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Footballguys #272 - 1/18 - News And Notes From Around The League

Volume 20, #272 -- Friday Night, January 18th, 2019

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Howdy Folks,

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

J


1. LAC - GM open to TE Antonio Gates continuing in 2019

Source: The Athletic - Sam Fortier

Los Angeles Chargers TE Antonio Gates may only come back as the team's third tight end behind starter Hunter Henry and blocker Virgil Green, but general manager Tom Telesco indicated in the recent interview that he believes he will welcome back Gates for another season.

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Gates wants to return and the Chargers are open to his return. It sounds like something they could make work later in the year. Gates doesn't need a bunch of offseason work so perhaps he's out of football until the summer.

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2. NO - Benjamin Watson officially questionable

Source: NewOrleansSaints.com

Updating a previous report, New Orleans Saints TE Benjamin Watson (illness) was limited during practice Friday, Jan. 18, and is listed as questionable for the NFC Championship game.

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Watson has been in the hospital with appendicitis for most of the week. Reports indicate Watson is out, so guys like Josh Hill and Dan Arnold would be asked to do more.

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3. TEN - S Kenny Vaccaro hopes to return

Source: ESPN.com - Turron Davenport

Tennessee Titans impending free-agent FS Kenny Vaccaro said he hopes to re-sign with the Titans this offseason.

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Vaccaro made it through 13 games in the 2018 season for the Titans, racking up 40 tackles, 2.0 sacks and one interception. OverTheCap.com reports the Titans have about $43 million in cap space at this time.

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4. KC - WR Sammy Watkins not on injury report

Source: Chiefs.com

Kansas City Chiefs WR Sammy Watkins (foot) fully participated in practice Friday, Jan. 18, and is not on the injury report for the AFC Championship game.

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Watkins is good to go for Sunday's game against the Patriots. Even if he only gets a few targets, Watkins has big-play ability and is a player the Patriots certainly have to gameplan for.

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5. KC - WR Tyreek Hill on track to play

Source: Chiefs.com

Kansas City Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill (heel, thigh) fully participated in practice Friday, Jan. 18, and is not on the injury report for the AFC Championship game.

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Hill has been a bit banged up during the playoffs but he still plays and performs at a high level. The weather may not be as extremely cold as originally thought and Hill's speed is a great asset for the Chiefs offense they should use early and often against the Patriots.

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6. KC - RB Spencer Ware ready to play

Source: Chiefs.com

Kansas City Chiefs RB Spencer Ware (hamstring) fully participated in practice Friday, Jan. 18, and is not on the injury report for the AFC Championship game.

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Good news for Ware here. He's going to serve as the primary backup to Damien Williams and could get a few touches here and there.

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7. DAL - WR Devin Smith receives futures deal

Source: NFL Network - Ian Rapoport

The Dallas Cowboys signed WR Devin Smith to a Reserve/Futures contract Friday, Jan. 18. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

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Smith was a second-round pick for the Jets out of Ohio State in 2015, but injuries derailed his career. He's only played in 14 games as a pro and was out of the league in 2018. Smith will be hard pressed to make the 53-man roster for the Cowboys.

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8. BAL - QB Tyrod Taylor an option for Ravens?

Source: ESPN.com - Jamison Hensley

Cleveland Browns impending free-agent QB Tyrod Taylor could be an option for the Baltimore Ravens this offseason as a backup to QB Lamar Jackson, in the opinion of ESPN.com's Jamison Hensley.

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We could see that happening if the Ravens don't want Robert Griffin III back as the no.2 quarterback behind Jackson. Taylor had one of his better seasons when offensive coordinator Greg Roman was calling plays for him with the Buffalo Bills.

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9. KC - S Eric Berry completing full practice week

Source: ESPN.com - Adam Teicher

Kansas City Chiefs S Eric Berry (heel) is fully participating in practice Friday, Jan. 18, to complete a week of full participation.

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Berry is back this week for the Championship Game against the Patriots. Even if he plays a limited number of snaps, Berry's return can be a boost for the Chiefs defense.

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10. DAL - Scott Linehan fired as Dallas OC

Source: NFL Network - Mike Garafolo

Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Scott Linehan was fired Friday, Jan. 18, the team announced in a statement.

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The Cowboys are trying to be more creative offensively and this is why Linehan is gone. The parting of ways was said to be mutual. Whoever takes over the Cowboys offense will have some great players to work with like QB Dak Prescott, RB Ezekiel Elliott and WR Amari Cooper.

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11. SF - TE George Kittle set pace among TEs

Source: Pro Football Writers of America

San Francisco 49ers TE George Kittle set a single-season tight end record with 1,377 receiving yards in 2018 and was one of four tight ends to lead their teams in receiving yards. Kittle also paced all tight ends with six receptions of 40-plus yards.

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Kittle finished as the no.2 fantasy tight end in 2018 behind only Travis Kelce. They'll continue to use him as a big part of the offense going forward and Fantasy GMs will be plucking Kittle in the second round of drafts in the summer.

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12. PHI - Dates looming on QB Nick Foles decision

Source: Forbes.com

Philadelphia Eagles QB Nick Foles might have played his last game with the Eagles, and the first key date in that process arrives Feb. 10 -- one month before the start of the new league year -- when the Eagles must decide if they're going to pick up Foles' $20 million contract option for 2019. If so, Foles has five days to decide if he wants to void the option.

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There's going to be a market for Foles once teams figure out what he could possibly had for. The speculation remains that the Eagles will tag and trade Foles. We'll see if that can happen or if Foles opts out. Stay tuned....and look for a team like Jacksonville to make a move for the veteran passer.

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13. TB - WR DeSean Jackson yet to hear from Bucs

Source: Florida Football Insiders

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR DeSean Jackson said Thursday, Jan. 17, that he has yet to talk to new head coach Bruce Arians or anyone from the team about remaining in Tampa.

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The writing has been on the wall with Jackson for some time and we don't expect the Bucs to retain his services. Jackson is entering the third year of a three-year, $33.5 million contract. We could see Jackson winding up back in Philadelphia if he is released. Also, watch for impending free agent John Brown perhaps landing with the Bucs and reuniting with Arians.

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14. KC - QB Patrick Mahomes aims to repeat feat

Source: NFL Network - James Palmer

Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes is one of four quarterbacks to post at least 350 passing yards, four touchdowns and a 110 passer rating in a game versus the New England Patriots since 2001.

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The weather may not be extremely cold as originally thought. That's good news for Mahomes and the high-powered Chiefs offense. Mahomes threw for 352 yards and had four TDs with a 110.0 rating in a 43-40 loss at New England in Week 6.

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15. CHI - Jordan Williams-Lambert signs with Bears

Source: ChicagoBears.com

Free-agent WR Jordan Williams-Lambert (CFL) signed a Reserve/Future contract with the Chicago Bears Friday, Jan. 18. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

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Williams-Lambert was picked up as an undrafted free agent out of Ball State by the Saints in 2016. He spent time on their practice squad for a couple of years before being released and heading to Canada. Williams-Lambert is big, measuring in at 6'3" 225 pounds but he's not particularly athletic. If you're in a crazy deep dynasty league then monitor his progress to see if he can impress the Bears.

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16. KC - S Eric Berry expected to play

Source: NFL Network - Ian Rapoport

Kansas City Chiefs SS Eric Berry (heel) is expected to play in the AFC Championship game Sunday, Jan. 20.

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Berry missed the Divisional Round but should be ready to play against the Patriots on Sunday. Even if he has a limited role, Berry's presence is a boost for the Chiefs defense.

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17. LAR - RB C.J. Anderson ready to roll

Source: NFL.com - Nick Shook

Los Angeles Rams RB C.J. Anderson said he is the freshest running back in the league heading into a matchup with the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship Game. 'I look faster than everyone else, part of it because I'm fresh,' Anderson said.

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Anderson was out of the league for a bit in the 2018 season after the Panthers decided to release him. He then signed with the Raiders for a week, only to never touch the ball and get released a week later. Anderson then got picked up by the Rams and he's had over 100-yards rushing in each of the three games he's played in for the team. Going up against the Saints in New Orleans is tough for any team, but we'll see if the Rams can grind them down on the ground with Anderson and starter Todd Gurley.

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18. TB - Bruce Arians to help QB Jameis Winston?

Source: NFL.com - Kevin Patra

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston will benefit from having Bruce Arians as his head coach, according to retired QB Carson Palmer. 'It's probably the best thing that could've happen to Jameis at this point in his career,' Palmer said. 'Getting a guy like B.A. to come in and clean up some things technically. And really installing what he does best and that's push the ball down the field.'

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That's the biggest task for Arians in 2019; see if Winston can have his career jump started and get the Bucs on track offensively. Arians is a 'quarterback whisperer' so we feel pretty good about his chances to get through to Winston. The biggest thing Arians should have to change is the number of turnovers Winston has as a passer. Both Arians and Winston love the deep passing game, but Arians needs to coach Winston on when/where to challenge a defense.

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19. WAS - RB Derrius Guice back on the field

Source: Derrius Guice - Twitter

Washington Redskins RB Derrius Guice (knee) posted a video of himself on social media running and doing other drills on the field.

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In December of 2018, the Washington Post reported that an infection Guice's torn ACL required three additional knee surgeries. The 2018 second-round pick tore his ACL back in the preseason but has not had the smoothest of recoveries. The video is cool and a good sign, but we still think Guice is limited in OTAs this spring...if he's even a participant. We might not know much about his status until the start of training camp. Stay tuned.

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20. NFL - LJ Scott out of Senior Bowl

Source: MLive.com - Aaron McMann

Michigan State RB LJ Scott (ankles) pulled out of the Senior Bowl because of injuries to both ankles.

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Scott could have used the Senior Bowl to elevate his draft stock. Measuring in at 6'1" 225 pounds, Scott saw his YPC numbers fall from a respectable 5.4 in 2016 to just 3.3 in 2018. Injuries plagued him during his final year with the Spartans and he only appeared in five games. We'll see if Scott can get healthy and put together a good performance at the Scouting Combine in early March.

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21. SEA - WR Amara Darboh still in Seattle's plans?

Source: The Seattle Times - Bob Condotta

Seattle Seahawks WR Amara Darboh (shoulder) 'looks great,' head coach Pete Carroll said in his end-of-season news conference, and Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times believes Darboh will have another chance to make the 53-man roster in 2019.

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A third-round pick in the 2017 NFL draft, Darboh missed all of the 2018 season. He was put on Injured Reserve back in September due to a knee injury that required surgery. AS a rookie in 2017, Darboh played less than 200 snaps in 16 games, catching only 8 passes for 71 yards. Dynasty GMs in deeper leagues might still be holding onto him but his stock is not high at this time.

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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