Ryan McDowell

Football Daily Dose

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Dose: Guice Lost for Season

Monday, August 13, 2018


During the 2017 season, a reported 51 players had their year come to an end after tearing an ACL. Through training camp and one week of the preseason this year, that number is already up to 14. Among the latest victims is Redskins second-round draft pick RB Derrius Guice. I mentioned in Friday’s Dose that the former LSU star had left last Thursday’s game with a knee injury. Although fantasy players and Redskins fan panicked, there were reasons to be cautiously optimistic. First, Guice was spotted standing with teammates on the sidelines, away from the training staff. Following the game, Guice was caught on camera in the locker room confidently declaring “all is well” as he enjoyed a lollipop. Even a late report that Guice would undergo a Friday MRI didn’t concern me after witnessing these two pieces of video evidence. 

 

The injury was initially diagnosed as a sprained MCL, which would’ve kept Guice out of action throughout the preseason and possibly into the regular season. Late Friday afternoon though, we got the bad news from simultaneous reports via ESPN’s Adam Schefter and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport that test results revealed that Guice had in fact suffered a torn ACL. 

 

Washington HC Jay Gruden suggests that team will not look to add a running back to replace Guice. Instead, Gruden voiced confidence in the current backfield group, which includes second-year RB Samaje Perine, former starter Rob Kelley and injured pass-catching specialist Chris Thompson. While Thompson is the most-proven of the remaining trio, he was recently quoted as saying he might not be fully healthy until November. Meanwhile, both Perine and Kelley have disappointed when given opportunity. Perine is considered the current favorite for the lead role, but this looks like a situation to avoid. 

 

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Preseason Game Notes

 

Rookie QB Sam Darnold shined in his debut, despite playing as the third quarterback behind veterans Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater. Darnold entered the game mid-way through the second-quarter and played the remainder of the game, completing 13 of 18 pass attempts for 96 yards and a touchdown. He was quite effective in the first-half while the team cruised to an easy shut out win over the Falcons in the preseason opener for both teams. Over the weekend following the game, Darnold saw the bulk of reps at camp. With his contract holdout forcing a late start to camp, the team seems intent on catching him up quickly. Don’t be surprised if the rookie starts in Week One of the regular season.

 

While many of the rookie running backs have faltered in camp and early preseason action, Lions second-rounder Kerryon Johnson flourished in his first live game action. Facing the Raiders on Friday night, Johnson looked like the Lions best offensive weapon, rushing for 34 yards and adding another 33 yards as a receiver. While both LeGarrette Blount and Ameer Abdullah played ahead of the rookie, there was no doubt who the playmaker was. Johnson even had a 57-yard rush called back due to penalty or his box score would’ve looked even better. 

 

Another rookie running back to make an impression over the weekend was the much less-heralded Roc Thomas. The Vikings rookie showed off his speed and pass-catching skills and looked dominant against a Broncos defense that barely managed to show up. Thomas rushed for 34 yards on 11 carries, but really shined as a receiver, totaling 102 yards and two touchdowns on just three catches. Don’t be fooled by the small school status (Jacksonville State) of Thomas, who began his college career battling Detroit’s Johnson for touches at Auburn. Thomas is battling Mike Boone for the third RB role behind starter Dalvin Cook and veteran Latavius Murray

 

Although RB Devontae Booker drew the start for the Broncos, it was rookie Royce Freeman who fared better against the Vikings defense. Both back saw early touches but it was Freeman who broke free, finishing with 38 yards on four carries, including a 23-yard touchdown run. Booker reportedly had the lead over Freeman in the battle to win the starting job, but that gap is closing after this first game.

 

Another Denver camp battle has centered around the backup quarterback job and after watching the game Saturday evening, this doesn’t even look like a fair fight. If you haven’t followed closely, you might assume the former first-round pick, QB Paxton Lynch, would have the lead over the former Mr. Irrelevant who missed his entire rookie season, QB Chad Kelly. While Lynch did see the field first in this game, there was no contest in who had the better game. While Lynch completed 6 of 11 passes for 24 yards and an interception, Kelly looked like a true leader, throwing bullet passes all over the field as he directed a pair of scoring drives. Kelly finished with 177 yards and two touchdown passes. Now, we just have to see how willing the Broncos and GM John Elway are to move on from their former first-rounder Lynch.

 

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Injury News

 

We all got a major scare on Sunday when it was announced that 49ers RB Jerick McKinnon would undergo an MRI, but it came out clean, revealing only a muscle strain. Exhale…Steelers HC Mike Tomlin offered little information on TE Vance McDonald’s injury, only saying “nothing’s changed.” McDonald has missed the past week of practice with a foot injury…49ers CB Richard Sherman (hamstring) returned to practice, as did Packers RB Aaron Jones, also battling a hamstring injury…Eagles rookie TE Dallas Goedert has missed practice with an elbow injury but suggested he would be back soon…Eagles WR Nelson Agholor continues to be sidelined, though the details of his injury are unknown. He missed practice most of last week and if this continues, it will be time to be concerned…Rams TE Gerald Everett (shoulder) is expected to miss at least another week…Redskins WR Robert Davis suffered a broken leg and torn LCL during practice. He’ll miss the season…Steelers superstar WR Antonio Brown returned to practice…Jets RB Isaiah Crowell left Friday’s game with an apparent head injury…After a scary string of injuries during their Thursday night game, 49ers HC Kyle Shanahan expects both TE George Kittle and RB Matt Breida to be ready for Week One…Rookie WR Deon Cain of the Colts tore his ACL and will miss the entire season…Colts RB Marlon Mack also suffered a Thursday night injury, which was later revealed to be a hamstring issue that will keep him out of action “a few weeks”…

 

 

Quick Hits

 

The Jaguars suspended defenders Jalen Ramsey and Dante Fowler for the regular season opener, both for a violation of team rules. ... With Mack dealing with an injury, the Colts added veteran RB Branden Oliver. ... After his impressive performance last week, RB Jeremy Hill practiced ahead of RB Mike Gillislee. The conventional thinking is only one of these big backs makes the final roster. ... The Eagles signed QB Christian Hackenberg. ... Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill kicked rookie RB Kalen Ballage out of the huddle after a failed pass block during practice and then berated him on the sidelines. ... Buccaneers beat writers suggest RB Charles Sims may not be a lock to make the 53-man roster. ... Cardinals QB Josh Rosen had a debut to forget as his teammates struggled to help him make any plays, mostly thanks to poor OL play…Veteran RB Bilal Powell drew the start for the Jets ahead of former Browns RB Isaiah Crowell.



Ryan McDowell is a senior writer for dynastyleaguefootball.com. You can follow him on Twitter @RyanMc23.
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