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IDP Notes
Week 10

Quick Hits (Details in individual team notes)
  • Week 10 Byes: CIN, NO, SD, TEN
  • PIT LB Farrior sprains MCL, will miss time
  • SD LB Edwards playing with torn knee cartilage
  • SD LB Merriman dominates, dislocates wrist
  • NE LB Vrabel thrives since moving inside
  • BAL MLB Lewis and SS Reed remain out
  • CAR DEs Peppers and Rucker each have 2 sacks
  • WAS OLB Arrington antithesis of TO
  • IND DE Mathis regains NFL sack lead with ninth
  • AZ DE Berry has torn pec, could miss rest of year
  • GB DE KGB has a suddenly rare sack
  • TB DE Rice plays this time, but still does nothing
  • SD LB group thrives despite injuries
  • OAK DE Burgess is Oct. AFC D Player of the Month
  • ATL DT Coleman is Oct. NFC D Player of the Month
  • DAL LB Ware is Oct. NFL D Rookie of the Month
  • DUI and MCL keep NO Watson out, McKinnon in at MLB
  • SEA DE "Captain" Fisher continues to have career year
  • PHI DEs battle shoulder problems
  • JAX DE Spicer continues breakout season
  • MIN reverts back to 4-3, CB Winfield dominates
Week 10 Injury Report (available Wednesday PM)

DE Bert Berry left the game in the fourth quarter with a chest injury. A MRI revealed he has a torn left pectoral muscle and he could be done for the season. He may not need surgery, but the best-case scenario doesn’t have him back until the last couple of games. With Calvin Pace done for the season, the position is extremely thin. One of the Antonio’s, rookie Smith or recently-signed Cochran, will get the first shot and will have a great opportunity at a top producing fantasy position. On the left side, DE Chike Okeafor had the only sack for the Cardinals, and forced a fumble on it. He also had 5 solo tackles and is playing through a wrist injury.

OLB Karlos Dansby played through lingering knee problems and had 6 solo tackles. Reserve rookie LB Lance Mitchell was inactive after seeing some action the previous few weeks. Mitchell has struggled with knee problems all season. Fellow reserve rookie LB Darryl Blackstock notched an assist, his first stat since the season opener. Blackstock has had no reported health problems, but has had a problem getting time, despite an assortment of injuries at LB for the Cards this season.

The return of rookie Eric Green from a shoulder injury made Raymond Walls expendable and he was released last week. 1st round pick Antrel Rolle remains inactive with a knee injury and is likely out for the season, but has not been put on the IR. Robert Tate remained a starter opposite normal starter David Macklin.

FS Robert Griffith led the team with 9 tackles (7 solo).

After experimenting with Ike Reese and rookie Michael Boley at MLB to replace Edgerton Hartwell (IR), the team moved Keith Brooking back to MLB over the bye. Boley remained a starter outside, along with Demorrio Williams. Williams tied for the team lead with 7 tackles (3 solo), while Brooking had 4 (1 solo) and Boley had 3 (1 solo). FS Bryan Scott also had 7 tackles (5 solo). Scott suffered a neck injury in the game and while x-rays were negative, his status is in question this week. Antuan Edwards or Ronnie Heard would start if he can’t go. SS Keion Carpenter preserved the victory with a pick, the only turnover of the game for Atlanta, with less than three minutes left after the Dolphins drove to the Falcon 8-yard line. It was the first pick of the year in the Falcon secondary other than by CB DeAngelo Hall.

DE Brady Smith was unable to return from a broken toe and was inactive. He is expected to miss this week, as well. Rookie DL Jonathan Babineaux got his first career start at RDE in Brady’s place, instead of Chauncey Davis. Babineaux had 4 tackles (1 solo). In a reserve role, Davis had 2 tackles (1 solo) before leaving with a knee injury.

DT Rod Coleman had just 1 assist after a tremendous October that earned him a NFC Defensive Player of the Month award. Last month Coleman had 11 tackles, 4 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles.

With MLB Ray Lewis and SS Ed Reed out of the lineup, and little help from the offense, the D couldn’t stop Bengal QB Carson Palmer. Tommy Polley replaced Lewis at MLB, with Bart Scott and Adalius Thomas flanking him in the base D. Polley led the team with 10 tackles (6 solo) and broke up a pass. Scott had his first career sack among his 9 tackles (7 solo) and Thomas also had a sack, along with 2 forced fumbles and 8 tackles (7 solo). Lewis is expected to miss at least another week and Polley has excellent value as long as he is out.

Dale Carter started in the secondary, but Chad Williams was the primary replacement for Reed at SS. Carter left with a pulled hamstring and did not return. Williams had 8 tackles (7 solo), including a sack. Reed remains out with a severe ankle sprain. DE Anthony Weaver was active, but did not play, and his toe injury cost him his fourth consecutive game.

Quiet bye week for the Bills.

The Panthers defense looked good as ever, as DE’s Julius Peppers and Mike Rucker each had 2 sacks and CB Chris Gamble returned a pick 61 yards. It was Rucker’s first two-sack game in over two years, and he also forced a fumble on one of the sacks and recovered a TB RB Cadillac Williams fumble on the first Buccaneer drive, setting the pace for the D. Peppers also had 5 tackles (4 solo) playing with a broken right hand. Gamble had another pick and broke up another pass, along with 4 solo tackles.

After a disappointing first half, OLB Will Witherspoon had his second consecutive solid fantasy game. He led the team with 9 tackles (8 solo). MLB Dan Morgan looked unimpeded by his shoulder harness in posting 7 tackles (5 solo).

FS Chris Harris had his first big game in a homecoming of sorts; the rookie played his college ball at Louisiana-Monroe. After the Saints offense moved through the Chicago defense shockingly easily on the first drive, a pick by the Saints on Chicago’s first possession threatened to put the team down by two scores. However, Harris picked up a fumble and returned it 49 yards, setting up the Bears first TD. Later in the game, Harris had his first career sack and made a nice open field tackle on RB Antowain Smith on a blitz, among his 7 solo tackles. The resilient defense prevented three possessions which started in Bears territory due to turnovers by the Chicago offense, to yield no points.

WLB Lance Briggs led the team with 11 tackles (10 solo). SLB Hunter Hillenmeyer had a nice game, as well. He posted 4 solo tackles and applied effective pressure in frequent blitz opportunities, notching 1 sack, as well as grabbing his first career pick. The Vanderbilt product is perceived as the intelligent, fundamentally sound, but short on physical talent type of player. However, he demonstrated some playmaking ability on Sunday that showed perhaps he is more than a stopgap player and better suited for a back-up role.

Despite not being expected to play after being inactive in Week Eight and missing practice last week due to a knee injury that occurred in Week Seven, LB David Pollack played and had a solo tackle. However, Landon Johnson started at SLB and saw most of the work there, leading the team in tackles (tied) with 8 solo and he forced a fumble. WLB Brian Simmons had a big game, posting 8 tackles (6 solo), a sack, a forced fumble, and 2 passes defensed. Rookie MLB Odell Thurman had 6 tackles (5 solo). LB Caleb Miller was activated from the PUP this week. He saw some starting time last year, but the LB group is much stronger this year. He’ll primarily work on special teams, but could see some time in the rotation if David Pollack’s knee continues to be a problem.

With Duane Clemons threatening to take his starting role, DE Robert Geathers had his second sack of the year, and first in over a month.

It wasn’t until the last play of the game, but the Browns kept their NFL-record streak of games with a turnover alive at 21. As Titan QB Steve McNair avoided a sack by LB Kenard Lang, he got a pass off that was intercepted by rookie reserve safety Brodney Pool. It was Pool’s first career pick. He also had 2 solo tackles and another pass defensed. Pool saw significant action with SS Chris Crocker playing through a shoulder injury.

ILB Andra Davis had the only sack of the day among his 5 tackles (2 solo).

Some honors over the bye week, as 1st round pick LB Demarcus Ware’s 16 tackles, 7 pressures, and 3 sacks in October won him NFL Defensive Player of the Month.

ILB Dat Nguyen’s outlook for the rest of the season got no better, as it was reported the team would like to limit his snaps to about 60% the normal load each week. Nguyen saw limited action in Week Eight after missing several games with a nerve injury in his neck and knee problem. This increases Scott Shanle’s value the rest of the season, as he has been Nguyen’s primary back up.

CB Anthony Henry and S Willie Pile both nursed sore groins over the bye.

Despite being effective when healthy, former starting CB Lenny Walls has rarely been healthy the last two years. After the success of all Denver’s rookie DB’s so far this year, Walls is out of the picture and expected to be released in two weeks when he recovers from his latest groin injury. There will be no shortage of demand for the tall CB who has flashed great potential, when healthy. The BC alumnus has expressed interest in the Patriots, and they should be an interested party with all the injuries in their secondary.

CB Champ Bailey was held out of practice Monday to give his injured hamstring more time to heal coming out of the bye, but he is expected to give it a go on Wednesday and try to play again this week. Bailey left the Week Eight game in the third quarter after aggravating it. He has also been playing with a shoulder harness due to a slight separation.

The defense missed DT Shaun Rogers, who missed another game due to a MCL sprain, which helped revived the Vikings offense by allowing the running game to prosper. Rookie Shaun Cody continued to replace Rogers, posting 5 tackles (4 solo) and a fumble recovery. Kalimba Edwards got back to being comfortable with his pass rush specialist role, posting his second two-sack game of the season. He had 3 other solo tackles and a forced fumble. Edwards leads the team with 6 sacks. Edwards frequently spelled Cory Redding, playing with a sore shoulder. Redding had 4 tackles (2 solo). DE James Hall had 7 tackles (5 solo).

FS Terrence Holt returned after suffering a concussion the previous week and led the team with 8 tackles (5 solo). MLB Earl Holmes played through a sprained wrist injury and posted 7 tackles (5 solo). Reserve LB Teddy Lehman was inactive with a foot injury.

CB Dre’ Bly remains inactive with a dislocated wrist, so Andre Goodman and R.W. McQuarters continue to start at CB. Bly is expected to miss two more weeks. Goodman left the game with a hamstring injury. All the injuries gave DB Keith Smith more work, and he recorded his first career sack.

Green Bay
DE Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila had his first sack in a month, giving him 3.5 for the season. He is on track for his lowest sack total since his rookie year, when he played only half the season. His string of four consecutive seasons with double-digit sacks appears in jeopardy, barring a huge second half.

Despite returning to practice from a MCL tear, SLB remained inactive. Paris Lenon remained the starter and had 6 tackles (2 solo). Diggs was a game-time decision and should be back this week. MLB Nick Barnett led the team with 11 tackles (6 solo). WLB Robert Thomas had 5 tackles (2 solo) and his first pick as a Packer, playing with a sore shoulder.

Reserve DL Corey Williams left in the fourth quarter with a pulled calf muscle. He is expected to miss a game or two.

Embattled second-year CB Joey Thomas was released after criticism of the team due to his lack of playing time the previous week sealed his fate in Green Bay.

NT Seth Payne had the only notable day, with 4 solo tackles and a sack. He has had a sack in three of his last four games. DE Gary Walker’s shoulder made it through back-to-back games. He led the team with 5 solo tackles. Rookie DE Travis Johnson had his first career sack.

CB Demarcus Faggins suffered a hamstring injury in the game and did not return. Phillip Buchanon, the man Faggins replaced as a starter, replaced Faggins. The injury is expected to keep Faggins out of the game this week, moving Buchanon back to the starting lineup.

DE Dwight Freeney didn’t show up in the box score, as he was playing through a foot injury and the focus of double-teams all night. Pass rush specialist DE Robert Mathis regained sole lead of sacks in the NFL with his ninth on the last play of the game. He also forced a fumble on his sack of Patriot QB Doug Flutie, in for mop up work, and had 5 tackles (2 solo). Mathis has a streak of 8 consecutive games (each game this year) with at least 1 sack.

FS Bob Sanders recovered from an arm injury over the bye and posted 5 tackles (4 solo), including forcing a fumble on Patriot RB Corey Dillon. MLB Gary Brackett led the team with 9 tackles (5 solo). WLB Cato June continues to play through a sports hernia that he hopes to not have to tend to until after the season, similar to Eagle QB Donovan McNabb. June, who also had a sore knee, finished with 5 tackles (4 solo).

Unexpectedly down 7 at halftime, the defense got the Jags going on the Texans’ first drive of the second half. DE Paul Spicer and DT Rob Meier had sacks on back-to-back plays, with Meier forcing a fumble on his recovered by reserve DE Bobby McCray. The Jags tied the game four plays later. Spicer’s career season is looking a lot more legit after a three-sack game seemed an anomaly on his year. He has sacks in back-to-back games and will keep adding to his career-high of 5.5 with each subsequent one. He deserves consideration in deep leagues if you are desperate at DE. Spicer also had 3 solo tackles. Meier’s sack was his second of the year, tying his career-high. McCray also had the best game of his young career. In addition to the fumble recovery, he had 2 tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble. Meier saw more work than usual due to a sore ankle on DT Marcus Stroud, who started despite missing practice most of the week. Stroud kept his streak of consecutive games played alive. He hasn’t missed one in his five-year career.

As usual, MLB Mike Peterson led the team in tackles. He had 10 (9 solo) and a sack for the second consecutive game. He also forced a fumble.

FS Deon Grant played through a sore ankle he twisted in their game the previous week. He had 4 solo tackles and a sack. SS Deke Cooper suffered a shoulder injury in third quarter and rookie Gerald Sensabaugh replaced him.

Kansas City
With CB Patrick Surtain (sprained left knee in Week Eight) and Dexter McCleon (lingering groin injury) inactive, Dewayne Washington started opposite Eric Warfield at CB. The former Steeler starter gave up the only reception of the day to injured Oakland WR Randy Moss for a go-ahead TD, but RB Larry Johnson bailed him out in the end. Warfield, playing through a hip pointer, led the team with 11 solo tackles, but aggravated the injury during the game. The secondary was really thin with reserve S Jerome Woods out with a pulled hamstring, as well. FS Greg Wesley had the only turnover of the day, an INT.

MLB Kawika Mitchell had 6 tackles (5 solo) and the only sack for the Chiefs.

DE Jason Taylor had his first sack in almost a month, since suffering a torn plantar fascia, and it almost propelled the Dolphins to victory. He caught Atlanta QB Mike Vick deep in Falcon territory on third down halfway through the fourth quarter, forcing a punt that gave Miami the ball at Atlanta’s 42-yard line. The offense drove to the 8-yard line, but ended with the only turnover of the day, spoiling the comeback attempt. Taylor also posted 5 tackles (3 solo).

A week after his worst production of the season, MLB Zach Thomas got back on track with 14 tackles (8 solo) and a forced fumble. SLB Junior Seau returned after missing three games with a lingering calf injury. Seau had 3 assists.

Travares Tillman remained the starting SS and had 9 tackles (6 solo) and a pass defensed. CB Sam Madison returned from a hip pointer that left him inactive the previous week. He posted 3 solo tackles and broke up a pass.

After HC Mike Tice became more involved in the planning, the base defense switched back to a 4-3, but the improved play of the offense was more responsible for a revitalized look by the team. The switch gave 1st round pick DE Erasmus James his first career start. James finished with 3 tackles (2 solo) after straining his right hamstring, limiting him in the second half. On the right side, Darrion Scott remained the starter and posted 4 tackles (3 solo). Lance Johnstone thrived back in his pass rush specialist role and with James limited, posting his first two-sack game of the season. Sam Cowart was the MLB, with E.J. Henderson at WLB and Keith Newman at SLB. Newman had the best fantasy game, finishing with 5 tackles (4 solo), a sack, and a pass defended. Reserve LB Dontarrius Thomas returned from a knee injury and had 2 tackles (1 solo). Napoleon Harris remained a reserve and played through a knee injury, mostly on passing downs. Raonall Smith was the big loser in the new scheme, as he was limited to mostly special teams work.

A week after bashing the scheme and defensive coaching for the defense’s struggles, CB Antoine Winfield led by example, leading the team with 14 tackles (11 solo, including 3 on special teams) and breaking up 2 passes, including grabbing one for a pick. CB Fred Smoot started despite a bruised right shoulder, but aggravated the injury and had to leave for a series in the third quarter. Smoot finished with 6 solo tackles and a pass defended.

New England
A week after moving into a starting role, journeyman addition Arturo Freeman was released last week. A strange move, considering how thin the team is at the position. Starting FS Eugene Wilson and reserve Michael Stone were the only true safeties on their active roster against Indy. LB Don Davis has been used in a tweener role in some run sets. Rookie James Sanders remained inactive with an ankle injury. CB Randall Gay, who has missed several games battling ankle problems and was listed as questionable, returned again Monday night and got the start at SS. He had 6 tackles (5 solo). Gay is a bit undersized for a SS, and using him there might have been a tactic against the base single-back set Colts, but with the unconventional wisdom of Bill Belichick, Gay could remain the new starter. Stone, the former Cardinal, did see plenty of work, posting 6 tackles (5 solo). Don’t be surprised to see Stone or the rookie Sanders, when healthy, get a chance to be the starter, either.

The base LB group continues to include Mike Vrabel and Tedy Bruschi inside and Rosey Colvin and Willie McGinest outside. Vrabel continues to thrive inside, having double-digit tackles for the third straight game since the move. He led the team with 10 (6 solo) and has 37 (23) in his last three games. He also had his second pick of the year. Bruschi had 10 tackles (6 solo, including 1 on special teams). After being an apparently healthy scratch last week, Chad Brown rotated in as the primary back up at LB, posting 4 tackles (3 solo). Both Brown and Monty Beisel, the former inside starters, are looking pretty worthless, barring an injury, the rest of the way.

DE Richard Seymour missed his fourth straight game with a knee injury. Jarvis Green continues to start in his place, playing through a shoulder injury that limited him in practice last week.

Asante Samuel and Duane Starks took turns getting beaten by Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne, allowing almost identical stats. With Gay working at SS, depth at CB remained a problem. Soon-to-be-released Lenny Walls in Denver could be an answer in a few weeks.

New Orleans/Baton Rogue/San Antonio
Ronald McKinnon continued to start at MLB, as Courtney Watson appears once again in HC Jim Haslett’s doghouse after an arrest for a DUI two weeks ago. McKinnon had 6 tackles (5 solo), while Watson had 1 solo in limited time, during which he managed to sprain his MCL. He will miss a few weeks and McKinnon gains value as the starting MLB indefinitely. WLB Colby Bockwoldt led the team with 8 tackles (6 solo).

SS Dwight Smith had a pick, a sack, and a forced fumble, along with 3 solo tackles.

CB Mike McKenzie played through a shoulder injury, but maybe shouldn’t have. His generous cushion, perhaps playing a bit soft due to the injury, led to Chicago’s first TD and he had a key pass interference penalty in the game. The Saints were awarded former Packer CB Joey Thomas on waivers, who follows in the footsteps of McKenzie in defecting to the Saints after burning his bridges in Green Bay. The former third-round pick was one of the players drafted last year by the Packers to help replace the loss of McKenzie.

New York Giants
With Carlos Emmons still inactive due to a slightly torn pectoral muscle, Reggie Tobor remained the SLB starter. He led the team in tackles with 9 (8 solo, including 2 on special teams). MLB Antonio Pierce had 7 tackles (5 solo) and a sack.

DE Osi Umenyiora had 3 tackles (2 solo), including a sack, and broke up a pass away before leaving with a leg injury. End was already thin with rookie DE Justin Tuck inactive due to an ankle sprain.

Reserve S Shaun Williams returned after leaving the Week Eight game in the first quarter with a pulled hamstring, but aggravated the injury and had to leave again in the first half. SS Gibril Wilson had been a bit of a disappointment in lacking the ability to turn in the big play he demonstrated as a rookie last year. On Sunday, he had his first sack of the season among his 5 tackles (4 solo). His tackle production is actually exactly on par with his output through the eight games he played in last year, he is just a couple picks and sacks short of what he accomplished in as many games a rookie. FS Brent Alexander had a pick, the only turnover forced by the Giants.

CB Will Peterson remained inactive with fractures in his back. He has not improved, but the team has not officially called it a season for him yet. Curtis Deloatch continues to replace him in the starting lineup.

New York Jets
With the offense in disarray due to the QB situation, the defense hung tough during a furious second half comeback and gave the team a chance for the win with a huge play late in the game by their two top defensive playmakers. With a little over three minutes left in the game, down by 5, DE John Abraham sacked Charger QB Drew Brees forcing a fumble recovered by MLB Jonathan Vilma in San Diego territory. It was the only sack and turnover of the day for the defense. The offense drove down, but a pass broken up on fourth-and-goal spoiled what would have been a huge win for a struggling team. Vilma also led the team with 11 tackles (8 solo). Abraham also had 3 tackles (2 solo).

Mark Brown, who replaced WLB Eric Barton (IR), had just 3 tackles (1 solo), but remains a promising pick-up due to his new starting role on a defense that should be spending a lot of time on the field.

CB Ty Law was juked out of his jock by Ladainian Tomlinson on a flair pass that LT2 took 25 yards for a TD, the second of his career-high four that the Jets allowed.

With DE Bobby Hamilton inactive with an ankle sprain from Week Eight, sack-leader Derrick Burgess started a LE and Tommy Kelly at RE. The duo got off to a fast start on the Chiefs’ first possession, with Kelly slapping the ball out of KC QB Trent Green’s hands for a sack and forced fumble that Burgess recovered. Kelly had 2 other sacks, forcing a fumble on another, as well, in a career game. He left with a leg injury, but returned and finished the game. The sacks were his first ones of the season. Burgess was mostly held in check the rest of the day, adding just 1 solo tackle. It was his second straight poor fantasy effort after posting 2 sacks in each of the three previous games in October. That effort earned him the AFC Defensive Player of the Month award for October.

Oakland looked to, at worst, be forcing a long FG to tie, when KC RB Larry Johnson took a dump pass 36 yards with seconds left. CB Nnamdi Ashomugha and FS Stuart Schweigert stopped short of the goal, but on a gutsy call be KC HC Dick Vermeil, Johnson plunged in for the win on the next play with just five seconds left. Ashomugha played through some sore ribs and posted 5 solo tackles and a pass defended. CB Renaldo Hill and rookie CB Fabian Washington continue to see significant time in the absence of Charles Woodson (broken right leg). Washington led the team with 9 solo tackles and Hill had 5 solo, and a pass defended. Hill had to leave the game with a hip injury, depleting a thin Raider secondary even more.

DT Warren Sapp followed up his best game as a Raider with just 3 solo tackles.

DE Jevon Kearse played through an AC joint sprain in his right shoulder he suffered in Week Eight and had one of his better games of the season. Kearse had 4 solo tackles, including a sack. Opposite him on the right side, N.D. Kalu was playing through a shoulder injury of his own, and had to leave the game after aggravating it. Rookie Trent Cole saw more work in Kalu’s place, and responded with his first career sack and forced fumble, among his 3 solo tackles. It was a huge play, as the Redskins were deep in Eagle territory looking to increase their three-point lead before the half. Another reserve, DE Juqua Thomas, picked it up and returned it 16 yards.

SS Michael Lewis showed no ill effects from a quad injury that forced him out of the game early in Week Eight. He led the team with 10 tackles (7 solo). FS Brian Dawkins had 8 tackles (7 solo) and forced a fumble with a beautifully placed helmet right on the ball in TE Chris Cooley’s arm near the end zone, which could have swung the outcome of the game. However, an alert Washington OG Derrick Dockery quickly covered the ball and the Redskins scored the decisive TD on the next play.

DT Darwin Walker continues to battle lingering thigh problems, but started and had 2 tackles (1 solo). MLB Jeremiah Trotter played with a sore knee and had 8 tackles (6 solo). CB Lito Sheppard appeared recovered from a knee injury that plagued him through Week Eight.

Early in the second quarter, with Green Bay threatening to take the lead, SS Troy Polamalu missed a sack, but rookie CB Bryant McFadden got to Packer QB Brett Favre, notching his first career sack and forcing a fumble. Polamalu then picked up the ball and returned it 77 yards, assisted by a nice block from McFadden, for a TD that would eventually be the difference in the game. Polamalu recovered another fumble earlier in the game and had 6 tackles (5 solo). Green Bay’s comeback hopes were squashed when a Favre pass went right through the hands of Green Bay WR Donald Driver and reserve S Tyrone Carter grabbed the wobbling ball. Overall, the Steelers turned three Green Bay turnovers in to 17 points.

The injury headlines were dominated the offense, but Pittsburgh’s defense was banged up at LB. All four starters played through injuries. OLB Clark Haggans was limited in his second game back from a partially torn groin. He posted just 1 assist. Opposite him, Joey Porter continued to play with lingering knee problems and had 5 tackles (2 solo). ILB Larry Foote led the team with 11 tackles (10 solo), despite a sore shoulder. ILB James Farrior, the heart and soul of the defense, had 6 tackles (5 solo) despite adding a sore knee last week to back problems that have lingered this season. However, Farrior had to leave the game in the third quarter after aggravating the knee injury. He has a grade two MCL sprain in his left knee and is expected to miss at least two weeks. Clint Kriewaldt is expected to replace him in the starting lineup this week.

St. Louis
Coming out of a bye, DE Leonard Little is expected back this week after missing two games after the tragic murder of his brother. He returned to practice on Monday. Opposite Little, Tony Hargrove hasn’t been the pass rush compliment the team had hoped for since losing Grant Wistrom. Brandon Green has shown much better instincts against misdirection plays, but lacks the physical skills the team keeps hoping Hargrove can manifest into consistent production.

San Diego
It took a while to get him on the field, but 1st round pick OLB Shawne Merriman is making up for lost time now that he’s there. Two weeks after making his first start, and a week after a two-sack game, Merriman led the team in tackles with 9 (7 solo) and added another sack. Merriman had suffered a dislocated wrist during the game and had minor surgery to insert some pins on Monday. Apparently the injury isn’t serious, as he is not expected to miss any time with the extra week to heal due to the bye. He leads the team with 5 sacks. Also taking advantage of his starting opportunity, OLB Shaun Phillips had 2 sacks among his 5 solo tackles. Phillips again replaced Steve Foley, who missed his second consecutive game due to an abdomen injury that has been bothering him for a while. The bye gives Foley some more time to recover, but the injury appears to be a significant problem. Phillips, a converted college DE, continues to make the transition to OLB in his second year and follow in the footsteps of fellow Purdue DE alums Akin Ayodele and Rosevelt Colvin, who prospered upon converting at the next level. He is a good pick-up, as long as he remains a starter, presenting a good sack threat every week. ILB Randall Godfrey missed the previous game with a neck injury and whether or not it has fully healed, he was inactive Sunday due to attend the funeral of his sister. Stephen Cooper started in his place again and was productive again, finishing with 8 tackles (5 solo). ILB Donnie Edwards continues to play through a tender knee, posting 6 tackles (4 solo). Edwards had planned to have minor arthroscopic surgery to repair some torn cartilage on Monday, with extra time to recover due to the bye, but the knee responded well after the game, so he’ll hope to postpone the surgery until the off-season. The Chargers LB corps is proving to be one of the deepest in the league, with their scheme providing plug and produce reliability at the position a la the Steelers.

A struggling Jet squad made a game of it in the second half, and after the offense turned the ball over late in the fourth quarter, it took CB Quentin Jammer batting down a fade pass on fourth-and-goal to preserve the victory. His play was a huge relief to a team who suffered four close losses all in the closing minutes of each game. Jammer also had 5 tackles (3 solo) and another pass defensed. CB Sammy Davis was shaken up for the second time in three games, leaving in the fourth quarter with an undisclosed injury. The secondary was already dinged up with reserve CB Drayton Florence limited by a sore ankle and SS Terrence Kiel inactive with ankle and calf injuries. Clinton Hart started in Kiel’s place and had 4 solo tackles, including one on special teams.

DL Dave Ball, a former UCLA standout, was released after being too tall to play with enough leverage at NT and too slow to contribute at DE in their 3-4.

San Francisco
OLB Andre Carter struggled seeing more work back at end and DE Bryant Young posting just 1 solo tackle. OLB Julian Peterson led the team (tied) with 9 tackles (5 solo) and a forced fumble.

CB Ahmed Plummer (ankle) and LB Saleem Rasheed (knee) both remained inactive after arthroscopic surgery on their ailments a few weeks ago.

DE Bryce Fisher had 2 sacks among his 3 solo tackles, forcing a fumble on one and also breaking up 2 passes. He is on track to post career highs across the board, including possibly his first double-digit sack season, and is one of the breakout IDP players of 2005. Last week Fisher was also sworn in as a captain in the Washington Air National Guard. The Air Force Academy alumnus had two years of active service after graduation and was allowed nine years of reserves or National Guard service, a similar arrangement allowed for other Armed Forces academy graduates with the opportunity for professional sports careers, instead of the standard five-year active commitment upon graduation. Fisher was previously affiliated with the Missouri Air National Guard while a member of the Rams. Opposite him, Grant Wistrom continues to have a disappointing fantasy season, posting just 1 solo tackle and defending a pass.

FS Marquand Manuel, who has replaced the Ken Hamlin (non-football IR) with the first team, led the team in tackles with 12 (9 solo) and broke up a pass. S Etric Pruitt was activated from the practice squad to take Hamlin’s place on the roster, but was inactive for the game on Sunday. The secondary contributed three important picks, exploiting Arizona QB Kurt Warner’s timing in his return as the starter. The first two by CB’s Marcus Trufant and Kelly Herndon set up 10 points for the offense. The third, by reserve rookie S Jordan Babineaux, ended a comeback attempt by the Cardinals in the fourth quarter. Herndon remained a starter despite Andre Dyson returning to the active roster after missing two games with a hamstring injury. Herndon also had 3 solo tackles and 2 other passes defensed. SS Michael Boulware strained his hamstring in the game, but is expected to be fine.

OLB D.D. Lewis was inactive with a knee injury. Rookie Leroy Hill saw significant action in his place, picking up 5 solo tackles and his third sack. Lewis is expected back next week.

Former 1st round pick DT Marcus Tubbs had his second sack of the season, setting a new career-high, but also suffered a serious calf injury.

Tampa Bay
Last week IDP owners of Simeon Rice were screwed by late notification of his benching. This week, there was no such explanation. Another goose egg, despite returning to the starting lineup and seeing a full day of work, with no injuries reported. DL Dewayne White, who started in Rice’s place last week, had the only sack of the day.

MLB Shelton Quarles played through a thigh injury, that forced him to miss some practice time last week, and led the team with 14 tackles (9 solo) and forced a fumble. OLB Derrick Brooks played through a sore hammy, posting 7 tackles (4 solo).

FS Dexter Jackson was inactive again due to a hamstring injury and remains out indefinitely. Will Allen continues to start at FS.

LB Peter Sirmon was active, but did not play due to an ankle injury. Reserve LB Rocky Boiman was inactive with a calf injury, so Robert Reynolds got the start opposite Keith Bulluck. Reynolds had 5 tackles (3 solo) and Bulluck led the team with 11 tackles (10 solo) and a pick.

DE Kyle Vanden Bosch had 6 tackles (1 solo) and was dinged up during the game. Opposite him, Travis LaBoy got his first start of the season, posting 3 solo tackles and a fumble recovery. Antwan Odom, the normal starter who was bothered by a knee injury during the week, rotated in. The injury may be why Odom didn’t start, but he has not been consistent either, so LaBoy could supplant him as starter until Odom improves.

CB Andre Woolfolk was inactive again with a hamstring injury. Rookie Reynaldo Hill started in his place again. Another entry for the entry for the folly file of rookie Pacman Jones. He allegedly had an altercation with a Cleveland assistant coach on the way to the locker room after the game and security had to separate them. This guy keeps getting headlines for all the wrong reasons.

In a cosmic display of balance, against the Eagles on a night when Philadelphia WR Terrell Owen’s cult of one dominated the discussion, OLB Lavar Arrington quietly returned to a starting role and was a team captain for the game. In direct contrast of the Path to TO, he generally kept his mouth shut and eventually regained his place through hard practice and by re-embracing the team concept, instead of spitting on it. Arrington finished tied for the team lead with 6 solo tackles. While he remains overrated in real NFL terms, he is again worth starting in fantasy lineups and will have more opportunities to utilize his big play ability. DE Phillip Daniels looked fine after leaving Week Eight’s game with an ankle injury. He also had 6 solo tackles, including a sack. LB Warrick Holdman, who had been starting in front of Arrington most of the season, did not see a snap. He loses all value, barring an injury, with Arrington locked back in at OLB.

SS Ryan Clark had a pick for the second consecutive game. In addition to lingering shoulder problems, FS Sean Taylor is playing on a sore ankle. He had 2 solo tackles.

DT Cornelius Griffin was inactive due to a strained hip flexor he suffered during Week Seven that limited him to only two plays in Week Eight and kept him out of practice all last week. DE Phillip Daniels also had to leave the game with an ankle injury. Demetric Evans started in his place. Griffin is expected to give it a go at practice this week, but remains questionable.