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49ers activated WR Michael Crabtree (Achilles') from the reserve/PUP list.

Crabtree is fully expected to make his 2013 debut on Sunday against the Rams. Although owners who stashed Crabtree are likely champing at the bit to start him, he's best left benched for at least Week 13. Crabtree is returning from an explosion-sapping injury, and will almost certainly be on a snap count against the Rams. If you can't wait-and-see, Crabtree will most likely produce as a WR4/5 as he gets his feet wet.
Tue, Nov 26, 2013 05:07:00 PM

Sammy Watkins (foot) has avoided the PUP list to begin training camp, and will practice on Thursday.

The Bills will "manage" Watkins' reps, but coach Sean McDermott is "pleased" with his star wideout's condition. Watkins will be brought along gently through the preseason, but barring a setback, will be ready for the opener.
Jul 27 - 4:31 PM

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reports suspended Steelers WR Martavis Bryant hopes to finalize his reinstatement "soon."

We're sure he does. Final reinstatement from suspension can be an arduous, tedious process in the NFL. Anything before mid-August should be considered good news. We've yet to see anything to suggest Bryant won't be back by Week 1.
Jul 27 - 4:19 PM

Unsigned franchise player Le'Veon Bell was absent for the first day of Steelers camp on Thursday.

#AsExpected. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported 10 days ago that Bell may not report until "mid-to-late August." The Steelers probably don't mind too much. Bell has shown a tremendous ability to hit the ground running after long layoffs, and will avoid injury risk in camp. It's not a strategy that works for a lot of players, but Bell seems to be an exception. Bell is fully expected to report before Week 1.
Jul 27 - 4:08 PM

Speaking Thursday, Redskins coach Jay Gruden said Jordan Reed (toe) "may have twisted an ankle" overcompensating for his toe issue.

In other words, Reed twisted an ankle overcompensating for his toe issue. Reed has dealt with ankle ailments in the past, but they haven't been one of his signature issues. The Redskins have said Reed will miss only a week of camp, but that seems unlikely. The 'Skins have less than zero reason to push the envelop with their star tight end.
Jul 27 - 4:03 PM

Saints signed OG Orlando Franklin to a one-year contract.

Franklin's addition gives the Saints options as they mix and match in LT Terron Armstead's (shoulder) absence. Franklin was a 16-game starter for the Chargers last season after missing six games in 2015. His presence gives the Saints the option of kicking LG Andrus Peat outside to tackle while Armstead is sidelined. Right now, first-rounder Ryan Ramczyk is penciled in.
Jul 27 - 3:26 PM

49ers GM John Lynch praised Carlos Hyde on Thursday.

Hyde weighed in at 228 pounds, his lightest weight since high school. "Carlos Hyde looks tremendous," Lynch gushed. "He's really dedicated himself." It's a new tact from the 49ers, who spent much of the offseason openly questioning Hyde's fit in new coach Kyle Shanahan's system. Things have gotten so murky that NFL.com's Gregg Rosenthal passed along on a recent podcast that Hyde could be a surprise release. For now, the 49ers have decided to play nice. Buttering Hyde up and eliciting a strong camp and preseason would make Hyde a more attractive trade target.
Jul 27 - 3:21 PM

Jordan Matthews (knee) has declared himself "full go" for training camp.

Matthews said he's officially been cleared. He refused to say if he was dealing with more than tendinitis. Matthews figures to receive plenty of early off days, but the major concerns about his knee have been put to bed. With Alshon Jeffery in the fold, Matthews' fantasy arrow is pointing downward after a disappointing 2016.
Jul 27 - 3:18 PM

Steelers signed LT Alejandro Villanueva to a four-year, $24 million contract.

Villanueva had been an exclusive rights free agent, locked into $615,000. Villanueva reported for minicamp, but his intentions for training camp were unclear. Teams typically hold all the cards with ERFAs, but it was a different story in this case. Going on 29, Villanueva protects Ben Roethlisberger's blindside. The Steelers didn't have a viable back-up plan if Villanueva held out. Villanueva isn't an elite left tackle, but he's been sturdy for a team that had years of line problems.
Jul 27 - 2:57 PM

Rams GM Les Snead is uncertain if DT Aaron Donald will report to training camp or hold out.

Snead took a conciliatory tone, saying if Donald held out it's something the Rams would "(have) to respect." He added it's a "complicated situation," and that the sides are "working toward finding a solution." Donald is under team control for two more years, but the fifth-year team option is guaranteed for injury only in 2018. One of the league's three best defensive players, Donald isn't going to wait any longer to get paid. Donald turned 26 in May.
Jul 27 - 2:46 PM

Speaking Thursday, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said an extension for contract-year WR Jarvis Landry isn't "mandatory."

Ross went on to mention the franchise tag as an option next offseason. It's become increasingly clear the Dolphins have little appetite to extend Landry unless it's on exceedingly team-friendly terms. The franchise tag is also unrealistic for a 5-foot-11 slot receiver. Coach Adam Gase seems to be telling Dolphins brass he doesn't need Landry beyond this season.
Jul 27 - 2:27 PM

Raiders released RB Taiwan Jones.

It's astounding Jones lasted as long as he did in Oakland. Yo-yoing between cornerback and running back, Jones was a core special teamer. He was grossly overpaid for many of his six years in Oakland. The speed demon turned 29 on Wednesday.
Jul 27 - 2:12 PM




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