” Then, Monday morning, Chris Mortensen tweeted, “Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater has been cleared to practice by doctor who performed the surgery on his dislocated knee, according to source.” There is hope for a Bridgewater return to practice this week or next. The better Keenum plays, the more patience is afforded the Vikings to ensure the two injured quarterbacks get healthy before returning.
Oh my, it was disheartening to watch Aaron Rodgers carted off in Sunday’s loss to the Minnesota Vikings. The Green Bay Packers’ team twitter account confirmed the injury by tweeting, “QB Aaron Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone. There's a chance he could miss the rest of the season.” The injury has caused much speculation how the Packers will address the quarterback situation. The team twitter account tweeted, “McCarthy: As far as the QB position, Brett Hundley is my quarterback, Joe Callahan is the backup. That's the direction we're going. #GBvsMIN.” It will be Hundley at the helm next week as Green Bay hosts the New Orleans Saints. After that, who knows.
After rushing rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer to play early as a rookie, Browns coach Hue Jackson finally made the move last week to bench him in favor of Kevin Hogan. Jackson said, “I’ve made the decision to start Kevin this week. We’ve liked what Kevin has been able to do within our offense when he’s been in there and he will start on Sunday because that’s what we feel is best for our team at this point in time. This does not change the way we feel about DeShone going forward. He has worked extremely hard and still very much has a bright future. Right now, it’s better for him and his development to back up Kevin.” Yes, Kizer has made his fair share of rookie mistakes, but let’s consider that he was rushed to play on a bad team void of weapons. Of course, there will be bumps on the road. This might be a great time to try to buy Kizer in dynasty leagues. He will be cheap. The worry is that the lowly Browns draft a quarterback early in the 2018 NFL Draft, making Kizer a lame duck backup for three years. Hogan was HORRIBLE against the Houston Texans. Our Footballguys own, Chase Stuart tweeted, “Kevin Hogan was terrible today. 7 first downs on 41 dropbacks. And until final garbage time drive, 5 first downs on 37 dropbacks (13.5%)!!” He was right. The longer Hogan is under center, the more it appears that Jackson pulled Kizer so his confidence would be beyond repair. The rookie will be back on the field soon.
After coming on Sirius with Mike Clay, Arizona beat writer Josh Weinfuss said that he thinks coach Bruce Arians, quarterback Carson Palmer, and receiver Larry Fitzgerald will all retire after this season. This would sure create a new look for the Cardinals.
During a radio interview, last Wednesday, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said that Thanksgiving was the earliest to expect David Johnson to return from the wrist injury. Johnson told reporters, "Rehab’s going great … Just got my cast. Feeling good." Johnson also said he is without a timetable for a return. If Arizona is out of playoff contention by late November, there will be no rush to get the star back on the field.
Last weekend, Mile High Sports' Benjamin Allbright created a stir by tweeting that the San Francisco 49ers are shopping Carlos Hyde. Allbright said that the 49ers were making and taking calls for Hyde. Oddly, this comes just two weeks after the talk of extending Hyde’s contract. The veteran is slated for free agency after the season. After the loss to Washington, coach Kyle Shanahan was asked about the Hyde rumor. The coach said, "100 percent false. That's not true at all." San Francisco will likely move all of the veterans and start anew with youngsters next year. Matt Breida makes a great stash in case this rumor comes true.
Even though his talent evaluation has rarely been proven accurate, dynasty owners should take note of Colts coach Chuck Pagano’s comments on Marlon Mack last week. Pagano told reporters that Mack is not ready to be an every-down back. He followed that up by saying Mack was not able to be a third-down back at this time. As Frank Gore continues to age, Mack will see an increase in snaps. For some reason, Pagano likes Robert Turbin more than Mack.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh told reporters last week that Danny Woodhead does not have a timetable to return. Harbaugh said, "With Danny, that evaluation goes on … It’ll be soon; he becomes eligible here shortly." Woodhead injured his hamstring and was placed on injured reserve. He was lucky to avoid surgery and there have not been any reports of setbacks in his recovery. We expect him back sometime in November.
Barely hitting the radar as “news” last week, the Cardinals traded a conditional 2018 sixth-round pick for Adrian Peterson. The Saints were happy to get something for the malcontented Peterson and he goes to a team with a large void at the position with David Johnson injured. Peterson had not played well for the Saints. To make room on the roster, Chris Johnson was released. At 32 years of age, he is likely done. Peterson put the football world on notice by erupting in the victory over Tampa Bay Sunday. In the contest, Peterson carried the ball 26 times for 134 yards and 2 touchdowns. These numbers were much better than his season totals entering the contest.
Brandon Marshall injured his ankle in the loss to Chargers and was placed on injured reserve. He will be 34 years of age in March and is slated to make $5.5 million next season. That salary is not guaranteed, likely signaling a departure from the Giants. Marshall posted the following on Instagram last Monday, “Tomorrow I’ll have surgery ending year 12. I’m filled with mixed emotions. I wasn’t able to produce for my team the way I wanted to but this was my greatest year to date. This game has shown me who I really am good and bad. This game has given me the opportunity to grow as a man, father, husband, teammate, leader.. . I’m so thankful for this game.. . The biggest lesson I’ve learned about myself is that Adversity kicks my A**. I’m proud to say that after 12 years I’ve finally became the man I knew I was supposed to be by confronting Adversity with a Smile. Gods Delay isn’t Gods Denial #DueSeason.” Marshall has matured into a leader on and off the field. Even if he retires after the season, Marshall has a bright future ahead of him.
Bears beat reporter Adam Jahns tweeted out late last week, “League sources: #Bears WR Markus Wheaton has a tear in his groin and could miss 4-6 weeks.” Wheaton has been oft-injured in Chicago and the Bears could use him to grow into the potential flashed in Pittsburgh. That active roster is without play-makers at the receiver position.
Last Wednesday night, Adam Schefter tweeted, “After consulting with Dr. Watkins, Bengals’ TE Tyler Eifert has decided to undergo season-ending back surgery, per source.” This is his third back surgery since 2014. Eifert is a free agent this coming offseason and will need to show full health in order to garner top-end tight end money.