NFL Player News

  • O.J. Howard TE | TB

    Buccaneers' O.J. Howard: Likely without Winston for first three games

    Howard is slated to catch passes from backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick for the first three games of the 2018 regular season in the wake of Jameis Winston's expected suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com reports.

    The development may not be as gloomy for Howard's fantasy prospects as might appear at first blush. After all, the second-year tight end brought in six of eight targets for 104 yards and a touchdown with Fitzpatrick at the helm in Weeks 11 and 12 last season, with the veteran quarterback favoring him over position mate Cameron Brate in those contests. Moreover, Howard's considerable physical talent -- as well as a greater knowledge of both head coach Dirk Koetter's offense and opposing defenses in Year 2 -- should be of great benefit to him irrespective of who's under center this coming season.

  • Buccaneers' Cameron Brate: Likely without Winston for first three games

    Brate is slated to catch passes from backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick for the first three games of the 2018 regular season in the wake of Jameis Winston's expected suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com reports.

    The development many not exactly bode well for the tight end's fantasy prospects if his body of work with Fitzpatrick under center last season is any indication. Brate did have one of his best days of 2017 during the veteran quarterback's first taste of extended action in Week 6, hauling in six of eight targets for 76 yards and a touchdown. However, he caught only one pass in each of Fitzpatrick's three starts in Weeks 10-12, while fellow tight end O.J. Howard posted six receptions (on eight targets) for 104 yards and a score in those contests. Consequently, it remains to be seen if Fitzpatrick once again favors the 2017 first-round pick among his tight-end options when he takes the rein of the offense for the 2018 season's first three games.

  • Bills' Keith Towbridge: Competing for roster spot

    Towbridge faces an uphill battle to win the Bills' No. 3 job at tight end, Ryan Talbot of NewYorkUpstate.com reports.

    Towbridge went undrafted out of Lousiville last spring and then spent the entire 2017 season on injured reserve with an undisclosed issue. He has since returned to the practice field, but Towbridge is buried on the depth chart and will need to impress on special teams during training camp and the preseason to stick around in Buffalo.

  • Redskins' Jeremy Sprinkle: Expected to make team

    Sprinkle has the inside track to a roster spot with the Redskins, Rich Tandler of NBC Sports Washington reports.

    A 2017 fifth-round pick, Sprinkle caught two passes for 13 yards and a touchdown in 11 games during his rookie season, playing nearly as many snaps on special teams (125) as offense (126). With Niles Paul leaving for Jacksonville in the offseason, Sprinkle should step up to No. 3 spot on the depth chart at tight end behind oft-injured Jordan Reed (toe) and 34-year-old Vernon Davis. The Redskins otherwise have young, undrafted players filling out their depth chart at the position ahead of training camp.

  • Tyler Kroft TE | CIN

    Bengals' Tyler Kroft: Misses minicamp

    Kroft missed mandatory minicamp due to an undisclosed issue but is expected to return healthy for the start of training camp, Geoff Hobson of the Bengals' official site reports.

    The Bengals are less confident about the health of Tyler Eifert, who also was held out of minicamp while continuing his rehab from the back surgery he required in 2017. Kroft proved to be a competent replacement for his oft-injured teammate, scoring seven touchdowns and averaging 56 snaps per game after Eifert suffered the season-ending injury Week 2. Kroft's career marks for yards per catch (9.9) and yards per target (7.1) don't compare to Eifert's, but the 2015 third-round pick at least proved useful near the goal line. While still a long shot to ever become one of Andy Dalton's favorite targets between the 20-yard lines, Kroft could reprise last season's red-zone workload and snap count if Eifert can't get healthy or stay on the field.

  • Erik Swoope TE | IND

    Colts' Erik Swoope: Dealing with knee injury

    Swoope suffered a knee injury at the start of OTAs, Mike Chappell of FOX 59 in Indianapolis reports.

    Swoope was forced to leave practice during the first week of OTAs, and while it has been revealed to be a knee injury, the tight end remains without a recovery timetable. He'll have about a month to get healthy enough for the start of training camp.

  • Virgil Green TE | LAC

    Chargers' Virgil Green: Poised for key role

    With Hunter Henry (knee) out for the season, Green has an opportunity to earn a significant role in the passing game, Jack Wang of The Orange County Register reports.

    The Chargers signed Green as a replacement for Antonio Gates, prioritizing blocking over receiving ability for the No. 2 tight end role. The former Bronco is now the favorite for the starting job, though many of the targets that would've gone to Henry figure to be redirected to wide receivers and running backs. Green only had 71 receptions and four touchdowns in 100 games for Denver, but he does own solid career marks for pass-catching efficiency with a 68.9 percent catch rate, 11.4 yards per catch average and 7.8 yards per target. The Chargers may end up re-signing Gates, but the soon-to-be 38-year-old likely would be limited to a part-time role in obvious passing situations. Meanwhile, the depth chart behind Green consists solely of young, undrafted players.

  • Wes Saxton TE | DET

    Wes Saxton: Waived by Detroit

    Saxton was waived by the Lions on Thursday.

    Saxton's time with the Lions will essentially be over before it even started, as the team waived him exactly 10 days after his signing to make room for the acquisition of fellow tight end Sean McGrath. Saxton will now look to catch on elsewhere, though a practice squad seems to be the most likely destination for the fourth-year player.

  • Sean McGrath TE | DET

    Lions' Sean McGrath: Headed to Detroit

    McGrath signed with the Lions on Thursday.

    The terms of McGrath's contract were not disclosed, though the team did waive fellow tight end Wes Saxton in a corresponding move. McGrath spent the last two seasons with the Chargers, where he appeared in 31 games but didn't catch a touchdown while playing largely in the shadow of Antonio Gates and Hunter Henry. The door is open in Detroit for more playing time at the tight end position following the departure of Eric Ebron, though McGrath will still have to compete for snaps with the likes of Luke Willson and Levine Toilolo, leaving little fantasy upside to be had.

  • Tyler Eifert TE | CIN

    Bengals' Tyler Eifert: Uncertain for start of training camp

    Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said Eifert (back) hasn't suffered any setbacks, but the tight end's availability for the start of training camp remains uncertain, Jay Morrison of the Dayton Daily News reports. "When [the doctors and trainers] tell him or release him to do what we can do, then he'll be ready to go," Lewis said Wednesday, when asked about Eifert's status. "The main thing is for him to stay up with everything mentally and when he can get the reps he can get that he was getting before when there wasn't defense over there it was good. There's no reason to get him jostled around right now until the time comes."

    Eifert was limited at OTAs in May and isn't participating in the team's mandatory minicamp. While Lewis didn't necessarily put concerns about Eifert's health to rest Wednesday, he did make it sound as if the Bengals were simply being cautious with their top tight end, who isn't believed to have aggravated the back injury that cost him most of 2017. All indications are that Eifert is still progressing as expected, but his status for camp may not be fleshed out until later in the summer.

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