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Volume 6, Issue 135 (Wednesday, August 31st)

Hi Folks,

Again, our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to our many friends along the Gulf Coast suffering from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. It puts what we do with Fantasy Football into perspective. The Red Cross can definitely use your help. More info is here or 1-800-HELP-NOW if you would like to help.

On to Football. Things are moving fast here. Last week, Chad Hutchison was the Bears starting QB. Today, he's in the unemployment line... You have to keep up. I know that many leagues are drafting this week and we'll continue to ramp up our coverage to bring you everything you need to Dominate Your League. From Training Camp Updates, Drafting Software, to Fantasy Articles to the latest in Cheatsheets and up to the minute Stat Projections. We'll keep you covered. Also remember that our the deadline to sign up for our $20,000 contest is September 1. Thanks to our Footballguy Maurile Tremblay for the help rounding up these stories tonight. Let's get to it.

Joe Bryant


A. (Premium Subscription) 162 Cheatsheets Released And Updated
If you don't have time for the VBD App or the Draft Dominator, we've got you covered. Just click on the 162 Cheatsheets link and you're bound to find a league that matches your league pretty closely. Just click on the league and you'll have a custom cheatsheet tailored with our projections to that league situation.

B. (Premium Subscription) New Value Based Drafting (VBD) Excel App released. New projections mean a new VBD App. And a new VBD App means you're ready to Dominate Your Draft.

C. (Premium Subscription) New Draft Dominator Software. Don't enter your draft without this tool.

D. (Premium Subscription) Top 300 List with ADP. Values and scrubs highlighted on one convenient list.

E. (Premium Subscription) Registration deadline for $20,000 contest is September 1.
Don't forget to sign up. The deadline is September 1 at 2 PM ET.


1. SEA - Warrick Signs With Seahawks
2. CAR - RB Davis To Make Preseason Debut
3. DEN - RB T.Bell, Battling For #2 Job
4. OAK - WR Porter's Hamstring Healing Slowly
5. DAL - WR Price Could Be Right Fit For Cowboys
6. PIT - For RB Bettis, It's Up To The Calf
7. MIA - QB Situation Still Unsettled
8. CLE - RB Green To Start Preseason Finale
9. BUF - TE Campbell Hoping For Bigger Role
10. NYG - QB E. Manning's Progress Continues
11. NEP - WR Branch Healthy But Not Playing
12. CIN - Receiver Roles Shifting
13. GB - RB A.Green Accepts Plea Agreement
14. IDP: IND - DT Simon Reportedly Agrees To Deal With Colts

1. SEA - Warrick Signs With Seahawks

Clipped from: ESPN article by Len Pasquarelli, 8/31/05

Wasting little time after his release by the Cincinnati Bengals one day earlier, wide receiver Peter Warrick on Wednesday afternoon signed a one-year contract with the Seattle Seahawks, despite avid interest from other teams.

The basic contract is worth $1.4 million, which includes a $500,000 signing bonus and a base salary of $900,000. But the five-year veteran can earn an additional $880,000 -- the difference between his deal with the Seahawks and the $2.28 million base salary that he was scheduled to make in Cincinnati -- through incentives.

Warrick will earn $220,000 with 30 receptions, then an additional $220,000 each for 40, 50 and 60 catches. It is also believed that Warrick will return punts for the Seahawks, who have been seeking to add another veteran wideout.

It will be interesting to see how Seattle coach Mike Holmgren utilizes Warrick from a formation standpoint. The Seahawks already have a terrific slot receiver, the position at which Warrick has been most successful, in Bobby Engram. The veteran Engram was moved into the starting lineup, though, this summer, when the Seahawks released former first-round wideout Koren Robinson.

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Warrick appeared in only four games last year due to leg and shin injuries, and may not be completely recovered yet. He was cleared to practice a couple weeks ago by the Bengals' medical staff, but has only appeared in one preseason game so far. Assuming Warrick is completely healed by the time the season starts, Seattle may be an excellent fit for him. Warrick doesn't have exceptional deep speed, but he has tremendous quickness underneath and can be effective operating out of the slot. Bobby Engram has performed well enough in training camp that he probably keeps his starting job on the outside to begin the season, with Warrick possibly getting into the rotation at the slot position. Warrick probably is a long shot for most leagues, but he is worth paying attention to at the beginning of the season; if he starts to get a fair number of targets, he could be a nice waiver wire pickup.

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2. CAR - RB Davis To Make Preseason Debut

Clipped from: Associated Press article, 8/31/05

It's been 10 months since Stephen Davis last played in a football game, long enough for Carolina's running back to begin feeling a little antsy.

Davis will make his preseason debut Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers, finally getting a chance to test his surgically repaired right knee.

After playing in just two games last season, then sitting out most of training camp while the Panthers took a cautious approach to his recovery, the typically reserved Davis admitted he can't wait to play again.

"I'm a calm person. I'm so laid-back, it's ridiculous," Davis said. "But, you know, it's been 10 months. It's been a long 10 months. So it's going to be exciting to be back out there on the field. It's going to be very exciting to be on the field with the guys and playing again."

That was a rare burst of emotion from Davis, who has tried had to remain even-tempered the past year. He did his best to hide his frustration when doctors couldn't figure out why his knee would swell after every practice, and he bottled up the disappointment he felt when told he needed career-threatening microfracture surgery.

But he's struggling to contain his excitement, even though he knows he can't rush his comeback.

"I still have to take things one day at a time and go out there and get better," he said. "I want to get some contact and do everything I can to help the team win."

Carolina coach John Fox has said he won't play his starters very long against the Steelers, possibly only keeping them on the field for one series. Davis could be the exception.

"We are anticipating he'll play some," Fox said. "It will be a feel thing. I think it will be safe to say it will be at least one (carry) and under 20."

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The Panthers are deep at running back if they can have everyone healthy. DeShaun Foster has talent but has been plagued by injuries. Eric Shelton is a highly touted rookie. Jamal Robertson has had a stellar preseason. Nick Goings is back at fullback, but had tremendous success last year as the featured runner in the latter part of the season. And now Stephen Davis appears ready for action. Davis is the most accomplished runner in the group, and Foster said earlier this week that Davis is considered the starter when he is healthy. It is hard to know whether that statement is accurate in the eyes of the coaches, or whether Foster was just giving due respect to his veteran teammate. Whoever starts for the Panthers in a given week always has a chance to put up good numbers in their power running game. With many starters resting in this week's preseason games, all eyes will be on Davis.

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3. DEN - RB T. Bell, Battling For #2 Job

Clipped from: Rocky Mountain News article, 8/31/05

The starting tailback job finally is in Tatum Bell's grasp.

Only the one-game assignment for the preseason finale Friday hardly is what the Denver Broncos second-year running back had in mind when the summer began.

While Mike Anderson locked up the No. 1 assignment for the regular-season opener with a 159-yard rushing performance Saturday against the Indianapolis Colts, Bell largely was an observer and special-teams contributor. He had one carry for 2 yards and played only three offensive snaps.

Broncos coach Mike Shanahan noted Tuesday that Denver ran only 21 offensive plays in the first half against Indianapolis compared with 47 in the Aug. 20 preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers, limiting Bell's opportunities.

Given a similar offensive workload as the previous game, Shanahan said Bell would have gotten 12 to 15 carries.

Still, given the lack of action, Bell needs to find his rhythm and solidify his hold on the No. 2 job against the Arizona Cardinals (8 p.m., CBS 4).

Anderson and most of the starters will be observers as the Broncos attempt to finish their first undefeated preseason since 2000. So Bell, Ron Dayne and Quentin Griffin will bid to earn regular-season snaps with their performances behind reserve offensive linemen.

"I want to play and get out there and be with the 'twos,' " Bell said. "I love running behind the first line, but the second line's starting to gel better and I need the carries to just get my blood going."

Bell has 20 carries for 75 yards and one touchdown during Denver's 3-0 preseason but hasn't played behind the starters much in those games.

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Tatum Bell hasn't played poorly when he's gotten the chance, either last year or in the preseason; but Mike Anderson had the starting job when camp started and just wouldn't let anybody pry it away from him. Meanwhile, Ron Dayne has had a great preseason as well, and Quentin Griffin is always a threat with the ball in his hands. So the Broncos are stacked at the RB position, and Bell's best case scenario at the start of the season will be to get about eight carries a game. As the season progresses, of course, anything can happen - as last year's example showed quite clearly.

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4. OAK - WR Porter's Hamstring Healing Slowly

A week ago, coach Norv Turner figured he knew where his hamstrung wide receivers were in their recoveries - Jerry Porter was just about ready and Carlos Francis was still some time away.

Now it's the other way around. Porter will sit out Thursday's preseason finale against New Orleans. Francis said, "This is the week ... as long as I know I can play at that (rapid) pace without hesitation, I'm gone. I'm doing it."

Just how "gone" Porter is, however, is the big question. And it's beginning to get to Turner.

"I told him two days ago I am starting to get concerned," he said. "He needs to practice before he goes and plays."

That practice, the coach hopes, will come Friday and Sunday. How he fares could affect whether or how much he would play against New England in the opener on Sept. 8.

Since he is the starter opposite Randy Moss, Porter's status is critical. However, he has not played this exhibition season and has been rehabilitating since he was injured Aug. 1.

Given the prognosis a week ago, it would seem the continuing condition of Porter's hamstring amounts to a setback.

"To me it is," Turner said.

To Porter, it's not.

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Hamstring injuries have a tendency to linger, and Porter's is now officially lingering. He hasn't taken any snaps in a preseason game yet, and hasn't practiced in the last several weeks. If he still can't practice by the beginning of next week, he could be held out of the regular season opener, or at least see his role limited.

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5. DAL - WR Price Could Be Right Fit For Cowboys

Clipped from: Dallas Morning News article by Todd Archer, 8/31/05

With Drew Bledsoe as his quarterback in 2002 with Buffalo, Peerless Price caught a career-high 94 passes for 1,252 yards and nine touchdowns.

Released Tuesday by Atlanta after two disappointing seasons, the veteran wide receiver is considering the Cowboys largely because of Bledsoe's presence in Dallas. Price's agent, Tim McGee, said he spoke with Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones Tuesday, and they are scheduled to talk again today.

"With Drew's relationship with Peerless, that's something we'd like to explore," McGee said.

McGee said he heard from a number of teams only minutes after Price, 28, was let go by Atlanta, and he would like to get a deal done as soon as possible.

The Cowboys feel set with starting receivers Terry Glenn and Keyshawn Johnson and have liked the improvement Patrick Crayton has made in the off-season. Coach Bill Parcells said Quincy Morgan, acquired in a trade from Cleveland last season, is "in a fight," to make the team. Terrance Copper and Tom Crowder are more special teams players than receivers at this point.

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Price had one big year in Buffalo before he was traded to the Falcons for a first-round pick in 2003. He didn't come close to meeting expectations in Atlanta, but he has the physical talent to step into the third receiver position in Dallas behind Keyshawn Johnson and Terry Glenn. Price has good speed and could provide a nice deep threat for Drew Bledsoe. He's obviously struggled the last two season. Add to that the fact that he will have to step in and learn a new offense just before the start of the season, whether in Dallas or somewhere else, and it makes Price a pretty shaky proposition in most fantasy leagues.

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6. PIT - For RB Bettis, It's Up To The Calf

Clipped from: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article by Ed Bouchette, 8/31/05

Bettis wants to play in the Sept. 11 opener against Tennessee but only his right calf will know for sure if he can.

"No question, that's what I do. I'm a football player first, I want to be on the football field, make no mistake about it. If it doesn't allow me to and I can't then I won't, but no question I want to be out there."

Bettis has a strained calf muscle, which was injured in the first quarter Friday night against the Redskins when he tried to cut.

"It's the type of injury that doesn't allow you to come back if its not ready to," Bettis said. "So it's not one of those, 'Oh, I'm 70 percent I can go.' When you put that pressure on it, it's either going to fire or tense up. If it tenses up, it's a problem."

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As we told you in our previous updates, Willie Parker should get the start in the season opener. It sounds like Bettis should be able to return for the week two game, if not before then in a supporting role. Duce Staley probably won't return until at least the week three game. What happens when Bettis and Staley are both available is anybody's guess, especially if Parker excels early as the starter.

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7. MIA - QB Situation Still Unsettled

Clipped from: Associated Press article, 8/31/05

To the dismay of new Miami coach Nick Saban, Gus Frerotte and A.J. Feeley have been unable to claim the starting job, with both struggling through much of the preseason.

"I would have liked to determine it a month ago or two weeks ago," Saban said. "I would like to determine it. I don't have a problem with determining it. We are trying to determine it. But we don't want to upset the apple cart of what we are trying to accomplish with the development of both of these players by trying to determine something that is not ready to be determined."

Saban anointed Frerotte the front-runner after two exhibition games. While Frerotte is in his first season with the Dolphins, the 12th-year pro is familiar with their playbook because he and new offensive coordinator Scott Linehan were together with the Minnesota Vikings.

But Frerotte struggled starting the past two games, while Feeley played well last week against Tampa Bay's second-team defense, leading the Dolphins (1-3) to 10 points as they rallied for their first win under Saban.

From the start of training camp, Saban has said he'll likely need both quarterbacks this season -- and perhaps even third-stringer Sage Rosenfels. Now Saban says he'll consider playing both Frerotte and Feeley in the same game "if that's what it takes for us to have the best opportunity to win."

That must sound ominous to Dolphins fans, who watched Feeley share the job last season with Marino's much-maligned successor, Jay Fiedler. The result was a 4-12 record, Miami's worst since the 1960s.

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None of the Dolphin QBs have looked great so far in the preseason, but if one of them starts to find his rhythm, he will have some nice targets to throw to. Chris Chambrers, Marty Booker, and David Boston are a solid trio of wide receivers, Randy McMichael is a big-play threat from the tight end position, and both Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams can turn a short pass into a long gain. The offensive line is a major area of concern, but if Hudson Houck can work some magic there like he did in San Diego last year, this Dolphin offense has more potential than many are giving it credit for. Still, no Dolphin QB is worth getting excited about until he starts to look good throwing the ball; so far, they haven't.

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8. CLE - RB Green To Start Preseason Finale

Clipped from: article by Zac Jackson, 8/31/05

Crennel also said William Green will start at running back. Green is battling Lee Suggs and Reuben Droughns for the starting running back job. Suggs hasn't played in two weeks and will also miss this week's game due to a high ankle sprain.

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Green is the overlooked RB in the Browns' backfield - although with good reason. He has generated glowing reports in each of the past three offseasons only to contribute very little during the season. While Suggs is the starter when he is healthy, however, some Browns observers believe that William Green has looked better than Reuben Droughns this year during the preseason. If Green plays well in the final preseason game, he could get the week one start over Droughns, and could be the primary backup to Suggs throughout the season.

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9. BUF - TE Campbell Hoping For Bigger Role

Clipped from: Rochester Democrat & Chronicle article by Sal Maiorana, 8/31/05

If J.P. Losman thought Mark Campbell was just teasing him the other day before practice, he was wrong.

"I was dead serious," Campbell said. "I told him if I don't catch 35 balls he's going to owe me some money for each ball under that."

Given that Campbell's career-high for receptions in any of his previous six seasons in the NFL is 34 - set two years ago with Drew Bledsoe pitching to him in Buffalo - Losman may have to dig out his checkbook.

Then again, if Campbell can continue his comeback from knee surgery and stay healthy this season, Losman will be paying Campbell in fives - not bills, mind you, but high fives.

With Losman learning on the job as he transitions from clipboard carrier to full-time starting quarterback, the role of the tight end in the passing game figures to be a vital one.

There will be many occasions - and it has been evident already in the preseason - when plays are going to break down and Losman is going to scramble out of the pocket in search of a second or third option.

Campbell, as well as backup Tim Euhus when he's on the field, will be responsible for providing Losman a safe alternative to dump the ball off to in order to avoid a sack.

"With the naked (bootlegs) and all those things with me getting out of the pocket, the tight end slanting and getting open will benefit our team," said Losman. "Having a couple of guys like that - tall guys, big targets - any time you can get a pop over the middle you have to take advantage of those things."

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Campbell doesn't have tremendous size or speed, but he is a crafty player who can find the open area in a zone. He may become a security blanket for his young QB if he can regularly free himself from opposing linebackers and break open when the pocket starts to collapse. While this was a nice article highlighting Campbell's positive attributes, however, you know his upside potential is limited if he is shooting for 35 receptions ... and his QB thinks he is kidding.

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10. NYG - QB E. Manning's Progress Continues

Clipped from: The Star Ledger article by Mike Garafolo, 8/31/05

In the most positive sign for the Giants since Eli Manning sprained his throwing elbow 11 days ago, the franchise quarterback was in full pads yesterday. Manning threw to several receivers -- the first time he worked with moving targets since the injury.

"He did more than he has done any other day," coach Tom Coughlin said after practice. "He was out here at quarter of seven this morning. Turn around, he's still out there."

Manning was indeed still out there, getting in a few more throws while most of his teammates headed to the locker room. Before tomorrow night's preseason game in New England, he will be examined by team physician, Russ Warren, who will determine if Manning can return to practice on Monday.

"That's my goal," he said. "To get ready for a (regular-season game), I need to go in there and get a full week of practice, just get my timing down and everything."

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Manning is on schedule to play in the season opener, assuming he is cleared to practice on Monday. He hasn't been able to practice for the past week and a half, so his injury has undoubtedly set him back in perfecting his timing and comfort level with his receivers. But he got enough reps in last year that he should readjust to the speed and different defensive looks he'll see in the regular season without too much trouble.

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11. NEP - WR Branch Healthy But Not Playing

Clipped from: The Boston Herald article by Karen Guregian, 8/31/05

The Super Bowl MVP says he's perfectly healthy. He appears to be in great shape. He's been one of the best players in training camp.

He also hasn't played a down in the preseason.

Chances are, Deion Branch will keep his streak alive and won't play in tomorrow night's preseason finale against the New York Giants at Gillette Stadium.

Given the fact that the receiver's missed 11 games over the first three years of his career because of various injuries, it's understandable that the Patriots wouldn't want Tom Brady's top receiver taking any unnecessary licks.

But there are some who suggest the 5-foot-9, 193-pound wideout is a tad fragile.

Does the label bother Branch?

"No, but I like to read it because when I go out to play, I play to the fullest," Branch said yesterday. "When I'm on the football field, I know what I can do and what I can contribute to my team. I think everyone knows we play a physical sport. For someone to sit there and say I'm fragile, I think they need to go out there and play a couple of downs.

"This is what I do. You can critique it. I can respect someone else's opinion. But if someone tells me I'm soft, I don't take that easily."

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Starters typically don't play much in the final regular season game. The coaching staff will want to get an extended look at Andre Davis, David Terrell, and P.K. Sam before they have to make their final cutdowns, so don't expect Branch or Givens to play much, if at all. Don't let Branch's lack of playing time in the preseason concern you. He has had a fine training camp and will resume his starting role once the regular season begins.

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12. CIN - Receiver Roles Shifting

Clipped from: Cincinnatti Enquirer article by Mark Curnette, 8/31/05

Third-year pro Kelley Washington emerges as the likely third receiver. He has three preseason receptions for 57 yards, including a 42-yard touchdown at Washington. He will be counted on to make the tough third-down catches.

Rookie Chris Henry and special teams ace Kevin Walter - who has 10 receptions in the preseason for 134 yards and two touchdowns - appear to move into the fourth and fifth slots.

The edge for the last receiver spot - Lewis said he won't carry seven - seems to go to Cliff Russell right now. He is the team's top kickoff returner. Rookie Tab Perry, slowed by a hamstring injury, could make the team or open the season on the practice squad.

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With Peter Warrick in Seattle, Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh remain the starters, but Kelley Washington looks to be the one joining them in three-receiver sets. Washington has tremendous athleticism, but has had trouble running sharp routes and getting open in his previous seasons with the Bengals. He has evidently shown enough improvement in this year's training camp to hold off rookie Chris Henry's bid for the slot position.

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13. GB - RB A. Green Accepts Plea Agreement

Clipped from: Boston Globe article by Nick Cafardo, 8/30/05

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article by Tom Silverstein, 8/31/05

Green Bay Packers running back Ahman Green has agreed to a tentative plea agreement with the Brown County District Attorney that will allow him to avoid going to trial on misdemeanor disorderly conduct / domestic abuse charges, his attorneys announced Tuesday night.

Green was scheduled to appear in court this morning and was prepared to go to trial if necessary, but his attorneys said a deal was reached that satisfied both parties. The deal, which his attorneys would not reveal, must be approved by Circuit Court Judge Richard Dietz during proceedings this morning.

Still at issue for Green is whether the plea agreement will allow him to avoid punishment by the National Football League for violating its personal-conduct policy.

The policy states that anyone convicted of a criminal violation or accepting a plea to a lesser offense "will be subject to discipline as determined by the commissioner." The discipline could be a fine, suspension or banishment from the league.

Green, who pleaded not guilty to the charges stemming from an April 25 argument with his wife, missed the last two days of practice to prepare for trial but is expected to rejoin the team immediately if the plea agreement is accepted.

It is unclear whether he will play Thursday night in the exhibition finale against Tennessee.

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We do not expect Green to receive a suspension from the league that would cause him to miss any playing time, but it remains a possibility until the Commissioner officially decides otherwise. As always, we will keep you posted on the situation.

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14. IDP: IND - DT Simon Reportedly Agrees To Deal With Colts

Clipped from: ESPN article by Len Pasquarelli, 8/31/05

There remain a few incidental elements to be addressed, but confirmed Wednesday night through sources close to the negotiations that the Indianapolis Colts have reached agreement with defensive tackle Corey Simon on virtually all the major financial components of a contract, and that an agreement could be officially struck as early as Thursday morning.

In fact, two Colts players told on Wednesday night that they were apprised by a member of the coaching staff earlier in the evening that the acquisition of Simon is now imminent.

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If this comes to pass, it'll be a nice upgrade for the Colts. Simon had wanted to stay with a winning organization and he should get that in Indianapolis. Stay tuned to see how quickly they can get him on the field.

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That'll do it for today, Folks. Have a great day and we'll see you tomorrow with the update.


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