Thu Dec 3 12:13am ET
By GREG BEACHAM
AP Sports Writer
Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay walks the sideline during the first half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff throws against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) Jared Goff didn't get offended last weekend when Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay called out the quarterback over his recent spate of turnovers.
In fact, the quarterback had to admit his coach had a point.
''If he was lying, I'd feel differently about it,'' Goff said Wednesday. ''He's absolutely right. I'm a big boy. I can handle it.''
Goff has 10 turnovers in his last four games for the Rams (7-4), who slipped out of first place in the NFC West last weekend with a 23-20 home loss to San Francisco in which Goff threw two interceptions and lost a fumble. One of his interceptions was returned 27 yards for a touchdown by rookie Javon Kinlaw.
McVay almost always avoids any public criticism of any Rams employee except himself, but he voiced his frustration with Goff's carelessness Sunday: ''Our quarterback has got to take better care of the football.''
McVay said he went against his normal public policy because he thought Goff would handle the challenge correctly by striving to be better. Judging by Goff's response Wednesday, the quarterback is taking it the right way.
''We have a great relationship, and I'm accountable for myself,'' Goff said about McVay. ''I need to be better than that. I need to take care of the football, and he's absolutely right, and I will. I have done that for majority of my entire football career, and will continue to take care of the football better.''
Goff hasn't been taking care of the ball lately, however: His 14 turnovers this season are tied with Minnesota's Kirk Cousins for second-most in the NFL, behind only 18 by Philadelphia's Carson Wentz.
Goff is eighth in the league with 3,021 yards passing, but many of his numbers are somewhere in the middle of the NFL pack, including his 16 touchdown passes (tied for 17th), his 67.2% completion rate (16th) and his 97.3 passer rating (23rd).
Goff also is in a mini-slump as the Rams begin the five-game push toward the playoffs with a visit to the Arizona Cardinals (6-5) on Sunday for an important divisional showdown. In Los Angeles' last four games, the fifth-year quarterback has thrown four touchdown passes and six interceptions while losing four fumbles, getting sacked seven times and posting a 79.7 passer rating.
Goff went 19 of 31 for 198 yards against the Niners, matching his least productive passing game of the season by yardage.
''You try to limit them and move on, but for the 24 hours after it, I was not in a happy place, for sure,'' Goff said of his mood on Monday. ''Really, really disappointed in myself, but you move on. We've got a big game this week. You move on, you play well, and then you just keep moving on. That's all you can do and stay confident, and it's just part of the game.''
McVay said he never considered benching Goff during his rough stretches against the 49ers - no surprise considering Goff's backups, John Wolford and Bryce Perkins, have never taken an NFL snap.
The Rams and Goff are tied together for the next four seasons in his $134 million contract extension, so McVay and his franchise quarterback are determined to get it right again, starting in Glendale. Goff had a similar midseason slump last year, but broke out of it in the final five games - starting with a 424-yard, two-touchdown performance in Week 13 at Arizona.
''One of the things that you do really appreciate about him is he steady, he's neutral,'' McVay said about Goff. ''He's coming back ready to go, and that's what you want. You don't want somebody that's going to ride the emotional roller coaster. I think there's too many ebbs and flows, especially at that quarterback position. I am looking forward to seeing him bounce back.''
NOTES: LB Ogbo Okoronkwo is likely to play Sunday for the first time since undergoing elbow surgery, McVay said. The second-year backup has missed six games. ... Rams DT Sebastian Joseph-Day was limited in practice Wednesday due to a hip injury. McVay wasn't certain of the injury's severity. ... Backup C Brian Allen remained limited in practice with his persistent knee injury.
Five Waiver Wire Adds: Week 13
Seattle Seahawks running backs Chris Carson (foot) and Carlos Hyde (toe) were both limited in practice on Wednesday. Carson returned in Week 12 after missing four games and was substantially out-touched by Hyde, although Carson did score a touchdown. The fact that Carson played just 37 percent of the offensive snaps is concerning, but hopefully he'll see a bigger workload this weekend against the Giants. Consider him an RB2 in a good matchup with the Giants. Hyde played 62 percent of the snaps on Monday night, rushing 15 times for just 22 yards and catching two of three targets for an extra seven yards. Fantasy managers should expect Carson to receive a bigger workload in his second game back, making Hyde a touchdown-dependent RB3/flex in deeper formats.
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (shoulder) was a limited participant in practice on Wednesday. Murray tweaked his shoulder in the Week 11 loss to the Seahawks and failed to record a touchdown in last week's loss to the Patriots, throwing for just 170 yards. He also ran the ball a season-low five times for 31 yards. After carrying the ball double-digit times in Weeks 6-10, Murray has only 10 rushing attempts in his last two games. Is his injury causing him to run less? It looks like it, and he'll have another tough matchup with the Rams in Week 13. LA's defense has allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to QBs in the last five weeks. While the second-year signal-caller shouldn't be benched by his fantasy managers, he might underwhelm again if you're expecting high-end QB1 production.
New York Jets wide receiver Breshad Perriman (shoulder) was listed as a limited practice participant on Wednesday. Don't look now, but Perriman has been fantasy relevant the last three weeks while either scoring a touchdown or topping 75 yards receiving. He caught four of his eight targets in Week 12 against the Dolphins for 79 yards. It's still hard to trust anyone on the winless Jets and Perriman has had his fair share of injuries in his career, but he might be the most trustworthy Jets receiver at this point. In deeper league, Perriman is worth considering as a WR4/flex, but don't expect him to put you over the top if you need one more win to get into the fantasy postseason.
New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton (abdomen) was limited in practice on Wednesday. Newton's injury doesn't appear to be serious enough to keep him from playing in Week 13 against the Chargers. The 31-year-old former MVP was just 9-for-18 passing for 84 yards and two interceptions in the Week 12 win over the Cardinals. He added nine carries for 46 yards. Newton's rushing ability gives him a little more upside, but he's not running like he used to and has limited weapons in the passing attack, making him a midrange QB2 this Sunday with a limited ceiling. The Los Angeles defense has allowed the 11th-most fantasy points per game to signal-caller this year, including four rushing touchdowns to the position.
Los Angeles Chargers running back Kalen Ballage (ankle), linebacker Uchenna Nwosu (chest) and offensive guard Trai Turner (ankle) were all limited in practice on Wednesday. Ballage was inactive in the Week 12 loss to the Bills, but he's on the right track to make his return in Week 13 against the Patriots. The 24-year-old saw double-digit carries from Weeks 9-11 and was also seeing usage in the passing game, putting him in the flex consideration. However, Austin Ekeler returned from Injured Reserve last weekend and should remain as the team's featured back to close out the season. Ballage could still be mixed in here and there alongside Joshua Kelley and Troymaine Pope, but Ekeler's return has all but killed the fleeting fantasy value that he had.
Houston Texans running back C.J. Prosise (illness) did not take part in practice on Wednesday due to a non-COVID-19-related illness. Prosise had a season-high five carries for 12 yards and caught a two-yard pass for a touchdown in the Thanksgiving win over the Lions last week as the backup to Duke Johnson. He saw some notable work in the red zone in Week 12 and should continue to see a bigger role until David Johnson returns from Injured Reserve, but Prosise still isn't seeing enough touches to be considered a realistic flex option, even in the deepest of leagues. Buddy Howell and rookie Scottie Phillips would be called on to step up behind Johnson if Prosise is unable to play in Week 13 against the Colts.
The Houston Texans activated the 21-day practice window for running back David Johnson (concussion) to return from Injured Reserve on Wednesday. It means that Johnson could technically return for the Week 13 matchup with the Colts, but that would be wishful thinking by his fantasy managers. The 28-year-old has been out since Week 9, and the Texans are just hoping that he can return sometime soon. We'd be surprised if Johnson made it back this weekend, but he should be picked up off the waiver wire if he's available. Duke Johnson will continue to have RB2 upside until David Johnson is fully healthy and cleared from the league's concussion protocol.
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver D.J. Chark Jr. (ribs) was limited in practice on Wednesday after sitting out of the Week 12 loss to the Browns. Chark seems to be on the right track to return this Sunday against the Vikings and their suspect secondary, but can you trust him in fantasy lineups with quarterback Mike Glennon under center for the second straight week? To be honest, Glennon is an upgrade over rookie Jake Luton and could even be an upgrade over Gardner Minshew II. Chark has seen double-digit targets just twice this year and has only one 100-yard game, but the matchup is nice enough that he should be considered a WR3/flex with upside for more if he plays. The Vikings Defense has allowed 18 receiving touchdowns (second-most) and the third-most fantasy points to receivers in 2020. Chark's return would lower the ceilings of Keelan Cole and rookie Laviska Shenault Jr.
Green Bay Packers wide receivers Allen Lazard (core) and Equanimeous St. Brown (knee) and safety Darnell Savage (back) were limited practice participants on Wednesday. Lazard saw a bigger role in his second game back from core muscle surgery and found the end zone, but he had just 23 receiving yards. He returned to the game after being banged up, giving him a good chance to play in Week 13 against the Eagles. Green Bay should be able to move the ball against Philadelphia, but Lazard will once again be a touchdown-dependent WR4/flex in his third game back from surgery. St. Brown doubled his reception total in Week 12 against the Bears with two catches for 39 yards. As long as Davante Adams and Lazard are on the field, St. Brown is an afterthought.
Seattle Seahawks DE Carlos Dunlap (foot) is nursing a sore foot, but head coach Pete Carroll said Wednesday, Dec. 2 that he feels the pass rusher will be ready for the Week 13 game against the New York Giants. 'I can't tell you much yet, we won't know for the next couple of days, but he's just got a sore foot and we don't think he's going to miss because of that,' Carroll said.
Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (ankle), wide receiver Nelson Agholor (ankle), safety Johnathan Abram (knee) and cornerback Damon Arnette (concussion, neck) did not practice on Wednesday. Jacobs' status will be one to watch this week. He'll be a no-doubt, must-start fantasy back if he's active against the winless Jets, but his status shouldn't be taken for granted after getting injured in the blowout loss to the Falcons last week. Devontae Booker and Jalen Richard would split backfield work if he were to miss time. Agholor caught five passes for 54 yards against Atlanta in Week 12 and has two touchdowns in the last four games. He has six scores in eight games in 2020 and is a good bet to find the end zone against the winless Jets if he's able to return to practice later this week.
Chicago Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky will start against the Detroit Lions in Week 13. While he has his lowest completion percentage (58.3) since the team drafted him No. 2 overall in 2017, facing the Lions might be the cure for his ills. He has four straight games with three touchdown passes facing the Lions, including Week 1 when he had three touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
Fantasy Spin: Nick Foles practiced on a limited basis on Wednesday, so Trubisky will get another chance to show what he can do. Still, he is more of a QB2 in most fantasy leagues of 12 or more teams despite his success against the Lions.
Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay (knee) wasn't able to practice on Wednesday. Lindsay left the Week 12 blowout loss to the Saints early with a knee injury after carrying the ball nine times for just 20 yards. The 26-year-old has become a low-ceiling RB3/4 in an inconsistent Broncos offense while sharing carries with Melvin Gordon III. Lindsay's lack of involvement in the passing game (just two receptions all year), makes him almost unrosterable in PPR leagues. If he's unable to get on the practice field this week, Royce Freeman would serve as the backup to Gordon in Week 13 against the Chiefs. Freeman wouldn't have standalone value, but Gordon would be a low-end RB2 with upside if he has the backfield more to himself.
Denver Broncos rookie wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (ankle) was limited in practice on Wednesday. Jeudy was on the injury report last week but was taken off on Friday. He'll be fine to play this weekend against the Chiefs unless he suffers a setback. Denver's entire offense struggled in Week 12 when they were forced to start a practice-squad wide receiver at quarterback, so Jeudy should have more than just one target this Sunday. The Broncos should be forced to throw the ball more often against KC, but the Chiefs Defense is allowing the fifth-fewest fantasy points per game to wideouts. Plus, Jeudy and quarterback Drew Lock haven't been efficient in their connection this year. Jeudy will be more of a WR4/flex this weekend as he looks to bounce back from a donut in Week 12.
The Denver Broncos activated defensive end Shelby Harris from the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Wednesday and placed cornerback Bryce Callahan (foot) on Injured Reserve in a corresponding move. Callahan will be out at least three weeks. Denver claimed safety Will Parks, who was drafted by Denver in 2016, so he's an option to take over for Callaway in the slot. Harris is recovered from COVID-19, but he could be held out in Week 13 against the Chiefs to allow him to get back up to full speed. The Broncos inexperienced and young secondary is unlikely to slow down Patrick Mahomes and his bevvy of weapons this Sunday, so fantasy managers should be looking to avoid the Broncos Defense. In their first meeting in Week 7, the Broncos allowed 40-plus points.
Tennessee Titans tight end Jonnu Smith (knee), cornerback Adoree' Jackson (knee) and defensive end Jeffery Simmons (knee) all missed practice on Wednesday. Smith really put his fantasy managers in a tough spot in Week 12 with zero targets in the passing game against the Colts. He has plenty of pass-catching talent, but his floor is really low if he continues to be used a lot as a blocker. Add in the knee injury and you have a tight end that is extremely volatile as a touchdown-dependent low-end TE1/high-end TE1 against Cleveland this weekend. If Smith's knee injury is serious enough to keep him out this week, Anthony Firkser and MyCole Pruitt would likely share snaps at the position.
Atlanta Falcons wide receivers Julio Jones (hamstring) and Calvin Ridley (ankle, foot) and running back Todd Gurley II (knee) were all limited practice participants on Wednesday. Jones and Gurley didn't play in the Week 12 win over the Raiders, so their participation on Wednesday is a good sign that they'll have a chance to suit up in Week 13 against the Saints. The 31-year-old Jones often plays through nagging injuries, but his fantasy managers would love to see him log a full practice this week. He caught just two passes for 39 yards in the first meeting with New Orleans in Week 11, but Jones should top that if he returns. Ridley has the higher WR1 ceiling at this point, but Jones will be a must-start if he's active. Gurley has a chance to return this week, but even if he does, he'll be one to fade against a tough Saints run defense while potentially looking at a limited workload. Brian Hill and Ito Smith shared backfield duties with Gurley out against Las Vegas, with Smith the more productive rusher. This is probably a week to avoid Atlanta's backfield entirely if you can find better options.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has cooled off from his MVP pace over the last four weeks, but he's got a chance to reignite those flames in Week 13 against the New York Giants. The Giants feature one of the league's better passing defenses, as they've allowed just 15.5 points per game to the quarterback position. Wilson's outlook isn't perfect for this game, but he does have the benefit of playing at home. On the season, he's averaging over 30 fantasy points per game in Seattle. With his complement of weapons and running ability, he's firmly in the QB1 conversation for this week.
Tennessee Titans wide receiver Adam Humphries (concussion) returned to practice on Wednesday. Humphries has a chance to return in Week 13 against the Browns after sitting out since Week 9 with a head injury. The 27-year-old is the No. 3 receiver in this offense when healthy, behind A.J. Brown and Corey Davis. Humphries has only 22 catches on 31 targets for 219 yards and two touchdowns in six games this season, though, making it unlikely that he does much for fantasy managers if he returns this weekend. In Tennessee's low-volume passing offense, Humphries hasn't seen more than seven targets in a single game, although he's seen fewer than six targets in only two of his six games, including in Week 8 when he suffered a concussion. He'll be a desperation WR4/flex in deep PPR leagues if he is back on the field this weekend.