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. These are many of the major stories and not meant to be an exhaustive look at all of the recent happenings around the league.
Last week, Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin caused a firestorm by purposely not endorsing quarterback Ryan Tannehill after the poor performance in week three. On Monday last week, Philbin said a change at the quarterback position was a possibility. Later in the week, he backed off the comments, possibly because he realized Matt Moore was the backup, but the horse was out of the barn by then. Pandora's box has been kicked wide open. There is no going back. This situation cannot end well. Yes, the Dolphins dominated the Raiders in London, but the carnage of the situation will arise in the next poor Tannehill showing … which cannot be that far away.
The Arizona Cardinals are on bye this week. However, there was good news coming out that quarterback Carson Palmer said he will "definitely" be back next week. He suffered through a nerve issue in his shoulder but is throwing now, and Palmer said he is close to being back to full health. Drew Stanton played well in Week 3 and could get the call at any time. These type of nerve issues do seem to reoccur at inopportune times.
Another team on bye this week is the St. Louis Rams. Last week, coach Jeff Fisher said quarterback Shaun Hill remains his starter when he gets healthy. The good news for the 34-year old is that the bye week could allow him to practice enough to be under center for the Week 5 game against the Philadelphia Eagles. While Austin Davis has shown glimpses of promise, he makes costly mistakes. In three games, Davis had two interceptions returned for touchdowns. The Rams do not have enough talent to overcome those types of mistakes.
The poor play of quarterback Kirk Cousins on Thursday night has led fans to start pining for Robert Griffin III III to return soon. How one week changes things. Last Tuesday, coach Jay Gruden opined Cousins might remain the team's starting quarterback even after Griffin returns. As we stated a few weeks ago, Gruden should not say much. Everything will play out and the quality of Cousins play will dictate how quickly Griffin comes back. The issue is that too many overstated Cousins' play against poor defenses (Jaguars and Eagles). When facing a decent defense (Giants), Cousins showed poor footwork and form.
Tampa Bay quarterback Josh McCown hopes to avoid surgery on his injured thumb with a rest and rehabilitation. Mike Glennon will be the quarterback indefinitely. Mike Kafka was signed to be his backup until McCown returns. Adam Schefter tweeted Monday, “Bucs QB Josh McCown has torn ligament in thumb. Will try to throw through it Monday. But if surgery needed, he'd be sidelined six weeks.” With Mike Glennon leading Tampa Bay to the come-from-behind victory against Pittsburgh Sunday, there may not be a rush to get the poor-performing veteran back on the field.
With the injuries to the Arizona running backs, keep an eye on Marion Grice, who was signed off the San Diego Chargers' practice squad. Grice is not overly talented but should be able to pass Stepfan Taylor on the depth chart. Let's remember that Grice is a local product who played at Arizona State.
After a career game against the Miami Dolphins last week, it was sad to see Kansas City Chiefs tailback Joe McKnight rupture his Achilles' tendon in last Thursday's practice. McKnight heads to injured reserve and will struggle to make a team next season.
Buccaneers beat writer Rick Stroud tweeted Monday, “Bucs WR Mike Evans will miss 2-4 weeks with a groin injury. Those are the best estimates following an evaluation today.” The rookie is coming off a strong game and was looking to build on some momentum. It was no coincidence that Evans began to gain confidence with Glennon under center.
Washington tight end Jordan Reed has a chance to play this week against the Seattle Seahawks. According to coach Jay Gruden, Reed is still rehabbing his hamstring and could play. Maybe the coach is just optimistic, but it is good news for Reed dynasty owners. If Reed is unable to play against the Seahawks, we expect Logan Paulsen to be the starter at the position. Niles Paul, who had been playing very well, was knocked unconscious against the New York Giants on Thursday night. The severity of the head injury should keep Paul out of the lineup at least one week, possibly longer. Considering the quarterback problems, and the opponent, the game could be ugly early.
When Jermichael Finley was manning the tight end position for the Green Bay Packers, many assumed that the situation made Finley better than reality. After Finley's neck injury, the team has three youngsters battling for playing time. Last week, there were negative stories on two of the three. First was the Green Bay Press-Gazette saying Richard Rodgers was a “disaster” as a run blocker. Ouch! We now know why he has not played much. This is harsh for the rookie who was effective in the passing game through the preseason. He hauled in the two targets on the opening drive against Chicago, but those were his only targets for the game. Then both ESPN and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel ran stories about Brandon Bostick. ESPN suggested Bostick's practice habits were responsible for his limited playing time at tight end and leading to merely special teams snaps. Next, the local paper pointed out that Bostick had two special teams penalties in Week 3. The miscues by these two youngsters has led to increased playing time for Andrew Quarless now that he is healthy and back in the lineup. Against the Bears, Quarless played almost the entire game, but was not targeted in the passing game. Could Rodgers' time be coming?
The Lions have some of the craziest injuries. This past week, tight end Joseph Fauria injured his ankle while at home. His absence from the lineup led to increased snaps for rookie Eric Ebron. Ebron has big upside but has struggled transitioning from North Carolina to the NFL. Sometimes, it takes tight ends a year to get up to speed.
Injuries to monitor this week:
Robert Griffin III III: Ankle
Carson Palmer: Neck
Matt Cassel: Foot
Jamaal Charles: Ankle
Knowshon Moreno: Elbow
Ryan Mathews: Knee
Andre Ellington: Foot
Doug Martin: Leg/Knee
Ben Tate: Knee
Danny Woodhead: Ankle
DeSean Jackson: Shoulder
T.Y. Hilton: Ankle
Alshon Jeffery: Hamstring
Brandon Marshall: Ankle
Cecil Shorts: Hamstring
Marqise Lee: Hamstring
Odell Beckham Jr Jr.: Hamstring
Rob Gronkowski: Knee
Jordan Cameron: Shoulder
Tyler Eifert: Elbow
Jordan Reed: Hamstring
Kyle Rudolph: Groin/ Sports Hernia
Marcedes Lewis: Ankle
Niles Paul: Head
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