| Clowney signs with agent|
Joins Bridgewater among elite underclassmen to join draft
By: Doug Orth | Jan 2 2014, 3:15 pm
|South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney has signed with Hattiesburg, Miss.-based BC Sports. (Neil Stratton on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: We've known about Clowney's desire to turn pro for over a year, but signing with an agent makes it official. While Bridgewater hasn't knowingly signed with an agent yet, he has already declared and is expected to be the top overall pick. Assuming a team falls in love with Clowney's upside (in the neighborhood of Julius Peppers) to trade with St. Louis, there's a distinct possibility Bridgewater and Clowney could go 1-2 in May's draft.
|Bears give Cutler new contract|
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 2 2014, 10:45 am
|Set to become an unrestricted free agent, Jay Cutler signed a seven-year contract with the Chicago Bears on Thursday, general manager Phil Emery announced.
"He's a demonstrated winner with the Chicago Bears. He can be a key player in terms of being the reason you win," Emery said. Cutler, who has played his last five seasons with the Bears after starting his career in Denver, recently said he wanted to stay in Chicago. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: One of the biggest off-season questions has been answered before the playoffs even begin. At age 37, it's unlikely Cutler will see the later years of this deal but the Bears will move forward with Cutler as their QB for the foreseeable future. Cutler posted 19.9 FPts per game in Marc Trestman's offense, his highest mark since 2008 (22.4).
|Ryan Mathews sits Wednesday|
Expected to play
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 1 2014, 3:00 pm
|Running back Ryan Mathews was one of two players listed as not practicing on the San Diego Chargers' injury report Wednesday. Mathews wore a protective boot on his injured left ankle coming off of the field at the end of practice. But he says that everything is fine concerning the injury. Along with Mathews, receiver Eddie Royal (toe) did not practice. But both are expected to play Sunday in Cincinnati. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Mathews will likely be limited in practice later this week but should play against the Bengals on Sunday. He'll be a low-end RB2 in a tough matchup on the road against the Bengals.
|Bowe cleared to play|
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 1 2014, 10:00 am
|Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, who suffered a concussion in the game two weeks ago against the Colts, was cleared to play. (Kansas City Star)|
FFToday's Take: Bowe sat out Week 17 along with most other Chiefs starters but will be back on the field Saturday against the Colts. He'll be a low-end WR3 in fantasy playoff leagues.
|Percy Harvin avoids IR|
Will return to practice this week
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 31 2013, 8:00 am
|After hinting for the past week that the team might put Percy Harvin on the injured reserve list, making him ineligible for the rest of the season, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Monday that Harvin will return to practice this week with the hope of playing in the team’s playoff game Jan. 11. (Seattle Times)|
FFToday's Take: Harvin will practice Thursday in hopes of playing in the divisional round of the playoffs. Harivn is recovering from a torn labrum in his hip. Harvin should be considered questionable for the playoffs and will be a risky pick in playoff fantasy leagues.
| Texans likely to hire Bill O'Brien as HC|
Penn State boss a former assistant under Bill Belichick
By: Doug Orth | Dec 30 2013, 4:10 pm
|Teams who fired coaches might be checking on Bill O'Brien and find out he's closing in on a new job in Houston. (John McClain on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: Obviously, nothing is final until a deal is official. However, O'Brien was a successful offensive coordinator for two years in New England before guiding the Nittany Lions to consecutive winning seasons in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, earning him a lot of respect in all football circles. O'Brien would also have the luxury of the top pick in the draft and is a noted quarterback coach, so the marriage may be a good one in Houston.
| Rams "open for business" at No. 2|
RG3 trade continues to pay dividends for St. Louis
By: Doug Orth | Dec 30 2013, 4:00 pm
|Rams GM Les Snead made it clear that, with the second pick, the Rams are open for business. He’d like to get an extra first-rounder out of the deal if possible, and with a major bargaining chip like South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney or Teddy Bridgewater (if the Louisville quarterback comes out, as expected) in play, he may be able to reach his goal. (SI.com)|
FFToday's Take: The Rams would likely select Texas A&M OT Jake Matthews if they stayed at No. 2, but should be able to grab a top offensive lineman later and pick up another high draft pick from a team like Jacksonville, Cleveland or Oakland that could be interested in Clowney, Fresno State QB Derek Carr or Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel (assuming Clowney and Manziel declare for the draft and Houston takes Bridgewater at No. 1 if he comes out).
|Browns can HC Chudzinski|
Reportedly interested in OC McDaniels, DC Quinn
By: Doug Orth | Dec 30 2013, 3:40 pm
|The Cleveland Browns fired coach Rob Chudzinski on Sunday night. Less than a year after touting Chudzinski as one of the brightest young coaches in the NFL and a guy CEO Joe Banner said he had his eye on for a long time, the Browns let him go after one season as coach. A seven-game losing streak to end the season and a 4-12 overall mark apparently were too much to overcome. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: The Browns' brass used the excuse of "we took a concerning step backward in the second half of the year" to fire Chudzinski, but they didn't have to coach up the likes of Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell each week. Cleveland is reportedly interested in Patriots OC Josh McDaniels, Chargers OC Ken Whisenhunt, Broncos OC Adam Gase and Seahawks DC Dan Quinn.
|Lovie Smith interested in Bucs HC job|
Ex-Bears coach is a former Tampa Bay assistant
By: Doug Orth | Dec 30 2013, 3:15 pm
|Former Bears coach Lovie Smith will be considered for several coaching openings but those close to him say he's very interested in Bucs job. (Rick Stroud on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: We won't do an update on every coach that is "interested" in an open job, but this one is noteworthy on several levels. First, Smith has long been a devotee of the Tampa 2 defense, which would make the Bucs' handling of Darrelle Revis something to watch going forward. Smith was also Tampa Bay's linebackers coach from 1996-2000. Last but not least, while Smith is not the ultimate "player's coach", he's not the tyrant that former HC Greg Schiano was made out to be.
|David Wilson should play in 2014|
Will likely need offseason neck surgery
By: Doug Orth | Dec 30 2013, 3:00 pm
|David Wilson may need neck surgery, but GM Jerry Reese said "Doctors think they can fix that and he'll be able to play" in 2014. (Ralph Vacchiano on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: Wilson is a hold in dynasty leagues - even if he is a risky one - but a complete wildcard in redraft formats. It appears the Giants are serious about improving their offense (and the offensive line in particular) in the offseason, so Wilson should have a chance to fulfill his potential while sharing carries - presumably with Andre Brown.
|Lions let go HC Jim Schwartz|
Lions lost six of their last seven games
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 30 2013, 12:05 pm
|The Jim Schwartz era in Detroit is over.
The Lions fired Schwartz today, making the long-expected move one day after their underachievement of a season ended with a 14-13 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. One of the NFL’s biggest disappointments, the Lions lost six of their last seven games to finish 7-9 and miss the playoffs for the 13th time in 14 years. (Detroit Free Press)|
FFToday's Take: Schwartz went 29-51 during his five seasons as Lions head coach. After a 6-3 start, the Lions were in position to make the playoff but dropped six of their last seven games.
|Bucs let go head coach and GM|
Mark Dominik, Greg Schiano let go
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 30 2013, 11:30 am
|The Tampa Bay Buccaneers fired head coach Greg Schiano and general manager Mark Dominik, the team announced Monday.
The move came in the wake of Schiano's second straight losing season, a 4-12 campaign that left the Bucs with an 11-21 record in Schiano's two seasons. (Tampa Tribune)|
FFToday's Take: GM Mark Dominik spent five years with the Bucs while Schiano lasted only two seasons. The Bucs went 11-21 over the last two years. The Bucs are back to the drawing board and have been rumored to be interested in Lovie Smith.
|Vikings fire Leslie Frazier|
Frazier had one year left on contract
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 30 2013, 8:10 am
|The Vikings announced this morning that Leslie Frazier will not return as head coach. "We did not achieve consistent success," general manager Rick Spielman said. After a season of promise dissolved in blown fourth-quarter leads and curious quarterback decisions, the Vikings fired coach Leslie Frazier on Monday. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)|
FFToday's Take: Frazier had a year left on his contract but went 22-33-1 in his tenure with Vikings who struggled to find a consistent starting quarterback and had monumental troubles on defense.
|Shanahan fired by Redskins|
Redskins end 2013 with an eight-game losing streak
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 30 2013, 8:00 am
|The Washington Redskins fired coach Mike Shanahan Monday morning after one of the ugliest seasons in recent memory -- and with too many losses in his four-year tenure, a league source confirmed to ESPN.
The Washington Post had earlier reported Shanahan's firing. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: We knew this was likely to happen and the Redskins made it official on black Monday. Shanahan compiled a 24-40 record in Washington and ended his tenure with an eight-game losing streak.
|Schaub to start for Texans|
Case Keenum inactive
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 29 2013, 11:30 am
|Matt Schaub will start at QB for Texans. (Jim Wyatt via Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: There had been some speculation that Case Keenum would play after getting in a limited session on Friday but he is inactive. Schaub will be a QB2 against the Titans.
|TE Jordan Cameron is active|
Will start for the Browns
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 29 2013, 11:30 am
|Browns TE Jordan Cameron is active and expected to start against Pittsburgh. (Cleveland Browns via Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: Cameron has missed last week's game with a concussion and was just cleared to practice on Friday. He'll be a TE1 against the Steelers and shouldn't infringe on Josh Gordon's targets.
|Gresham, Eifert expected to be Out|
Bengals will be without their starting tight ends
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 29 2013, 10:50 am
|ESPN is reporting that the Bengals are expected to be without their starting tight ends (Jermaine Gresham, Tyler Eifert) due to injury. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Gresham has a hamstring injury and Eifert is dealing with a shoulder injury. Alex Smith will start at tight end but isn't a fantasy consideration.
|Adrian Peterson doubtful|
Not expected to play
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 28 2013, 7:00 am
|Vikings coach Leslie Frazier has listed the reigning league MVP as doubtful for Sunday’s season finale against the Lions in what will be the final game in the 31-year history of the Metrodome.
Asked if there’s any way Adrian Peterson could talk him into letting him play at the last minute on Sunday morning, Frazier said, “No, unless something dramatically changes.” (Minneapolis Star Tribune)|
FFToday's Take: Peterson (groin, foot)) was limited in practice on Thursday and is unlikely to play. Toby Gerhart (hamstring) will also sit this game out leaving Matt Asiata and Joe Banyard to handle rushing duties. Neither is worthy of your fantasy lineup.
|Calvin Johnson misses practice Friday|
Unlikely to play Week 17
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 27 2013, 12:15 pm
|Calvin Johnson ended a season in which he fully practiced only one-quarter of the time by ... not practicing.
The star Detroit Lions receiver has battled right knee pain throughout the season and did not participate in any drills this week. He is unlikely to play Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings. (MLive)|
FFToday's Take: With the Lions eliminated from the playoffs it won't be a surprise if Megaton is inactive for Week 17. If that's the case, Nate Burleson and Kris Durham will be the starting wide receivers with TE Joseph Fauria starting at tight end.
|Romo has back surgery|
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 27 2013, 11:45 am
|The pain was too great and the treatments, including an epidural for a herniated disk in his back, didn't help Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo as he underwent back surgery Friday morning and was placed on injured reserve, officially ending his season. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: As expected, Kyle Orton will get the call in the must-win finale and will be a low-end QB1 against a suspect Eagles defense.
|EJ Manuel ruled out|
Sprained LCL in left knee
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 27 2013, 11:30 am
|Buffalo Bills quarterback Thaddeus Lewis will start Sunday's season finale against the New England Patriots, coach Doug Marrone announced Friday.
EJ Manuel, who has a sprained LCL in his left knee, is doubtful for the game after being limited in practice this week. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Maneul would've started had his knee allowed but Thad will get the call against the Patriots. The Bills will also be without wide receiver Steve Johnson who will attend his mother's funeral on Friday.
|Bowe likely out with concussion|
Suffered concussion on Thursday
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 27 2013, 7:00 am
|Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe was diagnosed Thursday with a concussion. Bowe was on the field at the start of practice that is open to reporters. He later reported concussion-like symptoms and was listed on the injury report as a non-participant in practice. (Kansas City Star)|
FFToday's Take: Bowe likely wasn't going to play much in the Chiefs meaningless Week 17 game anyway but he will now be in a race to get cleared before Kansas City's playoff game. Expect Junior Hemingway to see a lot of action on Sunday in Bowe's absence.
|Rice vows to bounce back in 2014|
RB riddled by injuries, ineffectiveness this season
By: Doug Orth | Dec 26 2013, 5:15 pm
|In the midst of his most difficult season, Ravens running back Ray Rice vowed that he'll rededicate himself during the offseason to try to regain his old form as one of the top all-purpose backs in the league.
"Even for some of the people to say you lost a step, it’s different when you have an injury that controls things that you’re normally good at doing. I’ll make sure I’ll come back in the best shape, bigger, faster, stronger...to prove myself again that I’ll still be a premier running back in the NFL." (Baltimore Sun)|
FFToday's Take: Rice battled a strained left hip flexor earlier this season and currently has a quadriceps injury. The 25-year-old ranks is averaging 3.1 yards per carry, but the offensive line is also to blame for a large part of his ineffectiveness. Assuming the offseason is all that Rice needs to get healthy and the Ravens need to address the front five, Rice is likely to reward his owners in a big way next year.
|Rodgers cleared; will start in Week 17|
Returns after seven-game absence
By: Doug Orth | Dec 26 2013, 2:50 pm
|Packers HC Mike McCarthy: QB Aaron Rodgers has been cleared and will start against Chicago. (Tom Silverstein on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: While Rodgers' return comes about a week to a month too late for his fantasy owners, it comes at just the right time for the Packers as they face the Chicago Bears for the NFC North title. Rodgers is an elite quarterback and raises the fantasy floor for every Green Bay receiver, including Jordy Nelson and James Jones. Randall Cobb also got in a padded practice Thursday, suggesting he may see some snaps as well.
|Decker expected to be top FA priority|
One of 16 Broncos scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency
By: Doug Orth | Dec 26 2013, 2:35 pm
|Eric Decker figures to be the highest priority but also the most expensive to re-sign. The Broncos are built around Peyton Manning, and the quarterback's top two receivers in the past two seasons have been Decker and Demaryius Thomas, a free agent after the 2014 season.
Given the contracts of similar No. 2 receivers in the league, Decker can command a deal of least five years and $40 million, with at least $8 million in the first year. (Denver Post)|
FFToday's Take: Decker doesn't get near the credit he deserves in fantasy circles due to the fact he plays with Manning and Thomas, but he's going to get paid like a top receiver unless he settles for a "hometown discount" to remain in such a potent offense. Knowshon Moreno is one of the 16 and could easily end up being a cap casualty if the team decides to move forward with Montee Ball, C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman.
|Dez Bryant limited with back injury|
Not believed to be serious
By: Doug Orth | Dec 26 2013, 2:30 pm
|Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant injured his back in Wednesday's Christmas Day practice but team officials don't believe it's anything serious.
Bryant has dealt with back issues in the past. (ESPN Dallas)|
FFToday's Take: The Cowboys enter their Week 17 NFC East showdown against the Philadelphia Eagles with back injuries to their quarterback (Tony Romo) and top receiver (Bryant). In addition to the number of injuries it has suffered on defense, Dallas has little chance to put up much of a fight against the Eagles.
|Calvin Johnson sits Thursday|
Status for Week 17 uncertain
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 26 2013, 1:05 pm
|Calvin Johnson (knee), DeAndre Levy (foot), Bill Bentley (brain), LaAdrian Waddle (ankle), John Wendling (ankle), Chris Houston (toe) and Dylan Gandy did not practice for the Lions today. (Detroit Free Press)|
FFToday's Take: We probably won't know until later in the week whether or not Megatron will play Week 17 against the Vikings. It won't be a surprise if Johnson is inactive on Sunday.
|Rueben Randle misses practice Thu.|
Reason for absence coming later today
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 26 2013, 12:30 pm
|The Giants have already seen enough trouble plague their wide receiving corps this season. That unfortunate trend continued today when wide receiver Rueben Randle was a surprise absence from workouts. The team said an announcement, possibly injury-related, is coming soon. (NJ.com)|
FFToday's Take: No word yet as to why Randle missed practice. The Giants receiving corps has a plus matchup against the Redskins defense in Week 17.
|Jordan Cameron not cleared yet|
Browns TE still missing from practice
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 26 2013, 11:15 am
|Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) hasn't been cleared to practice yet. (Mary Kay Cabot via Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: It will be a surprise if Cameron is able to get clearance and play in the Browns season finale against the Steelers. Look elsewhere for your fantasy tight end in Week 17.
|Wes Welker returns to practice|
Status for Week 17 uncertain
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 25 2013, 1:10 pm
|The Broncos got three gifts on Christmas Day, in the form of Wes Welker's, Derek Wolfe's and Kayvon Webster's returns to practice. Welker, a receiver, hasn't practiced since he suffered a concussion in the team's Dec. 8 game against the Titans, and he's missed the past two games.
FFToday's Take: We won't get a decision on Welker's status for Week 17 until later in the week but it won't be a surprise if Welker sits out the finale. We should now more on Friday.
|Megatron, Pettigrew, Bell miss practice|
Lions could be without key personnel in Week 17
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 25 2013, 1:00 pm
|Wide receiver Calvin Johnson, tight end Brandon Pettigrew, running back Joique Bell and starting right tackle LaAdrian Waddle were among the nine players who did not take part in the Lions’ Christmas practice today. Johnson is battling knee and ankle injuries, and the Lions (7-8) are weighing whether to shut him down for the year. Pettigrew missed last week’s loss to the New York Giants with a high ankle sprain. (Detroit Free Press)|
FFToday's Take: The Lions placed Pettigrew on IR so he will miss Week 17, meaning Joseph Fauria will get the start at TE. Megatron has been battling a knee injury for some time now and he's no guarantee to play this week.
|Decision on Rodgers expected Thu.|
Yet to be cleared by doctors
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 24 2013, 1:00 pm
|Quarterback Aaron Rodgers said he underwent a scan this week and a decision would be made Thursday whether he will play Sunday against the Chicago Bears. Rodgers said his performance in practice has led him to believe he’s close to returning, but he reiterated what has been said before, that he has yet to be medically cleared because not enough healing has taken place in the collarbone.
(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)|
FFToday's Take: If Rodgers doesn't play, Matt Flynn will once again get the start in a game with the Bears to decide the NFC North and a playoff spot.
|Romo reportedly out for season|
By: Doug Orth | Dec 23 2013, 5:20 pm
|Tony Romo will miss the rest of the season because of a back injury, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter on Monday. A source told ESPN.com's Todd Archer that it's too early to tell if the injury will require surgery.
Romo said his back, which was sore going into Sunday's comeback victory over the Washington Redskins, began to bother him after a hit in the first half. Romo had surgery in April to remove a cyst from his back and did not take a snap until the team reached training camp in July. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Let the Romo ridicule begin again; the Cowboys face an uphill battle against the Eagles' offensive juggernaut without their starting quarterback. Romo had surgery on his back in the offseason to remove a cyst, but suggested this injury is in a different spot. Kyle Orton will get the start - the 70th of his career - but his first since the 2011 regular-season finale as a member of the Chiefs.
|Von Miller suffers torn right ACL|
LB faces 6-9 monh recovery timetable
By: Doug Orth | Dec 23 2013, 5:10 pm
|The Broncos have lost Von Miller for the season after tests Monday confirmed he suffered a torn ACL in his right knee.
"It's a blow," Broncos HC John Fox said Monday. "Much like losing a guy like (left tackle) Ryan Clady earlier in the season. But our guys will deal with it. Nate Irving filled in fairly early in the game (Sunday at Houston) and I thought did a very good job." (Denver Post)|
FFToday's Take: Miller suffered the injury in the first quarter of the Broncos' Week 16 victory over Houston on Sunday. He will have to wait a week or two for the swelling to go down, then undergo surgery. Recovery is 6-9 months, which means he won't be back until the start of training camp in late July at the earliest. As a result, he'll be in a race to make it back in time for the season opener of the 2014 season.
|Bears sticking with Cutler|
Sacked seven times in embarrassing Week 16 loss
By: Doug Orth | Dec 23 2013, 4:50 pm
|HC Marc Trestman extinguished the idea of the club re-installing Josh McCown as the starting quarterback in Week 17 when Trestman confirmed he is sticking with Jay Cutler for the Packers contest. Cutler did not have a great game in Philadelphia (73.8 quarterback rating), but the Bears had serious pass-protection issues. Cutler got drilled for much of the game. But even if Cutler had thrown four interceptions (he threw one, a pick-six), the Bears have made their decision. Cutler is the guy. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: It's impossible to deny what McCown did for the offense, but he's 34 and accomplished much of his production against the three of the worst pass defenses in the league (Green Bay, Minnesota and Dallas). As tired as some NFL fans get of hearing it, Cutler has elite arm talent and was thriving under Trestman before getting hurt. The Bears are making a smart choice by collecting all the information they can before making a possible $100 M decision on Cutler in the offseason.
|Carl Nicks could have nerve damage|
By: Doug Orth | Dec 23 2013, 4:40 pm
|Multiple sources have told FOX Sports in recent weeks that G Carl Nicks has seen several doctors and is planning to see a foot specialist soon to determine why he's experiencing symptoms similar to those he faced last year when he was placed on injured reserve with a toe injury. One of the sources said Nicks has been told he might be dealing with nerve damage that has affected the strength and sensation in his foot.
Sources say Nicks has received mixed messages on whether he will be able to resume his career. (Fox Sports)|
FFToday's Take: One of the sources said Nicks has been told his current issues are not related to the MRSA infection he contracted in the summer. Nicks returned to play two games in September but tests revealed his infection had returned - or perhaps never left his body. Nicks hasn't played since. Nicks is slated to earn $7 million in base salary in 2014, $6 million of which is guaranteed for injury only. His potential loss dims the long-term outlook for all of the Bucs' skill players.
|Peterson far from 100% in Week 16|
Hampered by foot and groin injuries
By: Doug Orth | Dec 23 2013, 4:25 pm
|Last Sunday, when HC Leslie Frazier told Adrian Peterson he wouldn't be playing against the Philadelphia Eagles, Peterson was livid. He tried to plead his case to play, told reporters that "the decision was taken out of my hands," and said he was "devastated" not to be on the field despite a sprained foot and strained groin. When Peterson got back on the field on Sunday, he looked tentative and unable to explode past defenders. He had carried just 11 times for 45 yards when Frazier made the decision after halftime to take Peterson out.
"My body is just not responding the way I want it to right now," Peterson said. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: For owners with Week 17 titles on the line, expect Matt Asiata and/or Joe Banyard to receive the bulk of the touches in the backfield. There's no benefit to Peterson playing and, quite frankly, the Vikings only stand to worsen their draft position (and decrease their chances of landing a top rookie quarterback prospect) by "trying to win". Minnesota is locked into a top-eight pick in May's NFL Draft.
|Megatron hampered by two injuries|
WR dealing with knee, ankle woes
By: Doug Orth | Dec 23 2013, 4:15 pm
|Calvin Johnson was reduced to a decoy and a bystander in Week 17. He was targeted four times, caught three of them for 43 yards. HC Jim Schwartz said that on top of the right knee issues he’s dealt with all season, he’s been hampered by an ankle injury the last two weeks. Schwartz was asked if he would shut Johnson down now that the Lions were out of the playoffs, and would Johnson need surgery?
“I don’t think he needs surgery,” Schwartz said. “He doesn’t have anything that’s surgical, at least at this point. His ankle was very sore and his knee remained sore." (Detroit News)|
FFToday's Take: Johnson wasn't targeted in the second half, so the offense essentially fell apart when Schwartz benched Reggie Bush. At this point, it doesn't make a lot of sense for Detroit to push Megatron for a meaningless Week 17 game. Schwartz is almost certain to be gone after the season, so it will be up to a new coaching staff to get this talented group of Lions back into the postseason.
|Bush benched after fumble|
Joique Bell does heavy lifting in Week 16
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 22 2013, 6:45 pm
|Reggie Bush, the Detroit Lions’ biggest free-agent acquisition of the off-season, found himself benched for the second time in six games Sunday because of recurring fumble problems that have left a black mark on the season. Bush lost his fourth fumble of the year in the first half of Sunday’s 23-20 overtime loss to the Giants and playing sparingly the rest of the game. (Detroit Free Press)|
FFToday's Take: Joique Bell carried the ball 20 times and had 10 receptions in Week 16 while bush rushed 12 times and caught 2 passes. Theo Riddick played in the second half while Bush watched from the sidelines. The Lions are in free-fall, having lost four of their last five games and have given away a golden opportunity to make the playoffs.
|Steve Smith injures knee|
Will have an MRI Monday
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 22 2013, 6:30 pm
|Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith will undergo an MRI on Monday for what he described as a sprained knee.
Smith suffered the injury in the first quarter of Sunday's 17-13 victory over the New Orleans Saints. Smith would not speculate on if he might be ready for next weekend's regular-season game at Atlanta, where the Panthers (11-4) can wrap up the NFC South title and a first-round playoff bye. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Domenik Hixon replaced Smith in the lineup and caught a TD pass late in the fourth quarter. Smith said he felt his knee pop which is never a good sign. He should be considered Questionable for Week 17 until we learn more details.