Ravens ILB Zach Orr announced Friday that he's retiring from football because of a congenital neck and spine condition that was diagnosed after the season. The unfortunate situation takes the 24-year-old out of the league right after his breakthrough year as a new starter. It also leaves a hole for Baltimore to address on defense this offseason. We'll see how the Ravens handle it and how the move impacts the IDP outlook for ILB C.J. Mosley.
Falcons WR Julio Jones (toe) isn't listed on the final injury report. He was officially limited in Friday's practice after sitting out the previous 2 days, but HC Dan Quinn said Jones "looked good" and "won't have any limitations" on Sunday vs. Green Bay. It's still tough to believe that he'll be anywhere close to 100%, but Jones is still capable of being a difference-maker this weekend.
Packers WRs Jordy Nelson (ribs), Davante Adams (ankle) and Geronimo Allison (hamstring) are all listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Falcons. Adams and Allison didn't practice all week. Nelson put in limited workouts on Wednesday and Thursday before sitting out on Friday, reportedly due to an illness. HC Mike McCarthy said Friday morning that all 3 guys could be game-time decisions. We'll find out their statuses by 1:30 pm ET on Sunday.
The Patriots listed WR Chris Hogan (thigh) as questionable for Sunday's AFC Championship against the Steelers. He was limited in practice all week. Hogan is fully expected to play, but it looks like he won't be operating at 100%.
Patriots WR Malcolm Mitchell (knee) is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Steelers after a limited week of practice. He's in the same boat as last week, when he ended up inactive. There's more optimism about Mitchell's availability this weekend, though. "It's trending in the right direction," ESPN's Mike Reiss tweeted on Friday afternoon. We'll find out Mitchell's official status around 5 pm ET on Sunday.
Steelers TE Ladarius Green (concussion) is listed as questionable for Sunday's AFC Championship against the Patriots. He returned to a limited practice on Friday after sitting out Thursday. Frankly, though, we'd be shocked if Green was cleared to play in New England.
The Bills have hired Rick Dennison as OC. Dennison spent the past 2 years as Denver's OC under Gary Kubiak -- and also coordinated Kubiak's Texans offenses from 2010 to 2013. It's notable that Dennison worked with Tyrod Taylor as Baltimore's QB coach in 2014. We'll see if Taylor is Dennison's QB in Buffalo in 2017 and beyond.
Packers WR Jordy Nelson (ribs) practiced without pads on Thursday. As ESPN's Rob Demovsky confirms, it likely means Nelson has yet to be cleared for contact. He still has 3 days to get there, but we're not holding our breath. WRs Davante Adams (ankle) and Geronimo Allison (hamstring) have yet to practice this week but seem to have a better chance than Nelson of playing against the Falcons this weekend.
Steelers TE Ladarius Green (concussion) did not practice on Thursday. It's the 2nd straight time he was sidelined the day after putting in a limited workout. Green can't shake this concussion problem. He won't play against the Patriots on Sunday, and there's certainly concern for his long-term outlook.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport hears that Colts QB Andrew Luck is looking at 6 months of rehab for a "full return." He's expected to resume throwing in 3 months. The 6-month timeline takes us into mid-July, right around the start of training camp. So barring setbacks, Luck should be ready to roll well ahead of the start of the 2017 season. But this was clearly a significant procedure to his throwing shoulder. It'll be a situation to track all offseason.
Colts owner Jim Irsay revealed via Twitter on Thursday that QB Andrew Luck recently underwent surgery on his right (throwing) shoulder. The issue didn't cost him any games this past year -- he missed 1 with a concussion -- but Luck was a regular on the injury report and often limited in practice early in the week. Irsay says the shoulder injury has "lingered since 2015" -- presumably when he suffered a sprain in Week 3 of that year and missed the following game. Luck is expected to be ready for the start of the 2017 campaign, according to Irsay, but we'll be looking for more information on the procedure Luck had and exactly how long he'll be sidelined.
Steelers TE Ladarius Green (concussion) put in a limited practice on Wednesday. It's his 1st practice of any kind in 13 days. Green will need to make it through the week without a setback. And even then, he's not a lock to receive clearance for Sunday's game against the Patriots. Stay tuned.
Packers WR Davante Adams was held out of Wednesday's practice due to an ankle injury. He appeared to roll the ankle in the 4th quarter of last weekend's win in Dallas but returned to the game. "We'll see," Packers HC Mike McCarthy said when asked about Adams' status. "I'm curious to see him move. I don't think he'll practice until Saturday." We're expecting Adams to play against the Falcons on Sunday, but his status can't be taken for granted.
Patriots WR Chris Hogan injured his thigh late in last weekend's win over the Texans. He suggested Tuesday, though, that he could have returned to that one and should be available for Sunday's AFC Championship. “Feeling good, just had a little minor setback in the game, but I’m working back every single day and feeling better every day,” Hogan said. We'll keep an eye on his practice reps this week, but look for him to be out there vs. the Steelers.
Steelers WR Martavis Bryant has applied for reinstatement, according to insider Tom Pelissero. Bryant was suspended last March for the entire 2016 season after failing 6 drug tests. He subsequently checked into rehab for both the drug problem and depression. Sports Illustrated recently posted an interview with Bryant, though, that showed him in good spirits and seemingly rededicated to football. If reinstated, Bryant will return for the 2017 at still only 25 years old. There's time for him to turn his career around. He remains a dynasty hold.
ESPN's Rob Demovsky hears there's "only a small chance" Packers WR Jordy Nelson (ribs) plays against the Falcons on Sunday. Broken ribs generally take about 6 weeks to heal, so it's tough to see Nelson getting cleared just 2 weeks after his injury. "Can't tell you if Jordy's going to practice Wednesday, but he did all the work in the [regeneration] workout today," HC Mike McCarthy said Monday. "So that's a good sign." Perhaps Nelson could return if Green Bay reaches the Super Bowl, but look for Davante Adams, Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison to serve as the top 3 WRs in Atlanta. TE Jared Cook should also continue to play a big role in the passing game.
Falcons HC Dan Quinn said Monday that WR Julio Jones (toe) will be "ready to rock" for Sunday's NFC Championship against the Packers, although he'll be limited in practice this week. Jones aggravated the toe injury he originally suffered in Week 13 and was sidelined for much of the 4th quarter of Saturday's win over the Seahawks. He ended up playing a season-low 58.3% of the snaps. Quinn's optimism -- and the fact that Jones will practice at all this week -- are obviously good signs, though. We'll keep an eye on him.
Falcons WR Julio Jones aggravated his sprained toe in Saturday's win over the Seahawks, HC Dan Quinn said afterward. Jones was noticeably hobbled at multiple times during the game and was sidelined late in the 4th quarter. "No concern, at the moment," Quinn said. "We'll have more information on that later. It will be sore, but he's certainly somebody that's able to battle through it. So, I anticipate him being ready to rock next week." We'll be on Julio Watch throughout next week.
Seahawks RB C.J Prosise (scapula) is inactive for this afternoon's game against the Falcons. He returned to practice this week and would seem to have a shot to play if Seattle advances to the NFC Championship. Thomas Rawls and Alex Collins will continue to handle backfield duties today -- with perhaps a sprinkle of J.D. McKissic.
The Broncos have hired Mike McCoy as their new OC. It's a homecoming after McCoy spent the 2009-2012 seasons in the same role. His QBs during that stretch ranged from Kyle Orton to Tim Tebow to Peyton Manning. McCoy was able to coax top-15 finishes in total yards and passing yards out of the Orton-led squads. With Tebow in 2011, Denver ranked 1st in rushing attempts and yards but 31st in passing and 23rd in total offense. McCoy's 2012 season with Manning produced a #4 finish in total yards and #2 in points. McCoy struggled as the Chargers' HC for the past 4 years, producing a 27-37 record (although injuries did him no favors). All 4 of those squads led by QB Philip Rivers ranked top 10 in passing yards. McCoy is widely regarded as 1 of the better offensive minds in the game, so this is a nice hire for Denver. He seems to lean toward a pass-heavy attack but has shown the willingness and ability to adjust his scheme. We'll see what he has in mind for this Broncos attack.
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