Nick Mensio

Football Daily Dose

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Dose: Le'Veon Looking Good

Wednesday, December 04, 2013


In the Steelers’ Thanksgiving night game against the Ravens, rookie running back Le’Veon Bell took one of the biggest hits we’ve seen all season. With less than two minutes to play, Bell took a handoff and collided head-to-head with Jimmy Smith at the one-yard line. Bell’s helmet flew off at impact, and he was knocked unconscious on the play. He had to be helped off the field and guided to the locker room. Bell was diagnosed with a concussion. It was one of the most courageous, all-out-for-his-team runs you’ll ever see. Tuesday was the first day either Bell or the Steelers provided an update.

Bell did some running on Monday, and then said he’s going to take it “day by day and see where we’re at.” Bell added that he doesn’t remember the play and continued to say that he wasn’t sure if he’d be able to suit up for the Week 14 tilt against the Dolphins. Tuesday afternoon rolled along, and coach Mike Tomlin had brighter news. Tomlin said Bell “looks good.” He acknowledged his young running back still has some tests to pass, but since it’s early in the week, Tomlin suggested Bell has a good chance to play this Sunday. We’ll have to keep an eye on the practice reports the rest of the week.

In the event Bell happens to sit out, the Steelers would go with a two-man attack consisting of Jonathan Dwyer and Felix Jones. Dwyer would be the favorite for early-down, short-yardage, and goal-line work, while Jones would likely handle passing downs. Dwyer would be the player to add, but he’d only be a desperation flex play. If Bell suits up, he’d be in the RB2 mix against a Miami defense that is surrendering the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing running backs. The Dolphins have allowed 12 touchdowns to running backs through 12 games.

Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-week $300,000 Fantasy Football league for Week 14. It's $25 to join and first prize is $25,000. Starts Sunday at 1pm ET. Here's the FanDuel link.

News Nugget #2

This feels like almost a daily news item to track, but it’s an important one. It affects many players. There was word over the weekend that the Packers may consider shutting Aaron Rodgers (collarbone) down for the rest of the regular season. On Tuesday, the former MVP vehemently denied that there are any plans to do so. "This is my team,” Rodgers said. “I care about it too much. Put too much into this.”

Rodgers underwent a multitude of scans and tests on the broken collarbone Tuesday morning. The results: He has yet to be medically cleared but will be a limited participant in practice Wednesday. This, however, does not mean Rodgers has been ruled out for Week 14 against the Falcons. Rodgers still seems unlikely to play this week, though his chances are much better than they were in Week 13.

Coach Mike McCarthy said Matt Flynn will handle the first-team reps at Wednesday’s practice. Why the Packers continue to stick with Flynn after he did nothing well against a Lions pass defense that has been extremely vulnerable to the pass, nobody knows. Scott Tolzien deserves another shot. He at least showed a willingness to take shots down the field in his short time under center, which allowed Eddie Lacy to find some running lanes. Defenses can load up to stop the run with Flynn at quarterback because Flynn has shown zero ability to hit his receivers deep. Flynn won’t even be in the QB2 mix against a dreadful Atlanta defense. Rodgers owners need to keep holding onto him with the hope that he can make it back for Weeks 15 and 16.

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News Nugget #3

Coach Pete Carroll confirmed Percy Harvin (hip) “had a little procedure last week,” which forced him to miss Monday night’s dismantling of the Saints. Carroll continued to say that Harvin is expected to “pop out of this thing real quick,” and “nothing was re-injured.” It was simply a setback. The “little procedure” is believed to be a cortisone injection. Harvin is expected to get in some work at Thursday’s practice, though Carroll refused to comment on his star receiver’s Week 14 status. We’d be shocked if Harvin played this week. And it’d be a minor surprise if Harvin played again before the real-life NFL playoffs. We’ll update Harvin’s status many times before Sunday, but fantasy owners holding onto him can drop him if you’re hurting for a roster spot.

Quarterback/Running Back Slants

Jay Cutler (ankle) has yet to gain medical clearance. … The Browns signed Caleb Hanie. Both Jason Campbell and Brandon Weeden are working their way back from concussions. Campbell has been cleared for exercise. … Ben Tate (ribs, ankle) returned to practice Tuesday, getting in a limited session. He’ll be a strong RB2 play against the Jaguars on Thursday night. … ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss, possibly the Patriots’ most keyed in beat writer, believes Stevan Ridley’s days as the Patriots’ lead back are “probably over.” Ridley can be dropped in ten-team leagues for the fantasy playoffs. … The Giants had nothing new to report on David Wilson (neck, injured reserve). The team will be patient with him.

Wide Receiver/Tight End Slants

Randall Cobb (broken leg, short-term I.R.) has yet to be cleared to practice. It’s looking increasingly unlikely that he’ll return this season. … Calvin Johnson (knee) did not practice Tuesday. He’ll be fine for Week 14 against Philadelphia. … Santonio Holmes’ hamstring was the reason he played just three snaps last week. He can’t be trusted for the fantasy playoffs and shouldn’t be on fantasy rosters. … Cecil Shorts (groin) and Mike Brown (shoulder) remained limited in Tuesday’s practice. They’ll both play Thursday against the Texans. Shorts is a WR2/3, while Brown is merely a WR5. … The Jets placed Josh Cribbs (shoulder) on injured reserve. … OC Dirk Koetter wants to get Levine Toilolo more snaps down the stretch so he can work on his blocking. The 3-9 Falcons are in full-blown evaluation mode. This could have some effect on Tony Gonzalez. … The Titans signed Visanthe Shiancoe. He lives on. … Owen Daniels (leg, short-term I.R.) has resumed on-field work but did not practice Tuesday. He’s been ruled out for Thursday night’s game. … Ladarius Green played on 91 percent of the offensive snaps last week. Look for the Chargers to keep it that way. Green has TE1 upside as an athletic freak.



Nick Mensio is a football writer for Rotoworld.com. The 2014 NFL season marks his third with Rotoworld. He can be found on Twitter at @NickMensio.
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