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Volume 19, #127 -- Sunday Night, August 27th, 2017

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Hi Folks,

Good Monday to you. It's been a wild weekend with injuries and news as we head down the preseason final stretch. September 7 is right around the corner and we can't wait. Let's get to it.

J

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Our Dr. Jene Bramel with updates on Spencer Ware, Odell Beckham, Andrew Luck and thoughts on Marvin Lewis' surprise revelation on Tyler Eifert

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1. CLE - QB DeShone Kizer expected to be named starter

Source: The Cleveland Plain Dealer - Mary Kay Cabot

Cleveland Browns QB DeShone Kizer clinched the starting job, according to sources, and will become the 27th quarterback to start for the team since 1999.

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Add another name to the jersey. Kizer provides as much hope as any Browns passer since the original, Tim Couch. His arm strength, running ability, and improvisational plays give the Browns offense something it has lacked, and he has the best offensive line the Browns have sported in a few years.

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2. CHI - WR Cameron Meredith knee injury

Source: USA TODAY Sports - Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz

Chicago Bears WR Cameron Meredith (knee) was carted off with an apparent serious left knee injury. He had an air cast placed on his leg before he got and sat down on the cart with a towel over his head.

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The Bears wide receiver corps will now be led by underwhelming Kevin White and Victor Cruz, Kendall Wright, and Markus Wheaton splitting supporting roles. Zach Miller could have more work as a receiving tight end, but we shouldn't be optimistic about anyone as long as Mike Glennon is the quarterback. The Bears offense is looking like one that will struggle to move the ball consistently.

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3. KC - RB Spencer Ware likely done for the season

Source: The Kansas City Star - Terez A. Paylor

Updating previous reports, Kansas City Chiefs RB Spencer Ware (knee) has been diagnosed with a torn PCL and has additional damage to his LCL, according to team trainer Rick Burkholder, whose staff believes Ware 'probably needs season-ending surgery.' Head coach Andy Reid has already designated rookie Kareem Hunt as the 'next man up.'

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Kareem Hunt becomes a third or at worst fourth-round pick with this news. He has a similar overall value to rookies like Dalvin Cook or Christian McCaffrey, or other young backs like Ty Montgomery and Ameer Abdullah. His path is clearer than McCaffrey's or Cook's, but he isn't as talented. Like Montgomery and Abdullah, he should get as much as he can handle, although he joins them in not yet proving he can hold up under a full NFL workload.

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4. CIN - RB Jeremy Hill injures ankle

Source: ESPN.com - Katherine Terrell

Cincinnati Bengals RB Jeremy Hill (ankle) suffered an ankle injury during the preseason game Sunday, Aug. 27, and will not return.

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This could open the door for Joe Mixon against Baltimore Week 1, but it could also be minor and reflecting the Bengals taking precautions with their starters. Mixon did fumble later in the game, so it appears he doesn't have the complete trust of the coaches yet.

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5. BAL - QB Joe Flacco to play Week 1?

Source: ESPN.com - Jamison Hensley

Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco (back) will be ready to play in Week 1, head coach John Harbaugh said Saturday, Aug. 26.

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It is still not comforting that he had to rest for the entire preseason. Back issues can be recurrent and limiting. This offense was already facing injuries at running back, wide receiver and tight end, and transition on the offensive line. Don't expect any Ravens to outperform expectations this year.

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6. MIA - WR Jarvis Landry on the block?

Source: The Ringer - Michael Lombardi

Miami Dolphins WR Jarvis Landry may be available via trade, as the team will 'seriously' listen to offers, according to The Ringer's Michael Lombardi.

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Landry could be a candidate for a team like New England that just lost their slot receiver and also find themselves in a Super Bowl window.

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7. ARI - WR John Brown scores twice

Source: ESPN.com

Arizona Cardinals WR John Brown caught two passes for 49 yards and two touchdowns against the Atlanta Falcons in the preseason Saturday, Aug. 26.

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Brown's ability to heal from soft tissue injuries was a problem that seemed to threaten his roster spot and trust from Bruce Arians earlier this preseason, but his two scores should secure his role in the offense and on our draft boards as a late round wait and see stash.

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8. WAS - RB Rob Kelley has strong outing

Source: ESPN.com - John Keim

Washington Redskins RB Rob Kelley ran 10 times for 57 yards and a touchdown in a 23-17 preseason win over the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday, Aug. 27.

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Kelley got going for the first time this preseason and helped remove any remaining doubts that he'll open the season as the starter against the Eagles.

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9. WAS - QB Kirk Cousins falls flat

Source: ESPN.com - John Keim

Washington Redskins QB Kirk Cousins completed 10 of his 19 passes for 109 yards and an interception in a 23-17 preseason win over the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday, Aug. 27.

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Cousins and the Washington offense were both lackluster for the third straight week. They are missing Jordan Reed and Terrelle Pryor hasn't clicked with Cousins. It's just the preseason, but it's fair if you have less confidence in this offense after this August.

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10. CIN - OLB Vontaze Burfict suffered injury

Source: ESPN.com - Katherine Terrell

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (back, head) suffered a back injury during the preseason game Sunday, Aug. 27. He is also being evaluated for a possible concussion.

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Burfict is the heart and soul of the Bengals defense, but concussions have been a problem and this could be a big issue for the Cincinnati linebacker corps. Stay tuned.

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11. TEN - WR Rishard Matthews finishes with 54 yards

Source: NFL.com

Tennessee Titans WR Rishard Matthews caught three passes for 54 yards in the preseason game against the Chicago Bears Sunday, Aug. 27.

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Matthews is the healthiest Titans wide receiver and he could be an excellent Week 1 DFS play against the weak Raiders defense.

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12. CHI - RB Jordan Howard rushes for 45 yards

Source: NFL.com

Chicago Bears RB Jordan Howard rushed for 45 yards on 12 carries in the preseason game against the Tennessee Titans Sunday, Aug. 27.

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Howard has been consistently going in the second round, although his situation got worse today with the loss of Cameron Meredith.

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13. CHI - QB Mike Glennon has solid outing

Source: NFL.com

Chicago Bears QB Mike Glennon went 11-for-18 for 134 yards and one touchdown in the preseason game against the Tennessee Titans Sunday, Aug. 27.

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Glennon did more to instill confidence in his abilities than he had at any point this summer. Mitchell Trubisky has looked better, but against second-team defenses. Glennon should get at least 3-4 games to show his wares before the team would consider pulling him.

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14. DAL - OLB Anthony Hitchens to miss eight weeks

Source: ESPNDallas.com - Todd Archer

Dallas Cowboys LB Anthony Hitchens (knee) has been diagnosed with a tibial plateau fracture in his right knee and will be sidelined for eight weeks, according to a source.

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This is better than the worst case scenario of a torn ACL. He's still not worth carrying in redraft IDP leagues.

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15. TB - RB Jeremy McNichols a roster longshot

Source: ESPN.com - Jenna Laine

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Jeremy McNichols 'is making too many mistakes on offense' and has 'one final chance to show what he can do,' according to head coach Dirk Koetter.

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The Bucs might be able to carry McNichols and Peyton Barber through Week 3, but after that Doug Martin returns from suspension. Barber seems to be ahead right now and Charles Sims has the receiving back role locked down.

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16. IND - CB Vontae Davis injures groin

Source: Colts.com

Indianapolis Colts CB Vontae Davis (groin) did not return to the preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers Saturday, Aug. 26, after suffering a groin injury.

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We'll be watching Davis's status leading up to Week 1, when he would face Sammy Watkins and the Rams.

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17. NYJ - QB Bryce Petty to undergo MRI exam

Source: NFL.com - Nick Shook

Updating a previous report, New York Jets QB Bryce Petty (knee) will undergo an MRI exam on his injured left knee Sunday, Aug. 27, according to head coach Todd Bowles.

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Petty's season isn't over, but he has an MCL injury that could cost him 4-6 weeks or more. Josh McCown is probably the Week 1 starter against the Bills. Petty was on the same page with Robby Anderson last year, so this is a hit to his early outlook.

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18. DEN - WR Demaryius Thomas' injury not serious

Source: NFL Network - James Palmer

Updating a previous report, Denver Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas (groin) will not miss the start of the regular season due to the groin injury he suffered in the preseason game against the Green Bay Packers Saturday, Aug. 26.

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We will watch practice reports from Week 1 closely, but for now it looks like you can leave Thomas where you had him on your draft boards.

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19. BAL - PK Justin Tucker doesn't have concussion

Source: BaltimoreRavens.com

Baltimore Ravens PK Justin Tucker (head) was cleared from concussion protocol after getting injured while tackling Buffalo Bills WR Brandon Tate on a kick return during the first quarter of the preseason game Saturday, Aug. 26.

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Tucker is often the first kicker off of the board in drafts and since he avoided a head injury, he should stay near the top of kicker draft lists.

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20. DEN - RB Jamaal Charles shows some life

Source: ESPN.com

Denver Broncos RB Jamaal Charles rushed four times for 27 yards and caught two passes for 15 yards in a 20-17 preseason win over the Green Bay Packers Saturday, Aug. 26.

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Charles didn't look quite like his old self, but he did enough in this game to give the team reassurance when it comes time for final cutdowns. He's only a late-round wait and see stash.

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21. LAC - WR Keenan Allen locked in Saturday

Source: ESPN.com

Los Angeles Chargers WR Keenan Allen caught all five passes thrown his way for 45 yards in a 21-19 preseason win over the Los Angeles Rams Saturday, Aug. 26.

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Allen is 100% after his ACL tear last year and it appears his target load might not be as reduced as some expected after he was going as a first-round pick in some drafts last year. He presents more than enough upside to be worth a third-round pick.

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22. LAC - QB Philip Rivers perfect Saturday

Source: ESPN.com

Los Angeles Chargers QB Philip Rivers completed all six of his pass attempts for 85 yards and a touchdown in a 21-19 preseason win over the Los Angeles Rams Saturday, Aug. 26.

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Rivers hit Travis Benjamin for a long score and heavily targeted Keenan Allen. He should be a value QB1 this year, but you won't start him Week 1 against the Broncos.

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23. NO - Tough sledding for RB Adrian Peterson

Source: ESPN.com

New Orleans Saints RB Adrian Peterson rushed six times for 15 yards in a 13-0 preseason win over the Houston Texans Saturday, Aug. 26.

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Just seeing Peterson in the preseason is very rare. He wasn't overwhelmingly bad or good in this contest. Peterson is a speculative 6th/7th pick and he will be motivated in Week 1 against his old team, the Vikings.

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24. HOU - Average outing for QB Tom Savage

Source: ESPN.com

Houston Texans QB Tom Savage completed 10 of his 16 passes for 79 yards in a 13-0 preseason loss to the New Orleans Saints Saturday, Aug. 26.

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Savage is boring, but limits turnovers and runs the plays as they are drawn up. He won't be as bad as Brock Osweiler, but he isn't going to elevate this offense either. If the team turns to Deshaun Watson at some point, there will probably be a rough transition period. The offensive line could be improved if Duane Brown reports soon, but otherwise there is not reason for optimism in this offense.

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25. CLE - WR Corey Coleman leads passing attack

Source: ESPN.com

Cleveland Browns WR Corey Coleman had four receptions on eight targets for a team-high 66 yards in a 13-9 preseason win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Saturday, Aug. 26.

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Coleman appears to be worth as much as Kenny Britt, if not more. DeShone Kizer's improvisational ability and arm strength should unlock some of Coleman's value as a downfield target that Cody Kessler would leave dormant.

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26. NYJ - RB Matt Forte carries 10 times

Source: ESPN.com

New York Jets RB Matt Forte carried a team-high 10 times for 43 yards and caught two passes for one yard in a 32-31 preseason loss to the New York Giants Saturday, Aug. 26.

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Forte seemed to be over his hamstring issue, although it is difficult to imagine him having much standalone value in this offense because he was only relevant in fantasy last year when the team was competitive.

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27. NYJ - RB Bilal Powell shines in passing game

Source: ESPN.com

New York Jets RB Bilal Powell had seven carries for 32 yards and four receptions for 110 yards and a touchdown in a 32-31 loss to the New York Giants in the preseason Saturday, Aug. 26.

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Powell showed good speed on his long catch and run score. He should open the season as the leader in touches in the backfield. If Matt Forte's hamstring is a problem, Powell has already shown strong RB1 upside with Forte out, but 2016's offense was better than this one will be.

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28. ARI - QB Carson Palmer solid in dress rehearsal

Source: ESPN.com

Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer completed eight of his 13 passes for 86 yards and a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons in the preseason Saturday, Aug. 26.

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Palmer starts out the year with four weak defenses and he's a worthy QB1 for the month of September for quarterback streamers.

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29. ATL - Sloppy outing for QB Matt Ryan

Source: ESPN.com

Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan completed four of his 11 passes for 36 yards and an interception against the Arizona Cardinals in the preseason Saturday, Aug. 26.

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The Arizona defense was strong, including Tyrann Mathieu in the best health he has had in years. Matthew Stafford and the Lions have a tough Week 1 matchup against this Cardinals defense.

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That'll do it for today, Folks. Thanks for reading and thanks for being part of Footballguys. We'll see you tomorrow with the Update.

Peace,

J