The first Sunday of the NFL season already feels like midseason form when it comes to injury news – not to mention the will he/won’t he saga of Antonio Brown. As of Saturday afternoon, it’s looking like a “won’t be” for Brown playing for the Raiders in Week 1 or any week, for that matter. Let’s take a deeper dive into the injury/contract news and how it affects the Week 1 slate:
Brown sings “Please Release Me” to end tumultuous week on sour note: Not since Manny Ramirez shot his way out of Boston in 2008 has such a talented, yet troubled, player caused such havoc for his team. Just when it appeared on Friday that Brown was indeed going to suit up on Monday night against the Broncos after his clash with GM Mike Mayock midweek (say that 10 times fast), Brown took to social media to demand his release on Saturday. Seems the Raiders were denying Brown $30 million in guaranteed money, and that appears to be the final straw. If you draft Brown in your fantasy league, our condolences.
Zeke could be peak in return to Cowboys lineup: On the other end of the emotional scale, there is Ezekiel Elliott and the Cowboys, who are all lovey-dovey with Zeke’s new contract extension. Things went from 0 to 60 so fast this week, the Cowboys are now confident that Elliott, who missed all of training camp because of his holdout, will get a normal allotment of snaps against the Giants on Sunday. Whether that proves to be true remains to be seen, but Elliott should make a significant impact on this game, even in limited snaps. This should be a Dallas romp.
With OBJ, it’s hip to be scared: Odell Beckham Jr. is expected to make his Browns debut on Sunday against the Titans despite a hip injury that kept him out of the preseason. But, man, you have to wonder about that hip injury after Beckham confessed mid-week that he’s having trouble running.
“It’s like an extremely fast car with the alignment off,” Beckham said Thursday “The car can still go, but it’s dangerous.”
Guice in, Reed out for Redskins: You really have to wonder how much more Jordan Reed should take. He is going to miss Sunday’s game against the Eagles because of yet another concussion. Meanwhile, Derrius Guice’s recovery from a major knee injury last preseason is complete. The running back has leapt over Adrian Peterson on the depth chart and will be the starting running back on Sunday. Guice entered the league last year with a lot of fanfare, making his preseason injury particularly devastating. Here’s hoping he gets the most out of his second chance.
Diggs dealing with hamstring, questionable for Sunday: Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stephon Diggs is essentially a game-time decision on Sunday with a hamstring issue that nagged him all week in practice. Diggs has a history of not playing well when not 100 percent, so even if he suits up on Sunday, his performance could easily underwhelm. This is great news for Adam Thielen owners, as he could dominate targets in a game with shootout potential.