Sunday, August 24, 2014, 7:36pm
Jordan Palmer’s bid to win the Bears’ back-up quarterback job officially ended Sunday with the team informing him of his release, according to a league source.
Palmer, who spent the final 10 weeks of last season with the Bears, signed a one-year extension with the team before free agency began in March. But he never did enough to earn the team’s all-important No. 2 role.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Newton will be evaluated at the end of the week, but expects the two-time Pro Bowl quarterback will be ready for Carolina's Sept. 7 regular season opener against Tampa Bay.
"I do" expect he'll play, Rivera said. "But he has to get past the soreness. Then we will see how he starts to progress."
Newton did not speak with reporters, but walked gingerly to and from the practice field.
"He's pretty sore and he's hurting right now," Rivera said. "It is of concern."
Newton was hit after scrambling from the pocket in Carolina's preseason game Friday night against New England. It came just a day after head coach Ron Rivera said Newton must start to avoid taking hits to keep himself healthy. How quickly Newton can get over the soreness will be key. The pain could obviously limit his rushing ability which is a big part of his fantasy game. It's something to be aware of as we head down the final stretch before the season.
Sunday, August 24, 2014, 7:30pm
Cleveland coach Mike Pettine says WR Josh Gordon did not play in the Browns' last exhibition game because the team is preparing to be without the All-Pro wide receiver for at least part of the season.
Gordon is waiting to hear from the NFL regarding his appeal of a possible yearlong suspension for again violating the league's substance-abuse program. He has been practicing and playing for weeks amid uncertainty about his career.
Asked on Sunday why Gordon did not play in Saturday night's 33-14 loss to St. Louis, Pettine said: ''Knowing that the decision is looming - that we're fairly certain that were not going to have him for a minimum of some part of the year - we wanted to make sure that we were getting repetitions with the guys that are going to be out there early.''
Eagles running back LeSean McCoy was sporting a wrap around his injured right thumb at Sunday's training session, but said afterwards that it will be fine for the season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
There probably wasn't a lot of doubt but it's good to know he gave the 'thumbs up,' especially after saying he was in some pain after injuring it in preseason Week 3.
Sunday, August 24, 2014, 4:20pm
Until shuffling onto the mile-high stage, Sanders had not achieved the statistical milestones that separate prolific wide receivers from the vast pack of pass-catchers. Sanders had never posted a 1,000-yard season; his career high of 740 yards was accomplished last year. He'd never even had a 100-yard game; a six-catch, 98-yard effort in a 55-31 loss at New England last Nov. 3 was the closest he'd come.
But Sanders has raw tools: speed, quickness, and good hands. His production trended in the right direction during his four Steelers season. And his skill set could project to the outside or the slot, depending on how the Broncos used him.
Saturday brought tangible evidence that the projection will become reality. He exploded downfield and got open deep, catching touchdown passes of 67 and 29 yards.
Sanders could be in store for a bigger role with the news that Wes Welker has apparently suffered another concussion. He's ranked 27th on our list but we have him trending up. He's currently getting picked in the 7th round of 10 team leagues, but you may need to take him earlier than that.
Sunday, August 24, 2014, 4:09pm
It’s possible that the Eagles’ kicker for the 2014 season is not currently on their roster.
They are obviously not totally sold on Alex Henery, who has missed from 47 and 31 yards this preseason.
Cody Parkey was acquired from the Colts for running back David Fluellen on Wednesday and will get a brief tryout for the job. If the team isn’t satisfied with either option, they’ll look to the outside for help.
There are some big names available should the Eagles decide to go that direction. Mentioned on the list were Rob Bironas, David Akers and Rian Lindell among others. It's a situation to keep an eye on because the Birds will put up points this season, and place their kicker in situations to put up points, too - but they'll have to trust him first.
Bradford was making his second start of the preseason after returning from a season-ending torn left ACL suffered against Carolina on Oct. 20, 2013. It's a big blow for the Rams, but they apparently have been happy with backup Shaun Hill's performance as well. Hill will likely take over the starting role and hasn't started since 2010. It remains to be seen just how much of a drop, if any, the Rams' wideouts will see with Hill under center. Hill's career numbers (Y/A, Cmp%, TD%) are actually better than Bradford's, so we're not expecting much of a drop in our projections. Bradford's injury may be good news for Stacy owners, however, as the Rams could elect to go more run-heavy. Benny Cunningham may also get a few extra carries.
Sunday, August 24, 2014, 2:10pm
The third-year pro, who began training camp 18 pounds heavier than he was during his rookie campaign, made a speedy recovery in hopes of building momentum heading into the regular season.
He plans on carrying the ball and being active in the return game Sunday.
“I’ll do it all,” James said.
James initially went down in a 1-on-1 blitz pickup drill on July 26 while trying to block inside linebacker Michael Wilhoite. He’ll wear a brace to protect his elbow for now, but he hopes to “ditch it” after the preseason.
Sunday, August 24, 2014, 2:06pm
The veteran wideout looked more like a rookie trying to earn his spot rather than of a 14-year veteran with a standout resume. Smith put his intensity on display for his best performance of the preseason in the Ravens' 23-17 victory over Washington.
"That's kind of vintage Steve Smith," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "It was great to see that."
Smith was arguably the best player on the field. He caught a game-high six passes for 80 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown grab was a 24-yard diving catch in the back of the end zone near the end of the first half, which gave the Ravens a lead they would build on for the victory.
"I think this was a big step with him," quarterback Joe Flacco said. "There's a reason he's been in the league as long as he has and it's because he goes out there and fights every day."
Sunday, August 24, 2014, 1:58pm
While he was only on the field for one drive, with eight total touches, Ball’s presence was felt.
But, as Head Coach John Fox said, “We got him in and out quickly.”
Ronnie Hillman had a good night behind Ball and undrafted rookie Juwan Thompson has made an impression during camp and this week against the Texans and seems to be “becoming a pro” at a rapid pace, the story pointed out. Ball looks like the safe RB1 and it was good to see him get 8 touches in limited time. The Broncos also seem comfortable with their RBs behind Ball.
Sunday, August 24, 2014, 1:55pm
Patriots receivers Kenbrell Thompkins and Brandon LaFell are linked in more ways than one. Both have opportunities to provide an outside presence with Aaron Dobson on the mend, and both must drive the coaches crazy with their inconsistency.
Thompkins had a huge 21-yard catch to convert a third-and-19 and followed it up with a horrific drop off his chest on the next play. He did respond with a 14-yard reception on the next snap, but the drop was Pop Warner-like.
LaFell also had a drop on a key third down and managed only two catches on his five targets. He turned in while Brady threw out on an early third down, perhaps an indication of some miscommunication between the two. More consistency is needed from both.
Thompkins and LaFell are both considered to have had their stock drop, according to the site. With Dobson on the mend and a host of other WRs still around, the Pats should have the luxury to ride the hot hands this season. Outside of Julian Edelman, the Pat WRs come with risk if you put them in our fantasy lineup.
Sunday, August 24, 2014, 1:52pm
He caught A.J. Klein sleeping in coverage for a 40-yard touchdown, and then looked like Superman extending for the pylon on his second score of the night. He tallied five catches, on five targets, for 57 yards.
He only had 18 yards on six rushes, but that came in a backfield that never got rolling as a unit.
Vereen remains a matchup problem for defenses, and the Patriots use of split backs could be a weapon that makes the most of his unique skills. He may have his share of up and down weeks but Vereen is a very good PPR option who is usually available in rounds three or four in most formats.
Reggie Wayne was back.
The Indianapolis Colts veteran receiver didn’t have any catches -- the two he made were taken away because of penalties -- but he was back on the field for the first time in 10 months. That’s all that matter Saturday night against the New Orleans Saints.
“It was good to catch the football and get a real live game under my belt,” Wayne said. “There’s no way you can simulate that. That’s what I said last week. It was an opportunity for me to go out there, and there was some real live bullets flying at me so it was good. One down.”
Wayne, who tore his ACL in Week 7 last season, and wasn't sure he was going to get playing time in the preseason. He's looked good all through camp and it looks like he passed his final test before the regular season. Wayne is shaping up to be a nice, middle-round option in fantasy drafts. Recovering from an ACL injury could mean a slow start but Wayne is poised for a big workload again in the Colts offense.
Sunday, August 24, 2014, 1:42pm
Then he made a 25-yarder. First down. Then a 9-yarder. First down. Then a 10-yarder. First down at the 1-yard line.
And Detroit scored the game-winning touchdown one play later.
Broyles is coming back from a third consecutive season-ending injury, a ruptured Achilles tendon that ended his 2013 season after just six games. He's played just 16 games since Detroit selected him in the second round of the 2012 draft. But, he's making the Lions think about their choices at WR. Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate and Jeremy Ross are locks. Broyles, Kevin Ogletree and Kris Durham seem like good bets behind the big three.
Sunday, August 24, 2014, 1:38pm
Sanders was at practice Sunday for the first time since organized team activities ended in June. Sanders announced July 22 that he was taking a leave of absence, seeking counseling and facing a four-game suspension.
The NFL suspended Sanders the next day without pay for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.
Sanders told reporters that "personal issues" caused his misstep. He said he has "been dealing with a lot of stuff, just with life and family and a lot of issues going on."
Coach Gus Bradley says Sanders could play in the team's preseason finale Thursday night against Atlanta. Sanders is eligible to return to the team's active roster Sept. 29.
Sanders will at least be behind Cecil Shorts and rookies Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson assuming everyone is healthy upon his return. He has a lot of climbing on the depth chart to do but could be a name to at least not forget about.