Welker was making his way back from a concussion, but will now have an involuntary month off as he serves the suspension. Emmanuel Sanders sees a small bump, while rookie Cody Latimer will have a chance for starter's snaps if he can beat out Andre Caldwell early in the season. As for Welker, we were already pretty low on him due to concerns about the repeated concussions. We recommend a hands off approach until at least the 11th round.
Monday, September 1, 2014, 12:47pm
Running back Ronnie Hillman was limited in the early portion of practice Monday, four days after not accompanying the team on its charter from Dallas because of an undisclosed medical issue.
Hillman paired off with his position groups, but did not participate in the drills. He didn't played last Thursday in the final preseason game. Hillman became ill at some point Thursday.
Hillman was taken to a Dallas-area hospital for treatment and returned to Denver on Sunday, a day later than expected, because he didn’t have proper ID to travel. John Elway said tersely, “It’s a medical issue.”
Out of the last 10 times Wes Welker has suited up for a game, he has had to leave the game early because of a concussion three times. The most recent concussion came in the Broncos’ third preseason game, leading to fears that his career may be in jeopardy.
But the Broncos don’t share those fears.
In fact, ESPN reported that there is optimism in Denver about Welker’s status, while the Denver Post reports that Welker is expected to practice on a limited basis today.
Welker was back at practice Monday and the Broncos are also optimistic that Welker could be cleared for a full practice later this week, and to play on Sunday night against the Colts, 15 days after he suffered the concussion, the story said. PTF also wondered if 15 days if enough time off for a player who has suffered his third concussion in less than a year. Welker is a high-risk own but could also be very valuable in PPR leagues. At this point, hopefully you have a good backup plan in place.
Sunday, August 31, 2014, 9:01pm
In the simplest terms, here's what the Green Bay Packers face Thursday at Seattle: Aaron Rodgers will try to run the no-huddle offense in the loudest outdoor stadium in the NFL with a center who has never snapped to him in a game.
Aaron Rodgers will juggle a noisy outdoor stadium in Seattle with a rookie center playing in his first regular-season game. And he will have to do so against the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks, who had the NFL's best defense in 2013.
There are many facets to the 2014 NFL opener, but perhaps none is more important than how the Packers' offense operates at CenturyLink Field.
The Packers aspire to field a fast-paced offense like the one Peyton Manning quarterbacks. But even Manning couldn't do that against the Seahawks. And Rodgers was there to see it in person at the Super Bowl, watching from a luxury box, the story says. As a result of all of this, Rodgers comes in ranked 8th on our QB list heading into Week 1, probably as low as you'll see him all season.
Running back Ronnie Hillman and cornerback Kayvon Webster fell ill after the preseason game and were held back at a Dallas-area hospital overnight.
Both players participated in the pregame conditioning workout that was reserved for the Broncos' front-line players. Neither Hillman or Webster played in the preseason game. Webster had to be aided out of the locker room.
The Broncos did not disclose the nature of the illness, although the team did confirm Hillman and Webster were taken to a Dallas-area hospital for treatment and evaluation.
Both are expected to rejoin the team this weekend.
It doesn't sound like this is too serious, but it is worth monitoring over the weekend. Hillman is expected to serve as the primary backup to Montee Ball. C.J. Anderson is the next man up.
Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman, who has clawed his way back into good graces after last season’s trek from starter to game-day inactive, did not play and is solidly in the No. 2 running back spot behind Montee Ball.
If Ball were to go down, we would probably see a Hillman/C.J. Anderson RBBC, but Hilliman is Ball's primary backup.
Even though Wes Welker ran some routes before game, there are still multiple evaluations to clear in concussion protocol to play Sept. 7.
The fact that he was able to even warm up before the team's preseason game is a good sign for his availability for Week 1. We're still not recommending that owners run out and draft him in the middle rounds.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014, 8:28pm
Welker has not yet been medically cleared from his concussion to engage in contact, so he won't play in the game Thursday night at AT&T Stadium. Then again, none of the Broncos' other projected opening-day starters will play against the Cowboys.
The slot receiver's recovery, though, is encouraging. He was seen joining the Broncos' offense in the team's weightlifting and exercise facility Tuesday and was able to travel Wednesday.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014, 8:23pm
Brown put up some awe-inspiring numbers: 110 receptions and a franchise single-season best 1,499 receiving yards.
While the spotlight will shine on Brown, there will be plenty attention given his supporting cast. Roethlisberger has spent much of training camp and the preseason adapting to several new faces, including free agent signees Lance Moore and Darrius Heyward-Bey, and rookie Martavis Bryant.
Roethlisberger, too, will have a new starter flanked opposite Brown. Markus Wheaton, a second-year receiver who was slowed by a broken finger during his rookie season, seems to have settled in with the offense.
There still needs to be some balance in the offense with the running game. But if the Steelers are going to air it out, the new WR members will be challenged to duplicate the 2013 efforts of Jerricho Cotchery and Emmanuel Sanders. They combined for 113 receptions, 1,342 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns. We expect Wheaton to put up solid numbers as the Steelers WR2, and could provide some depth to your fantasy team.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014, 12:10pm
Broncos WR Wes Welker is making daily progress on his return from a third concussion in under a year.
"He's in the exercise mode right now. He won't be back out there until he's completely well," coach John Fox told KOA-AM radio Wednesday morning, via Broncos public relations vice president Patrick Smyth.
Players aren't allowed to be in "exercise mode" until symptoms have begun to subside, so that is a positive step. The veteran receiver still needs to clear concussion protocol before he can play in the Week 1 opener against the Indianapolis Colts.
"We're able to move pieces around and still do a lot of the same things that we've done," said Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase. "We don't really teach by position, so everybody can move in and out.''
WR Emmanuel Sanders would certainly get more work as a slot receiver, as would tight end Jacob Tamme, but at varying points in training camp the Broncos have given all of their receivers some routes from the slot. Tamme gives the Broncos the option of sticking to a three-wide concept with a little more size in the formation. It's a formation that, at times, forces defenses to go a little bigger because the Broncos are in a two tight end look.
While everyone assumed Latimer may benefit the most from Welker missing time, that perhaps now appears to be Tamme. While Tamme would still be a bit of risky fantasy play at TE, we at least learned that Latimer is a potential, late-round draft target especially for Welker owners. There was no mention of Andre Caldwell in the story, so it appears Latimer's size will at least be a red zone tool if Welker has to miss time.
Denver players who have talked with Wes Welker over the past two days remain encouraged by his progress. Coach John Fox has not ruled out the star slot receiver for the Sept. 7 opener.
"He's doing fantastic in the process (of the league's concussion protocol)," Fox said. "We take it one day at a time. But he had another positive day."
Offensive coordinator Adam Gase admitted that he will review the playbook to determine whether certain plays for Welker are adding danger. Welker's receptions are often in high-traffic areas, where he's bracketed by multiple defenders. Welker ducked to the ground after catching a 9-yard pass Saturday as Swearinger delivered the hit. Welker's head snapped to the turf, and when he rose to his feet he left the game.
He still has to pass protocol but it's a great sign he's showing improvement. Drafting Welker at this point presents a great risk for your fantasy team so owners need to be prepared in case he misses time. That could include a late selection of Cody Latimer, who we think eventually would emerge should Welker miss time now or in the future.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 5:55pm
Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 12:12pm
Romo went through individual drills during the portion of practice open to the media.
Romo will not play Thursday against the Denver Broncos, and the Cowboys won't have a full practice again until Saturday as they up their preparation for the Sept. 7 opener against the San Francisco 49ers.
“I can’t give a level. It’s just a concussion,” Fox said. “I don’t think there’s part concussion, half concussion. Either you’re concussed or you’re not, the way I understand it.”
While it might seem like a small distinction, it’s actually quite important (even as John Harbaugh was describing Bernard Pierce as having a mild concussion). Getting coaches to accept the seriousness of head injuries is a huge step, as for too long, there was a “rub some dirt on it,” element to the business.
But since this is Welker’s third concussion in 10 months, the Broncos have no choice but to take it seriously. Fox added that Welker was in good spirits and didn't sense Welker was hinting about retiring. However, just the fact it was even a topic of conversation is a pretty scary thing - fantasy football aside. From a fantasy perspective, owners should make sure they back themselves up with an extra WR in case Welker misses time. We think Cody Latimer has a better upside than Andre Caldwell going forward, but both could contribute in various packages. Emmanuel Sanders could end up moving to the slot.
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