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Ryan Mathews finally broke out in San Diego's Week 5 loss to the Saints, rushing 12 times for 80 yards and a touchdown while reeling in six catches for an additional 59 yards.

Jackie Battle got the "start," monopolizing the touches on San Diego's first two drives. Then Mathews entered and was the best player on the field, ripping off 10 yards or more on four of his first five touches. Battle was given just one more carry. Mathews had no trouble getting around the edge or doing major damage up the middle against the league's No. 32 run defense. However, the Chargers still showed a disturbing lack of faith in the former No. 12 pick, including on their ultimately futile final drive. Mathews threw a stone-cold block only to disappear as Ronnie Brown inexplicably touched the ball four times. It was a puzzling move from coach Norv Turner, who dialed up just 18 runs despite the fact that the Chargers were averaging 6.5 YPC. Nevertheless, provided Turner hasn't completely lost his marbles, Mathews should be in for much heavier workloads going forward. His fantasy upside remains top-five overall at running back.
Mon, Oct 8, 2012 12:03:00 AM

A source tells Yahoo that Adrian Peterson still wants to be traded.

Despite not getting moved during the draft, Peterson isn't backing off. He's skipping this week's OTAs, reportedly intends to sit out all of the Vikings' offseason workouts and "has not yet made a decision" about holding out of June mandatory minicamp or training camp. Peterson is apparently still fuming about the way the Vikings failed to support him during last year's child-abuse scandal. Regardless, the team has all the leverage here as he's under contract for $12.75 million. It's hard to see Peterson passing on that money in order to make a statement.
May 25 - 8:45 AM

CSN Washington's Tarik El-Bashir believes rookie RB Matt Jones will have "a bigger role in 2015 than some are anticipating."

El-Bashir concedes Alfred Morris is the starter but believes Jones will earn snaps as a third-down back. El-Bashir's colleague Rich Tandler agrees, saying Jones "will spend a lot of time catching passes and doing what he can to master pass protection" this offseason. Morris should be the early-down thumper, but he offers almost nothing in the passing game. If Jones is a quick study in pass protection, he should beat out Silas Redd and Chris Thompson for third-down duties.
May 23 - 10:45 AM

Bills GM Doug Whaley confirmed QB Tyrod Taylor will get first-team reps during offseason practices.

"The way they’re structuring practices everyone is getting a run with the ones," said GM Doug Whaley. "So it’s a fair shake. In this system that we’re trying to figure out who is going to be the number one. It’s all about competition. That’s why everybody involved is excited about it." Matt Cassel is the favorite to win the starting job with E.J. Manuel his most likely competition, but it is telling Buffalo is giving reps to a career backup like Taylor. With the quarterback position in disarray, the Bills should lean heavily on LeSean McCoy and the running game.
May 23 - 9:47 AM

ESPN Bucs reporter Pat Yasinskas says the Tampa Bay coaching staff is "very high" on second-year RB Charles Sims.

Despite being outplayed by Doug Martin last season, Sims has been consistently touted as the favorite for the starting job in Tampa Bay. As the narrative goes, Sims was hand-picked by the current regime, and the coaching staff is down on Martin. That all may be true, but Sims looked overmatched between the tackles while averaging just 2.8 YPC on 66 carries last season. With his ADP steadily climbing, Sims has the look of a player that could become highly overvalued by August.
Source: ESPN.com
May 23 - 9:37 AM

ESPN Falcons reporter Vaughn McClure believes Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman will see "equal reps" in a two-back system.

It is unlikely Coleman and Freeman finish the season in a perfect timeshare, but it make sense for Atlanta to let their two young backs duke it out in training camp and early in the season. As the hand-picked back of the current regime, Coleman should be seen as the favorite to win the lion's share of the work, but his questionable fit in OC Kyle Shanahan's scheme could make his transition to the NFL difficult. A more natural fit in a zone-blocking scheme, Freeman could earn a bigger role than anticipated in training camp, especially if Coleman struggles.
Source: ESPN.com
May 23 - 9:16 AM

ESPN's Tania Ganguli and the Houston Chronicle's John McClain report the Texans are the favorites to appear on this year's HBO Hard Knocks.

A report surfaced early Friday that the Texans, Redskins, and Bills were in the mix. Buffalo's new coaching staff reduces its chances of appearing on Hard Knocks, while ESPN's John Keim reported Friday afternoon that the Redskins are not in consideration. That leaves the Texans, who will hold a camp battle at quarterback between Ryan Mallett and Brian Hoyer. Other potential storylines include Jadeveon Clowney's health, J.J. Watt, Arian Foster, polarizing rookie WR Jaelen Strong, and DeAndre Hopkins' post-Andre Johnson ascension.
May 22 - 12:40 PM

Former Rams and Cowboys DE Michael Sam has signed with the CFL's Montreal Alouettes.

Kudos to Sam for heading north of the border. His NFL market had dried up after stints with the Rams and Cowboys last season. The CFL is an even pass-happier league, which will allow Sam to hone his craft as a pass rusher. He simply doesn't possess the speed or bend-ability to consistently get after the quarterback in the big leagues. Maybe Sam will get another shot at the NFL in a couple years.
May 22 - 10:52 AM

Cowboys signed CB Orlando Scandrick to a one-year, $9.5 million contract extension through 2019.

See, holding out does work sometimes. The total value of Scandrick's new five-year deal is worth $20 million. Scandrick skipped voluntary workouts earlier this offseason before reporting to the team this week. He was already under contract through 2018, but was scheduled to earn just $1.5 million this season and $3 million in each of 2016-2018. With Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne on the roster bubble, keeping Scandrick happy was a necessity for Dallas.
May 22 - 9:39 AM

Carlos Hyde has been missing time at OTAs with an "undisclosed leg injury."

"Trust in God's timing," Hyde tweeted Thursday as he missed practice. It's unclear the nature of Hyde's injury, but we'd have to assume he's day-to-day until we learn more. Any missed time is a concern for Hyde; the 49ers are looking to replace Frank Gore and the competition appears to at least be mostly open with Hyde considered the heavy early favorite. But with the additions of Reggie Bush and Mike Davis, along with the return of Kendall Hunter, it's a battle to watch.
May 22 - 8:55 AM

Free agent RB Daniel Thomas worked out for the Cowboys on Thursday.

Thomas was part of a group of backs that also included Felix Jones (!) and Ben Tate. The owner of a career 3.6 YPC, Thomas rushed the rock only 44 times for the Dolphins last season, averaging 3.8 yards per carry. Thursday is the first time we've heard his name since the start of free agency.
May 21 - 7:18 PM

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer says he has an "indication" of when disgruntled RB Adrian Peterson will report back to the team.

Zimmer didn't offer much in the way of elaboration. "It's up to Adrian, really," Zimmer said in a radio interview. "It's the voluntary time of year right now, and it's his decision in what he wants to do." Peterson has slowly accepted the reality that he's not going to be traded. Perhaps he'll skip next month's minicamp, but there's zero reason to believe he'll be absent for the start of training camp.
May 21 - 7:15 PM




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