Shark Bites

Former NFL team doctor and now sports medical analyst David Chao doesn't believe Marcus Mariota's elbow is as "close" to a return to normal as the QB says. "The ulnar nerve injury affects the ability to strongly grip the football and flex (actively bend) the wrist for follow-through," Chao writes. "This injury thereby affects accuracy – especially when pushing the ball down field – and makes it difficult to throw tight spirals." He adds that "the physiology of nerve recovery is that it either returns quickly or it lingers." This doesn't mean that Mariota can't play. If it did, the Titans obviously wouldn't have him on the active roster. But it does mean we probably shouldn't expect Mariota to start in Week 3, and his throws might be impacted into October. We'll keep watching the situation, but Mariota's current status makes him droppable in some fantasy leagues.

"I think it's close," Titans QB Marcus Mariota said of his injured throwing elbow on Wednesday. "But we'll take it one day at a time." Mariota threw during the open portion of Wednesday's practice, but his "velocity didn't look great," according to insider John Glennon. We'll continue to monitor Mariota's progress, but he shouldn't be in your Week 3 fantasy plans with a meeting with the Jaguars on tap.

Falcons DE Takk McKinley suffered a groin injury in Sunday's win over the Panthers. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, McKinley is considered "day-to-day" and looks questionable for Week 3. But the injury is not expected to impact him long term. The 2017 first-round pick has delivered a sack in each game so far.

The Vikings have released K Daniel Carlson. The 5th-round rookie missed 3 FGs in Sunday's tie against the Packers. Carlson will be replaced by longtime Cowboys K Dan Bailey, who is 2nd in NFL history with an 88.2% career FG conversion rate. Bailey immediately becomes a fantasy option this week against the Bills.

Titans QB Marcus Mariota (elbow) is active for today’s game against the Texans. He’s dealing with a pinched nerve in his elbow and reportedly didn’t throw much in pregame warmups. It sounds like QB Blaine Gabbert will get the start here. Avoid the situation in fantasy lineups.

Titans QB Marcus Mariota didn't throw much in pregame warmups and is still struggling to grip the football, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. "It's looking like" QB Blaine Gabbert will start against the Texans, Schefter adds. We'll find out Mariota's official status by noon ET, but you should be avoiding this situation. Corey Davis is a low-end WR3 for Week 2 if Gabbert is under center.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport hears that Titans QB Marcus Mariota (elbow) will "try to play" against the Texans today. Mariota is reportedly dealing with a pinched nerve in that elbow and still hasn't regained complete feeling in his fingers. "There is no telling how he’ll respond," Rapoport adds. "That’s why Blaine Gabbert is expected to rotate in." This remains a situation to stay far away from in Week 2 fantasy lineups. And it has Corey Davis looking like a risky WR3 play.

Titans QB Marcus Mariota (elbow) is listed as questionable for this weekend's game against the Texans. HC Mike Vrabel said Friday that he anticipates both Mariota and QB Blaine Gabbert playing on Sunday. We're not exactly sure what that means, but this is obviously a situation to avoid in Week 2 fantasy lineups. Tennessee will also be missing LT Taylor Lewan (concussion) and RT Jack Conklin (knee) in this one. The Texans defense is a strong fantasy play.

Titans QB Marcus Mariota (elbow) remained limited in Thursday's practice. He's expected to play against the Texans this weekend, but it looks like he'll be at less than 100%. Mariota is an extremely risky Week 2 fantasy start.

Titans HC Mike Vrabel said Wednesday that QB Marcus Mariota is "feeling good" and is "good to go" for this weekend's game against the Texans. Mariota was spotted throwing in the portion of practice open to the media. He said afterward that his elbow is feeling ok but that there's "still a little tingle," per insider Terry McCormick. We'll be on the lookout for more updates on Mariota's status over the next few days. For now, he looks like a risky Week 2 fantasy play.

Titans QB Marcus Mariota is questionable to return to Sunday's game against Miami with an elbow injury. Blaine Gabbert is under center for Tennessee. We'll update Mariota's status when we know more.

Down 40-0 against the Ravens in the 3rd quarter, Buffalo has benched QB Nathan Peterman and inserted rookie Josh Allen. Peterman went 5 of 18 for just 24 yards and 2 INTs before leaving. We'll see what these means beyond Week 1. The Bills host the Chargers in Week 2.

The Bills have named QB Nathan Peterman the starter for Sunday's opener against the Ravens. That means we'll have to wait to see 1st-round pick Josh Allen in regular-season action. Peterman fared well in the preseason, completing 33 of 41 passes (80.5%) for 431 yards (10.5 yards per attempt) and 3 TDs vs. just 1 INT. Allen's obviously the long-term answer after Buffalo moved up to draft him, but delaying his debut is likely good for his development. If the Bills' decision here significantly impacts your fantasy football team, you just might be in for a rough year.

Bengals OLB Vontaze Burfict has passed his physical and rejoined the team. Burfict opened training camp on the non-football injury list because of a hamstring issue but returns with plenty of time to get ready. Of course, the veteran will still miss the 1st 4 weeks of the regular season because of a PED suspension. Cincinnati lists Jordan Evans as Burfict's primary backup on the initial ("unofficial") depth chart. IDP owners in deeper leagues can consider pairing the 2. Evans topped 80% playing time in 3 straight games last season after OLB Nick Vigil went down.

"Explosive" isn't a word we tend to hear associated with QBs. But it's how Titans insider Jim Wyatt described QB Marcus Mariota in this week's OTAs. "It’s already clear he has his wheels back," Wyatt wrote. "He opened it up one day this week, and he was really moving." Mariota has averaged 304 yards and 3 TDs on the ground through his first 3 NFL seasons. But there's upside for more. He topped 700 rushing yards in all 3 years at Oregon and totaled 29 TDs. Mariota clocked a 4.52-second 40 time at the Combine and registered a 96th percentile SPARQ score. We're hoping new OC Matt LaFleur fully unleashes Mariota's rushing ability in 2018.

The Raiders traded up 2 spots in Round 3 to draft LSU EDGE player Arden Key. The versatile pass rusher racked up 11 sacks as a 2016 sophomore but then took a leave of absence from school and dealt with a shoulder injury. Key also weight just 238 pounds in the pre-draft season. He'll need work before seeing regular playing time in the NFL and will make for a high-risk rookie pick in dynasty fantasy football drafts.

Rams S Lamarcus Joyner will sign his franchise tender Monday and begin offseason training with his teammates, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. In his 1st season as a full-time starter, Joyner finished 2017 as Pro Football Focus' #3 graded safety, despite losing 3 early games to a hamstring injury. He snagged 3 INTs and defensed 9 passes. Joyner spent much of his 1st 3 seasons at CB, including extensive work in the slot. IDP owners should keep an eye on him in DB2 range come draft time this summer.

Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict drew a 4-game suspension Friday for a PED violation. He’ll certainly appeal, but we’ll see how that goes. We’ll also see how the situation affects a Bengals LB corps that added Preston Brown in free agency Friday

The Titans have named Matt LaFleur their new OC. LaFleur was the Rams OC this past season, although HC Sean McVay called the plays. Prior to that, LaFleur spent 7 seasons working under then-OC Kyle Shanahan in Houston, Washington and Atlanta. If LaFleur brings Shanahan's and McVay's creativity to Tennessee, it'll be excellent news for QB Marcus Mariota and the Titans' skill-position guys.

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.

 
 
 

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