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Player Updates: Defensive Players
Get the latest news and fantasy analysis on defensive players from around the NFL.
🚨 Latest Updates 🚨
James Jr., Derwin (LAC)
7/27: Chargers coach Brandon Staley said S Derwin James (shoulder) will sit out practice until his contract situation is resolved.
Advice: “Holding in” is the newest fad sweeping the nation. James is coming back from labrum surgery, so it is possible he would have missed the start of camp regardless of his contract situation. According to the Los Angeles Times’ Jeff Miller, Staley “sounded optimistic a deal will happen soon.”
Leonard, Darius (Ind)
7/26: Colts LB Shaquille Leonard (back) did not offer a timeline for his return to the field.
Advice: The star linebacker formerly known as Darius Leonard is also recovering from a late-season ankle injury, and should be ready for the start of the regular season. The Colts placed him on the PUP list this week. “The way I’m going, I’m very happy,” Leonard told reporters Tuesday. “Get ready to rock ‘n roll when time comes.” Leonard in 2021 had another outstanding campaign, recording eight forced fumbles, four interceptions, and four tackles for loss as the anchor of the team’s defense. Indy’s rush defense would take a major hit if Leonard misses time this season.
Smith, Roquan (Chi)
7/27: Bears coach Matt Eberflus said LB Roquan Smith “is in a good spot.”
Advice: Smith is officially on the PUP list, but it is unlikely he is dealing with a serious injury. Instead, Smith appears to be “holding in” as he looks for a new contract. Smith is currently set to make $9.7 million in the fifth and final year of his rookie deal.
Thibodeaux, Kayvon (NYG)
8/22 [10:49 am]: Giants EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux suffered a sprained MCL in Sunday’s preseason game against the Bengals.
Advice: Giants coach Brian Daboll didn’t say if Thibodeaux would be ready for Week 1, though previous reports indicated that he would be out three to four weeks. That would likely have him missing the first week or two of the regular season. Even if the young pass-rusher misses a couple of games, the news brings a sigh of relief from the Giants. New York ranked 23rd in points per game allowed and 21st in sacks per game last year. Thibodeaux, who was added with the No. 5 overall pick in the spring, is expected to play a major role in the defense’s attempt to improve upon their weak 2021 outing. Once healthy, Thibodeaux should make an immediate impact on the Giants’ front seven. (NBCSportsEDGE.com)
Ward, Denzel (Cle)
8/15: Browns activated CB Denzel Ward (foot) from the active/PUP list.
Advice: Ward will slowly be broken in to practice with an eye towards Week 1. At this point it’s unlikely he plays in the preseason, but the drumbeat around his late minicamp injury has always been that he’ll be ready for Week 1. One of the NFL’s best corners, Ward is an incredibly important piece for the Cleveland D/ST.
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