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Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) misses, Calvin Johnson (ankle) back at practice on Thursday

Thursday, October 23, 2014, 10:07am

Tim Twentyman, Twitter - [Full Article]

Lions RB Reggie Bush sat out of practice on Thursday. WR Calvin Johnson practiced for the second straight day, and did "much more," per Twentyman.

Fantasy Impact:

Midweek downgrades are usually a bad sign, but we’ll see if Bush is able to practice on Friday before making any assumptions about his availability in a great matchup against the Falcons. If he can’t play Theo Riddick would assume the pass-catching role in the Lions backfield and would be a Sneaky Start given the matchup. As for Johnson, it looks like he's a game-time call, which means owners will need to set their rosters at around 8:30-9:00 a.m. ET for a 9:30 a.m. kickoff in London on Sunday morning.

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Zimmer: Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon 'did better' in pass pro and 'ran the ball physically' in Week 7

Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 11:54pm

USA Today - [Full Article]

The Vikings have said they want to give Matta Asiata a similar number of carries, but Jerick McKinnon has made that difficult. McKinnon has 30 carries over the last two weeks, and Asiata has eight.

"Jerick has played well. I thought he did better in pass protection last week, I thought he ran the ball physically last week and he has a chance to make explosive plays, and that has nothing to do with Matt," HC Mike Zimmer said.

Pass protection, in many ways, is the most important part, and an area in which rookies, especially smaller ones like McKinnon, often struggle. While he has yielded plenty of pressure from opposing rushers, he made strides against the Bills.

Perhaps the Vikings have found their permanent replacement for Adrian Peterson, rather than just a complement.

Fantasy Impact:

It appears that McKinnon is on solid ground as the Vikings' starter. Owners should treat him as a RB2 moving forward.

Jaguars claim they will 'mix and match' at running back

Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 11:50pm - [Full Article]

So do the Jaguars (1-6) ride the hot hand (Denard Robinson) or go back to Toby Gerhart? Jaguars offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch wasn’t tipping his hand much on Wednesday as the team prepares for Sunday’s game against Miami (3-3) at EverBank Field.

“I think we’ll continue to mix and match a little bit,” Fisch said. “I don’t know exactly how that will all play out yet.”

That would seemingly be good news for Gerhart if Fisch isn’t ready to fully endorse the back that gave the offense a needed lift. Fisch did praise Robinson for his strong outing and his improvement.

Fantasy Impact:

Beat writer Michael DiRocco predicted earlier in the day that Robinson would be the lead back going forward and would see "15-20 carries...maybe even a little bit lower." We're betting that Gerhart stays involved when healthy, though Robinson has worked himself into a large role in the Jaguars' (modest) running game.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 11:42pm

Newsday - [Full Article]

But whether they're willing to admit it or not, Percy Harvin really does give Geno Smith and the Jets' decision-makers a better look at whether Geno can be the guy down the road. Or whether the Jets will need to give serious consideration to spending another high draft pick -- or going out on the free agent or trade market -- for a quarterback. With less and less patience when it comes to quarterback development in the NFL, these next nine games are pivotal to Smith's future.

If he can show consistent improvement with an explosive talent like Harvin on one side, the reliable Eric Decker on the other, and Jeremy Kerley, Jace Amaro and Jeff Cumberland as his other targets, then the Jets will get a better fix on whether Smith can be the guy.

Cardinals QB Carson Palmer no longer bothered by shoulder

Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 11:40pm

AZ Central - [Full Article]

Cardinals HC Bruce Arians was asked if the nerve problem in Carson Palmer's right shoulder is now a thing of the past.

"Yeah, knock on wood," Arians said, rapping three times on the top of table at which he was sitting. "Hopefully, we don't have to talk about that one anymore."

Later, Palmer seemed to confirm it, telling reporters he's reached the point where he rarely thinks about the shoulder.

"Yeah, I'm there right now," he said. "I'm actually able to lift with my upper body, which I wasn't able to lift for five weeks or whatever it was. I definitely had a lot of atrophy, so I'm starting to get some strength back and put a little extra weight up top, which is good.

Fantasy Impact:

Palmer's upcoming schedule is a lesson in extremes (PHI, STL and ATL in the next six weeks intermingled with matchups against DAL, DET and SEA) so he's best used as part of a QB committee.

Report: Titans plan to start QB Zach Mettenberger in Week 8

Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 11:32pm

Tennessean - [Full Article]

The Titans plan to start rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger against the Texans on Sunday, according to sources familiar with the situation.

The move could also signal the beginning of the end for quarterback Jake Locker in Tennessee. The fourth-year pro has missed the last two games with a thumb injury and has struggled with injuries throughout his career.

Indications are Mettenberger was informed of the decision Tuesday night. He was not in the locker room after practice Wednesday, when Locker was off-limits to the media. Charlie Whitehurst, who has three starts this season, said he was not allowed to talk to reporters.

Fantasy Impact:

Here's the scouting report on Mettenberger from's Nolan Nawrocki: "Pure dropback, strong-armed thrower who will require patient, confidence-building play-calling and a clean pocket to function at a high level in the NFL. Has starter talent in a vertical, downfield passing attack if he can learn to take command of a huddle and continue progressing as a decision-maker." Mettenberger under center could be a good thing for Justin Hunter, who is the Titans' best deep threat.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 6:13pm

Patriots QB Tom Brady (ankle) practiced fully Wednesday. Brady should be fine to face the Bears.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 6:13pm

Titans QB Jake Locker (right hand) took limited practice reps Wednesday. Locker is expected to make his return this week, though we’ll continue to monitor his progress. His return would probably be good news for Justin Hunter and Delanie Walker, who have both suffered in his absence.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 6:13pm

Buccaneers QB Josh McCown (right thumb) took limited practice reps Wednesday. We’re expecting Mike Glennon to continue to start for the Bucs.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 6:13pm

Broncos RB Montee Ball (groin, out) did not practice Wednesday. Ronnie Hillman is expected to get another start, and may continue to start even when Ball returns.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 6:13pm

Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (ribs) took limited practice reps Wednesday. We’re expecting Bernard to play in a tough matchup against the Ravens. He may not find much room to run, but he racked up 19 catches for 150 yards and a TD in his three meetings with the Ravens.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 6:13pm

Chargers RB Donald Brown (concussion, out) did not practice Wednesday. With Brown sidelined again, Branden Oliver will continue to carry the load for the Chargers.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 6:13pm

Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) took limited practice reps Wednesday. Bush is expected to play in a great matchup against the Falcons.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 6:13pm

Jaguars RB Toby Gerhart (foot) took limited practice reps Wednesday. Gerhart will be in the mix for carries, though it looks like Denard Robinson will be the primary running back for the Jaguars moving forward.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 6:13pm

Titans RB Shonn Greene (hamstring) took limited practice reps Wednesday. It looks like Greene is on his way back. His return might put a dent in Bishop Sankey’s weekly upside. The Titans have stubbornly given him carries when he’s active.