Clay Matthews - LB - Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers LB Clay Matthews (knee, elbow) is practicing this week with expectations of playing in the final preseason game and Week 1.
Huddle Up: It would be slightly shocking to see Matthews running around out there in the final preseason game, but if he does play and gets through the game OK, you can be sure he'll be out there Week 1 against the Bears.
LeSean McCoy - RB - Buffalo Bills
Updating an earlier report, Buffalo Bills RB LeSean McCoy (hamstring) may not be in great 'football shape' once Week 1 rolls around, according to a source. He's not at full speed in practice but is doing rehab work including light footwork, agility and cardio conditioning. A source told ESPN's Josina Anderson McCoy's MRI showed, what was described internally as, a 'small tear,' adding: 'They say it tore in a spot where it couldn't have been any better for us. It tore in a spot that is kind of high up, surrounded by stronger muscles in the glutes and things like that.'
Huddle Up: McCoy only logged seven preseason touches before injuring his hammy in practice, and veteran Anthony Dixon appears to be the next in line on the RB depth chart with Bryce Brown and fifth-round pick Karlos Williams also likely to be mixed in if McCoy misses a game. Certainly stay tuned ...
Derek Anderson - QB - Carolina Panthers
Carolina Panthers QB Derek Anderson signed a two-year extension Wednesday, Sept. 2.
Huddle Up: As far as backup QBs go, the Panthers are in strong shape with the veteran Anderson, who stepped in for the injured Cam Newton on two occasions last season and guided the Panthers to a pair of wins.
Keenan Lewis - CB - New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints CB Keenan Lewis (hip) had hip surgery Tuesday, Sept. 1, and will miss four to six weeks.
Huddle Up: Lewis, the Saints' top corner, hasn't missed a start in his first two seasons in the Big Easy, but it looks like that is about to change, likely leaving Brandon Browner and Delvin Breaux as the starting CBs for at least the first few games. Safeties Jairus Byrd and Kenny Vaccaro also are dealing with injury issues so the Saints' secondary could be a problem spot to open the season.
Darrius Heyward-Bey - WR - Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers WR Darrius Heyward-Bey will have a bigger role with WR Martavis Bryant suspended the first four games.
Huddle Up: The anticipation is that DHB will provide a deep threat with Bryant out of the mix, but the real question is can he make the catch after getting behind the defenders? That's what has significantly limited Hayward-Bey to this point in his NFL career.
Matt Cassel - QB - Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills QB Matt Cassel could be cut by the team, as they are internally discussing the option.
Huddle Up: Rex Ryan is all in on Tyrod Taylor, and the club is only a couple years removed from investing a first-round pick in EJ Manuel so he's not going anywhere, either. The veteran Cassel could catch on as a clipboard holder/insurance policy elsewhere, and the Bills may give him that opportunity sooner rather than later.
Darren McFadden - RB - Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle could have 10-15 carries per game with RB Darren McFadden slightly below that, in the opinion of beat writer Drew Davison
Huddle Up: Sounds like the definition of a "backfield by committee". The only wrinkle might come if the Cowboys end up trading for another team's backup around cutdown day; the names of Montee Ball and Giovani Bernard have been tossed around, though that's just rumor and speculation at this juncture.
Brian Hartline - WR - Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns WR Brian Hartline (foot) missed practice Tuesday, Sept. 1, due to an undisclosed injury. 'Then Brian I think just got stepped on so it was just something that we wanted to go ahead and rest him,' head coach Mike Pettine said.
Huddle Up: Doesn't sound like anything major, and that also sums up the ex-Dolphin's 2015 fantasy prospects -- even with ample opportunity in WR-needy Cleveland.
Brian Cushing - LB - Houston Texans
Houston Texans LB Brian Cushing (wrist, knee, ankle) is finally fully recovered from multiple injuries and trusts his surgically repaired knee. Cushing has been moving around well in pass coverage and while stopping the run in preseason as he regains his old form. 'I'm moving like my old self, I'm feeling like my old self,' Cushing said. 'I'm not worried about my knee or other injuries or needing any slack or anything really holding me back. It's awesome.'
Huddle Up: The 2009 AP Defensive Rookie of Year looks to be in line for his best season since 2011 (125 tackles, two interceptions, six passes defensed), but that's not saying a whole lot as he's missed a combined 22 games over the past three seasons.
Antonio Brown - WR - Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown received a $2 million signing bonus as part of the restructured contracts of Brown, TE Heath Miller and PK Shaun Suisham, according to sources. Brown's salary increased to $8 million from $6 million.
Huddle Up: Certainly well-deserved on his 2014 fantasy numbers alone, and fantasy GMs are counting on more of the same this year as Brown owns the top WR ADP in both standard- and PPR-league drafts.
Justin Hunter - WR - Tennessee Titans
Tennessee Titans WR Justin Hunter's trial for misdemeanor charges in a July bar brawl has been set back to Sept. 15 in order for defense attorneys to come up with a key witness. Hunter is expected to play Thursday, Sept. 3, against the Minnesota Vikings.
Huddle Up: Only having just turned 24 this spring, Hunter still has some upside, but he should only be a deep bench consideration in the majority of leagues this season. And that's without factoring in the possibility of league discipline over the off-field incident.
Randall Cobb - WR - Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers WR Randall Cobb thinks his sprained right shoulder will be good to go to play in Week 1 against the Chicago Bears in 12 days. 'I don't plan on missing a game,' Cobb said. 'I'm doing everything in my power to get back before then.' However, there remains swelling in his shoulder, but he said he's doing much better than when he was injured in the preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday, Aug. 29. Cobb did not practice Tuesday, Sept. 1, but watched from the sidelines.
Huddle Up: Overly optimistic or not, Cobb's shoulder sounds like it won't be too much of a factor, and he still should be treated as a WR1 in all upcoming fantasy drafts.
Nick Toon - WR - New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints WRs Nick Toon, Lance Lewis and R.J. Harris were released Tuesday, Sept. 1.
Huddle Up: Toon, a fourth-round pick in 2012, never came close to panning out -- even on the pass-happy Saints -- catching only 21 passes for 283 yards and a TD in three seasons. The WR cuts and the tade of Jalen Saunders to the Patriots leaves Brandon Coleman, Joseph Morgan and Josh Morgan as the primary backups to Marques Colston and Brandin Cooks for the time being.
Johnny Manziel - QB - Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel said he does not need surgery on his sore elbow. The Browns also consulted with Dr. James Andrew for a second opinion on the elbow. Manziel said he needs to ice it and should be able to throw again next week. He added that he doesn't think the sore elbow will be a problem during the regular season.
Huddle Up: Manziel has demonstrated actual on-field progress this preseason and might be needed if new starter Josh McCown stumbles early.
Matt Forte - RB - Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte on Tuesday, Sept. 1 sat out his second straight day of practice, but Chicago coaches later said the back was given a second straight "veterans' day" of rest.
Huddle Up: Forte is coming off a 368-touch season -- the highest since his 379-touch rookie year of 2008 -- and certainly can use the exctra time off, considering he'll turn 30 in December. He's a RB1 in both PPR and standard formats.
Julius Thomas - TE - Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars TE Julius Thomas (finger) will undergo surgery on his injured finger Wednesday, Sept. 2, according to a source. Thomas is expected to miss four to five weeks.
Huddle Up: Thomas, who's never played a full season (16 games) in his career, likely will miss the first quarter of the season, but in drafts over the last two days, he's still the eighth TE coming off the board with an ADP of 86 as fantasy GMs aren't about to give up on his potential.
Tom Brady - QB - New England Patriots
Updating a previous report, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady will know his fate by the end of this week. Judge Richard Berman said he will issue his decision and order by that time.
Huddle Up: From all fantasy owners and NFL followers: PLEASE.
Terrelle Pryor - WR - Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns WR Terrelle Pryor (hamstring) isn't able to burst off the line of scrimmage as well as he would like due to his hamstring injury.
Huddle Up: It has to be beyond frustrating for the converted QB, and it puts the WR-needy Browns in a pickle as they've caught a glimpse of Pryor's WR potential early in camp, but have yet to see it in a live game.
Tyrod Taylor - QB - Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills QB Tyrod Taylor has the support of his teammates after he was named the team's starting quarterback heading into Week 1. 'He's going to be tremendous for this team,' said WR Percy Harvin . 'With the weapons that we already have I think teams have to worry about that, but now they have to worry about his legs too with the 4.4 speed he puts on the field I think is going to be tremendously dangerous for opponents to prepare for us.' Taylor has speed, but he also impressed this preseason with his accuracy from the pocket. He was 19-for-23 for 187 yards and a passer rating of 100.5 when he started with the first-team.
Huddle Up: Taylor's presence figures to be a boon for LeSean McCoy as defenses will have to respect the QB's legs, but Taylor himself doesn't really hold any fantasy relevance outside of super-deep or two-QB leagues.
Robert Turbin - RB - Seattle Seahawks
Seattle Seahawks RB Robert Turbin is dealing with a high-ankle sprain. Free-agent RB Fred Jackson (Bills), meanwhile, has drawn interest from the Seahawks.
Huddle Up: Turbin has had a rough preseason all-around, rushing for only 36 yards on 16 carries before the injury. That leaves only Christine Michael and undrafted rookies Rod Smith and Thomas Rawls behind Marshawn Lynch so definitely expect the Seahawks to kick the tires pretty vigorously on Jackson.
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