It's been a rough summer for Marvin Jones after he exploded onto the scene in 2013 to post a 51-712-10 line, finishing as fantasy's No. 21 receiver. He ended up injuring his ankle in a post-OTAs workout arranged by Andy Dalton and started training camp on the active/NFI list. Jones was activated from NFI on August 4 before breaking his foot five days later.
Jones is now expected to miss 6-8 weeks and could even be placed on I.R./designated for return. If the Bengals decide to go that route, Jones wouldn't be available to play until Week 9 at the earliest. NFL Network's Albert Breer reported Monday evening that Cincinnati's "hope" is that Jones can return to the lineup in Week 5, following the Week 4 bye. Foot fractures are one of the toughest injuries an NFL player can suffer. They tend to be prone to aggravations and setbacks.
Jones' outlook was already cloudy before the injury. Working in his favor was that he only played 48 percent of the offensive snaps last season, and was expected to see a dramatic increase entering his third year. However, going against Jones is that the Bengals replaced pass-happy OC Jay Gruden with run-minded Hue Jackson. Jones was a red-zone dominator in 2013, as evidenced by his ten touchdowns. The Bengals drafted RB Jeremy Hill to help improve in that area of the offense, so the touchdowns might not be as plentiful for Jones again. At the end of the day, Jones is a boom-or-bust WR3 who may not contribute until deep into the fantasy season. He's nothing more than a late-round lottery ticket in standard-sized re-draft leagues at this point. Tyler Eifert could be a player who benefits from Jones' injury and become a key part of the offense when it gets close to the goal line.
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News Nugget #1
After RB Andre Brown didn't play a single offensive snap in the Texans' preseason opener over the weekend, something seemed fishy. And the Texans proved it by releasing the veteran on Monday. GM Rick Smith also parted ways with RBs Dennis Johnson and Tim Cornett in an effort to shake up the depth chart. The Texans replaced them by signing veteran Ronnie Brown and youngster William Powell. Neither is worth paying attention to in fantasy.
Jonathan Grimes receives the biggest boost in the Houston backfield. He started the preseason opener in place of an injured Arian Foster and picked up 39 yards on ten carries. Grimes is now in the driver's seat for No. 2 duties, ahead of rookie Alfred Blue. The 24-year-old has good size at 5'10/207 and ran a 4.47 forty to go with a 38-inch vertical and 10-foot-5 broad jump at William & Mary's Pro Day in the spring of 2012. As the backup to an injury-prone soon-to-be 28-year-old Foster in what will likely be an offense that leans on its run game, Grimes is worth late-round consideration in re-draft leagues and needs to be rostered in Dynasty.
News Nugget #2
Ryan Tannehill had as impressive a preseason opener as the Dolphins could have imagined, completing all six of his passes for 62 yards and a touchdown. He marched the first-team offense right down the field on its opening drive against the Falcons. It's a small sample. And it was against one of the worst defenses in the league, but it's awfully encouraging at the same time.
Over the past two days, new Dolphins OC Bill Lazor admitted that he's been coaching Tannehill especially hard in camp, while Tannehill credits Lazor for helping him improve his footwork. Footwork is the key to everything as a quarterback. Tannehill is getting the ball out faster and has seen his velocity spike. The stage is set for a potential breakout season. 26-year-old Tannehill has plenty of weapons and an improved offensive line. Not to mention, Lazor's creativity should be leaps and bounds ahead of ex-playcaller Mike Sherman. Tannehill, a former college receiver, is also expected to use his legs more this season. He's a high-upside QB2.
News Nugget #3
A couple youngsters drew remarks from coach Ken Whisenhunt in the aftermath of Saturday's preseason opener. Namely rookie Bishop Sankey and second-year WR Justin Hunter. Sankey was mentioned as a player who stood out in the exhibition tilt, while Hunter was called out by Whisenhunt in a team meeting for not finishing one of his routes. Sankey compiled 75 yards on 13 touches against the Packers, as he worked with the second- and third-team offenses. He's expected to graduate to the first team this week and should eventually become the lead back in what will likely be a RBBC in Tennessee. Sankey is going to cede goal-line work to Shonn Greene. We still like him as a re-draft RB2. Hunter, following his questionable effort, was forced to don a practice jersey that featured "JAG" instead of "Hunter" on his nameplate. "JAG" stands for "Just Another Guy" and is obviously not something you want to be called in the NFL. WRs coach Shawn Jefferson has been all over Hunter because he knows the sophomore can be great. He just needs to put in the effort. There's monster upside here with Hunter. He's been dubbed the "Alshon Jeffery of 2014" by our very own Mike Clay.
Depth Chart Quick Slants
Curtis Painter is getting more reps with the Giants' second-team offense at the expense of second-year QB Ryan Nassib. … Jaguars rookie RB Storm Johnson has a "legitimate chance" to overtake Jordan Todman as Toby Gerhart's backup. … Brian Hoyer opened practice with the starters on Monday. … Kenjon Barner's roster spot is in jeopardy in Carolina. … Zach Sudfeld has been more reliable than rookie Jac Amaro at Jets camp and appears to have the inside track on the "move" job. … Richard Rodgers, Andrew Quarless, and Brandon Bostick will continue to split reps with the Packers' first-team offense. … Matt Cassel will start the Vikings' second preseason game.
Injury Quick Slants
Steven Jackson participated in agility drills on Monday for the first time since injuring his hamstring on July 28. … Jordy Nelson is day-to-day with a hamstring injury. … Drew Brees (oblique) is unlikely to play in the second preseason game. There's nothing to worry about here. … Odell Beckham (hamstring) returned to practice Monday. … Brandon Gibson (knee) is progressing well and continues to look healthier as the days go by in Dolphins camp. … Rob Gronkowski (knee) took part in 7-on-7 drills for the first time Monday. Aaron Dobson (foot) was on the field for the first time. … Theo Riddick (abdomen) returned to practice. … Chris Polk is battling a hamstring injury. … Jordan Cameron says he has a sprained AC joint in his shoulder. … DeSean Jackson (ankle) was back at practice.