Fri Oct 9 12:56pm ET
Dallas Cowboys offensive tackle Tyron Smith (77) stands on the field for warmups before an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
Dallas Cowboys offensive tackle Tyron Smith (77) defends against pressure from Cleveland Browns defensive end Olivier Vernon (54) as quarterback Dak Prescott (4) looks to make a pass in the first half of an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
FRISCO, Texas (AP) Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith is having season-ending neck surgery, another blow to a Dallas offensive line that will be without both starting tackles for the rest of the year.
Coach Mike McCarthy said Friday Smith's injury was a ''correctable situation,'' but didn't get into any timelines on when the seven-time Pro Bowler might be ready in the offseason.
Smith injured his neck in practice the week after the opener and missed two games before returning and playing all 82 snaps in last week's 49-38 loss to Cleveland. Dallas (1-3) is at home against the winless New York Giants on Sunday.
The Cowboys have been without right tackle La'el Collins all season because of a hip issue that ended up requiring season-ending surgery. Dallas also has been without backup tackle Cameron Erving, who injured a knee in the opener but could be close to returning.
Smith's durability hasn't been quite the same after the 2011 first-round pick played all but one game over his first five seasons. Smith has missed three games in each of the previous four years with a variety of injuries. Neck problems were among the issues.
The 29-year-old Smith has four years remaining on the $98 million, eight-year extension he signed in 2014.
''I haven't talked timelines or timetables,'' McCarthy said said. ''Frankly just my communication has been with our medical staff, our athletic trainers and most importantly Tyron. I think it's just important he gets the surgery. He wants to get it as soon as he can and he wants to get to work on the rehab process.''
A pair of young undrafted players in Terence Steele and Brandon Knight have taken most of the snaps at both tackle spots this season.
It's possible that four-time All-Pro right guard Zack Martin will move to tackle, at least until Erving is ready to return. Martin played right tackle in the second half of a 38-31 loss to Seattle when Steele, a rookie, was sick. It was the first time Martin had played tackle since the 2014 first-round pick was at Notre Dame.
The Cowboys have also had injury issues at center after six-year starter Travis Frederick retired in the offseason. Joe Looney injured his right knee on the first play against the Browns. Rookie Tyler Biadasz, a fourth-round pick, should get his first career start against the Giants.
Because of injuries and illness, left guard Connor Williams is the only Dallas lineman who has stayed in his primary position all season for a once-steady unit in a rare state of flux after years of being considered among the best in the league.
Five Hot Plays: Week 13
Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Tyler Eifert is not a worthy starter this week against Minnesota. In nine games played, the TE has only surpassed 40 yards once, and he has also been very inconsistent in his weekly numbers. Because the Jaguars don't have a strong passing attack, this makes Eifert too risky to start and thus irrelevant for fantasy purposes.
The Jacksonville Jaguars Defense should remain benched or on waivers this week. The Jags play Minnesota, a team that has solid receivers in Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson, an elite back in Dalvin Cook, and a QB in Kirk Cousins who can get hot any given week. Meanwhile, Jacksonville ranks among the bottom of the league in most defensive categories, which keeps this unit well off the fantasy radar this week.
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Keelan Cole Sr. is only a low-end flex for this week. Cole has produced at least five targets in three of the past five games but has only gotten over 40 yards in two of the past five games. The Jaguars don't have a strong passing attack due to their multiple changes at QB. Cole should not be trusted this week given his inconsistent stats.
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver D.J. Chark Jr. is a WR3 for Week 13 against the Vikings. As the WR1 on the team, Chark does see targets, but he doesn't always produce. The WR has gotten at least seven targets in four of the past five games but has only gotten at least 45 yards in three of those contests. Nevertheless, his weekly volume should keep him in the starting tier against a Minnesota team allowing the second-most points to fantasy wideouts.
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. should be considered nothing more than a lower-end flex against the Vikings this week. In the past four games, the rookie has only eclipsed 40 yards and five targets once. Jacksonville has no stability at QB and its passing attack isn't high-powered. As a result, Shenault doesn't produce consistent and decent numbers each week. There are better options to start this week.
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Mike Glennon will once again get the start this week but should remain benched in fantasy. Glennon posted 235 yards and two touchdowns last week in an impressive performance, but that was only one game and the journeyman has not proved he is worthy of a start each week. The Vikings are middle-tier against fantasy QBs, but there are certainly better, proven options out there.
Jacksonville Jaguars running back James Robinson is an RB1 this week against the Vikings. The 22-year-old has now rushed for at least 99 yards in four of the last five games and has been stellar this season as the lead back for the Jags even though his value in the passing game has been minimal. The Vikings are middle-tier against fantasy backs, but Robinson's high weekly volume sets him up to produce once again.
Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Hunter Renfrow had a good performance last week against the Falcons, and he will look for another solid performance this week against a poor Jets secondary. He is a consistent possession receiver but lacks the explosion to be considered a viable fantasy option. Renfrow is averaging 3.5 catches and 46 yards per game this season, so those numbers make him a fringe flex option. He has not found the end zone in four consecutive games, but the Jets Defense allows a lot of points. He consistently catches passes every game, but his ceiling is low.
Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller disappointed last week against a bad Falcons Defense but will likely bounce back this week against the Jets. The Jets Defense ranks 29th against opposing tight ends, and Waller is the second-most expensive DFS tight end this week. Waller has had a few bad performances this season but always seems to bounce back. He has followed up his disappointing performances this season with at least five catches in the following game. Look for Waller to rebound in a big way this week. He is definitely a must-start TE1 in Week 13.
Indianapolis Colts TE Trey Burton (non-injury) fully participated in practice Friday, Dec. 4, and is not on the injury report for Week 13.
Fantasy Spin: Burton has been targeted 11 times over the last two games and has two touchdowns during that span. He could be a possible low-end No. 1 tight end in deeper leagues.
Las Vegas Raiders RB Devontae Booker (back) fully participated in practice Friday, Dec. 4, and is not on the injury report for Week 13.
Fantasy Spin: Booker likely will receive most of the work at running back with Josh Jacobs ruled out. He will have a favorable matchup this week and can be considered a low-end No. 2 running back or flex option.
Las Vegas Raiders RB Jalen Richard (chest) fully participated in practice Friday, Dec. 4, and is not on the injury report for Week 13.
Fantasy Spin: Richard may have a bigger role in the offense with Josh Jacobs not available to play. He has a chance to be a flex option in deeper point-per-receptions leagues but is not a must-start option.
Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III had three catches on five targets for 56 yards last week and sees a favorable matchup this week against the Jets. Ruggs had a 36-yard reception last week against the Falcons, and the Jets have allowed 38 passing plays over 20 yards this season. His fantasy value is still limited considering he is not even averaging two receptions per game. He also has just one touchdown and has only helped the team move the chains eight times all year. The big-play potential is there against this Jets secondary, but Ruggs has proved to be unreliable. Fantasy owners can feel comfortable leaving him on the bench this week.
Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (non-injury) did not participate in practice Friday, Dec. 4, but is not on the injury report for Week 13.
Fantasy Spin: Hilton posted a season-high 81 yards last week and picked up his first touchdown of the season. He will see a handful of targets this week and could be at least a flex option because of the matchup.
Indianapolis Colts QB Philip Rivers (toe) fully participated in practice Friday, Dec. 4, and is not on the injury report for Week 13.
Fantasy Spin: Rivers has thrown at least two touchdowns in four of the last six games and has posted solid passing numbers over the last several weeks. He could be a possible low-end No. 1 quarterback in some deeper leagues this week.
Las Vegas Raiders running back Devontae Booker is set to start Sunday against the Jets due to Josh Jacobs (ankle) being out. Jacobs is a workhorse back, so Booker's touches have been limited throughout the season. He has just one game where he has seen double-digit carries, and he took advantage of that opportunity. While Booker has seen a limited amount of attempts, he is averaging 5.5 yards per carry. The Jets have actually been decent against the run, allowing 3.8 yards per carry so far this season. Booker will likely share some touches with Jalen Richard and Theo Riddick, but he is worthy of starting consideration.
Arizona Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins (non-injury) fully participated in practice Friday, Dec. 4, and is not on the injury report for Week 13.
Fantasy Spin: Hopkins continues to be one of the top receivers in the NFL and is a must-start option in all fantasy leagues.
Atlanta Falcons kicker Younghoe Koo has been cleared to play in Week 13 against the Saints. Koo was dealing with a quad injury, though he is good to go for the divisional rematch with New Orleans. The 26-year-old has been the best kicker in fantasy football this year, which shouldn't change against the Saints. Koo made all three of his field-goal attempts in his previous meeting with New Orleans and is a top-five option this week.
Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr struggled mightily last week against the Falcons but will have a good chance to bounce back against the 0-11 Jets. The Jets have allowed 21 touchdown passes and a passer rating of 104.8. Carr has played well against the Jets in his career, averaging 210 yards and over two touchdowns. Other than last week's performance, Carr has also played well on the road. He has nine touchdown passes and a passer rating of 103.1 away from Las Vegas. Carr does not put up the volume numbers to be in the QB1 conversation, but he should have QB2 value against a horrendous Jets team.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Russell Gage has been a streaky fantasy performer this year. Gage has just four games this year with over 50 receiving yards and has been a little too streaky for his fantasy managers. The former LSU receiver has had some of his best games with Julio Jones (hamstring) in the lineup- and there's a chance his teammate returns this week. Still, the matchup with New Orleans is a tough one, given how well their defense is playing. Gage shouldn't be trusted in fantasy lineups for Week 13.