Bills WR Gabriel Davis (ankle) is listed as questionable for this weekend's AFC Championship vs. the Chiefs. The rookie only got in a limited practice on Friday and will be at less than 100% if he suits up. Davis' absence would open up more snaps for WR Isaiah McKenzie and/or TE Dawson Knox.
The Buccaneers have ruled WR Antonio Brown out for Sunday's NFC Championship game, HC Bruce Arians announced Friday. That leaves room for WRs Tyler Johnson and Scotty Miller to gain snaps against the Packers. Johnson led Miller in last Sunday's win over the Saints -- but by a mere 7 snaps (15-8). Brown's absence could also leave a few more snaps for TE Cameron Brate. Tampa's #2 TE has seen 2 of his 4 largest target totals for the year over the past 2 weeks. Brate, Johnson and Miller all stand as cheap DFS flyers for the weekend. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin also get a slight bump in target floor with the clear #3 WR out.
Steelers TE Vance McDonald has retired. It's a surprising decision from the 30-year-old, although he has dealt with a bunch of injuries throughout his 8 NFL seasons. After a career-best 50-610-4 line in 2018, McDonald totaled just 53 catches over the past 2 years, including 15 in 2020.
The Jaguars have named Darrell Bevell their new OC. Multiple teams were interested in hiring the 51-year-old, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, but Bevell opted to join HC Urban Meyer in Jacksonville. Bevell has 14 seasons of experience as an NFL OC. He spent the past 2 years in Detroit, where the Lions ranked near the middle of the pack in total yards and points. Bevell's units were better during his Seattle tenure from 2011 to 2017, with 5 of those 7 squads finishing top 11 in points. His offenses have generally leaned toward the run, with 10 of the 14 ranking among the top half of the league in rush attempts. Only 4 of them have finished top-16 in pass attempts.
The Vikings will be replacing their OC for the 2nd straight offseason. Gary Kubiak on Thursday announced his retirement (for the 2nd time in his coaching career). That comes roughly a year after Minnesota lost OC Kevin Stefanski to the Cleveland HC gig. ESPN's Courtney Cronin reports that the team is considering promoting from within to replace Kubiak, who was on the staff prior to filling Stefanski's vacancy. An in-house promotion would seem to favor the team continuing to lean run, and the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that Kubiak's son, Klint, has emerged as a favorite. Klint Kubiak spent the past 2 seasons as Minnesota's QBs coach. We'll see who the Vikings settle on.
Bills WR Gabriel Davis (ankle) missed his 2nd straight practice on Thursday. The rookie seems to be in danger of missing this weekend's AFC Championship. Even operating as Buffalo's #4 WR, Davis has seen 8 targets over the past 2 weeks. We'll get another update on his status tomorrow.
Chiefs RB Le'Veon Bell missed Thursday's practice with swelling in a knee. His status for Sunday's AFC Championship is now murky. Of course, Bell played just 16% of the offensive snaps last week even with RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire sidelined. It looks like CEH is on track to return on Sunday, so Bell probably isn't in for much work anyway.
Chiefs RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire (ankle, hip) put in his 2nd straight limited practice on Thursday. It's an upgrade over last week, when he was limited on Wednesday before missing the final 2 workouts. The rookie is seemingly trending toward playing vs. the Bills this weekend, but we'll get another update on his status tomorrow.
Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes (concussion) practiced again on Thursday. He was officially limited but took the "majority" of the 1st-team snaps, HC Andy Reid said. Mahomes continues to trend toward playing vs. the Bills on Sunday.
The Eagles are hiring Nick Sirianni as their new HC, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Sirianni has 12 seasons of experience in the league, spending the past 3 as Colts OC. Indianapolis finished top 7 in points and yards with QB Andrew Luck in Sirianni's 1st year. The unit took a step back after Luck's surprise retirement in 2019 but bounced back to rank 9th in points and 10th in yards this past season. It's worth noting, though, that it was HC Frank Reich calling the plays for the Colts. So the 39-year-old Sirianni heads to Philly as a bit of an unknown.
The Steelers signed QB Dwayne Haskins, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. Haskins flamed out on and off the field in Washington but is certainly worth a flier for Pittsburgh. He was the 15th overall pick of the 2019 draft after chucking for 4,831 yards and 50 scores at his final season at Ohio State and is still just 23 years old. QB Ben Roethlisberger is tentatively expected back for 2021, but the Steelers need to find their QB of the future.
Bucs HC Bruce Arians labeled WR Antonio Brown (knee) a game-time decision for Sunday's NFC Championship vs. the Packers. Brown missed his 2nd straight practice on Thursday. We'll see if he's able to get out there tomorrow, but he'll be at less than 100% if he suits up this weekend. If Brown can't go, WRs Scotty Miller and Tyler Johnson would pick up extra snaps.
Bucs WR Antonio Brown (knee) did not practice on Wednesday. He reportedly avoided a serious injury but isn't a lock to play in Sunday's NFC Championship. We'll continue to monitor his progress.
Chiefs WR Sammy Watkins (calf) returned to a limited practice on Wednesday. He missed all 3 workouts last week before being inactive for the win over the Browns. Watkins seemingly has a shot to play vs. the Bills this weekend, but check back tomorrow for another update.
Chiefs RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire (ankle, hip) put in a limited practice on Wednesday. The rookie was limited last Wednesday before sitting out the final 2 practices of the week and then missing the Browns game. We'll see what he does over the next 2 days leading up to Sunday's AFC Championship.
Chiefs HC Andy Reid said Wednesday afternoon that QB Patrick Mahomes "feels good" after taking "all the snaps" in practice. Reid confirmed that Mahomes remains in the concussion protocol, but he continues to trend in the right direction for this weekend's AFC Championship vs. the Bills.
Update: The Chiefs listed Mahomes as a full participant in Wednesday's practice.
Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes has no concussion symptoms as of Wednesday morning, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Mahomes is expected to have a "very light practice" on Wednesday, per Rapoport, and then "ramp up" through the rest of the week. If he stays symptom-free, he figures to be cleared for Sunday's AFC Championship vs. the Bills.
QB Philip Rivers announced his retirement on Wednesday. The 39-year-old played 17 seasons -- 16 with the Chargers, his last with the Colts -- and sits 5th in both career passing yards and TDs. Rivers turned in 10 top-12 fantasy seasons. His retirement leaves Jacob Eason as the only QB on the roster signed for 2021. We'll see if the Colts bring back QB Jacoby Brissett, but they'll certainly be adding to the position via free agency and/or the draft.
Bills RB Zack Moss underwent "tight rope" surgery to repair his high-ankle sprain on Tuesday morning, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. That's the procedure QB Tua Tagovailoa had at Alabama in 2019, ultimately returning to play 3 weeks later. Moss is expected to make a full recovery and be ready for the start of the offseason program, per Schefter. Moss averaged a solid 4.3 yards per carry as a rookie, emerging as Buffalo's lead ball-carrier over the 2nd half. His upside is capped going forward, though, by the presence of RB Devin Singletary and the Bills' pass-centric offense.
ESPN's Adam Schefter hears that Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes cleared "some big steps" in the concussion protocol on Monday. He still has a ways to go -- but Mahomes is expected to practice on Wednesday, and there's "hope and optimism" he'll be able to play vs. the Bills this weekend. Schefter adds that Mahomes is also dealing with a foot injury, which was clearly bothering him in Sunday's win over the Browns before he exited with the head injury.
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