The NFL has determined that Peyton Manning did not use human growth hormone or any other performance-enhancing drug banned under the league's policy.
The league announced its decision in a statement released Monday, saying it "found no credible evidence" of allegations in an Al-Jazeera America report that Manning's wife received deliveries of HGH in 2011.
Before making its final determination, the NFL interviewed Manning and his wife Ashley, who were "fully cooperative with the investigation," according to the league.
The NFL also received medical records pertinent to the case and, after reviewing them and the interviews, determined there wasn't any evidence that any violation had occurred.
All indications are he has the ability to be a perfect running partner to Odell Beckham Jr. and give the Giants a second star in their receiving corps. But it's tough for rookie wideouts to step right in and put up big numbers.
Shepard should put together a solid rookie year, but his stats may not knock you out when all is said and done.
The potential return of Victor Cruz could impact what Shepard does this year as could Dwayne Harris who also seems in store for work. Cruz is expected to be a full-go when camp starts on Friday but the Giants will likely take it slow with Cruz which could mean lots of early opportunities for Shepard in camp.
Giants WR Victor Cruz entered training camp last summer surrounded by optimism, only to suffer a calf injury days before he was expected to play in his first preseason game - an injury that robbed him of his entire season. Now he's back and expected to be 'full-go' starting with Friday's first practice of camp.
Cruz, the Giants and their fans are yearning for yet another storybook chapter to the saga of the undrafted kid from Paterson. But first, Cruz has to get through training camp, and has to prove he can still play at a high level after missing most of the last two seasons. Neither is guaranteed. But they cannot count on him playing a big role like they did a year ago.
The Giants will likely take things slow with Cruz and hope for the best the story said. If Cruz can even come close to his old self, it will be a major plus. This writer believes the team's top-four will be Odell Beckham, Victor Cruz, rookie Sterling Shepard and Dwayne Harris. Shepard and Harris could see significant work depending on how much Cruz can bounce back, if at all, this season.
Steelers running back LeVeon Bell is indeed facing a four-game suspension for missing a drug test. But Bell continues to insist that he hasn’t missed a drug test — and that he won’t be missing any games.
In a comment to an altered photo on Instagram of Bell wearing a gas mask with a bong, Bell said from his verified account that “I’m not gonna miss games, trust me.”
Many will scoff at the proclamation, given the lingering perception that Commissioner Roger Goodell retains final say over all player disciplinary issues. In 2014, however, the league agreed to use a panel of neutral arbitrators for all punishments arising under the substance-abuse and PED policies. So Bell will have a chance to have a truly independent party assess whether the league’s conclusions are warranted.
Of course the story from this past weekend is Bell missed several drug tests. He's dropped to ninth in our RB rankings for now and obviously this is a situation to monitor because Bell, you can argue, is the top fantasy back this year. DeAngelo Williams would again see the bulk of the work without Bell in the lineup.
The Chargers will report to training camp Friday and hold their first practice Saturday morning. Their spring ended with a scare, Danny Woodhead suffering an ankle sprain that could’ve been far more severe. He walked off the field under his own power. This week, he will sprint back onto it.
More than six weeks separated the end of minicamp and start of training camp. That gave ample time to recover for Woodhead, who will participate in the ninth training camp of his NFL career and fourth in San Diego. He is ready for it.
“It took a couple weeks, but now I’m as healthy as I’ve been in a long time,” Woodhead said. “I feel great going into the season.”
Woodhead is ranked 16th in PPR and is one of those backs to target in our Zero-RB draft strategy this year. Woodhead finished #12 in standard formats and #3 in PPR in 2015. He’ll have a new offensive coordinator, Ken Whisenhunt, who returns to the Chargers after coordinating the offense back in 2013. In that season, Woodhead averaged 9.3 FP (standard) and 13.8 FP (PPR) in 18 games, including the postseason. Those are solid RB2 (standard) and RB1 (PPR) numbers, respectively. Worries about the potential emergence of Melvin Gordon will depress Woodhead’s ADP, which is currently residing in the 7th round of early standard drafts (5th in PPR).
Veteran wide receiver Greg Jennings on Monday announced his retirement from the NFL after 10 seasons.
In a video posted on the FamiLeague channel on YouTube, Jennings said he was "done" with football and is "excited to be done."
Jennings, 32, said, "physically I know I can do it, I can still play ... but I feel like as though I would be going back to football instead of moving forward."
The biggest key to the Lions backfield success is the development of Ameer Abdullah. As a rookie last season, he was plagued by ball security issues early in the campaign, but closed out the year strong. He averaged 4.7 yards per attempt and put the ball on the ground just once across the final eight games. That's a stat line that should excite. Now it boils down to a smooth recovery from offseason shoulder surgery and if he can handle an increased workload.
Theo Riddick is what he is, a below-average runner, but elite receiver out of the backfield. He's a key offensive cog after catching 80 passes last season, but expecting significant growth as a ball carrier borders on unreasonable.
There are some threats to Abdullah's workload, but this particular writer doesn't even predict one of them - Stevan Ridley - makes the roster. That would leave Zach Zenner as perhaps the main threat to take away carries. It's a situation to keep an eye on because depending who makes the roster, Abdullah's value could rise and fall greatly.
There is a clear logjam at RB for the Ravens after resigning Justin Forsett last offseason, picking up Terrance West in November and using fourth-round picks on Lorenzo Taliaferro, Buck Allen and Kenneth Dixon in consecutive years.
Healthy again after breaking his arm last season, Forsett is still the likely starter even though Harbaugh has vowed to go with the hot hand. Until Allen solves his fumbling issues and gets better in pass protection and Dixon shows what he can do at the next level, Forsett remains the Ravens’ most complete back.
The story went on to say: Allen is the likely No. 2 following a solid rookie season and Dixon should also get opportunities. West impressed team officials last season and could get a spot while Taliaferro needs to stay healthy. The Ravens will likely lose one or two backs with promise and even though Forsett appears to be the starter, there is plenty of talent at the position behind him on the depth chart.
Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins said recently that everything is right where it needs to be in regard to his recovery from left foot surgery, although that doesn’t mean that he feels 100 percent comfortable doing everything on the football field.
Watkins said that he feels like his foot is “healed” and that he’s doing plenty of things at full speed during his workouts with the team’s strength and conditioning staff. He’s taking his time with the rest in order to avoid a setback that could put his availability for the start of the season into question.
He added certain things are full speed and certain things aren't, mostly meaning cutting off his left foot. He said he expects to be limited in his workload when camp starts before any restrictions come off. His final nine games of last season (5.4-100-0.78) gives him WR1 potential in 2016 provided he can stay healthy.
Monday, July 25, 2016, 9:22am
Inexperience is a major concern with Miami's RB group, pushing Miami to sign Arian Foster last week. Jay Ajayi is still expected to enter training camp as the starter, but Foster will make the second-year player work for the job.
Foster, who will be 30 in August, is coming off an Achilles’ tendon tear that he suffered against the Dolphins on October 25. But he expects to be fully healthy for the start of training camp.
Ajayi's stock has fallen with the signing of Foster and he's 38th on our RB list but still has an ADP of the fifth round. However Foster is ranked 35th on our list. Ajayi has the advantage of younger legs, but if Foster can show any signs of his past form, he'll surely eat into Ajayi's fantasy potential causing this to be a committee situation.
Monday, July 25, 2016, 9:11am
As Adrian Peterson prepares for his 10th NFL season, he's coming off his third rushing title in large part because of the unyielding work ethic that still has him training for three to four hours a day at his gym in Houston.
He's working to stay ahead of a young generation of running backs who were raised on Peterson highlights. And in the case of Melvin Gordon -- the San Diego Chargers back who finished second in the 2014 Heisman Trophy voting and was selected 15th in last year's draft -- Peterson has a protege who has come to Houston this summer in the hopes of adopting some of the four-time All-Pro's tenacity.
Gordon, who ran for 641 yards, fumbled six times and missed two games because of a microfracture in his left knee during a trying rookie season. He contacted Peterson in February about training with him this offseason, the story said. Gordon has gone through some of the same drills, designed to improve his balance and proprioception after his injury.
Monday, July 25, 2016, 9:07am
This is a critical camp for Jace Amaro. While Gailey used the tight ends primarily as inline blockers last season, Amaro was a prolific pass catcher at Texas Tech and he had 38 receptions as a rookie. After missing last season with a shoulder injury, the 6’6” Amaro will look to carve a role on an offense that has plenty of playmakers.
Amaro isn't getting a lot of draft attention so far and is ranked just 31st on our list.
Sunday, July 24, 2016, 6:35pm
He’s been an important cog in the Rams’ offense in the past, particularly in the red zone. The Wisconsin product leads the team in touchdown receptions over the last three years. As is well known, a good receiving tight end can be a kind of security blanket for a young quarterback. The Rams will likely need Kendricks to fill that role this year.
The Rams cut Jared Cook, which leaves Kendricks atop the Rams' depth chart at tight end. He has posted a career 1.03 FP per target, so he should be streamable in 2016. In 18 career games with at least five targets, Kendricks has averaged 3.5 catches for 41 yards and 0.22 TD, which are fringe TE1 numbers.
Sunday, July 24, 2016, 5:43pm
His is a journey that few have taken, through the challenging academic hallways of Tulane University, grinding through a career-threatening knee injury, entering the professional world as a teacher first before Xavier Rush stepped into his dream: Playing in the NFL.
"I've talked about the NFL all the time, the game of football, I missed it when I wasn't playing and to be here, in this position, it's part of my dream," said Rush, a rookie wide receiver who is vying to make the Eagles' 53-man roster when it is pared down in September. He's here now, part of the 90-man team, and he's ready for the start of Training Camp practices on Monday at the NovaCare Complex.
How Rush got here is an example of a young man who didn't give up when he had plenty of opportunities, and other options, to do so. Highly sought after as a high schooler, Rush was wanted just as much for his brains as his football ability. Offers from Harvard and Cornell were considered before Rush accepted one from Tulane, where he majored in, and has since received his bachelor's degree in, neuroscience.
Rush had a good career at Tulane, marred by a torn ACL in his seventh game of his senior season that took him out of the NFL picture. Rush caught 99 passes and scored 12 touchdowns in the 45 games he played at Tulane, and his 6-3, 202-pound body had some scouts paying attention. But then there was the injury. Rush wasn't healthy enough to fully show his talents for teams ahead of the 2015 draft, so he spent the year rehabbing his injury and teaching at a prep school in Arkansas.
Sunday, July 24, 2016, 2:08pm