Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz didn’t play in last Saturday’s game against the Bills, but he dressed for warmups to move closer to playing in a game than he’s been since tearing his patella tendon in the 2014 season.
The plan for this week is to take the next step and get Cruz on the field against the Jets. On Tuesday, Cruz was a participant in his first full practice since hurting his groin two weeks ago and coach Ben McAdoo said that the team will have him in the lineup if all goes well the next couple of days.
“We’ll find out more today and tomorrow, but I’m looking forward to seeing him,” McAdoo said, via the New York Daily News. “It was nice to see him in the uniform in pre-game the other day.”
The goal is to see how he plays and how his body handles playing to get a better idea of what to expect from him. This remains a big week for Cruz in his comeback attempt.
No one wants Karlos Williams.
Williams, the talented running back who was cut by the Bills on Saturday, has passed through waivers unclaimed. That means all 31 other teams had the opportunity to pick Williams up for his very affordable salary as a 2015 fifth-round draft pick, and all 31 other teams declined.
That would have seemed shocking not long ago, as Williams has undeniable talent: As a rookie last year, Williams averaged 5.6 yards a carry and scored seven touchdowns.
But Williams has a number of off-field concerns: He had character red flags heading into last year’s draft, he reported for offseason work out of shape and overweight this year, and he will be suspended for the first four games of the regular season for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy, the story said. It went on to say if Williams stays out of trouble he may get another opportunity. He's an unrestricted free agent as of now.
Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed said he will play against the Buffalo Bills on Friday. He did not suit up during Washington’s first two preseason games against the Atlanta Falcons and the New York Jets because of a sprained left thumb, although Reed said he’s been practicing for the past two weeks.
Redskins Coach Jay Gruden has been cautious with Reed’s injury that he suffered during training camp in Richmond. Reed was active during individual drills and during 1-on-1s at the start of Monday’s practice.
Reed said he feels physically fine leading up to the Bills game. It’ll be his first opportunity to face a live-tackling situation this season in what will be the offense’s dress rehearsal game. He one of our top TE picks and poised for another big season as long as he remains healthy.
Monday, August 22, 2016, 6:12pm
Two days after Tom Obarski pulled a short field goal to the left in an ugly 21-0 preseason loss to the Bills, the Giants have made a move to bolster their unconventional kicking situation, waiving Obarski and signing veteran Randy Bullock after a successful tryout on Monday. Bullock's signing was first reported by The Record's Art Stapleton.
The organization is not wavering in its support of the embattled Josh Brown, who will be suspended for the season opener due to a violation of the personal conduct policy stemming from his May 22, 2015 arrest on a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence after an altercation with his then-wife in Woodinville, Wash. The charge was dismissed five days later, the story said.
Monday, August 22, 2016, 8:49am
A few days after Obarski missed his only field-goal attempt against the Buffalo Bills, the Giants have decided to work out some kickers. According to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, former Saints, Browns and Steelers kicker Garrett Hartley is among those in the facility Monday.
Bills General Manager Doug Whaley called the move “strictly performance based” as far as cutting Karlos Williams, and that he was “so far out of reach” of his target weight that other backs were zooming past him on the depth chart.
“I think it’s just all on the field,” Whaley said, via the Buffalo News. “I mean, if he’s not out there being able to perform and he can’t perform at the level we expect him to, then that’s on him. So it’s not a question. I always say the information makes the decision and the information was he wasn’t ready to play and guys underneath him surpassed him.”
The suspension and lack of conditioning may keep teams from clamoring to add Williams immediately, but last year’s work should help him when he’s eligible to play and if he can get himself back into football shape. It looks like Mike Gillislee figures to serve as LeSean McCoy's backup with Jonathan Williams and Reggie Bush also in the mix.
Williams played really well as a rookie, rushing for 5.6 YPC while scoring nine total touchdowns. He showed up to camp overweight and HC Rex Ryan said that he wouldn’t give up on the second-year player. A couple of weeks later, he gets cut. Mike Gillislee figures to serve as LeSean McCoy’s direct backup. Jonathan Williams and Reggie Bush are also in the mix. Owners should keep an eye on where Williams lands, but he's facing a four-game suspension (substance abuse) wherever that happens to be.
Jenna Laine on the Bucs' TE situation:
Buccaneers TE Cameron Brate has shown great chemistry with Jameis Winston and been one of the most consistent pass-catchers in training camp, receivers included. He's not going to get much yardage after contact, but he's still shown he can consistently catch passes in traffic and in the end zone, along the sideline (he's done a great job keeping his feet in bounds) and is terrific on back-shoulder fades. We could see Brate become what Nick O'Leary was for Winston at Florida State, so he's a potential fantasy sleeper pick.
Brate has slowly been moving up our rankings as the positive offseason news continues like a drumbeat. Austin Seferian-Jenkins is doing better of late, but it appears that Brate is poised to see the most snaps at the position.
Monday, August 15, 2016, 4:29pm
That’s the plan for now at least. That’s because we’ve seen anything can happen when it comes to Luck and the Colts.
Most people thought Luck would play a series or two against Buffalo last weekend.
Owner Jim Irsay had other ideas. He tweeted out about two before kickoff that Luck would sit the game out and took a subtle shot at Bills coach Rex Ryan’s aggressive approach in the preseason.
Karlos Williams is ready to roll in Buffalo.
The Bills announced that the second-year running back passed his physical and will participate in Monday's practice.
Williams is still facing a four-game ban to start the year for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse. Williams started camp on the team's active/non-football illness list after showing up 20 pounds overweight. The power back acknowledged in June that he tacked on the extra heft while tending to -- and eating with -- his wife during her pregnancy. Although the team signed Reggie Bush, we still feel Williams is the back behind LeSean McCoy, assuming he's fully ready to go once his suspension is over. Mike Gillislee and Jonathan Williams are listed behind Williams but both could see work in Karlos Williams' absence.
But there’s bad news for those wanting to see quarterback Andrew Luck in his first action since early November: Luck won’t play in tonight’s game, according to team owner Jim Irsay.
Irsay just sent out a tweet that saying as much: “Colts Fans; it's a long Pre-Season and 2 Home Games are coming in the next 2 Weeks. Look for #12 to make 1st Start then instead of tonight.”
Luck, when speaking to reporters on Thursday, seemed as if he expected to play, the story said. Coach Chuck Pagano singled out specific players who had been ruled out but did not mention Luck.
The Bills announced an extension for the sixth-year pro on Friday. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reports the deal is for six years.
Taylor was scheduled to enter the final year of his contract, and set to make just over $1 million in 2016, the lowest average of any starting quarterback. Now he'll be paid consummate to his actual worth.
General manager Doug Whaley called Taylor "undeniably the leader of the Buffalo Bills"
Taylor missed a couple of games which serves to depress his season-long numbers. From a production standpoint, there's a lot to like. He only threw for an average of 217 yards per game, but he had a 20-to-6 TD-to-INT ratio and his yards per attempt (7.99) was 5th in the league. However, what really makes him a fantasy producer is his ability in the running game. On average, he rushed 7.4 times per game for 41 yards and 0.29 rush TD. Assuming that he has a favorable offseason, and Sammy Watkins’ foot isn’t an issue, owners looking for 2014 Russell Wilson or 2015 Carson Palmer should consider targeting Taylor in the later rounds.
Terrance West stole the show in Monday night's open practice at M&T Bank Stadium with his big runs. Kenneth Dixon became the star of Saturday night's workout before 25,000 at the stadium with his open-field moves.
The one Baltimore Ravens running back that few are talking about this training camp is the one who has led the team in rushing the last two seasons. Justin Forsett finds himself in the peculiar position of being atop the depth chart while flying under the radar.
"Justin is quietly having an excellent camp," coach John Harbaugh said.
Forsett's 1,907 yards rushing the last two seasons are the eighth-most in the NFL. But unlike some of the others ahead of him on that list -- DeMarco Murray, LeSean McCoy and Le'Veon Bell -- Forsett hasn't been guaranteed a starting spot.
Harbaugh declined to name his No. 1 running back in February, and the Ravens drafted a running back in the fourth round for the third straight year. That put a huge question mark at the running back position for the offseason and training camp.
What Forsett has working for him is the best track record in this running back group. Since Forsett surprisingly filled Ray Rice's starting spot in 2014, his 22 runs over 20 yards (first), 4.9-yard rushing average (fifth) and 2,323 yards from scrimmage all rank in the top 10 among running backs the last two seasons. He is five years older than any back on the roster, the story said, and those other guys are all just making bigger plays right now. If the trend continues, it's hard not to see this turning into a committee or hot-hand situation.
Monday, August 8, 2016, 12:44pm
One of the more interesting contests is within the group vying for the third wide receiver spot behind locks Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods. On the eve of training camp, there wasn’t much buzz surrounding journeyman receiver Greg Little and while he is far from a sure thing to secure the No. 3 on the depth chart, he has opened some eyes during this first week at St. John Fisher.
“It’s training camp,” said Little. “The goal is to get better every day and that’s really my concentration right now. I just come out here and try to build on what I did the day before. Trying to put days on top of days.”
Little may owe some of his training camp success to an offseason partnership with Tyrod Taylor. The two worked together after minicamp and seemed to have built a level of chemistry as a result. One has to wonder if that chemistry can be an ‘X’ factor in helping Little differentiate himself from the stable of capable receivers gunning for playing time.
The Bills spent the weekend shuffling their linebacking corps because injuries had thinned out the position, but they’re getting healthier in a couple of other spots.
The team announced on Monday morning that wide receiver Sammy Watkins has been cleared to practice.
Watkins hasn’t practiced with the team since having surgery on his left foot in May and entered camp unsure about when he’d be given the green light. Watkins made steady progress in his rehab, however, and always appeared to be on track for the start of the regular season. The way he finished the season -- 5.4-100-0.78 over the final nine games -- he has WR1 potential in 2016 provided he can stay healthy.
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