The Denver Post's Mike Klis believes Peyton Manning will play out his contract with the Broncos.
This would be welcome news for Dynasty owners of Peyton, Demaryius Thomas, and Emmanuel Sanders. Manning is under contract through 2016 with base salaries of $19 million the next two seasons. Although his play has begun to tail off toward the end of the past two years, Peyton has remained an "elite" quarterback in favorable weather. Manning is currently on pace for 42 touchdowns and 4,735 yards, both big drop-offs from last year's stats (55, 5,477) but still top-shelf fantasy QB1 numbers.
The Broncos hope to have Ronnie Hillman (foot) back "if not this week at Cincinnati then in the season finale."
The Broncos could put Hillman to use as a complement to C.J. Anderson, who's averaged an unruly 27.25 carries per game over the past month. Shifty and quick, Hillman would make more sense as a true change-of-pace than Juwan Thompson, who is a big back like Anderson. Even if Hillman plays Monday night at Cincinnati, it would be a surprise if he handled more than 7-9 touches.
C.J. Spiller (shoulder) was limited in Wednesday's practice.
Spiller was activated from I.R./recall, but isn't a lock to return this week. He won't be more than a boom-or-bust FLEX option if he plays against Oakland.
Larry Fitzgerald (knee) was limited in Wednesday's practice.
Fitzgerald looked healthy last week and should be close to 100 percent. With Ryan Lindley starting, he isn't on the WR3 radar for a Sunday night matchup against Seattle.
Derek Carr (thumb, ankle) was limited in Wednesday's practice.
Coach Tony Sparano said Carr made all throws in practice and isn't worried about his status for Sunday's game. Carr has a matchup with Buffalo's top-five pass defense in Week 16.
Michael Crabtree (knee) did not practice Wednesday.
Crabtree's status is in question with the 49ers playing on a short week. He'll be updated again on Thursday.
Jimmy Clausen will start in Week 16 against the Lions.
The Bears benched Jay Cutler, leaving Clausen to make his first start since 2010. Per NFL Network's Mike Silver, Bears players believe Clausen will "light it up" in Marc Trestman's quarterback-friendly scheme "simply because he'll run the offense as prescribed." Clausen has potential for plug-and-play value in the Bears' pass-based attack, but gets a difficult first matchup against the Lions. He'll be no more than a QB2 option and daily-league dart throw in Week 16.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports the Bears will start Jimmy Clausen over Jay Cutler in Week 16 against the Lions.
The Bears are benching Cutler just 14 starts into his seven-year, $127 million extension. Per NFL Network's Mike Silver, coach Marc Trestman felt he could no longer start Cutler "simply to justify a contract" when his on-field play was so poor. Cutler regressed in his second season in Trestman's offense, leading the NFL in turnovers (24). Owed a fully guaranteed $15.5 million next year, the Bears' only option is to trade Cutler this offseason if they want to move on from him. Chicago would absorb $19 million in dead money by releasing Cutler before 2016.