Patrick Daugherty

Football Daily Dose

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Manning's Melodrama

Thursday, September 08, 2011

What would the Daily Dose be without another update on everybody’s favorite T.V. pitchman/second best quarterback in the NFL?

Yes, the Peyton Manning rumor carousel continued to spin without cease on Wednesday, and like it has been for most of the past few days, the “news” (read: hearsay and conjecture) was not good.

Although no one can seem to agree on whether or not the four-time MVP is headed for a third operation on his ailing neck, the man who would know best — Colts owner Jim Isray — refused to rule out such a possibility in a typically peculiar tweet last night.

Suddenly, those who thought they were getting the steal of a lifetime when Manning fell into their laps in the sixth round could be staring at a season that’s over before it’s even begun (unless you’re comfortable with your QB2 Luke McCown).

Isray has assured that definitive word on his franchise player’s status will come soon, and though there’s still reason to hope for the best, it’s clear you also need to be prepared for the worst.

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Making almost as equally unwanted news as Manning on Wednesday was Arian Foster, who missed practice and admitted he doesn’t know if his troublesome left hamstring will be ready to go against the Colts this Sunday.
If Foster sits out for the second straight day this afternoon, the Ben Tate watch will need to be upgraded to a warning.

While the status of Manning and Foster grew murkier yesterday, Lance Moore’s was clarified: he’s out for tonight’s season opener against the Packers.

A rock solid WR3 last season, Moore missed the final two weeks of training camp with a groin injury, and suddenly finds himself in a vulnerable situation in the Saints’ receiver corps thanks to the rocket ascension of second-year TE Jimmy Graham.

Graham soaked up looks in Moore’s absence in New Orleans’ final two preseason games, and could ensure Moore is knocked down from second in Drew Brees’ pecking order of favorite targets with a big game against a stout Green Bay defense this evening.   
Bucs GM Mark Dominik made minor waves on Wednesday when he said on ProFootballTalk Live Tampa is planning to go with "more of a committee approach" in the backfield this season. 

In reality, however, nothing has changed. LeGarrette Blount was not a third-down back last year and was not going to be one this season. Blount’s backups, Kregg Lumpkin and Earnest Graham, are nowhere near the downhill runners he is, and are little threat to his early-down and goal-line supremacy. It is indeed a committee in Tampa Bay, but it’s still modeled after the one that netted Blount over 1,000 yards in only 13 games in 2010. 

A staple of vulture watch lists this preseason, Marion Barber now finds himself on another list he’s all too familiar with: the injury report.

His calf injury was classified as nothing to worry about when he suffered it in Chicago’s third preseason game, but has predictably gone from minor to holding him out of Week 1 practice.

Considered “unlikely” to suit up this Sunday by the Chicago Sun-Times, it could be wise to use this as an opportunity to take a mulligan on your selection of Barber in the final rounds of your draft. Deji Karim, Jonathan Stewart and Ricky Williams all come to mind as backups that either rushed for more than 3.3 yards per carry last season or don't have lengthy histories of leg injuries.

David Garrard’s time spent playing for Seahawks QBs coach Carl Smith in 2005-07 made Seattle the early favorite for his services upon his stunning Tuesday release. That connection coupled with Tarvaris Jackson’s miserable play during the preseason conspired to make the move seem like almost a no-brainer.

Alas, we found out on Wednesday Garrard will not be Puget Sound bound. "No. There will be none," was HC Pete Carroll’s response when asked if he was seeking an upgrade for his starting quarterback.    

Garrard has reportedly narrowed his list of potential new teams to two, and anecdotal evidence suggests the 49ers are one of them. Although it’s still not clear where Garrard will end up, one thing is: in a league where Jackson, Rex Grossman, Alex Smith and Andy Dalton all currently own starting jobs, there’s no reason Garrard should find himself on the sidelines this season.

The second least compelling backup quarterback drama of the young season took another turn on Wednesday when Panthers HC Ron Rivera shot down reports he’s decided to go with Derek Anderson over Jimmy Clausen as his No. 2 quarterback.

Officially, he’s “still not made a decision.”

The news will be devastating for whomever loses. For Clausen, it would mean that despite being the No. 48 overall pick a little more than 15 months ago, he couldn’t beat out this man to backup a rookie.

For Anderson, it will mean that despite being a 28-year-old man with 43 career starts under his belt, he couldn't beat out this man to, again, backup a rookie.

Perhaps once Rivera finally ends all the breathless speculation, Clausen and Anderson can join up with Brady Quinn and Tim Tebow for a late night Skype session to talk about how unfair life is.

Jeremy Maclin (illness) is “full go” for Philadelphia’s Sunday tilt with the Rams. … The same cannot be said for Sidney Rice (shoulder) and Seattle’s visit to San Francisco. … Michael Crabtree (foot) came close to being a full participant in Niners practice on Wednesday, and is beginning to look likely to suit up this weekend. … Terrence Newman is out for the Cowboys, which means Santonio Holmes should be in the endzone. … Still slowly recovering from a knee injury he suffered in Oakland’s second preseason game, Kevin Boss is unlikely to suit up against the Broncos on Monday. … A one time sleeper candidate, rookie Chargers WR Vincent Brown will be inactive this weekend after missing a large chunk of training camp with a quad injury. … The same should also be true for Jonathan Baldwin, who has yet to resume catching passes after breaking his thumb in a locker-room skirmish last month.

Patrick Daugherty is a football and baseball writer for He can be found on Twitter .
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