Jason Garrett Fired, Other Tuesday Notes
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Happy Thanksgiving week! Tuesday usually isn’t the most eventful day of the week for football purposes, but we actually got a healthy dose of news yesterday with three games on Thursday. Let’s get right into it.
Giants Fire OC Jason Garrett
The Giants wasted no time firing OC Jason Garrett after a disastrous offensive performance on Monday Night Football against Tampa Bay. Over the past two seasons, the Giants rank last in the league in offensive touchdowns and third to last in points per possession.
Freddie Kitchens will fill in as interim offensive coordinator in the meantime. It’s good news for all Giants offensive players that Garrett is gone, but that doesn’t mean this offense will suddenly break out under Kitchens (obviously). This entire administration – starting with general manager Dave Gettleman and head coach Joe Judge at the top – is poisonous, and you shouldn’t expect competent decisions out of New York for the time being.
Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram DNP on Tuesday
The Saints will play the Bills on Thanksgiving night, and it looks like New Orleans could be without their top-two running backs. That would leave Tony Jones as the RB1 by default against a strong Bills defense. Jones got injured in Week 4 and finally returned in Week 11, rushing the ball three times for two yards against Philadelphia. Kamara’s and Ingram’s practice reports will need to be monitored in the coming days, but Jones could be a fantasy-viable option if both players are out. The Saints were hesitant to give the ball to Dwayne Washington at all when Jones went down earlier this season, and that ultimately led to them getting Ingram back from the Texans. Washington could factor in on passing downs, but expect Jones to handle the bulk of the workload if Kamara and Ingram are inactive.
Andy Dalton Will Start on Thanksgiving
Justin Fields suffered a rib injury in the Bears’ Week 11 loss to the Ravens that is expected to sideline him for a little bit. That means Andy Dalton will start for Chicago on Thanksgiving against the Lions. The Bears’ offense has been tragic this season regardless of who’s under center. The Red Rifle actually played solidly against Baltimore, turning 23 pass attempts into 201 yards (8.7 yards per attempt) and a pair of passing touchdowns, although he only completed 11 passes.
Jared Goff Likely to Start vs. Bears
Maybe you can sleep in on Thanksgiving? Or maybe schedule your Turkey Bowl game for 11:30 on Thursday morning? Dalton vs. Jared Goff isn’t exactly the type of riveting matchup that gets fans nationwide to tune in, but it looks like that’s what we’re going to have tomorrow. Tim Boyle couldn’t get anything going against the Browns, so this is actually great news for the Lions, even if Goff hasn’t been stellar this season. Boyle’s path to the NFL is widely known at this point, but it’s worth reiterating: The guy averaged fewer than five yards per attempt as a three-year backup at UConn, and then transferred to FCS Eastern Kentucky and posted meager numbers before going undrafted. It’s an upset he’s in the league – and likely a testament to his mind for the game, which is why he stuck around with the Packers for so long – and even more miraculous that he actually started. Predictably, it didn’t go well, as he completed 15-of-23 passes for 77 yards and two interceptions.
Eric Ebron to Miss “Extended Time”
John Daigle pointed out that second-round rookie tight end Pat Freiermuth has run a route on 54.2% of Steelers dropbacks in three games with Ebron since Week 6 when JuJu Smith-Schuster got injured. In two games without Ebron, he has run a route on 70.8% of dropbacks and commanded a 20.2% target share. This entrenches the Penn State product as a top-12 option as long as Ebron is out. It sounds like Ebron could be out for a while, so Freiermuth could be one of the best waiver wire pickups of the year if the aging vet is out through the fantasy playoffs.
Texans Waive Phillip Lindsay
Lindsay barely played in Week 11 as David Johnson and Rex Burkhead handled the majority of snaps. Burkhead had 18 carries on 27 snaps, while Johnson had 13 carries and played 35 snaps. Johnson also ran 17 routes on 29 Tyrod Taylor dropbacks. With Mark Ingram in New Orleans and Scottie Phillips on injured reserve, this looks like a two-player backfield all of a sudden. Burkhead won’t be dependable as an early-down grinder on a team as bad as the Texans, but Johnson could carve out a fantasy-viable role as a guy who gets some carries and gets all of the pass-catching work.
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Zach Wilson Will Start in Week 12
Zach Wilson will start in Week 12, his first game action since suffering a knee injury in Week 7. On a related note, Mike White and Joe Flacco have been played on the reserve/COVID-19 list for the Jets. Last week, Jets coach Robert Saleh said that “it’s more of a confidence thing” than anything with Wilson, so Gang Green fans must hope that he has his swagger back after missing the past four games. The Jets’ offense has performed significantly better with White (and Flacco) under center this season, so we’ll see whether Wilson can keep it going now that he’s had a few weeks off.
Titans Cut Adrian Peterson
D’Onta Foreman and Adrian Peterson have been splitting early-down snaps in Derrick Henry‘s absence over the past few weeks, but the Titans moved on from the latter on Tuesday afternoon. That leaves them with just Foreman, Jeremy McNichols (who missed Week 11 with a concussion), and Dontrell Hilliard (who filled the pass-catching McNichols role last week) in the running back room. Tennessee could look to add someone; this could be a landing spot for Lindsay after he was cut by the Texans on Tuesday. This is a situation worth monitoring to see who they add (if they do indeed add someone). Foreman is the lone early-down grinder on the roster at the moment.