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Footballguys #143 - 9/11 - Greg Olsen Update, News and Notes From Around The League

Volume 20, #143 -- Tuesday Night, September 11th, 2018

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Howdy Folks,

Good Wednesday to you. We've got the News and Notes you need so let's get to it.

J


1. CAR - TE Greg Olsen optimistic of 2018 return

Source: Charlotte Observer - Jourdan Rodrigue

Updating previous reports, Carolina Panthers TE Greg Olsen (foot) said Tuesday, Sept. 11, confirmed will rehab his fractured foot instead of undergoing surgery and hopes to play again this season. 'We are optimistic this is not how my 2018 season will end,' Olsen said in a statement released on Twitter. 'After consulting with our medical team, we have determined our best course of action is to press forward with my rehab in hopes of playing again this season. We will re-examine our options this offseason in regards to my foot and our path forward. I look forward to rejoining my teammates on the field as early as possible.'

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The Panthers have not yet put Olsen on Injured Reserve, so perhaps Olsen is on to something here. Even if he's not shut down for the year, Olsen isn't going to see the field in the near future and that makes rookie Ian Thomas the top tight end for the Panthers. The fourth-round pick out of Indiana is known as a raw-but-talented prospect who drew comparisons to Jermaine Gresham in the scouting community. He needed more development in college, and Allen is now set to get extended reps in Olsen's absence. We like Thomas in dynasty formats but in redraft leagues he's a TE2 at best.

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2. SEA - WR Doug Baldwin likely out

Source: ESPN.com - Brady Henderson

Seattle Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin (knee) is not expected to be available this week, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

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It's going to take some time for Baldwin to properly heal. He may not be able to play in Week 3 either. Carroll said the Seahawks will need to wait and see how Baldwin recovers from the Grade 2 medial collateral ligament sprain he suffered in Week 1. Tyler Lockett and Brandon Marshall will get more work in the passing game with Baldwin sidelined.

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3. PIT - Le'Veon Bell removed from depth chart

Source: The Athletic - Mark Kaboly

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell was removed from the team's Week 2 depth chart on Tuesday, Sept. 11, with a 'has not signed franchise tender' denotation as his holdout continues. Bell remains listed on the team's roster.

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It's just not good. After a strong performance from James Conner in Week 1 (135 yards rushing), some felt that would prompt Bell to show up. That's not the case and things look dire at this time. There is speculation that Bell could show up by the end of September but at this point, it's all just speculation. Stay tuned.

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4. CAR - TE Greg Olsen out with fractured foot

Source: NFL.com - Ian Rapoport and Mike Garofolo

Carolina Panthers TE Greg Olsen (foot) suffered a fractured foot in the season opener Sunday. Sept. 9, and will miss a 'significant' amount of time, according to sources. The Panthers said in release Tuesday that no surgery is planned at this time, and 'we will monitor (Olsen's' rehab and evaluate his progress on a monthly basis.'

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This is the same foot that Olsen has injured before. At this time, Olsen has not been shut down for the rest of the season and there's hope he could return in a little over a month. No matter what happens to him in the future, the Panthers now have to look to rookie Ian Thomas to carry the load at the position. Thomas, a fourth-round pick from Indiana, has good size and is strong at the point of attack. His hands are good but his routes are a work in progress. Fantasy GMs should see him as a TE2 while Olsen is on the mend.

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5. NE - WR Corey Coleman signing with Pats

Source: NFL Network - Ian Rapoport

Free-agent WR Corey Coleman (Browns) will sign with the New England Patriots Tuesday, Sept. 11. Terms weren't disclosed.

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Coleman, a first-round pick in 2016, was traded from the Browns to the Bills earlier this year. He didn't make the 53-man roster with the Bills and found himself on the open market. The Patriots have a thin group of wide receivers and Coleman will get a chance to turn things around. In deep dynasty leagues we'll take a chance on him again if the price is cheap.

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6. NYJ - QB Sam Darnold earns coach's praise

Source: ESPNNewYork.com - Rich Cimini

New York Jets QB Sam Darnold was praised by head coach Todd Bowles during a news conference Tuesday, Sept. 11. 'It's great to see (Darnold's poise,' Bowles said. 'It's rare more nowadays. It was a little more common back (when I played) for whatever reason. ... It's exciting to see because he's got an old soul, but he's young in age. He understands the game very well. He works at it the right way.'

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The rookie quarterback had a good game against the Lions in Week 1. The future looks bright for the Jets at the position. Darnold is far from a finished product but he showed the stage was not too big for him on Monday night.

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7. PIT - QB Ben Roethlisberger has sore elbow

Source: The Associated Press

Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (elbow) is dealing with a sore elbow, head coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday, Sept. 11.

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There's always something with Roethlisberger, but he's tough and usually plays through nagging stuff like this. The issue cropped up in the Week 1 tie with the Cleveland Browns but isn't believed to be serious. Watch his participation level during the week of practice. We imagine Roethlisberger will be limited with perhaps a full participation on Friday.

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8. CLE - WR Josh Gordon will start in second game

Source: ClevelandBrowns.com

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon is listed as a starter opposite WR Jarvis Landry heading into Week 2.

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Supposedly on a limited snap count for Week 1, Gordon played in 69 of the team's 89 offensive snaps, for 78 percent of the offense. He did score a touchdown against the Steelers in Week 1 but Gordon only caught one pass. Starting won't automatically get more receptions for Gordon but we have to think that he'll be targeted more as the season goes on. He's a boom/bust flex play or WR2 in deeper leagues.

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9. DET - Jets: We knew QB Matthew Stafford's signals

Source: ESPNNewYork.com - Rich Cimini

New York Jets LB Darron Lee said Tuesday, Sept. 11, that the defense decoded the signals of Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford and knew what plays were coming, helping lead to five total interceptions (four off Stafford) in a 48-17 road win Monday, Sept. 10. 'We were calling out their plays as he was getting up to the line,' Lee said. 'We knew his signals. We knew everything. That's just preparation as a defense. ... It seemed like we were in his head as a defense.'

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Well that would explain a lot. If that's the case, new Lions head coach Matt Patricia needs to change those signals (among other things), and change them fast. We still like Stafford as a QB2 for Fantasy GMs but those who play in leagues that deduct points for interceptions will have to think twice about starting him.

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10. OAK - WR Amari Cooper mostly invisible on MNF

Source: NFL

Oakland Raiders WR Amari Cooper posted just one reception for nine yards on three targets in the Week 1 game against the Los Angeles Rams and he added one run for nine yards.

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The Rams have a great secondary with lock-down corners like Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib, but obviously this is not a great start for the Raiders top receiver. He might not do much better against the Broncos in Week 2. We'll see if the Raiders can get him jumpstarted somehow/someway.

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11. SEA - Keenan Reynolds nets promotion

Source: The Seattle Times - Bob Condotta

Seattle Seahawks WR Keenan Reynolds was added to the active roster from the practice squad Tuesday, Sept. 11.

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With Doug Baldwin (knee) down for a few weeks, the Seahawks needed more depth at the position. Reynolds was an exciting college quarterback for Navy and has been trying to transition to wide receiver in the pros for a couple of teams (Ravens, Washington, Seahawks) and for a couple of years (sixth-round pick in 2016).

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12. OAK - WR Johnny Holton re-signed to squad

Source: Sirius XM NFL Radio - Adam Caplan

Free-agent WR Johnny Holton (Raiders) was re-signed to the Oakland Raiders' practice squad Tuesday, Sept. 11. S Terrell Sinkfield was released from the practice squad in a corresponding move.

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The Raiders are looking for more bodies at the WR position. Holton has speed to burn and can get down the field in a hurry. We'll see if he can end up getting a shot on the 53-man roster.

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13. NE - RB Orleans Darkwa visits Patriots

Source: ESPNBoston.com - Mike Reiss

Free-agents RB Orleans Darkwa (Giants), RB Charles Sims (Buccaneers) and WR Brandon Tate (Saints) worked out for the New England Patriots Tuesday, Sept. 11.

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With Jeremy Hill (knee) done for the year, the Patriots are looking for a power back. Darkwa had 751 rushing yards last year for the Giants.

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14. OAK - WR Martavis Bryant back with Raiders

Source: ESPN.com - Dan Graziano

Updating a previous report, free-agent WR Martavis Bryant (Raiders) is officially signing a one-year deal with the Oakland Raiders Tuesday, Sept. 11, according to a source. Financial terms were not disclosed.

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It was just 10 days ago that Bryant was let go by the Raiders...and now he's back. That's what happens when Derek Carr clearly needs some help at the position. Bryant is still facing a possible year-long suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

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15. SEA - RB Chris Carson the clear lead back

Source: The Seattle Times - Bob Condotta

Seattle Seahawks RB Chris Carson 'really took the lead' ahead of fellow RB Rashaad Penny in Week 1, according to head coach Pete Carroll. Carroll added that Penny 'looked a little rusty' but that they'll find ways to keep using him.

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Carson is the lead back for now. Penny, the team's first-round pick in the 2018 NFL draft, played just as many offensive snaps (25) as Carson did against the Broncos in Week 1. It may not be long before Penny takes over as the lead back for Seattle.

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16. ATL - RB Brian Hill promoted

Source: AtlantaFalcons.com - Will McFadden

Atlanta Falcons RB Brian Hill was signed to the active roster from the practice squad Tuesday, Sept. 11. Free-agent WR Julian Williams (Falcons) was re-signed to the practice squad, while DT Jacob Tuioti-Mariner was waived from the practice squad in a corresponding move.

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Hill is an all-purpose back who can contribute as a runner or receiver out of the backfield. He won't get a ton of work currently as he's behind both Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman on the depth chart.

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17. NE - RB Kenjon Barner inks with Pats

Source: NFL Network - Tom Pelissero

Free-agent RB Kenjon Barner (Eagles) is signing with the New England Patriots Tuesday, Sept. 11, according to a source.

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Barner gives the Patriots more speed at the RB position. He'll compete for snaps in a cramped backfield (when Sony Michel is active).

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18. OAK - QB Derek Carr targeted TEs, RBs

Source: The Associated Press - Josh Dubow

Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr targeted wide receivers on nine of his 39 passes Monday, Sept. 10, in the season-opening 33-13 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, marking the team's fewest in a game since 2010, according to Sportradar US. He completed five of those nine passes for 43 yards. Meanwhile, Carr completed 24-of-30 targets to tight ends and running backs.

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It was a way for the Raiders to avoid the Rams secondary...a secondary that still got after Carr and had a pick-six on the night. Against the Broncos secondary in Week 2, the Raiders might take a few more chances with their wideouts.

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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