The Raiders fired head coach Dennis Allen late Monday night. On Tuesday, they held a press conference where owner Mark Davis and GM Reggie McKenzie announced that McKenzie made the call to fire Allen and Davis agreed with it. The two also announced that OL coach Tony Sparano will be the interim head coach. Sparano was the head coach of the Dolphins from 2008-2011, amassing a 29-31 record before getting canned 13 games into the 2011 campaign. After announcing Sparano as the interim coach, all three men agreed that the roster in Oakland isn't/wasn't the problem. That's laughable, but whatever helps them sleep at night. The Raiders are an old, worn-down squad running on empty, with a mix of young players that has yet to do much of anything at the NFL level.
Davis said after naming Sparano the for-now head coach that Sparano has a chance to earn the permanent job. We don't buy it, but crazier things have happened. But the big news surrounding the Raiders on Tuesday was when Davis mentioned that he'll likely reach out to ex-Raiders head coach and current ESPN Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden. Davis and Gruden remain friends, and Gruden reportedly "really likes" Derek Carr as a potential franchise quarterback. Gruden would likely want control of the roster in a czar-like role and a boat load of cash. And Davis might be the guy that will give it to him. The Raiders have months to figure this thing out, and there will undoubtedly be plenty of twists and turns, but we're already off to a fun start. There's speculation that if Gruden doesn't want the job, Jim Harbaugh would be Davis' next phone call. Whoever ends up getting the gig, it will likely be a big name. That would almost certainly force McKenzie out the door, which would be a major victory. I think most of us can agree that the NFL is a better place with the Raiders being competitive.
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In Other News…
After sitting out Monday's practice, Teddy Bridgewater (ankle) remained sidelined on Tuesday. The Vikings "hope" he'll get some reps in on Wednesday ahead of Thursday night's game against the Packers at Lambeau Field. He's likely going to be a full-blown game-time decision, and at less than 100 percent on a short week, we're staying away from Bridgewater in fantasy. Minnesota may be forced to start Christian Ponder.
Patriots WR Brian Tyms was reinstated from suspension on Tuesday. The preseason stud, who posted an 11-188-2 line and graded out as Pro Football Focus' No. 1 overall receiver during the summer, is a name to monitor. Tom Brady is desperate for a downfield, outside-the-numbers threat at receiver. With Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins not good enough in the Patriots' eyes to even be active in Week 4, Tyms may be the next man up.
Marvin Jones broke his foot in training camp and has been sidelined ever since. With the Bengals coming out of their Week 4 bye, Jones is expected to make his season debut this week against the Patriots. He appeared in just one practice throughout the offseason, so Jones may be eased back into action, especially with Mohamed Sanu playing so week and the Bengals firing on all cylinders at 3-0. As Jones showed last year, he can stretch the field and dominate in the red zone.
Ben Tate (knee) returned to practice Tuesday after getting hurt in the season opener. He's expected to lead the Browns' backfield this week against the Titans in a plus matchup. OC Kyle Shanahan is a fan of using one back, so we'd expect Tate to get the bulk of the carries moving forward, but it may be in the best interest of both player and coach to continue to use Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell in the change-up roles. Tate has high-end RB2 potential.
Quarterback & Running Back Slants
Carson Palmer says the nerve issue in his shoulder hasn't progressed as much as he and team had hoped it would over the course of the past week. … Blake Bortles attempted just three passes more than 15 yards downfield in his first NFL start. Look for OC Jedd Fisch to let Bortles loose more this week. … Jerick McKinnon (ankle) remained limited in Tuesday's practice. … Coach Mike Zimmer confirmed Matt Asiata is the Vikings' starting running back. … Donald Brown admitted he needs to play better. … The Chiefs sent Joe McKnight to I.R. with a torn Achilles'. … Lions placed RB/FB Montell Owens (hamstring) on I.R. Detroit signed RB George Winn off its practice squad. … The Dolphins signed LaMichael James. … Jamaal Charles escaped Week 4 without any setbacks. … Cam Newton -- thanks to injuries -- has yet to be "unleashed" this season. … The Patriots remain committed to Tom Brady.
Wide Receiver & Tight End Slants
The Giants released Marion Manningham with an injury settlement. He hasn't been the same since wrecking his knee. … Eagles rookie WR Josh Huff (shoulder) says he's healthy. … Jarrett Boykin (knee, groin) missed Tuesday's practice. … Jordan Cameron says he's healthy, but admits his sprained AC joint is going to be a season-long issue. … Donnie Avery has an abductor strain in his hip. He'll likely miss Week 5. … Jordan Reed (hamstring) returned to a limited practice Tuesday. Niles Paul remains in the league's concussion protocol. … Eric Decker (hamstring) feels better than he did at this time last week. He's a weekly WR2. … Luke Willson will start while Zach Miller (ankle) is sidelined. Willson is an athletic pass catcher at 6'5/251. Basically the opposite of plodding Miller.