Quick Hits (Details in individual
- Bye: Dallas, Detroit, Minnesota, Seattle
- CHI LB Urlacher misses first game due to injury, Ques. this week
- NYJ LB Coward out 4-6 weeks, 1st round pick Vilma to start
- ATL DE's Kerney and Smith thrive in 4-3
- KC MLB Beisel and NO MLB Watson locking up starting roles
- WAS LB's Arrington and Barrow hurting
- CIN MLB Webster done for season, rookie Miller to start
Week Four Injury Report
After a down year last season, SS Adrian Wilson is returning
to his 2002 form, grabbing an INT last week and leading the team
in tackles so far this season.
MLB Ronald McKinnon's production declined a bit the last two
season, and now it's almost completely gone. Look for him to be
replaced as a starter before long.
Rookie DT Darnell Dockett led the team with 8 solo tackles. DE
Peppi Zellner had a hard time finding a job this season, now he's
starting in Arizona and had 2 sacks last week.
DE's Patrick Kerney and Brady Smith are big fans of the move
to a 4-3 defense this year. Kerney had 3 sacks, to give him 5
on the year, and Smith added 1, to give him 3.
After a quiet start, SS Ed Reed flashed his playmaking skills,
grabbing 2 INTs in Baltimore territory, returning one 50 yards
and the other 40 yards.
LB Terrell Suggs returned to his rookie form, registering a two-sack
Lawyer Milloy remains out, but Coy Wire has been solid in his
place. This struggling group is unlikely to get on track and surprise
a loaded New England team like they did early last year.
MLB Dan Morgan avoided injury over the bye week and remains uncharacteristically
healthy, allowing his talent to shine as he leads the team in
tackles. DT Kris Jenkins (Questionable) is the only defender on
the injury report.
Coming off the high of beating arch-rival Green Bay in Lambeau,
more injuries crashed the Bears back to Earth. MLB Brian Urlacher,
who was playing some inspired ball through a nagging hamstring
his first two games, missed his first game due to the hamstring.
Urlacher is Questionable for this week. Hunter Hillenmeyer started
in his place, and finished with 5 tackles (2 solo) and a fumble
recovery. With Charles Tillman out 7-10 months, R.W. McQuarters
was unable to provide the same blanket coverage on Randy Moss,
who scored 2 TDs.
On the bright side, Todd Johnson, who started at FS in place
of Mike Brown who is out for the year, led the team with 7 solo
tackles and displayed a nasty streak. DE Adewale Ogunleye provided
the performance the team hoped for when they traded for him and
signed him to a big contract, posting 2 sacks, 4 tackles, a forced
fumble, and a fumble recovery.
MLB Nate Webster's opportunity to finally be a starter came to
an abrupt end when he tore a tendon in his knee in the 4th quarter.
His season is over. Kevin Hardy and Brian Simmons both struggled
with in the past attempting to move to the middle, so Plan A will
be to promote undersized rookie Caleb Miller.
Madieu Williams has bounced around the defensive backfield and
succeeded where ever he's asked to play, making him an unexpected
early contender for Defensive Rookie of the Year. After starting
Week One at CB with Deltha O'Neal inactive, he replaced an injured
Rogers Beckett at SS the last two weeks, and leads the team in
solo and total tackles.
When Sean Jones was drafted, the end in Cleveland appeared near
for Robert Griffith, but he's been one of the few bright spots
on the team, posting 12 tackles last week and leading the team
by a wide margin on the season.
DE Ebenezer Ekuban never lived up to his first round pick status
in Dallas, but with Courtney Brown out for the season, he's picked
up a sack and decent tackle numbers in each of the last two games.
Opposite Ekuban, Kenard Lang is off to a good start following
up his strong 2003 performance, getting his fourth sack of the
With Ben Taylor on the shelf for 4-6 months and uninspired play
from the LB corp, talented second year LB Chaun Thompson see more
SS Tony Dixon, who replaced the injured Darren Woodson, had a
breakout game. He had 2 sacks and a forced fumble to go with 6
solo tackles. He's tied with DE Greg Ellis, who also had 2 sacks,
for the team lead with three.
FS Roy Williams leads the team with 20 solo tackles, but has
yet to turn in any big plays.
After being demoted in the preseason, Reggie Hayward has been
a key contributor as the starting RDE. He has had at least a half
sack in every game, including one and 3 tackles last week. Opposite
Hayward, Marco Coleman isn't getting to the QB, but after being
on the verge of retirement before the season, he led the team
last week with 9 tackles (8 solo).
Thought to be the odd-man out when rookie Teddy Lehman was impressing
in the preseason, James Davis had a sack for the second straight
game. Lehman, on the other hand, hasn't turned in a big play since
his forced fumble Week One.
DE Robert Porcher has been a healthy scratch for all three games.
Not quite the way the Lions all-time sack leader would like his
career to wind down, but a bit ironic for a man who a year ago
was critical about Emmitt Smith's decision not to retire.
CB Mike McKenzie was a scratch as trade demands and conditioning
continue to hamper his return. The team could have used him, as
Peyton Manning abused the Packers all day. The team also could
use a pass rush, as they only have 3 sacks and none by a DLineman.
With SS Eric Brown and primary back-up Jason Simmons injured,
rookie Glenn Earl started at SS and posted 7 tackles (6 solo).
Earl was a highly-regarded prospect before he blew his knee out
last season, causing him to fall in the draft. FS Marcus Coleman
returned an INT 102 yards, a club-record, for a TD late in the
third quarter. OLB Kailee Wong is off to a great start, leading
the team with 2.5 sacks and averaging over 6 tackles a game.
Lost in the offensive explosion last week are the lingering deficiencies
on defense. Dwight Freeney remains inconsistent and injuries in
the secondary make more shootouts likely in the near future. On
the bright side, David Thornton's move to the strongside has had
no impact. He led the team in tackles with 10, and leads them
for the season, as well as grabbed an INT.
Already thin at DE, with the loss of Paul Spicer to a broken
leg, talented, but baggage-laden rookie Bobby McCray got his first
start. 2 tackles (1 solo) was all he had to show, but with a starting
role, he could be a late bloomer. Eagles DE Hugh Douglas, who
spent time with him while Douglas was still a Jaguar in the preseason,
spoke highly of him, commenting on how he couldn't believe he
fell to the 7th round with his talent. McCray's progress in camp
was one of the reasons Douglas was traded and Tony Brackens was
The MLB job is Monty Beisel's to lose. He leads the team in tackles
and has a pick. Kawika Mitchell will remain a back-up.
After a good opening day, DE Vonnie Holliday is battling groin
problems and missed his second game. John Browning has impressed
in his absence, and might push Holliday or Eric Hicks for time,
when Holliday returns.
CB Eric Warfield already has 3 INTs. The most he's ever had in
a season is four.
With DT Tim Bowens still out with a herniated disk in his back,
the DLine has also lost Larry Chester for the year with a knee
injury. The absences in the middle, and lack of any help from
their offense, allowed another 100-yard day, this time by Duce
Staley, for a D that did not allow a 100-yard rusher all last
MLB E.J. Henderson (knee sprain) and OLB Chris Claiborne (calf)
are both dinged and need the bye week to recover. It was originally
though Henderson could miss a month, but both may only miss one
game, after the bye, and return for the 10/17 game. Rookie LB
Dontarrious Thomas wasn't effected by his demotion when injuries
necessitated his return. He led the team with 13 tackles, including
2 on special teams, all in the second half.
As expected, without the tipped balls all falling his way again,
FS Brian Russell is a fantasy non-factor. He's the least productive
member of the defensive backfield. Time to cut bait on this one-year
DE Kenny Mixon returned from a two-game suspension to the starting
lineup and posted 3 solo tackles. 1st round pick Kenechi Udeze
was absent from the box score, after a nice start his first two
The D reports no injuries this week and are primed off a bye
to help tie an NFL-record in going for the teams' 18th consecutive
win. Willie McGinest leads the team with 3 sacks and FS Eugene
Wilson does with 2 INTs.
DE Charles Grant had a big day, totaling 3 sacks. Courtney Watson
had his first NFL sack and 6 tackles. He's locked up the MLB job
and has been one of the more impressive rookie defenders.
FS Terbucky Jones has been much-maligned for not living up to
his potential, but with 7 solo tackles last week, he continues
on pace for a big year.
New York Giants
MLB Kevin Lewis is headed in the wrong direction, continuing
to decline after a strong season-opening performance.
Michael Strahan kept chugging along, posting 6 tackles, 2 sacks,
and 2 fumble recoveries last week.
With Shaun Williams lost to a knee injury, rookie Gibril Wilson
is taking advantage of starting at SS, with his second interception
in as many games along with a team-high 8 tackles (7 solo).
New York Jets
With Sam Cowart out with a knee injury, 1st round pick Jonathan
Vilma will get his first start this week and have a earlier than
anticipated chance to justify the hype.
DT Warren Sapp wasn't much of a factor against his old team,
finishing with 3 solo tackles, but several other players stood
out. LB Danny Clark continues to be a solid fantasy option, having
8 tackles and leading the team on the year. CB Charles Woodson
is playing inspired ball, registering his second sack, and nearly
missing a third, along with forcing a fumble and picking up 5
solo tackles. His higher-paid brother may not have one yet, Akbar
Gbaja-Biamila got his first sack of the year. LB Napolean Harris
returned from injury to lead the team with 9 tackles.
DE Jevon Kearse had his first sack as an Eagle
and his second
his third, as he was in Joey Harrington's face all afternoon last
Sunday. CB Sheldon Brown has 2 sacks on the season and the coaching
staff likes what they see of him in a pass rush role in certain
blitz packages. He's averaging over 8 tackles a game and also
has a forced fumble. He appears to be in for a very productive
Jeremiah Trotter and Hugh Douglas continue to be relegated to
reserve/special team roles. It looks like it will take an injury
for either to have much value this year.
Kendrell Bell has replaced Dan Morgan as the most talented defensive
player who can't stay on the field. Now a groin injury, on top
of shoulder problems, has him Questionable this week. LB Clark
Haggans has been quiet since his big Week One performance. On
the other hand, Joey Porter returned in the deluge Monday night
to lead the team with 7 tackles, as well as get his first sack
and forced fumble of the year.
DE Leonard Little finally showed up in the box score, registering
his first sack of the season, along with 3 tackles (2 solo).
Injuries are once again jumbling the defensive backfield. Aeneas
Williams was needed back at CB, but will return to FS this week
with DeJuan Groce returning from a knee sprain. Rich Coady started
at FS, with Williams at CB, and had 8 solo tackles. Recent addition
Kwamie Lassiter also saw some time as an extra DB.
LB Tommy Polley has been in and out of the doghouse, but responded
to a return to the starting lineup with 7 tackles (6 solo) and
If you have a Charger not named Donnie Edwards as an IDP on your
roster, you play in a deep league.
With plenty of other problems with the season underway, LB Julian
Peterson's holdout is far in the rearview mirror. He is second
on the team in tackles and leads them with 3.5 sacks and 2 forced
DE Andre Carter remains Doubtful with back problems.
1st round pick DT Marcus Tubbs finally got into a game, but it's
reserve DT Rocky Bernard who is making an impact, having a sack
in each game this year.
LB Anthony Simmons continues to do little. Unless he's injured,
he's due for some big games.
Despite getting his first sack of the year, DE Simeon Rice is
hardly the force he's been the past few years so far this season.
A poor attitude that plagued him in Arizona and led a lot of teams
to pass on his fantastic talent is re-emerging as the Bucs struggle
and veteran leadership to check his ego is gone. He reportedly
is upset at the play of the offense, but really needs to worry
about getting his game going. HC Jon Gruden doesn't have the best
track record in dealing with disruptive personalities in tough
times, so this situation could grow worse.
While Steve McNair's sternum is of primary concern, there were
several notable injuries on defense. FS Lance Schulters suffered
a Lisfranc sprain in the game and could miss the rest of the season.
After replacing Schulters, Lamont Thompson was called for a pass
interference penalty that set up Jacksonville's game-winning score.
DE Juqua Thomas suffered a high ankle sprain and will miss at
least one week. Rocky Calmus was inactive again with back and
leg problems. Brad Kassell has been working at MLB in place of
Calmus, but many of the Titans' sets don't call for one. Rocky
Boiman and Antwan Odom had knee injuries, but both are believed
to be minor. Neither Odom or fellow rookie Randy Starks have done
much since both registered sack in productive debuts in the season-opener.
One-time standout DE Kevin Carter, now a DT, had a sack and leads
the team with 1.5.
Sean Taylor finally got his first start at FS, but did not come
out with a bang, finishing with 4 tackles (1 solo) and 2 passes
Antonio Pierce continues to start at MLB with Mike Barrow is
nursing a knee injury. Lavar Arrington joined him as inactive,
giving Lemar Marshall a start. Barrow is Questionable, but Arrington
remains Out this week with a knee injury, as well