Description: Saints backup running back Khiry Robinson figures to be a big contributor next season after the team sent Darren Sproles packing and is expected to do the same with veteran Pierre Thomas.
Insight: They will be taking a huge gamble on an unproven talent (Robinson) and a frequently injured former first-round selection (Mark Ingram), but money issues in New Orleans seem to be determining these moves.
Description: Former Vikings and Seahawks tight end John Carlson has reached a two-year, $4.65 million agreement with the Cardinals. SOURCE: Ian Rapoport, NFL Network
Insight: That didn't take long. Carlson was released by Minnesota less than 48 hours ago. Carlson has never caught more than 55 passes in any of his five seasons in the league. We doubt that changes in Arizona.
Description: The Vikings have agreed to re-sign quarterback Matt Cassel.
Insight: NFL Network's Ian Rapoport says it's a two-year, $10 million deal. Cassel's return will squash any rumors about a Mike Vick signing. Cassel's 60.2 completion percentage this season was his highest since 2008. That was the season Cassel started in place of Tom Brady (torn ACL).
Description: Multiple sources are reporting that running back Darren Sproles will be released by the Saints.
Insight: Sproles said his goodbyes on Twitter just a few minutes ago. It's a cost-cutting move for the Saints as Sproles is slated to earn $3.5 million next season. He's been a jack of all trades, catching 231 passes and rushing 188 times for 1,067 yards in his last three seasons. He's also returned 81 punts and 70 kickoffs over that same span.
Description: New Orleans has released wide receiver Lance Moore.
Insight: Moore produced nothing in the way of trade interest because of a sizable salary, so the team let him go. He was always a Drew Brees favorite in crunch-time, but the Saints have a number of young talented receivers on their roster. Kenny Stills, in particular, could be primed for a big season.
Description: The Jaguars have re-signed QB Chad Henne for two years and $8 million. SOURCE: Alex Marvez, Fox Sports 1
Insight: That's good news for him, but we're not so sure about the Jaguars' offense. Henne started 13 games last season, throwing for just 3,241 yards and 13 touchdowns. This move is significant because it means Jacksonville probably won't be taking a quarterback with the No. 3 pick in May's draft.
Description: ESPN's John Clayton suggested Miami as a possible suitor for free agent running back Darren McFadden.
Insight: Starter Lamar Miller was a relative disappointment for the Dolphins last season, rushing 177 times for 709 yards in 16 games. It might be hard for McFadden, who is also being pursued by the Bengals, to find more than a one-year deal given his recent injury history.
Description: The Bears have decided not to pursue Devin Hester in free agency. SOURCE: NFL Network
Insight: Hester never cut it as a receiver and it looks like he's going to be used exclusively on special teams wherever he ends up. Despite being arguably the greatest return man in NFL history, Hester isn't a fantasy option.
Description: Vikings running back Adrian Peterson tweeted that he wants to play with Michael Vick.
Insight: Vick was benched in favor of Nick Foles last season but he'd still be an improvement over Christian Ponder, the only Vikings quarterback currently under contract. Our own NFL editor John McMullen recently ranked Vick 28th on his list of the top-50 free agents.
Description: Champ Bailey's ten-year tenure with Denver ended on Thursday when the Broncos released him. SOURCE: USA Today
Insight: The move saves Denver $10 million that they can now spend on a top-tier free agent. Bailey has told teams he's willing to move to safety despite playing cornerback for the last 15 seasons. Regardless of how this plays out, Bailey should be a Hall of Famer when his career is over.
Description: We've heard conflicting reports about free agent nose tackle B.J. Raji. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Thursday that Raji was close to accepting a one-year deal with the Packers. Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel says Raji is still weighing his options.
Insight: The one-year offer from Green Bay is reportedly worth $4 million. Raji wasn't much of a factor last season, recording just 17 tackles in 16 games. He's played his entire career with the Packers.
Description: The Colts have signed ILB D'Qwell Jackson to a four-year deal.
Insight: Indianapolis was 26th against the run so any help would be good, though he may not be enough by himself to move them very far up the charts. He had 140 tackles last season, 1.5 sacks, one interception and one fumble recovery.
Description: Steelers tight end Heath Miller has agreed to a two-year extension. SOURCE: Tom Pelissero, USA Today
Insight: Miller also restructured his contract for next season by trimming his cap figure from $9.5 million to $6.1 million. He's one of Ben Roethlisberger's favorite targets and should have a decent fantasy campaign in 2014.
Description: Minnesota released tight end John Carlson on Tuesday.
Insight: Carlson saw some action while Kyle Rudolph was hurt last season but that only lasted until he got injured himself (concussion in Week 14). Carlson will be 30 in May and it's fair to wonder how much he has left in the tank.
Description: Cleveland has released troubled wideout Davone Bess.
Insight: Bess (42 catches, 362 yards, 2 TD in 2013) was just too much baggage for the rebounding Browns to handle. His arrest back in January was likely the last straw. It could be difficult for the 28-year-old to find work if teams think he's unstable.
Description: If DeMarcus Ware wants to stay in Dallas, he'll need to take a pay cut.
Insight: That's according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The Cowboys are having a hard time getting under the salary cap and may need to make some tough decisions. For what it's worth, Ware recorded 40 tackles and six sacks last season.
Description: According to the Denver Post, the Broncos believe it's time to take the training wheels off their young running backs, Montee Ball and C.J. Anderson.
Insight: Knowshon Moreno is a free agent and will likely be let go after picking up 1,500+ yards from scrimmage and 13 touchdowns in 2013. Ball ran for 4.7 yards per carry on 120 attempts and finished with 559 rushing yards and four touchdowns. He'll be a high-end RB2/low-end RB1 in 2014.
Description: The NFL has officially reinstated former Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner. SOURCE: Brandon Browner on Twitter
Insight: Browner was suspended in late December for violating the league's substance abuse policy. The Legion of Boom did fine without him in the playoffs and we wouldn't expect Browner to be back in Seattle next season.
Description: The Saints and Jimmy Graham are at odds over the team's decision to give him the franchise tag. SOURCE: Ian Rapoport, NFL Network
Insight: It sounds like we may have a holdout on our hands. As unhappy as Graham is about his current contract situation, he doesn't have much leverage. Graham will likely contend that he should be tagged as a wide receiver, though it's unlikely he'll win that argument.
Description: Falcons running back Jason Snelling announced his retirement on Tuesday. SOURCE: Jay Adams, AtlantaFalcons.com
Insight: Snelling was Atlanta's third-string back last season behind Steven Jackson and Jacquizz Rodgers. He'll finish his career with 168 catches, 1,249 receiving yards, 1,420 rushing yards and ten combined touchdowns in 96 appearances. He played his entire career with the Falcons.
Description: As expected, the Eagles have released veteran wide receiver Jason Avant.
Insight: There were just too many mouths to feed in Philadelphia's crowded offense. Avant (38 catches, 447 yards, 2 TD in 2013) will earn a roster spot somewhere this offseason, though we doubt he'll have any fantasy value.
Description: The Redskins slapped linebacker Brian Orakpo with the franchise tag on Monday. SOURCE: Washington Post
Insight: He was one of six players to receive the tag including fellow Pro Bowlers Jimmy Graham and Greg Hardy. Orakpo (60 tackles, ten sacks in 2013) is hoping to sign a contract extension with Washington sometime this offseason.
Description: Niners QB Colin Kaepernick was one of the best QBs in the NFL last season and now he wants to get paid like it. SOURCE: Boston Globe
Insight: Kaepernick (21 TD, 91.6 QB rating in 2013) says he wants Jay Cutler money, which would pay him roughly $18 million a year. He'll be a free agent in 2015, though if a deal isn't reached, San Francisco could always place the franchise tag on him.
Description: Dallas quarterback Tony Romo has restructured his contract. SOURCE: ESPN Dallas
Insight: Romo will still earn the same amount of money but instead of getting a $13.5 million base salary next season, $12.5 million will be attached to his signing bonus with just $1 million going against the cap. Obviously, this won't affect Romo's fantasy value in any way.
Description: Geoff Hobson of bengals.com writes that RB Giovani Bernard "no doubt" will near 300 touches in 2014.
Insight: Former Cincinnati offensive coordinator and committee proponent Jay Gruden is now the head coach in Washington, so Bernard should have a chance to control the backfield in his second season. He had 695 rushing yards on 170 carries, 514 receiving yards on 56 catches and eight total touchdowns as a rookie while splitting time with BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Gruden stubbornly stuck with the "Law Firm" even though he rushed for just 3.4 ypc.
Description: Contract talks have broken down between the Bills and safety Jairus Byrd. SOURCE: Associated Press
Insight: Buffalo has less than 24 hours to decide what to do with its franchise tag. If the tag is used on Byrd, the three-time Pro Bowler will earn $8.4 million in 2014. If not, he'll become a free agent. Byrd led the team with four interceptions in 2013 even after missing the first five games with plantar fasciitis.
Description: Philly.com's Jimmy Kempski hears the Eagles could be open to trading Pro Bowl wide receiver DeSean Jackson.
Insight: That does seem like a possibility now that Philadelphia has gone out of its way to re-sign Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin. Obviously, Nick Foles would take a major fantasy hit without his best receiving weapon. We'll have to see how this one plays out.
Description: The Patriots have released veteran strong safety Steve Gregory. SOURCE: Albert Breer, NFL Network
Insight: Gregory is actually coming off a decent season (fourth on the team in tackles) but the move frees up almost $3 million in cap room. The 31-year-old Syracuse product shouldn't have trouble finding a new team.
Description: New Orleans will use its franchise tag on tight end Jimmy Graham. SOURCE: Chris Mortensen, ESPN
Insight: The tag is non-exclusive which means that for the price of two first-round picks, another team could sign him. Of course, the Saints could always just match the offer. Tight ends who are franchised will earn $7.035 million in 2014.
Description: Jeremy Maclin will stay with the Eagles after agreeing to a one-year, $5.5 million deal. SOURCE: Adam Schefter, ESPN
Insight: Maclin missed all of 2013 after tearing his ACL, but he should be fine for the start of next season. With Riley Cooper also coming back, the 25-year-old is unlikely to match the 122 targets he saw in 2012.
Description: The Eagles signed Riley Cooper to a five-year, $25 million contract Thursday. The contract includes $10 million in guaranteed money. SOURCE: Adam Schefter, ESPN
Insight: Cooper had some off-the-field issues last offseason after being filmed using a racial slur at a concert, but the team decided to keep him and he ended up with 47 catches, 835 yards and eight touchdowns. He had 742 yards and seven scores on 39 catches in 11 games after Nick Foles made his first start. However, his fantasy value may take a hit if the team re-signs Jeremy Maclin, who missed all of last season with a torn ACL.
Description: According to Geoff Mosher of csnphilly.com, a league source says Riley Cooper will sign a four-year deal with the Eagles Thursday. Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported earlier today that the deal was close.
Insight: Cooper had some off-the-field issues last offseason after being filmed using a racial slur at a concert, but the team decided to keep him and he ended up with 47 catches, 835 yards and eight touchdowns. He had 742 yards and seven scores on 39 catches in 11 games after Nick Foles made his first start.
Description: The Eagles and starting left tackle Jason Peters have agreed to a four-year contract extension. SOURCE: Adam Schefter, ESPN
Insight: The new deal is worth $41.3 million. Peters would have been a free agent after the 2014 campaign but now he's under contract until 2018. The 32-year-old has been to six Pro Bowls in his last seven seasons.
Description: The Falcons are expected to release free safety Thomas DeCoud before his salary increases from $2.3 million to $4.2 million five days after the new league year. SOURCE: Rand Getlin, Yahoo Sports
Insight: The next league year begins on March 11th, which means DeCoud will be unemployed in about two weeks. The 65 tackles DeCoud recorded this past season were his fewest since his rookie year in 2008. Despite this regression, he shouldn't have trouble finding a new team in free agency.
Description: According to Brandon Lee of SB Nation, the Eagles are likely to release wide receiver Jason Avant before his $1 million roster bonus kicks in on March 15th.
Insight: Even with Jeremy Maclin sidelined, all Avant could muster last season was 38 catches for 447 receiving yards. At age 30, Avant has already peaked. Cutting him loose would free up almost $4 million in cap space.
Description: Former Steelers and Cardinals halfback Rashard Mendenhall is considering retirement.
Insight: Mendenhall hinted at calling it quits in a blog post he wrote for the Huffington Post. This would be a disappointing end to what was once a promising career. The first-round pick from Illinois logged back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in 2009 and 2010 but hasn't come close to that level of production in his last three seasons (687 yards, eight TD in 2013).
Description: The 49ers are close to re-signing wide receiver Anquan Boldin. SOURCE: Adam Schefter, ESPN
Insight: Boldin was sensational last season, hauling in a team-high 85 catches for 1,179 yards. Fantasy owners shouldn't be worried about Boldin's age (33) but it's worth noting that most of Boldin's numbers in 2013 came with Michael Crabtree (torn Achilles) out of the lineup. Crabtree being back at 100 percent could spell trouble for Boldin in 2014.
Description: The Seahawks officially cut ties with wide receiver Sidney Rice on Friday. SOURCE: Adam Schefter, ESPN
Insight: The move was expected as it frees up $7.3 million in cap money for the Super Bowl champs. Rice scores a lot of touchdowns but his lack of yardage makes him a boom or bust fantasy player. It doesn't help that he's also recovering from a torn ACL. Rice is nothing more than a late round flyer at this point.
Description: Houston running back Arian Foster (season-ending back surgery on November 15th) is progressing on schedule, according to GM Rick Smith.
Insight: Foster should be ready for training camp, but his inability to stay healthy has to concern fantasy owners and the Texans. Ben Tate is likely to leave in free agency so expect Houston to draft a running back not long after selecting a quarterback of the future.
Description: Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson (groin surgery) is on track to be ready for April OTAs.
Insight: Peterson followed up his MVP 2012 campaign with a still respectable though not up to expectation 1,266 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns in 2013. If the Vikings can find a passing offense to balance it out, he should be good for a few more years.
Description: Rams coach Jeff Fisher said starting QB Sam Bradford will begin throwing in late May and early June.
Insight: Hopefully, he sticks to that schedule and is available come the start of summer camp. Bradford was putting up solid stats until his season-ending injury. He was averaing 241 ypg with 14 TD passes and just four interceptions.
Description: Seahawks halfback Marshawn Lynch will plead guilty to reckless driving. The charge stems from a 2012 DUI arrest. SOURCE: Terry Blount, ESPN
Insight: His punishment will be a fine and two years probation. Lynch's lawyer believes he'll be able to avoid suspension by the NFL. Assuming that's the case, Lynch (1,257 rushing yards, 12 TD in 2013) should be a top-ten selection in all fantasy leagues this summer.
Description: Video has surfaced of Ravens running back Ray Rice dragging his fiancee, who appears to be unconscious, out of an elevator at an Atlantic City casino. SOURCE: TMZ
Insight: Rice, who is now facing domestic violence charges, has been accused of hitting his fiancee and knocking her unconscious. The three-time Pro Bowler is due in court next Tuesday. It could be a while before this ugly situation is resolved.
Description: Tight end Fred Davis has been suspended indefinitely without pay for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy, the Redskins confirmed.
Insight: The suspension was reported as six games back in January, but it's actually much worse. Davis is about to become a free agent and will probably have trouble finding work. This is his second drug-related suspension.
Description: Free agent wideout Danario Alexander is dealing with major complications from his knee surgery, according to foxsports.com.
Insight: Alexander had surgery on his torn right ACL last August and had to undergo a second surgery on the ligament in January. Since that procedure, Alexander has undergone "multiple" surgeries because of infection. The 25-year-old already had undergone five surgeries on his left knee dating back to before he entered the NFL when he tore his right ACL during the 2013 preseason. The receiver showed promise with 37 catches, 658 yards and seven touchdowns in the final nine games of 2012 for the Chargers but his career is in jeopardy.
Description: Receiver Eric Decker said money won't be the only factor when it comes to his free agency decision, according to espn.com. "It's not all about the money for me. It's about going to work every day and having fun and enjoying my job," Decker said on SiriusXM NFL Radio. "If we can get on the same page, I will welcome a call from the Broncos, but I need to do what is best for my family," he said.
Insight: Decker has put together two straight seasons with 85+ catches, 1,000+ yards and 10+ touchdowns with the Denver Broncos. Signing with another team would mean no longer having to share targets with Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker and Julius Thomas, but Denver remains one of the best spots for his fantasy value.
Description: Rams coach Jeff Fisher reiterated on ESPN's "Mike and Mike" Tuesday that Sam Bradford will be the team's starting quarterback in 2014.
Insight: "Sam's doing great with the rehab," Fisher said. "He's really excited. He took on a leadership role last year and he's maintained that and he's our quarterback, and we've said that." Bradfordm, the 2010 No. 1 overall pick, had 1,687 yards, 14 touchdowns and four interceptions in the first seven games last season before tearing his ACL. He's entering a make-or-break season in 2014.
Description: The Redskins and cornerback DeAngelo Hall have agreed to a four-year extension. SOURCE: Ian Rapoport, NFL Network
Insight: The deal is worth $17 million. It's clear Hall isn't the same player he was when he earned consecutive Pro Bowl nods in 2005-06. The Redskins will probably regret this contract in a few years.
Description: Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez is joining The NFL Today on CBS in 2014.
Insight: It looks like it's official this time - Gonzo's retirement talk is for real. The personable Gonzalez should be an excellent addition to the NFL Today team, but no one on the current Atlanta roster can do what he did at tight end. He'll finish his 17-year career with 1,325 receptions for 15,127 yards and 111 TDs.
Description: According to the Baltimore Sun, Ravens running back Ray Rice was arrested over the weekend after an alleged physical altercation with a woman at a casino in Atlantic City.
Insight: Rice's attorney said that Rice was charged and released after an alleged "very minor physical altercation." The Ravens RB is coming off a miserable season in which he played through a hip injury and rushed for just 660 yards and four TDs in 15 games. He established career lows with 3.1 yards per carry and 5.5 yards per catch.
Description: Impending free agent Jermichael Finley should be fully recovered from spinal fusion surgery in about 4-to-8 weeks. SOURCE: Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
Insight: Finley suffered a very serious spine injury last season and some wondered if he would ever play again. Assuming Finley is able to get back to full health, he'll be a decent fantasy option for owners who miss out on Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski or Vernon Davis.
Description: The Lions have released wide receiver Nate Burleson. SOURCE: Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press
Insight: Burleson reeled in 39 catches for 461 yards last season. His best year came in 2004 when he went over 1,000 yards for the Vikings while scoring nine touchdowns. Burleson shouldn't be a free agent for long but we'll have to see where he ends up before recommending him as a fantasy option.
Description: Brandon Weeden wants the Browns to trade him. SOURCE: Chris Wesseling, NFL.com
Insight: Weeden lost his starting job multiple times last season and is unlikely to get it back in 2014. Brian Hoyer is the team's best option under center though Cleveland might still draft a quarterback with the fourth pick. Either way, it's going to be tough to drum up interest from other teams after Weeden's dismal 2013 campaign (70.3 QB rating, 52.8 completion percentage).
Description: Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald doesn't think Brandon Spikes will be back with the Patriots in 2014.
Insight: Spikes was put on injured reserve late in the season after showing up late to a practice. Usually when you find yourself in Bill Belichick's doghouse, it's pretty hard to get out. Even if Spikes hadn't fallen out of Belichick's good graces, his new contract probably wouldn't have been in New England's price range. At age 26, the former University of Florida linebacker still has plenty of good football left to be played.
Description: New England won't use its franchise tag on impending free agent Aqib Talib according to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald.
Insight: Howe says the Patriots are prepared to offer Talib three years and $21 million, which is pretty fair given that Talib's 2013 salary was only $4.86 million. Talib, a second-team All-Pro selection, missed most of New England's AFC Championship loss to Denver after taking a hit from former Patriot Wes Welker in the first half.
Description: Impending free agent Golden Tate says he would be willing to take a homecount discount to stay with Seattle. SOURCE: ESPN
Insight: The Seahawks are the NFL's youngest team and could be on the cusp of a dynasty. Tate would love to win another title and returning to Seattle would certainly give him the best chance to do that. Tate reached a new career-high in receiving yards this season (898) but it's worth mentioning that most of those yards came while Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin were out with injuries.
Description: Despite new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's affinity for Kirk Cousins, it seems unlikely that Cleveland would pursue a trade for the Redskins QB. SOURCE: Cleveland Plain Dealer
Insight: The feeling within the organization is that Brian Hoyer gives the team the best chance to win. Assuming Robert Griffin III returns to his pre-injury self in 2014, Cousins shouldn't be owned in any fantasy leagues.
Description: Tight end Tony Gonzalez is once again wavering on his retirement. SOURCE: NBC's Pro Football Talk
Insight: Gonzalez acknowledged that he'd be interested in coming back for a contender during the stretch run next season. Tony G's last season in Atlanta certainly didn't go as planned as the Falcons slumped to 4-12 a year after going 13-3. The future Hall of Famer has only won one playoff game in his career.
Description: Cowboys QB Tony Romo should be ready for the next level in his rehab from surgery to relieve the pressure of a herniated disk in the next week or two.
Insight: He's on to low-impact work after going through basic core exercises since the Dec 27 surgery. Romo is expected to be ready for training camp. He put up solid numbers last season with 3,828 passing yards, 31 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions in 15 games.
Description: Quarterback Matt Cassel is opting for free agency. SOURCE: ESPN 1500 Twin Cities
Insight: He has until Friday to opt out of his contract with Minnesota and apparently that's exactly what Cassel plans on doing. Cassel probably would have started for the Vikings next season had he decided to stay. Of course, that's still an option for Cassel if the two sides are willing to work something out. The Browns, Texans and Jaguars are all expected to have openings at quarterback though all three will have a chance to address that issue on draft day if they choose to.
Description: Injured wide receiver Sidney Rice has probably played his last game with Seattle. SOURCE: Ian Rapoport, NFL.com
Insight: The Seahawks just won the title without Rice, so clearly he wasn't that important to the team's success. He'll try to catch on elsewhere, though that might be difficult while he's recovering from a torn ACL. Rice hasn't produced a 1,000-yard receiving season since 2009.
Description: Seahawks QB Russell Wilson is not expected to report to spring training later this month. Wilson was picked by the Rangers in December's Rule 5 draft. SOURCE: Jon Moroso, Fox Sports
Insight: Wilson, a standout second baseman in college, spent two seasons in the minor leagues with Colorado earlier in his career. After winning a Super Bowl with Seattle in just his second season, it looks like he made the right choice by sticking with football.
Description: Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas set an NFL record with his 13 catches Sunday in Super Bowl XLVIII. Unfortunately, he also separated his shoulder. SOURCE: Vic Lombardi, CBS Denver
Insight: Thomas never missed a snap so fantasy owners have no need to panic. The 26-year-old is coming off a brilliant season and might actually have an even greater impact in 2014 if Denver is unable to retain Eric Decker in free agency.
Description: Dolphins left guard Richie Incognito's suspension expired on Tuesday. SOURCE: Armando Salguero, Miami Herald
Insight: Incognito is now free to sign with any team of his choosing when he becomes a free agent next month. Following the Jonathan Martin bullying scandal, it's unlikely the former Pro-Bowler will be in high demand.
Description: Larry Fitzgerald has given the Cardinals some financial flexibility by agreeing to a restructured deal.
Insight: Fitzgerald tweeted this information on Tuesday and the news was confirmed by the Cardinals' official website. We don't know how much cap relief Fitzgerald's new deal will provide though the eight-time Pro Bowler was originally scheduled to earn $12.75 million in 2014.
Description: With new Redskins head coach Jay Gruden all in on Robert Griffin III, backup quarterback Kirk Cousins has acknowledged that he's open to being traded. SOURCE: Adam Schefter, ESPN
Insight: Cousins could solve Cleveland's quarterback problem, though the Browns will probably have a chance to take a quarterback in the draft with the No. 4 overall pick. Cousins owns a mediocre 68.8 quarterback rating in eight career games. Even if he lands a starting job, Cousins will only be worth owning in two quarterback formats.
Description: ESPN's Ben Goessling wouldn't be surprised if the Vikings at least "kicked the tires" on Patriots backup quarterback Ryan Mallett.
Insight: Mallett has only completed one pass in his NFL career but that's because he's had a Hall of Famer playing in front of him in Tom Brady. Minnesota's QB situation is dicey at best with Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder under center and Mallett might be able to provide the Vikings with some much-needed stability. Mallett will be a free agent after next season so the Patriots would be wise to trade him sooner rather than later.
Description: ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss expects the Texans to make a run at impending free agent wide receiver Julian Edelman.
Insight: Edelman raised his free agent stock by having a career year in 2013 (105 receptions, 1,056 yards, six TDs). The notoriously stingy Patriots aren't likely to keep up with Edelman's increasing contract demands so Houston might be the best fit for him. Edelman's presence would be good news for the likely No. 1 overall pick, quarterback Johnny Manziel from Texas A&M.
Description: Jets defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson was honored as the 2013 Defensive Rookie of the Year on Saturday.
Insight: He barely beat out Bills linebacker Kiko Alonso for the award. Richardson clawed his way to 77 tackles and 3.5 sacks this season while also adding two touchdowns on four rushing attempts as a part-time fullback. The 6-foot-3, 294-pounder was drafted 13th overall out of Mizzou last April.
Description: And the award for NFL's Comeback Player of the Year goes to ... none other than Chargers QB Philip Rivers.
Insight: Peyton Manning won Comeback Player of the Year honors in 2012. He's since graduated to the MVP award. While we don't predict that will happen with Rivers, he did have a remarkable year, throwing for 32 TD and 4,478 passing yards en route to a 105.5 quarterback rating. He figures to be a top-ten quarterback heading into next year's fantasy draft.
Description: Packers running back Eddie Lacy has been named the NFL's 2013 Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Insight: Unlike some years, this was a pretty easy choice. Lacy led all rookies in rushing yards (1,178) and touchdowns (11) and finished the year as a top-five fantasy running back. San Diego receiver Keenan Allen garnered 12 of the 50 first place votes to come in second. Lacy is the first rookie since Anquan Boldin in 2003 to win Rookie of the Year after not being drafted in the first round. Boldin and Lacy were both second-round picks.
Description: Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly was named the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year on Saturday.
Insight: Kuechly followed up his Rookie of the Year in 2012 with an equally sensational sophomore campaign in 2013. In 16 games, the Boston College alum generated 156 tackles, two sacks and four interceptions. With Kuechly anchoring the defense, Carolina won its division for the first time since 2008. Indianapolis linebacker Robert Mathis was probably just as deserving of this award but it's tough to argue with the voters choosing Kuechly.
Description: Broncos QB Peyton Manning was named NFL MVP for the fifth time on Saturday.
Insight: He's won this award more times than any player in NFL history. Manning took 49 of the 50 first place votes with one vote going to Tom Brady. Manning last one the MVP award in 2009 back when he was with Indianapolis. The 37-year-old set several NFL records this season including most yards (5,477) and most touchdown passes (55) in a single season.
Description: Seattle receiver Doug Baldwin has been dealing with a hip injury, but practiced Wednesday and should be ready for the Super Bowl.
Insight: Baldwin is a sure-handed receiver, though with Percy Harvin returning he goes back to being third guy behind Harvin and Golden Tate. he caught six balls for 106 yards against San Francisco and also returned three kickoffs for an average of 36.3 yards.
Description: Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch sat out Wednesday's practice but it looks like he's just getting some extra rest.
Insight: Lynch has run for 249 yards and three touchdowns in his two playoff games this season. He's still a fantasy "beast" and the Super Bowl won't be any different. The Seahawks will want to keep the ball out of Peyton Manning's hands and the best way to do that is with Lynch rushing at least 25 times.
Description: Broncos kicker Matt Prater was a full participant in Wednesday's practice.
Insight: Prater was ill for most of last week, but appears to be ready to go. He was 25-for-26 on field goal attempts, including 6-for-7 from 50-yards or more. He also forced touchbacks on 60 percent of his kickoffs.
Description: Broncos starting running back Knowshon Moreno practiced in full on Wednesday.
Insight: Moreno injured his ribs in the AFC Championship game, but was always expected to play in the Super Bowl. This is just confirmation that Moreno will be ready. Moreno was one of the biggest surprises this season, buried on the depth chart in preseason, but emerging as the best guy in the backfield with 1,038 yards rushing, 548 yards receiving and 13 touchdowns.
Description: According to NFL.com's Kevin Patra, the Broncos aren't likely to re-sign impending free agent Knowshon Moreno.
Insight: Moreno is going to get a huge payday this offseason but it probably won't come from Denver. Obviously this is great news for Montee Ball, who figures to be the workhorse when Moreno inevitably signs elsewhere.
Description: Denver cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie said he would accept a long-term contract if he gets offered one this offseason. Yesterday, Rodgers-Cromartie said that he would consider retiring if Denver wins the Super Bowl on Sunday. SOURCE: Gregg Rosenthal, NFL.com
Insight: It's not a surprise as we figured DRC would come to his senses sooner or later. Rodgers-Cromartie is in the prime of his career and should earn millions as a free agent this offseason. The Broncos would be crazy not to re-sign him.
Description: The Patriots were reportedly interested in trading for Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald in 2013. SOURCE: Tom Curran, Comcast Sportsnet New England
Insight: It's unknown if New England is considering another run at Fitz though he would fill a huge need for the Pats at wide receiver. Fitzgerald would make for an excellent complement to Julian Edelman on the outside. A trio of Fitzgerald, Edelman and Rob Gronkowski could be deadly. We'll see if the Patriots make a play for Fitzgerald or if they stand pat with their current group of receivers featuring Edelman, Aaron Dobson, Kenbrell Thompkins, Austin Collie and Danny Amendola.
Description: Regardless of Super Bowl XLVIII's outcome, Peyton Manning intends to play at least one more season for the Broncos. SOURCE: Denver Post
Insight: Many have speculated that Super Bowl XLVIII could be Manning's last game but Peyton says that won't be the case. Manning had arguably the greatest season of his career in 2013 and many of his receivers are still in their prime. Plus, Manning would be walking away from $53 million if he decided to throw in the towel. Fantasy owners holding Peyton in keeper leagues can feel safe about their investment.
Description: Broncos cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, 27, is already thinking about retirement. SOURCE: Ian Rapoport, NFL Network
Insight: The impending free agent says he's given the idea some serious thought and may hang up his cleats if Denver wins the Super Bowl this Sunday. It's very rare to see a player of this caliber retire at such an early age. If Rodgers-Cromartie does call it quits he'll be leaving an awful lot of money on the table. For what it's worth, Rodgers-Cromartie has recorded 38 tackles and three interceptions this season (playoffs included).
Description: Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports is reporting that Titans RB Chris Johnson played the final 14 weeks of the 2013 season with a torn meniscus.
Insight: Johnson will have surgery on Tuesday. CJ2K managed 1,077 yards rushing, 345 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns in 16 games this season. He's only missed one game in six seasons in the league. Tennessee is expected to release him instead of paying him the $8 million he's owed for next season.
Description: Former Dallas defensive tackle Josh Brent has been sentenced to 180 days in jail and 10 years probation for intoxication manslaughter. SOURCE: Calvin Watkins, ESPN Dallas
Insight: Brent killed his teammate Jerry Brown last year in a car accident. Toxicology reports showed that Brent was well over the legal drinking limit when the crash took place. Brent retired last offseason after three seasons in the NFL. Considering the 20-year maximum sentence he was facing, it seems like Brent got off pretty easy.
Description: Seahawks All-Pro corner Richard Sherman was fined $7,875 for taunting 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick at the end of last week's NFC Championship Game. SOURCE: ESPN
Insight: Sherman makes $550,000 a year so that's pretty much a slap on the wrist. The Stanford alum led the league with eight interceptions during the regular season. He'll be asked to cover Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas next week in Super Bowl XLVIII.
Description: New Orleans tight end Jimmy Graham does not want the Saints to give him the franchise tag when he becomes a free agent this offseason. SOURCE: ESPN
Insight: Graham sees the writing on the wall and he doesn't like it. The All-Pro tight end is almost guaranteed to get the tag, which will pay him $6 million next season. Though that's way more than he's earning now ($1.323 million), Graham would certainly get more than $6 million as a free agent. Graham and his agent will argue that he's actually a wide receiver because it comes with a $10.5 million tag, but Jared Cook made that same argument last season and didn't get very far.
Description: Tight end Fred Davis has been suspended six games for violating the league's substance abuse policy. SOURCE: Jason La Canfora, CBS Sports
Insight: It's Davis' second drug-related suspension. This news won't help him find a job in free agency. With Jordan Reed emerging as Washington's top tight end, a reunion with the Redskins seems unlikely.
Description: Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno suffered a rib injury in the fourth quarter of Sunday's AFC Championship Game, but has practiced Wednesday and Thursday this week, so figures to be ready for next Sunday's game.
Insight: Moreno obviously didn't need the full two weeks to get healthy for Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium. Plan to start him as always.
Description: According to Patriots coach Bill Belichick, Aqib Talib's knee injury isn't serious. SOURCE: ESPN Boston
Insight: Talib, who missed the vast majority of last week's loss to Denver after taking a brutal hit from Wes Welker, probably won't need surgery. He'll be replaced in the Pro Bowl by Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie. Talib will be a free agent after the season but there's a strong chance New England will use its franchise tag on the stud corner if the two sides can't work out a long-term agreement.
Description: Seattle wideout Percy Harvin was back at practice on Wednesday. SOURCE: Curtis Crabtree, Associated Press
Insight: He missed last week's win over San Francisco with a concussion. The talented 25-year-old has yet to play all four quarters in a game this season. Despite his injury, Harvin was ranked as the sixth-best player in Super Bowl XLVIII in a list made by ESPN's Mike Sando and Matt Williamson earlier this week.
Description: An MRI revealed that San Francisco linebacker Navorro Bowman suffered a torn left ACL and MCL during the NFC Championship Game Sunday. SOURCE: espn.com
Insight: Bowman will have surgery to repair the ACL, but the MCL is expected to heal on its own. A source told Adam Schefter that Bowman is expected to return for the start of the 2014 season, but that seems overly optimistic. One of the top linebackers in football, Bowman has recorded at least 140 tackles in three straight seasons and had five sacks, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, two interceptions and one touchdown in 2013 while making the NFL All-Pro first team.
Description: Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey (foot) came up big just when the team needed him, playing almost every snap on defense.
Insight: Facing Tom Brady and without starter Chris Harris could have been a problem, but Bailey and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie played well in holding the Pats passing game in check. Bailey appears to have come out of the game healthy and will have two weeks to rest up for his first Super Bowl.
Description: Seahawks receiver Percy Harvin, who suffered a concussion Saturday against the Saints, should be available in two weeks for the Super Bowl.
Insight: Harvin played just one game during the regular season due to hip surgery and suffered a concussion in his return to action in the divisional round against the Saints. He could be the "wild card" that helps the Seahawks' offense keep up with Peyton Manning and Company.
Description: Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno suffered a rib injury in the fourth quarter of Sunday's AFC Championship Game, but X-rays were negative.
Insight: Moreno will have two weeks to get healthy for Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium and should be ready to go. If not, Montee Ball would carry most of the workload, but he's not the receiver Moreno is.
Description: Broncos nickle cornerback Tony Carter suffered a concussion in the AFC Campionship game against New England, but is expected to be ready for the Super Bowl, according to a FOX Sports report.
Insight: The Broncos defense has been missing a number of pieces (Von Miller, Chris Harris, Kevin Vickerson, Derek Wolfe), but is getting the job done. Having Carter available will certainly help to stop Percy Harvin, Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin.
Description: Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno suffered a chest injury in the fourth quarter during Sunday's AFC Championship Game.
Insight: Moreno has two weeks to get healthy for Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium. He had 14 carries for 59 yards and two catches for 22 yards Sunday against the Patriots, while Montee Ball had 56 total yards on 15 touches.
Description: Patriots All-Pro cornerback Aqib Talib has gone to the locker room with what appears to be a rib injury.
Insight: Talib got tangled up with Broncos receiver Wes Welker and limped to the sidelines. Talib got injured in the AFC Championship game last year as well. Devin McCourty has come on to take his place with Duron Harmon filling in for McCourty at free safety.
Description: Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard has returned to the game after leaving briefly in the first quarter.
Insight: Logan Ryan took over for a few snaps while Dennard had his shoulder looked at on the sidelines. It looks like he's okay to continue. Dennard had one tackle against Denver when he played them earlier this season.
Description: New England punter Ryan Allen is good to go for Sunday's AFC Championship game in Denver. SOURCE: Kevin Patra, NFL.com
Insight: Allen left last week's game with a shoulder injury. With Allen back, Tom Brady won't have to worry about holding the football for Stephen Gostkowski on field goal and extra point attempts. Gostkowski handled the punting duties last week with Allen sidelined.
Description: Patriots receiver Kenbrell Thompkins won't suit up Sunday against the Broncos. He's out with a concussion.
Insight: Thompkins suffered the injury last Saturday in a win over Indianapolis. Aaron Dobson is back after missing time with a foot injury so the Patriots are essentially swapping one rookie wideout for the other.
Description: Minnesota halfback Adrian Peterson may require groin surgery later this offseason. SOURCE: Tom Pelissero, USA Today
Insight: Peterson missed two of the team's last three games though neither absence was related to a groin injury. Even if Peterson does undergo surgery, he should be back in plenty of time for the start of the 2014 regular season.
Description: Seahawks receiver Percy Harvin, who suffered a concussion Saturday against the Saints, has been ruled out for the NFC Championship Game, according to ESPN.
Insight: Harvin played just one game during the regular season due to hip surgery and suffered a concussion in his return to action in the divisional round against the Saints. Seattle will have to rely on Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse Sunday against the 49ers.
Description: Nothing new to report - Seahawks receiver Percy Harvin, who suffered a concussion Saturday against the Saints, still hasn't been cleared for the NFC Championship Game.
Insight: Harvin played just one game during the regular season due to hip surgery and suffered a concussion in his return to action in the divisional round against the Saints. Seattle may have to rely on Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse Sunday against the 49ers.
Description: Seattle linebacker K.J. Wright (foot surgery) returned to the practice field on Wednesday and was a full participant in Thursday's session.
Insight: He hasn't played since Dec. 8, but upgrade him to probable for Sunday's NFC Championship against San Francisco. He was the everyday starter before the injury, but might share time with Malcolm Smith in this one.
Description: Rams quarterback Sam Bradford is expected to be ready for training camp next summer, according to a St. Louis Post-Dispatch report.
Insight: The 2013 season was a slight step back for Bradford who appeared to be blossoming into a viable fantasy QB option in 2012 (3,702 yards, 21 TD, 13 INT). He played well in seven games, but for the second time in four years missed a big portion of the season due to injury. The jury is still out on the 2010 No. 1 overall selection.
Description: Seahawks receiver Percy Harvin, who suffered a concussion Saturday against the Saints, still hasn't been cleared for the NFC Championship Game.
Insight: Harvin played just one game during the regular season due to hip surgery and suffered a concussion in his return to action in the divisional round against the Saints. Seattle may have to rely on Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse Sunday against the 49ers.
Description: Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is listed on the injury report due to his ongoing sore ankle, but fantasy owners should have no fear that he'll miss this matchup with Tom Brady and the Pats.
Insight: Manning set records for passing yards and passing touchdowns this season , but none of that will matter if he doesn't beat his rival and make it back to another Super Bowl.
Description: Seahawks receiver Percy Harvin, who suffered a concussion Saturday against the Saints, missed Wednesday's practice.
Insight: Harvin played just one game during the regular season due to hip surgery, but is a dynamic talent when healthy. At this point you can't count on Harvin to be ready. Use Golden Tate as the Seahawks top receiver.
Description: San Francisco CB Carlos Rogers (hamstring) sat out Sunday's NFC Divisional Playoff against Carolina, but returned to limited practice on Wednesday and is questionable for Sunday versus Seattle.
Insight: We're still not sure whether Rogers will be ready to be an every down cornerback so we will continue to monitor his progress. The 49ers haven't missed a beat on defense despite a number of injuries.
Description: San Francisco running back Frank Gore is dealing with a sore knee, but is probable for Sunday's NFC Championship against Seattle.
Insight: Gore had a tough day against Carolina, but still managed 92 yards from scrimmage. He faces another tough run defense Sunday as Seattle yielded the fewest total yards this season (4,378) and seventh fewest rushing yards (1,626).
Description: Michael Crabtree's wrist has landed him on the injury report, though he is expected to be ready for Sunday's NFC Championship against Seattle, according to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee.
Insight: Crabtree struggled against Carolina after a big day versus the Packers in the Wild Card round. He's Colin Kaepernick's favorite target.
Description: New England receiver Kenbrell Thompkins has officially been diagnosed with a concussion. SOURCE: Zuri Berry, Boston Globe
Insight: Thompkins made it through a limited practice session on Wednesday, which gives him some hope for playing in Sunday's AFC Championship game against the Broncos. He's caught just nine passes since Week 7.
Description: Jake Locker's future in Tennessee looks more uncertain than ever now that Ken Whisenhunt is the head coach. SOURCE: Jim Wyatt, The Tennessean
Insight: In his introductory press conference, Whisenhunt said he hasn't seen much of Locker at the pro level. He also said the team hasn't ruled out drafting a quarterback with the No. 11 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. Locker has a team option for the 2015 season but it's unknown if the Titans are interested in keeping him beyond that. Stay tuned.
Description: Seahawks receiver Percy Harvin suffered a concussion Saturday against the Saints and is questionable for the NFC Championship against San Francisco.
Insight: Harvin exited the game in the first quarter, returned, then came down hard in the end zone late in the first half and was done for the day. Harvin played just one game during the regular season due to hip surgery, but is a dynamic talent when healthy.
Description: Punter Ryan Allen left Saturday's game due to a sore shoulder after getting hit on a bad snap which sailed over his head.
Insight: Place kicker Stephen Gostkowski came in and did a great job, averaging 41.8 yards, on five punts. We should know more later in the week but we can't imagine the Pats want Gostkowski to handle both kicking duties in Denver.
Description: Patriots wideout Kenbrell Thompkins left Saturday's game in the third quarter due to a head injury and did not return.
Insight: He had missed the previous three games with a hip injury. Thompkins is questionable for the AFC Championship against Denver. With Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola and Shane Vereen all healthy, Thompkins only sees a rare target or three and his fantasy value is minimal.
Description: Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning will have his neck evaluated after the season. SOURCE: Chris Mortensen, ESPN
Insight: If everything checks out, he should be able to continue his career as planned. But if tests reveal any more damage to his neck, it could force the future Hall of Famer into early retirement. For now, Manning's main focus is Denver's next opponent, the New England Patriots, who beat the Broncos in Week 12.
Description: Keenan Allen came on strong in the second half Sunday against the Broncos. He finished with six catches for 142 yards and two touchdowns after half time.
Insight: That came after being held without a catch for the game's first two quarters. Both of Allen's touchdown receptions came in the fourth quarter. The Chargers scored all 17 of their points during that same period. Allen, a third-round pick out of Cal-Berkeley in 2013, is on the cusp of fantasy superstardom. Make sure to lock him up if you own him in a keeper or dynasty league.
Description: Denver tight end Julius Thomas finished with a team-high 76 receiving yards Sunday in a win against San Diego.
Insight: Thomas lost a fumble but made up for it by coming down with a pair of clutch third down catches to seal the victory. The Broncos will host New England next Sunday in the AFC Championship. The 25-year-old Thomas has never played against the Patriots.
Description: Update: Chargers running back Ryan Mathews returned to the game moments ago.
Insight: It looks like he's okay. Mathews (ankle) is operating at about 50 percent right now so don't be surprised if he leaves the game for an extended period of time like he did earlier. So far, the 26-year-old has rushed four times for 25 yards.
Description: San Diego halfback Ryan Mathews had two carries on the team's first drive of the game Sunday against the Broncos but he hasn't played since.
Insight: Mathews didn't practice all week because of an ankle injury and he's clearly nowhere close to 100 percent. We'd be surprised if he returns to this game. Danny Woodhead and Ronnie Brown will carry the load with Mathews hobbled.
Description: Denver receiver Wes Welker is wearing a specialized helmet in today's game against San Diego. Welker has suffered two concussions this season and hasn't played since December 8th. SOURCE: Vic Lombardi, CBS4 Denver
Insight: The helmet looks gigantic. It's a necessary precaution, however, as another head injury could end Welker's career. He only caught three passes for 21 yards when these teams squared off in Week 10.
Description: Niners wideout Anquan Boldin came to play Sunday against Carolina.
Insight: The veteran led all receivers with 136 yards on eight catches. Boldin didn't score in the game as Captain Munnerlyn pulled him down at the two after breaking off a 45-yard gain in the third quarter. Going back to last season, Boldin has caught 30 passes for 516 yards in his last five playoff games. His teams (he played for the Ravens in 2012) have won all five games.
Description: Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) is active for Sunday's playoff game against the Broncos.
Insight: Mathews has been limited in practice for the past few weeks but he hasn't had to miss a game. He rushed for 1,021 yards and six touchdowns on 218 carries (4.7 ypc) over his last 11 games of the year, including 473 yards and three scores in his final four.
Description: Carolina wideout Steve Smith (knee) is active for Sunday's game against the 49ers, according to profootballtalk.com.
Insight: Smith missed Week 17 after spraining his PCL the week before. He suffered a setback in practice Thursday and will probably be used as a decoy Sunday. Greg Olsen, Brandon LaFell and Ted Ginn will have to step up.
Description: Carolina wideout Steve Smith (knee) is telling people he is "positive" he's playing Sunday against the 49ers. SOURCE: Ian Rapoport, NFL.com.
Insight: Smith missed Week 17 after spraining his PCL the week before. He suffered a setback in practice Thursday and will probably be used as a decoy if he does play Sunday. Greg Olsen, Brandon LaFell and Ted Ginn will have to step up.
Description: The Chargers expect Ryan Mathews (ankle) to play in Sunday's playoff game at Denver, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.
Insight: Danny Woodhead and Ronnie Woodhead would cover for Mathews if he can't go, but Mathews has been limited in practice for the past few weeks and still hasn't missed a game. He rushed for 1,021 yards and six touchdowns on 218 carries (4.7 ypc) over his last 11 games of the year, including 473 yards and three scores the final four.
Description: Seahawks receiver Percy Harvin suffered a concussion Saturday against the Saints.
Insight: Harvin exited the game in the first quarter to be evaluated for a concussion but was able to return. However, he came down hard in the end zone late in the first half and left the game for good. Harvin played just one game during the regular season due to hip surgery and is now questionable for the NFC Championship Game.
Description: Saints running back Pierre Thomas (chest) will miss Saturday's divisional playoff game against the Seahawks.
Insight: Thomas sat out New Orleans' first playoff game last Saturday at Philadelphia, but the Saints still ran the ball 36 times for 185 yards. Mark Ingram led the way with 18 carries for 97 rushing yards and a touchdown, Khiry Robinson added 45 rushing yards on eight carries and Darren Sproles produced 60 total yards on eight touches.
Description: Though he's officially been listed as questionable, the Panthers fully expect running back Jonathan Stewart to play Sunday against San Francisco. SOURCE: Steve Reed, Associated Press
Insight: Knee issues have kept Stewart off the field since Week 14. He'll slide in as a change of pace back behind starter DeAngelo Williams. Both players will cede goal line carries to fullback Mike Tolbert.
Description: Forty-Niners CB Carlos Rogers (hamstring) missed Sunday's game with Green Bay and is not likely to return Sunday's NFC Divisional Playoff against Carolina though he is still listed as questionable.
Insight: Rogers missed another practice Friday. The good news is that the Carolina receiving corps may also be limited if Steve Smith can't run.
Description: San Diego tailback Ryan Mathews was forced from Sunday's game with an ankle injury and missed all three practices this week.
Insight: Danny Woodhead and Ronnie Woodhead would cover for Mathews if he can't go, but Mathews has been limited in practice for the past few weeks and still hasn't missed a game. He's in the late Sunday game so he'll have the most recovery time possible.
Description: Broncos starting defensive end Derek Wolfe won't play Sunday against San Diego.
Insight: He's out with an illness. Wolfe will sit on the sidelines with Von Miller making the Broncos' defense much more vulnerable. Of course with Peyton Manning & Co. on the other side of the ball, they don't have to be dominant.
Description: Giants running back David Wilson is scheduled to undergo neck surgery on January 16th. SOURCE: Ralph Vacchiano, New York Daily News
Insight: The Giants know the operation is serious so they're not banking on him to be healthy for Week 1. Wilson has collected 504 rushing yards and five touchdowns in his first two years in the league.
Description: Carolina wideout Steve Smith suffered a setback at practice on Thursday. Smith returned to practice Wednesday after missing Week 17 with a sprained PCL. SOURCE: Jonathan Jones, Charlotte Observer
Insight: Smith said he felt about 57 percent after saying Wednesday that he was at 71 percent. If he does play against the Niners this weekend, he'll probably be used as a decoy. Expect Greg Olsen and Brandon LaFell to be Cam Newton's primary receivers on Sunday.
Description: Updating a previous item, New Orleans halfback Pierre Thomas was back at practice on Thursday. Thomas missed Saturday's win over Philadelphia because of a chest injury. SOURCE: Larry Holder, New Orleans Times-Picayune
Insight: Thomas practiced in a limited capacity. Mark Ingram is expected to start if Thomas can't go Saturday against the Seahawks.
Description: New Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said Robert Griffin III will be his starting quarterback next season. SOURCE: NBC's Pro Football Talk
Insight: Gruden said "there will be no competition." With Griffin's job safe, it's possible that Washington will trade backup Kirk Cousins later this offseason. Cousins finished the 2013 season with 4 TD, 7 INT and a 58.3 quarteback rating in five games.
Description: New England tight Rob Gronkowski underwent successful knee surgery on Thursday. SOURCE: Jeff Howe, Boston Herald
Insight: Gronkowski tore his ACL and MCL in a game against Cleveland last month. The hope is that he'll be ready for training camp later this summer. When healthy, Gronk is arguably the best tight end in football with 42 touchdown receptions in his first four seasons.
Description: Seahawks receiver Percy Harvin says that he'll "absolutely" be able to play Saturday against New Orleans. SOURCE: Liz Mathews, ESPN 710
Insight: Harvin has missed all but one game this season while dealing with hip issues. It doesn't sound like he'll be on a snap count, which means Harvin could be in for a big game. Harvin only had three catches the last time he played the Saints but that was over two years ago.
Description: Saints defensive back Keenan Lewis, who left Saturday's game with a possible concussion, practiced in full Wednesday.
Insight: Lewis argued vehemently to return to the game, but doctors wouldn't let him. Looks like he wasn't injured enough to keep him out of this week's game with Seattle. He's the team's best cover corner.
Description: Saints running back Pierre Thomas (chest) missed Saturday's playoff game at Philadelphia and an ESPN report is calling him a "long shot" for Saturday's NFC Divisional Playoff against Seattle
Insight: The Saints had no problem covering for Thomas as RB is a deep position. Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson run the ball and Darren Sproles catches the ball so they can more than make up for the loss of Thomas who does a little of both (549 rushing, 513 receiving). Move him toward the doubtful side of questionable.
Description: According to Steve Reed of the Associated Press, Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart (knee) said he expects to play in the divisional playoff game against the 49ers Sunday.
Insight: Stewart played just six games this season (180 rushing yards), leaving most of the heavy lifting to DeAngelo Williams (843 yards) and red zone work to Mike Tolbert. Stewart probably won't see double-digit touches if he plays so his fantasy value is very limited.
Description: Chiefs running back Knile Davis suffered a sprained left knee and fractured fibula in Saturday's playoff game against the Colts, according to Reid Ferrin of kcchiefs.com.
Insight: Jamaal Charles suffered a concussion on the Chiefs' first drive of the game, forcing Kansas City to go to Davis. The rookie put up 100 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns on 25 touches after tallying 81 rushing yards and two scores on 27 carries with Charles resting in Week 17. Davis had an extensive injury history in college, missing all of his junior season due to a broken ankle.
Description: Panthers receiver Steve Smith is expected to practice on a limited basis Wednesday, according to profootballtalk.com.
Insight: Smith sat out Week 17 with a sprained PCL, but he has vowed to play in the divisional round against the 49ers. Smith finished the season with just 745 yards and four touchdowns on 64 catches in 15 games, but he's still the Panthers' best receiving option even at age 34.
Description: Chiefs wideout Dwayne Bowe never came out of Saturday's game against the Colts but he did suffer a mild foot sprain en route to a season-best eight catches for 130 yards. SOURCE: Reid Ferrin, KCChiefs.com
Insight: If Kansas City had a game scheduled for this week, we're guessing Bowe would have played through the injury. The 29-year-old didn't have an impressive regular season (just 57 grabs for 673 yards) but he certainly came to play in his lone postseason appearance. He'll be a middle of the pack fantasy receiver in 2014.
Description: The concussion Chiefs Pro Bowl halfback Jamaal Charles suffered in Saturday's loss to the Colts is considered minor. SOURCE: Reid Ferrin, KCChiefs.com
Insight: Charles suffered the injury early in the first quarter. Kansas City was forced to use Knile Davis and Dexter McCluster at running back after Charles went down. Charles finished third in the NFL in rushing this year with 1,287 yards on 259 rushes. His 12 rushing scores this season tied him with Seattle's Marshawn Lynch for most in the league.
Description: Kansas City CB Brandon Flowers did indeed suffer a concussion in Saturday's loss to Indianapolis. SOURCE: Reid Ferrin, KCChiefs.com
Insight: Flowers finished with three tackles before exiting in the second half. If his condition improves at all in the next few weeks, he may be able to take part in the Pro Bowl on January 26th. It will be Flowers' first appearance in the game.
Description: Patriots middle linebacker Brandon Spikes has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury.
Insight: This comes after he competed in all 16 of New England's regular season contests. He's already been placed on injured reserve, which opens up a roster spot for rookie Ja'Gared Davis. According to the Boston Globe, Spikes, who recorded 86 tackles during the regular season, is likely headed for surgery.
Description: New England rookie Aaron Dobson (foot) didn't practice Tuesday and is questionable for Saturday's AFC Divisional Playoff against Indianapolis, according to Patriots beat reporter Jeff Howe.
Insight: Dobson hasn't done a thing since Week 9 and won't be a factor even if he is active. Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman should to the heavy lifting with help from Kenbrell Thompkins and Austin Collie.
Description: The Colts have signed former Patriots receiver Deion Branch, five days before they play at New England in the divisional round of the playoffs.
Insight: Branch didn't play in the NFL this season after catching just 16 passes in 10 games in 2012. The 34-year-old played with the Patriots from 2002-05 and 2010-12, winning the MVP in Super Bowl XXXIX. Branch is unlikely to play much of a role Saturday, but the Colts are obviously looking for any competitive edge they can get.
Description: Saints running back Pierre Thomas (chest) missed Saturday's playoff game at Philadelphia and is questionable for Saturday's NFC Divisional Playoff against Seattle
Insight: The Saints had no problem covering for Thomas as RB is a deep position. Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson run the ball and Darren Sproles catches the ball so they can more than make up for the loss of Thomas who does a little of both (549 rushing, 513 receiving).
Description: New Orleans linebacker Parys Haralson, who left Saturday's NFC Wild Card Playoff against Philadelphia with a chest injury, is doubtful for Saturday's NFC Divisional Playoff against Seattle.
Insight: Haralson had 30 tackles and 3.5 sacks this season. Will Herring filled in against the Eagles.