The Pittsburgh Steelers walked away from last season with an affinity for Jesse James but unsure if that relationship would graduate to love. The signing of tight end Ladarius Green to a four-year deal confirmed that status.
Now that Green will start the season on the physically unable to perform list, the Steelers need the love to flow through the Three Rivers.
It is officially Jesse James time. And he's ready.
"I feel really good. I feel confident," said James, who recorded four catches for 25 yards and a touchdown against New Orleans last week. "I want to be a primary option for us."
The story didn't predict James would become a primary option, but did feel, at 6-6, he's a huge red zone target with sure hands. He works hard at blocking and isn't elite but wants to get better, the story said. It sounds like he could make for a lower-end TE1 or high-end TE2 fantasy option if all goes well. Ben Roethlisberger likes to target the TE so it may just be a matter of gaining James' trust in key situations as well as the red zone.
Ladarius Green will continue to sit out.
The Pittsburgh Steelers announced Tuesday they placed the tight end on the physically unable to perform list to start the season.
The move doesn't come as a surprise. Green hasn't participated in workouts after signing a four-year, $20 million contract this offseason.
NFL Media's Aditi Kinkhabwala reported earlier this month that Green was dealing with recurring headaches after suffering multiple concussions during his four years in San Diego.
The Steelers and Green insist his ankle has been the reason he's missed workouts, but the tight end's agent told Kinkhabwala the ankle is "fine."
Green was ramping up his activity, but he’ll miss at least the first six games as he continues to rehab his ankle (or deals with lingering headaches from a 2015 concussion, depending on who you believe). He has fantastic potential in this offense, so his status is worth monitoring in September and October as a possible midseason pickup. But he’s no longer worth a late-round pick in all but the deepest leagues. Jesse James takes over as the starter and is a sneaky play for the first half of the season. James has terrific size and should serve as a nice target in the red zone.
Steelers tight end Ladarius Green on Saturday denied rumors that he's dealing with recurring headaches and reiterated it is his surgically repaired ankle is what is keeping him on the physically unable to perform list.
Speaking for the first time since a NFL Network report Aug. 11 said he was suffering headaches possibly stemming from a pair of concussions during a two-week span last year while playing for the Chargers, Green said he was surprised when he heard about having recurring headaches.
“I don't know what reports those are,” Green said. “I am still on PUP because of my ankle.”
Follow-up reports claimed the Steelers could ultimately release Green, and even Green was contemplating retirement. Hopefully the headache reports are indeed false. Still, Green has missed a big part of camp. He could be a big weapon in the middle of the field for Ben Roethlisberger if he can get healthy.
Tomlin said he isn't addressing an NFL Network report that Green is suffering from recurring headaches.
Green was signed as a potential offset to the loss of Martavis Bryant and an imposing weapon for Ben Roethlisberger in the middle of the field. A few interesting fantasy notes in this piece include expecting the team to 'heavily' use LeVeon Bell in the passing game in the red zone. The story said the team also likes Jesse James as a possible TE replacement but the team isn't sure they love him. The story also said to not write off Green. He could be placed on IR and return should the Steelers decide to use that roster spot.
The NFL Media report, attributed to an unnamed member of the Steelers, regarding the recurring headaches suffered by tight end Ladarius Green raises questions about the player’s future, and regarding his contract.
First, rumors of Green dealing with lingering headaches have been circulating since training camp opened. The person who first mentioned the ongoing headaches to PFT suggested that Green is considering retirement. If the headaches don’t resolve, retirement remains an option.
Second, earlier today the same source told PFT that there’s new speculation that the Steelers may eventually cut Green.
Third, the Steelers could end up recovering (or at least trying to recover) Green’s $4.75 million signing bonus. If he retires, Green definitely owes the money. Even if he’s cut, however, there’s a chance the Steelers could make the same argument the Patriots advanced three years ago regarding defensive end Jonathan Fanene.
This is somewhat alarming news, as it sounds like Green's symptoms from previous concussions are very serious. There's no telling how this is going to play out, but we have moved Green way down our draft board for now. Green will have huge upside in the high-octane Steelers offense if he is healthy, but even if he plays in 2016, he may be one concussion away from hanging up his cleats. Green can no longer be counted on as a fantasy starter, and is in danger of not being draftable at all.
The Steelers made just one splashy -- and much-needed -- free agent signing this past offseason, tight end Ladarius Green. They have yet to see him in their offense, though, and a member of the organization, informed of the player's health, said it has nothing to do with the tight end's surgically-repaired ankle -- but is instead an issue with recurring headaches.
Green's agent, Adisi Bakara, however, immediately said, "His ankle is fine," when reached Wednesday night. Bakara would not comment on what is ultimately keeping Green sidelined, and his client has reportedly been seen running sprints at St. Vincent's College, while his teammates practice.
Green, then a member of the Chargers, complained of headaches after suffering two concussions in two weeks last September, according to a report in the San Diego Union-Tribune. Those were his second and third concussions in less than one calendar year. Green sat out one game last season due to a concussion, while ankle issues sidelined him for two others. A concussion also caused Green to miss one game during the 2014 season.
Green landed in a great situation, but it sounds like he continues to have symptoms from previous concussions. There's no telling how this is going to play out, so we're moving Green down our draft board until he's able to return to practice. In redraft formats, given his upside, Green is a good late-round pick as a TE2 but for now he can't be counted on as a fantasy starter.
Jesse James would start and serve the No. 1 role. Xavier Grimble has been taking practice reps commensurate with a player who’s expected to have a not-insignificant role in the offense. David Johnson will handle duties of a hybrid Matt Spaeth/Will Johnson 2015 version, meaning mostly as a blocker. It appears Nix is being prepped for some traditional tight end-style work, and maybe someone such Mt. Lebanon native Paul Lang steals a roster spot (in lieu of a still-PUP’d Green).
As the story said, the unsettled situation bares watching over the next four weeks through the preseason games and up until the final cutdown day. That's especially true if Green's injury continues to keep him out.
Steelers TE Ladarius Green is sitting out OTAs after offseason ankle surgery and doesn't know the exact date for return (the expectation is training camp). "I just want to see if I can prove it to myself that I can go out there and be the best," he said.
This doesn't sound too serious. Green landed in an optimal situation in Pittsburgh, playing with an elite quarterback and in a high-octane offense. It also doesn’t hurt that Martavis Bryant is suspended for the year; the team is likely to lean on Green’s size in the red zone. In four games that Antonio Gates missed in 2015, Green averaged 4.5 catches for 55 yards and 0.75 TD (on 6.8 targets per game). In the 13 career games where he has seen at least five targets, he has averaged 7.5 fantasy points (standard), which would have translated to #7 TE numbers in 2015.
Bryant is eligible to apply for reinstatement no sooner than 60 days before 1-year anniversary of the suspension.
Markus Wheaton sees the biggest bump in fantasy value with the news of Bryant's suspension. He caught 44 passes for 749 yards and five touchdowns on the season, but really came on down the stretch, averaging 4.7 catches for 79 yards and 0.67 TD (on 7.8 targets per game) over the final six games of the season. (He was the #12 fantasy receiver in that span.) Though he only gained 53 total receiving yards in two playoff games, he was targeted 13 times, so he was an integral part of the offense late in the year. Wheaton fared well on a per target basis, finishing 22nd and 27th (out of 121 eligible receivers) in fantasy points per target in standard and PPR formats, respectively. Consider Wheaton a fantasy WR3 with WR2 upside. The other players who stand to benefit are TE Ladarius Green (especially in the red zone) and deep threat Darrius Heyward-Bey.
There were better potential landing spots, but this is still great news for his fantasy stock. He'll compete to be the third option in the passing game behind Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant. In 13 career games where he's seen at least five targets, he has averaged 3.5 catches for 52 yards and 0.38 TD, which are solid TE1 numbers in both standard and PPR formats. He's not guaranteed at least five targets per game, but the now-retired Heath Miller saw at least five passes come his way in 17 of his last 32 regular season games and his skills were diminishing. Green has the speed to threaten the seam and will see single coverage with Brown and Bryant drawing most of the attention of the defense.
San Diego Chargers
T King Dunlap (ankle), LB Kyle Emanuel (concussion), DT Sean Lissemore (shoulder)
T Chris Hairston (abdomen), CB Steve Williams (hip)
S Nate Allen (knee), DE Mario Edwards (neck)
CB Neiko Thorpe (neck)
Friday, December 18, 2015, 6:32pm
Chargers WR Dontrelle Inman (neck, probable) took full practice reps all week and is probable for Week 15. It appears that Inman is going to return this week. He’s a Sneaky Start, especially if Ladarius Green sits. Prior to his injury, Inman had eight catches for 114 yards and a TD on 14 total targets in Week 11 and Week 12, and that was with Stevie Johnson in the lineup. With Johnson out, Inman could see the most targets of the San Diego wideouts.
Friday, December 18, 2015, 6:32pm
Chargers TE Ladarius Green (ankle, questionable) returned to take limited reps Friday after missing practice earlier in the week and is questionable for Week 15. Green was a full participant last week which led to a probable tag, so this is a downgrade from last week. If he’s out, Antonio Gates should see a boost in snaps.
Thursday, December 17, 2015, 6:06pm
Thursday, December 17, 2015, 6:06pm
- Page 1