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49ers sign Brandon Lloyd to a one-year deal
Tuesday, April 15, 2014, 3:21pm
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Kyle Rudolph (foot) running since mid-February
Tuesday, April 15, 2014, 11:06am
Kyle Rudolph said he's had no foot problems, has been running since mid-Feb.
Rudolph was the #13 TE through Week 9 prior to a season-ending fracture in his foot. He was 15th in targets per game during that span, so there’s some opportunity in the workload department, especially with new OC Norv Turner in town. Turner isn’t necessarily as TE-friendly as his old boss Rob Chudzinski, but he featured Antonio Gates and Jordan Cameron heavily while with the Chargers and Browns.
Lions see Reggie Bush and Joique Bell in 'split role'
Tuesday, April 15, 2014, 11:03am
Bush's stock has taken a hit this offseason with the Lombardi hire -- coming from New Orleans, where they use a RBBC -- and the team's decision to re-sign Bell to a long-term deal. Bell was the #17 RB in 2013 (#29 in 2012), so he should be a nice middle round value again in '14. Bush has three straight top 14 finishes in standard formats, but his usage may take a hit this season.
Sidney Rice (ACL) cleared for football activity
Monday, April 14, 2014, 3:40pm
WR Sidney Rice has been cleared for football activities by Dr. Andrews, per league source.
Rice was the #8 WR back in 2009, but that seems like a long time ago. The 27 year-old is capable of posting top 50 numbers if he lands in a starting role in a good situation (and can stay healthy).
Doug Martin still the 'main ball carrier' for Bucs
Monday, April 14, 2014, 11:07am
Martin still is going to be the main ball carrier and that means he still will be a fantasy force. Smith and his staff will work Mike James and Bobby Rainey into the rotation, but that’s not going to diminish Martin’s impact.
If anything, not having to handle virtually all the carries, the way he did under former coach Greg Schiano, should help keep Martin fresh. James and Rainey showed they’re capable runners last year when Martin was out with a shoulder injury.
Martin should bounce back in 2014, though he has a couple of solid RBs behind him in Rainey and James. Rainey was particularly good down the stretch, racking up 559 total yards and six TDs on 148 touches. His YPC (3.9) wasn't great, but that should improve in a smaller role. Martin's ADP will likely settle in around the 1/2 turn in fantasy drafts.
Saturday, April 12, 2014, 8:57pm
Vikings RB Adrian Peterson could find himself on the field in passing situations more often this year, getting asked to chip a defender before releasing on a pass route, he's probably not going to just be sitting in the backfield picking up blitzes.
Markus Wheaton likely to start
Saturday, April 12, 2014, 8:55pm
Wheaton will be fantasy relevant with a big jump in snaps and targets and a solid QB throwing him the ball.
Rob Gronkowski (ACL) on track in his recovery
Friday, April 11, 2014, 9:09pm
Gronkowski has been hugely productive when healthy, but his health is a major concern heading into 2014. He reportedly had surgery on Jan. 9 to reconstruct a torn ACL. He was injured on Dec. 8, and we’re not sure why he waited a month to have the surgery. Regardless, it typically takes a full year to recover, though Adrian Peterson and Robert Griffin III have made quicker returns (with varying success). Gronkowski is tentatively expected to be ready for the start of the season, but don’t be surprised we don’t know his status until deep into August or even early September. This makes him a major risk in 2014 fantasy drafts. The ACL surgery was the eighth (known) surgery of his career.
Friday, April 11, 2014, 9:08pm
Robert Griffin III's mechanics are back on point after his footwork lapsed during a miserable 2013 season that ended with the Washington Redskins star quarterback's benching the final five games by fired coach Mike Shanahan.
Quarterback guru Terry Shea, who tutored Griffin prior to the 2012 scouting combine and during the run-up to the draft, spent six days recalibrating RG3's footwork and release point the last week of March in Arizona.
It isn't coincidence that without his bothersome knee brace, Griffin again looks the gifted player who took the league by 2012 offensive rookie of the year storm.
Andre Roberts resigned to WR3 role
Friday, April 11, 2014, 10:43am
When he signed with Washington, Andre Roberts envisioned a role in which he’d play inside and outside, being a second option after Pierre Garcon. Of course, that was before the Redskins signed receiver DeSean Jackson.
“Well, I envisioned one thing and then we signed DeSean Jackson,” Roberts said on ESPN 980's "Inside the Locker Room" Thursday. “So I haven’t really thought too much.”
“That’s how the league is, that’s how the league works,” Roberts said. “Going into my situation, I wanted to be the No. 2 receiver. But I still don’t how it’s going to work out. Obviously, when you look at how much money is being made each guy, you’d think that’s going to be [the] No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3.”
Before the Jackson signing, Roberts was looking like a nice sleeper candidate as the Redskins' WR2, but now he'll be relegated to WR3 snaps and targets. He's basically in the same situation as Arizona, though at least he's getting paid.
Eli Manning to have scope on ankle
Thursday, April 10, 2014, 3:05pm
The procedure, a debridement of the ankle, will be performed by foot and ankle specialist Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte, N.C.
Manning suffered a high left ankle sprain in the Giants’ 2013 season finale against Washington and had been rehabbing the injury since.
“I went through the recovery and rehab after suffering the sprain,” said Manning. “I was still experiencing some discomfort as I began my normal offseason preparation, and after consultation, we felt the right thing was to have Dr. Anderson clean out the ankle. The doc tells me I should be running in about six weeks. I’m looking forward to the start of the offseason program on the 21st. I will be in the weight room and in the meeting rooms so we can all learn the new offense. I got some good work in this week at Duke, and I think it’s smart to get this procedure done now so the ankle isn’t an ongoing issue. I’m eager to get to work with our new offensive coaches and system.”
Six weeks puts Manning's return in late May. He should have plenty of time to recover before the start of training camp.
Thursday, April 10, 2014, 3:02pm
Dickson will back up Greg Olsen.
Lack of receiving threat could hinder Carolina rushing game
Thursday, April 10, 2014, 12:00pm
When asked if the lack of receiving weapons puts more pressure on the running game, Williams pointed to general manager Dave Gettleman's office.
"It puts more pressure on the front office because you make these moves, getting rid of our four receivers, but you got to bring in guys," he said. "No slight to Cotchery and Avant that we just signed. I don't know many receivers on other teams, so I'm not saying they're no-name guys, but our guys made their names all by themselves ... I mean, I don't know where we go from there."
Williams also noted that Cam Newton's recent ankle surgery makes the turnover at receiver more troubling because the quarterback won't be able to get his timing down with the new pass-catchers.
"I don't have any concerns so to speak," he said about the offense in the regular season. "I just don't want to see eight, nine guys in the box week in and week out because we're working on our timing."
Newton's stock has taken a hit given the current state of the Carolina receiving corps. The team will need to find 1-2 talented rookies who are ready to contribute immediately.
Reggie Bush is expecting a reduced workload in 2014
Thursday, April 10, 2014, 11:56am
“We had a pretty good rotation going last (season), so, you know, we did some pretty special things with that,” Bush said. “It can only go up from there, even if the workload is less for both of us, that’s only going to help us toward the end of the season, help us to stay healthy and probably play a little bit stronger and better toward the end of the season.”
Last season, both Bush and Joique Bell topped 500 yards in rushing and receiving -- the first time two running backs on the same team accomplished that in the same season. Considering the way the New Orleans offense is run, it could happen again in 2014.
Some of that speculation comes from the New Orleans Saints history. Under Sean Payton -- and this is the offense Lombardi said his attack will be based on -- the Saints used more running backs in varying rushing and route-running situations than the Lions did last season, when the team primarily used Bush and Bell with small doses of then-rookie Theo Riddick.
Last season, no New Orleans running back had more than 150 carries, although four had at least 60. Two, Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles, had more than 70 catches. That type of breakdown has been typical of a Saints' offense in recent years.
Bush may be overdrafted this year based on last year's numbers. The team re-signed Bell to a long-term deal and intend to use him. Bell may end up being the better value on draft day.
Thursday, April 10, 2014, 11:47am
Gil Brandt of NFL.com sees 49ers RB Marcus Lattimore getting a big role in the team's offense this season: "Lattimore missed the entire 2013 campaign while recovering from a serious knee injury that cut his final college season short -- something the Niners surely expected when they picked him in the fourth round last year. I think San Francisco is about to rewarded for its patience. Lattimore is a tough, one-cut runner with great instincts, exactly the type of power back the 49ers like to run with, in the mold of incumbent starter Frank Gore. I wouldn't be surprised to see Lattimore get some crunch-time carries this season and become the starter by 2015, when Gore is set to hit free agency. Lattimore -- who is a great person, by the way -- has plenty of promise; I think he's an even better running back than Eddie Lacy."
He was considered the most talented RB in the Class of ’13 prior to the dislocated knee he suffered in October of 2012. He’ll be nearly two years removed from the injury at the start of the 2014 season and is expected to push Kendall Hunter (and perhaps a declining Frank Gore) for playing time.