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Footballguys #262 - 1/8 - News And Notes From Around The League

Volume 20, #262 -- Tuesday Night, January 8th, 2019

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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

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1. LAR - RB Todd Gurley limited Tuesday

Source: ProFootballTalk.com - Charean Williams

Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley (knee) practiced on a limited basis Tuesday, Jan. 8.

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Gurley had three weeks of rest to get his knee right. He missed the final two weeks of the regular season and had a bye to get as near full strength as possible. Gurley will lead the way on the ground with C.J. Anderson serving as a backup.

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2. CHI - Chicago signs 10 to Reserve/Futures deals

Source: ChicagoBears.com - Larry Mayer

Chicago Bears RB Ryan Nall, WR Tanner Gentry, WR Cyril Grayson, OL Dejon Allen, DL Abdullah Anderson, LB Josh Woods, DB John Franklin, DB Michael Joseph, DB Jonathon Mincy and LB James Vaughters (CFL) were signed to Reserve/Futures contracts Tuesday, Jan. 8.

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We'll continue to monitor Nall and Gentry in super deep dynasty leagues. Nall is a big back, nicknamed 'Wrecking Nall' in college at Oregon State. He's a thumper who can grind down an opponent. Gentry is a sure-handed slot receiver with the quickness to make defenders miss.

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3. TB - Todd Bowles, others go to Buccaneers

Source: MMQB - Albert Breer

Updating a previous report, former New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles was hired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the defensive coordinator position Tuesday, Jan. 8. Additionally, former Arizona Cardinals offensive coordinators Byron Leftwich and Harold Goodwin will serve as pass-game coordinator and run-game coordinator, respectively.

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Bowles worked with new Bucs head coach Bruce Arians during their time with the Arizona Cardinals. They're getting the band back together with the Bucs. Arians will run the offense and Bowles will try to get the defense in shape.

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4. IND - TE Eric Ebron misses practice

Source: Colts.com

Indianapolis Colts TE Eric Ebron (hip) was held out of practice Tuesday, Jan. 9.

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Ebron is getting a bit of rest here. The Colts will need him as near full strength as possible against the Chiefs in the Divisional Round on Saturday.

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5. IND - WR T.Y. Hilton not at practice

Source: Colts.com

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (ankle) was not able to practice Tuesday, Jan. 9.

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Hilton does not practice yet he plays and produces at a high level. We'd be surprised if he was anything more than limited on Thursday and Friday. The Colts travel to play the Chiefs on Saturday in the Divisional Round.

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6. ATL - Dirk Koetter back in Atlanta

Source: ESPN - Adam Schefter

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter was hired by the Atlanta Falcons Tuesday, Jan. 9, as their new offensive coordinator, according to a source. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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Koetter is back in Atlanta where they need help after two failed seasons with Steve Sarkisian running the offense. The veteran coach knows the talent well as he was the Falcons OC from 2012-14. It's a good move for the Falcons and for Koetter.

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7. TB - Bruce Arians joining Tampa Bay

Source: NFL Network - Ian Rapoport

Former Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians is signing a four-year deal with a fifth-year option Tuesday, Jan. 8, to become the next head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to a source.

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We love B.A. and are thrilled that he's back in the league. He's going to 'let it rip' on offense with QB Jameis Winston. Arians will have to lessen his quarterback's turnovers but they should put the pedal to the metal offensively.

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8. KC - WR Sammy Watkins has limited practice

Source: Chiefs.com

Updating a previous report, Kansas City Chiefs WR Sammy Watkins (foot) put in a limited practice Tuesday, Jan. 8.

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It's news when Watkins actually practices. We'll see if he can practice enough this week to get out there against the Colts on Saturday. If Watkins is playing in the Divisional Round, we'd expect a smaller than normal role for the veteran receiver.

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9. KC - RB Spencer Ware logs limited session

Source: Chiefs.com

Updating a previous report, Kansas City Chiefs RB Spencer Ware (hamstring) was limited in practice Tuesday, Jan. 8.

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Ware should be good to go for the Divisional Round. The Chiefs are at home on Saturday against the Colts and Damien Williams should be their lead back. Ware would serve as a backup if/when he plays.

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10. KC - WR Tyreek Hill practices fully

Source: Chiefs.com

Kansas City Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill (heel) fully practiced Tuesday, Jan. 8.

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Hill is looking to make a big impact in the playoffs. With a week of rest during the bye, we should see Hill at full strength (and speed). The Chiefs are at home to play the Colts on Saturday.

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11. DAL - QB Dak Prescott on injury report

Source: The Dallas Morning News - Jon Machota

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott (knee) was a full participant in practice Tuesday, Jan. 8.

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Nothing to see here people. He's on the injury report but we highly doubt he misses the Divisional Round game this week. The Cowboys travel to Los Angeles to play the Rams on Saturday.

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12. NFL - Lil'Jordan Humphrey declares for draft

Source: ProFootballTalk.com - Charean Williams

Texas WR Lil'Jordan Humphrey announced Tuesday, Jan. 8, that he will enter the 2019 NFL Draft.

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Humphrey was the Longhorns leading receiver in 2018, finishing the year with 1,176 receiving yards. Measuring in at 6'4" 225 pounds, Humphrey has an imposing presence on the field. The NFL Draft Advisory Committee gave him a "return to school" grade (third-to-sixth round) but he's deciding to go pro. Testing well at the Combine would greatly help the young wideouts draft stock.

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13. ARI - QB Kliff Kingsbury will coach Cardinals

Source: NFL Network - Peter Schrager

Former USC offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury is finalizing a deal to become the next head coach of the Arizona Cardinals. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

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Kingsbury was the OC for the Trojans for about a month. Now, his biggest task will be getting the best out of QB Josh Rosen. A former quarterback himself (Texas Tech), Kingsbury should bring an "Air Raid" offense to the NFL. The move has to be seen as a good one for Rosen after a disastrous rookie season that saw multiple coaches get fired. We'll see if Kingsbury can be a better pro head coach than he was a college head coach (35-40 record at Texas Tech).

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14. BAL - Baltimore signs eight to futures deals

Source: 101 ESPN - Howard Balzer

Baltimore Ravens OG Kofi Amichia, OT Randin Crecelius, CB Robertson Daniel, RB Tyler Ervin, FB Christopher Ezeala, S Bennett Jackson, LB Alvin Jones and TE Nick Keizer were signed to Reserve/Futures contracts Tuesday, Jan. 8.

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Ervin is a dangerous return man and lightning quick change-of-pace back. He's mainly been with the Texans since coming into the league as a fourth-round pick out of San Jose State in the 2016 NFL draft. Ervin is only worth monitoring in the deepest of deep dynasty leagues.

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15. DAL - Dallas optimistic about WR Cole Beasley

Source: ESPNDallas.com - Todd Archer

Dallas Cowboys WR Cole Beasley (ankle) was not participating in the open session of the team's practice Tuesday, Jan. 8.

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We'll see if Beasley can participate later in the week. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said earlier in the day he was 'positive' Beasley would be able in Saturday's divisional-playoff game against the Los Angeles Rams.

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16. LAC - RB Melvin Gordon has sprain

Source: NFL Network - Ian Rapoport

Los Angeles Chargers RB Melvin Gordon (knee) suffered a mild sprain in his knee during the Wild Card round but should be available for the Divisional round game.

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The Chargers travel to New England to play the Patriots on Sunday. Expect to see Gordon out or limited during the week of practice. He's not 100 percent but he should see a sizable workload in the Divisional Round.

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17. NE - Josh McDaniels staying put

Source: NFL Network - Michael Giardi

New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said 'the book is closed' on any further head coaching interviews, and he's staying with the team.

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McDaniels did have an interview with the Green Bay Packers but they chose to go in a different direction. He returns to run the Patriots offense yet again and one day may be the coach to replace Bill Belichick...at least that's what everyone speculates.

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18. GB - Matt LaFleur lands four years

Source: NFL Network - Tom Pelissero

Updating previous reports, Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur signed a four-year deal. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

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It's a four-year contract with an option for a fifth year. This move was made to get a coach in Green Bay who could get the most out of QB Aaron Rodgers. LaFleur worked under both Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay, so explosive offensive design is nothing new to him. It's difficult to judge LaFleur after only one year as the Titans offensive coordinator since QB Marcus Mariota struggled with injuries for much of the year.

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19. CAR - DE Julius Peppers' future uncertain

Source: ESPN.com - David Newton

Carolina Panthers DE Julius Peppers is planning on taking a 'couple of weeks' to decide if he wants to return next year, according to a league source, who also claims Peppers' decision is '50-50.'

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Peppers is not the player he used to be but he could stick around in the league as a part-time pass rusher. His 5.0 sacks in 2018 were the lowest since an injury shortened 2007 with the Panthers. We expect Peppers would have some interest if he decides to keep playing in 2019.

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20. CHI - TE Trey Burton injury note

Source: Chicago Sun-Times - Patrick Finley

Chicago Bears TE Trey Burton (groin) said Monday, Jan. 7, that he missed the club's Wild Card playoff game Sunday, Jan. 6, after he 'started to feel something' in his groin following practice Friday, Jan. 4, despite initially having no limitations. By Saturday, Jan. 5, it had 'locked up,' which he said was his 'body's way of handling threats' to his health.

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Burton signed with the Bears in free agency last spring and had 54 catches for 569 yards and six touchdowns in his first season in Chicago. If healthy in 2019 (and this injury should not linger into next season), Burton has TE1 upside for Fantasy GMs.

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21. NFL - Damarea Crockett declares for NFL Draft

Source: Columbia Daily Tribune - Dave Matter

Missouri RB Damarea Crockett announced Monday, Jan. 7, that he is foregoing his senior season to enter the NFL Draft.

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Crockett finished his time at Mizzou with 2,252 rushing yards and 19 rushing touchdowns. He's 5'10" 225 pounds but not a banger between the tackles. Instead, Crockett is an elusive runner who can jump cut his way to open field. He's unproven as a receiver so might be looking at a two-down role in the NFL. Injury history (he never played a full season in college) will have to be examined closely at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine.

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22. JAX - DT Malik Jackson likely to get cut in offseason

Source: The Athletic - Daniel Popper

Jacksonville Jaguars DL Malik Jackson expects to be released this spring, halfway through the six-year, $85.5 million contract he signed in March of 2016, accoring to Daniel Popper of The Athletic.

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Jackson is on the books through the 2021 season. He does have a cap hit in 2019 of $15 million with only $4 million remaining in dead money. Releasing Jackson will clear $11 million in cap space for a Jaguars team that has a ton of work to do in the offseason.

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That'll do it for today, Folks. Thanks for reading and thanks for being part of Footballguys. Remember to get your shot at a FREE 2019 Footballguys Insider All-Pro subscription by taking our survey. Info at the top of the email in Site News.

Have a great Wednesday and we'll see you tomorrow with the Update.

Peace,

J