Top Patriots beat writer/reporter Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston believes Danny Amendola (groin) has a “good chance” of playing this week against the Bengals. Reiss wasn’t citing sources or anything when he made the remark, rather he was just basing this off of what he’s seen at the Patriots’ facility the past couple weeks. Amendola said last week that he anticipated being “100 percent shortly,” while reports had him “progressing well” and moving around a lot better.
Of course, nobody really has any idea what the Patriots’ plans are for Amendola and Rob Gronkowski (back, forearm) except coach Bill Belichick and a few others inside the organization’s walls. Both players appear to be at about the same stage in their respective recoveries and could make their return to the field the same week.
Amendola completely tore the adductor longus tendon in his groin in Week 1. It was actually good news that the tendon was completely torn. That eliminated the need for surgery, which meant the recovery period would be much shorter. The Boston Globe reported on Friday last week that both Amendola and Gronkowski were expected to play in Week 4. Neither suited up, but it’s obvious both players are knocking on the doorstep to return.
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The good news this week is that the Patriots and Bengals kick off at 1 PM ET, so we’ll know Amendola’s game-day status by 11:30 AM ET Sunday at the latest. In all likelihood, we’ll know something by Saturday afternoon. Once Amendola does return, he’ll immediately slide right back in as a WR2 in fantasy with WR1 upside in PPR. He’s going to see a ton of targets and will likely play nearly every snap. Julian Edelman owners need not panic. The Patriots have shown in the past that they have no issues lining Edelman up outside. Obviously his PPR numbers would take a hit, but Edelman could be the third receiver with Kenbrell Thompkins and Amendola since Aaron Dobson and Josh Boyce haven’t shown much. Edelman should remain rostered in all formats. We’ll know more on Amendola later this week.
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News Nugget #2
Santonio Holmes suffered a significant hamstring strain in Sunday’s loss to the Titans. He exited early in the fourth quarter and was seen limping around the locker room following the game. Holmes is almost certainly dealing with at least a grade-2 pull. It’s the type that can linger and cost players multiple games.
On Tuesday, the New York Post reported Holmes is expected to miss “a few weeks.” ESPN New York later reported that Holmes “could be looking at a month” of missed time. It’s obvious Holmes isn’t going to play this week against the Falcons on Monday night. He’s clearly looking at a multi-week absence, and it wouldn’t come as a major shock if he was held out through the Week 10 bye. As Holmes showed with his foot injury, he likes to get completely back to 100 percent before returning to the field.
Holmes can be safely dropped in 10- and 12-team re-draft leagues. With Stephen Hill (concussion) also likely to miss Week 5, the Jets are wafer-thin at the receiver spot. Jeremy Kerley will be the de facto No. 1 receiver while Ryan Spadola and newly signed David Nelson round out the depth chart. The Falcons won’t be a bad fantasy defense to stream this week.
News Nugget #3
We had another out-of-the-blue trade go down late Tuesday night. The Ravens acquired left tackle Eugene Monroe from the Jaguars in exchange for “multiple third-day picks” in the 2014 draft. Bryant McKinnie wasn’t cutting it on Joe Flacco’s blind side. “Mount McKinnie” was pretty average in pass protection but wasn’t getting the job done as a run blocker. Pro Football Focus graded McKinnie out as the third-worst tackle in football in terms of run blocking through four weeks. The 34-year-old will either be released or sent back into a reserve role like he filled last season.
Monroe is one of the better young tackles in the game but hasn’t gotten the recognition because his play has gone unnoticed in Jacksonville. The No. 8 overall pick in the 2009 draft is just 26 years old. Monroe has struggled a bit this season, but the entire Jaguars offensive line was getting pushed around. In 2012, Pro Football Focus graded Monroe out as its No. 10 left tackle. He allowed just five sacks last season. Monroe is signed through the end of 2013 at a very reasonable $3.8 million. The Ravens will undoubtedly look to lock him up long-term as Joe Flacco’s blindside protector for the foreseeable future.
In Jacksonville, first-round rookie Luke Joeckel will likely shift to his more natural left tackle spot after struggling mightily to learn right tackle. He’ll benefit from the move. Look for Cameron Bradfield to step in at right tackle. The Jaguars have no chance this season. Another high-profile player in the final year of his contract down in Jacksonville is Maurice Jones-Drew. Keep an eye on him up until the October 29 trade deadline.
Quarterback/Running Back Slants
The 49ers signed John Skelton to be their new No. 3 quarterback after B.J. Daniels was waived. … Coach Greg Schiano insisted he wasn’t behind the leak of negative information about Josh Freeman. We find that hard to believe. The Bucs are intent on dealing Freeman, though interest is reportedly “mild.” … Jake Locker’s second MRI revealed no major damage to his right hip. He’s still expected to miss multiple weeks, but a trip to short-term injured reserve now looks unlikely. … Coach Doug Marrone confirmed that he expects Fred Jackson (knee) to play on Thursday night. Meanwhile, C.J. Spiller remained sidelined in Tuesday’s practice. Spiller will likely be a game-time decision. … Dolphins OC Mike Sherman reiterated he wants to continue using both Daniel Thomas and Lamar Miller in a timeshare. Miller has been the far superior back in recent weeks. He needs to be given lead-back duties or the Dolphins are going to end up costing themselves a win or two. … The Giants waived passing-down back Da’Rel Scott on Tuesday. This could mean David Wilson is in for a much bigger workload this week against the Eagles. We’ll have to wait and see if the Giants sign a free agent off the street in the next day or two. … Alfred Morris (ribs) said he’s “all good.” The Redskins are on their bye week.
Wide Receiver/Tight End Slants
Bills rookie receiver Marquise Goodwin resumed practicing Tuesday for the first time since breaking his hand in Week 1. … The Chargers placed Malcom Floyd (neck) on season-ending injured reserve. Keenan Allen, Eddie Royal, and Vincent Brown will chug along as San Diego’s top three receivers. The Bolts signed Lavelle Hawkins to be their No. 4 or 5 wideout. … Coach Gus Bradley raved about Justin Blackmon’s conditioning after Blackmon returned from his four-game suspension Tuesday. … Marlon Brown strained his hamstring on Sunday. It was originally reported as a thigh issue. Hamstrings are tricky. … The Bucs released Kevin Ogletree and re-signed Tiquan Underwood. … Dennis Pitta (hip surgery) has ditched his crutches. The Ravens still don’t know if he’ll be able to contribute this season.