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NFL PLAYER NEWS
Texans' J.J. Watt reportedly recovering from cleanup knee procedure
Houston Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt underwent cleanup knee surgery after the Wild Card Round, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
It's notable because Watt missed most of the 2016 and 2017 seasons due to a tibia injury, but Rapoport says the procedure was "just some maintenance on an injury that bothered him during the season." Watt turns 30 in March.
Watt recorded 57 tackles (44 solo), 16 sacks, 7 forced fumbles, and 4 pass deflections in 16 games for the Texans this season.
Leonard Fournette 'in a really good place' with Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette is "in a really good place" following a meeting with the running back last week, head coach Doug Marrone said.
"We had a good meeting," Marrone said. "I’m not going to speak for Leonard, but when he left that meeting … I think he’s in a really good place. That’s encouraging and I’m excited about that." Fournette reportedly "cleared the air" with Jaguars Executive Vice President Tom Coughlin last week, quelling speculation that the two sides would part ways this offseason after injuries and poor decision-making plagued the back's 2018 campaign.
Fournette rushed 133 times for 439 yards and 5 touchdowns and caught 22 passes (26 targets) for 185 yards and 1 touchdown in eight games this season.
Kansas City's Eric Berry (heel) fully participates in Wednesday's practice
Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Eric Berry (heel) practiced fully on Wednesday.
Berry was unable to play in the Divisional Round after not practicing most of last week but a full participation today is a great sign of improvement. If the Chiefs defense can even get Berry back in a limited role, his presence in their secondary would be a huge boost.
The Kansas City pass defense finished the 2018 season with a 14th overall ranking according to numberFire's models.
Chiefs' Spencer Ware (hamstring) limited in Wednesday's practice
Kansas City Chiefs running back Spencer Ware (hamstring) was a limited participant in Wednesday's practice.
Ware was able to practice in limited fashion last week but remained inactive in the Divisional Round. Expect Ware to play behind Damien Williams if available this Sunday against the Patriots.
If active, our models project Ware to produce 15.1 rushing yards and 7.8 receiving yards on 4.3 touches.
Panthers suggest Cam Newton (shoulder) could sit out 2019
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton could potentially sit out the 2019 season if he undergoes a second shoulder operation, per comments from David Tepper.
"If you told me he took a year off and could recover and be fully recovered and everything else, and that's what it took, an extra year, why wouldn't you do that," Tepper replied when asked to compare Newton's situation to that of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, who sat out the 2017 season after undergoing a second shoulder surgery. Newton is currently going the rest-and-rehab route after being shut down for the final two games of the season.
Newton averaged 242.5 passing yards (7.2 yards per attempts) on a career-high 67.9 completion percentage in 14 games this season, with 24 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He added another 488 yards and 4 touchdowns on the ground.
Buccaneers could release Gerald McCoy this offseason
Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy has a "real chance" of being released this offseason, writes ESPN team reporter Jenna Laine.
The Bucs would save $13 million against the cap by releasing McCoy, who has three years remaining on his contract, but no guaranteed money. Turning 31 next month, McCoy has 6-plus sacks in six straight seasons.
McCoy recorded 24 tackles (14 solo) with 6 sacks in 2018.
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