CBS NFL Insider Jason La Canfora wrote Tuesday that he has "heard plenty of rumblings about (Andrew Luck) starting the year on the physically unable to perform list...".
Right now, Luck (shoulder) is on the preseason PUP list, which means he can come off of it at any time, but LaCanfora is alluding to the regular season PUP list in which any player on that must miss the first six weeks of the season.
La Canfora notes: "As a first-time general manager just on the job, (general manager Chris) Ballard has time on his side, and undoubtedly Luck is the greatest thing this organization has going for it. This roster is far from the finished product, and with Ballard just beginning a five-year contract, the long view -- or at least the medium-view -- has to dictate the vision of the front office."
4for4's Steve Andress is a former team reporter for the Indianapolis Colts and notes any decision involving Andrew Luck usually goes through owner Jim Irsay's office. Irsay has spoken about wanting to win multiple Super Bowls in the Luck era after regretting only winning one with Peyton Manning. It's hard to imagine he would jeopardize Luck's long-term health just to get him on the field early this season, if his rehab is not 100 percent complete.
The Colts have given no timetable for Luck's return, and Luck, when asked, did not say whether he thought he'd be ready for the start of the season.
Indianapolis Star beat writer Zak Keefer also noted Tuesday night on Twitter: "1 thing to stress again about Luck: There are SIX weeks until regular season starts. He's begun the throwing part of his rehab. Lot of time."
Herald Bulletin beat writer George Bremer also tweeted: "For those asking, I'm told Chris Ballard's statement from last week stands. Luck expected to come off PUP before reg season begins."
There's no red alert yet on Luck, but drafters need to proceed cautiously at this point, considering how deep the quarterback position is and Luck's high 5th round ADP. When healthy, Luck is a top-five fantasy quarterback; however, this shoulder injury is one the Colts had put off surgically repairing since it first happened early in the 2015 season before later lacerating his kidney and missing the rest of that season. In 2016, Luck would regularly sit out a day or two of the practice week trying to manage the shoulder, before the Colts and Luck finally opted for surgery this past offseason. All parties have said the same thing, that they are going to methodically take their time with Luck's rehab. What that means exactly for his early season availability is still to be determined. Proceed cautiously in drafts.
Broncos TE Virgil Green caught three passes during the Broncos’ first possession, a 10-play, 76-yard touchdown drive. He caught passes on the left side, the right side and over the middle.
Even with only one series of playing time, Green had his best game as a receiver since November. Against the Green Bay Packers in Denver last season, Green caught three passes for 61 yards. Not coincidentally, that was Peyton Manning’s best passing game of the season. He completed 21-of-29 passes for 340 yards. The Broncos won easily.
Tight ends do matter.
“I know the offense,” Green said. “I knew it last year, but after playing in the system for a full year, I understand how to get open and what to look for. It does feel a little different in that aspect. I really know what’s going on everywhere. I know what all the receivers are doing. I know what the O-line is doing. I know everything that’s going on.”
Consider Green a sleeper TE2. He has terrific athletic ability and finally has an opportunity to start in his 5th season.
Ryan Tannehill has proved he’s athletic enough to be used in the read-option offense.
But the Dolphins quarterback might not be using his legs as much in Adam Gase’s offense. Gase, who most recently coached offenses that featured Jay Cutler and Peyton Manning, said he’s not sure how much read-option Miami will run this season.
“We’ll see how it goes with that,” Gase said. “I haven’t had great success in the past because I haven’t had a ton of mobile guys. But we have some things that we can use. We’re just going to kind of take it a little bit at a time. It’s hard to run against our defense. … We’ll probably focus on things like that more in walkthroughs and things like that. There will be a time and place for it, but once again when you’re putting the quarterback out there especially in the zone-read game, you just better make sure you’re right because you don’t want him taking unnecessary shots.”
Tannehill, who played as a wide receiver at Texas A&M, has run for 901 yards on 177 rush attempts (5.1 yards per carry) over his four NFL seasons. In Gase’s offense with the Bears last season, Cutler ran for 201 yards on 38 rush attempts. One of Tannehill’s strengths as a quarterback has been his ability to throw on the run outside of the pocket. But the Dolphins’ wide-nine defense featuring defensive ends Cameron Wake and Mario Williams has made it difficult for Tannehill to escape the pocket in training camp, the story said.
In this, the second year of coach Gary Kubiak’s run-heavy variation of the West Coast offense, with Peyton Manning now retired, the Broncos probably will turn an eager eye to their tight ends.
The tight ends have returned to Denver — even if they never left.
“Peyton always knew where he wanted to go, based on coverage,” said Virgil Green, a sixth-year tight end who became so dispensable last season, the Broncos made him a fullback. “This a tight end-friendly offense,” Green said Thursday at Dove Valley. “This year, the quarterbacks we have, they’re expected to read coverage more and go to the open guy. I think tight ends should be a little more successful than years past.”
If that's the case, you might find some late-round gold at the position in Denver. Virgil Green is ranked just 32nd on our TE list and only getting late round attention. Garrett Graham is next up on the depth chart. While there are plenty of more proven options out there right now, this is certainly something to keep an eye on if you're looking for value, especially in deeper leagues.