Spencer Ware missed Week 9 after suffering a concussion in Week 8. He remained in the league’s protocol on Monday, but on Tuesday, coach Andy Reid said there’s a “good chance” Ware will be ready to play Week 10 against the Panthers. Predicting players passing through the protocol is a waste of time, though it’s notable Reid did sound much more optimistic about Ware. We’ll have a better idea of Ware’s availability come Wednesday afternoon or Thursday. Charcandrick West was a massive disappointment in last week’s spot start against the Jaguars, rushing for just 39 yards.
At Tuesday’s practice, Carlos Hyde (shoulder) continued to wear a non-contact jersey. It’s certainly concerning that he’s yet to be cleared for contact, but it’s still very early in the week. Hyde is said to be dealing with a sprained AC joint, which is typically a multi-week injury. He was hurt in Week 7. DuJuan Harris played well in a Week 9 spot start against the Saints, totaling 142 yards and a touchdown on 16 touches. He dominated the snaps, playing 88.3 percent of them as the clear lead back. It’s possible the 49ers will play it safe with injury-prone Hyde and give Harris another start in a much tougher spot at Arizona. Harris would be nothing more than a low-end RB2.
The Bucs have been unable to keep running backs healthy through two-plus months. Over the week, coach Dirk Koetter said he was “hopeful” Doug Martin (hamstring) would be able to play Week 10 against the Bears, but he’s yet to practice this week. Jacquizz Rodgers (foot) remained in a walking boot Tuesday, and is said to be a “long shot” for Sunday. Antone Smith (knee) and Charles Sims (knee) have already been placed on I.R. It’s looking like it could be Peyton Barber leading this backfield against Chicago. If so, Barber would be a candidate for 20-plus carries.
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In Other News…
Tim Hightower out-snapped Mark Ingram (36-33) and out-touched him (24-17) in the Saints’ Week 9 win over the 49ers. Ingram finished as fantasy’s RB3 with Hightower checking in as RB8. Both backs had big days in the easiest spot a running back could face, teeing off on San Francisco’s nonexistent run defense. With both backs performing well in a timeshare, ESPN Saints reporter Mike Triplett expects coach Sean Payton to continue to split the load Week 10 against the Broncos. Denver’s run defense was gashed by Latavius Murray for three touchdowns this past Sunday night and has allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to running backs this season. Playing at home on the fast Superdome turf, both Hightower and Ingram will be on the RB2 map this week.
Ryan Fitzpatrick suffered a sprained MCL in the Week 9 loss to the Dolphins. He briefly left the game, but ultimately returned to finish it off. ESPN’s Ed Werder reports Fitzpatrick is expected to play Week 10 against the Rams. Bryce Petty will draw the start if Fitzpatrick can’t play, but ultimately it looks like FitzMagic will be able to give it a go. Petty Time will be come sometime before Week 17.
Speaking Tuesday, owner Jerry Jones said the Cowboys will continue to play the quarterback situation “by ear.” He admitted the team will “probably never have this totally sorted out,” which likely means it will continue to be a week-to-week thing. Reality is Dak Prescott has played too well to be sent to the bench. His leash is longer than some of the media is letting on. He should be considered the heavy favorite to start the remainder of the season. Tony Romo may never play another snap for Dallas. The Cowboys are moving forward with building blocks Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott.
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Quarterback & Running Back Slants
Free agent Isaiah Pead worked out for the Chiefs on Tuesday. … Coach Hue Jackson said he wants Cody Kessler to attempt more deep passes. … Viking activated No. 3 QB Taylor Heinicke (foot) from the reserve/NFI list. … Coach Mike Tomlin admitted Ben Roethlisberger (knee) isn’t 100 percent. … Coach Pete Carroll confirmed Thomas Rawls (fibula) will not play Week 10. … C.J. Prosise out-snapped Christine Michael 26-18 in Monday night’s win over the Bills. Michael has averaged just 3.2 YPC over his last five games. … Kenneth Dixon (chest) is practicing in full this week.
Wide Receiver & Tight End Slants
Chargers signed WR Geremy Davis off the Giants’ practice squad. … Terrelle Pryor (hamstring) remained limited on Tuesday. He should be fine for Thursday night. … Coach Hue Jackson said he expects Corey Coleman to be much better in his second game back from a broken hand. … Victor Cruz, dealing with a low-ankle sprain, is only expected to miss one game at the very most. … Vikings waived TE MyCole Pruitt. … Lions activated WR Corey Fuller (foot) from the reserve/PUP list. … Larry Fitzgerald (ankle) did not practice Tuesday. … 49ers waived WR Keshawn Martin. … Coach Mike Tomlin said Ladarius Green (ankle, PUP) will have a chance to play Week 10. … Darrius Heyward-Bey has been diagnosed with a sprained foot.