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Rob Gronkowski NE TE
Patriots' Rob Gronkowski: Team optimistic he'll be cleared for Super Bowl2h ago
The Patriots are optimistic that Gronkowski (concussion) will be cleared in advance of the Super Bowl LII, which takes place on Feb. 4, the Boston Herald reports.
Gronkowski was forced out of Sunday's AFC championship win over the Jaguars after absorbing a helmet-to-helmet hit. The Patriots' star tight end will benefit from the added time leading up to the Super Bowl, so we expect there's a pretty good chance that he'll gain clearance as the big game approaches. Prior to his second-quarter exit from Sunday's contest, Gronkowski logged 26 snaps, catching one of his three targets for 21 yards. Upon his departure, Dwayne Allen saw an uptick in snaps (39), but did not log a target.
Dalvin Cook MIN RB
Vikings' Dalvin Cook: Resumes jogging2h ago
Cook (knee) said Monday that he has began jogging but remains without a firm timetable to return to full football activities, Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com reports.
The running back is a little over three months removed from surgery to repair a torn ACL in his left knee, so his lack of extensive activity to date shouldn't be viewed as a concern at this stage of his recovery. Assuming Cook endures no significant snags during the rehab process, he should be at or near full strength for the beginning of training camp next summer, though the Vikings will almost certainly monitor his workload carefully during practices. While Latavious Murray and Jerick McKinnon proved to be an effective backfield tandem once the rookie was shut down for the season in Week 5, a healthy Cook profiles as the clear No. 1 back for Minnesota heading into the 2018 campaign.
Tom Brady NE QB
Patriots' Tom Brady: Stitches in hand getting removed this week4h ago
Brady said Monday that he would have the 12 stitches in his right (throwing) hand removed in the coming days, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com reports. "Hopefully some time this week. And at that point, again, because I was fortunate not to tear any ligaments or anything like that [after injuring the hand in practice last week] -- there was no broken bones -- that was obviously the best news I could ever hear based on what you thought it could be," Brady told the "Kirk and Callahan Show." It ended up being a lot of good luck after, I'd say, a pretty unlucky injury. It turned out to be a lot good luck it wasn't more serious than it was."
Brady was listed as questionable heading into Sunday's AFC championship game after teammate Rex Burkhead ran into him during practice earlier this week, resulting in a gash to the quarterback's hand that required stitches to seal up. The hand -- in addition to the first-half departure of top target Rob Gronkowski to a concussion -- ultimately proved to be no issue for Brady, who rallied the Patriots from a 20-10 fourth-quarter deficit and finished with 26 completions on 38 attempts for two touchdowns and no interceptions. With his stitches set to be removed well in advance of the Patriots' Feb. 4 Super Bowl matchup with the Eagles, Brady isn't expected to experience any discomfort as he pursues his sixth NFL title.
Nick Foles PHI QB
Eagles' Nick Foles: Undergoes X-rays on ribs4h ago
Foles underwent precautionary X-rays on his ribs Sunday following the Eagles' 38-7 win over the Vikings in the NFC championship game, a source informed Sal Paolantonio of ESPN. "I'm good," Foles told Adam Schefter of ESPN after being examined in the locker room.
If Foles was playing hurt Sunday it certainly didn't show, as the quarterback turned in the best outing of his five starts since replacing MVP candidate Carson Wentz (knee). Foles completed 26 of 33 passes for 352 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions, with the performance made all the more impressive considering it came against the NFL's top-scoring defense. The Eagles could monitor Foles' practice reps carefully over the next two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl matchup with New England, but it doesn't look like the rib issue will threaten his availability for that contest.
Stefon Diggs MIN WR
Vikings' Stefon Diggs: Grabs eight passes versus Eagles15h ago
Diggs caught eight of 12 targets for 70 yards during Sunday's 38-7 loss to the Eagles.
Diggs tied for the team lead in targets, but he made just one play longer than 14 yards and wound up averaging just 8.8 yards per catch. The third-year wideout's usage was slightly down during the regular season, but he still managed 849 yards and a career-high eight touchdowns, not to mention his terrific game-winning catch in the NFC divisional round. Diggs has emerged as one of the bright young receivers in the NFL and will look to take another leap in 2018 as he plays out his rookie contract.
Jerick McKinnon MIN RB
Vikings' Jerick McKinnon: Racks up garbage time yaradage15h ago
McKinnon carried 10 times for 40 yards and caught 11 of 12 targets for an additional 86 yards during Sunday's 38-7 loss to the Eagles.
McKinnon managed a respectable four yards per carry against the toughest run defense in the NFL, but he did most of his damage catching short passes as his team played from behind for virtually the entire game. McKinnon enjoyed an increase in his usage as a pass catcher this year, finishing with career highs in targets, catches and receiving yards. He also posted personal bests in rushing yards and total touchdowns, which could support his value on the free-agent market this offseason.
Koji Uehara CHC RP
Koji Uehara: Plans to retire if not offered MLB contract15h ago
Uehara stated that he will retire if he doesn't receive a major-league offer before the season begins, Kyodo News reports.
Uehara will turn 43 in March and is unsure that he'll get a major-league offer before spring training starts. The right-hander pitched for the Cubs last season, appearing in 49 games and accruing a 3.98 ERA across 43.0 innings. If he's not offered a major-league contract, Uehara will call it quits after 10 seasons in Japan and 10 years of MLB service.
Guillermo Moscoso SF RP
Dodgers' Guillermo Moscoso: Signs minor-league deal with Dodgers17h ago
Moscoso inked a minor-league contract with the Dodgers on Sunday, Eric Stephen of TrueBlueLA.com reports.
Moscoso hasn't made an appearance in the major leagues since 2013, spending three years in Japan and one in Mexico during the 2017 season. The 34-year-old right-hander didn't receive a spring invitation to major-league camp and will likely start the year at Triple-A Oklahoma City, where he'll provide organizational pitching depth.
Colby Lewis TEX SP
Colby Lewis: Announces retirement22h ago
Lewis announced Friday that he has ended his playing career and has accepted a position in the Rangers' front office, T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports.
Lewis, 38, spent 11 seasons in the majors with the Rangers, Tigers and Athletics, with nine of those years coming in Texas. He wraps up his career with a 77-72 record, 4.47 ERA and 1.34 WHIP across 233 appearances (195 starts).
Jung Ho Kang PIT 3B
Pirates' Jung Ho Kang: Still attempting to make comeback1d ago
Kang (suspension) has returned to the Dominican Republic in an attempt to receive a U.S. visa, Elizabeth Bloom of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Kang is visiting the U.S. Embassy in the Dominican Republic as part of a last-ditch effort to return to Major League Baseball. If his work visa is ultimately denied, the third baseman's hopes of returning to the majors will officially be quashed. According to Bloom's report, it's unlikely that Kang's visa will be approved, so his attempt at a return may be soon coming to an end. The Pirates are expected to utilize Colin Moran and David Freese at the hot corner in 2018.
Martin Perez TEX SP
Rangers' Martin Perez: Expects to be ready for Opening Day1d ago
Perez (elbow) believes he'll be available to pitch by Opening Day, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.
Perez suffered a freak offseason injury in December that caused him to undergo surgery to repair a broken elbow. He was initially expected to miss the first month of the season but is now apparently well ahead of schedule. "I am not going to miss any time. I have conviction I will be ready for the first day," Perez recently opined. The lefty is expected to throw his first bullpen session in the next week. Even barring a clean bill of health entering the 2018 season, Perez and his 4.43 career ERA likely aren't worthy of fantasy ownership outside of deeper formats.
Devon Travis TOR 2B
Blue Jays' Devon Travis: Continues to rehab knee1d ago
Travis (knee) is expected to begin running within the next month as part of his offseason knee rehabilitation program, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca reports.
Travis is still working his way back from the season-ending knee injury he suffered in June of last season. The 26-year-old says that he currently "feels good," but not until he resumes running will we know the true extent of his recovery. Assuming he enters the season at full health and can hold off Yangervis Solarte, Travis should be a capable fantasy contributor at the keystone.
Goran Dragic MIA PG
Heat's Goran Dragic: Ruled out vs. Rockets43m ago
Updating a previous note, Dragic (knee) has officially been ruled out for Monday's matchup with the Rockets.
The Heat initially deemed Dragic questionable, but the expectation all along was that he'd miss a second consecutive contest while battling a bruised knee. With Tyler Johnson (ankle) also ruled out, expect Wayne Ellington and Josh Richardson to again play big minutes in the backcourt, with Derrick Walton set to contribute off the bench.
Langston Galloway DET SG
Pistons' Langston Galloway: Settling back into backup point-guard role44m ago
Galloway logged 21 minutes in Sunday's 101-100 loss to the Nets, finishing with eight points (3-9 FG, 1-3 3Pt, 1-2 FT), five assists, four rebounds and two steals.
With Galloway logging double-digit minutes for the third consecutive outing and Dwight Buycks failing to get off the bench Sunday, it appears safe to conclude that Galloway has reemerged as the top backup to starting point guard Ish Smith. Buycks had earned that role after averaging 13.2 points on 52.1 percent shooting from the field through the Pistons' first four games of January, but his poor shooting accuracy (9-for-26, 34.6 percent) over the subsequent four contests paved the way for Galloway to reenter the backcourt rotation. Though he wasn't terribly efficient Sunday, Galloway at least filled out the box score nicely, so he should have a multi-game leash as Smith's backup.
Tyler Johnson MIA SG
Heat's Tyler Johnson: Ruled out Monday1h ago
Johnson (ankle) will not play Monday against Houston.
The Heat initially deemed Johnson questionable but have since clarified that the guard will miss a fourth straight contest as he continues to nurse a sprained left ankle. With Goran Dragic (knee) also out, the Heat will likely turn to Wayne Ellington and Josh Richardson for big minutes in the backcourt, with Derrick Walton set for an increased role off the bench.
Goran Dragic MIA PG
Heat's Goran Dragic: Expected to sit out Monday1h ago
Dragic (knee) is not expected to play Monday against Houston, Shandel Richardson of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports.
Dragic was held out of Saturday's game against the Hornets with a bruised knee, and at this point all signs point to him missing a second straight contest, though the Heat have not made an official call on his status. With Tyler Johnson also expected to sit out, Wayne Ellington and Josh Richardson will likely be set for big minutes, while Derrick Walton, who played 21 minutes off the bench Saturday, should again have an increased role as a reserve.
Dion Waiters MIA SG
Heat's Dion Waiters: Surgery on tap Monday1h ago
Waiters (ankle) was scheduled to undergo season-ending surgery Monday, Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald reports.
Rather than attempt to play through the persistent soreness in his left ankle that had bothered him for much of the past two seasons, Waiters decided earlier this month that he would go under the knife to address the matter. While the Heat aren't expected to reveal a recovery timetable for the wing until after the surgery is completed, Waiters previously acknowledged that such a procedure would sideline him for 8-to-10 months. If that timetable holds true, Waiters' availability for the start of the 2018-19 campaign could be in some jeopardy. His absence for at least the rest of the current season opens up more minutes for the likes of Wayne Ellington, Josh Richardson, Tyler Johnson (ankle) and Derrick Jones.
Jamal Crawford MIN SG
Timberwolves' Jamal Crawford: Out again Monday1h ago
Crawford (toe) will not play Monday against the Clippers, Nick Friedell of ESPN reports.
The Wolves will be without both Crawford and Jimmy Butler (knee) for a second straight game after the pair missed Saturday's win over the Raptors. Expect Nemanja Bjelica, Shabazz Muhammand and Marcus Georges-Hunt to once again pick up increased minutes Monday, with Bjelica likely to make another start in Butler's place.
Mike Condon OTT G
Senators' Mike Condon: Defending cage against Wild1h ago
Condon will be between the pipes versus Minnesota on Monday, TSN 1200 Ottawa reports.
Condon will be making his first start in calendar year 2018, having logged a relief appearance Jan. 9 against the Blackhawks, in which he allowed four goals on 17 shots. The 27-year-old has been a shell of the player he was last season (a 19-14-6 record with five shutouts), when he served as the primary starter for much of the year. As the clear backup in 2017-18, Condon is a disappointing 3-5-4 in 15 outings, along with a 3.48 GAA and .894 save percentage.
Mitch Marner TOR C
Maple Leafs' Mitch Marner: OK with playing on the fourth line1h ago
Marner, who scored a power-play goal Saturday, says he enjoys his current fourth-line role, reports the Toronto Sun.
"I'm a real big fan of playing with (bruiser) Matt Martin," said Marner. "He opens up a lot of ice and space for me." Marner was bumped down to the fourth line because he lost his check and got bumped off pucks too much on the upper lines. Strong performances on the fourth should push him right back up the lineup, as long as the lesson was learned.
Jaroslav Halak NYI G
Islanders' Jaroslav Halak: Tending twine Monday1h ago
Halak will defend the cage against the Coyotes on Monday.
Halak has allows four-plus goals in seven of his previous nine outings, which has negated his high-powered offense that is scoring 3.44 goals per game. As a result, the Slovak is just 3-6-0 with a .902 save percentage over that stretch. Perhaps a matchup with Arizona's woeful offense (2.35 goals per game) is just what the netminder needs to get his season back on track.
Jaden Schwartz STL LW
Blues' Jaden Schwartz: Medically cleared1h ago
Schwartz (ankle) has been cleared medically, but likely won't return until Thursday's meeting with Colorado, Tom Timmermann of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Schwartz will miss his 20th straight contest due to his ankle ailment Tuesday versus the Senators. The winger has been taking part in practice, which is a significant step in his recovery. Once ready to play, the 25-year-old will need to be activated off injured reserve, which will likely result in Oskar Sundqvist being sent down to the minors.
Jonathan Bernier COL G
Avalanche's Jonathan Bernier: Gets starting nod Monday1h ago
Bernier will tend the twine for Monday's matchup with Toronto, Adrian Dater of BSN Denver reports.
Bernier will be making his ninth straight start when he squares off with the Maple Leafs. The netminder is undefeated since taking over for the injured Semyon Varlamov -- a 8-0-0 record and 1.47 GAA during that stretch. The Quebec native is no doubt benefiting from being behind the league's second best penalty kill (84.7 percent). A three-game road trip ahead of the NHL All-Star Game will challenge Bernier's ability to keep his winning streak rolling.
Charlie McAvoy BOS D
Bruins' Charlie McAvoy: Misses Monday's practice2h ago
Coach Bruce Cassidy relayed that McAvoy (undisclosed) missed practice Monday due to a previously scheduled doctors appointment.
Per the report, the Bruins will know more about McAvoy's status for Tuesday's game against New Jersey later, which implies that he's not a lock to play. If McAvoy is unavailable, Kevan Miller would presumably re-enter the team's blue line mix after being the odd man out of the lineup in Saturday's win over Montreal.