Head2Head Sports

MenuSkip to content

Football

Pro Playoff Pick'em

Latest Player News

The Seahawks have signed Terrell Thomas, the Everett Herald reports.

Impact

The former Giant, who played for Seattle coach Pete Carroll while at USC, played in all 16 games last season after missing the 2011 and 2012 campaigns with ACL tears. In the process, Thomas recorded 67 tackles and a pick; with Seattle he'll try to stick as a depth corner/nickelback.

Travis Benjamin (knee) is projected to be the primary return man on both kickoffs and punts this season, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

Impact

Although Benjamin received a planned day off Monday morning, the 5-10 receiver has repeatedly declared himself fully healthy for the upcoming season following a torn ACL last October. He's logged just six kick returns over his first two seasons with the Browns but is expected to jump into the primary return role once he's ready to be deployed at full capacity. Buster Skrine is expected to back him up on kick returns, while Jordan Poyer will be his backup on punts.

MarQueis Gray is a candidate to start at fullback this season for the Browns, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

Impact

Gray was a quarterback in college but was converted to a tight end upon his arrival in the league. He's now taking reps at fullback and even caught a pass out of the backfield during Monday morning's practice. Under the new coaching regime in Cleveland, the plan is for the fullback to do more than just block, and the athletic Gray certainly fits this profile. His skill set will help his chances of making the final roster, but it's unlikely that he sees enough targets to warrant much fantasy consideration in 2014.

The Patriots have claimed Tyler Gaffney (knee) off waivers from the Panthers, ESPN.com reports.

Impact

Gaffney, a sixth-round draft choice by the Panthers, sustained a season-ending torn lateral meniscus in practice Friday, which led to him being waived, but the Patriots are evidently prepared to stash him on their roster this season. With Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, and Brandon Bolden all in the final year of their contracts, Gaffney – assuming he's indeed retained by the Patriots – would then be in line to push for a roster spot with the team next season.

Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, and Brandon Bolden are all entering the final year of their contracts with the Patriots, ESPN.com reports.

Impact

Given that reality, it's not surprising that the Patriots drafted the versatile James White in the fourth round of May's NFL draft. Stephen Houston, Jonas Gray, and Roy Finch are also around as depth options, but this coming season, it's not hard to imagine a scenario in which Ridley reclaims his role as the heavy-lifter in the Patriots' backfield, with Vereen's pass-catching ability likely ensuring him a key role in the team's offense as well. White figures to slot in primarily as Vereen insurance out of the gate, but he's already impressed early on in camp, so he could factor in as well. Of course, in order for Ridley to cement a key role in 2014, he'll need to re-prove his ability to hold on to ball after fumbling issues led to him ceding carries to to the bruising LeGarrette Blount (now with Pittsburgh) last season.

The retirement of Sean McGrath bodes well for Demetrius Harris' chances of making the Chiefs' 53-man roster, the Kansas City Star reports.

Impact

Harris had a chance to beat out McGrath for a spot on the roster in any case, but now with McGrath out of the equation, his chances of sticking are bolstered. With Anthony Fasano and Travis Kelce currently atop the team's TE depth chart, Harris' prime competition for backup slotting is Richard Gordon. Still raw as an NFL prospect, Harris – who played basketball in college – brings good size (he's 6-7) to the table, but his potential involvement in the Chiefs' offense figures to hinge largely on his ability to develop his blocking technique.

Armonty Bryant could be in line "to take a major step forward" in the new defensive scheme of coach Mike Pettine, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

Impact

Bryant has shown impressive speed for his 265-pound frame, a trait Pettine views favorably in his pass-rushing defensive ends. As a rookie, Bryant recorded 12 combined tackles and two sacks, but these numbers could be in line to grow in his sophomore campaign. However, he'll need to improve his rank on the depth chart if he's going to warrant IDP consideration in 2014.

Christian Kirksey put forth a strong showing during Monday's practice, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

Impact

Kirksey is competing with Craig Robertson for the starting inside linebacker job alongside Karlos Dansby, and although it's early, the third-round pick seems to have the slight edge. The rookie was drafted in part due to his strong pass coverage ability, and he put that on display Monday by picking off a Johnny Manziel pass. If Kirksey is able to lock down the starting spot, he'll definitely be worth some IDP consideration due to the potential for high tackle counts and the occasional interception.

Early on in training camp, the trio of Teddy Bridgewater, Matt Cassel, and Christian Ponder have shared the Vikings' QB reps, NFL.com reports. "These first four days, we've worked three groups," offensive coordinator Norv Turner noted Monday. "Matt's gotten a little bit more, Teddy's gotten about a third and Ponder's gotten about a third. We have the day off [Tuesday], and we'll adjust that, probably getting more half and half."

Impact

Assuming the reps are split two ways Wednesday, as Turner suggests, they will likely be divided between Bridgewater and Cassel. While Cassel's candidacy to earn the Vikings' starting QB assignment is buoyed by his NFL experience, the fact that practice reps are already in line to be divided at this stage of the game suggests that Bridgewater is in a viable position to mount a challenge to overtake his veteran counterparts with a strong preseason.

Gary Barnidge was activated from the non-football injury list Monday, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal reports.

Impact

A failed conditioning test landed Barnidge on the list, but his presence there didn't last long. He'll return to full-contact practice, where he's set to compete with Jim Dray and MarQueis Gray for a roster spot backing up starting tight end Jordan Cameron.

The Lions have elected to put contract talks with Ndamukong Suh on hold until after the regular season ends, NBC Sports reports.

Impact

The team believes that a deal will eventually get done, but the two sides clearly are far apart in negotiations. Suh, a four-year NFL veteran, is the anchor of Detroit's defensive line; he recorded 49 total tackles, 5.5 sacks, and six passes defensed last season.

Eli Manning (ankle) expects to take the field in Sunday's Hall of Fame Game against the Bills, ESPN New York reports. On Monday, he said, "I'll listen to what the coaches decide, obviously, but if you could you'd like to get out there for an extra series or so just to get your mechanics down, get into the rhythm of it."

Impact

Coach Tom Coughlin won't make his decision official until Thursday's practice concludes, but Manning appears poised to garner at least one series Sunday. The Giants' appearance in the Hall of Fame Game affords Manning five exhibitions to prove the health of his ankle, which underwent arthroscopic surgery in April. After throwing a career-worst 27 interceptions last season, it remains to be seen if the procedure can cure what ailed him.

An MRI on Monday revealed that Kelvin Benjamin is dealing with a bone bruise in his left knee, ESPN.com reports.

Impact

Moreover, coach Ron Rivera indicated that there was no structural damage in the rookie wideout's knee. That said, it's unclear when he'll be able to return to practice, though at this stage, he appears to be in the day-to-day category, as opposed to a week-to-week scenario.

Shonn Greene (knee), who didn't participate in any of the Titans' OTAs or minicamp, saw his biggest workload in training camp to date Monday, the team's official site reports.

Impact

The good news is that Greene's knee is holding up fine thus far, but after missing time this offseason, Greene needs the reps, as coach Ken Whisenhunt acknowledged that the veteran running back could stand to lose 5-to-10 pounds at this stage. In any case, Greene has newcomer Bishop Sankey to contend with for touches this season, with the report adding that early on, Whisenhunt has been impressed with Greene's rookie competitor.

Pierre Garcon left Monday's practice early due to a sore right hamstring, the Washington Post reports.

Impact

Both Garcon and coach Jay Gruden downplayed the wideout's hamstring issue, so this doesn't look like anything that will develop into a long-term concern. Garcon led NFL receivers in both catches (113) and targets (181) in 2013, and while the addition of the dynamic DeSean Jackson to the Redskins' wideout mix could result in a hit in Garcon's workload, the team's passing offense as a whole figures to benefit from the improved health of QB Robert Griffin.

Anthony Gaitor (knee) was signed by the Buccaneers on Monday, the Tampa Bay Times reports. This will be his second stint with the Buccaneers, after they released him in May.

Impact

Gaitor was a seventh-round selection by the Buccaneers in 2011 and saw limited time in his first two seasons with the team before missing all of 2013 with a torn ACL. He'll have to battle for a spot on the 53-man roster, likely as a depth corner.

Le'Veon Bell, who left Sunday's practice early due to hamstring tightness, will not practice Monday, Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.

Impact

While Bell's hamstring injury is worth noting, there's nothing to suggest that the second-year back – whose 2013 season was delayed early on by a foot injury – is in any danger, this time around, of having his early-season prospects derailed by the issue.

Coach Ron Rivera suggested that the MRI on Kelvin Benjamin's left knee is "strictly precautionary," the Associated Press reports. "I'm optimistic," Rivera said regarding the rookie wideout's knee issue. "He shook it off and he finished practice. It could just be one of those things where if he had iced it right away and not finished practice maybe it would have been better. If it's negative we'll just keep on rolling. I'm optimistic that is what it's going to be."

Impact

While Rivera's words are encouraging, we'll continue to maintain a level of concern, as the Panthers await word on the results of the wideout's MRI. While Rivera noted that Benjamin has "had a great camp" thus far, he conceded that the first-rounder still needs as many training camp/practice reps as possible due to his status as a rookie in an offense featuring a revamped receiving corps.

Chris Harris passed his six-month checkup with Dr. James Andrews while he recovers from a torn ACL, and he could be cleared to practice soon, USA Today reports.

Impact

Harris, who suffered the injury back in January, is currently on the training camp PUP list and will likely be brought along slowly once he is officially cleared. He's expected to start opposite Aqib Talib at right cornerback, although he could see more time as a slot corner if first-round pick Bradley Roby can impress during the preseason.

After not finishing practice Monday because of a sore foot, Alshon Jeffery indicated that he's "all right," Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune reports.

Impact

Moreover, after the wideout left Monday's practice, he was spotting catching passes on the sideline as the session continued, supporting the notion that Jeffery's foot issue is a minor concern.