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.
Each week, the Andrew Luck news gets crazier. This past week, a local media member, Tony Donohue, tweeted, “The #Colts are at a crossroad. Im told it is very possible Andrew never plays again. The team is looking at a top 7 pick in the draft.” This would definitely be a worst-case scenario. The situation is made even more uncertain by the Colts front office. In an ESPN article last week, Tony Dungy had an interesting perspective on Andrew Luck. The article read, Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy said Monday that Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay has said that quarterback Andrew Luck's injury is "inside his head." Dungy made the comment during a live look-in at Dan Patrick's radio show during its television simulcast on the Audience Network. "I don't know what's going on there, I really don't," Dungy said during the look-in. "Is he going to play? Jim Irsay made a comment about six weeks ago, 'You know, it's inside his head now.'" Patrick followed up by asking the former Colts coach: "Wait, it's inside Luck's head?"" Yeah, he said that I guess when I was up there for Peyton's [Manning's] ceremony," Dungy said. Even though Luck is the face of the franchise, there is a very real possibility that Irsay will mess the situation up and trade Luck away.
Chris Mortensen was the first last week to report Sam Bradford visiting Dr. James Andrews and getting his knee scoped. While reported as a “clean up”, the surgery forced the Vikings to place Bradford on injured reserve. Speaking of Bradford, David J. Chao, MD tweeted, “Medically, I believe #Bradford can play again but won't this season. However, mobility and longevity in question.” He was never the most mobile of quarterbacks but the potential for a shortened career makes us take notice. Teddy Bridgewater was activated from injured reserve as Bradford was deactivated. Bridgewater has been practicing for two weeks and has yet to have a setback. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported last week that Bridgewater is "throwing better than he was" before his knee injury. He has been out of action for the past 15 months, so it might take Bridgewater a few weeks to knock off the rust. He will back up Case Keenum until ready to start.
Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht told reporters that quarterback Jameis Winston could miss an extended period of time with his shoulder injury. Licht said, "There is no timeline on this." Winston sprained his AC joint four weeks ago and aggravated it against the Saints last week. Without a timetable for a 2017 return, Winston’s season may be finished. If the Buccaneers have a losing record when he finally gets healthy, there is no reason to rush him back to the lineup … no matter how poorly Ryan Fitzpatrick plays.
While it is still too early to count on him returning to the field, Cardinals tailback David Johnson is getting his cast removed this week. The doctors will learn more about how Johnson’s wrist is healing once the cast is removed. A few weeks ago, coach Bruce Arians was pessimistic on Johnson returning to the field this year. But, he could return in December, especially if the Cardinals are in the playoff hunt.
Once considered a high-upside backup to Todd Gurley, Malcolm Brown is now out indefinitely with an MCL injury. Beat reporter Alden Gonzalez said Brown suffered the injury at the end of last week's blowout win over the Giants. We expect Brown to undergo surgery and possibly be placed on injured reserve. Lance Dunbar and Justin Davis are the likely reserves behind Todd Gurley.
We are hopeful that Josh Gordon has turned his life around off the field. All reports have him in tip-top shape and ready to produce when he comes back to the Browns’ lineup. Mary Kay Cabot tweeted last week that Gordon ran a 4.35 40-yard dash while training in Gainesville, FL. Oh my, Gordon makes for a great buy low for dynasty owners until he returns to the field in a couple of weeks.
The Martellus Bennett situation in Green Bay is curious. A couple of weeks ago, Bennett told reporters he would retire after the season. Bennett was soon placed on injured reserve. Then, last week, Field Yates tweeted, “Source: the Packers have cut veteran TE Martellus Bennett. His time in Green Bay is over.” This was a big surprise. Ian Rapoport added, “The #Packers paid TE Martellus Bennett $8M of his 3-year, $21M contract. The only tangible benefit to cutting him with the failure to disclose is if they argue his entire contract is void & go after his money. This isn’t over just yet.” Yes, Rapoport is alluding to the team alleging that the tight end hid the injury before signing the large contract. Making the conflict muddier was what happened next. Adam Schefter tweeted, “Former Packers’ TE Martellus Bennett claimed on waivers by the New England Patriots, per source.” Ian Rapoport later reported that Bennett has a torn rotator cuff but will try to play through it while sporting his new/old New England Patriots jersey. This has gotten nasty. Bennett accused the Packers medical staff of being incompetent. This sticky situation is not over yet. For evidence, Ian Rapoport tweeted Sunday morning, “#Patriots TE Martellus Bennett has a shot to play… but his #Packers story isn’t over. GB intends to go after his $$$.” Monday morning, Rapoport tweeted, “Postscript to the Martellus Bennett saga: He told teams not to claim him so he could have surgery & retire. “(The #Patriots) claimed me, I was like, ‘No (expletive) way.’”
Now is a great time to check your league’s waiver wire for Colts tight end Erik Swoope. Swoope returned to practice last Wednesday after being placed on injured reserve to begin the season. Swoope suffered a knee injury in training camp and is now healthy. We expect him to see the field after Indianapolis’ bye week. The Colts like using two tight ends on the field at the same time. Swoope’s addition to the lineup might take targets away from Jack Doyle.
C.J. Fiedorowicz is returning to the field just in time. Fiedorowicz was on injured reserve with a concussion. Now, he replaces Ryan Griffin who was placed on injured reserve with a concussion. The Texans tight ends were better fantasy options before the Deshaun Watson injury. Both tight ends could see their respective careers shortened due to concussions.