Rams receiver Mike Thomas is suspended four games for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing substances.
A sixth round pick in 2016, Thomas was making a solid first impression on the new coaching staff until this news. Obviously, this hurts the second year receiver's chances of having a big role in 2017. Thomas will be able to practice with the team during training camp and play in preseason games, but then will be away from the team for the first four games of the regular season. It's possible Thomas doesn't make the team with this suspension hanging over him if other players step up and force the Rams to make tough decisions in the receiving group.
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Adam Schefter believes Ezekiel Elliott could face "some sort of short suspension" this season.
Schefter says the NFL is nearing the end of the investigation into an alleged domestic assault from 2016 when Elliott was at Ohio State. According to Schefter, Elliott needs to still respond to the NFL's "recent findings," and the star running back is "bracing" for a short suspension. Schefter says there is a "growing sense" Elliott will be facing some discipline from the NFL, and it could be a suspension. This lines up with what Schefter said last week when he said on SiriusXM Fantasy Radio that he would not draft Ezekiel Elliott if he had a fantasy draft today. Elliott is currently a consensus top three running back, but we'll see what happens if he ends up suspended by the league for one or two games.
Ameer Abdullah is "highly motivated" according to the team's official website.
DetroitLions.com's Tim Twentyman writes that the team has had only seven games with a 100-yard rusher since Matthew Stafford was drafted in 2009. To put that into perspective, Bears running back Jordan Howard had seven games with 100 yards as a rookie last season. The Lions are going to rely on Abdullah to step up and help bring more balance to the offense as the team's lead back this season. A healthy Abdullah could turn out to be a great asset this season and is currently going in the eight round of fantasy drafts.
The Bills run game won't be much different this season.
Under new offensive coordinator Rick Dennison, the Bills will use a lot of zone blocking schemes, which they did last season. LeSean McCoy said he's watching tape of former All-Pro running back Arian Foster, who Dennison coached in Houston. Dennison says he's blending some of the things the team used so successfully over the past couple of seasons with some of his own concepts. Earlier in the offseason, McCoy already said he expected to catch more passes. He's going to get a lot of touches as a workhorse and there is little doubt he will be a superb RB1 if he remains healthy this season.
Teddy Bridgewater posts pictures of him working out without a knee brace.
Bridgewater had been working out with a knee brace, and this should be another big step towards being declared 100%. The young quarterback is probably pushing to get cleared by the team for training camp so he can compete for the starting job, but the Vikings are likely to be very careful. While everyone should be rooting for Teddy B to get healthy and be the same player he was before the injury, Sam Bradford—who played great last season and has gotten a full offseason with the team—will almost certainly be the starter for Minnesota this season.
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis talks up rookie running back Joe Mixon.
Lewis was on SiriusXM NFL Radio and said his rookie back from Oklahoma is "off the chart talent wise," and he needs to avoid off the field issues. Considered a top ten talent by many, Mixon slipped to the second round of the draft because he hit a woman when he was a freshman in college. Cincinnati decided to give the young man a chance in the NFL. On the field, there is no question about Mixon's superb ability—he's in the mold of a David Johnson type that is big, athletic, and has excellent receiving ability. With his head coach saying how talented he is, it might be hard to keep Mixon off the field even with Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard already in the backfield. He has a lot of upside if he can become the lead back for the Bengals as a rookie.
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