With the Hall of Fame ceremonies and game in the books, we can all look forward to the first full week of pre-season games beginning tomorrow. The news cycle is beginning to spin out of control and staying on top of the latest news will also help you stay on top of your league. Here’s the latest from the past few days of training camp action.
Cutler Comes Out of Retirement
After being linked almost immediately following the non-contact injury to QB Ryan Tannehill, the Dolphins and former Bears QB Jay Cutler made things official, agreeing to a one-year contract for $10 million. After some conflicting reports regarding Tannehill’s status, we finally learned his ACL is once again partially torn. While Tannehill has not been officially ruled out for the season, that is the expectation and he will likely require surgery to repair the injury. Considering the lofty annual salaries due to Tannehill over the next few years, the Dolphins could face a difficult decision regarding his long-term status with the team. Meanwhile, most analysts do not seem to view Cutler, who previously played under HC Adam Gase, as much of a downgrade. This worked out well for Miami, considering the circumstances.
Enunwa Lost for Season
Another AFC East player suffering a serious injury was Jets WR Quincy Enunwa, who is dealing with a bulging disc in his neck. While quite serious and coming with a long recovery period of up to nine months, the injury is not expected to be career-threatening for the wideout. After parting ways with both Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall this off-season, Enunwa was viewed as the favorite to be the team’s top receiver and a potential fantasy breakout player. The Jets will be left with a corps of Robby Anderson, ArDarius Stewart, Charone Peake and Chad Hansen. It will be a long year for the J-E-T-S.
Bills Ink Boldin
The Bills desperately need wide receiver help and veteran Anquan Boldin has been out of work since the Lions opted not to pursue him following the 2016 season. The pair finally connected this week as the Bills signed Boldin to a one-year, $2.75 million deal. Wide receiver has been a weak spot for the Bills in recent years and then they lost Robert Woods to the Rams via free agency. Boldin will compete for targets with rookie Zay Jones behind top receiver Sammy Watkins.
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Luck Rumors Continue to Swirl
There have been reports of Colts QB Andrew Luck potentially missing regular season action for a couple of weeks now, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter recently commented on the situation, giving even more credence to the suggestion. Luck is still recovering from off-season surgery and has reportedly been slow to recover. This remains a “wait and see” situation for fantasy players, but there would be a huge difference between a one or two game absence and Luck landing on the PUP list, which would cost him six games, at least. This will be a huge story to monitor over the next few weeks.
Cook Tops the Depth Chart in Minnesota
The Vikings got some good news early this week as former Raiders RB Latavius Murray was activated from the PUP list and is ready to practice. With Murray and Jerick McKinnon both missing practice time, rookie Dalvin Cook has enjoyed a quick ascension to the top of the depth chart, where he sits as of the team’s first official release. Even with Murray back, it would be a surprise if he overtakes Cook, who seems locked in for a committee role, at the very least.
As is often the case early in the pre-season, hamstring injuries have run rampant. Among the key players missing multiple practices with hammy issues are Rams WR Tavon Austin, Redskins WR Josh Doctson, Panthers rookie WR Curtis Samuel, Titans top five overall pick WR Corey Davis and 49ers rookie TE George Kittle. This is especially important to monitor for Doctson, who continues to deal with injuries early in his career and Samuel, who has missed almost every practice early in camp.
Landry in Trouble?
While there are still many details to learn in this story, it’s not a good look for Dolphins WR Jarvis Landry, who is being investigated for domestic battery resulting from a March incident. Landry’s ex-girlfriend has denied any domestic violence issues with the receiver and the NFL is seemingly not investigating at this time. There has been much talk this off-season about the team and Landry not working out a long-term contract as the season nears and this certainly won’t help his case.
Eagles WR Nelson Agholor continues to impress in training camp and the suggestion that he could push Jordan Matthews to the bench persist. After two quiet seasons, many have already given up on Agholor, but it might be time to begin believing in the former first-rounder out of Southern Cal. Matthews, on the other hand, has seemingly gotten worse each season of his career after once being viewed as a top 20 fantasy receiver.
With veterans Matt Forte and Bilal Powell missing practice reps due to injury, unheralded rookie Elijah McGuire out of Louisiana-Lafayette has earned some work with the first team. The veterans clearly remain the favorites for early-season work, but with the Jets destined for an early draft pick, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they decide to find out what they have in McGuire eventually.
Rams rookie WR Cooper Kupp is wasting no time in stating his case for playing time. The small-school star is already being listed as a starter for the Rams. Kupp, along with Austin and Robert Woods, are the team’s three starters on the initial depth chart. The Rams have several young receivers, but Kupp has already shown he might be the best of the bunch, being praised for his route running and being heavily praised by news Rams HC Sean McVay.
Many assumed the Broncos would eventually turn to last year’s first-round pick Paxton Lynch as their starter, but it seems that once again, Trevor Siemian is outplaying his highly-drafted teammate. The Broncos basically know what they’re getting with Siemian and there is little upside, which speaks to just how much Lynch has evidently struggled.
It’s a similar story in Houston, where veteran Tom Savage is reportedly outplaying the rookie Deshaun Watson and claiming his spot as the early season starter. This is not as surprising given Watson’s rookie status and the former Clemson star should still a chance to play at some point this season.