Brandon LaFell was one of the first Patriots on the field for Sunday's game at AT&T Stadium. And this was only of note because Brandon LaFell was not playing in the Patriots' game Sunday at AT&T Stadium.
Any player who begins the season on PUP must sit out the first six weeks. When the player is eligible to begin practicing, teams then have a three-week window to either add the player to the active roster, put the player on injured reserve or release the player. The latter two don't seem to be options with LaFell, who finished the 2014 season on an absolute tear.
It took about a month for LaFell -- and, really, the whole Pats offense -- to find its stride a year ago, but once LaFell clicked with Tom Brady, he became a vital piece to the offense. If you remove his first three games in 2014 and replace them with his three playoff performances, LaFell's 16-game numbers were 83 receptions, 1,026 yards and nine touchdowns, the story said. It's unclear if LaFell will physically be ready to go in Week 7. If he begins practicing on Oct. 21 -- the first practice following the Week 6 game at Indianapolis -- the Pats have until Nov. 11 to activate him. LaFell may be worth grabbing at this point if you're looking for help at WR.
And if you were looking for more clarity from Luck himself, it wasn’t there either.
“It feels better every day,” Luck said after whatever he did, via Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star. “It was great to go through practice without limitations, in a sense, and get out there and throw. It was better.”
That “without limitations” part is the key here. But as the story pointed out, Chuck Pagano said he had “supreme confidence” each of the last two weeks, while Luck has missed those games.
It was evident the Redskins couldn’t run the ball, but it was even more apparent the lack of snaps Alfred Morris played down the stretch. Two weeks after HC Jay Gruden said Morris should be the “lead dog” in the backfield, the running back once again had the fewest snaps among the team’s three options.
Morris finished with eight carries for 15 yards on 14 snaps, his second lowest snap total since the Giants game in Week 3, which prompted Gruden to make those comments. He finished with eight carries for 15 yards.
“We were stuck in a lot of second-and-eights, a lot of second-and-nines,” Gruden said. “And when that’s the case, we’re not going to be too good with the running game and Alfred is not going to get that many touches. Hopefully in the future next week and the week after that we’ll get him more involved.”
Washington had 20 offensive plays during the fourth quarter and overtime. Morris didn’t receive a single rep in the fourth quarter, but he was on the field for three plays in overtime. The Redskins opted to use Chris Thompson, who had 26 snaps, and Matt Jones, who had 20 snaps, over Morris down the stretch despite their ineffective carries as well. Jones had 11 carries for 20 yards and a touchdown. Thompson rushed for 15 yards on three carries and had 33 receiving yards on six catches.
Jones has been a regular on the injury report in recent weeks and dropped from being probable in Week 4 to questionable for Week 5’s game against the Redskins. Jones played, but the quick turnaround to playing on Thursday could make this week more problematic.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the Falcons are “uncertain” about whether Jones’s hamstring will be well enough for him to play when the team takes on the Saints. Jones said after Sunday’s game that he expected to play even though he won’t be 100 percent. It would be a bit of a downgrade for Ryan as the Falcons could use a run-heavy attack with the red-hot Devonte Freeman. Roddy White and Leonard Hankerson would see increased reps at WR.
Bortles is expected to play against the Texans.
Bradley said don't be surprised if Bortles doesn't practice on Wednesday, however. The team seems to think he'll be OK to start.
Tuesday, October 13, 2015, 8:57am
During a Buccaneers punt return last week, Pierce got turned around and, instead of trying to tackle the returner, ended up blocking a Bucs player instead. It made the rounds of the Internet, and everyone pointed and laughed at those silly Jaguars, caught in another zany mishap.
Except, it stopped being funny when Pierce was diagnosed with a concussion after the game.
Ben Roethlisberger wants to play Sunday against his former offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, and the Pittsburgh Steelers have not ruled out the possibility. But his return against the Arizona Cardinals is considered a long shot, according to sources.
Meanwhile, Steelers receiver Martavis Bryant was not activated to Pittsburgh's 53-man roster and won't be eligible to play Monday night. Bryant injured his knee during practice last week and is questionable against Arizona, according to a league source.
When Roethlisberger returns, he is expected to wear a knee brace for first time in his NFL career, though he is resistant to the idea. Roethlisberger jogged off the practice field Thursday after observing practice in casual clothes -- another sign he is progressing well. Early reports called for a late October or early November return to action. Roethlisberger hasn't had any setbacks since hurting the knee Sept. 27 at St. Louis.
"Supposed to be back," Carroll said. "He had a good workout today, and he should be on track for Thursday."
Lynch (hamstring) has missed consecutive games for the first time since joining the Seahawks. He did not travel with the team to Cincinnati last weekend.
Coach John Harbaugh doesn't know whether Smith will practice this week, but he indicated that the Ravens' leading receiver has been training hard.
"I'm hopeful," Harbaugh said Monday. "Very hopeful."
Smith hasn't practiced since injuring his back in Pittsburgh on Oct. 1. He was listed as doubtful for this past Sunday's game, meaning he had a 25 percent chance of playing. After not participating in pregame warm-ups, he was declared out, ending his streak of 20 straight games played.
Without Smith on Sunday, Baltimore wide receivers totaled three catches for 6 yards after the first quarter. Smith still leads the Ravens with 29 catches, which are 13 more than any other player on the team.
"So, that's a good sign," Harbaugh said. "It gives him a chance certainly for this week."
Forsett hurt his ankle late in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 33-30 overtime loss to the Cleveland Browns. He walked off the field on his own power, but he didn't play in overtime.
Forsett said he didn't return to the game because he was worried about causing more damage to his ankle. He was injured while being tackled by Browns safety Donte Whitner on a 32-yard catch.
After the game, Forsett didn't walk with a limp in the locker room. Forsett and backup running back Lorenzo Taliaferro (foot), who was inactive Sunday, both could be limited throughout practice this week.
Monday, October 12, 2015, 7:32pm
Out of a sling and not requiring surgery, Shorts is considered to have a better chance to return Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, his old team, than fellow injured wide receiver Nate Washington. Washington has a hamstring injury. Neither practiced Monday.
“I feel good, I’m coming along,” Shorts said. “I’m way ahead of schedule. We’ll see how things go. We’ve got to be smart about it.”
No one should be surprised that Jarvis Landry is the Dolphins’ leading receiver. But good luck computing what the odds would have been that at the season’s quarter mark, running back Damien Williams and tight end Jake Stoneburner would have more receptions than first-round pick DeVante Parker.
Parker has four catches for 49 yards, in part because he has been recovering from off-season foot surgery. With the Dolphins having a bye last weekend, it’s logical to wonder if this might be when Parker begins to show why the Dolphins made such an investment in him.
“I’m ready to go,” Parker said Monday. “Whenever they give me a chance, I just have to make plays.”
Parker said his foot no longer is holding him back. During the portion of practice open to the media, he ran crisp routes at what appeared to be full speed.
“I feel like I’m 100 percent,” he said.
Parker hadn’t been able to say that since OTAs, when he stood out virtually daily, the story said. A healthy Parker may be on your waiver wire by now and may be worth a pickup, especially with a new coach taking over.
Monday, October 12, 2015, 7:23pm
But for that to happen, Bryant will need to make significant progress with his fractured foot that he suffered in the Week 1 win over the Giants.
Head coach Jason Garrett said he would certainly prefer Bryant to practice for the rematch with the Giants on Oct. 25.
“Like with any injury you certainly want to see a guy out there on the practice field,” Garrett said on Monday. “You want to be able to test it on the practice field and see how he responds physically to the work. There are different kinds of injuries but certainly his would be one where you want to see him on the practice field running around and see how he handles it.”
When asked his status, Garrett kept it rather vague to the media.
“Yeah, he’s making progress. He’s going through his rehab and he’s been out on the field a little bit but he’s really just taking it day by day,” Garrett said. “We’ll see how he responds to the work going forward. The bone has to heal. It’s the kind of injury that the bone has to heal. Him being a tough guy doesn’t really matter in this situation. It’s a medical decision and he’s certainly going to give himself every chance to go out there and play.”
Garrett then added the bone is in “the process of healing.”
Bryant’s timetable was 4-6 weeks with some outside speculation of 6-8 weeks, if not longer, the story said. Last Thursday, Bryant underwent a therapeutic injection early in an effort to speed up his recovery from a broken fifth metatarsal in his right foot. Sunday’s loss to the Patriots marked four weeks since the injury and when the Cowboys take on the Giants in the Meadowlands for their next game, it will be a full six-week absence.
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