Jets RB Matt Forte did team periods Sunday for the second consecutive practice (also last Wednesday). He moved around well Sunday.
Forte sat out the Jets' first two preseason games. Will he play Saturday against the Giants? If he doesn't, he'd go into Week 1 with zero preseason game snaps. The Jets have three more practices before they face the Giants.
The story said HC Todd Bowles said Forte will play in that game "if he gets better during the week. We'll try to anticipate it in warm-ups. I'd like to get him a few snaps, if I could." If Forte doesn't play in the preseason it may be a stretch for him to see a bulk of the workload in Week 1, esp. with Bilal Powell in the picture who also excels in the passing game. It's a situation to monitor over the next few days.
About the only positive in a day littered with bad injury news for the Patriots: Thus far in the preseason, White has displayed a consistent ability to make defenders miss in space, as we saw on a 14-yard screen pass against the Bears that probably should have gone for a loss.
With Lewis facing a second knee surgery, as first reported by The Globe's Jim McBride, White should be considered a roster lock. He'll have a significant role in the Patriots' offense until Lewis returns.
White can give the Pats maybe 60 percent of what Lewis provided purely as a receiver, but there is no one on the roster that will replace Lewis' production as a runner from spread formations. On 1st-and-10, the Patriots could put Brady in the shotgun, flank him with Lewis and trot out four wide receivers. And from that formation, they could either pass or run.
The story went on to say the Pats may have to show their cards now. When White is in the game, the Patriots are probably passing. When LeGarrette Blount is in the game, they're probably running. The story made a case for Donald Brown, who can be considered a mix of both runner and receiver and perhaps keep defenses on their toes. But Brown hasn't been able to stay healthy and hasn't practiced in camp nor played in a preseason game.
Colin Kaepernick’s dead arm apparently has been revived.
“I think Kap is fine,” coach Chip Kelly told reporters on Sunday. “I saw Kap. He’s fine.”
Kelly said that Kaepernick will “throw some more” on Monday, in practice and not on the side. But it’s not clear whether Kaepernick will throw in both 7-on-7 sessions and 11-on-11 team drills.
Kaepernick has yet to play during the preseason, giving Blaine Gabbert a clear chance to win the starting job, essentially by default. Kaepernick missed the entire offseason program, and he hasn’t practiced in well over a week due to a condition that the team has taken great pains not to call an injury, even though it seemingly is, the story pointed out.
Running back Dion Lewis will be sidelined for another 8-10 weeks after he endures a second surgery on his left knee, according to a source. The ACL, which was repaired in November, is OK, but the Patriots’ medical staff determined they need to clean up an unspecified area in the knee.
The procedure is viewed as “relatively minor,” and Lewis has a good chance of playing in 2016, according to the source.
Assuming Lewis remains on the PUP list during the regular season, he can begin practicing at any point between Oct. 18 and Nov. 22. Once Lewis starts practicing, the Patriots will have 21 days to either promote him to the active roster or shut him down for the remainder of the season. The Pats could technically drag out that decision until Dec. 13.
It's good to hear that his ACL is "OK." Eight weeks would put Lewis back on Oct. 16, so he could conceivably return for Week 7 at Pittsburgh. The Patriots have a Week 9 bye, so the team could elect to give him an extra few weeks of recovery to return in Week 10 vs. Seattle. For now, we'll assume he misses the first eight games. James White should produce RB2 numbers in PPR and LeGarrette Blount should provide fantasy starter numbers when the Patriots don't face an elite run defense. The Patriots could add a running back as camp cuts continue. Lewis is worth consideration as a late-round pick, especially in leagues with deep benches and/or an injured reserve slot.
Cruz made a brief return, but still felt problems with the groin and has been working on a side field with the training staff recently.
Coach Ben McAdoo said on Sunday that Cruz will take part in Monday’s brief practice with hopes that all will go well enough for him to participate in Tuesday’s full practice as well.
The Cowboys’ first practice at their new facility will feature a new face – or at least a new participant.
Lance Dunbar certainly isn’t new, but it’s been nearly a year since he practiced with the Cowboys after tearing his ACL and his patellar tendon last October. Dunbar has been working diligently on his rehab in the 10 months since, and he’s prepare to take the next step.
“We work our way back into practice, so today I’ll be doing individuals – slowly working back in,” he said on Sunday afternoon.
The fifth-year running back opened training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list, which made him unavailable for practice. But alongside fellow running back Darren McFadden, he was a constant at strength and conditioning sessions during practice.
After what has surely been a trying wait, Dunbar should be able to finally get his feet wet in his return to football. It’s unlikely he’ll appear in any of the competitive portions of practice, but it’s a start. Dunbar can be a pass-catching weapon for the Boys as well as a gadget player. He played in all 16 games for Dallas in 2014 and had just 29 rushes and 18 receptions. Last year he was averaging five catches a game through four games before the injury. We only project him for 20 receptions this year.
Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles will not finish as the team’s second-leading rusher this season.
The two are starting to form the enviable tandem Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell visualized.
Both had strong efforts for the second consecutive week, combining for 54 yards and a touchdown in three possessions against Tampa Bay on Saturday night at EverBank Field.
“The better they are, the better the passing game is going to be,” Bortles said. “Those two are going to be a heck of a duo. The offensive line did a really good job letting those guys run and making holes for them. The better those guys are, the more we’re going to be able to be successful with play-action.”
The bad news about the Jags running situation is this looks like a 50-50 split, and the story confirmed that again. Obviously not great fantasy potential. We have Yeldon rated higher in both formats but in standard they are separated by just one spot since Ivory should get the goal line carries. Yeldon seems to be the back to own in PPR formats.
Sunday, August 21, 2016, 2:17pm
Backup running back Isaiah Pead is leading Miami in rushing by a significant margin. He has 98 rushing yards on 14 carries through two preseason games and is averaging 7.0 yards per carry, highlighted by an impressive 45-yard scamper against Dallas.
Pead is not competing for a starting job, but he is making a strong push for a roster spot. The Dolphins may keep four running backs -- and Ajayi, Foster and rookie Kenyan Drake (who is injured) are the only locks. That leaves Pead in a potential battle with Damien Williams and Daniel Thomas for one roster spot.
While Marshall is listed as the No. 3 running back on the Redskins’ current unofficial depth chart, Kelley could get some work with the first- and second-team offensive units to see how he responds. With Jones banged up (AC joint), this is a key fantasy position to keep an eye on. Jones should be OK for the season, but if he gets hurt again at some point, the team's RB3 could get some significant work with Thompson likely remaining a third down back and change of pace option.
Sunday, August 21, 2016, 2:10pm
The New England Patriots drafted Boyce in the fourth round in 2013. He has appeared in 10 games with three starts. Boyce, 5-foot-11 and 205 pounds, has compiled nine catches for 121 yards.
He spent most of this year with the Indianapolis Colts until they waived him Aug. 16.
Parks signed with the Browns on May 20 as an undrafted rookie. He's dealing with a knee injury.
At best, Coleman is the fourth receiver on New Orleans’ roster after being outperformed by rookie Michael Thomas this summer. But he needs to show vast improvement over the next two weeks to keep that job safe.
Sunday, August 21, 2016, 2:05pm
Good luck trying to get Paul Turner to talk about himself.
Not just with the media. With his teammates, too.
“He’ll make a big play, he’ll act like it didn’t even happen,” Jordan Matthews said with a laugh. “He just goes right back to the huddle.”
Turner, a quiet, humble undrafted rookie wide receiver from Louisiana Tech, has been opening eyes both in practice and in the preseason games with his playmaking ability.
In an underachieving wide receiver group, he’s really stood out.
It’s rare for undrafted rookie wideouts to make the Eagles’ roster. Rarer still for them to contribute. Exceptions are Hank Baskett and Greg Lewis, the latter of whom is now Turner’s position coach. The Eagles WRs haven't been all that great in camp so there's a chance Turner could make the team, but it's still hard to imagine he'd pass guys like Nelson Agholor or Rueben Randle for a significant fantasy role.
It wouldn't be a surprise to see the Patriots add a big, young running back to the mix, but they may want to wait until other teams trim their rosters. The Chiefs and Titans, for example, have several young running backs that are in danger of not making the 53-man roster.
The story was about the team possibly picking up recently-released Bills RB Karlos Williams. However Williams was passed by other Bills RBs on the depth chart and remains out of shape despite an impressive rookie season last year. However, the Pats are probably seeing the last year of RB LeGarrette Blount, so Williams could at least be a project guy for the future.
This one stings, as Lewis was shaping up as a great value in the 4th/5th round after looking good in spring practices. It's not clear what sort of surgery Lewis needs. If it's a scope, he might only be out a month, but if they need to do a ligament repair, it will take longer. (Update: Adam Schefter described it as a "clean up" procedure, which makes it possible that he will return at some point in the season.) In the meantime, James White is likely to take his place in the lineup. White averaged 6.7 touches (including 4.7 catches on 6.4 T/G) for 53.1 yards and 0.57 touchdowns in seven games that Lewis was sidelined. That equates to solid RB1 numbers in PPR formats (RB2 in standard). He's not going to get the running work that Lewis would have, but he should take over the pass-catching role and turn in RB2 numbers in PPR formats. The news also gives LeGarrette Blount a bump, since he's likely to see a few extra carries assuming he remains in the "big back" role. Tyler Gaffney is pushing Blount for work, but Blount has run well in the preseason.
Redskin running backs actually fared better than I originally thought while watching the game. Maybe that’s a function of low expectations, but in general there was more to build on than in the game against the Falcons.
That’s not to say “problem solved” but just that at least it wasn’t a lost cause. There were more yards after contact, for example. Matt Jones' biggest issue, of course, is durability. But he showed more of what he could do, less stutter-stepping through holes. There was at least one run in which Jones again opted to try to bounce rather than lower his shoulder against a defensive back; coaches don’t like that. So it wasn’t perfect and I still have big questions about the run game this season, but there were more positives than in the preseason opener.
Of course the big issues is Jones now has a banged up shoulder and the team doesn't really have a clear, proven backup. However, it's a bit of good news for the run game it made some progress in Preseason Week 2, at least according to this author. Washington isn't giving up on the run, but many feel the team is poised to throw a lot again in 2016.