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Richie Incognito taking leadership role with Raiders’ revamped O-line – Las Vegas Raiders Blog

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HENDERSON, Nev. — Reasons? Yeah, Richie Incognito has a few reasons as to why he wants to return to play left guard for the Las Vegas Raiders at age 38, a year after suffering a season-ending Achilles injury in Week 2.

And they are exactly what you would imagine.

“The injury was frustrating, but I knew from the start I was coming back,” Incognito said after the Raiders’ first week of OTAs. “Once I went and had surgery and it wasn’t as major as we thought, I knew I was just going to grind and rehab and come back stronger. I had surgery in November and since November I’ve been locked in the gym just running, conditioning, lifting, and yeah, it’s one of those things where I didn’t want to go out on an injury.

“I’ve had such a long career and I wanted come back and kick ass and play another couple years with the Raiders.”

Makes sense.

But keep this in mind — sure, the oft-troubled Incognito has kept his nose clean since the Raiders took a chance on him by coaxing him out of a one-year retirement in the spring of 2019. But he has also missed a ton of time. Incognito has played in 14 of the Raiders’ 32 games the past two seasons.

And now, not only are the Raiders counting on Incognito to be available, Las Vegas also needs the 14-season veteran to be a calming influence on a reshuffled offensive line. A unit that saw its Pro Bowl center (Rodney Hudson), right guard (Gabe Jackson) and right tackle (Trent Brown) traded this offseason.

The projected and expensive O-line of left tackle Kolton Miller, Incognito, Hudson, Jackson and Brown played all of three snaps together last season.

Now, the Raiders are looking at a potential line of Miller and Incognito on the left side, Andre James at center, Denzelle Good — who replaced Incognito on the left side last season — at right guard, and first-round draft pick Alex Leatherwood at right tackle.

Enter Incognito the Wise.

“It’s great to be able to have been here for a couple years and be established and be a leader for these young guys,” he said. “It’s great because we have some really good experience in the room.

“But it’s my job to keep those guys going, keep them hungry, keep them humble and when we get out on Sunday, just play as one and go out there and really get after people. I think [offensive line coach Tom] Cable wants a very physical offensive line, and that’s where I come in. I set the tempo every day in practice. I bring it every day and get out in the games and I’m out there mixing it up and putting people on their head, and that energy is contagious.”

Yeah, even with his less-than-pristine past. Or maybe, in part, because of it.

But as mentioned earlier, Incognito, a third-round pick of the Rams in 2005, has been nothing but a positive influence on the younger Raiders.

“I vote for Richie Incognito to be captain every year I’ve been in the league,” third-year defensive end Clelin Ferrell said. “My first two years in the league I voted him to be a captain both times, because I feel like a lot of things can get misconstrued about Richie.

“Especially being [such a veteran], a lot of guys would complain. Man, he comes out to practice all the time, doesn’t take days off unless coach makes him take days off … he’s really going to be that vocal leader this year, for sure, and kind of that stone hinge that everybody’s like, ‘OK, they got a dog on them.'”

Incognito came to the Raiders on a one-year, “prove-it” deal worth $1.03 million in 2019, was rewarded with a two-year, $12.7 million extension with $5 million guaranteed but was released this past March 9. Fifteen days later, he was re-signed, to a one-year, $2.12 million contract, with $1.1 million guaranteed.

A year ago, OTAs were wiped out due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And after the Raiders, along with every other in the NFL, announced earlier this spring they were going to sit out the voluntary portion of the offseason program, 83 of the 89 players on the Raiders’ 90-man roster were practicing last Wednesday.

“It’s a competitive advantage for us to be here working right now,” Incognito said. “We’re a young team, we’re learning a new defense. Offense, we’re trying to sharpen our tools to be more productive, put up more points, put more pressure on teams, and it’s just great. It’s great for team building, great to be around the guys.

“The offseason kind of started off with the NFLPA and their agenda and we released a statement, but a couple days later we came together, and we were like, listen, other teams are working, we are at a competitive disadvantage if we’re not working. Let’s get our asses back there and get to work.”

How’s that for a reason?



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Bruce Arians to Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians hasn’t felt the need to bring in a specialist to talk to his players about the COVID-19 vaccine, which some players leaguewide have expressed skepticism about in recent days.

While Washington Football Team coach Ron Rivera brought Harvard immunologist Kizzmekia S. Corbett in to speak to his players Tuesday night, Arians said Thursday, “I’m the specialist.”

He told players, “If you want to go back to normal, get vaccinated.”

Arians said the Bucs are holding a vaccine drive for players and their families at the facility.

“There’s going to be a long line over there right now,” Arians said. “We were pretty short up until now. Hopefully we have a pretty good line.”

Previous vaccine drives have also taken place at the facility for coaches and support staff members. The goal is to have 85% of the team vaccinated, which Arians feels they’ll be much closer to after the drive.

“Everybody’s tired of meeting out here and eating outside, and doing all those things we had to do last year,” Arians said. “It’s still a personal choice, but I don’t see a reason not to be vaccinated.”

When asked if any players expressed concern or skepticism, as Washington’s Montez Sweat did Wednesday, Arians said, “I haven’t spoken to anybody that’s resisted it. They’re just too lazy to get one.”

Outside linebacker Shaq Barrett said he and his wife, Jordanna, both received the vaccine. Their four children aren’t old enough to qualify for the vaccine at this time, as the CDC currently recommends children ages 12 and older receive vaccines.

Barrett missed the season finale against the Atlanta Falcons because he was a close contact of a teammate who tested positive, despite never testing positive himself. Still, he was forced to quarantine for five days. His children were home-schooled in 2020 and did not have play dates with other children because of concerns about the virus.

“It’s ‘to each their own.’ I recommend it,” Barrett said Thursday. “I don’t know why people wouldn’t get it. But whatever makes you comfortable, whatever helps you sleep at night, you do that. But I would like for 85% of the team to be vaccinated.”

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Kansas City Chiefs hope Kyle Long back by start of regular season after leg injury in practice

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Chiefs are hopeful guard Kyle Long can return for the start of the regular season after he injured his leg Wednesday, sources told ESPN.

Long was signed by the Chiefs in the offseason after he ended his retirement after one year. He wrote about the injury on Thursday on his Twitter account.

“I did everything I could to get back for football,” Long said. “Zero regrets. … Focusing on controlling the things I can control. Yesterday was not one of those things!”

Long, 32, was working as the starting right guard at offseason practice. Other candidates to start include Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and rookie Trey Smith.

Drafted 20th overall by the Chicago Bears in 2013, Long missed just one game over his first three seasons, in which he was selected to three consecutive Pro Bowls, but appeared in just 30 regular-season contests over his last four years with the team because of a variety of injuries. He announced his retirement in January of last year.

NFL Network first reported that Long had suffered a leg injury.



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Fantasy Football cheat sheets – Updated 2021 player rankings, PPR, non-PPR, depth charts, dynasty

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If you’re seeking a one-stop shop for updated 2021 fantasy football rankings and cheat sheets throughout the summer, you’ve come to the right place. Below, you will find them for PPR and non-PPR formats, as well as dynasty leagues.

PPR positional cheat sheet

One sheet with players broken down by position, including overall rank, salary-cap value and bye weeks for leagues that award one point for each catch. Download »

PPR top-300 cheat sheet

This sheet features 300 players in order of overall draft value, with positional rank, salary-cap value and bye-week information for leagues that reward each catch with a point. Download »

Non-PPR positional cheat sheet

For leagues using the scoring format that doesn’t award an extra point for each reception. One sheet with players broken down by position, including overall rank, salary-cap value and bye weeks. Download »

Non-PPR top-300 cheat sheet

This sheet features 300 players in order of overall draft value, with positional rank, salary-cap value and bye-week information. Download »

Mike Clay’s team-by-team projection guide

If you want the full breakdown for all 32 teams, you’ve come to the right place. Download »

NFL team depth chart cheat sheet

Fantasy depth charts for each NFL team: top two QBs, three running backs, four wide receivers, two tight ends and a kicker. Prioritized by fantasy value in PPR leagues rather than role defined on a traditional NFL depth chart, includes players’ positional ranks. Download »

Dynasty cheat sheet

Features the top 240 players and 60 best rookies to make all of your keeper and dynasty league decisions. Includes the age of players at the start of the 2021 season. Download »

*All cheat sheets are in PDF format. Your device must be equipped with a PDF reader for you to access and print the cheat sheet.

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