Deshaun Watson

NFL Notes: Texans' Deshaun Watson out for season with ACL tear

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NFL Notes: Texans' Deshaun Watson out for season with ACL tear

HOUSTON -- Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson sustained a season-ending knee injury in practice on Thursday, two people familiar with the situation told The Associated Press.

The rookie suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in one of his knees and will go on the injured reserve. The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because the team hadn't announced the injury.

His injury is the latest blow to a team that lost three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt and linebacker Whitney Mercilus to season-ending injuries on Oct. 8.

Watson had been a relative bright spot in challenging season for the Texans (3-4). The 12th overall pick in this year's draft was named AFC offensive player of the month after throwing for 1,171 yards with 16 touchdowns and running for 145 yards and another score (see full story).

Colts: Andrew Luck goes on injured reserve
INDIANAPOLIS -- Andrew Luck will spend a second offseason recovering from shoulder surgery.

The Indianapolis Colts put Luck on injured reserve Thursday, marking the end of his season and the beginning of a different rehab program that team officials believe will get their star quarterback on the field next fall.

Colts general manager Chris Ballard made the announcement during a surprise news conference at the team complex.

"I've heard all sorts of rumors about career-ending," Ballard said. "That's not the case here. I've not got that from one doctor. Career-ending is putting him out on the field before he's ready to play. That's where you should be concerned."

Indianapolis (2-6) never did rush Luck (see full story).

Cowboys: NFL says Elliott appeal has no chance of success
NEW YORK -- Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has no chance with his latest attempt to delay a six-game suspension for alleged domestic violence, NFL lawyers said Thursday.

The attorneys told the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan that it should not interfere with Elliott beginning his suspension Sunday when the Cowboys play Kansas City at home because the NFL Players Association "has no likelihood of success on appeal."

The union has asked the court to block the start of the suspension until it considers its request to overturn a lower-court ruling on the grounds that Elliott's career will be irreparably harmed if his suspension begins now.

The league said in a written submission that the public, including NFL fans and victims of abuse, have a "strong interest" in seeing that penalties stemming from domestic abuse by NFL players are promptly investigated and that discipline is imposed in a timely manner (see full story).

Buccaneers: Winston believes injured shoulder improving
TAMPA, Fla. -- Jameis Winston says his injured throwing shoulder is getting better.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback practiced again Thursday, throwing for the second straight day in preparation to face the New Orleans Saints.

This is the first time Winston has thrown early in the week since spraining the AC joint in his right shoulder on Oct. 15.

The past two weeks, he's refrained from participating in passing drills on Wednesday and Thursday before taking all of the snaps with the first-team offense on Friday.

"I'm just following the plan," Winston said. "It feels good to be back out there with the guys in a practice atmosphere, and hopefully it translates to the game."

Eagles' Super Bowl odds reach season high but still not the favorite

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Eagles' Super Bowl odds reach season high but still not the favorite

After the Eagles won their sixth straight game Sunday with a 33-10 drubbing of the 49ers and added running back Jay Ajayi before Tuesday's trade deadline, the Birds' Super Bowl odds have hit a season high.

In Bovada's latest odds, which were released Wednesday, the Eagles now have a 6/1 shot to make the Super Bowl, shortened from 7/1 last week. However, the Eagles are still behind the Patriots (7/2) for the top odds in the NFL and are followed closely by the Steelers (7/1), Chiefs (15/2) and Seahawks (10/1).

The Eagles are the front-runner to win the NFC with 5/2 odds and are heavily favored to win the NFC East at 1/10. The Cowboys' divisional odds shortened to 5/1 after their 33-19 victory Sunday over the Redskins, which caused Washington's NFC East odds to drop to 25/1.

Carson Wentz's MVP odds continue to climb as well. After another solid performance Sunday. Bovada now has him just behind Tom Brady (2/1) with a 21/10 shot to win the coveted award. 

Wentz is third in the NFL in passing yards with 2,063, behind just Brady and Alex Smith, and is tied with Deshaun Watson for the league lead in touchdowns at 19.

Fantasy football: Plenty of waiver wire options after an injury-filled Sunday

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Fantasy football: Plenty of waiver wire options after an injury-filled Sunday

This was an awful, awful week for injuries around the NFL.

In fact, in the NBC Sports Philadelphia fantasy football league, my 3-0 team went up against John Boruk's 3-0 team and poor Boruk lost Derek Carr, Julio Jones, Dalvin Cook and Davante Adams in the same week. (That's not how I wanted to win, JB!)

If you had Cook, you're going through the miserable realization now that you lost your most exciting player. He was the NFC version of Kareem Hunt, breaking big play after big play and factoring heavily into the passing game. 

His backup, Latavius Murray, is this week's top waiver-wire pickup, but expectations should be tempered.

RB Latavius Murray (Vikings)
Murray carried the ball seven times after Cook left Sunday's game with a torn ACL. Murray offers none of the total yards or passing-game upside Cook does, but he has proven to be a solid goal-line back.

Last season, Murray had 1,052 yards from scrimmage and 12 touchdowns in 14 games. Solid RB2 numbers. But that was in a much more prolific offense with more weapons and a better offensive line. This is a wholly different situation.

Still, based on volume alone, Murray is the unquestioned top pickup this week. He seems like a safe bet for 15 to 20 touches per game moving forward, but his upside will be similar to LeGarrette Blount's or Mike Gillislee's.

If you're in a league in which you spend free-agent auction bucks on the waiver wire, Murray is worth a sizable sum — I'd say 30 to 35 percent of your season-opening total.

Side note: You're not going to confidently start Jerick McKinnon, ever, so you might as well let him linger in free agency.

RB Eddie Lacy (Seahawks)
Lacy got a bulk of the work for Seattle after standout rookie Chris Carson was carted off with a leg fracture Sunday night.

The thing is, Thomas Rawls and C.J. Prosise were both inactive, so Lacy's workload may not be a sign of things to come. 

This Seattle running situation will be too tough to predict on a weekly basis, so I would not advise breaking the bank for Lacy. 

QB DeShaun Watson (Texans)
Three starting-caliber fantasy QBs are on bye in Week 5: Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Kirk Cousins. Add Marcus Mariota (hamstring injury) and that's four top QBs who could be off the board next week.

Enter DeShaun Watson, who has in the span of three weeks become the franchise cornerstone for the Texans.

The last two weeks against the Patriots and Titans, Watson went 47 for 67 (70.2 percent) for 584 yards with six TDs and three interceptions, also adding 65 rushing yards and a rushing TD.

Watson looks like a slightly better fantasy version of Tyrod Taylor and is worth picking up in all leagues. He does have a tough Week 5 matchup against the Chiefs, but it's at home and the Chiefs will be on a short week. 

I'd rather start Watson in Week 5 than Taylor, Alex Smith, Matthew Stafford, Jared Goff or Blake Bortles. Maybe over Eli Manning (at Chargers), too.

WR Jaron Brown (Cardinals)
It's always confusing with the Cardinals' receivers because there's John Brown and Jaron Brown, so if you go scanning the waiver wire, make sure you've selected the right J. Brown.

Carson Palmer has targeted Jaron Brown a whopping 29 times the last three weeks and Brown has turned it into 14 catches for 205 yards and a TD. 

This Sunday, he draws the Eagles' average secondary, which was just victimized by Keenan Allen and Tyrell Williams in L.A.

Larry Fitzgerald will always get his in Arizona's offense, but Palmer is utilizing Jaron Brown a lot with the running game nonexistent and John Brown and J.J. Nelson playing at less than 100 percent.

TE Cameron Brate (Buccanneers)
Somehow, Brate is available in 50 percent of Yahoo! leagues despite the thinness of the tight end position. 

Brate on Sunday scored for the second straight week, catching four balls for 80 yards. Over the last two games, he has eight catches for 113 yards and two TDs. 

Rookie tight end O.J. Howard also scored a long TD for the Bucs in Week 4 and that will likely take attention away from Brate. If you need a tight end, Brate is a pretty safe option.

He has a solid matchup Thursday night against the Patriots, who have been horrendous on defense and allowed 300-plus passing yards and multiple TDs to every QB they've faced in 2017.

RB Aaron Jones (Packers)
Packers head coach Mike McCarthy indicated that starting running back Ty Montgomery (ribs) could play in Week 5 with the long layoff. 

Whether or not he plays, I wouldn't advise going hard after Jones. Yes, he scored a touchdown in relief of Montgomery and Jamaal Williams in Week 4, but he's a pretty small back (5-9/208). There's little reason to think he would hold up with a Montgomery-like workload, and this seems more like a situation in which the Packers would add a running back off the street before giving Jones 20-plus touches.

Defenses to stream in Week 5
• The Ravens travel to Oakland to face the Raiders, who are without Carr for 2 to 6 weeks as he recovers from a back injury. That means the Ravens' defense will be facing E.J. Manuel. 

Given the Oakland QB situation, the Michael Crabtree chest injury, Amari Cooper's invisibility and the fact that Marshawn Lynch has rushed 15 times for 30 yards the last two weeks, this is a good bounce-back matchup for the Baltimore D/ST. 

• Would you have been able to find one person on Earth who'd guess the Jets would be ahead of the Patriots in the AFC East standings four weeks in? The Jets' defense really isn't that bad, and this Sunday they get the hapless, turnover-prone Browns.