Shark Bites

Cardinals HC Bruce Arians said WR John Brown (quad) would be a full-go in Tuesday's practice. Brown didn't feel up to it. "I’m just going to come back when I’m ready,” he said. “My body is different than others. They expect me to come back fast, but I can’t. I’m all right, but I’m not where I want to be at.” This sure sounds like Brown's sickle-cell trait is again making him slow to recover from these leg issues. That wrecked his 2016 season and is certainly a risk factor in 2017. Brown has the potential to be a weekly WR3 -- maybe even better -- but is tough to draft as more than an upside bench stash.

Cardinals WR John Brown (quad) was a full-go in Tuesday's practice, according to HC Bruce Arians. He'd been limited the past couple of weeks. We wonder if Arians reaming out his WR group yesterday had anything to do with Brown's return. Regardless, we'll keep a close eye on his status over the next few weeks. Brown remains a fine shot to take at his 9th-round ADP -- especially if he can stay on the field between now and Week 1.

The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec believes Ravens TE Maxx Williams still isn't at 100% after undergoing offseason knee surgery. He avoided the PUP list and was active for the preseason opener, catching 1 pass for 3 yards. We'll keep an eye on his progress, but Williams isn't worth drafting right now. Zrebiec told us that the current pecking order at TE for Baltimore is: Nick Boyle, Ben Watson, Williams, Larry Donnell.

Cardinals WR John Brown remains hampered by the quad injury he suffered early in training camp. He's been limited to only "certain drills," according to insider Mike Jurecki. Brown, of course, was crushed last season by leg injuries related to his sickle-cell trait. The team reportedly solved that issue, and it's unclear if this quad injury is related. Either way, the missed practice time is not ideal for a guy who could have used a healthy offseason. The good news is that Brown's downside is at least partly negated by his 9th-round price tag.

The Ravens will not play QB Joe Flacco at all in the preseason because of his back issue, but they expect him to be ready for the regular-season opener, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. We'll obviously keep an eye out for any further updates on his status, but this doesn't represent any change to his fantasy outlook. It's been clear since the start of camp that Baltimore would err on the side of caution with it's QB's back.

Ravens HC John Harbaugh said Tuesday that he expects QB Joe Flacco (back) to return "soon ... definitely during the preseason." He's missed about a week of camp now, but that's not a major concern for a 9-year veteran. It's looking more and more like this back issue won't be a factor this season. Flacco remains a low-upside QB2, but his presence is important for Mike Wallace, Jeremy Maclin and the rest of Baltimore's skill-position players.

Packers HC Mike McCarthy gushed about RB Ty Montgomery on Monday. "He's the full threat," McCarthy said. "He can obviously run it, he can catch it, he can displace and run routes and catch it. He just needs the reps in pass protection, because he's actually really high in ability for pass protection. That guy's a stud now. He's got it in his body. He's a very good young player." McCarthy already named Montgomery his starter earlier this offseason, and it sounds like he's continued to impress since. With a 3-down skill set in a top-notch offense, there's RB1 upside here.

Cardinals WR John Brown has been sidelined by a quad injury. HC Bruce Arians said he'll be out "a few days, maybe a week." It's unclear if this is at all related to the sickle-cell issue that hampered Brown throughout last season, but it's obviously not a good look for him. We'll see if this lingers beyond Arians' timeline.

Ravens QB Joe Flacco told reporters on Friday that he's only dealing with back "stiffness," not a disc issue. He added that he's been assured it won't be an issue throughout the season and hopes to be back on the practice field in a week. Players tend to be over-optimistic about their injuries, but all indications over the past couple of days are that this is a relatively minor issue. We'll continue to keep an eye on Flacco, but it seems like he'll be fine for Week 1.

Cardinals WR John Brown has impressed early in training camp. He "looks past his health concerns," insider Darren Urban wrote. "He is blazing when he runs around out there." Brown's 2016 was wrecked by complications from his sickle-cell trait and a cyst on his spine. The Cardinals believe they've solved both issues. Still just 27, a healthy Brown has a shot to ascend back into the top 25 at his position, where he finished back in 2015.

Ravens QB Joe Flacco is dealing with a disc issue in his back, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. His timetable for return is murky. Per Rapoport, Flacco will miss "at least a week or 2" but is "is preparing to miss 3-6" weeks. The longest end of that range would have him sidelined until a few days before Baltimore's regular-season opener in Cincinnati. At minimum, Flacco will miss valuable practice (and probably preseason) reps with new weapons Jeremy Maclin and Danny Woodhead. Already a lower-end QB2, Flacco isn't worth drafting outside of 2-QB and best-ball leagues now.

Packers RB Ty Montgomery spent a chunk of his offseason focusing on his footwork as he continues his transition to a full-time RB. He worked out with trainer Rischad Whitfield, who's spent time with Le'Veon Bell, Melvin Gordon and Emmanuel Sanders, among others -- and earned the nickname Footwork King. "He's extremely serious about this," Whitfield said of Montgomery's move to RB. "Football is a game where you don't really have much time to think, you've got to react. I'm trying to help him change direction quicker, make his cuts quicker and sharper. We're working on it all. He's all-in at the running back position. He wants to be a dual-threat running back." Montgomery has also bulked up to nearly 223 pounds. (There's a picture and video of him here.) Coming off what certainly looks like a productive offseason, Montgomery boasts a sky-high fantasy ceiling in 2017.

Ravens RB Kenneth Dixon will miss the entire 2017 season after undergoing surgery today to repair his torn meniscus, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The meniscus needed to be completely repaired, rather than the trimming procedure that would have sidelined him 6-8 weeks. Dixon's rehab is now expected to take 4-5 months. He should be a full-go for the start of the 2018 campaign, but he's now had 3 knee injuries in just a little more than a year in the NFL. Terrance West is the big winner here -- essentially locked in as the lead ball-carrier on an offense that should run more this year with Greg Roman on staff. He's not an exciting talent but should at least be a volume-based RB3 or flex. RB Danny Woodhead should also pick some up extra carries while dominating passing-down work.

Ravens TE Maxx Williams (knee) has avoided the PUP list and is ready for the start of training camp. He underwent a reportedly rare knee surgery this offseason, but it looks like that'll be a non-issue going forward. Baltimore's starting TE spot is wide open following the loss of Dennis Pitta. Williams, Ben Watson, Crockett Gillmore and Nick Boyle are all in the mix.

Ravens RB Kenneth Dixon will undergo knee surgery today, according to the Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec. The team believes Dixon has a torn meniscus but will know more after the operation. Zrebiec notes that meniscus tears usually sideline guys for 6-8 weeks -- but that can vary based on the severity. Dixon, of course, is suspended for the first 4 games of the season, so it's possible that this injury doesn't cost him any additional time. But he'll likely miss all of training camp and the preseason, costing him valuable reps to earn playing time. It's also worth noting that Dixon suffered a pair of knee injuries last summer, so durability is certainly becoming a concern. There's still a chance that he emerges as Baltimore's lead RB at some point this season, but Dixon can't be drafted as more than a late-round flier at this point. Terrance West will serve as the primary ball-carrier early on. Danny Woodhead will handle the majority of the pass-catching work.

Count Packers RBs coach Ben Sirmans coach among those eager to see what Ty Montgomery can do in his 1st full season at RB. "... You can see (that he’s) an instinctive runner, you can see all those things come into play,” Sirmans said. “I guess the biggest thing I can say is, I’m very, very excited about him – without saying ‘This is what I expect, this is what he’s going to be.’ I’m just really excited. Really excited about him.” Montgomery ripped off 5.9 yards per carry -- in addition to catching 44 balls -- after moving to RB last year. Now in line to serve as Green Bay's lead back all season, Montgomery's fantasy upside reaches into RB1 territory.

Green Bay's Ty Montgomery is feeling more comfortable after spending the entire offseason focusing on the RB position. “I was running a lot on instincts [last year]," he said. "I knew where I was supposed to be going, but it was instinct. Now, I know techniques. I know rotations and linebacker positions, and fronts and understanding gap rules and what the defense is supposed to be doing. Now when I get out there, I know my reads and my aiming points and I can just add that to my instincts. I’m excited to do that.” Montgomery hadn't played RB since grade school before making the move there midway through last season. That didn't stop him from busting off 5.9 yards per carry on 77 totes. HC Mike McCarthy has already tabbed Montgomery the team's starting RB this season, despite the additions of rookies Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones. There's loads of fantasy upside here.

Ravens HC John Harbaugh revealed that TE Maxx Williams had knee surgery. Harbaugh deemed it a procedure no other football player has had. Williams went down in Week 4 last year and was subsequently placed on IR. But we never got any details on his injury -- and still don't have them. Harbaugh did say that Williams "should be ready for camp." Coming off a 0-catch season and knee surgery, though, he's off the redraft radar for now.

Cardinals WR John Brown had a cyst removed from his spine shortly after last season ended. This was unrelated to the sickle-cell issue we already knew about. But Brown says he was "back to normal" after having the cyst removed. “I most definitely feel confident,” Brown said of his status for 2017. “Since they found out the situation, my body has been feeling better. I am doing the usual, which I couldn’t do when I was going through this process." We'll be keeping a close eye on Brown's health throughout the summer. If the ailments are truly behind him, he has a shot to re-emerge as the 1,000-yard receiver we saw in 2015.

Green Bay selected 3 RBs on the final day of the NFL Draft: Jamaal Williams in the 4th round, Aaron Jones in the 5th and Devante Mays in the 7th. So does that still leave Ty Montgomery in line to start? "Absolutely, he's our starting running back," HC Mike McCarthy said shortly after the draft ended, according to ESPN's Rob Demovsky. "I think it gives us excellent depth, and it will be nice to have a full room." That's good news for Montgomery. But the new depth could take touches away, especially if the Packers lean back toward more balance in offensive play calling after going more pass heavy in 2016. We'll be watching all the rookie backs -- and Montgomery in his 1st offseason as a RB -- through the summer as we consider their projections.

 
 
 

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