As expected, we got a flurry of news yesterday that is attempting to flip this week on its head.
The most pressing items are the banged up Chargers heading into their game tonight vs. the Raiders. Tom Pelissero reported earlier this morning that Keenan Allen (hamstring) and Mike Williams (back) are true game-time decisions, while Austin Ekeler (quad) is expected to play.
Fortunately, it sounds like Keenan is just sore and I’m inclined to think he’ll play and be effective, but you’ll want to check in on inactives before the game. Tyron Johnson appeared to be the Williams replacement last week, playing in all three-WR sets and turning 7 targets into 6 catches for 55 yards and 1 TD. Jalen Guyton still lurks as the downfield thread as well.
Down in Tampa Bay, the Buccaneers added Ronald Jones to the reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday. Coach Bruce Arians said that Leonard Fournette, who was a healthy scratch last week, will start Week 15 if RoJo can’t go. Fournette is $4500 on DraftKings this week if you’d like to save some money in this economy while simultaneously clutching your rosary beads.
In Baltimore, Coach John Harbaugh said Wednesday that Marquise Brown, James Proche and Miles Boykin were identified as close contacts and haven't tested positive for COVID-19. It remains to be seen whether any of them will be able to play this week. Big bumps for Mark Andrews, Willie Snead, and Devin Duvernay if not.
I’ll post the full injury rundown below. As usual, some of these are concerning, while others are most likely veteran maintenance DNPs. We’ll be back tomorrow morning with more clarity.
DNP: Robert Woods (thigh), Ezekiel Elliott (calf), DeAndre Hopkins (non-injury related), Michael Thomas (ankle), Matthew Stafford (ribs/thumb), Ronald Jones (finger), Philip Rivers (toe), Julio Jones (hamstring), Mike Gesicki (shoulder), Raheem Mostert (ankle), Antonio Gibson (toe), Christian McCaffrey (thigh), Jamison Crowder (calf), Kenny Golladay (hip)
Limited: Chris Carson (foot), Duke Johnson (neck), Brandin Cooks (neck), Austin Hooper (neck), James Robinson (knee), A.J. Brown (ankle), Calvin Ridley (foot), DeVante Parker (hamstring), Daniel Jones (hamstring/ankle),
Full: Noah Fant, D.J. Moore
Loose ends. The Texans activated David Johnson (undisclosed) from the reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday...The Saints have designated Drew Brees (ribs) to return from injured reserve...Coach Matt Rhule said Christian McCaffrey (thigh) could return for the Panthers' Week 16...The 49ers opened the Injured Reserve practice window for George Kittle (foot) on Wednesday...The Patriots designated Julian Edelman (knee) for return from injured reserve...Coach Ron Rivera said Alex Smith (calf) could start Sunday's game against the Seahawks even if he doesn't practice this week...The Dolphins activated Matt Breida (illness) from the reserve/COVID-19 list