Welcome to another morning with the specter of COVID looming over the league. At least we have a Thursday Night Football game tonight. Here’s everything you need to know…
- Another Titans’ player tested positive this morning, bringing the team’s total positive cases to 21 (12 players and 9 non-player personnel). The Titans’ facility remains closed and despite no official word, there is no way they are playing this weekend vs. the Bills. This is especially frustrating because the NFL and NFLPA are currently investigating the team for breaking protocols and gathering for an unauthorized workout last week. I assume it goes without saying, but just in case: you need to get Titans and Bills players out of your lineup. The NFL media cognoscenti is beginning to call for the league to drop the hammer on the team.
- The Washington Football Team announced Kyle Allen will take over at QB. Matthew tweeted the level-headed take about Dwayne Haskins. It’s hard to envision Kyle Allen, who overthrew Curtis Samuel around a million times last season, being any kind of meaningful upgrade here. I think both Terry McLaurin and Logan Thomas can remain relevant on volume—especially Terry who produces regardless of who is beyond center—but the real intrigue here is the potential return of Alex Smith. Smith is now officially the backup and it would be an incredible story (and boost to the offense) to see him return to action for the first time since he was carted off the field on November 18, 2018.
- Not the sexiest game on paper tonight, but I personally think there’s a ton of intrigue surrounding the backfield situation in Tampa Bay. LeSean McCoy has already been ruled out, Kenjon Barner was suspended for PEDs, and Leonard Fournette is doubtful. This leaves the backfield to Ronald Jones and rookie Ke’Shawn Vaughn. Rojo ran well last week (20 carries for 111 yards), but had a few bad drops in the passing game. The runway for Vaughn to carve out a role is less obstructed than I think people realize based on how little fanfare he received on waivers this week. We always want to target uncertain backfields and the team did invest a third round pick in Vaughn. He’s a priority add before tonight’s game. He’ll be more expensive next week.
Mike Evans will test his ankle during pre-game workouts. He is officially questionable, but there is optimism that he will play. Scotty Miller is expected to play as well, but the team will not have Chris Godwin...Austin Ekeler (hamstring) does not need a procedure, but will need to rehab for 4-6 weeks before he can return...Cam Akers (ribs) practiced in a limited capacity Wednesday...Raheem Mostert (knee) and Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle) returned to a limited practice...Bryan Edwards (foot/ankle) is still not practicing, but Henry Ruggs (knee/hamstring) returned...Phillip Lindsay (toe) is expected to return to action Sunday...Adam Thielen (shoulder) was limited Wednesday...Marquise Brown, who has a juicy matchup this week vs. the Bengals, popped up on the injury report with a knee issue. Same for Lamar Jackson, who sat out practice yesterday. It isn’t considered serious, though...Kareem Hunt (groin) was limited at practice Wednesday. D’Ernest Johnson has been a popular commodity on waiver wires this week.