Jeff Stotts, RotoWire’s injury expert, wrote a piece last week about the plethora of hamstring injuries that we’ve seen during training camp this year. Players like Emmanuel Sanders and Dez Bryant have dealt with them recently, while Odell Beckham was plagued by an issue there last season. Nevertheless, as the preseason rolls along it appears all the hamstring issues will be cleared up by Week 1, though some players could be falling on their respective depth charts with each day they miss.
- After initially being cleared to play following a concussion suffered last week, Robert Griffin will not play Saturday against the Ravens and will sit out 1-to-2 weeks after an additional exam by neuropsychologists determined he should not participate in football activities. Given the timing, Griffin is looking slightly less likely to be ready for Week 1, which could allow Kirk Cousins or Colt McCoy to step in…again.
- Despite returning to practice this week after missing time with a hamstring injury, Dez Bryant is not likely to play in either of the Cowboys’ two remaining preseason games. Despite the lack of game reps, the team is expecting him to be fully healthy for Week 1 against the Giants.
- Dolphins rookie running back Jay Ajayi was dealing with his own hamstring injury, but not only was he able to return to practice this week, he could play in Saturday’s preseason game against the Falcons. Lamar Miller is firmly entrenched as the starter in Miami, and Ajayi is already behind in the competition with Damien Williams and LaMichael James for backup touches, but once he returns to full health, he’s expected to move up the depth chart.
- Chris Johnson (yup, hamstring) is a game-time decision for Sunday’s game against the Raiders. Rookie David Johnson, who missed some time early in training camp with a (you guessed it) hamstring injury, appears to be ahead of the veteran on the depth chart right now, though both are still solidly behind starter Andre Ellington.
- Titans rookie running back David Cobb was held out of Friday’s preseason game against the Chiefs because of a calf injury. Cobb seems headed for a backup role behind Bishop Sankey, but the possibility of goal-line work is giving him an interesting fantasy floor, and if Sankey performs like he did last season (3.7 YPC, two TDs), Cobb could see an expanded role.
Turning away from the injury room and into the courtroom:
- Martavis Bryant officially appealed his four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy, and it is expected that a decision will be made within the next 10 days. It would be very surprising if Bryant’s penalty was completely overturned, and it looks all but certain that he’ll miss at least one game, with a very real possibility that it stays at four. Darrius Heyward-Bey and Sammie Coates are candidates for the No. 3 wide receiver spot, though it’s more likely that Marcus Wheaton and Antonio Brown just get more targets.
- The Titans’ Justin Hunter got a little bit of good news on the legal front when his felony charge for malicious wounding during an incident last month was reduced to a misdemeanor for assault and battery. He’s been fully participating in training camp, but he’s due in court Tuesday to face the reduced charges. It seems likely that the league will take some kind of action against him, which certainly doesn’t bode well for competing for reps with Kendall Wright, Harry Douglas, Hakeem Nicks and Dorial Green-Beckham.
And for the actual on-the-field info (remember when fantasy football was all about what happens on the field?):
- Chargers rookie running back Melvin Gordon started taking reps in goal-line packages for the first time this week. Danny Woodhead is likely to see snaps on passing downs, but Gordon looks like he’ll get a full workload on early downs without having to sit when the Chargers are in close. His ADP is still in the high-30s (fourth round in 12-team leagues) and is only likely to move up.
- Chris Ivory could see more snaps on passing downs this year. He has always been known as a strong runner, and head coach Todd Bowles mentioned recently how fast Ivory is, but he’s never been known as a good pass catcher, as he came into last year having never caught more than two passes in a season.
- Joseph Randle is expected to get the first shot at goal-line carries for the Cowboys. It’s not an overly surprising outcome, as Lance Dunbar is more of a pass-catcher and he’s still ahead of Darren McFadden on the depth chart. Randle’s ADP (50.77) is based more on the Cowboys’ offensive line than his running ability, but goal-line work is goal-line work.