The Browns announced that Brian Hoyer will get the start in Cleveland’s first preseason game… but they didn’t rule out Johnny Manziel starting the second exhibition tilt. Neither quarterback has been particularly dominant thus far in camp, so the window remains open for Johnny Football to seize the gig.
Speaking of rookie quarterbacks, Teddy Bridgewater will get some first-team reps when the Vikings open their preseason slate this weekend. Matt Cassel remains the starter, but despite Minnesota-based Target misspelling the rookie’s name on the first batch of jerseys shipped to their store Bridgewater is the name everyone is talking about in camp.
- Be sure to check out our latest hot topic “Skip The Rookie Tight Ends“.
The Patriots may have found a receiver for Tom Brady, or at least one that stands out at a Smurfs convention. Brady commented at how nice it was to have a tall target like 6-3 Brandon LaFell, and the free agent signee has been one of New England’s standouts thus far in camp. It’s not like anyone else is running away with the title of “Brady’s favorite receiver”, especially with Rob Gronkowski’s practice time limited.
Montee Ball won’t play in the Broncos’ preseason opener following an emergency appendectomy, opening the door for Ronnie Hillman. You may remember Hillman as the Denver back who fumbled away opportunities last season, but those issues appear to be behind him and head coach John Fox has noticed. Hillman is expected to get the start in the first exhibition game, making him for the moment at least the guy to handcuff Ball to in your fantasy draft or auction.
The list of NFL regulars who won’t be making their 2014 debut during the first full week of preseason games continues to grow. The Redskins will be without both starting receivers as DeSean Jackson recovers from an ankle injury and Pierre Garçon nurses a hamstring issue. Jacksonville’s Toby Gerhart will sit out what would have been his first game with his new squad due to a hip flexor. And Rams quarterback Sam Bradford won’t play—not because his surgically repaired knee isn’t ready to go, but in part because his offensive line will be down two regulars. Better safe than sorry.
Finally, tight end Jake Ballard has called it a career. Ballard had a brief moment in the fantasy sun with the Giants but tore his ACL in their Super Bowl XLVI win over New England and was never the same. Ballard saw time with the Cardinals last year but wasn’t an impact player, and this week decided the pain was too much. Hey, at least he has a ring.