Shark Bites for Atlanta Falcons 2020 | Shark Bites | Draft Sharks

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Rams RB Todd Gurley expressed optimism about his troublesome knee in an interview with the NFL Network on Tuesday. "It's good, man. It's good," he said. "I'm just like, hey, we're going to find out in training camp, you know? Once training camp comes, you've got the preseason, but you don't have a lot in preseason." Players, of course, are almost always over-optimistic about injuries. But this still qualifies as the most positive piece on Gurley's status this offseason. He'll be the most closely watched player in training camp, and we'll hopefully have a better idea of his 2019 outlook by the time we get to late August.

Todd Gurley's personal trainer, Travelle Gaines, recently confirmed that arthritis is at play in the RB's bothersome knee. Gaines told CBS Sports: “Everybody knew when Todd came out of Georgia that there would be some kind of arthritic component to his knee, which is part of every surgery whether it’s a shoulder, a knee, an ankle. He’s now at the year-five mark, all we’re doing is managing that. If we can pound him less in the offseason while keeping his weight down, working on his strength, working on his agility in short areas, that’s going to give him a better chance to be healthy Weeks 14 through 17 when they really count.” Gaines said he's trying to help Gurley shed 6 pounds and get down from 10% body fat to 7%. He says it's to help Gurley's quickness and not out of a need to relieve stress on the knee. Of course, Gaines isn't on L.A.'s coaching staff and wouldn't necessarily know the team's plan for its star RB. Gaines' confirmation of an earlier report arthritis report also doesn't necessarily hurt or help Gurley's 2019 fantasy outlook. We're still waiting to see how he looks this summer and how the Rams plan to deploy him.

Falcons WR Julio Jones reported for this week's mandatory minicamp but won't participate in practice because of a foot injury he's rehabbing. "It was part of maintenance ... and also some rehab, too," HC Dan Quinn said, per D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "They won't participate in the camp this time, but I'm anticipating them both being ready for the training camp." MLB Deion Jones was the other player Quinn was referring, too. Jones, of course, lost 10 games last season to a foot injury. We don't see any reason right now to worry about Julio Jones, who often sits out offseason workouts for similar reasons.

The Rams recognize that RB Todd Gurley's days as a workhorse are over, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. "The days of Todd Gurley just being the straight-up, every-down bell cow are probably over, just based on his knee, his age, the position, the amount of carries he's had," Rapoport said. "Gurley's knee, the wear and tear on that knee, the surgically repaired knee, is something that everyone knows has been concerning to the team for some time." At this point, it's obvious that Gurley's volume will decline in 2019. What we don't yet know is how much it'll decline. Gurley averaged 22.9 touches per game in 2017 and 22.5 last year. We currently have him projected for 19.6 touches per game this season. That's subject to change, of course. We'll continue to monitor this situation and adjust Gurley's projections throughout the summer.

A couple of big-time NFL insiders -- Jay Glazer and Michael Lombardi -- used the same word when discussing Rams RB Todd Gurley's knee this weekend: "concern." Wrote Glazer: "It is a concern. The sky isn’t falling but even now, they’re being smart about it. It did swell up on him last year, this is a knee that has had wear and tear. Eventually, you’re going to factor this in especially with them having to sit him down the stretch last year. It’s not all doom and gloom, but it is definitely something you have to monitor and be prepared for in case that thing blows up on him again." And Lombardi: "Gurley's knee was a medical concern coming out of Georgia, most of the NFL was in shock when the Rams gave him that huge deal on his second contract, not because of talent, rather because of his knee." The left knee that gave Gurley trouble late last season is the same knee in which he tore the ACL in at Georgia back in 2014. The Rams admitted earlier this offseason that they're considering scaling back Gurley's workload going forward -- and that only seems more likely after they brought back Malcolm Brown and used a 3rd-round pick to add Darrell Henderson. We'll hopefully have a better idea of Gurley's status when we get into the heart of fantasy drafting season in late August. But for now, he looks like the biggest risk/reward pick in your draft. We just bumped Gurley down (and Henderson up) the RB rankings.

The Rams are holding RB Todd Gurley (knee) out of team drills in OTAs as part of a "specific, individualized offseason plan," ESPN's Lindsey Thiry reports. Gurley hasn't been spotted on the field in either of the Rams' workouts that have been open to reporters, but HC Sean McVay said he's been at the practice facility. "He's also been here consistently, pretty much every single day of the week," McVay said. "He's been an active participant following the program that we've implemented with him and we're very pleased with where Todd is at right now." Gurley's troublesome left knee will be 1 of the biggest fantasy storylines of the summer. He's been dropping to the late 1st and even the 2nd round of recent drafts.

When asked at the beginning of the offseason program this week about his knee, Rams RB Todd Gurley managed only cautious optimism to the Los Angeles Times: "I'm feeling pretty good. All I can worry about is how I'm feeling right now. I don't know how I'm going to be feeling six months from now. Just trying to make sure I feel the best when the season comes." We've all seen/heard countless examples of athletes erring on the side of confidence with their recovering body parts. That makes this response from Gurley seem fairly worrisome. If he can't even muster an "I'm feeling great" in April, it's tough to know what we can expect come October. Gurley's upside certainly remains worth a 1st-round draft slot until something more substantial comes out. (The Rams have declined to specify his knee ailment.) But Gurley belongs in the middle of the round for early drafting, rather than near the top. Backup Malcolm Brown also carries big handcuff upside into 2019 fantasy football drafts. Count on this being the most closely tracked fantasy situation of the year.

The Buccaneers have reached a 1-year deal with LB Deone Bucannon, according to multiple reports. That's not the kind of contract that will guarantee Bucannon a starting job, but he rejoins the HC (Bruce Arians) who led the team that drafted him back in 2014. Bucannon also joins a Bucs D that's about to lose MLB Kwon Alexander to the 49ers. Bucannon's likely headed to that spot, barring some other addition to the corps this offseason. He might have to compete with 2018 rookie Adarius Taylor for that job. It'll be an interesting LB corps to watch this offseason.

The Rams have reached a 1-year, $14.5 million deal with OLB Dante Fowler to keep the 24-year-old off the open market. It's an interesting contract. On one hand, it's a surprisingly large salary for a former #3 overall pick with just 16 total sacks through 3 seasons. (Fowler missed his rookie campaign with an ACL tear.) The money indicates that both sides expected Fowler to garner at least solid interest on the open market. At the same time, the fact that Fowler went for just a 1-year offer on the verge of his age-25 season points to it being somewhat of a "prove it" contract. Fowler contributed just 2 sacks in his 8 games with the Rams in 2018. Pro Football Focus rated the Rams version of Fowler just tied for 110th among edge players in pass-rushing productivity. (The 2018 Jaguars version tied for 28th.) IDP owners shouldn't pay Fowler much attention yet, especially because sticking with L.A. makes him a LB rather than a DE.

The Falcons will keep DT Grady Jarrett off the open market by applying the franchise tag. The 25-year-old (until late April) has increased his sacks and his tackles per game each of the past 3 seasons. Pro Football Focus also credited him with a career-high 53 total pressures in 2018, tied for 6th most among all interior linemen. Jarrett retains upside beyond what he's scored for fantasy owners so far. He's not likely, however, to grow beyond a solid option for DT-required IDP leagues.

Rams GM Les Snead said at the Combine that his team is considering scaling back RB Todd Gurley's workload due to concerns over his troublesome left knee. "There's an element of wear and tear and I think we have to determine in probably two stages: are we going to give him the amount of load that he's had in the past or are we going to lessen that load to let's say keep him fresher for the season and for the seasons beyond," Snead said. The Rams backfield, of course, devolved into a committee late last year with Gurley and C.J. Anderson. Anderson is now a free agent, so we'll see whether L.A. brings him back or adds another RB who can handle significant work. Gurley remains a clear-cut RB1 heading into 2019, but RBs Saquon Barkley and Ezekiel Elliott look like safer bets at the top of drafts right now.

A source tells NFL Network's Steve Wyche that Rams RB Todd Gurley's knee was a "wear-and-tear issue." The reports of what was ailing Gurley late in the year have been all over the place -- and we'll probably never know exactly what was wrong. The trouble was with the same knee in which Gurley tore the ACL in at Georgia back in 2014. And it's worth noting that he's racked up 1,281 touches over 4 NFL seasons -- an average of 320 per year. He turns just 25 in August, though, so we shouldn't need to worry about him breaking down yet. Still, Gurley will be 1 of the most interesting decision points in the 1st round of 2019 fantasy drafts. His ADP is sitting at 1.03 in February FFPC drafts.

Rams RB Todd Gurley (knee) is not listed on the final injury report. He practiced all week, including a full workout on Friday. "He looks like Todd," HC Sean McVay said after Friday's workout. "He looks like the explosive, great back that we're used to seeing." Los Angeles wisely played it safe with Gurley, who hasn't played in almost a month. McVay suggested that Gurley might cede some work to C.J. Anderson against the Cowboys on Saturday, but we'd expect him to see something close to his normal workload.

Rams RB Todd Gurley (knee) put in a limited practice on Tuesday. “We’re going to get him going and he’s going to practice. And we’re going to see how he feels,” HC Sean McVay said before the workout. “And I think a lot of it is just going to be him getting out there, trusting, getting some of that movement, just putting his foot in the ground, doing some of the things that he’s been accustomed to doing and seeing how that knee responds. So this week will serve as a good chance to get a gauge.” Gurley is expected to play against the Cowboys on Saturday, but we'll continue to keep an eye on his progress.

Rams RB Todd Gurley said his injured knee is "feeling better" on Thursday. "Just still doing stuff for my knee," he added. "I've been able to do a lot more this week. It's been reacting pretty good." Gurley also said that he'd like to get a couple of practices in next week prior to the Rams' playoff opener. We'll get the team's 1st practice report on Tuesday.

The Falcons have fired OC Steve Sarkisian. Atlanta climbed from 8th in total yards and 15th in points in 2017, Sarkisian's first year, to 6th and 10th this season. But the offense still felt relatively disappointing considering its abundance of talent. We'll see who the Falcons hire as their next OC.

Rams RB Todd Gurley (knee) is out for Sunday’s game against the 49ers. He’ll get another week off in the Wild Card Round — assuming Los Angeles wins this weekend — and should be back for the playoff opener. C.J. Anderson will again serve as the lead back on Sunday, making him a borderline RB1.

Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip, ribs) is not listed on the final injury report and will play in Sunday's finale against the Bucs. He only put in a limited practice on Friday, though, after playing around 50% of the offensive snaps in each of the last 2 weeks. Clearly operating at less than 100%, Jones is more of a WR2 -- albeit with plenty of upside -- for Week 17.

Rams RB Todd Gurley (knee) remained sidelined on Thursday. He's not looking particularly likely to play in this weekend's finale against the 49ers. That'd again leave C.J. Anderson as Los Angeles' lead back.

Rams RB Todd Gurley (knee) remained sidelined on Wednesday. That makes 4 straight missed practices. The Rams need a win over the 49ers this weekend to lock up the NFC's #1 seed -- but they can probably get it with C.J. Anderson. Gurley seems no better than 50/50 to play in the finale.

 
 
 

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