For the most part the significant training camp injuries thus far have landed on the defensive side of the ball, but the hammer dropped Tuesday when Arian Foster hit the shelf with a groin injury. Foster suffered the injury during Monday night’s practice, but today was the day when the gruesome words “groin surgery” were uttered. Latest reports out of Houston have Foster requiring said surgery and potentially opening the season on Injured Reserve, with a designation to return.
Foster’s injury leaves Alfred Blue, Jonathan Grimes and Chris Polk as the next men up in the Texans’ backfield. Blue was carted off the field on Monday, but that was because of leg cramps for taking all the reps Foster vacated. Blue was largely ineffective in a similar role last year, and he’ll be pushed by both Grimes—who at minimum could handle third-down duties—and Polk, the former Eagle who could be in line for goal line duties if he doesn’t outright unseat Blue. Any way you slice it, it’s a fantasy mess.
- Be sure to check out “Ten Stats That May Surprise You.“
Running back news of a more positive note: the Buccaneers have named Doug Martin their starter. Given Martin’s strong offseason this should come as no surprise, but it certainly lends clarity to a fantasy situation where Charles Sims could still be construed as “in the mix”. Instead, Bucs coach Lovie Smith noted the importance of his team establishing the run and told the Tampa Bay Times, “Doug will be the lead guy doing that, so it’s very important that we open up some holes and let him do his thing.” While Martin is two years removed from his monster rookie season, he’s impressed onlookers this offseason and could provide a real value for any Muscle Hamster believers out there.
The Colts may be on the verge of inking TY Hilton to a long-term contract. NFL Media reported there is optimism in Indianapolis that both Hilton and left tackle Anthony Castonzo could have contract extensions in hand before the conclusion of training camp. Hilton’s future with the Colts was in question after Indy spent a first-round pick on wide receiver Phillip Dorsett; instead, it appears Andrew Luck will have both a blind side protector and an amazing arsenal of wideouts for the foreseeable future.
One weapon no longer at Luck’s disposal is Hakeem Nicks, who took his game to Tennessee. And while Luck to Marcus Mariota isn’t a quarterback upgrade, Nicks believes his new offense is better suited for his skill set. “It’s more one-on-one, trips backside, vertical throw, shallow-cross game, that’s more of my style if you look at my past history, where I excelled,” Nicks told ESPN. It’s been a few years since Nicks posted back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, but if escaping Pep Hamilton for Ken Whisenhunt reignites Nicks’ fantasy prospects who are we to argue? It’s not as if the Titans are stocked at wide receiver after Kendall Wright.
Don’t be too hasty to write off Greg Jennings as a fantasy factor. Jennings appeared to be the favorite target of Ryan Tannehill as the Dolphins worked seven-on-seven Tuesday, and he’s the odds-on Week 1 starter with first-round pick DeVante Parker still three to four weeks away from even being ready to practice. Jarvis Landry remains Miami’s WR1, but Tannehill looks plenty comfortable throwing to the veteran Jennings as well.
Speaking of Miami, there’s a distinct possibility that left tackle Brandon Albert won’t be ready for the start of the season. Albert tore his ACL and MCL in Week 10 of last year, but while he wasn’t placed on the PUP to start the season Dolphins’ offensive line coach told the Palm Beach Post he wouldn’t be surprised if Miami had to open the season with Jason Fox starting in place of Albert.
Finally, don’t rush out to buy that Melvin Gordon jersey just yet—at least not if you’re following the lead of Gordon’s mom. Carmen Gordon told ESPN that her son has to do something in the league before she’ll wear his jersey. “You’ve got to show me a little something, but it won’t be this year,” she said. “So you might see me in the stands, but I won’t have the jersey on.”
Geez, Mom, that’s cold.