Quick Hits (Details in individual
Week 15 Injury Report (available
- No more byes
- SD LB Donnie Edwards has another huge week
- CHI LB Brian Urlacher re-injures hammy
- IND DE Dwight Freeney gets 3 sacks…again
- CAR LB Dan Morgan back healthy with a bang
- NO DE Charles Grant has first sack in 6 weeks
- SEA DE Grant Wistrom re-injures left knee, out 6 weeks
- Philly DLine once again ravaged by injuries
- BUF CB Troy Vincent returns as FS, fills up box score
- More shoulder problems for STL LB Pisa Tinoisamoa
- WAS CB Shawn Springs carted off field, should be OK
Role-playing Rookies - Nathan
Vasher, CB (CHI) and Michael Boulware, S (SEA) have each displayed
a knack for the big play early in their careers, despite their limited
roles. Both had an INT on Sunday to move into a tie (along with
Ken Lucas and Jerametrius Butler) for the NFC lead in picks with
five. Boulware also had 7 solo tackles and a sack in his first career
start. Will Smith, DE (NO) is stuck behind two studs in Charles
Grant and Darren Howard, but has made the most of his opportunities
as a pass rush specialist, adding to his lead among rookies with
his sixth sack, as well as his third forced fumble, on Sunday. 7th
round pick Derrick Pope, LB (MIA) did his best Zach Thomas imitation
with 13 tackles (8 solo) and a forced fumble. Pope, who had a sack
and posted solid tackle stats in each of his previous two games
replacing Thomas, has been a waiver wire find, and should continue
to be solid while Thomas is out. Shawntae Spencer, CB (SF) was forced
into a starting role due to injuries the last few weeks, and posted
11 solo tackles on Sunday.
Bert Berry, DE (AZ) - he's
had at least one sack in each of the last 5 games he's played
and 8 over that period, thanks to a 4 sack game against the Giants.
In addition to a sack on Sunday, he had 3 tackles (2 solo). He
leads the NFC with 12 on the season.
Rod Coleman, DT (ATL) - didn't
have a sack, but still found revenge against his old team. Grabbed
a ball batted by Travis Hall and returned it 39 yards for a TD.
In addition to the pick and TD, he defended another pass and had
a solo tackle.
Ed Reed, SS (BAL) - grabbed
his NFL-leading 8th pick, a new career-high. It was his 20th career
INT, as well, tying him for the Ravens franchise lead with Rod
Woodson, Duane Starks, and Ray Lewis. Reed has a pick in 5 of
his last 6 games. Meanwhile, DAL FS Roy Williams, the more well-publicized
and higher-picked safety in the 2002 draft, had just his first
INT of the season on Sunday.
Bills D (BUF) - with one of
the best single-game performances in NFL history, allowing only
17 net yards, along with 8 sacks, 2 picks, and 3 fumble recoveries,
the entire unit deserves recognition. In his return from a knee
injury, Troy Vincent posted a hat trick with a sack, interception,
and fumble recovery. LB Takeo Spikes led the team (tied) with
7 tackles (6 solo), as well as a sack and 2 forced fumbles. DT
Sam Adams led the team with 2 sacks.
Dan Morgan, LB (CAR) - returned
to the starting from his concussion problems and picked up right
where he left off a month ago. Led the team with 9 tackles (6
solo), as well as 2 picks and a forced fumble. The team would
probably like Vinny Ciurciu to continue to rotate in to help protect
his healthy, but in the midst of a playoff run, they need Morgan's
playmaking ability in there as much as possible, making him a
strong play the rest of the way.
Kindal Moorehead, DT (CAR) -
with 2 sacks and another solo Sunday, he provided the Kris Jenkinsesque
type of disruption the interior line missed when the team was
struggling in the first half of the season.
Lance Briggs, LB (CHI) - posted
a career-high 14 solo tackles in an otherwise forgettable performance
for the Chicago D. He is tied for the lead in the NFC in tackles.
Broncos Safeties (DEN) - after
getting his first sack of the season previous week, FS John Lynch
had another Sunday, as well as a pass defensed and 5 solo tackles.
SS Kennoy Kennedy also had a sack, to go with 8 tackles (5 solo)
and 2 passes defensed.
Nick Barnett, LB (GB) - posted
14 tackles (6 solo) and a sack.
Colts Ends (IND) - Dwight Freeney
not only finally put together back-to-back good games for the
first time this season, he has had two consecutive monster games.
He had 3 sacks and another solo tackle for the second straight
week, now leading the league with 13, tying his own franchise
record. Raheem Brock also built on his big game the previous week
by posting 4 tackles (3 solo), a sack, and a fumble recovery on
Sunday. Pass rush specialist Robert Mathis continued his breakout
season with another sack, giving him 10.5 on the year.
Dunta Robinson, CB (JAX) -
added to his case for DROY with his first two career sacks, along
with 2 other solo tackles, a forced fumble and a pass defended.
Jason Gildon, DE (JAX) - he
was unwanted at the beginning of the year, but is showing he still
has something left in the tank for at least a limited role as
a situational pass rusher. He has had a sack in three consecutive
Brian Russell, FS (MIN) - after
posting 9 picks in 2003, Russell had none, until Week 14. In addition
to his first pick of the year, he led the team with 10 tackles
(7 solo) and broke up 2 other passes.
Tedy Bruschi, LB and Rodney Harrison,
SS (NE) - the due continue to be tackle machines up the
middle for the Pats and are the rare stud vets who also play special
teams. Bruschi had a game-high 16 tackles (12 solo), including
2 on special teams, and is second on the team for the season.
Harrison, who leads the team and is fifth in the league in tackles,
had 12 (10 solo), including 1 on special teams, and had a forced
Charles Grant, DE (NO) - after
flying out of the gate in the first half of the season and moving
into the league lead for sacks, Grant continued to play well overall,
but had failed to get to the QB the last six games. That drought
ended Sunday, as he posted 5 tackles (4 solo), a sack, a forced
fumble, and a pass defended.
Brent Alexander, FS (NYG) -
did a little bit of everything with a game-high 13 tackles (11
solo), a sack, a forced fumble, and 2 pass defended.
Osi Umenyiora, DE (NYG) - in
one of the few things that went well for the Giants Sunday, he
scored his first career TD on a 50-yard return of a fumble recovery.
Also had 4 tackles (2 solo), 2 passes defensed, and shared a sack.
Brian Dawkins, FS (PHI) - in
addition to 6 tackles (5 solo) saved the game with an INT in the
end zone with less than two minutes to play.
Sam Rayburn, DT (PHI) - the
dream season continues for the former practice squad player. He
had 2 solo tackles and a sack on Sunday, giving him 6 on the season.
That's tremendous output for a DT, much less a reserve, muscles
an unknown former undrafted free agent out of Tulsa. With injuries
on the line again a problem for the Eagles, his importance increases
heading into the playoffs.
James Farrior, LB (PIT) - posted
a game-high 11 tackles (6 solo) and an INT. Farrior has thrived
since coming to Pittsburgh and moved to a new level this season,
making him worthy of Defensive Player of the Year consideration.
Bryce Fisher, DE (STL) - replacing
Grant Wistrom has been hard this year, but Fisher had his best
day of the season on Sunday, posting 7 tackles (6 solo), 2 sacks,
and a forced fumble.
Chris Chandler, QB (STL) -
deserves special recognition in the IDP world for completing almost
as many passes to Carolina players as his own. He helped quite
a few Panthers put in better days for their owners than they otherwise
would have. Dan Morgan and CB Ricky Manning Jr. were the biggest
beneficiaries with 2 INTs each. LB Will Witherspoon and 1st round
pick Chris Gamble each got one.
Donnie Edwards, LB (SD) - a
week after posting a career-high in tackles, Edwards had his best
game of the year on Sunday. He finished with 16 tackles (9 solo),
2 INTs, and 2 other passes defended. He returned one of his picks
30 yards for a go-ahead TD in the 4th quarter.
Peppi Zellner, DE (AZ) - one
of the least productive starting ends in the league, he had just
1 tackle for the seventh time this season.
Alex Brown, DE (CHI) - looking
more and more like his four-sack game in Week 9 was a fluke. Take
it away, and he has 2 sacks in his 12 other game this year. Had
only 1 tackle Sunday and has just 5 tackles and 0.5 sacks in his
last 4 games.
Justin Smith, DE (CIN) - after
posting his worst statistical game of the season the previous
week, he found a new low on Sunday, with just 2 assisted tackles.
He has 4 tackles (1 solo) the last 2 weeks.
Gerrard Warren, DT (CLE) -
the former first round pick has had just 2 tackles in each of
his last 3 games.
David Thornton, LB (IND) -
last year's breakout IDP continues to struggle to put up numbers
after moving to the strongside this year. He had his worst statistical
game of the season, posting just 2 solo tackles. Meanwhile, Thornton
owners must have cringed to see Cato June, who took over the weakside
job, posted 11 tackles (5 solo) and leads the team on the season.
Steeler LBs not named James Farrior
(PIT) - Kendrell Bell remains inactive and Larry Foote,
who has been decent in his place, had only 3 solo tackles Sunday.
Joey Porter posted the same, and when he doesn't post sacks, he
offers little value to his IDP owners. Clark Haggans had just
2 solos before getting injured.
Raiders D (OAK) - as usual,
Danny Clark had the only remotely tolerable performance, 9 tackles
(7 solo), but in addition to creating no turnovers and having
just 1 sack (shared by Charles Woodson and Tim Johnson) they just
sat back and let the Falcons literally run all over them. The
dynamic DT duo of Ted Washington and Warren Sapp continue to be,
literally and figuratively, huge free agent busts. They've done
nothing to improve the run defense and Sunday they combined for
1 assist (Washington) before each left with injuries. Washington
left in the first half with a sprained foot and Sapp left in the
fourth quarter with an ankle sprain.
Adam Archuleta, SS (STL) -
with no injury reported, Archuleta inexplicably didn't tally a
stat on Sunday.
Derrick Brooks, LB (TB) - after
an outstanding game the previous week, Brooks wasn't much of a
force Sunday, recording just 4 tackles (only 1 solo).
Titans Front Four (TEN) - more
changes, but not for the better, as Bo Schobel got his first start,
posting just 1 solo tackle. Carlos Hall remained the starter at
the other DE, and had just 2 tackles (1 solo). Randy Starks had
a key fumble recovery, but posted just 2 assists otherwise. Kevin
Carter, remaining back at DT, failed to appear in the box score,
as did reserve DE Travis LaBoy. Reserve DE Antwan Odom had half
a sack, but otherwise they failed to put any pressure on Trent
Green and had repeated breakdowns against Larry Johnson, allowing
him 2 long TD runs.
Inactives, Movement, Miscellany
ATL With Ed Jasper inactive
due to a fracture in his wrist, rookie Chad Lavalais got the start
at DT. He had 2 solo tackles and recovered a fumble.
BUF After missing 9 games due
to a knee injury, Troy Vincent returned to the starting lineup.
However, it was not at CB, where Terrence McGee remained the starter.
For the first time in his career, Vincent lined up at FS, and
had a big day. He could still return to the corner, but with that
position solid with McGee and Nate Clements, and FS an area of
need, he could follow in Rod Woodson's footsteps in making the
conversion from outstanding corner to outstanding FS to end his
CHI R.W. McQuarters continues
to work at FS and with rookie Nathan Vasher continuing to display
big play ability at the nickel, McQuarters looks to be the odd
man out next year when Mike Brown is healthy. He won't be bump
Charles Tillman or Jerry Azumah from a starting role, and it's
unlikely he'll react well to further demotion. McQuarters has
performed very well this season, but his year-to-year consistency
throughout his career has been a problem. His tremendous punt
return ability might be missed most, but even Vasher has some
good potential in that role.
CLE As expected, Chris Crocker
was inactive and Earl Little returned to starting FS.
DAL Lynn Scott has completely
replaced Tony Dixon at SS. After getting the nod when Darren Woodson
was not ready to start the season, Dixon looked like a fine replacement
with 3 sacks and 2 forced fumbles in his first 3 games. Dixon's
play declined, and Scott began to get more of a look, culminating
with Scott taking over the last few weeks. Scott, a reserve and
primarily special teams player over his 4 year career, had his
best day as a pro Sunday, with 8 tackles (6 solo) and his first
GB As expected, LB Na'il Diggs
was inactive with a bruised kidney. Paris Lenon started in his
place. Lenon had 10 tackles (6 solo).
HOU Against the Colts base
three-WR set, the Texans used a lot of their nickel package, giving
DeMarcus Faggins a lot of work alongside starting corners Aaron
Glenn and rookie Dunta Robinson. With FS Marcus Coleman out for
the year, Jason Simmons, back after missing a few weeks due to
a concussion, and Marlon McCree saw most of the work at the safety
spots over Eric Brown and Glenn Earl, who are better suited against
KC Both starting safeties,
Jerome Woods (FS) with a knee injury and Greg Wesley (SS) with
a hamstring, remained inactive. Shaunard Harts and Willie Pile,
respectively, continue to start in their place. LB Monty Beisel
returned and had a sack, but Quinton Caver remained the starter
MIA Zach Thomas remained inactive
with a partial tear in his hamstring and Derrick Pope continues
to replace him.
MIN CB Antoine Winfield was
inactive due to a high ankle sprain. Terrence Shaw started in
his place. Lance Johnstone replaced 1st round pick Kenechi Udeze,
who has struggled lately. Udeze still saw plenty of work in the
NE CB Asante Samuel returned
to the starting lineup with a bang, returning an INT 34 yards
for a TD. CB Tyrone Poole was also active, returning from knee
surgery several weeks ago, but Randall Gay remained the starter
opposite Samuel. The coaching staff has been impressed with the
undrafted FA Gay, and he's likely to retain the job. Meanwhile,
WR/CB Troy Brown remained the nickel, intercepting his third pass,
as well as making a couple solo tackles and catching 2 passes
for 27 yards on offense. The return of Samuel allowed Eugene Wilson
to return to FS and Rodney Harrison to SS. Ty Law remained out.
NO LB Sedrick Hodge was inactive
again with a knee injury, giving James Allen another start.
OAK Tyler Brayton returned
from neck injury to his starting DE role. Marques Anderson dressed,
but was limited, still due to a hamstring injury. Rookie Stuart
Schweigert got his second start at SS in Anderson's place. LB/DE
DeLawrence Grant, who started the first nine games, was a healthy
scratch for the fourth consecutive game. It's hard to believe
he is a downgrade from the pack of useless performers they are
trotting out there.
NYJ LB Sam Cowart was active,
but still is not starting, continuing to be hampered by his knee
and blocked by Jonathan Vilma's solid play. LB Victor Hobson was
inactive for the third straight game with an ankle sprain and
Mark Brown once again started in his place. As expected, DE John
Abraham was inactive with a knee sprain. Bryan Thomas was solid
in his place, finishing with the team lead (tied) in tackles with
8 (5 solo). The former 1st round pick has shown something to shed
a bit of the bust label this season, but with DE Shaun Ellis receiving
a long-term extension and John Abraham expected to get the franchise
tag, he is blocked from anything other than a reserve role in
the near future.
PHI Without Jerome McDougle,
inactive again due to a knee injury, and Derrick Burgess done
for the year, more serious injury problems continue to plague
the Eagles DLine for the third straight year. Darwin Walker started
at DE for Burgess opposite Jevon Kearse, giving Hollis Thomas
the start at DT next to Corey Simon. However, both Thomas and
Simon left early (see "Injuries"), making Walker needed
back on the interior on running downs and requiring more work
out of Hugh Douglas at DE. Kearse also battled injury problems
during the game. Fortunately, Paul Grasmanis was back from leg
problems and was able to play for the first time this season,
helping the depth at DT, along with breakout reserve Sam Rayburn.
Walker, Douglas, and Rayburn all stepped up, each recording a
sack. LB Nate Wayne remained inactive with a hamstring injury
and is likely out this week, as well.
PIT Chad Scott remains inactive
with a leg injury, and Willie Williams continues to thrive in
his absence. Williams had 10 tackles (7 solo) and a pass defended.
DeShea Townsend is also having a breakthrough season, so Scott
is not certain to assume his starting role when he returns. Kendrell
Bell remains inactive with a groin injury.
SEA Rookie SS Michael Boulware
performed so well in his first career start, Terreal Bierria,
who has played well this year, didn't see the field. 1st round
pick Marcus Tubbs, who sprained his ankle last week, was inactive
and possibly done for the season. DT Rocky Bernard, out with a
knee injury, is missed much more. He's been a tremendous bust
this year. LBs Tracy Brown (hamstring) and Chad Brown (torn meniscus)
remained inactive, but are expected to return this week.
STL A week after his best game
of the season, DE Leonard Little was limited by the flu, leading
to dehydration, as well. He needed an IV at halftime and was limited
to passing situations in the second half. Tyoka Jackson saw most
of the work at LDE in his place in the second half. Antuan Edwards
continues to start at FS while Aeneas Williams is limited with
neck and shoulder problems. Williams aggravated the injury early
in the game, and Kevin Garrett replaced him as the fifth DB, despite
DeJuan Groce returning after missing 2 games with a knee injury.
DT Jimmy Kennedy started for the second straight game over Damione
SD CB Sammy Davis remains inactive
with a fractured leg and may not return to the starting lineup
when he returns in the next couple of weeks. Drayton Florence
was already rotating with Davis before he was injured and could
hang on to the starting job.
TB Jack Howell continues to
replace Jermaine Phillips at FS. Phillips is out with a fracture
in his arm, but has recovered well and is Questionable for this
WAS LaVar Arrington missed
his eleventh straight game, but still refuses to pack it in. There
is a chance he returns this week. Converted college DB Lemar Marshall
continues to be solid in his absence. With Phillip Daniels on
the IR and Demetric Evans inactive with an ankle injury, the Skins
gave undrafted free agent rookie Ryan Boschetti his first career
start at DE. He saw his first game action just two weeks ago and
was a productive, versatile reserve, earning him a start over
Ron Warner. He finished the game with 2 assists.
Notable Week 14 Injuries
Chris Gamble, CB (CAR) - missed
the second half of the game due to groin injury. He expects to
play this week.
Brian Urlacher, LB (CHI) -
left the game in the second half with a hamstring injury. No official
word yet, but it's feared the hamstring is torn and he is done
for the season.
Willie Middlebrooks, DB and Roc Alexander,
DB (DEN) - with Lenny Walls already done for the season,
the Broncos secondary depth took some more hits last week. Both
players left the game with knee injuries, and Middlebrooks is
reportedly serious and he could be done for the year.
Yeremiah Bell, S (MIA) - interim
HC Jim Bates was hoping to get more of a look at the youngster
down the stretch, but once again his season is over due to injury.
He broke his ankle Sunday and is done for the season.
Orlando Ruff, LB (NO) - sprained
his ankle in the first half and did not return. Rookie Courtney
Watson, who won the starting MLB job over Ruff at the beginning
of the season, replaced him and had a solid performance. Watson
had 3 tackles (2 solo) and a sack.
Barrett Green, LB (NYG) - another
week, another game Green can't finish. He left again with a knee
injury in the first quarter. As usual, Nick Greisen replaced him,
who also left early with an ankle sprain. Green will likely have
surgery on the injured knee, be done for the season, and find
himself cut in 2005.
Corey Simon, DT (PHI) - left
the game in the first quarter and did not return after being plagued
by back spasms.
Hollis Thomas, DT (PHI) - a
few plays after Simon went down, Hollis left the game in the first
quarter with a dislocated elbow and will miss 3-6 weeks.
Jevon Kearse, DE (PHI) - left
the game briefly multiple times for a neck injury and twice limping
off due to an ankle injury, but finished the game.
Clark Haggans, LB (PIT) - after
his best game in a while the previous week, Haggans left early
Sunday with a groin injury and did not return. He is expected
to miss the next two games. As usual, the Steelers are deep at
LB. James Harrison, who has played well as an injury-replacement
earlier this year, replaced Haggans on running downs and finished
with 6 tackles (4 solo). Harrison should be the replacement while
he is out.
Aeneas Williams, FS (STL) -
already limited to certain packages with a pinched nerve in his
neck and shoulder area, Williams aggravated the injury on the
first series and did not return. He reported a lot of soreness
and loss of flexibility after the game, and is expected to see
a specialist, as an MRI is showing its just normal wear and tear.
Although the Rams should need him for a playoff push, he will
be limited as much as possible to allow it to heal to be available
if they do make the playoffs.
Pisa Tinoisamoa, LB (STL) -
he has been playing through a shoulder injury since the season-opener
and took another hard shot to the injured shoulder in the second
quarter on Sunday. He left the game for X-rays, but returned.
He had to leave another time with it bothering him, but again
returned after a brief stay on the sidelines. He finished the
game with 5 solo tackles. After the game, he said the shoulder
was "all right now', but had popped out during the game.
He will go back to wearing the harness that constrains him a bit,
but protects the shoulder, and is expected to play this week.
Grant Wistrom, DE (SEA) - he
missed four games earlier this season with a broken bone in his
left knee and late Sunday he suffered ligament damage in the same
knee and is expected to miss 6 weeks. He is done for the regular
season, but will not be put on the IR as he could be available
for the playoffs. Antonio Cochran, who was solid as his back-up
when he previously missed time, replaces him at starting DE.
Shawn Springs, CB (WAS) - he
was lit up on a block by Eagles FB Josh Parry and knocked out
of the game by the vicious hit in the 4th quarter. In a scary
scene, he was immobilized and had to be carted off the field.
He was hospitalized overnight with a concussion, but HC Joe Gibbs
says he is fortunately expected to be OK, although he's unlikely
to play this week. Before leaving, Springs had 5 solo tackles
and a pick that set up a TD to bring the team within 3 points
the previous drive.