Patriots WR Demaryius Thomas was activated from the PUP list on Tuesday. He's spent the offseason rehabbing last December's torn Achilles. The 31-year-old looked like a player in decline even before that injury, so we're not betting on him making much of an impact in 2019. Of course, Josh Gordon's return did nothing to help Thomas' chances.
Raiders WR Antonio Brown was on the field for Tuesday's practice with a certified helmet, according to HC Jon Gruden. “He’s all in. Ready to go," Gruden said. Brown filed another grievance against the NFL on Monday. But, at least for now, it looks like he's willing to play with a legal helmet while that situation is ongoing. Hopefully this is our last update on HelmetGate.
Broncos QB Drew Lock suffered a "bad sprain" to his right thumb in Monday night's preseason game against the 49ers, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Lock doesn't need surgery, but he's expected to be sidelined into the regular season, reports insider Mike Klis. Lock wasn't threatening QB Joe Flacco's starting job anyway, and this injury kills any chance he had to hit the field early this year.
Cardinals WR Hakeem Butler is sidelined with an avulsion fracture in his hand, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. (An avulsion fracture occurs when a tendon or ligament pulls off a piece of the bone.) The team is reportedly considering placing Butler on IR. The rookie has been buried on Arizona's depth chart and was a long shot for 2019 fantasy value anyway. He remains an intriguing stash in dynasty leagues.
The Athletic's Zak Keefer tweets that there's "no guarantee" that WR Parris Campbell (hamstring) is ready for Week 1. The rookie has been sidelined for about 3 weeks now with his bum hammy, and HC Frank Reich hinted on Tuesday that Campbell won't practice this week. He was buzzing early in camp and should emerge as the Colts' #3 WR quickly once he gets healthy. But it doesn't look like Campbell will be an early-season fantasy option.
Colts HC Frank Reich said Tuesday that QB Andrew Luck (calf/ankle) won't practice this week. Luck is still struggling with "full speed movement vs. pain threshold," per Reich. So the earliest Luck will get back on the field is next Monday -- 13 days before the season opener. He's looking legitimately questionable for Week 1. QB Jacoby Brissett will start if Luck isn't ready.
Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders took the field for Monday night's preseason game for the 1st time since last December's torn Achilles. And he looked like Emmanuel Sanders. He caught a quick pass on Denver's 1st offensive snap and later took this end-around for a nice 19-yard gain. Sanders also had a 45-yard reception negated by a holding penalty. "To be able to come back and feel how I feel and feel better, still be able to hang out with these 24-year-old kids and still be able to run with them, it's amazing," he said afterward. Clearly on track for Week 1 and looking completely recovered from that Achilles injury, Sanders is the best fantasy bet among Broncos WRs. Remember that he was sitting 15th among WRs in PPR points before last year's injury. We just bumped Sanders up the WR rankings.
Ravens HC John Harbaugh admitted that WR Marquise Brown still has "a ways to go" as he works back from foot surgery. Brown was able to get on the field in a joint practice with the Eagles on Monday. “He basically practiced for the first time in a more aggressive setting, so I saw a guy that was practicing for the first time," Harbaugh said. "He just needs to get accustomed to it. It’s all new for him — the speed of it, the thinking, the lining up, running the right route." OC Greg Roman also noted that Brown needs to build chemistry with QB Lamar Jackson. The rookie is looking like a poor bet for early-season fantasy value.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that "all signs" are pointing to QB Case Keenum winning Washington's starting job to open the year, citing chats with multiple sources. That goes along with recent rumors and comes as no big surprise. Keenum looks like he'll offer a steadier hand for Washington wideouts in fantasy football. We'd bet on rookie Dwayne Haskins overtaking him at some point this season, though. Neither QB should be in your fantasy plans unless you play in a 2-QB or superflex league.
Buccaneers WR Mike Evans missed practice Monday after leaving Sunday's workout with an apparent left quad injury, the Tampa Bay Times reports. HC Bruce Arians told reporters after practice that Evans had "tweaked" the area and that "it's nothing serious." But he also said he didn't know if Evans would be better in time for Friday's 3rd exhibition game. We don't care whether Evans takes part in that fake contest. But we'll be watching to make sure this issue doesn't linger too long.