The Colts defense will not have OLB Trent Cole against the Titans. He's inactive with a knee injury. Top CB Vontae Davis, however, is active after being questionable with the concussion that knocked him out of Monday's loss to the Jets. Cole's absence hurts the Indy pass rush, but that group hadn't impressed through 2 weeks anyway. The Colts make for a boom-bust D/ST play in fantasy football today, with more bust potential on the road against a QB with good accuracy and mobility.
Colts HC Chuck Pagano told reporters after Sunday's walkthrough that OLB Robert Mathis will open training camp on the PUP list. "It would be stupid on our part just to say, ‘OK, hey you’re healthy, you’ve been cleared, throw him to the wolves,’" Pagano said, per Scout.com. "We have to be very, very smart with Robert." Mathis is 34 and coming off a torn Achilles' tendon. We'll be quite curious to see how soon he gets activated and whether he can begin the regular season as a full-time player. We'd bet on at least some sort of rotation and don't expect the vet to jump back to his pre-injury double-digit sack status. You'll find very modest expectations for Mathis in our 2015 IDP rankings. We'll see if he can show something this summer to alter that outlook. Any missed regular-season time for Mathis could only help the upside of OLBs Trent Cole and Jonathan Newsome.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that the Colts "are signing" former Eagles OLB Trent Cole. Philly tried to restructure the veteran's contract before releasing him this offseason but couldn't reach agreement. Indy, meanwhile, watched 5th-round rookie OLB Jonathan Newsome lead the team with 6.5 sacks in 2014. The Colts address an obvious need, even with Robert Mathis expected to return. We'll be interested to see how the roles shake out, but Cole looks like an early favorite to start. Your IDP league will need to heavily favor sacks and other pressure stats to make him valuable in fantasy football, though.
The Eagles on Tuesday released OLB Trent Cole. The 10-year veteran had been with the team since Philly drafted him in the 5th round back in 2005. The 2 sides reportedly discussed a contract restructuring but apparently couldn't reach a deal. With the Eagles also apparently unlikely to re-sign OLB Brandon Graham before he reaches free agency, Philly suddenly faces a big need on the edge. Marcus Smith, last year's 1st-round pick, proved unready to contribute at all as a rookie, so it's tough to expect him to fill a big role in 2015. The Eagles could be looking at 1 of the 1st-round edge-rushers in this year's NFL draft and/or could look to players such as Pernell McPhee, Jabaal Sheard, Jason Worilds or Akeem Ayers in free agency.
Eagles HC Chip Kelly told reporters today that OLB Trent Cole will have surgery on his broken hand this week and miss Saturday's game at Washington. That pushes Brandon Graham into the starting lineup, which shouldn't present a drop-off for the pass rush against a Washington offense that has allowed a lot of sacks in recent weeks. Philly stands as 1 of the top defensive plays in fantasy football this week because of sack and turnover potential. Graham carries plenty of upside in sack-heavy IDP leagues.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Eagles LB Trent Cole fractured a bone in his hand Sunday night against the Cowboys and calls him no more than a "long shot" to play against Washington in Week 16. Cole's absence would press Brandon Graham into the lineup, a change that might not make much difference for the team D's outlook. Graham would carry upside in sack-heavy IDP formats against a team that has yielded 5+ sacks in 6 straight contests.
After taking their sweet time to look around, the Eagles have chosen Billy Davis to coordinate their defense. In breaking that news, CSN Philly's Geoff Mosher also states unequivocally that the team will run a 3-4 base. The Davis hire seems curious. Despite coaching in the league since 1992, Davis has proved an abject failure in 2 previous stints as coordinator. Under HC Mike Nolan, his Niners unit finished 30th in points allowed and 32nd in yards in 2005, then 32nd and 26th the following year. He was fired in favor of Greg Manusky after that, and the rankings improved. As Cardinals DC in 2009 and 2010, Davis watched his D go from 14th in points and 20th in yards the 1st season to 30th and 29th in his 2nd year. Then he was booted in favor of 1st-time DC Ray Horton. Guess the optimistic view is that Davis can only get better. A switch from 4-3 to 3-4, however, figures to hurt the fantasy outlooks of DEs Trent Cole and Brandon Graham. In typical tackle-heavy IDP leagues, each will be hard pressed to make an impact at LB. On the bright side, perhaps Mychal Kendricks can shift inside and boost his numbers in year 2.
According to Phillymag.com's Tim McManus, there's a "good chance" the Eagles switch to a 3-4 defensive front under HC Chip Kelly. GM Howie Roseman says the team has been preparing for scheme versatility since before Andy Reid left. Indeed, Philly appears more adaptaple to such a shift than the Saints. Trent Cole, Brandon Graham and Vinny Curry look like the kind of speed rushers who can work as standup OLBs in the 3-4. The Eagles dropped Cole into coverage -- more often than they should have -- back when Sean McDermott was DC. That was a key complaint leading up to McDermott's firing, but the fact that Cole got put in that situation from a down lineman spot indicates his ability. LB DeMeco Ryans might prove a questionable fit after the 3-4 shift forced him out of Houston. But there is no Brian Cushing in Philly. Perhaps Ryans will be fine as the 3-down, multi-role MLB instead of the 2-down weak inside player. Playing time (vs. salary) appeared more of an issue than his ability at the end in Houston. 2012 rookie DT Fletcher Cox can play anywhere on the line and would figure to slide to DE in a 3-4 base. Fellow 2012 rookie LB Mychal Kendricks is smallish and would need to prove he could work through traffic inside. But he excelled at multiple positions in college and came on late last year for the Eagles. Of course, we'll first have to see who Philly picks as DC. Then we can start breaking down any changes for real.
The Eagles are working through injuries to 3 starters up front. DE Jason Babin is out 2-3 weeks with a calf strain. DT Cullen Jenkins left Wednesday's workout with a hamstring injury. (The results of Wednesday night's MRI have yet to be revealed.) DE Trent Cole is dealing with shoulder swelling. Cole's is a day-to-day thing and doesn't appear concerning. Babin's will cost him more time, but he should be fine if he returns healthy. He can probably remember "at the snap, go get the QB" without practicing every day. We'll see how serious Jenkins' injury is. Fortunately for the Eagles, they spent this offseason building ridiculous DL depth. Babin's absence should create opportunities for Brandon Graham, a 2010 1st-round pick still trying to bounce back from his rookie-year ACL tear. Rookie Vinny Curry could factor in more as well. Missing Jenkins would likely leave more reps for this year's 1st-rounder, Fletcher Cox. There might not be a team better equipped to deal with this kind of situation.
ESPN's Sal Paolantonio reports that DE Trent Cole is nearing a contract extension with the Eagles. Cole would have been due to hit free agency in 2013 but is clearly a cornerstone player for Philly on D. The Andy Reid Eagles have a history of moving on from over-30 players they believe to be at or near decline. They have also kept guys like Brian Dawkins and Jeremiah Trotter around beyond that threshold. Cole is a top-shelf lineman in IDP leagues and should remain among the 1st 5 DEs drafted.
Eagles RDE Trent Cole returned to a full practice on Wednesday, and HC Andy Reid said he should be "good to go" for Sunday's matchup with the Cowboys. Cole missed the past 2 games with a calf strain but should be back in IDP lineups for Week 8. The Eagles also got LT Jason Peters back on Wednesday and expect to have him in the starting lineup against Dallas.
Eagles LDE Trent Cole took part in a light practice on Monday that was closed to media. It's obviously a good sign for a player who missed the past 2 games with a calf strain. We'll have to wait for full workouts Wednesday and Thursday to get a read on Cole's status, though. IDP owners should be poised to use Cole whenever he returns to the starting lineup.
FOX's Jay Glazer reports that Eagles RDE Trent Cole has a Grade 2 calf strain and will likely miss about 3 weeks. The team has not announced a timetable, but HC Andy Reid deemed the injury "fairly significant" in his Monday press conference. IDP owners have to expect Cole to miss at least a couple of games. On the plus side for the Eagles, DE Darryl Tapp appears likely to return in Week 5. Tapp has been out since Week 1 with a pectoral injury but returned to limited practice last week. DE Juqua Parker might also return from his high ankle sprain for Week 5. LDE Jason Babin moved to the right side after Cole's injury on Sunday, but Tapp saw time there in the preseason and the opener. Both players can play either side. Our guess is those are your Week 5 starters. Tapp has some fantasy upside, though Buffalo has proved a surprisingly tough team to sack so far. Parker will also work in if ready, and CFL refugee Philip Hunt could see some time in the rotation.
Eagles RDE Trent Cole was carted off in the 4th quarter Sunday with a calf injury and was on crutches to end the day. We'll keep an eye on his status in the coming days. The Eagles, at least, are near to getting DE Darryl Tapp back from a pectoral injury.