Lots of updates this morning as we turn the corner from the NFL Draft onto minicamps.
Before you know it gang, fantasy leagues will be opening for business. Yahoo! usually opens registration near the beginning of June, which only is a month away.
By the way, we saw Iron Man this weekend … friggin’ awesome! It was a good way to kick off the summer movie season. Next up: Indiana Jones on May 22.
And make sure to stay through the credits of Iron Man (we made the mistake of leaving).
Hit the jump for the MMR.
Deion Branch [WR, Seahawks]
Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren says Deion Branch’s recovery from a torn ACL is “going well,” but he does not expect Branch to be ready for Week 1.
No shocker here. Branch won’t be available for any of training camp and seems destined for PUP. Bobby Engram is the favorite to start at flanker on opening day. Logan Payne figures to push Nate Burleson at split end.
Like the quote said, no shocker here. Branch may have a hard time getting significant playing time this year, but the Seahawks could use his talent on the field.
Every player recovers differently from major knee injuries, and Branch’s was just that — major. He appears to be a slow healer.
Terry Glenn [WR, Cowboys]
From the Dallas Morning News:
The Cowboys like their young receivers and Jones said there’s a 50-50 chance that Terry Glenn will start in 2008. Without Glenn, the Cowboys had a very good offense last season, it was probably better than the one they had in 2006.
I just do not see Terry Glenn being much of anything in the NFL at this point. He had a decent career, but his days as an every-down wide receiver seem to be behind him.
Patrick Crayton did OK as a fill-in No. 2 last year, but should be more prepared for that role this year after being thrust into it last season.
Kevin Jones [RB, Free Agent]
From Pancake Blocks:
Jones’ agent said he got a few nibbles early in the process, but clearly no one is in a hurry to sign him. He may have to wait for an injury elsewhere, but I do expect him to go to training camp for a team. I’m trying to think of a great situation, and Cincinnati is the best one comes to mind. There has to be more, but it just shows how fast fantasy value can sink.
Kinda surprised me to hear that KJ still was available on the market. For one, I did not even realize he was a free agent.
Yes, he is injury-prone. He may be asking for too much money, otherwise I do not understand why he has not landed on a roster yet as a project.
Jake Delhomme [QB, Panthers]
Jonathan Stewart [RB, Panthers]
From the Gaston Gazette:
Some issues, like Jake Delhomme’s arm strength and what exactly first-round draft pick Jonathan Stewart brings to the table, will have wait. Neither will participate in practice given both are recovering from injuries, but both are expected to be ready in time for training camp.
Delhomme is coming off Tommy John elbow surgery, while Stewart recently had an operation to repair a turf toe problem. So we’ll have to wait to learn who’ll be the team’s featured back – Stewart or DeAngelo Williams.
Apparently, Jake Delhomme did throw and threw really well at minicamp last weekend. That is good news for Panthers fans and Steve Smith owners.
The value of all Panthers’ offensive players hinges on the health of Delhomme. Hard to trust Delhomme at this point, but if Smith is available at the right price you cannot pass him up.
LaDainian Tomlinson [RB, Chargers]
Phillip Rivers [QB, Chargers]
Antonio Gates [TE, Chargers]
All Chargers players are expected to be present for the mandatory camp. Running back LaDainian Tomlinson, who suffered a knee injury in the AFC Championship Game, will be on the field working, and Turner said that quarterback Philip Rivers will participate in limited activities. Rivers had surgery to repair a torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament in February.“Philip has been working a lot out on the field,” Turner said. “He’ll go out and do the things that don’t involve the defense. And LT will be right in the middle of it.”Defensive tackle Jamal Williams (knees), center Nick Hardwick (foot), tight end Antonio Gates (foot) and fullback Andrew Pinnock (knee) will not participate this weekend.
Rivers participate fully in practice, which would be a surprise except that we learned how tough he was during the AFC playoffs last season.
No news on how Tomlinson’s weekend went, but no news could be good news. He was expected to practice.
Matt Leinart [QB, Cardinals]
Matt Leinart’s surgically repaired throwing shoulder did not appear to limit him. The Cardinals unveiled a new (to them) practice tool featuring a net backstop with three staggered pockets, each large enough to accommodate a football with several inches to spare. Leinart and Kurt Warner were more accurate than the other quarterbacks in camp, delivering a few direct strikes into the pockets from about 20 yards. Leinart is becoming more precise in his dropbacks. Whisenhunt was pleased with that aspect of Leinart’s game, which is easy to evaluate. Last season, there were times Leinart compromised protections by setting up at the wrong depths.
Leinart is battling Kurt Warner for the starting job in Arizona, and needs to show more maturity. He also needs to show continued progress in his recovery from shoulder surgery.
He did both of those things at minicamp, but it would be in his best interest to maintain that intensity through the start of the regular season. That includes avoiding negative press.
Jay Cutler [QB, Broncos]
From the Rocky Mountain News:
Cutler’s current plan is to wear an insulin pump during practices and pregame warm-ups to regulate his blood-sugar level, once he gets back to his 238-pound playing weight and his condition fully stabilizes.
Then he’ll take the device off for the three hours he plays in games, keeping a close eye on his glucose levels – either between quarters or at halftime – and drinking Gatorade to give his body a boost rather than letting the machine do the work for him.
I am not going to let this news bother me as a fantasy owner. Cutler is young, strong and intelligent, and he should be able to juggle his battle with diabetes with his professional football career.
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