Wed Aug 5 2:27pm ET
By STEVEN WINE
AP Sports Writer
In this Oct. 31, 2019, file photo, San Francisco 49ers running back Matt Breida (22) carries the ball against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game in Glendale, Ariz. The Dolphins believe veteran newcomers Jordan Howard and Matt Breida represent a significant upgrade at the position, providing more punch and versatility for an offense that last year had the NFL's lowest rushing total since 2006. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, FIle)
MIAMI (AP) With two new running backs, the Miami Dolphins' ground game will look a lot different in 2020, and that's good.
''There aren't a whole lot of things that we can be certain of this year,'' quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said, ''but I would put a lot of money on me not being the leading rusher.''
He was last year. The achievement was a testament to the 37-year-old Fitzpatrick's pluck, but also a reflection of the dismal productivity by Miami's running backs.
The Dolphins believe veteran newcomers Jordan Howard and Matt Breida represent a significant upgrade at the position, providing more punch and versatility for an offense that last year averaged 72 yards rushing per game, worst in the NFL since 2006.
''We brought in some dynamic talent, and guys that are hungry,'' Fitzpatrick said.
Last year the Dolphins went 5-11, and their running backs averaged less than 3 yards per carry. Kalen Ballage led the team with 74 carries but averaged 1.8 yards, the lowest figure for a running back with at least 70 carries since 1936.
Fitzpatrick bested any of the running backs with 243 yards and a 4.5 average. Breida smiled Wednesday when asked about Fitzpatrick's odd accomplishment.
''At first I thought it wasn't true,'' Breida said. ''Me and Fitz talked about that the other day. I just told him, `You can still run, Fitz. You're going to have to give me a run for my money this year.'''
The Dolphins hope not; they would prefer Breida and Howard do the bulk of the ball-carrying. The duo will run behind a line that should be better after Miami added tackle Austin Jackson and guard Robert Hunt in the first two rounds of the draft.
Howard, a power runner, signed as a free agent in March. Breida, a speedy breakaway threat, was acquired in April from the San Francisco 49ers for a fifth-round draft pick.
They're expected to share playing time under new offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, who has a long history of success in the ground game.
''I know he has big plans for the running backs and how he is going to use us,'' Breida said.
Those plans likely include getting Breida into space. He averaged 5.0 yards per carry in three seasons with the 49ers, and last year 15 percent of his runs went for at least 10 yards, best in the league.
The native of Brandon, Florida, considers himself the NFL's fastest player.
''I got a Lamborghini not too long ago,'' he said. ''I like doing everything fast.''
Breida helped the 49ers reach the Super Bowl last season, but Howard has appeared in only one playoff game in his four NFL seasons.
''I definitely feel overlooked,'' Howard said. ''When I was racking up a lot of those yards I was on a losing team, so people don't really pay attention to that, and I don't really blame them.''
This season, unlike last year, the Dolphins' running backs might be worth watching.
Waiver Wire Adds: Week 4
The Los Angeles Chargers placed cornerback Chris Harris Jr. (foot) on Injured Reserve on Tuesday and promoted defensive back Jahleel Addae to the active roster in a corresponding move. Harris suffered a foot injury in the Week 3 loss to the Panthers that is expected to keep him out for at least a month and potentially up to six weeks. With All-Pro safety Derwin James (knee) already out for the year, it's another blow to a strong Chargers secondary. The good news is that Harris will be back this season. Against a strong Buccaneers passing attack this Sunday, the Chargers Defense could be a bit more vulnerable, especially against wide receiver Chris Godwin in the middle of the field.
Denver Broncos QB Drew Lock (shoulder) did not participate in practice Tuesday, Sept. 29. LB Jeremiah Attaochu (quad), CB Davontae Harris (hamstring) and RB Phillip Lindsay (foot) were limited. CB Bryce Callahan (wrist), DE Shelby Harris (neck, quad), S Kareem Jackson (back) and S Trey Marshall (wrist) practiced in full. The Broncos did not hold a practice Tuesday, so the report was an estimation.
The Philadelphia Eagles placed tight end Dallas Goedert (ankle) on Injured Reserve on Tuesday, meaning he'll be out at least three weeks. In a corresponding move, the team signed tight end Hakeem Butler to the active roster off the Panthers practice squad. Goedert has a small fracture in his left ankle and also an ankle sprain. He'll be back this year, though, and was a big part of the team's passing game before going down, so he's worth stashing if you have the extra roster space. A banged-up Philly receiving corps will now rely more heavily on Zach Ertz and DeSean Jackson, if he's healthy to go in Week 4. Greg Ward Jr. might be worth a flier off the waiver wire in deeper leagues.
Los Angeles Chargers CB Chris Harris Jr. (foot) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list with a foot injury Tuesday, Sept. 29. S Jahleel Addae was elevated from the practice squad to replace him on the roster.
Carolina Panthers S Natrell Jamerson was activated from the practice squad Reserve/COVID-19 list and returned to the practice squad Tuesday, Sept. 29.
Free-agent S Earl Thomas (Ravens) has already taken in offsite physical - likely in preparation to sign with the Houston Texans - but the Texans sent him home before his scheduled workout after the NFL asked all 32 teams to review their COVID-19 procedures for bringing in new players, according to sources.
Free-agent PKs Kai Forbath and Elliott Fry are expected to work out for the Atlanta Falcons on Tuesday, Sept. 29.
Philadelphia Eagles TE Dallas Goedert (ankle) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list with an ankle injury Tuesday, Sept. 29.
Fantasy Spin: Per NFL Network's Mike Garafolo, the "hope" is that Goedert can return at the end of his three-week IR stint, although it sounds like it is far from a guarantee. In the meantime, his absence should lock Zach Ertz into nearly 10 targets per game for an offense that may need Greg Ward to handle a similar workload given all the injuries at receiver. Owners should hold onto Goedert, as he has incredible upside at a position that lacks a lot of it for fantasy purposes.
Atlanta Falcons DE Austin Edwards was elevated from the practice squad Tuesday, Sept. 29. The Falcons also released CB D.J. White and LB Deone Bucannon from the practice squad.
Atlanta Falcons CB Darqueze Dennard (hamstring) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list with a hamstring injury Tuesday, Sept. 29.
Denver Broncos quarterback Brett Rypien is expected to get the start on Thursday against the Jets over Jeff Driskel, according to sources. Driskel looked terrible, albeit against a strong Buccaneers Defense, in the Week 3 loss, and Drew Lock (shoulder) will miss at least another week of action while he recovers from his injury. Rypien, 24, saw his first game action last Sunday with the game out of hand, going 8-for-9 for 53 yards and one interception. Even against a Jets Defense that has looked terrible, Rypien won't have much upside in an offense missing their top receiver for the rest of the season. Downgrade rookie wideout Jerry Jeudy and tight end Noah Fant for this one. If Rypien struggles early, don't be surprised if Denver goes back to Driskel.
Washington Football Team DE Matt Ioannidis (biceps) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Tuesday, Sept. 29. DE Nate Orchard was signed off the practice squad to replace him on the roster.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin (hamstring) may not be able to play in either of the team's next two games as he recovers from a hamstring injury he suffered in Week 3 versus the Denver Broncos.
Fantasy Spin: It appears he would have an outside chance of playing in Week 5, but the Buccaneers are scheduled to play the Chicago Bears two Thursdays from now. With Scott Miller (hip, groin) batting his own injury issues, Justin Watson could be thrust into action as Mike Evans' tag-team partner in Week 4 against the Los Angeles Chargers. If that ends up being the case, Watson should probably be considered a low-end flex option.
There is a chance that Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock (shoulder) could play in Week 5 against the Patriots, but the Broncos have more hope that he'll return in Week 6 in a more favorable matchup against the Dolphins. This is why Denver didn't place the 23-year-old on short-term Injured Reserve. The offense was just unable to get into any kind of flow in Week 3 against a tough Buccaneers Defense, and it also doesn't help that wide receiver Courtland Sutton (knee) is lost for the season. Lock's return should make rookie Jerry Jeudy and tight end Noah Fant more attractive in season-long and DFS leagues, but the second-year signal-caller will remain a midrange QB2 until further notice with the Broncos dealing with so many injuries. Until Lock returns, Jeff Driskel is a desperation QB2 streamer in superflex setups.
New York Jets head coach Adam Gase said that wide receiver Jamison Crowder (hamstring), rookie left tackle Mekhi Becton (shoulder) and offensive tackle George Fant (concussion) will all be limited in Tuesday's walkthrough practice. All three players are trending toward playing on Thursday night against the Broncos. It's good news for a Jets offense that has been pitiful without Crowder and running back Le'Veon Bell the last two games. If Crowder suits up this week, he should be quarterback Sam Darnold's top aerial target, which would put him on the flex radar in PPR leagues. Crowder could see even more targets if Breshad Perriman misses another contest with his injury.
Las Vegas Raiders rookie cornerback Damon Arnette (thumb) is visiting a thumb specialist on Tuesday after he injured it in the Week 3 loss to the Patriots, and he could be sidelined up to six weeks. In a worst-case scenario, Arnette would be placed on Injured Reserve. The first-round pick fractured the same thumb in training camp, so this is certainly something to watch moving forward. Either way, Arnette should be able to return this year for the Raiders secondary. The 24-year-old has been improving and has tallied 14 tackles (11 solo) and one pass defensed in the first three games of his NFL career.
Free-agent WR Jermaine Kearse (Lions) announced his retirement Tuesday, Sept. 29.
Philadelphia Eagles TE Dallas Goedert (ankle) has a small fracture in his ankle that will keep him out multiple weeks. He's not expected to require surgery.
Fantasy Spin: Goedert's absence will force the Eagles to rely more on Zach Ertz and Miles Sanders. Richard Rodgers could see a few looks, but it's not enough to move the needle in fantasy.
Philadelphia Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert (ankle) has a left ankle fracture and not a sprained ankle, according to an NFL source. Head coach Doug Pederson said that Goedert will be out for an extended period of time, but the source said the timeline for a return shouldn't be too lengthy. Everything will depend on how Goedert's recovery goes. It's bad news for those that roster Goedert, as he had 12 catches for 131 yards and a touchdown in the first two games before getting injured after just six snaps in the Week 3 tie with the Bengals. Zach Ertz should see his target share increase with Goedert out, especially since Philly's receiving corps is really banged up. If you have the room, Goedert is worth stashing in an Injured Reserve spot since he should return at some point in 2020.
Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes became the fastest player to 10,000 passing yards in NFL history during the Week 3 win against the Baltimore Ravens, doing so in just his 34th career game.