Thursday NFL Notes

The Patriots are leaning towards activating Rob Gronkowski from the PUP list, as the superstar tight end supposedly has a chance to return before Week 7. The team will have to make a decision by Friday, but this seems like a pretty easy call if there is any chance that Gronk could be available before he would be eligible to return from the PUP list. While a Week 1 return can seemingly be ruled out, it sounds like Gronkowski has a decent chance to be back a few weeks in to the season. Injury concerns and all, he should probably be one of the first five tight ends off the board in most drafts.

As expected, Robert Griffin (knee) received final clearance from Dr. James Andrews. The Redskins may limit Griffin's running, and he won't necessarily have full confidence in the knee at first, but the upside here is tantalizing for fantasy owners and casual fans alike. For what it's worth, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan previously said that running the ball may actually keep Griffin safe, as the threat of the read-option slows down opposing pass rushers.

Chaos continues to reign in New York, as recent reports say that Mark Sanchez (shoulder) will likely be out for Week 1. Sanchez doesn't have any structural damage, but a deep bruise in his throwing shoulder may prove to be too much for the veteran to play through. Though the Jets haven't officially named a starter yet, it seems likely that a healthy Sanchez would get the nod over a healthy Geno Smith. Of course, Sanchez isn't healthy and Smith is, so this battle could fall to Smith by default. Unless you're in a two-QB league or a format with 16-plus teams, it's probably a situation to avoid. Neither quarterback looked good in the preseason, and the Jets lack playmakers on the offensive side.

Moving on to a new injury, the Giants' Andre Brown fractured his leg in Thursday night's preseason game against the Patriots. Brown said that the fracture is minor, but even in a best-case scenario he figures to miss the first few weeks of action, and it's possible that the injury could end his season. David Wilson subsequently gets a nice boost in fantasy value, while the Giants will look to Michael Cox, Ryan Torain, and Da'Rel Scott to find a viable backup. Wilson and Brown were previously slated to split time in the New York backfield, and the supremely talented Wilson is now in line to see more snaps and more touches than he would if Brown were healthy.

Marques Colston (foot) made his preseason debut Thursday against the Dolphins, catching one pass for 18 yards. There are still some questions about how his foot will hold up throughout the season, but Colston should be just fine for Week 1. Nagging foot injury or not, he figures to produce if he's on the field.


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