Fri Aug 16 5:54pm ET
By ARNIE STAPLETON
AP Pro Football Writer
Former Denver Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan, center, looks on as his son, San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan (not shown), directs his team during a combined NFL football training camp with the San Francisco 49ers at the Broncos' headquarters Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo throws a pass during a combined NFL football training camp with the Denver Broncos at the Broncos' headquarters Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Denver Broncos quarterback Joe Flacco throws a pass during a combined NFL football training camp with the San Francisco 49ers at the Broncos' headquarters Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Retired Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning greets former teammate Von Miller during a combined NFL football training camp with the San Francisco 49ers at the Broncos' headquarters Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo walks past reporters after chatting following a combined NFL football training camp with the Denver Broncos at the Broncos' headquarters Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello, front, and head coach Vic Fangio look on during a combined NFL football training camp with the San Francisco 49ers at the Broncos' headquarters Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo talks with reporters after a combined NFL football training camp with the Denver Broncos at the Broncos' headquarters Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman talks to reporters after a combined NFL football training camp with the Denver Broncos at the Broncos' headquarters Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo runs during a combined NFL football training camp with the Denver Broncos at the Broncos' headquarters Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) Jimmy Garoppolo relished lining up against another team Friday, and not just because his own defense intercepted five consecutive passes off him at their last practice.
''I love these crossover practices that we have. It's a change-up to training camp,'' Garoppolo said after the San Francisco 49ers' joint workout with the Denver Broncos that attracted Peyton Manning and several other former players.
Garoppolo hadn't faced an opponent since his season-ending left knee injury at Kansas City last September, and while coaches Vic Fangio and Kyle Shanahan had agreed to forbid tackling during their two days of joint workouts, the competition represented another milestone in the quarterback's comeback.
He's expected to take another big step by playing at least a series in the teams' preseason game Monday night.
Niners cornerback Richard Sherman said he's also a fan of these joint workouts, so long as everyone keeps their composure.
''If it's clean like it was today, two teams just completing and getting after it and perfecting their craft against guys who are different and not all the fights and excess, then it's fine,'' Sherman said.
That's not always the case across the NFL .
''A lot of these joint practices, there's fights all over the place, there's extra intensity, there's guys going to the ground, there's guys getting hurt,'' Sherman said. ''And that's the stuff you don't want.''
Especially when your quarterback is coming off an ACL injury.
''Anytime you have a D-line getting close to the quarterback and they don't have a vested interest in the quarterback's health, you know, they're not as concerned about falling away from him or not touching him, etc., etc.,'' Sherman said. ''So, those are things you've got to be careful about.''
Garoppolo was much safer with the football Friday, when his only interception came when he was pressured by Von Miller and hung a 20-yard pass that safety Justin Simmons snared.
That was nothing like Wednesday, when he threw interceptions on five straight pass attempts , by far his worst session since returning from the torn ACL that cut short his 2018 season after three games.
''You guys are seeing me a couple of days removed, but that day I was pretty ticked off,'' Garoppolo said. ''The defense got the best of me that day. We've had battles back and forth. And it's good for us, good for them, and it's only going to lead to a better football team.''
The 49ers are hopeful Garoppolo's poor performance that day showed that maybe they will have a more opportunistic defense this season after setting NFL records for futility with just two interceptions and seven takeaways all last season.
''I think it was less about Jimmy and him having a bad day and more about us executing and guys getting on the same page and us making better breaks,'' said Sherman, who had one of the five interceptions.
San Francisco defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said that although Garoppolo ''got a lot of flak, not all of them were his fault, believe it or not. But I'm pumped up any time we get the ball. ... Shoot, Jimmy went all camp with what, two interceptions? So, I think it's OK, personally, to excuse him for one bad day.''
As if often the case in joint practices, the defenses had the upper hand Friday.
Although the 49ers were missing pass rushers Dee Ford (knee) and Nick Bosa (ankle), they stymied the Broncos offense, which wasn't surprising given their familiarity with Denver offensive coordinator and Shanahan protege Rich Scangarello , who was the 49ers' QB coach the last two seasons.
''It's a good day because I think we've got a young team and it's good to come out against a new team,'' Broncos quarterback Joe Flacco said. ''I think they brought a lot of energy. So, I think it was good for our team to go up against that. I think we can definitely do a better job than we did today.
''But that's what this is all about; it's about getting good work against some high intensity guys and some different looks.''
Facing the Broncos was just like going up against their own offense any other day, said 49ers linebacker Kwon Alexander.
''They use Coach Shanahan's offense, so we kind of know much of the stuff, the ins and outs,'' Alexander said. ''Just new guys to hit.''
Notes: The 49ers signed CB Quinten Rollins and waived/injured CB Greg Mabin. ... Mike Shanahan also attended the joint practice and briefly chatted with 49ers GM John Lynch and Broncos GM John Elway.
August 5th: ADP Value
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins was selected in the second round of the 2020 NFL draft and has a high ceiling without a doubt, especially since he will be catching passes from No. 1 overall selection Joe Burrow. Both rookies have built a rapport already as the duo conducted workouts together during the offseason. Higgins finished his final season at Clemson with 59 catches and 13 touchdowns off of 1,167 yards. While he is a risky selection in redraft leagues this season due to his potential limited playing time, he is surely worth a first-round pick in dynasty formats as he will likely rack up plenty of receptions from Burrow for years to come.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd has begun catching passes from rookie signal-caller Joe Burrow as the team kicks off training camp. The 25-year-old has plenty of hype heading into the 2020 season after racking up over 1,000 yards in his previous two seasons. With A.J. Green seemingly healthy along with the addition of Clemson wideout Tee Higgins, Boyd could see things open up more on the offensive end, while also remaining the team's top pass-catcher.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green went through his first walkthrough under second-year head coach Zac Taylor on Tuesday. The veteran, who recently signed a one-year tender a few weeks ago, missed all of 2019 after injuring his ankle during training camp. While consistent ailments have been the theme for the 32-year-old over the past seasons, there is no denying his ability when healthy. He is no longer considered an elite wideout, however, he is worth a mid-round pick for those looking for an option with an enormous upside.
Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon is still without a new deal as the team heads toward the 2020 season. However, according to director of player personnel, Duke Tobin, the organization views the 24-year-old as a "cornerstone piece of the franchise." Mixon is looking for a contract that would pay him north of $8 million per year, a significant increase from the $1.2 million that he is expected to earn in the final year of his rookie deal. The former Sooner is coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons and is projected by many to be a fantasy breakout by year's end.
Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was quick to respond to Ed Werder's Twitter post regarding a potentially reduced role for the former rushing champ, quipping "we all gonna eat." Though Elliott is a shoo-in, first-round pick in fantasy drafts for the 2020 campaign, many still wonder how he will co-exist on an offense that has plenty of mouths to feed, notably Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and 17th overall pick, CeeDee Lamb. Elliott finished 2019 as a top-five back in the majority of formats. Under new head coach Mike McCarthy, who has overseen some productive runners throughout his career, the 25-year-old could be in store for another productive year.
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas broke the single-season receptions record last year by racking up 149 catches, surpassing Marvin Harrison's 2002 mark of 143. While that accomplishment would be good enough for most throughout the league, the 27-year-old is aiming to exceed his 2019 total heading into the 2020 campaign. Thomas convincingly dominated the fantasy picture last season, and in addition to his catch total, he also accumulated over 1,700 yards while finishing fifth in yards after the catch. He is expected to finish as the top fantasy wideout this season, and will likely get snagged off the draft board within the top three picks, especially in PPR formats.
Updating a previous story, San Francisco 49ers WR Travis Benjamin was officially placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday, Aug. 5.
Updating a previous story, Miami Dolphins WR Albert Wilson was officially placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday, Aug. 5.
Miami Dolphins DT Davon Godchaux was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday, Aug. 5.
Atlanta Falcons DT Tyeler Davison was activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday, Aug. 5. LB Ahmad Thomas was released.
Cleveland Browns TE Austin Hooper lived part of the summer with QB Baker Mayfield while the two worked out together.
Fantasy Spin: It certainly could help Hooper to at least be somewhat familiar with his new QB despite all the lost reps from canceled offseason programs following his signing as a free agent. Hooper is expected to be the No. 1 tight end over David Njoku and should be drafted as a top-tier option at his thin position.
Tennessee Titans LB Jayon Brown (undisclosed) passed his physical Wednesday, Aug. 5, and was activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list.
Buffalo Bills WR Stefon Diggs restructured his contract Tuesday, Aug. 4, according to a source. He'll receive an extra $3.3 million in 2020, an extra $7.7 million in guaranteed money but a decrease of $300,000 cash in 2021 and a drop from $25.55 million to $22.67 million in 2022-23 cash.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB LeSean McCoy probably will have a role in the passing game this season, according to head coach Bruce Arians.
Fantasy Spin: It appears like McCoy may be in line for the third down back job, but fantasy players should keep an eye on the situation. McCoy probably would see a handful of touches each games if he makes the roster but may only be a depth option in fantasy leagues.
Free-agent S Kentrell Brice (Bears) signed with the Arizona Cardinals Wednesday, Aug. 5. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
New York Jets LB Avery Williamson (knee) said he expects to be ready for the start of the regular season.
Las Vegas Raiders RB Jeremy Hill was released Wednesday, Aug. 5.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones II was called "the main guy" in the running back room by his coach Bruce Arians. Arians said he is confident in Jones II and that the other guys are fighting for roles. The other guys include third-round draft pick Ke'Shawn Vaughn, who will lose valuable practice time after he hit the COVID-19 list, and veteran running back LeSean McCoy, who won't challenge for a lead back role at this point in his career. Jones II looks the part after an offseason spent bulking up and catching hundreds of passes to address a weakness in his game. The 23-year-old has RB2 upside in the 7th round but it's likely that Vaughn and McCoy cut into his ceiling in 2020, despite what Arians said.
Free-agent S Kentrell Brice (Bears) is expected to sign with the Arizona Cardinals as long as he passes a physical and tests negative for COVID-19, according to a source.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Ronald Jones will be the main ball carrier for the Buccaneers this season, according to head coach Bruce Arians.
Fantasy Spin: Jones rushed for 724 yards and six touchdowns last season and should improve those stats with more playing time and touches. He will be a part of one of the better offenses in the NFL and can be considered a No. 2 running back in fantasy leagues.