Spinal Tap drummers. Redskins tight ends. And add to the ill-fated list Bears wide receivers. Chicago is already operating without first-round pick Kevin White due to a stress fracture in his shin, and Alshon Jeffery is nursing a calf injury. Now Eddie Royal is missing practice time with a hip injury, something Bears coach John Fox told the Chicago Sun-Times was “kind of new.” Fox added that he considered Royal “day-to-day”, and the team would revisit the situation Thursday. With Marquess Wilson also sidelined, the Bears could very well be without their top four wideouts for their preseason game this weekend.
While the Steelers are drawing headlines for signing Michael Vick to back up Ben Roethlisberger, the Falcons have a new veteran clipboard holder of their own. Rex Grossman agreed to a one-year contract with Atlanta, and he’ll likely leap-frog T.J. Yates and Sean Renfree to become the team’s primary insurance policy for Matt Ryan. Grossman knows the Atlanta offense from his days with Kyle Shanahan in Washington, which certainly gives him a leg up.
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On the defensive side of the ball, there’s mostly injury news—none of it good. Dallas will lose cornerback Orlando Scandrick for the season due to a torn ACL and MCL. From a fantasy perspective, however, anything that forces the Cowboys to put more points on the board isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
The Redskins also lost a defender Wednesday. Linebacker Junior Galette tore his Achilles’ tendon in practice and he’ll miss the entire season as well. The former Saint was expected to give Washington another edge rusher; now, he’ll take up space on the IR.
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The Broncos addressed their offensive line by landing the biggest name on the market, former Eagle Evan Mathis. The Pro Football Focus favorite joins a Denver team that lost Pro Bowl tackle Ryan Clady and could use some help in front of Peyton Manning. Expect Mathis to jump directly into the starting lineup, giving the young Broncos line a jolt of experience.
In another line move, the Patriots acquired backup tackle Michael WIlliams for the Lions in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick. Williams was a collegiate tight end moved inside to tackle last season, which he spent on Detroit’s practice squad. The Patriots reportedly tried to sign Williams off the Lions’ practice squad; now they’ll add him for a late-round draft pick Bill Belichick doesn’t really use anyway.
Finally… kicker news! Connor Barth is out and Brandon McManus is in at the all-important position of placekicker for the Denver Broncos. There are definite fantasy ramifications here, as the Broncos’ offense is productive and the mile high atmosphere adds a boost to all kicks—for example the 70-yarder McManus drilled in practice during the training camp battle. While Barth is without a job for the moment, there’s likely to be a kicker carousel later this preseason; he can hope he lands as softly as the last kicker Denver, uh, kicked to the curb: Matt Prater, who found a home with the Detroit Lions.