Seahawks signed WLB K.J. Wright to a four-year, $27 million contract extension through 2018.
The No. 99 overall pick of the 2011 draft, Wright was headed to the open market. Excellent in coverage and solid against the run, Wright has been an every-down player this season, racking up 96 tackles and two sacks. The Seahawks love his length at 6-foot-4, 250 pounds. Seattle has done an excellent job of locking up the core of its 2013 championship team. Wright is only 25.
Speaking Thursday, Bears coach Marc Trestman left the door open for benched QB Jay Cutler to start in Week 17.
"This is for this week," Trestman said. "We're not going any farther than our preparation for Detroit." Trestman is clearly trying to keep Cutler's spirits up, but barring a total face-plant from Jimmy Clausen, we'd expect Cutler to remain on the pine for Week 17. Trestman went on to say he believed Cutler could be "revived" from the benching, hinting he's expected to remain the team's quarterback in 2015. That's probably an honest belief, but it's unlikely to be Trestman's decision to make. Clausen doesn't give the Bears a better chance to win than Cutler, but leading the league in turnovers and regressing on a weekly basis, Cutler has little room to complain about being benched.
Titans placed RB Dexter McCluster on injured reserve with a knee injury, ending his season.
WR Rico Richardson was promoted from the practice squad in a corresponding roster move. One of the crown jewels of the Titans' free-agent class, McCluster closes the book on 2014 having turned 66 touches into just 328 yards. He averaged an anemic 3.3 yards on his 40 carries. Signed through 2016, McCluster will be back to attempt to change the pace next season.
Roy Helu (toe) is practicing in full for Week 16.
Helu should be ready to return as the Redskins' pass-catching back after a one-game absence. That means Chris Thompson will head back to the bench.
DeAngelo Williams (hand) remained limited in Thursday's practice.
Barring a setback, D-Will should return after a two-game absence, though the Panthers aren't sure how he'll fare in the passing game. In theory, he'll cut into Jonathan Stewart's workload, but we wouldn't be surprised if Williams is nothing more than a breather option for J-Stew, who has run well in Williams' absence. D-Will is not on the fantasy radar for Week 16.
Cam Newton (back) was a full participant in Thursday's practice, and is "on target" to start Sunday's game against the Browns.
Barring a setback, coach Ron Rivera expects Newton to "probably" start over Derek Anderson. It's a huge boost for the Panthers as they try to stay alive in the NFC South. Newton had his best game of the season in Week 14 before his car accident, but will be a borderline QB1 if he suits up for the fantasy finals. His health is obviously a question mark, and the Browns sport a stouter defense than New Orleans.
Eddie Lacy (eye) remained limited on Thursday.
Lacy's health is not a concern for the fantasy finals. He's locked in as a top-five RB1 for Week 16.
Speaking after Thursday's practice, Cam Newton (back) declined to say if he expected to start Sunday's game against the Browns.
"I'm fine either way it goes," Newton said. "I don't want to be a distraction." Newton also added that he's felt "no pain" on the practice field, and has "no fear" of further injury. Barring a setback, he sounds like a quarterback who's going to take the football field on Sunday. Newton's status will be updated no later than Friday afternoon.