The team said Tuesday that Thomas will have surgery Wednesday to repair ligament damage in his right hand. The decision came after Thomas got a second opinion.
General manager Dave Caldwell described the surgery as "more or less just cleaning it up and tightening it up."
Thomas, who signed a five-year, $46 million contract that included $24 million guaranteed in free agency, broke a bone in the back of his hand in the preseason opener against Pittsburgh. He initially was supposed to be back for the regular-season opener Sept. 13 against Carolina.
It looks like he'll miss games against the Panthers, Miami and New England. We recommend you move him down your draft boards. He currently sits just inside our top-20 TEs but when he returns should be featured in the Jags offense and could especially be a red zone target. Keep in mind the Blake Bortles vs. Peyton Manning factor.
Thomas was tied with Rob Gronkowski as the #1 TE through 10 weeks (in standard formats), but suffered an ankle injury which limited him to just five catches for 66 yards as he appeared in four of his team’s final seven games. He has considerable talent as a pass-catcher, but this is a huge system downgrade from Denver to Jacksonville. He'll no longer enjoy the benefits of playing in a Peyton Manning-led offense and will instead be relying on Blake Bortles to deliver the ball. He's also dealing with a finger issue which is going to require surgery and a 4-5 week recovery, so it appears that he'll miss the first three games at least. Move him down your draft boards.
The Steelers quest to find a healthy kicker has led them to trade for one.
The Steelers lost Shaun Suisham to a torn ACL in the preseason opener, and replacement Garrett Hartley suffered a hamstring injury Saturday that looked like it was going to keep him out of the regular season opener.
Now the Steelers have a reliable veteran in the last year of his contract, giving them some stability at the position going into the season. Scobee should climb the rankings and get lots of chances in what is expected to be a high-powered offense.
Tuesday, August 25, 2015, 6:43pm
Jones had five catches for 83 yards in Saturday's preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, both team highs. He's been with Big Blue less than a month, but the eight-year veteran certainly has a better track record than most of the receivers he's competing with for a roster spot.
"Just making the most of my opportunities," Jones said Tuesday. "It was a good game receiving the ball. Still got a lot of work to do. I’m extremely hard on myself. I dropped a ball, had a couple bad releases that I felt like would have given me the opportunity to make more plays. Run-blocking-wise I need to get my run-blocking together. Catching the football it was a pretty good game, but I’ve still got a lot of work to do."
Jones was cut by the Oakland Raiders this spring, but he led Oakland in receptions last season with 73. He's only 31 years old and not that far removed from catching 14 touchdown passes with the Green Bay Packers in 2012, the story said. Of course, the big question is if Jones could land back with the Packers, assuming they want him. The way the Giant WRs are banged up at this point of camp, New York may not want to part with him.
Monday, August 24, 2015, 9:05am
Jacksonville Jaguars rookie receiver Rashad Greene got a lot of early playing time against the New York Giants on Saturday night and it sounds like that's going to continue throughout the rest of the preseason.
Coach Gus Bradley said the team made the decision to use more three receiver formations with tight end Julius Thomas (fractured hand) out for the rest of the preseason. With Marqise Lee out with a hamstring injury, Greene got the extra work. He was on the field a lot with the first-team offense during its three drives and was targeted four times and caught two passes for 14 yards.
"With the injury to Julius it put us in a position where we wanted to play with three-wide a little bit more and really evaluate that position," Bradley said. "[Greene] took advantage of it [with] a nice catch in the game and just some of the things that we've seen in practice."
Greene had a quiet start to training camp and that might have partly because of a sore Achilles, Bradley said. Once that eased, Greene started making plays, the story said. One might assume that once Thomas returns, the Jags may use less three-WR sets. Greene's fantasy value is still a question mark with so much young talent at the position and a young QB behind a line that sometimes struggles. He's at least a name to monitor as he seems to be taking advantage of the injuries.
Sunday, August 23, 2015, 8:24pm
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles followed up a strong performance in the team's Aug. 14 preseason opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers with another solid effort Saturday night in a 22-12 loss to the New York Giants.
Bortles, in his second season as Jacksonville's quarterback, completed 8-of-16 passes for 98 yards, to lead the team on three scoring drives, each resulting in a field goal. While the numbers were relatively modest, head coach Gus Bradley said he was pleased with the young quarterback's effort.
"I think he took another good step," Bradley said, per the team's official website. "To go on the road and to stack up another good performance, he's learning. ... What I'm pleased about is he's seeing some benefits of playing some pretty consistent quarterback. We just need to add to it."
The 23-year-old Bortles, the third overall pick in the 2014 draft, said he was generally satisfied with the offensive execution against the Giants, but noted the team needs to work on finishing drives.
There is some potential there for Bortles but he likely won't get drafted in typical leagues. He has a young, talented group of WRs and the team signed TE Julius Thomas as a red zone threat. Bortles will need the line to improve in front of him on top of developing with the young WRs.
Jags RB T.J. Yeldon is expected to make his NFL debut Friday.
As he does, the Jaguars’ rookie running back apparently will make it pretty much with the first team.
Yeldon, who missed the first two preseason games with a finger injury, is expected to play against the Detroit Lions at EverBank Field Friday in Preseason Week 3. A starter hasn’t been determined, but Head Coach Gus Bradley said Yeldon likely will work extensively with the starters.
“I would see him getting some reps with the ones and twos – mostly ones, though,” Bradley said Sunday afternoon, a day after the Jaguars’ 22-12 loss to the New York Giants in Preseason Week 2 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Yeldon is already rated 24th among our backs putting him at low-end RB2 range. Yeldon may not see as many scoring chances as the other backs rated around him, but we think he gets plenty of touches behind an 0-line that should be improved.
Head Coach Gus Bradley on Wednesday said while Marqise Lee likely will miss at least two more weeks, there initially was concern he could miss six-to-eight weeks with a four-week absence the best-case scenario. Bradley said it now appears likely Lee’s return will come close to four weeks from the time of his injury. “Everything I hear, he’s making really good progress,” Bradley said. If Lee returns four weeks after the injury, that would be the week of the final preseason game.
T.J. Yeldon, Denard Robinson and Toby Gerhart are the top three backs, but Bernard Pierce is making a pretty strong push to not only earn playing time but be a main piece of the running back rotation.
"His toughness and his work ethic and mentality I think has been great," HC Gus Bradley said. "It's been great for that running back room. He's been a great teammate on offense and in that room, and his leadership [has been good].
"I didn't know much about him [when the Jaguars claimed him in March]. I heard good things but it's been even better."
Pierce has had a good camp and then followed it with a strong performance in the Jaguars' 23-21 victory over Pittsburgh last Friday. He ran five times for 15 yards and caught three passes for 22 yards. He had one drop but he also had one of the highlights of the night when he hurdled potential tackler B.W. Webb. The story added Pierce can be used as an every down back or a third down back, giving the Jags some flexibility. Yeldon is expected to be a big piece to the running game.
Saturday, August 15, 2015, 11:05pm
Martavis Bryant is fast and big. And now he is physical.
The second-year wide receiver ran through a would-be hold attempt by Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Davon House on the sixth play of Friday's preseason game that resulted in a 44-yard touchdown reception from Ben Roethlisberger.
Bryant, who caught three passes for 55 yards, attributes his new-found physicality to his offseason workouts that included learning mixed martial arts.
“My offseason workouts and me finishing strong and fighting through that contact,” Bryant said of how he was able to beat House. “Being physical is part of the game and if you are not physical, you aren't going to have success.”
Bryant appears to be ready to take his game to a new level after a rookie season in which he caught nine touchdown passes in 11 games. However, according to Roethlisberger, there is still work to be done. Bryant had an opportunity for another long play in the first half but couldn't keep his feet in bounds on a pass from Landry Jones. Ben put a bit of a damper on Bryant this season when he said he expected Markus Wheaton to be the big breakout WR this year. Meanwhile, we continue to rank Bryant as a mid-range WR2 after an impressive season last year. We feel the upside continues to be with Bryant.
“Right now, it’s just a healing situation,” he said in the locker room today. “Hopefully, it if goes really well, I’m back before then, running around and feeling great.”
Thomas was injured on the Jaguars’ second offensive snap Friday night against Pittsburgh. The injury will be re-evaluated in two weeks. Thomas caught a 2-yard pass from Blake Bortles and was hit by cornerback William Gay. Thomas had just enough time to leave his feet. Thomas should at least be a big red zone target for the Jags this year giving him some solid fantasy value. But owners may want to have a backup at the position in case Thomas isn't ready to start the season.
Update: The AP's Mark Long reports that Thomas is "out for preseason with a stable fracture of his left hand."
We'll have to wait for the injury fallout and hope that he doesn't miss any regular season games. Thomas was tied with Rob Gronkowski as the #1 TE through 10 weeks (in standard formats), but suffered an ankle injury which limited him to just five catches for 66 yards as he appeared in four of his team’s final seven games. He has considerable talent as a pass-catcher, but this is a huge system downgrade from Denver to Jacksonville. He'll no longer enjoy the benefits of playing in a Peyton Manning-led offense and will instead be relying on Blake Bortles to deliver the ball. If the Jaguars feature him in the passing game -- and why wouldn't they? -- he has the potential to finish as a solid fantasy TE1 provided he can stay healthy. He already has a finger injury, so staying healthy will be a challenge.
This means that Lee is still not close to returning to the field. Allen Hurns is the starter opposite Allen Robinson and it looks like it will remain that way. He led the team in receiving yards (677) and touchdowns (6) as an undrafted rookie. If he plays starter's snaps he's likely to be fantasy relevant this season.
Monday, August 10, 2015, 11:03am
Jaguars running back T.J. Yeldon will practice Monday morning, two days after getting his hand banged up in the team’s scrimmage. But Yeldon will not be involved in any contact drills (like blocking) as a precautionary measure.
Yeldon, the Jaguars’ second-round draft pick, was injured late in Saturday’s scrimmage on a goal-line carry when he was hit by linebacker Jeremiah George. The X-Rays showed no fracture.
A year ago, Justin Forsett was a journeyman looking for a job at the Baltimore Ravens training camp. Now, one Pro Bowl appearance and a 1,529 yards later, Forsett is seeking an encore to the finest of his seven NFL seasons. "I'm still hungry, still ready to go out and fight," the 29-year-old running back said. "Nothing is given to me."
Forsett was third on the depth chart last summer behind Bernard Pierce and Lorenzo Taliaferro. All three running backs were prepared to take one step back after incumbent Ray Rice returned from a two-game suspension for domestic violence. All that changed when a video surfaced in September showing Rice striking his then-fiancee in an elevator. The Ravens immediately released him, and Forsett ultimately proved to be far more adept at running the ball than anyone on the Baltimore roster.
He rushed for a career-high 1,266 yards — more than his previous five seasons combined. Forsett also caught 44 passes for 263 yards and provided solid protection in the pocket for quarterback Joe Flacco. That earned the 5-foot-8, 195-pound Forsett a three-year, $9 million contract with $3 million guaranteed. He intends to earn every penny of it.
Forsett is a potential fantasy stud RB who can possibly be had later in the second round of 12-team leagues or even the early third round in 10-team leagues. With Marc Trestman as the OC, Forsett has a chance to increase his receptions and be a valuable PPR back. Trestman has already said the Ravens will continue to commit to the run making Forsett's potential even higher.
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