It would make a lot of sense for the team to keep him out right through the bye in Week 7 and then return in Week 8 against the Vikings. Evans caught his first TD in the NFL from Mike Glennon Sunday as the Bucs showed some life on offense for the first time this season. Louis Murphy, who had six catches for 99 yards Week 4, could see more time as a result of Evans being out. Robert Herron and Russell Shepard could also seem more snaps.
Vikings RB Matt Asiata is listed as the No. 2 running back on the depth chart behind Adrian Peterson, but his grip on the main job may be loosening after rookie Jerick McKinnon exploded for 135 rushing yards in his fourth career game.
Asiata (44) and McKinnon (32) swapped series, with the rookie outgaining Asiata 152-100 in total yards.
This was all against the struggling Falcons defense so it's probably best to wait and see how snaps shake out against a better defense. And we'll find out quickly as the Vikings play Thursday night against the Packers. Still, McKinnon is worth adding in any format if he's still on your wire.
Monday, September 29, 2014, 10:23am
For 30 minutes anyway, QB Blake Bortles showed glimpses of how dynamic and special he might be once the Jaguars get more proven talent around him. He made it look routine in a mistake-free first half, completing 15 of 18 passes for 149 yards.
And that was playing with five other rookies on his side of the ball, including tight end Nic Jacobs, a five-day-old employee signed off the New Orleans Saints practice squad. One of Bortles’ prettiest throws was his TD pass in the corner of the end zone, lobbing the ball over two defenders, to a spot where only Jacobs could bring it down.
More impressive, it was the way Bortles moved the offense up and down the field, doing it almost effortlessly on back-to-back scoring drives. On the first TD march, he zipped a third-down, 13-yard sideline pass to Cecil Shorts, then connected on a play-action throw to tight end Clay Harbor down the seam for another 22 yards.
“[Bortles] has a savvy about him to make big plays” said receiver Allen Robinson. “Just his ability to make plays when nothing’s there. I don’t think there’s any such thing as a dead play with him.”
The story went on to say that for the first time all season, the Jaguars’ offense looked lethal, even if it didn’t last long enough to keep them in the game. Another positive sign was after Philiop Rivers took the Chargers 83 yards for their first TD, Bortles responded with a 76-yard march of his own that featured another display of his instinct and athleticism. Bortles certainly has some fantasy upside and his defense is likely going to put him in position to throw a lot, so he'll have some lower-end fantasy value going forward and probably get a lot of garbage-time production as a result.
Lions WR Calvin Johnson stood at his locker Sunday afternoon and laughed at the suggestion. His coach, Jim Caldwell, had said that Johnson at 90 percent was better than a lot of players at full strength.
Except Johnson, when he was asked if 90 percent was a fair barometer for his status, was not there.
“Nah,” Johnson said, laughing at the suggestion.
Johnson was limited during the Detroit Lions' 24-17 win over the New York Jets on Sunday after being questionable to play with an ankle injury suffered against Green Bay last week. He was used far less than he had been in the Lions’ first three games, when he was typically in the game for at least 75 percent of the plays.
On Sunday, he rarely played two plays in a row and was only targeted twice by quarterback Matthew Stafford, catching both of those passes for 12 yards. He didn’t have his typical explosiveness or speed and after the game was still noticeably limping.
“Went out there. It was tough but I figured from moving around [on Saturday] that I’d be able to get on the field a little bit,” Johnson said. “It’s good to be out there with the fellas. It sucks to be on the sideline and not be able to play at all. It sucks to have injuries, too, but that’s just part of the game.”
It looks like he was the dreaded decoy, leaving fantasy owners with just a couple of points from their stud WR. The good news is there were no setbacks and Johnson, though limited in practice last week, felt like he improved all last week. It's now a big question how Johnson is used in Week 5. The story said a similar approach will be taken with Johnson over the next week as the team prepares for the Bills. Johnson didn't practice Wednesday and Thursday and was limited on Friday of last week. The Week 5 game is a 1 p.m. contest so we'll know Johnson's status at least.
Monday, September 29, 2014, 8:45am
Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that Bucs QB Josh McCown will throw the ball to see how well he can sling it and if the pain from his torn ligament is tolerable. If it isn’t, McCown will head for surgery that would keep him out of the lineup for six weeks.
There’s been no public discussion of the quarterback plans moving forward in Tampa, but Lovie Smith may have given a hint while discussing how one win can change things after a rough start to the season.
“I definitely believe in momentum,” Smith said, via ESPN.com. “Sometimes nothing good happens until you just keep going. Once you get that momentum, you find a way to win. You have to experience it first. We didn’t know how to win.”
With Mike Glennon under center the last game and a quarter, the Bucs offense has shown some life. Glennon led the team to a game-winning TD in Pittsburgh in Week 4. We'll keep an eye on McCown's status, but it's hard to imagine the Bucs going back to him any time in the immediate future.
"I just think I was more scared than anything because I felt a little pop," Johnson said after the game. "I didn't know what it was, so I went and got it checked and they let me come back in."
The All-Pro receiver headed to the locker room for further examination after getting his ankle examined on the trainers' table behind the Texans bench.
The good news is Johnson was able to come back in the game. We'll see if he appears on the injury report this week. It's worth keeping an eye on, but as of now he looks good to go for Week 5 at Dallas.
Monday, September 29, 2014, 8:34am
The rookie finished with a team-high five catches for 58 yards, including four catches in the second half.
What took so long? They should've featured Amaro from the outset, especially against the Lions' suspect safeties, but he was targeted only once in the first half.
Early on, Jeff Cumberland got most of the reps on passing downs. Amaro needs to be a bigger part of the offense, the story said, and his ability to run after the catch is a much-needed dimension. If you're hurting at the position, Amaro may be a guy to grab off the wire, perhaps especially for those who have done the Jordan Reed and Niles Paul dance so far this season.
Monday, September 29, 2014, 8:30am
“I think I am getting close,” Romo said after the Cowboys’ 38-17 win against the New Orleans Saints.
Whatever the percentage is, Romo is feeling much better than he did in the first two weeks of the regular season. He has altered his practiced schedule the last two weeks, taking off Wednesday’s workouts to focus on strengthening his core and legs.
In the last two games Romo has completed 40 of 52 passes for 479 yards with five touchdowns and just one interception.
“I think it’s always going to be there. You’re going to have to constantly work on your back, but that doesn’t mean you can’t come back and be what you were,” Romo said. “I think that is part of being a great football player. That is what I’m trying to do and that is what I am going to have to do to be successful.”
For the second straight game, Romo’s legs were a big part of the story, too. On third and 5 from the New Orleans 49, Romo scrambled for a career-long 21-yard pickup. On the next play DeMarco Murray scored on a 28-yard run to give the Cowboys a 31-3 lead. Romo is starting to look like his old self from a fantasy standpoint. Outside of Seattle in Week 6, Romo's schedule is pretty favorable. The only thing holding him back is Murray's success in the running game, but even so, it seems like he's at least going to have some low-end QB1 value going forward.
Justin Forsett was the lead back for most of the game, and excelled in the role, before rookie and Lorenzo Taliaferro came on. The Ravens RB situation should still be considered muddy at this point. Last time Pierce played he performed well against the Steelers and last week it was Taliferro who shined.
Rookie WR Mike Evans, who caught his first NFL touchdown pass on the opening drive, left the game with a groin injury.
The injury forced Evans to pull up in the middle of a deep route, which made for an easy interception by Cortez Allen at the Steelers' 11-yard line.
"Just a little tweak -- it hurt, and I couldn't run. I should have grabbed him so he couldn't get the pick. That's what I was most angry about," said Evans, who said he didn't know the severity of the injury.
Evans is now a question mark for a Week 5 game at the Saints. The Bucs could use him for that contest which could feature a lot of points. The Bucs offense looked improved under QB Mike Glennon in their upset of the Steelers so there could be some hope for Evans owners going forward.
Jags WR Cecil Shorts III (hamstring) is out for the game.
Shorts can't seem to shake the hamstring issues. With Marquis Lee also out, WRs Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns combined for 10 catches while TE Clay Harbor added eight more from rookie QB Blake Bortles. Outside of deep leagues, it's tough to put anyone from the Jags in your starting lineup.
He walked off under his own power but was carted to the locker room for X-rays.
Bridgewater tells NFL Media's Omar Ruiz that his ankle injury "is just a sprain." The rookie signal-caller says he will be fine and expects to play Thursday against the Packers.
Bridgewater looked impressive in the win over Atlanta but the Falcon defense has made many look impressive this year. While Bridgewater said he expects the play, it would be hard to take his word right now, especially with a quick-turnaround, Week 5 game Thursday night. Bridgewater is worth owning, but if he plays against the Packers Thursday night it will be a big test on the road, and owners should probably temper expectations for another performance like Week 4. Christian Ponder would get the start if Bridgewater can't go.
Carr's knee was twisted at the end of a scramble. Despite a heavy limp, he stayed in for one more play before it became obvious that he couldn't put any weight on the leg.
He was promptly sent to the locker room for X-rays and did not return.
The rookie authored an impressive opening touchdown drive vs. the Miami Dolphins, but failed to move the offense over the next two quarters.
Matt McGloin took over for Carr and did throw for a TD pass but it was an overall ugly performance for the Raiders offense. Matt Schaub didn't make the trip to England and the Raiders have a bye in Week 5. Carr's injury is said to keep him out a couple of weeks, so right now it's anyone's guess as to who starts in Week 6.
After the game, 49ers TE Vernon Davis said he experienced back spasms after getting hit awkwardly and bending forward, and that he felt confident that all would be well enough for him to be on the field against the Chiefs next weekend.
“I’ll be good,” Davis said, via the San Francisco Chronice. “I’ll be fine.”