Good news for Justin Hunter, at least on the legal front: charges stemming from an incident on July 3 have been reduced to misdemeanor assault and battery. Hunter’s trial begins next week, and the NFL has not yet disciplined him for the incident, in which he allegedly punched a man several times and broke his jaw. But the reduction in charges could mean a reduction in suspension time should it come before Roger Goodell and the league. So Hunter has that going for him… which is nice.
Chris Johnson is back! Well, to practice at least. Johnson, who suffered a hamstring injury soon after signing with the Cardinals, was in pads Friday and taking part in team drills. No word yet on whether or not he’ll actually see game action in Arizona’s preseason skirmish with the Raiders on Sunday, but if/when Andre Ellington needs a caddy it appears CJ?K is good to go.
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The Steelers will be without Le’Veon Bell for two games, Martavis Bryant for possibly four games… and now we’re hearing that All Pro center Maurkice Pouncey for the first 10 games of the season. Pouncey, who broke his fibula in the preseason opener, is expected to go on the IR/designated to return list; further, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that Pouncey won’t return until after the Steelers’ bye in Week 11. While at least some of Pouncey’s absence has already been factored into the fantasy value of Bell and Ben Roethlisberger, the extended timetable is hardly good news for any of the Steelers’ fantasy prospects.
Fantasy owners looking for a sleeper should pick up Ryan Mallett. The Texans’ quarterback, who missed practice one day after losing his battle with Brian Hoyer for the starting gig, apparently overslept. For his transgression Mallett was demoted to third string, though Texans coach Bill O’Brien indicated later that Mallett would remain the backup. Assuming he doesn’t continue to hit the snooze button.
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Finally, we’re into the all-important third weekend of preseason games—aka the dress rehearsal for the regular season. That should mean extended looks at potential fantasy factors such as Jimmy Garoppolo, Devin Funchess, Ameer Abdullah and TJ Yeldon. Enjoy the football!