49ers

Ex-Stanford QB Andrew Luck shockingly retires from NFL, cites injuries

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AP

Ex-Stanford QB Andrew Luck shockingly retires from NFL, cites injuries

Andrew Luck dropped a bombshell on the NFL just two weeks before the 2019 NFL season starts.

During the Colts' Saturday night preseason game against the Chicago Bears, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported, citing a source, that the former Stanford quarterback had informed the team he was retiring.

Luck confirmed the stunning news after the game.

"This is not an easy decision," the 29-year-old signal-caller told reporters during a press conference. "Honestly, this is the hardest decision of my life, but it is the right decision for me."

Luck, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, had been dealing with a calf strain, and had yet to play this preseason. He played in just seven games in 2015, and missed the entire 2017 season with injuries.

"For the last four years or so, I've been in the cycle of injury, pain, rehab, injury, pain, rehab, and it's been unceasing and unrelenting, both in-season and [during the] offseason," Luck said. "And I felt stuck in it, and the only way I see out is to no longer play football. It's taken my joy of this game away."

Luck admitted that his decision to retire was made a little while ago.

After a promising start to his career, the four-time Pro Bowl selection walks away with 23,671 passing yards and 171 touchdown passes in seven seasons.

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was one of the first NFL players to react to the stunning news.

For the moment, Jacoby Brissett will assume starting quarterback duties for the Colts. But keep an eye out for trade talks between them and the San Francisco 49ers.

If the Colts aren't convinced Brissett is their guy, they could approach the 49ers about either Nick Mullens or C.J. Beathard, as NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco pointed out.

However, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan tried to end that thought process after Saturday’s preseason win in Kansas City.

As for Luck, it's a stunning turn of events for a quarterback who entered the NFL as one of the most heralded players in recent memory.

49ers fans loudly, proudly take over LA Coliseum during win over Rams

49ers fans loudly, proudly take over LA Coliseum during win over Rams

Did the 49ers and Rams play in Santa Clara or Los Angeles on Sunday?

It was hard to tell, based on how loud 49ers fans were at LA Memorial Coliseum.

The Faithful flocked to sunny southern California for the NFC West showdown, and they made their presence known during San Francisco's 20-7 win over the defending conference champs. So much so that they caught many 49ers players' attention.

After the game, a few players took to social media to thank 49ers fans for taking over the Rams' home.

Even 49ers general manager John Lynch had to acknowledge the atmosphere the fans created in LA.

49ers fans have good reason to be hyped. Their team is 5-0 for the first time since 1990, and is one of two remaining undefeated teams in the NFL (Patriots).

The 49ers were expected to be better than they were last year, but no one could have predicted a start to the season like this.

[RELATED: Grading the 49ers in their road win over Rams]

Now, as NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco writes, it's reasonable to believe the 49ers are among the NFL's elite teams.

The next task for 49ers fans is to take over FedEx Field in Landover, Md., next Sunday.

Fantasy football waiver wire: Four non-QBs you should target in Week 7

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AP

Fantasy football waiver wire: Four non-QBs you should target in Week 7

We're almost at the halfway point of the fantasy football season.

Week 6 has come and gone (well, all but Packers-Lions on Monday night), and the pressure increases with each additional week that passes. You only have so much time to make up however much ground in your league's standings.

The Browns, Steelers, Buccaneers and Panthers all are on byes in Week 7, meaning several fantasy studs will be unusable. With that in mind, here are four non-quarterbacks to consider for waiver claims Tuesday morning, all of whom could play a major role down the backstretch of the fantasy season and are owned in fewer than 15 percent of Yahoo and ESPN fantasy leagues.

Mark Walton, Miami Dolphins RB

3 percent owned in Yahoo leagues, 1 percent owned in ESPN

The Dolphins are terrible, make no mistake. They have the third-worst defensive DVOA after five games of any NFL team dating to 1986, and they might be even worse on the offensive side of the ball. Of the other 31 NFL teams, the Jets are the only one that hasn't scored more than twice as many as Miami's 42 points on the season.

Still, though, they're an NFL team (barely) and they have (some) NFL athletes. They came a two-point conversion away from earning their first win of the season Sunday, and running back Mark Walton was a big reason why.

Walton got the start against Washington, and both his six carries and 32 rushing yards ranked second on the team behind Kenyan Drake. Walton also was very active in the passing game, catching five of his six targets for 43 receiving yards.

There aren't many usable fantasy players on the Dolphins, but Walton should get more opportunities as the season wears on.

Benny Snell Jr., Pittsburgh Steelers RB

2 percent owned in Yahoo leagues, 2 percent owned in ESPN

Snell would be the top waiver pickup if the Steelers weren't heading into their bye week.

A fourth-round draft pick in 2019, Snell had a breakthrough performance in Pittsburgh's surprise win over the Chargers on Sunday night, in which he rushed 17 times for 75 yards and caught one pass for another 14 yards.

Snell was more involved later in the game when James Connor was sidelined with a quad injury at the end of the third quarter. With Jaylen Samuels already ruled out for multiple weeks, Snell would be in line for a major role next week -- if Pittsburgh had a game.

Of course, the Steelers face the lowly Dolphins following the bye, so Snell potentially could be a great start that week, depending on Connor and Samuels' health.

Jacobi Meyers, New England Patriots WR

1 percent owned in Yahoo leagues, 1 percent owned in ESPN

At this rate, the only thing that might stop the Patriots is their health.

[RELATED: Why it's time to recognize 5-0 49ers as an elite NFL team]

Phillip Dorsett missed the Week 6 win over the Giants with a hamstring injury, and fellow wide receiver Josh Gordon left it with a knee injury and did not return. Jacobi Myers came on in his place, and the undrafted rookie displayed a good connection with quarterback Tom Brady, catching all four of his targets for 54 yards.

If Gordon and/or Dorsett misses Week 7, Meyers likely would be involved in every three-receiver set, and possible every two-wide set. That's someone you want on your fantasy squad.

Darren Fells, Houston Texans TE

3 percent owned in Yahoo leagues, 2 percent owned in ESPN

Chances are, your tight end has had a worse two weeks than Darren Fells.

After catching both of his targets for touchdowns against the Falcons in Week 5, Fells was more involved in the Texans' offense in Week 6, even if he didn't find the end zone. Fells caught six of his seven targets for 69 yards in Sunday's win over the Chiefs, a very respectable effort regardless of your scoring system, given his position.

With Will Dissly leaving the Seahawks' Week 6 game with a non-contact leg injury, the already-shallow usable tight end pool has become even more so. Fells isn't going to put up big numbers every week, but at this point, he's proven to be a better bet than most other widely available options.