NFL Quick Hits: Conflicting reports on Gronk
If you own Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski, you might be in for a confusing week. On Monday, NFL Network reported that Gronkowski suffered "what is believed to be punctured lung," and is expected to miss Sunday’s game at San Francisco. Boston’s WEEI Radio reported that Gronk didn’t show any signs of injury in the locker room on Monday, while ESPN reported that the injury "isn’t overly serious" and isn’t a punctured lung at all.
Unless Bill Belichick is forthcoming about Gronk’s status during the week, you might not know Gronk’s status until Friday, when the Pats fly to the Bay Area (people with punctured lungs might not be allowed to fly). If you want to grab another tight end to cover yourself in the event of a Gronkowski absence, look for Jesse James, C.J. Fiedoriwicz, Ladarius Green or Lance Kendricks, all of whom are available in at least 85 percent of FOXSports.com leagues. Green caught three passes for 30 yards on just 12 snaps in his season debut, and could be in line for more work against the Browns on Sunday.
In other news …
As you may have heard, Bears WR Alshon Jeffery has been suspended four games for violating the NFL’s PED policy. That would get Jeffery back for Week 15 – right in the middle of the fantasy playoffs. Keep him on your bench if you can, but don’t be stubborn about it, if that makes sense (tweet me @jhalpin37 with specific questions). Jeffery’s teammate, Cameron Meredith, is owned in just 8.8 percent of FOX leagues, and could be a solid replacement. My colleague Ryan Fowler offered more fill-in suggestions in this post.
The most stunning aspect of Monday’s game was the appearance of a modestly effective rushing attack for the Giants, as Rashad Jennings ran 15 times for 87 yards. However, Jennings and Paul Perkins (nine carries, 31 yards) struggled for much of the night, and we shouldn’t expect a repeat from either back.
Seahawks RB Thomas Rawls will probably be ready to play Sunday, but Pete Carroll said they’ll bring him along "slowly." Don’t plan to start Rawls just yet if you’ve been stashing him.
Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald reportedly had an MRI on his injured knee, but head coach Bruce Arians said he’d be "shocked" if Fitzgerald doesn’t play Sunday.
Speaking of the Cardinals, is Michael Floyd back? This article from the team’s website suggests that he is. On Sunday, Fitzgerald was on the field for 69 snaps, followed by Floyd at 59, J.J. Nelson at 49 and John Brown at 30. Floyd is available in about half of FOXSports.com leagues if you want to put in a claim.
Jared Goff will stay behind Case Keenum for at least another week. In other Rams’ news, DE Robert Quinn has been hospitalized due to an illness that isn’t football-related. Let’s hope Quinn gets well soon.
Bills WR Sammy Watkins (foot) is eligible to return to practice this week, but Rex Ryan says he isn’t ready.
Remember your byes: The Falcons, Broncos, Jets and Chargers are off in Week 11.
Bears head coach John Fox hinted Sunday that RB Jordan Howard suffered an ankle or Achilles injury, but Howard says he’s not hurt. All is well … we think.
Texans WR Will Fuller (knee) thinks he’ll be able to play Monday night against the Raiders in Mexico City. Fuller didn’t play in Week 10, and has caught just six passes for 49 yards over his last three games.
Things are bad in Jetville. CB Darrelle Revis says he’s "old," and it’s unclear if Bryce Petty or Ryan Fitzpatrick will start at QB against the Patriots in Week 12 for a game that’s been flexed out of the Sunday night slot due to the Jets’ ineptitude.
Speaking of Week 12, the Falcons think Tevin Coleman (hamstring) will be ready to return after their bye.
If you’re looking for an under-the-radar wide receiver, San Diego’s Dontrelle Inman (owned in 10.7 percent of FOXSports.com leagues) and San Francisco’s Quinton Patton (0.3 percent owned) have both been targeted nine times in each of their last two games. Inman has 11 receptions for 99 yards in those games, while Patton has 9 for 158 yards. These guys won’t win weeks for you, but they might help if you’re hit hard by injuries or byes. Adam Meyer and I discussed more free agents in the latest FOX Fantasy Podcast, which you can listen to via the player near the top of this page.
Good luck with your free-agent pickups!