Saints' Derek Carr clears concussion protocol

Fri Dec 8 11:57pm ET
Field Level Media

New Orleans Saints quarterback Derek Carr cleared the NFL's concussion protocol on Friday and is likely to start against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.

Carr, who sustained his second documented concussion in three weeks, left the Saints' 33-28 loss to the Detroit Lions last Sunday with a concussion plus rib and shoulder injuries. It's the third time this season the 32-year-old quarterback has left a game early due to injury.

Carr, who has yet to miss a start this season despite the injuries, returned to practice Wednesday but was limited. He was a full participant in practice Friday, though he was listed as questionable for DSunday.

"I don't really have any concerns," Carr said when asked about the concussion issues. "I did some extra tests and things like that this week, just checking on things. Our doctors and the non-affiliated doctor said everything was perfect, they showed me the results in comparison to things.

"I do not have any worries on that stuff. It didn't feel like the two were even related to one another. So, for me, that's just sometimes the price of doing business and playing football. So no concern on that part, long term or short term. Fully confident that I can be all right playing with that part of it."

Carr, who signed a four-year, $150 million contract in March, has thrown for 2,761 yards with 11 touchdowns and six interceptions in his first season with the Saints. The four-time Pro Bowl quarterback has thrown for 37,983 yards with 228 touchdowns and 105 interceptions in 154 games during his 10-year career.

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Week 14 Preview: Under the Radar Plays

Player Notes
Jordan Mason Dec 9 2:30am ET
Jordan Mason

San Francisco 49ers running back Jordan Mason will be in line for snaps behind Christian McCaffrey on Sunday versus the Seattle Seahawks with regular backup Elijah Mitchell (knee) expected to be sidelined. Though the 49ers may work Mason into the game plan -- he has shown some burst, averaging 5.5 yards per carry this year -- the safest bet is that he takes on as much work as Mitchell did, which is not fantasy-useful. Mitchell has only averaged 5.5 carries in the last four games and has gotten virtually no work in the passing game. Depending on future developments with Mitchell's knee and Mason's Week 14 outing, Mason could become the playoff stash to have in San Francisco, but he isn't startable versus Seattle.

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Christian McCaffrey Dec 9 2:00am ET
Christian McCaffrey

San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey took 17 carries for 93 yards and a touchdown in the team's Week 13 statement win at the Philadelphia Eagles. He also turned four targets in the passing game into three receptions for 40 yards. Part of McCaffrey's historic reliability in fantasy has been his near-complete domination of backfield touches, which makes backup Elijah Mitchell's (knee) likely absence in Week 14 irrelevant. McCaffrey has a tasty home matchup on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks who have the 22nd-ranked rush defense at 119.3 yards per game allowed while allowing the sixth-most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs. Start CMC in Week 14 as the overall RB1 with an extremely high floor and a week-winning ceiling.

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Brock Purdy Dec 9 1:00am ET
Brock Purdy

Last week San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy was fantastic, putting up some of the best fantasy numbers of his career. In the Week 14 42-19 defeat of the Eagles in Philadelphia, Purdy completed 19 of 27 attempts for 314 yards and four touchdowns. This summer the 23-year-old was off the radar in standard leagues, with most analysts expressing doubts concerning Purdy's surgically repaired elbow while figuring that a lack of rushing numbers and downfield throws would limit him to streamer status. He's now vaulted himself to consistent QB1 billing despite that by masterfully piloting one of the league's most explosive offenses. Purdy will be a worthy start at home on Sunday when the 49ers host a middling Seattle Seahawks pass defense.

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Daniel Bellinger Dec 9 12:30am ET
Daniel Bellinger

New York Giants tight end Daniel Bellinger (illness) didn't practice on Friday. He's under the weather, so Saturday's practice session could tell a lot about his availability for Monday night's showdown with the Packers. Unfortunately, the 23-year-old hasn't played well all season, catching three passes or less in all his appearances. He also hasn't found the end zone. With this in mind, Bellinger should be left out of fantasy lineups even if he is active in Week 14.

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Rashan Gary Dec 9 12:30am ET
Rashan Gary

Green Bay Packers defensive end Rashan Gary has an excellent matchup against the New York Giants in Week 14. Gary has made at least half a sack in each of the past three games and has nine sacks on the season. The Giants have allowed 5.8 sacks per game this season and 6.7 in the past three games. They are on pace to allow 99 sacks in the season, which would be just five fewer than the record held by the 1986 Eagles. While allowing the most sacks of all teams, the Giants have also allowed the third-most pressures. Gary approaches must-start status in this juicy matchup.

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Tyrod Taylor Dec 9 12:20am ET
Tyrod Taylor

New York Giants quarterback Tyrod Taylor (ribs) practiced on Friday. It was his second consecutive full session, so it appears he's trending in a favorable direction toward a return after missing his last four contests. That said, although Taylor has a chance to get cleared for Monday's encounter with the Green Bay Packers, Tommy Devito will remain the starting quarterback. But DeVito has struggled at times since taking over, meaning Taylor could be back under center, potentially sometime in the next few games. However, the Giants offense hasn't looked great all year, making any signal-caller on the roster hard to trust in any fantasy format.

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Fred Warner Dec 9 12:10am ET
Fred Warner

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Fred Warner ranks as the No. 17 IDP LB in Week 14 in RotoBaller's IDP rankings, as Warner goes up against the Seattle Seahawks. While Warner is one of the most talented linebackers in the league, his IDP production is hit or miss. He relies on tackles more than impact plays to make the bulk of his scoring, and his tackle production can fluctuate from as low as four, as it did last week, to as high as 13. His high-end is not as high as other top linebackers such as Foyesade Oluokun. While there is a lot of variability in linebacker production, the Seahawks do not provide an ideal matchup for linebacker production. They rank as only the 22nd-most favorable matchup in terms of average points allowed to LBs. Warner should be started in leagues that use two or more starting linebackers, but he can be benched in single-LB IDP leagues.

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Tee Higgins Dec 9 12:10am ET
Tee Higgins

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins has struggled all year, with the 2020 No. 33 overall pick catching only 30 of his 54 targets for 364 yards. He's also missed time because of various injuries. At this point, fantasy managers will have a tough time placing Higgins in their starting lineups. However, while he's a risky option in Week 14, he could turn things around versus an underwhelming Colts defense.

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Ernest Jones Dec 9 12:00am ET
Ernest Jones

Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Foyesade Oluokun has a favorable matchup against the Cleveland Browns in Week 14. Opposing IDP linebackers score more points against the Browns than against two-thirds of the other offenses, as the Browns rush the ball often. Rams linebacker Ernest Jones, who, like Oluokun, excels at stopping running plays, made 15 combined tackles against the Browns last week. Oluokun has made double-digit tackles in two straight games and eight times in total this season. He has also made more impact plays than he has in the past, as he has tied his career high in fumble recoveries and is close to setting a new career high in sacks. Oluokun is an every-week IDP starter, and this week, he could have a stellar performance.

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Ja'Marr Chase Dec 9 12:00am ET
Ja'Marr Chase

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase had one of the best performances of the season in the overtime win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. The wideout finished that one by catching 11 of his 12 targets for 149 yards and a touchdown, a significant improvement from his previous appearance. It seems Chase and quarterback Jake Browning are building a better rapport with each other, which is good news, considering the 23-year-old hasn't looked the best at times this season. Fortunately, he may have a few more impressive outings on the horizon, similar to the one he had in Week 13. Keep him going in all fantasy formats versus a miserable Colts defense.

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Joe Mixon Dec 8 11:50pm ET
Joe Mixon

Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon played well in the Week 13 overtime victory over the Jaguars. He ran the ball 19 times, amassing 68 yards and scoring two touchdowns. The former Sooner also collected six of his seven targets for 49 yards. Of course, Mixon still has work to do as a runner, considering he hasn't surpassed the 100-yard rushing mark this season. However, he's found the end zone at least once in five of his previous six appearances, giving him plenty of upside for fantasy managers in Week 14 versus a vulnerable Colts defense.

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Jake Browning Dec 8 11:40pm ET
Jake Browning

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Jake Browning is entering the Week 14 meeting with the Colts having played the best game of his career. In the Week 13 overtime win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, the 27-year-old threw for 354 yards and a touchdown. He also completed 86.5% of his throws and had 22 yards and a score off two carries. Without question, Browning is becoming more comfortable as the Bengals quarterback. With this in mind, he'll make an ideal streaming option for those needing a fantasy signal-caller, especially versus a Colts defense that's struggled throughout the 2023-24 campaign.

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Ray-Ray McCloud Dec 8 10:10pm ET
Ray-Ray McCloud

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud III (ribs) won't suit up in Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks. The 27-year-old didn't play in the Week 13 win over the Eagles. While he managed to practice in a limited capacity on Wednesday, he sat out on Thursday and Friday. Nonetheless, McCloud has only nine catches for 113 yards (no touchdowns) throughout the 2023-24 campaign. With Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel available in Week 14, McCloud wouldn't have been a viable fantasy option anyway.

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Elijah Mitchell Dec 8 10:00pm ET
Elijah Mitchell

San Francisco 49ers running back Elijah Mitchell (knee) isn't expected to suit up for Sunday's NFC West clash with the Seahawks. The 25-year-old didn't practice on Wednesday or Thursday. However, he also missed Friday's session, which will likely seal his fate for Week 14. At any rate, Mitchell hasn't done anything meaningful for fantasy managers all season. Although his expected absence could allow Jordan Mason to get a few touches versus Seattle, it will be tough for anyone to get involved with Christian McCaffrey on the field.

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Greg Zuerlein Dec 8 10:00pm ET
Greg Zuerlein

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Ross Dwelley Dec 8 10:00pm ET
Ross Dwelley

San Francisco 49ers tight end Ross Dwelley (ankle) is ruled out for Sunday's NFC West showdown with the Seahawks. The 28-year-old sustained a high-ankle sprain in the win over the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 13, so his absence will likely extend beyond Sunday. That said, there aren't many fantasy managers who will be upset with the latest update on Dwelley, considering he has just one catch all year.

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Durham Smythe Dec 8 9:50pm ET
Durham Smythe

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Devon Achane Dec 8 9:40pm ET
Devon Achane

Miami Dolphins running back De'Von Achane (ribs) practiced on Friday. The 22-year-old is listed on the practice report because of a rib injury. Yet, he practiced in full in both sessions this week, so he should be in the lineup on Monday night versus the Tennessee Titans. Achane has looked fantastic in his six appearances this year, amassing 534 yards off 56 carries while catching 13 passes for 101 yards. He's also found the end zone nine times. That said, he'll remain involved in a backfield timeshare with Raheem Mostert. However, the Dolphins offense can move up the field quickly, meaning Achane could continue flourishing versus Tennessee, assuming he's cleared to play.

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Xavier Gipson Dec 8 9:40pm ET
Xavier Gipson

New York Jets wide receiver Xavier Gipson tallied a season-high 77 receiving yards last week and will be looking to carry that momentum into a Week 14 showdown with the Houston Texans. Gipson has seemingly taken over WR2 duties in New York and Sunday's contest will be his first in this role with Zach Wilson under center. The rookie will hope to capitalize on a favorable matchup as the Texans have given up the seventh-most passing yards per game in 2023. Although he should remain on waiver wires in most redraft leagues for now, fantasy gamers should keep an eye on Gipson's utilization this week.

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Garrett Wilson Dec 8 9:30pm ET
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New York Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson was quiet last week while catching passes from Tim Boyle and Trevor Siemian but will look to return to form in Week 14 against the Houston Texans. Quarterback Zach Wilson will be back under center for the Jets, which is great news for the second-year wideout. In eight full games with Zach Wilson this season, Wilson posted over 11 targets and 11 fantasy points per contest. The 23-year-old will have a great opportunity on Sunday as the Texans have surrendered the ninth-most fantasy points per game to receivers over the past four weeks. Fantasy managers shouldn't necessarily be excited about New York's offense this week, but Wilson can make his way back into starting lineups as a high-end WR3 or flex option.

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