Source: Bills working out QBs White, Dixon


The Buffalo Bills will work out quarterbacks Pat White and Dennis Dixon on Sunday morning as they look for a replacement for EJ Manuel, sources told ESPN.

Whoever signs with Buffalo could wind up starting next weekend at home against the Cincinnati Bengals, coach Doug Marrone said Friday. Manuel, who sprained his LCL in Thursday’s loss to the Cleveland Browns, is expected to be out for several weeks.

The Bills are also talking with Josh Freeman, sources told ESPN.

Freeman was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this week after being benched and deactivated for last Sunday’s game. He started 59 games for the Buccaneers after they drafted him in the first round in 2009.

The Bills were impressed with what they saw from White, who played against Buffalo in the preseason. White, a second-round pick in 2009, was released by the Washington Redskins last month.

Undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel replaced Manuel against the Browns and is the only healthy quarterback on the Bills’ roster.

  • Previously covered the Patriots for ESPNBoston.com
  • Providence College graduate
  • ESPN NFL Insider
  • Joined ESPN in 2009
  • Former president of the Pro Football Writers of America and the author of four books

Jets’ Hill cleared to play; Winslow could sit

Updated: October 5, 2013, 4:36 PM ET


By
Rich Cimini | ESPN.com


Six days after sustaining a concussion, wide receiver Stephen Hill was medically cleared for contact Saturday and is expected to play Monday night when the New York Jets face the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome.

But the Jets could be without their leading receiver, tight end Kellen Winslow, who didn’t practice and is listed as questionable. Winslow, hampered by chronic knee pain in recent years, usually gets a day off during the week, but he sat three of four practices this week.

Hill suffered a concussion on the second play of last week’s game on a shoulder-to-chin hit by Titans safety Michael Griffin, who was fined $21,000 by the league for an illegal hit. Hill walked off slowly and didn’t return to the game. On Friday, he returned to practice wearing the red (non-contact) jersey, as mandated by league rules. He practiced fully on Saturday.

As expected, the Jets won’t have wide receiver Santonio Holmes, who was ruled out with a significant hamstring injury. It’ll be a patchwork receiving corps, especially if Clyde Gates, who sat out Saturday with knee soreness, doesn’t play. He’s questionable.

The Jets (2-2) could end up fielding a receiving group of Hill, Jeremy Kerley and David Nelson, who was signed Tuesday as a free agent. On Saturday, they swapped No. 5 receivers, signing Michael Campbell from the practice squad and releasing Ryan Spadola.

The good news for the Jets is they will be healthier in the backfield than at any point this season. Mike Goodson, who served a four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy, was added to the 53-man roster and is expected to make his Jets debut. He’s listed as probable, as is Chris Ivory, who sat out last week with a pulled hamstring.

Goodson could take over the kickoff-returning duties if Gates is out. This could be a difficult challenge for quarterback Geno Smith and the Jets’ offense, which committed four turnovers in last week’s 38-13 loss to the Tennessee Titans — all by the rookie quarterback. Because of injuries, only three players in the regular rotation practiced every day this week.

The Jets would miss Winslow, who leads the team with 16 receptions for 168 yards and a touchdown. They knew he was a medical risk, considering his history of knee surgeries. Concern over Winslow may have factored into the decision to claim former New England Patriots tight end Zach Sudfeld on Friday.

As expected, rookie cornerback Dee Milliner was ruled out for the second straight week with a pulled hamstring.

To make room for Goodson, the Jets waived linebacker Ricky Sapp.

  • Longtime Jets beat writer for New York Daily News
  • Syracuse University graduate

Obama on Redskins: ‘Legitimate concerns’

Updated: October 5, 2013, 4:35 PM ET


Associated Press


WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama says he would “think about changing” the Washington Redskins‘ name if he owned the football team as he waded into the controversy involving a word many consider offensive to Native Americans.

Obama, in an interview with The Associated Press, said team names such as the Redskins offend “a sizable group of people.” He said that while fans get attached to the names, nostalgia may not be a good enough reason to keep them in place.

“I don’t know whether our attachment to a particular name should override the real legitimate concerns that people have about these things,” he said in the interview, which was conducted Friday at the White House.

An avid sports fan who roots for his hometown Chicago Bears, Obama said he doesn’t think Washington football fans are purposely trying to offend American Indians.

“I don’t want to detract from the wonderful Redskins fans that are here. They love their team and rightly so,” he said.

Obama
I don’t know whether our attachment to a particular name should override the real legitimate concerns that people have about these things.


— President Barack Obama on ‘Redskins’

But he appeared to come down on the side of those who have sharply criticized the football team’s name, noting that Native Americans “feel pretty strongly” about mascots and team names that depict negative stereotypes about their heritage.

The team’s owner, Dan Snyder, has vowed to never abandon the name.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said last month that the league should pay attention to those offended by the name — a subtle change in position for Goodell, who had more strongly supported the name in his previous statements this year.

Lanny J. Davis, an attorney for the Redskins, said the team’s fans don’t intend to “disparage or disrespect” anyone.

“The name ‘Washington Redskins’ is 80 years old. It’s our history and legacy and tradition,” Davis said in an emailed statement in which he also identified himself as an Obama supporter. “We Redskins fans sing ‘Hail to the Redskins’ every Sunday as a word of honor, not disparagement.”

Other professional sports teams have Indian names, including football’s Kansas City Chiefs and baseball’s Atlanta Braves and Cleveland Indians. Davis referred to fans of those teams and hockey’s Chicago Blackhawks in his statement, saying Redskins fans “love our team and its name and, like those fans, we do not intend to disparage or disrespect a racial or ethnic group.”

Numerous colleges and universities have changed names that reference Native Americans. St. John’s changed its mascot from the Redmen to the Red Storm, Marquette is now the Golden Eagles instead of the Warriors and Stanford switched from the Indians to the Cardinal.

The Redskins’ name has attracted a fresh round of controversy in recent months, with local leaders in Washington calling for a name change and some media outlets refraining from using the name. The name is the subject of a long-running legal challenge from a group of American Indians seeking to block the team from having federal trademark protection.

Congressional lawmakers have introduced a bill seeking the same goal, though it appears unlikely to pass.

“What a prudent and wise use of the bully pulpit,” Suzan Shown Harjo, a plaintiff in that case, said in an interview Saturday. “I am so glad that he said that and I hope that people hear a reasoned response from the president and will pay attention to this issue.”

Harjo said the issue “involves lots of hurt and pain and ongoing name-calling and bullying of our children that goes with this name. We just need to have an end to it.”

“There’s no such thing as a good stereotype, no matter how well-intentioned, no matter how good people feel about it,” Harjo added. “It still has negative ramifications for our people.”

“These are relics of the past. They should be consigned to museums and history books and people can feel good about them there,” she said. “But they should not be allowed in polite society.”

Opponents of the Redskins name plan to hold a symposium Monday at the Washington hotel hosting the NFL’s fall meeting.

“We really appreciate the president underscoring what we’ve been saying,” said Ray Halbritter, leader of the Oneida Indian Nation, a tribe from upstate New York that’s been campaigning against the name. “There’s just no place for a professional football team to be using what the dictionary defines as a racially offensive term.”

Halbritter said the NFL and Snyder could “borrow a page from the president” and use a decision to change the team’s name as a “teachable moment.”

Despite the controversy, an AP-GfK poll conducted in April showed that, nationally, “Redskins” still enjoys wide support. Nearly four in five Americans don’t think the team should change its name, the survey found. Only 11 percent think it should be changed, while 8 percent weren’t sure and 2 percent didn’t answer.

Obama said he doesn’t have a direct stake in the Redskins debate since he’s not a team owner. But he hinted that might be part of his post-White House plans.

“Maybe after I leave the presidency,” he joked. “I think it would be a lot of fun.”

“I’d probably look at a basketball team before I looked at a football team,” said Obama, who plays basketball in his spare time, has coached his daughter’s basketball team and is a fan of the NBA’s Chicago Bulls. “I know more about basketball than I do about football.”

Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press

Brandon Bolden’s Updated Week 5 Fantasy Outlook After Stevan Ridley’s Injury

New England Patriots running back Brandon Bolden has become an intriguing option at the position in deeper leagues, especially with news that fellow back Stevan Ridley is injured.

According to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald, Ridley will not take the field on Sunday thanks to either a knee or thigh injury. This will make the Pats’ backfield less crowded.

The Pats have been using a running-back-by-committee approach over the past few weeks, as Ridley, Bolden and LeGarrette Blount have all received looks. An example of this setup came in Week 4 after Ridley (11 carries), Blount (nine) and Bolden (four) all got a piece of the action in the run game.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Taking Ridley out of the equation almost certainly means Bolden will see more action. That also depends upon his health, though, as ESPN.com lists him as questionable with a knee injury. He was questionable last week, but played anyway.

Still, when given the opportunity, Bolden has proven that he can be explosive. In Week 3, he had his coming-out party after carrying the ball three times for 51 yards. A 47-yard highlight made up the majority of his yardage on the ground in that contest, but he did also catch five passes for 49 yards.

That’s eight touches for 100 yards. Not too shabby.  

However, Bolden remains a viable option only in bigger leagues at this point. If you start him expecting great production equal to that of a normal starter, you’re sorely mistaken.

The primary reason for that is Blount‘s solid numbers in the past few weeks (23 carries, 129 yards and a score) will mean he’s likely the No. 1 option of the two. He’s gained more trust during the season and has a longer track record.

Brandon Bolden is a ______ for Week 5.

Brandon Bolden is a ______ for Week 5.

  • RB1

  • RB2

  • RB3

  • FLEX

  • Bench option

Doug Kyed of NESN.com also points out that Blount is likely to receive the majority of the carries this week against the Cincinnati Bengals. Still, Bolden will be a short-yardage option in the red zone and a threat in the passing attack which makes him serviceable in deeper leagues.

Such a scenario could mean easy touchdowns from close range for Bolden, which is a good sign for owners taking a flier on him. When combined with his potential as a pass-catcher, Bolden stands a solid chance of having a decent Week 5 performance.  

Granted, the Bengals are no pushovers defensively with a No. 13 and No. 12 ranking against the pass and run, respectively, but that’s a chance you need to take in this instance. Besides, it isn’t as though those are elite rankings.

At best, though, Bolden will be sharing the workload with Blount, and that problem could be compounded by veteran back Leon Washington, who should play this week. As of now, ESPN.com lists Washington as questionable (thigh) for Sunday’s game.

Adding Washington’s name to the mix shows just how deep the Pats are at running backand that’s not even mentioning Shane Vereen, who figures to return at some point this season.

That makes Bolden a temporary solution and someone to watch moving forward with the injury to Ridley.

If and when Ridley and Vereen return, Bolden will be back to even more limited action as a third back or worse, and that will help bring his fantasy value down considerably as the season wears on.

NFL Injuries Week 5: Latest News

As if the Baltimore Ravens didn’t have enough problems in their receiving corps this season, Marlon Brown  will be inactive on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter:

Brown is currently third on the team in receiving yards (150), targets (23) and catches (14). While he hasn’t had a big impact through the air this season, his loss will leave the Ravens one player short for Joe Flacco to throw to.

That could benefit fellow receiver, Torrey Smith, who will be leaned on by Flacco in order to create some semblance of a passing attack. Running back Ray Rice will also be an option to throw the ball to now that Baltimore’s resources are limited.

Should that not work out to plan, the Ravens will be forced to run the ball and that could lead to extra carries for Rice, thus giving him yet another avenue to have a big day.

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Fantasy Football Week 5 Live Tracker

The whistle in fantasy football owners’ ears signaling the start of the second quarter of the 2013 NFL regular season in Week 5 is either music to their ears or an alarm.

Some owners need to wake up after lackluster starts. Their players dug them holes in the standings, failing to live up to their draft spot through Week 4. Whether by blockbuster trade or eying the waiver wire like a hawk, those owners must make moves to turn the season around before their holes turn into graves.

This tracker is here to help them.

Other owners simply need to keep doing what they’re doing to earn a playoff berth. However, that doesn’t mean the fortunate shot-callers shouldn’t be alert for unsigned sleepers as well as the previously mentioned desperate owners trying to turn their team inside out via trade. Lucky draft days alone don’t guarantee championships.

Underperformers who the fantasy world—struggling owners in particular—will have on its radar this Sunday are running backs Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens and the New York Giants’ David Wilson.

They have combined for just 271 yards from scrimmage, one touchdown and three lost fumbles, but both backs’ circumstances changed this past week. Baltimore upgraded Rice’s blocking by trading for offensive tackle Eugene Monroe (via ESPN) and New York released Da’Rel Scott (via Giants.com), who had stolen 26 offensive touches and three touchdowns from Wilson this year.

Stay tuned for updates on whether or not Rice and Wilson take advantage of their upgraded situation as well as the most explosive performers and influential injury implications of the week.

David Daniels is a breaking news writer at Bleacher Report and news editor of Wade-O Radio. 

Follow @TheRealDDaniels

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Due to Calvin Johnson’s injury, fantasy owners who started Detroit Lions wide receiver Ryan Broyles in Week 4 should get over their bitterness stemming from his zero-catch performance and try him in their lineup one more time.

The Lions reported from their official Twitter account that Johnson would not suit up for their game against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.

WR Calvin Johnson won’t play today. First regular season game inactive since the finale in 2010. #DETvsGB

— Detroit Lions (@DetroitLionsNFL) October 6, 2013

Detroit’s injury report already included Nate Burleson out with a forearm injury. Now Broyles’ greatest competition among wide outs for targets is Kris Durham. 

Fear not—Broyles won’t lay another goose egg on fantasy owners’ score sheets like he did against the Chicago Bears. Not only will Broyles be a higher priority for Matt Stafford to throw to this week than the last, but Green Bay’s pass defense surrenders over 33.2 more yards per game than Chicago’s.

The Packers’ secondary allowed Anquan Boldin to finish with 13 receptions for 208 yards and a touchdown in Week 1. It’s weak. And the Lions’ fifth-ranked passing attack has to go through someone.

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Justin Blackmon’s greatest obstacle to start his campaign off with a bang is his own quarterback.

Chad Henne and Blaine Gabbert are mediocre when they’re at their best. They boast a combined touchdown-to-interception ratio of 1-to-7 this season. Henne—and his 68.8 passer rating—has his rare moments of success, but Gabbert—and his 30.7 rating—doesn’t.

Blackmon, back from his four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy (via CBS Sports), still managed to reel in 64 balls for 865 yards and five touchdowns catching passes from Henne and Gabbert as a rookie last season. Success isn’t impossible, especially considering that Jacksonville Jaguars’ wide receiver Cecil Shorts has averaged 7.7 catches and 99.0 yards receiving over the past three weeks. In fact, against a St. Louis Rams secondary in which three out of its four top cornerbacks are on the injury report—Cortland Finnegan being doubtful, Trumaine Johnson questionable and Brandon McGee probable—success isn’t even improbable.

Blackmon should be good for at least a half dozen receptions and 80 yards on Sunday.

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Expect St. Louis Rams running back Zac Stacy’s career rushing totals to skyrocket against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 5.

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported that Stacy will start behind Sam Bradford in the St. Louis backfield on Sunday. 

Sources tell me #Rams will give RB Zac Stacy first crack at starting today. Tried to pick him up in my league. Someone already had him.

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 6, 2013

It will mark the first start of the 5’8″, 224-pound rookie fifth round pick’s career. And he couldn’t have picked a better team to debut against. 

Jacksonville has surrendered more rushing yards than any team in the NFL this season, allowing 165.0 per game. Week 2 was its worst in terms of allowing an individual running back to abuse them as Darren McFadden rushed for 129 yards on 6.8 yards a pop.

Stacy has carried the ball just once this regular season for four yards, but fantasy owners shouldn’t be shocked if he reaches the century mark on the ground against the lowly Jaguars, especially if he carries the workload for the Rams.

In three preseason games, Stacy only rushed for 68 yards on 3.0 yards per carry. But then again, he didn’t face the Jaguars’ defense. Expect him to at least equal his preseason rushing total and add a touchdown.

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Wes Welker’s replacement Danny Amendola is back for Tom Brady’s using in Week 5.

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported that, according to sources, Amendola has finally healed enough from the groin injury that he suffered in the season opener to be able to suit up. 

Clarity on #Patriots WR Danny Amendola: Source tells me he’s “good to go.”

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 6, 2013

In Week 1, Brady targeted the former St. Louis Rams wide out 14 times and he racked up 10 receptions for 104 yards. However, Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reported that he won’t receive Welker-like offensive attention this week against the Cincinnati Bengals.

@NYYNYRNFL: @JayGlazer What’s the latest on Amendola?” >playing but they are planning to limit his reps

— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) October 6, 2013

Due to likely limited targets, Amendola is a risky start. Or at least, he would be if nearly Brady’s entire receiving corps wasn’t ailing. 

Kevin Patra of NFL.com reported that Rob Gronkowski is still out of the Patriots’ lineup. And according to ESPN, receivers Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson are questionable for Sunday’s action.

Brady can’t throw to Julian Edelman every passing play. With so few competent receivers healthy, New England needs Amendola to play a key role in its passing attack at Cincinnati.

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Predicting Danny Amendola’s Fantasy Stats for Remainder of 2013 Season

Trying to predict New England Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola‘s stats for the 2013-14 season is like trying to predict the weather. However, let’s break it down and see where he may fall when this campaign is all said and done.

Amendola has had plenty of injury woes the past few seasons after playing in just 12 games from 2011 to 2012. This season has been no different as Amendola has suited up for just one game in 2013-14, and that was the season-opener against the Buffalo Bills.

However, things are looking up for Amendola this week, as NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport has tweeted that Amendola looks “good to go” for the Pats’ Week 5 matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals as he returns from a groin injury:

Clarity on #Patriots WR Danny Amendola: Source tells me he’s “good to go.”

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 6, 2013

When he’s on the field, he’s as deadly a slot receiver as there is in the NFL. In that Week 1 win for New England, Amendola caught 10 passes for 104 yards. It gave fantasy owners a lot of hope that Amendola was primed to have a big season, but then came the injury.

He may be healthy enough to go this week, but next week and beyond is never guaranteed for Amendola.

Should he stay healthy for the Pats, there’s no question he’ll remain a top target for quarterback Tom Brady with a ton of fantasy points to show for it. Not only does he have the potential for consistent 100-yard games with a good amount of touchdowns in between, but he should reach the 1,000-yard mark if he can stay on the field for the final 12 games.

Granted, Amendola has never gained that many yards in any seasoneven the ones he’s been healthy inbut those Rams teams he was on never had a quarterback in the same universe as future Hall of Famer Tom Brady.

Danny Amendola’s Projected Stats
Status Receptions Yards Touchdowns
Healthy (13 Games) 85 1,000 4
With Injuries (8 Games) 50 500 2

Mike Moraitis

Not to mention, the eventual return of star tight end Rob Gronkowski will help open up things over the middle for Amendola moving forward, which is a luxury he won’t have until Gronk gets back.

Until Gronk does take the field this season, Amendola remains the most experienced, trusted target Brady will throw to thanks to a young receiving corps that features rookies like Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins.

Don’t forget that Amendola is the replacement for Wes Welker, who caught over 100 passes in five of his six seasons with the team as a top target for Brady. Adding to that, Welker also notched 1,348 yards in 14 games back in 2009, so Amendola breaking the 1,000-yard mark in 13 total games isn’t out of the question by any stretch.

If he becomes a weekly victim of the injury bug, Amendola’s numbers will obviously go down considerably. That’s why trading him now may end up being the best solution for fantasy owners.

The first thing that should worry owners is the fact that he’s listed as questionable (per ESPN.com). Adding to those concerns, Jay Glazer of FOX Sports is reporting Amendola will see limited reps, so that pretty much confirms he isn’t totally healthy and will likely see a frustrating drop in production from Week 1:

@NYYNYRNFL: @JayGlazer What’s the latest on Amendola?” >playing but they are planning to limit his reps

— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) October 6, 2013

While his value is still high from a great game in Week 1, it would be wise to explore trade options with a team in need of a receiver. Amendola could garner a highly coveted RB2 in the right situation or a solid starter at most other positions.

Heck, you may be able to get a receiver back of equal or lesser value who could end up contributing more than an injured Amendola would. And, in turn, your trade partner will curse you once he realizes Amendola’s injuries have once again gotten the best of him.

The sky’s the limit for Amendola, but the concerns over his health from week to week make him risky at best. Hold on to him at your own peril because he may never be more valuable than he is right now.

Clarity on #Patriots WR Danny Amendola: Source tells me he’s “good to go.”

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 6, 2013

Week 5 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Last-Minute Tips to Lock Down Lineups

Sunday morning has arrived and your fantasy football lineup is nowhere closer to reaching its completion.

There are many procrastinators among us who have not yet tied down their selections for Week 5 of the NFL season. With a healthy chunk of Sunday’s slate commencing at 1 p.m. ET, time is running low.

Of course, holding back until the very end to submit a lineup is not always a function of laziness. Owners are still surveying the landscape for pertinent news to help them obtain a victory. 

Here are some vital updates on key fantasy players in order to help you set a winning lineup for Week 5.

RB Rashad Jennings (vs. San Diego Chargers)

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Darren McFadden is hurt? Wow, what a truly stunning development.

The oft-injured back, who has yet to log more than 13 games in a season during his career, will likely miss his first Sunday this year. According to CSN Bay Area’s Scott Bair, McFadden is listed as doubtful after injuring his hamstring last week against the Washington Redskins.

He knows a thing or two about injuries, so McFadden is wise enough to play it safe. Here’s what he told Bair:

“Hamstrings are one of those things you want to be careful with,” McFadden said on Friday. “I’d rather miss one or two games than to come back and pop it and miss four or five.”

Is Rashad Jennings worth starting with Darren McFadden doubtful to play?

Is Rashad Jennings worth starting with Darren McFadden doubtful to play?

Marcel Reece is dealing with knee ailments of his own, which means Rashad Jennings should receive regular rushes against the Chargers, who have allowed 120.5 rushing yards per game on 5.2 yards per carry.

Some bitter owners may remember Jennings as the man who unsuccessfully replaced Maurice Jones-Drew last season. Instead of seizing the increased playing time, he shrunk under the spotlight with 2.8 yards per carry. But he’s a starting running back who compiled 116 total yards (45 rushing, 71 receiving) last week, so managers must pay attention.

This game will start at 11:35 p.m. ET due to stadium scheduling conflicts with the Oakland Athletics, so owners have a little more time to make the call here. Although the Chargers are one of five teams yet to allow a back to reach the end zone, they have also allowed the most yards of any AFC squad, so Jennings should pile up enough yardage to become a worthwhile flex play.

Verdict: Start

WR Danny Amendola/TE Rob Gronkowski (at Cincinnati Bengals)

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Another week, another seven days to excessively check the injury updates in hopes of good news on Tom Brady’s favorite targets.

Danny Amendola caught 10 passes for 104 yards in his Week 1 debut with the New England Patriots, only to promptly take a seat on the sideline with an injured groin. Rob Gronkowski has yet to suit up this season after weeks of playing the questionable game with his status.

Well, owners can cross out Gronkowski and sit him on the bench once again, but not so fast on Amendola. The Boston Herald‘s Jeff Howe is reporting that the wide receiver will line up for New England today.

Sources: Rob Gronkowski not traveling to Cincinnati, Danny Amendola will play http://t.co/QwzsGdB9lp

— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) October 5, 2013

But does his availability make him an automatic start? He’s stewed for three weeks while Brady built a rapport with Julian Edelman and Kenbrell Thompkins, so there’s a chance Amendola might not break out against a challenging Cincinnati defense.

Then again, we saw what he could do in his one go-around with Brady. Amendola automatically became the top target to start the season, and it’s never been a matter of ability for the receiver who struggles to stay on the field.

This call depends on your situation. Some owners might have a safer alternative worth using instead, but most managers, especially those in points-per-reception leagues, will want to toss Amendola back into the fold.

Verdict: Start Amendola, Sit Gronkowski

RB LeGarrette Blount (at Cincinnati Bengals)

Let’s stay with New England but shift to the rushing game, where Stevan Ridley‘s absence clears the way for LeGarrette Blount.

According to The Boston Globe‘s Shalise Masza Young, Ridley is officially out of today’s game with a knee injury. He had been gradually working his way back into Bill Belichick‘s good graces following a costly Week 1 fumble.

#Patriots RB Stevan Ridley out for Sunday’s game due to knee injury http://t.co/2mCGKFsSwf

— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) October 4, 2013

Ridley‘s loss is Blount‘s gain. The big back is averaging 4.6 yards per carry this season, gaining 64 yards and a touchdown last Sunday night against the Atlanta Falcons. He might not receive 25 carries, but he should get the ball where it counts: the goal line.

New England’s offense is a gold mine for running backs to collect touchdowns. After Brady does most of the heavy lifting moving the chains, the Patriots pound the ball down opponents’ throats past the pylons. Ridley scored 12 touchdowns last season, and BenJarvus Green-Ellis collected double-digit scores in the two previous seasons.

Blount is the perfect fit in that regard to vulture a score or two away from Brady and his receivers. Don’t expect 100-plus yards, but Blount can still offer plenty of fantasy points.

Verdict: Start

Cowboys | Injury affected Tony Romo’s deep passes

Cowboys | Injury affected Tony Romo’s deep passes

The Dallas Cowboys believe QB Tony Romo (ribs) is healthy enough to be able to throw deep passes again. Romo was not throwing deep passes before because he was affected by a rib injury.

2013-10-06 09:25:53 | Source: ESPN – Ed Werder

Access more Tony Romo news and rumors by clicking here….

What do you think? Sound off!

For additional NFL information, please view KFFL’s NFL Hot off the Wire.


Ravens part ways with veteran WR Stokley


The Baltimore Ravens cut wide receiver Brandon Stokley and re-signed tight end Billy Bajema for Sunday’s game at the Miami Dolphins.

Stokley was inactive last Sunday because of a groin injury and didn’t practice Friday. He caught nine passes for 79 yards for the Ravens in three games.

The Ravens added Bajema because they only had two other tight ends on the roster — Dallas Clark and Ed Dickson. Bajema was released earlier in the week to make room for offensive tackle Eugene Monroe, who was acquired in a trade from Jacksonville.

This was Stokley’s second stint with the Ravens. He caught a touchdown pass for the Ravens in their first Super Bowl victory in January 2001. The Baltimore Sun reported that Stokley could possibly be re-signed by the Ravens next week.

  • University of Maryland graduate
  • Lives in the Baltimore area with his wife and son

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