Steelers WR Diontae Johnson told reporters on Wednesday that he's back to 100% after offseason sports-hernia surgery. Johnson suffered the groin injury in Week 2 last year but was able to battle through it. It makes his 59-680-5 receiving line as a rookie even more impressive. Johnson has real breakout potential in 2020 if QB Ben Roethlisberger can stay on the field.
Redskins HC Ron Rivera likes what he's seen from QB Dwayne Haskins early in training camp. “He’s done the extra stuff that he and I talked about in the offseason,” Rivera said. “He’s done the things that I think puts him right there where he needs to be at this junction of where we are in our training, having only been able to do Zoom and now we have only four days of work on the field. He’s done the job that I think deserves recognition.” Rivera has yet to commit to Haskins as his 2020 starter -- but he's certainly the favorite after going 15th overall in last year's draft.
Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger told reporters on Tuesday that his arm feels "really good." He added that he'll be on a "pitch count" in training camp. Big Ben's return from last September's surgery on his throwing elbow is 1 of the bigger fantasy storylines of the summer. Unfortunately, we won't get to see him in preseason action -- and even his on-field camp time will be limited. It obviously adds risk to both Roethlisberger and his pass-catchers.
Steelers WR James Washington has been placed on the COVID list. A prolonged absence might give rookie Chase Claypool a chance to claim Pittsburgh's #3 WR job, which belongs to Washington for now. We'll see when he's able to get back on the field. RB Jaylen Samuels was also placed on the COVID list.
Steelers WR Diontae Johnson told reporters that he played almost his entire rookie season with a groin injury that required surgery this offseason. Johnson got hurt in Week 2. "I was running and it felt like my groin got a little tight on me,” he said. He had surgery shortly after the season ended and is expecting to be cleared soon. The fact that he was playing at less than 100% only makes Johnson's rookie season more impressive. He compiled a 59-680-5 line on a Steelers team that ranked 31st in passing yards and 28th in TDs. Johnson is a 2nd-year breakout candidate if he gets improved QB play from a healthy Ben Roethlisberger.
Steelers WR Ryan Switzer was encouraged by what he saw from QB Ben Roethlisberger (elbow) in a recent throwing session. “Man, he let it rip,” Switzer said. “There was no restraint, no hesitancy, he was just out there. He has been throwing like that for a while and, in my opinion at least, getting out there on that field for the first time and throwing full-speed routes was refreshing. The control factor was taken out of it. He was out there and he was throwing. Did some off-schedule stuff. No restraints. He threw everything — across his body. Everything.” All reports on Roethlisberger's recovery from September surgery on his throwing elbow have been positive. His health is the key to a bounce-back season for the Steelers offense. We'll continue to keep a close eye on Big Ben's progress.
Steelers HC Mike Tomlin is "extremely confident" QB Ben Roethlisberger (elbow) will be ready for Week 1. Big Ben is recovering from September surgery on his throwing elbow. “We like where we are," Tomlin said. "He’s throwing on a rehab schedule, and it’s going well, and we fully anticipate him being ready to go for that opener.” A healthy Roethlisberger is the key to a bounce-back season for WR JuJu Smith-Schuster and the rest of Pittsburgh's offense.
The Steelers selected Maryland RB Anthony McFarland in the 4th round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Watch McFarland’s 298-yard, 2-TD dismantling of Ohio State back in 2018 and you’d think he’s 1 of the top backs in this class. That was part of an impressive redshirt freshman season that saw him tally 1,034 yards on 7.9 yards per carry. 39 of his 131 carries went for 10+ yards that year. McFarland took a colossal step back this past season, though, battling through a high-ankle sprain and totaling just 614 yards on 114 carries (5.4 YPC). He’s also fairly inexperienced in the passing game, with only 24 catches across the past 2 years. But McFarland’s flashes are exciting. And the 5’8, 208-pounder confirmed his big-play ability with a 4.44-second 40 time at the Combine. He’s an intriguing addition to Pittsburgh’s backfield alongside James Conner, Benny Snell and Jaylen Samuels.
The Steelers drafted Notre Dame WR Chase Claypool in the 2nd round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He was notably announced as a WR. That’s where he played in college, but many scouts think he’d be better at TE. Claypool brings a freaky combination of size and athleticism. The 6’4, 238-pounder clocked a 4.42-second 40 time with a 40.5-inch vertical at the Combine. He finished with a 98th percentile SPARQ score. We didn’t see that level of athleticism on tape, though. It takes him a while to get to full speed, and he’s a bit lumbering when changing direction. On the plus side, he’s strong in contested situations and is tough to bring down after the catch. Claypool will battle with Diontae Johnson and James Washington for snaps behind JuJu Smith-Schuster.
TE Eric Ebron is signing a 2-year, $12 million deal with the Steelers, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. A 1st-round bust for Detroit, Ebron rehabbed his value a bit in Indianapolis with 41.7 yards and .59 TDs per game over the past 2 seasons. Last year, he ranked 14th in Pro Football Focus' receiving grades and 9th in yards per route run among 35 TEs with 40+ targets. In Pittsburgh, Ebron joins a TE group with Vance McDonald, who restructured his contract earlier this week. Those guys could vulture production from each other, leaving both as unreliable fantasy options. We'll see how the situation plays out this summer.
Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (elbow) said he got a "good report" from doctors on Friday but is still 2-3 months away from full clearance. Even the long end of that timeline would have him ready to go by the end of May. He resumed throwing over the weekend. Turning 38 in March and coming off major elbow surgery, Roethlisberger is obviously a big question mark heading into 2020. But anything he can give the Steelers figures to be an upgrade over last year's QB play.
Steelers HC Mike Tomlin said Monday that he has "no hesitation" in believing QB Ben Roethlisberger will be under center come Week 1. Big Ben underwent surgery to repair 3 tendons in his throwing elbow in late September. We haven't heard much on his rehab, but he's reportedly scheduled for a checkup later this month. Pittsburgh's passing game went in the tank without Roethlisberger last year. His return would make WR JuJu Smith-Schuster an obvious bounce-back candidate -- and raise the ceilings on WRs Diontae Johnson and James Washington.
Steelers WR Diontae Johnson recently underwent sports-hernia surgery. It's unclear when the injury occurred -- he was never on the injury report in 2019 -- but it shouldn't significantly impact his offseason. Johnson turned in an encouraging rookie campaign, leading the Steelers with 59 catches and 5 receiving scores and ranking 2nd with 680 receiving yards. He should build on those numbers in 2020 if QB Ben Roethlisberger is able to stay healthy.
The Redskins hired Scott Turner as OC. He's re-uniting with Ron Rivera after working with him in Carolina the past 2 years. Turner replaced his father, Norv, as Panthers OC for the final 4 games of last season. That's his only experience calling plays at the NFL level.
The Redskins have hired Ron Rivera as their new HC. Rivera compiled a 76-63-1 record in Carolina before being fired earlier this year. He took the Panthers to the playoffs in 4 of his 9 seasons. We'll see if Rivera retains OC Kevin O'Connell or brings in fresh blood.
Redskins QB Dwayne Haskins (ankle) is out for Sunday's finale against the Cowboys, HC Bill Callahan said. Washington will turn back to QB Case Keenum, who has tossed multiple scores in 4 of 5 full games this season. That includes a 221-2-0 passing line vs. Dallas. Keenum will be on the QB2 and DFS radar for Week 17.
Redskins QB Dwayne Haskins is believed to have suffered a high-ankle sprain in Sunday's loss to the Giants, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The rookie is undergoing additional testing. If that confirms this initial diagnosis, he won't play in Sunday's finale against the Cowboys. That'd put Case Keenum back under center for the 'Skins.
Steelers QB Mason Rudolph suffered a left shoulder injury in the 2nd half of Sunday's game against the Jets. He had replaced QB Devlin Hodges -- but "Duck" is back in the game. Pittsburgh's QB situation remains a mess.
Redskins QB Dwayne Haskins was carted back to the locker room in the 3rd quarter of Sunday's game against the Giants with a left ankle injury. We'll update his status when we learn more, but Haskins obviously won't be back today. QB Case Keenum is in for Washington.
Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) is active for today’s game against the Jets. He put in full practices on Thursday and Friday but admitted that he’s still not at 100%. Despite the plus matchup, Smith-Schuster is a shaky Week 16 fantasy play.