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Footballguys #227 - 12/4 - News And Notes From Around The League

Volume 20, #227 -- Tuesday Night, December 4th, 2018

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Howdy Folks,

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

J


1. PIT - Pittsburgh may use RB committee

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Ed Bouchette

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said using a running-back committee 'is our intention' Tuesday, Dec. 4, in replacing injured starting RB James Conner (ankle).

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The committee is likely to be led by rookie RB Jaylen Samuels. He's an incredibly versatile player who doesn't need to come off the field. Stevan Ridley is the back behind him and he could be a short-yardage or goal-line back for the Steelers.

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2. PIT - RB Jaylen Samuels likely to start

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Ed Bouchette

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Jaylen Samuels is the front-runner to start in Week 14 after it was announced Tuesday, Dec. 4, that starting RB James Conner (ankle) will be sidelined with an ankle sprain. RBs Stevan Ridley and Trey Edmunds figure to be the backups.

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Samuels is a big back with a swift running style and the versatility to line up all over the formation (even outside as a receiver) on offense. He doesn't have to come off the field due to his pass-catching ability but it sounds like the Steelers will use some form of RBBC with Samuels as the lead back.

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3. PIT - RB James Conner to miss Week 14

Source: ESPN.com - Jeremy Fowler

Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner (ankle) will miss Week 14 with a sprained ankle, head coach Mike Tomlin said in a news conference Tuesday, Dec. 4. Conner's injury wasn't a leg contusion as first reported, and the ankle sprain is more significant than first expected.

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Without Conner, the Steelers will first turn to rookie RB Jaylen Samuels. We should see them use a RBBC with Samuels and veteran Stevan Ridley.

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4. - RB Kareem Hunt facing lengthy suspension

Source: ESPN.com - Dan Graziano

Free-agent RB Kareem Hunt is being investigated for his role in three off-field incidents as the NFL works toward a final discipline decision for the former Kansas City Chiefs running back, sources said Tuesday, Dec. 4.

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Hunt is free to sign with any team but is currently on the Commissioner's Exempt List and is likely to stay there for the rest of the 2018 season. In 2019, Hunt is likely going to miss quite a few games for any team that ends up signing him.

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5. SF - RB Matt Breida ruled out

Source: 49ers.com - Joe Fann

San Francisco 49ers RB Matt Breida (ankle) has been ruled out for Week 14 with a sprained ankle.

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Breida has been banged up for most of the year and only touched the ball eight times for the 49ers on Sunday. The 49ers will play at home this week against the Broncos with Jeff Wilson as their top back. He's a RB3 or deep flex play for Fantasy GMs in Week 14.

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6. BUF - WR Kelvin Benjamin released

Source: ESPN - Adam Schefter

Buffalo Bills WR Kelvin Benjamin was released Tuesday, Dec. 4.

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Benjamin's time with the Bills was lackluster at best. He didn't mesh with rookie QB Josh Allen and seemed to be uninterested in gaining chemistry with the team's franchise quarterback. Benjamin finishes the 2018 with the Bills having caught 23 passes for 354 yards and one touchdown. We don't think a ton of teams will be lining up for a player who hasn't looked good since his rookie season of 2014.

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7. LAR - RB Malcolm Brown out for the year

Source: NFL Network - Mike Garafolo

Los Angeles Rams RB Malcolm Brown (clavicle) will not play again this season, according to sources. His prognosis following the season has not been determined yet.

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Brown is a talented backup behind Todd Gurley but the Rams have more talent behind both. Rookie John Kelly makes for a great handcuff in the fantasy playoffs. Kelly followed Alvin Kamara at Tennessee and has a good all-purpose skill set. The Rams picked him up in the sixth round of the 2018 NFL draft and Fantasy GMs with space on the bench should add him as a lottery ticket for the rest of the season. Dynasty GMs should already be all over this prospect.

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8. OAK - Oakland takes chance on RB C.J. Anderson

Source: ESPN - Adam Schefter

Free-agent RB C.J. Anderson (Panthers) signed an undisclosed deal with the Oakland Raiders Tuesday, Dec. 4, according to a source.

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It's an interesting move for Anderson...and for the Raiders. Anderson will now compete with Doug Martin, Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington for playing time. He's a depth move with the ability to emerge as a lead back if the Raiders are tired of their other backs (they all three lost fumbles against the Chiefs on Sunday). Anderson will wear no.35 for the Raiders.

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9. PIT - Ralph Webb joins Steelers

Source: NFLCommunications.com

Free-agent RB Ralph Webb (Buccaneers) was signed to the Pittsburgh Steelers' practice squad Tuesday, Dec. 4.

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Undrafted out of Vanderbilt in 2018, Webb is now on his third team (Patriots, Buccaneers, Steelers). He's a no-nonsense runner who doesn't have a 'wow' factor with the rock in his hands. However, he does have a motor that just doesn't quit and he fights for every yard he can get between the tackles. Webb will compete with Stevan Ridley for playing time behind Week 14 starter Jaylen Samuels.

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10. TEN - QB Marcus Mariota upgraded to full

Source: TitansOnline.com

Tennessee Titans QB Marcus Mariota (hand) participated fully in practice Tuesday, Dec. 4.

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The Titans play on Thursday against the Jaguars. Mariota's full participation on Monday is a good sign for his availability in Week 14.

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11. WAS - QB Josh Johnson of interest to Redskins

Source: NFL Network - Ian Rapoport

Updating a previous report, free-agent QB Josh Johnson (Raiders) is the quarterback the Washington Redskins hope to sign.

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Johnson was the first pick in the recent AAF draft, but he's got plenty of experience in the NFL...including time with Jay Gruden. Washington moves forward with Mark Sanchez and Johnson as their quarterbacks.

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12. HOU - D'Onta Foreman activated

Source: HoustonTexans.com

Houston Texans RB D'Onta Foreman (Achilles') was activated to the active roster from the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform list Tuesday, Dec. 4. CB Natrell Jamerson was waived in a corresponding move.

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The Texans had until Wednesday to make a decision on Foreman and they decided to activate him. Foreman will have to compete with Alfred Blue to be the backup to Lamar Miller.

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13. WAS - Two quarterbacks work out for Redskins

Source: CSN Mid-Atlantic - JP Finlay

Free-agent QBs Landry Jones (Steelers) and Ryan Mallett (Ravens) worked out for the Washington Redskins Tuesday, Dec. 4, according to sources. The Redskins will also consider signing free-agent QBs Josh Johnson (Raiders), EJ Manuel (Raiders) or T.J. Yates (Texans), among others.

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Washington is expected to sign Johnson in the near future. When that happens, Johnson will work as the backup behind Mark Sanchez.

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14. CAR - TE Greg Olsen likely going to IR

Source: The Charlotte Observer - Jourdan Rodrigue

Carolina Panthers TE Greg Olsen (foot) is expected to be placed on the Reserve/Injured list this week, according to a source.

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Olsen's foot has been bothering him most of the year and now he's got to shut it down after he suffered a torn right plantar fascia in Week 13. The Panthers move on with rookie Ian Thomas as their top tight end.

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15. WAS - QB Colt McCoy has surgery

Source: CSNMidAtlantic.com - Tarik El-Bashir

Washington Redskins QB Colt McCoy (fibula) underwent surgery on his fractured right fibula Tuesday, Dec. 4. A four-week recovery period is expected.

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Washington moves forward with Mark Sanchez as their starting quarterback. They'll have to go to the waiver wire to add another quarterback to the room. McCoy is under contract with Washington in 2019 but there's no dead money on his deal (and a $3.5 million cap number) so the team might want to see who else is out there to work as a backup.

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16. ATL - QB Matt Ryan's protection concerns Atlanta

Source: ProFootballTalk.com - Darin Gantt

Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan has been sacked 36 times this season and is on pace for a career-high 48. 'Well, No. 1, I'm concerned about it because if we're not protecting him in the way that we can, then that gets hard,' Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. 'And there (are) some games that the score's out of whack and it turns into a dropback game where there's going to be more chances for a defense to go after him.'

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The Falcons have been having a rough month offensively. It's been four straight games where the Falcons have failed to score 20 points. That needs to change and that means protecting Ryan better first and foremost.

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17. NFL - A.J. Brown to enter NFL Draft

Source: BleacherReport.com - Matt Miller

Ole Miss WR A.J. Brown on Tuesday, Dec. 4, announced he will enter the 2019 NFL Draft.

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Brown measures in at 6'1" 230 pounds and can be a consistent target for his quarterback. He does a good job of extending his arms before the catch to pluck the ball away from his body. Brown can track passes over his shoulder and can use his frame to keep defenders away from the ball. He finished the 2018 season with 75 receptions, 1,252 yards, and 11 touchdowns. Brown is seen as a top receiver in the 2019 NFL draft.

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18. SEA - RB Chris Carson has finger injury

Source: ESPN.com - Brady Henderson

Seattle Seahawks RB Chris Carson (finger) dislocated an index finger that required stitches in Week 13, but head coach Pete Carroll said Carson isn't expected to miss time.

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Carson had to come out of the game on Sunday and he might be a bit limited in practice this week. Seattle is preparing for a Monday night game against the Vikings in Week 14 and Carson has RB2/flex value for Fantasy GMs.

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19. NFL - Jarrett Stidham to enter draft

Source: ProFootballTalk.com - Charean Williams

Auburn QB Jarrett Stidham declared Tuesday, Dec. 4, that he will forego his final year of eligibility and enter the 2019 NFL Draft.

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Stidham was one of the top draft-eligible quarterbacks entering the 2018 college football season but he failed to produce better numbers than he did in 2017. In 12 games, Stidham had 2,421 yards passing with 13 touchdowns and five interceptions. He's athletic enough to keep plays alive with his feet while keeping his eyes downfield.

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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