C. Spiller RB - BUF
B. Walsh K - MIN
R. Quinn DL - STL
K. Dansby LB - CLE
T. Ward DB - DEN
B. Cushing LB - HOU
B. Pierce RB - BAL
V. Miller LB - DEN
While Gronkowski (knee) told reporters that he was in line to play in Sunday's game against the Dolphins, coach Bill Belichick indicated Tuesday that the team has not made a final determination on that front, ESPN.com reports. "I'm glad that Rob is optimistic about his situation," Belichick said Tuesday. "We will go through a week of practice, look at everything and everybody and see where everybody is at and try to do what's best for the team."
Analysis: Gronkowski, who is bouncing back from Jan. 9 knee surgery, indicated Monday that he is ready to go, physically and mentally, in advance of Week 1, but Belichick isn't quite ready to publicly sign off on the notion of the tight end suiting up Sunday. "With all due respect to Rob that he feels the way he does, but in the end we will have to make the decision that we feel is best for the team," Belichick indicated Tuesday. Meanwhile, the Boston Globe suggests that there's probably a degree of gamesmanship in play here, given the Patriots' typical reluctance to shed detailed injury information about their players. In any case, we will monitor Gronkowski's practice participation in the coming days. Assuming no setbacks, an official questionable designation seems a likely outcome Friday. Fortunately for those inclined to roll with Gronkowski in Week 1, most teams - including the Patriots - kick off at 1:00 ET on Sunday.by Rotowire.com
Cooks is listed as the third-string receiver, behind both Marques Colston and Nick Toon, on the Saints' initial depth chart, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.
Analysis: There's no need to panic here, as the depth chart lists only two wide receiver positions, and Cooks is expected to operate primarily out of the slot in his rookie season when the Saints frequently line up in three-receiver sets. Cooks still has tremendous upside in the Saints' explosive offense, but there's reason for concern given the typically steep rookie learning curve and the veteran receivers populating the Saints' depth chart, including Colston, Kenny Stills (quad), Toon, and even Joseph Morgan.by Rotowire.com
- Bernard Pierce RB - BALSat, Aug 30 at 10:27am
Pierce (concussion) is practicing Saturday, the Baltimore Sun reports.
Analysis: Pierce suffered a mild concussion during last Saturday's preseason game against the Redskins, and all reports since have indicated that he'll likely play in the Ravens' opener. With Ray Rice suspended for the first two weeks of the season, Pierce figures to start and get most of the touches in Week 1 against the Bengals and Week 2 against the Steelers. Should he impress, Pierce may have a larger role than previously expected upon Rice's return to the offense.by Rotowire.com
- C.J. Spiller RB - BUFSat, Aug 30 at 7:08am
Spiller finished the preseason with 21 rushes for 73 yards and a 3.5 average. He also caught four passes for 26 yards.
Analysis: Most important, Spiller came through the preseason unscathed. The Bills have a pretty crowded backfield, but Spiller is by far the most athletic and has the potential that if he plays like he did two seasons ago - he wasn't healthy last season - the Bills will finally wise up and give him most of the carries between the 20's. The team has also said it plans to use just two carriers most of the time, meaning Spiller and Fred Jackson will carry the mail while Bryce Brown and Boobie Dixon will have limited roles. The one word of caution we have is that Spiller is simply not a touchdown guy unless he breaks a long one. He's got just 12 rushing touchdowns over his four NFL seasons, and all three of his aforementioned teammates might be more suitable for carries inside the 10.by Rotowire.com
Ertz should see a generous increase in snaps come September. "You knew when you watched him in college that he had the chance to be something special," Eagles tight ends coach Ted Williams said this week, per the Philadelphia Daily News. "He's one of the best route-runners I've ever seen. He takes a lot of pride in that.
Analysis: Ertz is a great sleeper target at the tight end position in the up-tempo Eagles offense. If you're waiting on the position in your draft, look for him late as he could provide major value this season as a big end zone target.by NFL.com