Shark Bites

The Titans and HC Mike Mularkey have "mutually agreed to part ways," a source tells ESPN's Field Yates. It's a shocker after reports as recent as yesterday that Mularkey would receive a contract extension. He took his squad to the 2nd round of the playoffs this year -- but Tennessee's season still felt disappointing in a lot of ways. Most notable was the gigantic step back QB Marcus Mariota took, tossing 13 TDs and 15 INTs. The Titans also stuck with DeMarco Murray as their lead back for far too long. Let's hope Tennessee brings in a coaching staff with more offensive creativity.

Patriots RB Rex Burkhead (knee) is expected back for Sunday's AFC Championship game against the Jaguars, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Burkhead was limited in practice last week and was close to playing on Saturday night vs. Tennessee, Rapoport adds. New England got 181 total yards and 2 TDs from RBs Dion Lewis and James White in the win over the Titans but will certainly welcome back Burkhead's versatile skill set.

Broncos WR Carlos Henderson was arrested and charged with marijuana possession on Sunday. There's a good chance it nets him a suspension to open the 2018 campaign. Henderson missed his entire rookie season with a torn ligament in his thumb after being a 3rd-rounder last spring. He remains a fine dynasty stash but isn't worth a roster spot in early 2018 fantasy drafts.

Titans TE Jonnu Smith tore his MCL in Saturday night's loss to the Patriots, HC Mike Mularkey said. Smith is expected to be ready for OTAs. The 3rd-rounder flashed sporadically during his rookie season, hauling in 18 balls for 157 yards and 2 scores. Smith will have a shot at a bigger 2018 role with TE Delanie Walker turning 34 in August. Walker is set to hit free agency after next season.

The Bills have named Brian Daboll their new OC. He spent this past year as OC for the national-champion Alabama Crimson Tide but also has 17 seasons of NFL experience. That includes 4 as an OC -- 2 with the Browns, 1 with the Dolphins and 1 with the Chiefs. None of Daboll's units ranked better than 22nd in yards or 20th in points. He's leaned heavily toward the run as a play-caller so far, with 3 of those 4 teams finishing inside the top 6 in rushing attempts and top 11 in rushing yards.

Bills WR Zay Jones is scheduled for surgery this coming week to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder. Jones reportedly played the majority of the season with the injury -- although it's unclear exactly when it occurred. It might help explain his woefully inefficient rookie campaign. Jones caught just 27 of 74 targets -- a hideous 36.5% catch rate -- for 316 yards and 2 TDs. The 2nd-rounder still has an inside track for a 2018 starting job, but he won't be more than a late-round flier in fantasy drafts.

Jaguars RB Chris Ivory is a healthy scratch for today's game against the Steelers. Jacksonville will roll with T.J. Yeldon and Corey Grant behind workhorse Leonard Fournette.

11:01am EST 1/14/18

Steelers WR Antonio Brown (calf) is officially active for today's game against the Jaguars. So pregame warmups evidently went well enough. Brown remains a risk/reward fantasy play at less than 100% in a tough matchup.

Falcons RB Devonta Freeman told reporters after Saturday's season-ending loss in Philadelphia that he's been playing through MCL and PCL sprains. He was on the injury report with a knee for both the Wild Card and Divisional Rounds, so it looks like the injuries occurred in Week 17. Freeman is hoping to avoid surgery, but we'll keep tabs on him this offseason. He set 3-year lows in carries, rushing yards, catches, receiving yards and total TDs in 2017 -- although he still finished 13th among RBs in PPR points. Freeman is still in the thick of his prime, turning 26 in March.

A source tells ESPN's Adam Schefter that Steelers WR Antonio Brown's calf is "not close to 100%." He'll test it in pregame warmups and is expected to "give it a go" against the Jaguars, the source said. But Brown's effectiveness and ability to make it through the game are now in question. He's a tournament-only play in DFS.

Patriots RBs Rex Burkhead and Mike Gillislee are inactive for tonight's game against the Titans with their knee injuries. RB James White (ankle) is active and figures to play in passing situations behind Dion Lewis.

Steelers WR Antonio Brown (calf, illness) participated in Saturday's walkthrough and looked healthy, teammates told NFL Network's Aditi Kinkhabwala. Brown was sent home sick on Friday. He put in full practices on Wednesday and Thursday, which means the calf shouldn't be a major issue. He's a nice DFS tournament play with what figures to be depressed ownership.

Patriots RB James White (ankle) is expected to return for tonight’s game against the Titans. He’s officially questionable. If active, White would carry nice PPR appeal against a defense Football Outsiders rates 7th vs. the run and 32nd in RB pass coverage

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Patriots RB Rex Burkhead and RB Mike Gillislee aren’t expected to play tonight against the Titans. Both backs enter the day questionable. Their absences would help the fantasy outlooks for Dion Lewis and James White, who is expected to return

ProFootballTalk.com hears that Steelers WR Antonio Brown (calf, illness) will be a game-time decision for Sunday's Divisional Round meeting with the Jaguars. Brown missed Friday's practice with an illness, but PFT reports the calf "remains an issue." HC Mike Tomlin didn't express much concern on Friday afternoon, saying he didn't “have a lot of reservations about [Brown] from a physical health standpoint.” We'll continue to keep an eye on this situation -- and will get Brown's official status around noon ET on Sunday.

Saints WR Brandon Coleman (neck) is out for Sunday's playoff game against the Vikings. He played 50% of New Orleans' offensive snaps and hauled in 4 of 5 targets last week. His absence pushes Willie Snead into #3 WR duties.

Steelers WR Antonio Brown is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Jaguars -- not with his calf injury, but with an illness. Brown put in full workouts on Wednesday and Thursday, so the calf shouldn't be an issue. The illness kept him out of Friday's practice but shouldn't be a factor come Sunday. We'll keep an eye on him into the weekend, though.

The Bills have fired OC Rick Dennison. He lasted just 1 season in Buffalo, leading his unit to bottom-11 finishes in both total yards and points. The Bills will have a new OC -- and very likely a new QB -- when the 2018 season kicks off.

The Panthers have hired Norv Turner as their new OC. He brings 26 years of experience as either an NFL HC or OC but is a questionable fit in Carolina. Turner's offense is catered to pocket QBs, rather than dual-threats like Cam Newton. And he favors bell-cow ball-carriers. As talented as RB Christian McCaffrey is, a bell cow he is not. We'll see how successfully Turner is able to morph his offense to fit his personnel in Carolina.

Patriots RB James White (ankle) is listed as questionable for Saturday night's game against the Titans after a limited week of practice. He told insider Jeff Howe on Thursday afternoon that he's healthy enough to play. We'll find out for sure 90 minutes before kickoff. White could play an expanded role vs. a Tennessee defense that finished the regular season dead last in Football Outsiders' RB coverage rankings.
 
 
 

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