Tag: Tennessee Titans

Key fantasy football injury updates for Week 13

Welcome to Week 13! There are only two teams not playing in this first week of December: the Tennessee Titans and Cleveland Browns. These are the final byes of the season as we approach the playoffs and teams battle for positioning. Thursday night saw the Dallas Cowboys visit the Minnesota Vikings, but the remaining 28 teams will take the field this weekend.

At this late date, it might be a shorter write-up if we just stuck to the players who are actually healthy. The question for fantasy owners in this crucial make-or-break week for the playoffs is whether the key players taking the field at less than 100 percent can still produce big numbers.

All of the best fantasy football advice and relevant information for Week 13 from our Insider experts, all in one place.

Which wide receivers have the easiest and toughest matchups in Week 13? Check out the downloadable PDF cheat sheet listing every matchup to help with your fantasy football decisions.

Theo Riddick, Detroit Lions, ankle, (Q): Riddick was limited in practice throughout the week and comes into the game as questionable. This has been the pattern for multiple weeks now, ever since Riddick returned from a two-week absence following the injury. He remains their go-to back when he is on the field, regardless of his designation.

Latavius Murray, Oakland Raiders, ankle, (Q): Murray is again listed as questionable this week with an ankle injury. Last week he carried the ball 19 (!) times, so it’s not as if the team is reducing his workload because of an injury concern. He was a limited practice participant each day this week, and he is expected to be the majority ball carrier again in Week 13. As always with the late games, fantasy owners are advised to verify the status of players like Murray with a questionable designation.

Jacquizz Rodgers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, foot, (Q): Last week Rodgers was listed as questionable after getting his first practice reps since his foot injury but ended up being inactive. This week Rodgers increased his practice activity, fully participating each day. His questionable status feels much more like a probable designation, but even if he is active, Doug Martin is still expected to shoulder most of the workload for the Buccaneers.

Titans sign veteran WR Andre Johnson to 2-year deal

Andre Johnson was hellbent on not retiring after the Indianapolis Colts released him last month, and now he’s found a new home with another AFC South squad.

The Tennessee Titans signed Johnson to a two-year deal, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, ensuring the 13-year veteran will receive at least another shot to play in the NFL. Johnson, 35, recorded a career-low 41 receptions and only 503 yards last season. He caught more than four passes in a game only once and was shutout on three occasions.

Prior to the 2016 campaign, the Colts viewed Johnson as a productive veteran who was ready to mentor the younger wide receivers on the roster. But it didn’t work out that way, as Donte Moncrief emerged as the clear No. 2 option behind T.Y. Hilton, leaving Johnson in the dust.

And McAdoo somehow managed to shoot upward from there.

Players like Justin Pugh (a fourth-year guard) look bigger, stronger and in the best shape of their careers. Pugh was virtuoso in the way he communicated his hopes for the season, in the clarity he effused about the Giants offensive line building camaraderie and cohesion, about how the offense should be faster and sleeker, about how the defense is re-energized and stouter. You could have flipped back and forth between McAdoo and Pugh and the message would have been seamless.

This says that McAdoo is on point with his message to his players. It is filtering effectively among the Giants, several of whom spoke on Thursday in similar manner to Pugh.

It was defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul who stressed that the Giants have not been to the playoffs “in a minute.”

Try four straight seasons. And the last two seasons were raw 6-10 ones, the kinds that forced change, that got coach Tom Coughlin fired and fixture players like cornerback Prince Amukamara and receiver Rueben Randle booted. The Giants needed a mental and physical overhaul and McAdoo is driving both.

There is a frank reality about him, though, that is operative: “These are words,” he said. “We need to back it up. We all have to go earn it.”

McAdoo has a 1-2 punch, a two-step shuffle that is his chief Giants playbook.

Several offensive-minded coaches in recent years became head coaches and concentrated on being creative, on being fancy, on their Xs-and-Os factor being the single-most important ingredient to victory. They wanted to dazzle as much as win. But McAdoo has a true grit to him and this quote from him on Thursday should make anyone who cares about the Giants ecstatic:

“The game looks a little different than it has in the past, but still the teams that are standing at the end are the heavy-handed, tough teams. That part hasn’t changed and it never will.”

This emphasis on being “heavy-handed” is a huge difference between NFL winners and losers. McAdoo gets this. The Giants players get it. He said he will be smart about injuries but also insisted that he will have a physical training camp. He is incessantly instructing his team that discipline and poise must accompany this physicality. It is a tricky mix, but also an essential mix to championship football.