NFL Player News
Jaguars' Christian Kirk: Good to go off of knee injury
Kirk (knee) participated in OTAs Tuesday, Jaguar Report's John Shipley reports.
Kirk injured his knee in last season's playoff loss to the Chiefs, so this is the first real update on him out there since the Jaguars were knocked out. The 27-year-old wideout wasn't sporting a brace or anything at Tuesday's session, so it's safe to consider Kirk 100 percent healthy. With Calvin Ridley now in the mix off of his suspension, there's added competition for targets in Jacksonville, but Kirk should remain a reliable source of WR2/3 fantasy production.
Bengals' Tyler Boyd: Shows up for voluntary practice
Boyd participated in Tuesday's voluntary practice, Kelsey Conway of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
Boyd is healthy this spring after exiting the AFC Championship Game early with a deep thigh bruise. He won't be at every voluntary practice, but that's only because he's a ninth-year pro entering his fifth season in the same system and fourth with QB Joe Burrow. The continuity in Cincinnati helps the Bengals offense overall and puts Boyd in a lot of favorable situations/ matchups, but it also means he's third in line for targets again behind fellow WRs Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins.
Buccaneers' Antoine Winfield: Moving back to free safety
Winfield confirmed Tuesday that he'll be moving back to free safety for the 2023 campaign, Scott Smith of the Buccaneers' official site reports.
Head coach Todd Bowles hopes Winfield's transition back to the middle of the field will create an uptick in turnovers for Tampa Bay's defense, Brianna Dix of the Buccaneers' official site reports. The 2020 second-round pick operated as a free safety during his first two NFL campaigns, but he had a more versatile role in 2022 and played closer to the line of scrimmage. Across 42 career games, Winfield has totaled 246 tackles (174 solo), nine sacks, four interceptions, five forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries.
Dolphins' Terron Armstead: Not participating in OTAs yet
Armstead (hip) hasn't yet been a participant in Miami's offseason activities, Omar Kelly of SI.com reports.
Armstead has faced durability concerns throughout his NFL career, so it appears the Dolphins are taking extra precautions with his offseason activity level. The Pro Bowl left tackle may not see much action until training camp, if that holds true. The veteran exited Miami's wild-card loss to the Bills back in January due to a hip issue but was able to return in the second half, though he missed four contests entirely due to injury. As such, the Dolphins added extra depth at tackle in the form of Isaiah Wynn (foot) and Kendall Lamm this offseason.
Browns' Amari Cooper: May practice this week
Coach Kevin Stefanski said Tuesday that Cooper (abdomen) will "start doing stuff this week" after not practicing last week, Zac Jackson of The Athletic reports.
Cooper had core muscle surgery in February and should be back at full strength for training camp, if he isn't already. The Browns have no reason to rush him for spring practices a couple week before his 29th birthday, as this is his second season in Stefanski's offense after a successful Year 1. One cause for concern is that Cooper had better numbers in Jacoby Brissett's 11 starts (8.5 targets and 72 yards per game, seven TDs) than in Deshaun Watson's six games (6.5 targets, 61 YPG, two TDs), though most of the difference was just due to Cleveland passing less late in the year. It's also possible the targets will be spread out more this season after the Browns retained last year's skill-position starters and also added WRs Elijah Moore, Cedric Tillman and Marquise Goodwin and TE Jordan Akins. Of course, Cooper is still a clear favorite to lead the team in targets, and they'll be of a higher quality this year if Watson regains his pre-suspension form.
Raiders' Austin Hooper: Facing competition for top role
Hooper could slide to No. 2 on the depth chart after the Raiders selected fellow tight end Michael Mayer with the 35th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, Vic Tafur of TheAthletic.com reports.
Hooper originally faced little competition for the top job at tight end when he signed with Las Vegas in March after the team dealt Darren Waller to the Giants, but Mayer projects to vulture first-team reps sooner rather than later. The rookie's introduction limits the ceiling on Hooper's fantasy outlook, and 2017 first rounder O.J. Howard could factor into the TE mix as well.
Lions' Tracy Walker: Partial participant at OTAs
Walker (Achilles) was a partial participant during OTAs and expects full clearance for training camp, Tim Twentyman of the Lions' official site reports.
Walker led the Lions with 108 tackles in 2021 but played in just three games last year before tearing his Achilles. Detroit's medical staff is being cautious with the 2018 third-round pick, but he sounds confident with how his rehab is going. If he's available to start 2023, Walker figures to start alongside C.J. Gardner-Johnson, though recent draft picks Kerby Joseph and Brian Branch could factor into the mix as well.
Raiders' Jimmy Garoppolo: Could be released without penalty
Garoppolo's three-year, $72.75 million contract with the Raiders contains a clause that would allow Las Vegas to release him without penalty if he's unable to pass a physical due to his surgically repaired foot, Tashan Reed and Vic Tafur of The Athletic report.
Garoppolo fractured his left foot while playing with the 49ers in early December, then underwent surgery in March, shortly after he finalized his contract with Las Vegas. According to a waiver and release clause in the deal, Garoppolo acknowledged the risk of further injury while continuing to play upon his return from surgery, and he also waived any responsibility on the part of the Raiders, who can terminate his contract with no further obligation or financial ramifications. The waiver becomes null and void if Garoppolo passes a physical at any point during the 2023 season, however. While the terms of the deal give the Raiders an easy out to move on from Garoppolo if his recovery doesn't proceed as anticipated, the team won't have much in the way of appealing alternatives. The Raiders are left with 37-year-old journeyman Brian Hoyer, fourth-round rookie Aidan O'Connell and 2022 undrafted free agent Chase Garbers as the other signal-callers on the roster. Meanwhile, Carson Wentz, Matt Ryan, Teddy Bridgewater and Joe Flacco are the most experienced options among an uninspiring crop of quarterbacks on the free-agent market.
Browns' Elijah Moore: Favored target in OTAs
Moore was targeted often by quarterback Deshaun Watson during Wednesday's session of organized team activities, Athony Poisal of the Browns' official site reports.
Moore, who was acquired from the Jets via trade during the offseason, is expected to serve as the Browns' slot receiver with Amari Cooper and Donovan Peoples-Jones slotting in as the top two wideouts. The Browns are expected to throw often, and all three should benefit from quarterback Deshaun Watson playing a full season.
Browns' Jordan Akins: Happily reunited with Watson
Akins was on the field for Cleveland's organized team activities this week, Anthony Poisal of the Browns' official site reports.
Akins signed with the Browns during the offseason and acknowledged that reuniting with quarterback Deshaun Watson as a primary reason. The two played three seasons together in Houston. The Browns placed plenty of offseason focus on improving targets for Watson, and the 6-foot-6 Akins brings familiarity and serves as a red-zone threat. Akins is expected to back up David Njoku at tight end.