News-wise, Wednesday is usually the second most important day for practice reports next to Thursday. Coming off of a week with a swarm of injuries, the next two to three days are crucial for player projections for Week 3. Let’s immediately get to it.
Seattle is getting its dominant strong safety back. Kam Chancellor reported to the Seahawks on Wednesday effectively ending his two-week holdout. GM John Schneider made zero pay increases to Chancellor’s contract and now Kam will face over $2 million in team-imposed fines for his stand off. We’ll see if Seattle waives the fines. Facing the Jimmy Clausen-led Bears, Chancellor likely won’t start at SS but it’s a perfect opportunity at home for him to get back into the swing of things.
Drew Brees (shoulder) says he’s “pretty confident” he’ll play in Week 3 on the road against the Panthers. He was limited in Wednesday’s practice. Brees did confirm he is dealing with a bruised rotator cuff – so his recovery over the next few days is absolutely crucial. Regardless, New Orleans is not in great spot, matchup-wise, on offense this week. They’re facing a Carolina defense that is ranked 2nd in Football Outsiders’ DVOA through two games albeit against lackluster offenses (Jacksonville and Houston).
DeAndre Hopkins has been diagnosed with a concussion and did not practice on Wednesday. He’ll need to clear concussion protocol before he can play in Week 3. The next two days are huge for Hopkins' prospects against the Buccaneers, but there is some ambiguity as to when Hopkins suffered the concussion because he was in on the Texans’ final snaps in Week 2. If Hopkins can’t go, Cecil Shorts and Nate Washington will be on the field in Houston’s 2-WR sets.
Unfortunately continuing the concussion theme… Ladarius Green has suffered two concussions in the last 11 days – his latest concussion was sustained in Sunday’s game against the Bengals’ but wasn’t discovered until Tuesday. Green will now enter concussion protocol and is very questionable to suit up in Week 3 against the Vikings. This is Green’s third concussion in the last nine months. If Green can’t play, John Phillips will start at tight end. Slot receiver Stevie Johnson would have the biggest boost in the Chargers' attack if Green indeed is out.
Todd Gurley (knee) practiced in full on Wednesday and was not listed on the injury report. It’s a strong sign he’ll make his NFL debut in Week 3. He’ll likely be on a pitch count and will see few touches – but his presence will give the Rams run game the juice they have been missing.
Adam Caplan of ESPN reported DeMarco Murray’s hamstring injury is not serious. There will be a lot more clarity on the extent of Murray’s injury and his availability after Philadelphia’s Thursday practice. The Eagles run game has struggled mostly due to offensive line woes but Murray’s injury – however slight it may be – is still not great news. Couple these facts with facing a tough Jets’ defense on the road, Philly’s run offense may be non-existent for yet another week.
In Dolphins’ news… Jordan Cameron (groin) and Lamar Miller (ankle) did not practice on Wednesday and are both considered day-to-day. Cameron said he hopes to play while Miller downplayed his ankle injury after Miami’s Week 2 road game in Jacksonville. The ‘Fins signed Jonas Gray off of their practice squad on Wednesday indicating they have at least some worry Miller will not be able to suit up against the Bills.
Texans HC Bill O’Brien said he does not expect Arian Foster (groin) to play in Week 3. O’Brien said, “(Arian has been) looking really good at practice. But I would say sooner rather than later.” It’s not very surprising considering he’s still about seven weeks removed from his groin/core muscle surgery. Houston plays in Atlanta in Week 4 and has a quick turn-around at home against the Colts on Thursday Night Football in Week 5.
Jason Witten has two sprained ankles plus a sprained knee, but he said the swelling has gone down indicating that he’ll be “fine” for Week 3. It’s a good thing Witten doesn’t have to worry about running extremely fast at this point in his career. Joking aside, Dallas can ill afford another injury on offense.
After playing on just 40-of-66 snaps and seeing three targets in Week 2, Mike Evans (hamstring) said, “I’ll be full go, no pitch count this time” for the Bucs’ Week 3 road-trip against the Texans. He practiced in full on Wednesday and should be very close to fully recovered. Evans just turned 22 in August and will be the focal point of the Bucs’ passing attack in 2015, provided his hamstring stays 100%.
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Alshon Jeffery (hamstring/calf) did not practice on Wednesday. … The Bears are not ruling Jay Cutler (hamstring) out for Week 3 yet. … Josh McCown has been cleared from his concussion and will start Week 3 against the Raiders. … Matthew Stafford (arm/ribs/chest) is practicing in full this week. … DeSean Jackson (hamstring) and Victor Cruz (calf) were both ruled out for TNF. … Carlos Hyde (thigh) practiced in full on Wednesday. … Delanie Walker (wrist) was limited in practice on Wednesday. … Eric Decker (knee sprain) did not practice on Wednesday. … Finally, Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not practice on Wednesday.