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Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin clears concussion protocol; no RB change



TAMPA, Fla. — One day after Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians saw multiple drops from his wide receivers, tight ends and running backs, he got the good news that Chris Godwin, arguably his most sure-handed receiver, will be back this week against the Denver Broncos. He also said he’s not ready to make a change at running back.

Godwin missed Week 2’s game against the Carolina Panthers because of a concussion.

“Chris passed the protocol. He’s ready to go,” Arians said. “The one thing we know is how sure-handed he is. He’s not gonna drop too many, if any. I’m looking forward to having him back this week.”

Godwin missed two days of practice last week due to the concussion, which he suffered on a fourth-quarter helmet-to-helmet hit by D.J. Swearinger. He was able to return to some limited practice on Friday — the concussion protocol allows for light exercise, football-specific exercise and non-contact drills — but was not given clearance when tested Saturday.

Without him, the Bucs struggled — particularly in the second half, as quarterback Tom Brady had just 19 passing yards — although they still pulled out a 31-17 victory.

“Oh gosh, we dropped about 125 yards’ worth, about seven drops, two touchdowns — three touchdowns really,” Arians said. “Tom should have had a 400-yard day if we just catch it.”

Arians also said that despite Leonard Fournette‘s 103 yards rushing, two touchdowns and 13 receiving yards, he’s comfortable with Ronald Jones remaining the starter and isn’t making a change there. Jones rushed for 23 yards on seven carries and caught two passes for four yards.

“Not right now. I think everybody’s role is good right now. There’s no need for that. He still doesn’t know enough of this offense yet to be the starter,” Arians said of Fournette.

“I love the way it’s at right now. RoJo had a great run for a touchdown. Got us off. Had good blitz pickup. He did screw up the handoff on the draw, but that’s easily correctable. To have Leonard come in fresh-legged in the fourth quarter and pound it like that — very few teams have that combination. Shady did a good job on third down. I know that one catch he’d like to have back that he dropped. I thought our backs played really, really well, other than the handoff fumble.”

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Seattle Seahawks’ Chris Carson, Jamal Adams highlight injury concerns



The Seattle Seahawks list running back Chris Carson and All-Pro strong safety Jamal Adams as questionable for Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers.

That’s just the start of the injury concerns in Seattle’s backfield and secondary.

Carson’s primary backup, Carlos Hyde, is listed as doubtful, and No. 3 running back Travis Homer is also questionable. All three were injured in Seattle’s overtime loss to the Arizona Cardinals last week. Homer (knee bruise) was limited Friday. Carson (foot sprain) and Hyde (hamstring) didn’t practice all week.

They’ll work out on the field before Sunday’s game, according to coach Pete Carroll.

“We’re going all the way to game time on all three guys and just see what happens then,” Carroll said. “We did not practice them this week and that was just to give them every single day to have a chance to get back.”

Rookie fourth-round pick DeeJay Dallas is the Seahawks’ only healthy tailback. They also have fullback Nick Bellore on their 53-man roster but no other running backs on their practice squad they could elevate for game-day depth. Carroll and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer have said this week that the Seahawks’ backfield situation might force them to get creative Sunday and use other skill players at running back.

The Seahawks (5-1) brought in Alex Collins to begin COVID-19 testing Friday, but he won’t be eligible to join their practice squad until next week at the earliest.

Dallas has a total of 41 scrimmage yards on six touches in four games.

“He’s had an excellent week,” Carroll said. “He’s really right in the middle of the plan. He’s really jacked about the opportunity to carry the load if that would be what happens in this thing. He had a good week. Later as the week wore on, I was making sure we were taking care of him. I didn’t want to overwork him. He wanted to take every snap and we didn’t let him do that, but he’s ready to play.”

Defensive tackle Damon Harrison could make his Seahawks debut Sunday — a potential boost for a defense that’s allowed the most yards through six games in NFL history. Carroll stopped short of declaring that the 31-year-old veteran would play but said he had his best week “without question.” Harrison, a first team All-Pro in 2016, hadn’t played since last season when he joined Seattle’s practice squad on Oct. 7.

“This week really … would make you think that he’s ready to come back and play,” Carroll said. “He’s getting there. The first couple weeks, that wasn’t the case. He was just getting back in shape. He’s lost some weight. He looks a lot better moving around. He’s on his stuff. He knows what he’s doing. He’s in it. So I’m really fired up that he’s competing to get on the field right now.”

The Seahawks could either sign Harrison to their active roster indefinitely — they have two open spots — or elevate him for game day.

“This week or next week, he’s ready to play,” Carroll said. “So he would play whatever the game plan allowed him to, so there would be no play count on him. But he’s a situational player and does a great job inside tying things up. Our guys are doing OK in there and battling. We don’t have any issues rotationwise right now, but he’s really made a big step forward this week.”

The Seahawks list left guard Mike Iupati (back) as doubtful and defensive end Benson Mayowa (ankle) as questionable. Mayowa was limited Friday.

Adams was limited also Friday as he practiced for the first time since injuring his groin in Week 3. He was set to practice earlier in the week before coming down with a non-COVID illness. Adams was sent home, per NFL guidelines, and returned to the team’s facility Thursday afternoon after testing negative.

Carroll called it a “real good sign” that Adams practiced Friday but acknowledged the team’s reservations about playing Adams on Sunday after just one practice over the past month.

“It’s a big concern,” Carroll said. “That’s a lot to ask. He’s worked out great in his conditioning work and all that. The fact that he had to miss a couple days here really kind of threw a wrench into the works for a smooth comeback, so we’ll have to see what happens at game time.”

The Seahawks ruled out cornerback Shaquill Griffin (hamstring/concussion) and list nickelback Ugo Amadi as questionable. Adams’ backup, Ryan Neal, is also listed as questionable, though Carroll said he “looks pretty good.” Tre Flowers will likely start for Griffin. Seattle has Linden Stephens and Damarious Randall as options at nickelback and strong safety, respectively. Carroll said D.J. Reed is ready to be activated off the non-football injury list. The former 49er can play cornerback, nickelback and free safety.

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Fantasy football last-minute pickups for NFL Week 8



The roster percentages for this column are updated every Friday morning, and any players from Thursday’s Falcons-Panthers game have been taken out.

Each week of the NFL season, we will identify fantasy football waiver-wire pickups specifically for those of you looking for streaming options in deeper formats (including IDP leagues). These are players available in a majority of ESPN Fantasy leagues who have enticing matchups in the week ahead that make them worthy of consideration for your lineup.

While you might notice some overlap with Field Yates’ pickup column that publishes on Mondays, an important distinction is that the options mentioned in this column are focused solely on this week’s matchup and not the players’ values for the remainder of the season.

Do you need replacement options for injured players? Or are you merely dealing with depth issues? A roundtable of fantasy analysts and NFL Nation reporters will join me to identify some choice names to consider each week.

Here are some of our favorites for Week 8:


Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers (26.0% rostered; at Seahawks)

Speaking of historically generous pass defenses facing efficient offenses, this setup for Garoppolo should see him bounce back nicely from last week’s poor fantasy showing. Seattle is sitting 29th in pressure rate, so Jimmy G should have time to throw. Even with a depleted crew of receivers and a thin backfield, there are enough playmakers still in the mix to support Garoppolo in this soft matchup. -J.M.

Running Back

Carlos Hyde, Seattle Seahawks (44.9% rostered; vs. 49ers)

I know Hyde isn’t an exciting young back with breakout potential, but luckily there are no “style points” in fantasy. And he should definitely get the volume as long as Chris Carson is out of the lineup. Hyde had 15 carries for 68 yards and a TD in Week 7 — not to mention 1,070 yards in Houston last season. ESPN Seahawks reporter Brady Henderson said they have a couple of other pass-catching backs they might use in a rotational role, but they specifically liked Hyde in free agency because he has “the size and physicality to approximate what Carson gives Seattle on early downs.” -Mike Triplett, NFL Nation Saints reporter

Zack Moss, Buffalo Bills (36.5% rostered; vs. Patriots)

Far more efficient last week than peer Devin Singletary and with nearly equal touch and snap rates in the win over the Jets, Moss is seemingly rising in the Buffalo backfield. Earning an endorsement for a second straight week in this space, there are some key positives to consider with the rookie. Moss was the primary goal-line back earlier in the season, while the team has rarely deployed Singletary in such scenarios since the start of last season. Another angle in his favor is New England has struggled against the rush, allowing a generous 4.6 yards per carry to backs and more than 24 fantasy points per game to backfields, leaving room for both Buffalo backs to flirt with flex value this weekend. -J.M.

Wide Receiver

Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers (57.0% rostered; at Seahawks)

The talented rookie wideout has everything going for him this week. He is coming off a career-best performance against a tough New England Patriots defense, Deebo Samuel will miss Week 8 with an injury, and the 49ers face the hapless Seahawks secondary, which has allowed the most fantasy points to wideouts (by a mile) this season. -Tom Carpenter, ESPN Fantasy editor

A first-round draft pick who just tapped into his potential in Week 7 is enticing enough. But throw in the fact that the 49ers’ leading receiver, Deebo Samuel, is expected to miss this week’s game with a hamstring injury. Then consider that San Francisco is about to face a vulnerable Seahawks pass defense that has allowed by far the most fantasy points to WRs this season. Finally, ESPN 49ers reporter Nick Wagoner said Aiyuk has been growing more comfortable and taking on a bigger role in the offense in recent weeks. This feels like a no-brainer as a Week 8 pickup with the chance to be a savvy long-term addition as well.-Triplett

Donovan Peoples-Jones, Cleveland Browns (1.6% rostered; vs. Raiders)

If you play in a 12-to-14-team league with non-PPR scoring, I would give Peoples-Jones a look as a WR3/4. The rookie out of Michigan caught all three of his targets for 56 yards and a game-winning score in Week 7 against the Bengals. And with Odell Beckham Jr. down for the season with a knee injury, Peoples-Jones will get snaps in Cleveland’s three-WR sets. He has the skills to create explosive plays, and there will be opportunities here versus the Raiders’ zone-heavy defensive scheme. -Matt Bowen, NFL writer and analyst

Preston Williams, Miami Dolphins (33.2% rostered; vs. Rams)

If you’re scanning the wire, you want upside and what better way to find it than with a super-sized receiver in a new-look offense? Williams has scored in three of his past four games and logic would suggest that the Rams will do everything they can do to take away Tua Tagovailoa‘s primary read in DeVante Parker. With Los Angeles on short rest and Miami off its bye, look for a creative game plan to get this 6-foot-5 athlete in favorable spots for his rookie signal-caller. -Kyle Soppe, ESPN Fantasy researcher

Tight End

Trey Burton, Indianapolis Colts (8.9% rostered; at Lions)

The Colts’ bye this past week sort of hid Burton’s breakout Week 6 performance from the fantasy market. Since coming back from injury, Burton has been a key target for Philip Rivers and creative usage even saw him score on the ground in that epic comeback against the Bengals a few weeks back. Next up is a meeting with a Lions back seven that has been solid in coverage against tight ends, but Burton’s healthy target share should support another solid showing.-J.M.

Richard Rodgers, Philadelphia Eagles (21.5% rostered; vs. Cowboys)

The Eagles lean on their tight ends to move the chains more than any other team in the league. Even when down to third string on the depth chart due to injuries, Philly allocated eight targets to Rodgers this past week. Next up is a Dallas defense allowing 14.8 fantasy points to tight ends. In a uniquely good week for streamers at this position, Rodgers is among the most bankable given his place in such a friendly scheme.-J.M.

Defense/Special Teams (D/ST)

Denver Broncos (30.2% rostered; vs. Chargers)

Denver’s defense has tallied 14 sacks in its past three outings and prior to facing the Chiefs had been solid this season in terms of points allowed. While rookie slinger Justin Herbert has been fairly awesome thus far, it’s worth noting the Chargers have yielded the third-highest pressure rate to opposing defenses in the league, setting up some big-play potential for this group.-J.M.

New Orleans Saints (52.9% rostered; at Bears)

The Saints have struggled to produce big defensive plays since the opener against the Bucs, but they are facing a Chicago offense struggling to move the ball this season, as the Bears’ offense ranks in the bottom five in both yards and points per game.-J.M.

Individual Defensive Players (IDP)

Defensive Line

Brandon Graham, Philadelphia Eagles (13.8% rostered; vs. Cowboys)

With two big games in a row and Graham really heating up off the edge, this matchup against a patchwork Dallas offensive line offers potential for a big line from the proven vet. -J.M.


Dre Greenlaw, San Francisco 49ers (4.5% rostered; at Seahawks)

The 49ers have faced injuries in the front seven throughout the season, vaulting players such as Greenlaw into bigger roles. He has tallied at least six tackles in three straight games and given he’s on the field often, there’s a good chance he extends this streak to four games.-J.M.

Defensive Back

Ryan Neal, Seattle Seahawks (8.4% rostered; vs. 49ers)

Seventeen total tackles the past two weeks signals Neal is both heavily targeted in the passing game and is helping stop runners that leak past the front seven. With a uniquely steady target and tackle rate, Neal is in a nice spot this week against the rival 49ers.-J.M.

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Culture over cash: Ravens beating odds by keeping All-Pro talent – Baltimore Ravens Blog



OWINGS MILLS, Md. — When the Baltimore Ravens announced they had signed Ronnie Stanley to a five-year deal Friday, this was far more than a celebration of keeping the best left tackle in the NFL. It represented another victory lap for the Ravens’ culture.

It’s remarkable that Baltimore was able to sign two All-Pro players — Stanley and Marlon Humphrey — to long-term deals in the same month. It’s unreal that the Ravens were able to retain both without making them the highest-paid players at their positions.

Stanley and Humphrey believe this is the start of a special time in Baltimore. With Lamar Jackson in his second full season as a starting quarterback, there’s a feeling inside the locker room that the Ravens are beginning an extended run as a Super Bowl contender.

For Stanley and Humphrey, the top priority wasn’t about breaking the bank. It was more important that they didn’t break up this team.

“We all know we’re a family here,” Stanley said. “I think all the guys are on the same page on what we’re trying to build here in Baltimore and that’s long-term success.”

Ravens officials faced an untimely predicament this year when Laremy Tunsil shattered the market value for offensive tackles in April with a three-year, $66 million contract and Jalen Ramsey did the same at cornerback in September with a five-year, $100 million deal. Tunsil and Ramsey used the leverage of being traded to their teams before signing a long-term deal and knew neither the Rams nor the Texans would allow them to walk.

Tunsil’s $22 million-per-year average was $5.5 million higher than that of any other left tackle, and Ramsey’s $20 million-per-year average was nearly $3 million more than that of any cornerback. Baltimore knew there was no way it could keep this team intact if it surpassed these deals. So, the Ravens offered Humphrey and Stanley deals that fell just below top of the market — and crossed their fingers.

On Oct. 1, Humphrey signed a five-year, $97.5 million extension ($19.5 million per season). On Friday, Stanley agreed to a five-year, $98.75 million extension ($19.75 million per year).

“For me, being the highest paid never really was a factor,” Humphrey said earlier this month. “The biggest thing for me was just staying a Raven. I remember when I first got here, me and [wide receiver] Chris Moore used to joke around saying that we’re Ravens for life. And it’s a very good feeling to actually be one.”

When Eric DeCosta took over for Ozzie Newsome as Ravens general manager in January 2019, he emphasized that he wanted to keep young talent before reaching free agency.

The month of March has long become a frustrating period for the organization. Limited by cap space, the Ravens couldn’t come close to outbidding teams for the likes of inside linebacker C.J. Mosley, outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith, center Ryan Jensen, guard Kelechi Osemele, offensive tackle Rick Wagner and fullback Kyle Juszczyk.

In his 20 months as general manager, DeCosta has signed nearly a dozen players to extensions including kicker Justin Tucker and cornerback Marcus Peters. But the biggest achievement was holding on to a top defensive playmaker in Humphrey and Jackson’s blind-side protector in Stanley.

“I’m proud of the fact that guys want to be here, for sure,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “I’m proud of the fact that guys want to come here. That’s kind of been established for quite a period of time. We’re just trying to do things the right way.”

Signing Stanley and Humphrey were just the first significant steps in keeping this core of Ravens players together. This offseason, Baltimore might have to use the franchise tag on one of its top pass-rushers (Yannick Ngakoue appears to be the prime candidate over Matthew Judon).

Jackson, reigning NFL MVP, has outplayed his rookie contract and could command a new deal over the next two years. Tight end Mark Andrews and and right tackle Orlando Brown Jr. will be free agents in 2022.

“I feel the Ravens do a really good job of picking out good talent and trying to keep that culture the way it’s always been,” Stanley said. “It’s just Ravens football.”

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