Rams RB Todd Gurley is expected to begin training camp on the non-football injury list.
That's not a surprise for anyone who has been paying attention, and it's not at all a sign of a setback in his recovery from a torn left ACL. Landing on the NFI list means the Rams can activate him whenever they see fit with no real restrictions. In other words, when they deem Gurley healthy, he can return to the field.
Gurley said at the end of organized team activities that he hopes to do some individual drills in the early parts of camp and ease his way into full team drills after that. Those still seem like possible goals, and if he stays on that track he could still theoretically be ready for the start of the season. The Rams don't intend to rush him back, but predictions of holding him out until after the bye week are too far flung.
Barring a setback, Gurley will likely return sooner than later. When he does, it's safe to assume Gurley will quickly become a focal point of the offense.
Gurley ranks 25th on our RB list putting him as a low-end RB2 already. He could climb the list a bit, assuming he shows signs of getting healthier as camp progresses. The story assumes he will be a big part of the team's rushing attack, and considering where he was drafted, we agree. That spells bad news for Tre Mason owners of a year ago who thought they found a pretty good RB option. We project Gurley for just over 200 rushes with Mason getting about 100.
Monday, July 27, 2015, 9:50am
When Eagles QB Sam Bradford returns in training camp and preseason, pay attention to his accuracy. Of the skills that HC Chip Kelly most values in a quarterback, he has made clear that accuracy is atop the list.
“I think in this league, getting someone who can throw it,” Kelly said. “You’d better have repetitive accuracy, you’d better have someone that can win a game throwing the football. And that’s what we’re looking for.”
It’s difficult to believe there’s truly a quarterback competition if Bradford is healthy, especially because the Eagles sacrificed Nick Foles and a second-round pick to acquire Bradford. Plus, they are paying Bradford almost $13 million. Yet Kelly stuck to his decree about competition.
“You’ve still have to go out and earn your jobs,” Kelly said. “If Sam throws 14 interceptions and Mark throws 14 touchdowns I can’t sit there and tell the team that Sam’s going to start and Mark’s not going to start. It doesn’t work that way."
“We’d like to get a quarterback in here that we can hang our hat on and build the rest of the team around,” Kelly said.
The story said it’s not lost on Kelly that the Eagles will have their third opening-day starting quarterback this season, and that Kelly has yet to find the franchise quarterback that the best teams have. The story also said that Kelly believes Bradford can be that franchise QB, and said there's a high percentage shot he'll bounce back from his ACL injury. Those who cover the team aren't buying there's a QB competition, and the only way we'll see Mark Sanchez is if Bradford isn't ready. Bradford is looking like a possible low-risk, high-reward QB option this year. Given the high number of plays the offense likes to run, and the QBs who have succeeded in the offense (Mike Vick, Nick Foles and Sanchez) thus far under Kelly, Bradford certainly has a chance to produce solid, fantasy numbers.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday that Rams RB Todd Gurley is expected to be on Non-Football Injury list to start training camp, according to sources informed of his situation. Rapoport notes that this was the team's plan when the drafted him, and they can take him off the list whenever he is fully ready.
There have been no reports about a setback with Gurley's knee throughout the offseason. The team was noncommittal about Gurley being ready for camp, but coach Jeff Fisher did say in "you could probably assume" Gurley will play sooner than you think.
Gurley is widely considered to be the best running back in the 2015 draft class, but he’s recovering from a November ACL tear. He’ll be nine months into his recovery in August, so his early season availability is unknown. Typically, an athlete can return to their sport six months after surgery, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be game-ready. Prospective owners should draft Tre Mason if possible as insurance. When Gurley returns, he should provide high end RB2 numbers once he begins to get starter’s touches.
Tuesday, July 7, 2015, 12:31pm
Heading toward training camp at the end of this month, there is no shortage of questions about the St. Louis Rams' offensive line. At least outside the building.
But within the walls of Rams Park, there seems to be plenty of confidence that a group with only one established and experienced starter (left guard Rodger Saffold) will be just fine by the time the real games start in September.
“They’re going to be ready to go, so that’s not going to be an issue," Rams head coach Jeff Fisher said.
It's a lot of belief for a unit that currently figures to have two rookies starting on the right side and a center with somewhere between zero and four NFL starts to his name. The story pointed out it's faith based solely on what took place in organized team activities, so projected rookie starters Jamon Brown and Rob Havenstein have never so much as put pads on in the NFL. There was a noticeable difference in Nick Foles last year with the Eagles when his line became banged up, so it's something to keep an eye on.
Monday, July 6, 2015, 9:35am
It's fair to say that Eagles head coach Chip Kelly pulled the rip cord on the entire quarterback position this offseason.
Not only did Kelly trade Nick Foles and a second-round draft pick to the St. Louis Rams in exchange for Sam Bradford and a draft choice, but Kelly also installed Ryan Day as the third quarterback's coach the third-year head coach will work with in the NFL.
Day quarterbacked Kelly's offense when he was the signal caller at the University of New Hampshire and Kelly called the plays as the Wildcats' offensive coordinator. He knows how to thrive in the uptempo scheme.
Throughout the spring, QB Sam Bradford shined, albeit in a limited role while still recovering from his twice-torn ACL. Bradford has yet to throw 11 on 11 in practice, but the target for that next step appears to have been training camp, all along.
Bradford ran a similar offense at Oklahoma so there are some high hopes for Bradford as an Eagles this year. Staying on the field, however, will obviously be the key. Right now Bradford has QB2 value, but that could climb if he stays healthy heading into and through camp. We've seen Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez put up solid fantasy numbers in this offense and a healthy Bradford should be able to do the same.
"That is definitely a goal that I'm shooting for," Gurley told NFL Media's Tiffany Blackmon from the NFL Rookie Symposium Wednesday night. "Just to be able to get out there and do at least some individual stuff. It's looking pretty realistic. This month I'll be in St. Louis rehabbing, so hopefully I can aim for (training camp)."
The Rams will bring the No. 10 overall pick along slowly. But if he's healthy come the start of September, Gurley could be a huge part of an offense that has deep question marks in the passing game. Teaming Gurley's power with the likes of Tre Mason in the Rams backfield could provide a potent combo for a run-heavy team that relies on its defense to win games.
Gurley is widely considered to be the best running back in the 2015 draft class, but he’s recovering from a November ACL tear. He’ll be nine months into his recovery in August, so his early season availability is unknown. Typically, an athlete can return to their sport six months after surgery, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be game-ready. Prospective owners should draft Tre Mason if possible as insurance. When Gurley returns, he should provide high end RB2 numbers if he begins to get starter’s touches.
"Tavon Austin's had a great offseason," new Rams OC Frank Cignetti said, via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "It starts in the classroom. He's learning. He's paying attention. He's bringing it to the practice field.
"You just see it from his route running. What a difference. His effort, his attention to details. Every day out there, the guy's made plays."
Whether it's because paint-by-numbers former offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer couldn't maximize the receiver/running back hybrid's talents or because Austin lacks any semblance of tackle-breaking power, the development simply hasn't been there.
It's difficult to see Austin making much of a fantasy impact unless Cignetti's able to figure out a way to maximize his skill set.
“It’s hard to say right now. I can’t predict that,” Fisher said Tuesday. “I know he’s doing well. He had a day off today because he’s doing so well. He’ll rehab with us during the break. ... We’re just going to see how he progresses. ... If he’s not PUP-ed (physically unable to perform), then I think you could probably assume that he’s going to play sooner than you think.”
Gurley is widely considered to be the best running back in the 2015 draft class, but he’s recovering from a November ACL tear. He’ll be nine months into his recovery in August, so his early season availability is unknown. Prospective owners should draft Tre Mason if possible as insurance. When Gurley returns, he should provide high end RB2 numbers if he begins to get starter’s touches.
“Brian Quick is probably the one we have to watch,” Fisher said. “We’ll have to watch him, keep him out of contact, but he’s running routes against air. He’s catching and progressing nicely.”
Quick was posting solid WR3 numbers in both standard and PPR formats before his injury in Week 8. He's currently the 50th WR off the board at the end of the 10th round. The arrival of Nick Foles should be good for his prospects in 2015.
"We love him," wide receiver Kenny Britt said Thursday after the second OTA session and first open to reporters. "Great deep ball, he puts it on the money every time.
"He can throw every pass in the book."
"He's got his hands full because we've got great defensive team speed and they're doing a lot of things over there right now," HC Jeff Fisher said. "We've just really been pleased."
Foles’ second season as the starter in Philadelphia didn’t go as well as his first. After a ridiculous 27-to-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio in 2013, Foles tossed 13 touchdowns against 10 picks last year. It wasn’t all his fault, however, as he was playing behind a patchwork offensive line and didn’t seem as comfortable in the pocket. In the seven games that he finished in 2014, he averaged 16.9 fantasy points, which is about what Philip Rivers scored as the #12 QB on the season. Foles ultimately broke his collarbone in Week 9 and missed the final eight games of the season. Now he joins a run-oriented Rams’ offense that lacks consistent playmakers in the passing game. Sam Bradford had a few good stretches while in St. Louis, so there's no reason that Foles can't post QB2-type numbers if things break his way.
Steelers RB DeAngelo Williams is considered a bridge back until LeVeon Bell returns from suspension, but he shouldn't be alone on that bridge. The Steelers will need just as much from Dri Archer as from Williams, who signed a two-year, $4 million deal worth $1.13 million in signing bonus money but no incentives in 2015.
Williams is exactly what the money suggests he is -- a veteran who can get you 10-12 carries at a respectable clip and nothing more.
There's not much to love about the idea of starting Williams against the Patriots, 49ers and Rams during Bell's three-game suspension, but we believe that the team will try to get him closer to 15 carries per game. He should be healthy to start the season, and there are reasons why he only averaged 12.2 carries per game in his career -- he was splitting time with Jonathan Stewart and QB Cam Newton carried much of the rushing load for the Panthers. The biggest concern is Williams' 3.5 YPC last season, but he battled injuries the whole way. We think he'll provide low-end RB2 numbers while Bell is sidelined, provided he's healthy.
Via Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego, the Chargers RB Melvin Gordon is already making an impression a day after signing his contract, even though teams aren’t able to do much resembling football at the moment.
“He did a nice job,” Chargers head coach Mike McCoy said. “We weren’t really going full speed out there, just really an introduction to make sure everyone’s got a hat on hat and guys are running to the right spot.
“But he makes a few of those moves and cuts, you understand why we took him where we did.”
The Chargers traded up to get Gordon, so we’d expect they’ll use him early and often in 2015. In fact, GM Tom Telesco used the phrase "impact player" 11 times in Gordon's introductory press conference. Ryan Mathews is gone, so it’s Gordon’s job to lose. He doesn’t have a lot of experience as a receiver, so we'd expect that Danny Woodhead still gets a lot of work on third down while Gordon establishes himself as a good weapon out of the backfield. Given Todd Gurley’s ACL recovery, we'd also expect that Gordon will be the first rookie running back off the board.
Friday, May 8, 2015, 10:17am
“We’ve been throwing for the past three weeks and I can honestly say I’ve thrown with [Andrew Luck], [Nick Foles] and other guys, and I don’t think I’ve thrown with a guy who has a stronger arm than Sam Bradford,” Ertz said.
“He hasn’t been able to really truly get his full legs underneath him. But the ball still comes out effortlessly, and it’s a lot of fun to run routes with him.”
Las Vegas oddsmakers have made running back Melvin Gordon the favorite to with the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year.
The sportsbook Bovada.com lists Gordon's odds at 13 to 2.
All six players were first round picks. We agree that Gordon has the best chance to shine among the running backs, especially since Gurley is coming off of an ACL tear.
The St. Louis Rams traded Zac Stacy to the New York Jets in exchange for the 224th pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Stacy requested a trade after the Rams drafted Georgia's Todd Gurley in the first round on Thursday night.
Stacy will vie for playing time in a crowded Jets backfield, which also features Chris Ivory, Stevan Ridley and Bilal Powell. Similar in skill set as a downhill chain-mover, Stacy will provide insurance in case Ridley suffers a setback in his return from ACL surgery.