- NE: Pats TE Rob Gronkowski ‘not himself’
- GB: WR Jeff Janis cleared to catch passes
- DEN: Broncos QB Trevor Siemian (shoulder) ‘feeling pretty good’
- MIA: Dolphins TE Jordan Cameron sees concussion specialist
- NYG: Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr ‘not having fun anymore’
- ARI: Cards QB Carson Palmer (concussion) still in protocol
- ARI: Cardinals put RB Chris Johnson on IR
- JAC: Jags expect TE Julius Thomas back for Week 6
- MIN: Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson sees more time Week 4
- DET: Lions signing TE Clay Harbor
- BAL: Ravens, RB Justin Forsett to part ways
- WAS: RB Matt Jones best thing to come out of Week 4
- CAR: Plan won’t change much for Panthers with QB Derek Anderson
- LA: Rams could use RB Todd Gurley more in passing game
- CIN: Bengals TE Tyler Eifert (ankle) needs to practice fully before playing
- BAL: Ravens WR Kamar Aiken gets more involved
NE: Pats TE Rob Gronkowski ‘not himself’
Tuesday, October 4, 2016, 7:34pm
MassLive.com – [Full Article]
A report from NFL Network’s Mike Garofolo may lend some insight into what’s going on with Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski. Garofolo reported Tuesday that Gronkowski’s hamstring injury is still lingering and hasn’t quite progressed the way the team as hoped.
Here’s Garofolo’s take on it from Tuesday morning’s “Good Morning Football.”
“He is not himself. I had two calls yesterday. One guy semi-connected to Gronk said ‘How are you guys not paying more attention? This guy is not right.’ That hamstring is not coming along like they thought it was going to. I had another guy say: If you watch that game yesterday, they kept him in to block way more than they usually do. And they didn’t let him get down the field, everything was kind of short or intermediate.”
The story broke this down nicely. It went on to say the Pats have been using Gronk primarily as a blocker, but the story said bringing him back with a rookie under center may not have been the optimal scenario. He certainly brings value as a blocker, which he showed against the Bills Sunday. With Tom Brady back in the lineup, the Patriots offense will return back to normal. If we get through Week 5 and Gronkowski is still stranded at the line of scrimmage as a blocker, his limitations are not going to go unnoticed.
GB: WR Jeff Janis cleared to catch passes
Tuesday, October 4, 2016, 6:00pm
Packers.com – [Full Article]
For the first time in six weeks, the Packers’ third-year receiver Jeff Janis was cleared to catch passes on Monday without any kind of protection.
Janis underwent surgery to repair a broken bone in his right hand near the start of training camp, which caused him to miss all four of the Packers’ preseason games.
Although the injury has relegated Janis to the sideline on offense during the regular season, he has played 38 special-teams snaps with a protective club on his right hand in the Packers’ first three games.
Janis also hopes ditching the club could lead to more opportunities on offense after breaking out for seven catches for 145 yards and two touchdowns in the Packers’ divisional playoff game in Arizona. The Packers are carrying seven receivers on this year’s roster, so it remains to be seen how many opportunities will be available for Janis on the offensive side of the ball.
DEN: Broncos QB Trevor Siemian (shoulder) ‘feeling pretty good’
Tuesday, October 4, 2016, 5:56pm
Pro Football Talk – [Full Article]
Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian said his left shoulder is still sore, but that he could have re-entered Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers if something had happened to replacement Paxton Lynch.
During an interview with Denver Sports 760 (via the team’s official website) Siemian said he was “feeling pretty good” and is “better today than I was yesterday.”
Siemian was slammed onto his non-throwing shoulder Sunday in Tampa Bay, and coach Gary Kubiak said the plan was for him to return this week against the Falcons, whether he practiced this week or not.
MIA: Dolphins TE Jordan Cameron sees concussion specialist
Tuesday, October 4, 2016, 5:54pm
Pro Football Talk – [Full Article]
Dolphins tight end Jordan Cameron remained out of practice on Tuesday as he deals with the concussion that kept him from playing against the Bengals last Thursday night.
It’s the fourth time that Cameron has suffered a concussion in the last four years and Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen of ESPN reported over the weekend that Cameron went to see a specialist in Pittsburgh for an evaluation of the injury. Coach Adam Gase confirmed that visit on Tuesday and said the team encouraged Cameron to seek out more information.
Cameron is only considered day-to-day according to the team. He is still in concussion protocol.
NYG: Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr ‘not having fun anymore’
Tuesday, October 4, 2016, 5:50pm
ESPN – [Full Article]
Odell Beckham Jr. is frustrated with the increased amount of attention on his behavior during games and said he is “not having fun anymore” playing football.
The Giants star wide receiver reflected on his image and on his role in New York’s offense during an interview with ESPN’s Anita Marks on Tuesday, less than 24 hours after a disappointing performance in a nationally televised loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
“Football is my sanctuary,” Beckham told Marks. “It’s where I go to escape. It’s where I’m most happy. I’m not having fun anymore.”
Beckham’s comments came on the heels of his latest on-field meltdown Monday, when he was flagged for a taunting penalty and repeatedly clashed with Minnesota’s Xavier Rhodes. Beckham had been exchanging verbal barbs with Rhodes for several plays before when the Vikings cornerback hit him out of bounds after a 4-yard catch. But it was Beckham who was called for the penalty. This is becoming an increasing popular way to get Beckham off his game.
ARI: Cards QB Carson Palmer (concussion) still in protocol
Tuesday, October 4, 2016, 5:47pm
NFL.com – [Full Article]
Carson Palmer‘s status for Thursday Night Football is up in the air.
Cardinals coach Bruce Arians told reporters that the quarterback was at the team facility Tuesday, but remains in concussion protocol and is still taking tests. Palmer suffered the concussion in the fourth quarter of Arizona’s Week 4 loss to the Rams and backup quarterback Drew Stanton threw two interceptions in a short relief appearance.
It’s a short turnaround for the Cards, who will have to travel to San Francisco on Wednesday for Thursday night’s game. So the expectations that Palmer will be available to play remain low. However, earlier in the day, Arians said on a conference call that there is still a “chance he could play.”
ARI: Cardinals put RB Chris Johnson on IR
Tuesday, October 4, 2016, 5:45pm
USA Today – [Full Article]
The Arizona Cardinals will be without running back Chris Johnson and safety Tyvon Branch for at least eight weeks as both players were placed on injured reserve on Tuesday.
NFL rules allow for one player to be eligible to return to the active roster eight weeks after his injured reserve designation, so one of the two could return in early December while the other will miss the rest of the season.
Johnson and Branch are both dealing with groin injuries suffered during Sunday’s 17-13 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
Both players are having sports hernia surgery according to reports. Andre Ellington and Stepfan Taylor are the other two backs on the Cards roster and Ellington has had his share of injuries in his career. The team, on Tuesday, re-signed running back Kerwynn Williams, who was released before the season began.
JAC: Jags expect TE Julius Thomas back for Week 6
Tuesday, October 4, 2016, 2:16pm
Jaguars on Twitter – [Full Article]
TE Julius Thomas continues to rehab from his left elbow ligament sprain and is expected to return for Chicago Week 6.
The Jags have a bye in Week 5 and thought is the extra week off for Thomas will do him well after missing Week 4 in London.
MIN: Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson sees more time Week 4
Tuesday, October 4, 2016, 2:12pm
ESPN 1500 – [Full Article]
Against the Giants on Monday Night Football, Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson played 49% of the snaps and caught five passes.
The Vikings only gave receiver Patterson 61 offensive snaps last year and he made just two catches. He looked pretty solid on Monday night and the team gave him a chance to use his speed on several plays. It could very well mean an increased role going forward but that remains to be seen. He’ll likely start to get picked up at least in deeper leagues.
DET: Lions signing TE Clay Harbor
Tuesday, October 4, 2016, 12:39pm
MLive.com – [Full Article]
The Detroit Lions are signing former Patriots tight end Clay Harbor, according to ESPN.
Harbor’s addition comes two days after Eric Ebron sustained knee and ankle injuries in a 17-14 loss against Chicago. Ebron was able to finish the game, but was in visible discomfort during and after it.
“Battling life, man,” Ebron said after the game. “It’s football. It’s what you do. You play hurt. You play banged up. It’s what we do.”
The story said coach Jim Caldwell declined to offer an update on Ebron’s status, and it’s unclear whether he’ll be limited heading into Sunday’s game against the Eagles. Harbor is also a former Eagle and is more of an offensive threat than a blocker.
BAL: Ravens, RB Justin Forsett to part ways
Tuesday, October 4, 2016, 12:20pm
BaltimoreRavens.com – [Full Article]
The Ravens and running back Justin Forsett have mutually parted ways, and this time he’s not coming back.
Forsett spoke with General Manager Ozzie Newsome Tuesday morning and expressed a desire to move on to another team where he might have a better chance to play.
The Ravens have not officially made the release yet, but Forsett tweeted about his departure.
Forsett was inactive in Week 4 and with the return of Kenneth Dixon on the horizon, the Ravens were finding they didn’t have a lot of need for Forsett. Terrance West started last week but talk among those who follow the team is this is Dixon’s job at some point. For now, at least until Dixon is back up to speed, it looks like West will get a bulk of the work as the team’s RB1.
WAS: RB Matt Jones best thing to come out of Week 4
Tuesday, October 4, 2016, 10:21am
RealRedskins.com – [Full Article]
The best thing that happened all game was Matt Jones’ running. He didn’t always pick the right place to go but when he decided he committed and the results were good. He is averaging 4.5 yards per carry, an improvement of over a full yard over his 3.4 average in his rookie season.
And the average hasn’t been padded by any long runs; Jones’ has a 25-yard run as his long and his second-longest is only 16 yards. He is earning that average. We are still early in the season so it’s too soon to proclaim that the Redskins have their next star running back. But the calls for a veteran running back and/or for Robert Kelley to get more carries have faded. We will see what Jones can do.
Jones was busting off big chunks of yards against Cleveland, but the schedule gets tougher for Jones, including this week at Baltimore and even the three weeks after that against the Eagles, Lions and Bengals who at this point are all in the top-11 in terms of allowing fantasy points to RBs.
CAR: Plan won’t change much for Panthers with QB Derek Anderson
Tuesday, October 4, 2016, 10:15am
ESPN – [Full Article]
The Carolina Panthers let backup quarterback Derek Anderson run the read-option once in training camp this year.
That, according to offensive coordinator Mike Shula, was one too many.
“Minus-4,” he said with a laugh.
Read-option aside, Shula won’t change his offense if Anderson has to replace Cam Newton for Monday night’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Anderson appears to be a good backup option for Cam owners this week since this is a Monday game and the status of Newton may not be known until much later in the week. The story said Shula is so confident in Anderson’s ability to adjust that he’ll begin planning for the Buccaneers as though Newton will play even though there is uncertainty the NFL MVP will be cleared from concussion protocol.
LA: Rams could use RB Todd Gurley more in passing game
Tuesday, October 4, 2016, 10:11am
ESPN – [Full Article]
HC Jeff Fisher said “the line of scrimmage was full of Cardinals” on Sunday, as is normally the case. So the Rams used Todd Gurley a little bit more in the passing game. He hauled in a one-handed catch on a lob pass that turned into a 33-yard gain early in the third quarter, then converted a key third-and-8 down the stretch, running out to the flat, catching Case Keenum‘s throw, cutting to the inside and gaining the extra yardage two plays before Brian Quick caught the winning touchdown.
Gurley finished with five catches for 49 yards, giving him a more respectable 82 yards from scrimmage.
Pass-catching ability is an underrated part of Gurley’s game, a skill that wasn’t on display very often during a rookie season that saw him finish as the NFL’s third-leading rusher. But the story said the running lanes just aren’t there right now so the Rams will continue to use Gurley in the passing game.
CIN: Bengals TE Tyler Eifert (ankle) needs to practice fully before playing
Tuesday, October 4, 2016, 10:02am
ESPN – [Full Article]
The Bengals will eventually get TE Tyler Eifert back and he’ll likely take the load off WR A.J. Green’s shoulders. But while Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys has seemed like a possibility, it won’t be definite until Eifert fully practices, something he has not yet done.
The story was mostly about the Bengals struggle in the red zone this season. Of course, Eifert was a huge part of the team’s success last year. Eifert scored 11 red zone TDs in 2015 so it’s clear the Bengals miss his presence on the field. Eifert was a possibility to play on a short week in Week 4, but was eventually ruled out, so the hope is he can get on the practice field this week and play in Week 5. If he does, he could still be on some sort of pitch count, but it would see likely he’d be on the field in the red zone.
BAL: Ravens WR Kamar Aiken gets more involved
Tuesday, October 4, 2016, 9:58am
Baltimore Sun – [Full Article]
In one game, Kamar Aiken matched what he had done in his first three.
In Sunday’s 28-27 loss to the Oakland Raiders, the Ravens wide receiver caught three passes on four targets – both of which matched numbers in his first three games. He gained just nine yards on those three receptions, but that was nearly half of the 19 yards he had entering the game.
Aiken’s disappearance after leading the offense last season in catches (75), yards (944) and touchdown receptions (five) had been a much-scrutinized topic, but he appeared to be more involved in the offense on Sunday.
Aiken had some mistakes however, including a pass interference that negated a 20-yard gain. With Steve Smith and Mike Wallace big factors this year, Aiken seems to be getting lost in the mix. The return of TE Dennis Pitta probably isn’t helping either.
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