Le’Veon Bell – Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell left practice on Sunday due to hamstring tightness. The injury is not said to be serious but soft tissue injuries are far more likely to be re-injured. At this point I, like the Steelers, assume he needs a couple of days to rest and should be fine to resume training camp workouts. Monitor Bell’s status throughout the rest of camp to see if anything else pops up. While I value Bell highly coming into 2014, If injuries persist I would likely drop Bell in my ranks.
Preseason injuries are not new to Bell, who experienced a bruised knee and sprained foot last season. His Lisfranc injury kept him out of the end of camp and forced him to miss the first three weeks of the season. He was able to return in week four and was impressive.
The Pittsburgh Steelers brought in LaGarrette Blount in the off-season to add depth to their running back core. Blount proved to be highly effective down the stretch for the Patriots last season. If Bell were to miss any significant time, Blount would have tremendous value on team that utilizes the run when they get in close.
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Kyle Rudolph – The Minnesota Vikings and Kyle Rudolph agreed on a five-year deal worth $36.5 million. A move that surprised many, Rudolph’s deal will guarantee him $19 million. For comparison, Jimmy Graham’s new four-year and $40 million contract guarantees him $20 million.
This move is a good thing for fantasy owners. Minnesota’s financial commitment to Rudolph shows their level of trust and expectations of what he will bring to the team.
Many are expecting a bounce back season from Rudolph. The Vikings brought in Norv Turner to be the team’s offensive coordinator. Turner is notorious for utilizing the tight end in his offensive schemes. Rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has been impressive thus far and may be under center come week one. Bridgewater should be an upgrade over what the Vikings had last season also.
LaMichael James – After losing running back Kendall Hunter for the season due to a torn ACL, the 49ers experienced another loss to their depth. During practice Sunday, LaMichael James suffered a dislocated elbow. He is expected to be ready for week 1. James is thought to be the teams primary kick returner. He shouldn’t cut into carries for Gore or Hyde.
C.J. Spiller – While nothing is imminent, rumblings are coming out of Buffalo that running back C.J. Spiller may be traded and possibly before the season starts. The Bills could move Spiller to a contending team that suffers an injury to its starting running back. Doug Marrone’s offense utilizes between the tackles power running which is not where Spiller is most effective. If Spiller were to be moved, Fred Jackson would likely start the season as the teams featured back. They also brought in Bryce Brown this off-season. Brown has shown flashes of his potential during his time in Philadelphia.