We got TNF tonight and lots of injury situations to monitor. Oh, and I’m triggered about Antonio Brown. Let’s get to it...
Thursday Night Football. Christian McCaffrey is considered a “long shot” to play tonight despite getting in some practices this week. He returned to practice Tuesday, but the team is rightfully being careful with their franchise running back. This of course means Mike Davis gets one last spin in the Ferrari before CMac asks for the keys back next week. Davis is a Top 5 RB this week. Btw, Julio Jones (hip) is good to go tonight.
How Is This Antonio Brown Thing Going To Play Out? Brown, who isn’t eligible to play until Week 9 vs. the Saints, had a “fantastic” first day with the team, according to coach Bruce Arians. He also said they were optimistic that Chris Godwin’s finger injury would only cause him to miss one game and that Brown is the “insurance policy.”
Now Arians isn’t what we would call a “reliable narrator,” but I can tell you right now that the public is absolutely buying the hype. I did a stream last night where the chat insisted that Brown is a “league winner” and “the best WR on the Bucs.” Consider me skeptical. Scratch that. Consider me triggered. This is an offense with two elite WRs (Evans has at least 1,000 yards receiving in every season) and talented ancillary guys like Scotty Miller, a tight end in Rob Gronkowski who looks better by the week, a solid running game, and an even better defense. To think any one player is going to carve out a big target share in a crowded offense on a team that is controlling games defensively and on the ground seems like wishful thinking. Brown is an interesting add, and you likely got him for free on waivers, but let’s keep the expectations in check.
DeeJay Dallas On the 1s & 2s? This situation is tricky. We recommended Dallas over Carlos Hyde yesterday because Hyde is dealing with a hamstring issue. He didn’t practice yesterday, though Pete Carroll said it’s “minor” which leaves us reading the tea leaves. Chris Carson (knee) is apparently a game-time decision this week, but it is unlikely that he goes. I remain much more excited about Dallas’ chances for a feature-back game than a banged-up Hyde in a split, but I think both are worth stashing until we get more information.
Aaron Jones To Rest, Dalvin To Cook? Dalvin Cook (groin) is expected to play this week, but things aren’t looking as bullish for Jones. Everything out of Green Bay makes it sound like they will sit Jones (calf) one more week. Coach Matt LaFleur said holding him out last week “definitely helped him, but he’s got to continue to improve and get better each day” and that they didn’t want to risk losing him long term. Sigmund Bloom notes that the Packers medical staff is notoriously conservative.
Injury rundown. Wednesdays are always a fluid day for injury situations, so I’ll just post the full rundown below and we can check back tomorrow as these situations develop...
DNP: Austin Hooper (appendix), Gerald Everett (illness), Chris Carson (foot), Jamison Crowder (groin), Diontae Johnson (toe), Michael Thomas (ankle/hamstring), Aaron Jones (calf), Miles Sanders (knee), Tim Patrick (hamstring), Joe Mixon (foot), Phillip Lindsay (concussion), Andy Dalton (concussion), Allen Robinson (concussion)
Limited: Josh Jacobs (knee), Tyler Higbee (hand), Robert Tonyan (ankle/knee), Damien Harris (ankle), Bryan Edwards (ankle/foot), Kareem Hunt (limited), Devante Parker (groin), Dallas Goedert (ankle)
Full: Baker Mayfield, Allen Lazard (abdomen), John Brown (knee), Jaelen Reagor (thumb)