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IDP Notes
Week 11

Quick Hits (Details in individual team notes)
  • No more byes
  • AZ DE Berry officially done for season, Smith gets shot
  • SF S Parrish breaks ankle and leg, on IR
  • NE CBs Starks and Gay to IR is latest mess for secondary
  • AZ LB Dansby could miss time with groin injury
  • CAR LB Morgan "aggravates" shoulder
  • WAS FS Taylor misses game with ankle injury
  • CHI CB Vasher has record-breaking missed FG return
  • MIN CB Smoot out with broken collarbone
  • SEA LB Sharper out with staph infection
  • Sack string snapped for IND DE Mathis, still leads NFL
  • Forcing four consecutive turnovers locks up win for CAR
  • DET D riddled with injuries
  • NYG DT Joseph dislocated elbow
Week 11 Injury Report (available Wednesday PM)

With DE Bert Berry out with a torn left pectoral muscle, Antonio Smith got the start at RDE opposite Chike Okeafor. The 2004 fifth round pick out of Oklahoma State spent most of 2004 on the practice squad and was allocated to Europe over the summer, where earned All-NFLE honors, starting 9 of 10 games for the Hamburg Sea Devils and posting 6 sacks. Smith had 4 solo tackles in his first career start. I assumed Antonio Cochran would have gotten more of a look, as well, but Smith looks to have some value in deep leagues with Berry now done for the season after being put on the IR. Cochran will get no chance, as he was released this week. The team then signed another Seattle cast-off, Anton Palepoi, for depth at DE. Okeafor had just 2 tackles (1 solo) and is playing with an injured wrist and sore ribs that kept him out of some practice last week.

Already playing through a sore knee, OLB Karlos Dansby left in the first half with a groin injury. Rookie Darryl Blackstock saw some more work in his place and had an assist, as well as a solo tackle on special teams. Dansby is likely to miss this week, and could miss up to three. Blackstock would seem to be the beneficiary of more time, but HC Denny Green seems reluctant to give him a chance. LB Isaac Keys was promoted from the practice squad. MLB James Darling had the only sack of the game among his 10 tackles (7 solo). SS Adrian Wilson led the team with 14 tackles (10 solo) and broke up 2 passes.

OLB Demorrio Williams continued his breakout season, leading the team with 13 solo tackles, as well as a pick and forced fumble. Rookie Michael Boley remained the starter opposite, with Brooking in the middle. Boley had 9 tackles (5 solo) and Brooking had 5 solo tackles.

DE Brady Smith missed another game with a broken toe and Chauncey Davis was limited with a knee injury, so rookie Jonathan Babineaux got another start at RDE and shared a sack with LDE Patrick Kerney. After a career-high 13 sacks last year, Kerney has just 4 this year.

FS Bryan Scott seemed OK after a neck injury the previous week. He had 6 solo tackles and broke up 2 passes.

Without MLB Ray Lewis (hamstring) and SS Ed Reed (ankle) in the lineup, the Ravens defense forced no turnovers and allowed Jacksonville RB Greg Jones, replacing an injured Fred Taylor, to get his first 100-yard game. Reed is out of his walking boot and optimistic he can play this week, but was expected to miss another game and Lewis at least two more. Tommy Polley continued to be an effective fantasy replacement for Lewis. He led the team with 8 tackles (6 solo) and had a pass defensed. Chad Williams had 4 solo tackles in place of Reed at SS.

LB Bart Scott, who also has seen more time with Lewis out, shared a sack with DE Jarret Johnson. Johnson returned to a back-up role as Anthony Weaver returned to the starting lineup after missing several weeks with a toe injury. The half-sack was among 5 tackles (3 solo) for Johnson, who continued to see significant time with DE Terrell Suggs limited by a thigh injury. Suggs had one solo tackle and Weaver had four.

DB Dale Carter was inactive after pulling a hamstring in Week Nine.

The run defense was weakened by the absence of DT Sam Adams, who was inactive with a knee injury, and it showed as KC RB ran for 132 yards at a clip of 4.9 per carry. However, timely sacks and turnovers prevented it from being converted into more than just three points. Overall, the defense forced four turnovers and sacked KC QB Trent Green six times to allow the fewest points since their 2003 season-opening shut out of the Patriots. Tim Anderson replaced Adams, who is expected back this week. MLB London Fletcher led the way, with a season-high 20 tackles (13 solo), including a sack and forced fumble. Fletcher looked like he got healthy over the bye after a disappointing first half for one of the consistently elite fantasy LBs. His 20 tackles were more than he had in the previous four games combined. OLB Angelo Crowell continues to be an effective fantasy replacement for Takeo Spikes. Crowell had the best game of his career with 16 tackles (10 solo, including one on special teams), a sack and 2 passes defensed, including one for a pick. SS Lawyer Milloy rounded out the trio with double-digit tackles, as he posted 12 (9 solo). Streaky DE Aaron Schobel didn’t get cold over the bye, as he had 2 sacks, giving him back-to-back games with multiple sacks and at least one in three straight.

One downside to the big day was the loss of FS Troy Vincent to a shoulder injury in the second quarter. Rashad Baker replaced him and broke up 2 passes, including picking one, and had 2 solo tackles. CB Terrence McGee had a pick too, but aggravated a hamstring injury during the game and is questionable this week.

Several tremendous individual efforts on defense prevented what could have been a major upset to the Jets and triggered a 20-point outburst in the fourth quarter to put the game away. Up by only 7 late in the third quarter, the Panthers defense forced turnovers on four consecutive drives. CB Ken Lucas got it started with his second pick of the day which resulted in a long TD drive for the Panther offense. CB Ricky Manning forced a fumble on the ensuing kickoff that was recovered by CB Chris Gamble. That led to a Carolina FG four plays later. On the next play from scrimmage for the Jets, Gamble had an interception that led to another FG. On the next drive, DE Julius Peppers tried to get in on the act, forcing a fumble on a sack, but Bollinger recovered it and Peppers covered him, giving Peppers two tackles on one play. Peppers also shared a sack with DE Mike Rucker earlier in the game. Two plays later, Bollinger threw his fourth pick of the day and OLB Will Witherspoon capped the incredible stretch by returning it for a TD. Witherspoon, who was a fantasy disappointment at the beginning of the year, has now put together three consecutive productive games, in which he has 18 tackles (16 solo), 3 passes defended, a pick, a TD, and a sack.

MLB Dan Morgan wasn’t in on the end game fun, but he led the team with 7 solo tackles and forced a fumble that SS Marlon McCree recovered, the first of the New York’s six turnovers. He aggravated his shoulder injury in the second quarter and left the game, but returned the next series. He dislocated the shoulder during their Week 6 game and has been playing with a harness to support the shoulder. He said it was the first time he hit the shoulder square since, and it was just an “initial sting, and then it went away”. Morgan owners beware.

CB Nathan Vasher was on his way to establishing himself as one of the top young playmakers at CB last season when a 71-yard INT return for a TD sealed a win over the 49ers. On Sunday, a disappointing first half for the Bears, down 3-0 while hampered by turnovers, had three seconds left when SF K Joe Nedney lined up for a 52-yard attempt. As the teams got set at the line of scrimmage, Vasher sprinted back toward the end zone. The kick came up short as time ran out, but Vasher caught it on a fly over his shoulder in the end zone and started up the left sideline. About 10 yards out, he barely kept his balance with his hand on the ground after a spin move, the started to cut across the field with a convoy of blockers. Without any “speed” players on the field goal team for San Fran, Vasher began to separate from the pack. A helpless Nedney backpedaled and was run over as the last attempt to stop him, and 108 official yards later, the Bears took a 7-3 lead and momentum heading into halftime, and Vasher had the longest play in NFL history. Despite the improbability of it, lost in record-breaking return was the logic of attempting a 52-yard FG in winds that were gusting up to nearly 50 mph in the first place. If you saw the highlights of the game, an earlier FG attempt by the Bears on the same end of the field took a 90-degree hook during flight that appeared to void the laws of physics and almost ended up in Lake Michigan. Hopefully your league counts return stats if you started Vasher, because he only had an assist for the game for his regular defensive stats. Vasher could see his return duties expand, as WR Bobby Wade had a putrid day as the punt returner, fumbling two and muffing one, almost single-handedly costing the Bears the game. Wade no friends Sunday on a defense that kept finding itself back on the field after a nice stand, with their backs up against the end zone. Vasher replaced Wade on the last 49er punt of the day, wisely choosing to not attempt to handle the ball.

The wind made a passing game challenging for anyone, and with a third-string QB leading it, the Bears defense only allowed one pass completion in 13 attempts. SS Mike Brown picked a ball tipped by reserve DT Tank Johnson and reserve S Mike Green added to the misery of SF QB Cody Pickett’s day even worse when he forced a fumble after a nice 12-yard scramble by Pickett on a second-and-ten. However, the 49ers managed to recover, despite a collection of orange-clad Bears around the ball.

Rookie FS Chris Harris continued to be productive, leading the team in tackles with 7 (6 solo) and breaking up a pass.

1st round pick David Pollack, who was limited in Week Nine and missed Week 8 with a knee injury, was practicing during the bye and expected to be fully ready this week.

Former starting LB Nate Webster continues to workout, but remains on the PUP recovering from a knee injury. The team will have to make a move with him by 11/28.

With no sacks or turnovers, CB Leigh Bodden had one of the few defensive fantasy highlights, returning a blocked FG 59 yards for a TD. Bodden has had a knack for a few big plays this year and is worth a look in deep leagues that require corners, as he is locked into a starting spot with Gary Baxter on the IR. Opposite him, CB depth took another hit as Daylon McCutcheon was carted off the field in the first quarter after inadvertently getting kicked by PIT WR Hines Ward during a collision. Ray Mickens replaced him.

ILB Ben Taylor led the team with 12 tackles (5 solo).

The last few years, SS Roy Williams has not matched the fantasy production and big plays he turned in during his incredible rookie season. On Monday night, after the Eagles were in control most of game, the Dallas offense got them within 6 with three minutes left. With three timeouts, the HC Bill Parcells opted for a standard kickoff and hoped for a defensive stand. On the second play from scrimmage, Williams baited QB Donovan McNabb by showing blitz before the snap, then breaking to the flat. McNabb looked like he was expecting a curl from WR Reggie Brown as he threw the ball, but Brown kept running downfield. Williams stepped in front of it and took it 46 yards for the game-winning TD, his first since his rookie season. Williams also broke up 2 other passes and had 4 tackles (3 solo). ILB Bradie James led the team with 12 solo tackles, including a sack, and defended 2 passes. He also had the key block, steamrolling McNabb, on the TD return by Williams.

ILB Dat Nguyen continued to have his snaps limited and share time with Scott Shanle, who was the starter. Shanle had 3 solo tackles and Nguyen had 2.

CB Anthony Henry will inactive with a lingering sore groin. Aaron Glenn started in his place and broke up 4 passes, as well as had 5 tackles (4 solo).

CB Champ Bailey returned healthier from the bye to lead the team in tackles with 10 (8 solo) and grab a pick. He also did a good job spending most of his time on Randy Moss. Opposite him, rookie Darrent Williams continued his exceptional rookie season. He returned a punt 52 yards to set up the Broncos first TD and sealed the victory with an 80-yard interception return for a TD ending a chance for the Raiders to get back in the game in the fourth quarter. Williams also had 4 tackles (3 solo).

The Brown-cos DLine had some decent fantasy productivity for the first time in a while. LDE Courtney Brown and reserve DE Ebenezer Ekuban each had a sack, the second of the season for each. It’s been six games since Brown had one and five for Ekuban. RDE Trevor Pryce also had his second sack of the season, but his have been in back-to-back games.

Already crippled by injuries, the Lions defense took some more hits on Sunday. All three starting LBs were hurt. MLB Earl Holmes left with a knee injury and OLB Boss Bailey with knee and ankle injuries, while James Davis injured his hand. Holmes was already playing with a sore wrist from a sprained a couple of weeks ago and now he has a grade two MCL sprain and is likely to miss this week. Bailey is doubtful right now and needs further tests on his ankle. Wali Rainer replaced Holmes and Donte’ Curry saw more work in Bailey’s place. The LB corps was already thin with Teddy Lehman out for the second straight game with a foot injury and Nate Wayne, recently signed for depth, inactive. At CB, the team has already been without their top two players, with Fernando Bryant down for the year and Dre’ Bly inactive with a dislocated wrist. Andre Goodman joined them in missing the game due to a hamstring injury suffered in Week Nine. Goodman should be back next week, while Bly is hoping to return for the Thanksgiving game. With Goodman inactive, Kevin Smith got the start opposite R.W. McQuarters. Smith had 5 tackles (4 solo) and McQuarters had 2 tackles (1 solo) and a pass defensed. Rookie Stanley Wilson was the nickel CB, and he also missed some time during the game with shoulder problems. SS Kenoy Kennedy led the team in tackles with 9 (7 solo) and joined the wounded with a rotator cuff strain during the game.

There was some positive injury news, as DT Shaun Rogers returned after missing a few games with a MCL sprain. He was still limited and rookie Shaun Cody continued to see significant work, but strained his shoulder during the game, as. DT Dan Wilkinson had his first career safety when he wrapped up Arizona RB Obafemi Ayanbadejo in the first quarter. DE Cory Redding forced a fumble by Arizona RB Marcel Shipp on his only tackle, which was recovered by reserve DE Kalimba Edwards. Redding also batted down 2 passes.

Green Bay
Paris Lenon got the start at SLB, but Na’il Diggs returned from a MCL tear and saw the bulk of work. Diggs finished with 4 solo tackles. MLB Nick Barnett led the team with 7 solo tackles, including a sack, and 2 fumble recoveries. SLB Robert Thomas left the game due to a thigh injury, but is expected back this week.

After GB scored on their opening drive, DE Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila hit ATL RB Warrick Dunn from behind on a screen pass, forcing a fumble as the ball flew into the hands of SS Mark Roman. The Packers quickly added another TD and got out to a 14-0 lead quickly that kept the Falcons could never quite recover from. KGB had another solo tackle in the game, while Roman also had 6 tackles (5 solo) and broke up a pass.

CB Ahmad Carroll remains frustratingly inconsistent. He angered the coaching staff with taunting the Atlanta bench at one point during the game, but more so with the TD he gave up and 43-yard pass interference penalty he drew. With just 4 solo tackles, his fantasy owners weren’t too thrilled with him either.

OLB Antwan Peek had the only sack of the day, giving him three on the season and tying NT Set Payne for the team-lead. CB Dunta Robinson led the team with 9 solo tackles. ILB DaShon Polk also had 9 tackles (8 solo) and a pass defended.

DE Gary Walker, who was in his third game back after missing almost a month due to a shoulder injury, was dinged up and had to limp off the field, at one point. However, he returned and finished the game, posting 4 tackles (3 solo).

As expected, CB Demarcus Faggins was inactive with a hamstring injury from Week Nine and Phillip Buchanon, the former Oakland 1st round pick Faggins replaced as a starter earlier this year, was back with the first team. Buchanon had 4 solo tackles. The depleted secondary took another hit when top reserve S Jason Simmons left with a right hamstring injury and did not return.

Pass rush specialist DE Robert Mathis didn’t have a sack for the first time this season, snapping his eight-game streak. He still leads the NFL with nine. DE Dwight Freeney, playing on a gimpy foot, had his seventh sack of the season through nine games. Freeney remains two behind Mathis, but don’t be surprised by a big second half for Freeney. On his way to a franchise-record 16 sacks in 2004, he had just 6 through nine games. Freeney also had another solo tackle and a pass defensed.

WLB Cato June led the team with 14 tackles (9 solo) and appeared unaffected by a sore knee added in Week Nine to his existing health issue with a sports hernia.

SS Michael Doss was active, but did not play, as he continues to battle a right shoulder problem and seek more medical opinions on treating the lingering pain and movement limitations. Joseph Jefferson started in his place. FS Bo Sanders left after the first half with a knee injury. HC Tony Dungy said it was precautionary and he was walking Monday. An MRI revealed no significant damage, but he still hasn’t been cleared to play this week. Gerome Sapp replaced him. Special teams’ mistakes by key secondary players were costly for the Colts. CB Jason David, who has also struggled in coverage lately, took a punt off his helmet and reserve rookie CB Marlin Jackson couldn’t hang on to a ball he attempted to cover on a punt he incorrectly thought had hit a teammate. Both were recovered by Houston, and Jackson’s led to a TD.

MLB Mike Peterson returned his third INT of the season 26 yards for a TD that put the Jaguars over 30 points for the first time since 2001. Peterson also broke up another pass and led the team with 10 solo tackles, including his third sack of the season. A tremendous all-around game for one of the top fantasy LBs. Pass rush specialist DE Bobby McCray had his first multi-sack game of his career, getting a solo on Baltimore’s first drive and sharing one with nickel CB Terry Cousin later in the first half. Cousin also had two picks in the game, giving him a new career-high with three for the season. Reserve DT Rob Meier had a sack, giving him one in back-to-back games and setting a new career-high with three.

With FS Deon Grant (ankle) and SS Deke Cooper (shoulder) playing through injuries, rookie Gerald Sensabaugh saw some more action and had 2 solo tackles, as many as Grant and Cooper combined for. Reserve LB Jamie Winborn had his first tackle on defense as a Jaguar. He also had one on special teams.

Kansas City
A frustrating day came to head when DE Eric Hicks and DT Lionel Dalton were ejected for a fight with BUF OL Chris Villarial near the end of the game. One of the few big defensive plays for the day came on the play after the disqualifications, when SS Sammy Knight forced BUF RB Willis McGahee to fumble and DE Jimmy Wilkerson, who replaced Hicks, recovered it. Knight also led the team with 11 tackles (4 solo). Hicks had to leave the game earlier due to a knee injury, but returned. The other two highlights were DE Jared Allen’s two sacks. He knocked BUF QB Kelly Holocomb out of the game and forced a fumble that was recovered by reserve DE Carlos Hall on one of them. However, even that play ended up backfiring, because BUF QB J.P. Losman would take over for Holcomb on the next drive and lead the team to their first, and decisive, TD. Hall also suffered a thigh bruise during the game, but returned to action.

CB Patrick Surtain returned after missing Week Nine with a sprained left knee. CB Eric Warfield played through a hip pointer as was victimized on both TD passes by Losman. CB Dexter McCleon suited up, but did not play, as he battled a lingering groin injury.

LB Shawn Barber, who has missed all of the season so far recovering from a torn ACL, is expected to be activated off the PUP this week. He is unlikely to step back into a starting role, but Kendrell Bell has been a disappointment, so that may be where he sees some work.

MLB Zach Thomas led the team with 12 tackles (7 solo). DEs Jason Taylor and Kevin Carter each had a sack. The two are tied for the team-lead with 5, and is the first time this season Taylor, who is playing through a torn plantar fascia in his foot, has had sacks in back-to-back games.

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). DT Vonnie Holliday had a toe injury aggravated when it was stepped on during the game.

CB Will Poole, who has been on the PUP recovering from a torn ACL since the start of the season, will not be activated and be moved to the IR, so his season is officially over.

If you started the Vikings in a league with team defense, you were the beneficiary four picks and of them being the first team in NFL history to score on punt, kickoff, and interception returns in the same game. For IDP leagues, you were the beneficiary if you started FS Darren Sharper. In addition to the 92-yard INT return for a TD, Sharper also had two other picks among his 5 passes defended, as well as 4 tackles (3 solo). He now leads NFC in interceptions with five. CB Brian Williams, starting in place of Fred Smoot who was inactive with a small fracture in his collarbone from a shoulder injury he aggravated in Week Nine, returned a pick 26 yards. Along with the 123 yards in returns on Sharper’s three picks, the two combined for more yardage than the Minnesota offense. Smoot is expected to miss at least three weeks. Williams should remain the starter. Depth at CB is thin after the team released Ken Irvin last week.

OLB Keith Newman is enjoying the Vikings return to a base 4-3. After his most productive fantasy game of the season in Week Nine, his encore was leading the team with 11 tackles (8 solo), breaking up a pass, and sharing a sack with DT Pat Williams. On a bit of a hot streak and with some stability finally in the lineup, Newman is looking like a viable starting candidate in deep leagues.

Erasmus James started for the second consecutive game at RDE opposite Darrion Scott. James had 4 tackles (2 solo) and batted away a pass. Scott had a sack among 4 tackles (3 solo). It didn’t show in the box score, but DT Kevin Williams had a nice game. He was collapsing the pocket for others to make plays and broke up 3 passes, but had just 1 solo tackle.

New England
Despite injuries already decimating the secondary, HC Bill Belichick didn’t hesitate to put CB Duane Starks on the IR, although he recently appeared to be past a variety of nagging injuries since the preseason. There were rumors that Starks would be released after getting benched in the second half of their Week Nine loss to Indianapolis, so we could see the NFLPA get involved if there are any questions of motivation for the IR move, other than injury. Randall Gay was active and played, although he was unexpected to and ended up worsening his high ankle sprain. This left rookie Ellis Hobbs, who missed some practice himself last week with a thigh contusion, in the starting lineup opposite Asante Samuel. In his first career start, Hobbs lost WR Chris Chambers for a TD on a third-and-goal from the three and fumbled an INT, but he recovered it himself, and otherwise played well. He finished with 7 tackles (5 solo), broke up 4 passes (including the one he picked) and recovered 2 fumbles (including his own on the INT return). The other fumble recovery was forced by OLB Rosey Colvin, who also had 7 tackles (4 solo).

Michael Stone started at SS and led the team with 8 tackles (6 solo, including 1 on special teams). It was the four-year vet’s first career start. Rookie James Sanders, who may also get a shot at the job, but has been limited by an ankle injury, as well, saw some time in the secondary and had a solo tackle. The secondary situation could get worse, as FS Eugene Wilson went down near the end of the game and had to leave with an undisclosed injury.

The CB situation declined further when Gay was placed on the IR this week, as well. To fill the latest hole, the team signed Artrell Hawkins, a former starter for the Bengals who couldn’t stick with Washington or Carolina. They still need more depth, even with Hawkins aboard. Troy Brown saw his first defensive action of the season on Sunday as a slot corner in a few long-yardage situations. His value seems to get the immediate boost. With all the injuries and Belichick’s lack of apprehension of plugging anyone on the roster in, there could still be another DB on the way who will be productive before the season is over. CB Santonio Thomas and S Ray Ventrone are two options from the practice squad. Former Cowboy Pete Hunter worked out for the team on Saturday, but did not sign immediately. There are rumors DEN CB Lenny Walls, a Boston College alum, may be released by Denver soon.

DE Richard Seymour was active for the first time in over a month due to a knee injury and back in the starting lineup. He had 2 tackles (1 solo). Jarvis Green returned to a reserve role.

It didn’t show up in his stats, but ILB Tedy Bruschi is slowly returning to making big plays. One of his 2 passes defensed was a diving fingertip deflection of a likely TD pass in the second quarter on third-and-thirteen. The Dolphins missed a FG on the next play. He also had 4 tackles (1 solo).

New Orleans/Baton Rogue/San Antonio
As if the Saints didn’t have enough problems, another stupid one happened to the defense. CB Fahkir Brown was arrested for a DUI last week during the bye. It seems likely he’ll at least be benched for the start of this week’s game.

MLB Courtney Watson did not practice over the bye as he nurses a sprained MCL and is questionable for this week. Ronald McKinnon will continue to start, probably even once Watson is healthy. McKinnon replaced Watson after he was benched in Week Eight for a DUI arrest. McKinnon remained the starter in Week Nine, as well, when Watson hurt his knee as a back up.

New York Giants
You hold an offense to no TDs and just 12 yards rushing on 21 carries, and the defense not only did a good job, but you think the team did enough to win. However, turnovers and special teams ruined a very good defensive effort. MLB Antonio Pierce and DE Osi Umenyiora led the way. Pierce led the team with 10 tackles (7 solo) and a fumble recovery. Umenyiora had his third multi-sack game of the year, getting 2 among his 9 tackles (4 solo). He has 5 sacks in his last three games and moved into a tie with SF DE Bryant Young for the NFC lead with eight. DE Michael Strahan and SS Gibril Wilson each had a sack. Wilson now has sacks in back-to-back games and remains hot after a slow fantasy start in the first half of the season.

The defense remains hit hard by injuries. OLB Carlos Emmons missed another game with a torn pectoral muscle. OLB Nick Greisen played through some sore ribs. Reserve S Shaun Williams was inactive with a hamstring pull. Reserve DE Justin Tuck was out with a sprained ankle. DT William Joseph left the game near the end with a dislocated elbow and is expected to miss a month. And CB Will Peterson occupied his normal weekly slot on the inactive list due to his back fractures.

New York Jets
Rookie Justin Miller got his first career start at CB as David Barrett was inactive due to problems with his eye after getting poked in it during Week Nine. Miller had a rough day, getting beaten for a TD and losing a fumble on a kickoff. Opposite him, CB Ty Law showed he was still a shutdown corner, holding the Steve Smith to just 34 yards and no scores on 3 catches. Smith had been one of the hottest players in the league, with over 100 yards and at least 1 TD in his last four games. Law had 5 tackles (3 solo)

DE John Abraham seemed to have tied the game at 10 in the third quarter when he appeared to sack CAR QB Jake Delhomme and forced a fumble that was returned for a TD by reserve S Rashad Washington. However, the play was challenged and reversed, ruled an incomplete pass. Abraham finished with 6 tackles (3 solo). OLB Victor Hobson led the team with 7 tackles (6 solo).

After falling behind early, both sides of the ball failed to capitalize on opportunities to swing the momentum in the fourth quarter. After ending the shutout with a TD early in the quarter, 1st round pick CB Fabian Washington recovered a Rod Smith fumble on the next play from scrimmage in Bronco territory. After driving to the 11-yard line, they had to settle for a FG, cutting the lead to 13. On third down at Denver’s 18-yard line on the next possession, LB Kirk Morrison stepped in front of a slant and simply dropped a sure pick that possibly could have been returned for a TD. Denver punted and the Raiders went three-and-out. On the next Denver possession, DE Derrick Burgess forced DEN RB Tatum Bell to fumble and SS Jarrod Cooper recovered at the Denver 33-yard line. In the ensuing possession, QB Kerry Collins was intercepted and it was returned for a TD, sealing the loss. In addition to the pass defended, Morrison led the team with 12 tackles (11 solo). Washington and Renaldo Hill continue to replace CB Charles Woodson, inactive with a broken leg. Hill had 10 tackles (9 solo). Woodson is expected to miss at least three more weeks.

DT Warren Sapp had a sack erased on an offside by DE Tommy Kelly. A week after a three-sack game, Kelly had just 1 solo tackle. DE Bobby Hamilton remained inactive again with an ankle sprain.

DE N.D. Kalu was inactive with a shoulder injury that limited him in Week Nine, as well. DT Darwin Walker slid over to start at RDE opposite Jevon Kearse, who is playing through a sprained AC joint in his shoulder, with Sam Rayburn joining the starting lineup at DT in place of Walker. Rookie Trent Cole continued to thrive in a pass rush role with Kalu out. Cole had 2 sacks, giving him three in the last two games. The all-conference DE from Cincinnati was third behind Antwan Peek (starting OLB Texans) and Andre Fraizer (college teammate who is similar rookie tweener on Steelers) in career sacks in Bearcat history and second to Peek in career tackles-for-loss. He slipped to the fifth round because he is undersized for an end, but obviously has nice upside as a pass rush specialist.

MLB Jeremiah Trotter, battling a sore knee, led the team with 11 tackles (10 solo). Zeke Moreno was released after a short stint and Justin Ena was brought back for another tour of duty at LB for the Eagles. Simoneau or Ena would see more work if Trotter’s knee becomes more of a problem.

SS Michael Lewis suffered a minor concussion and rib injury in the Monday night game. The team sounds a bit concerned about his ribs.

As expected, Clint Kriewaldt started in place of ILB James Farrior who is out with a grade two MCL sprain. Farrior was hopeful about playing Sunday, so don’t rule him out for returning this week. Kriewaldt had 4 tackles (3 solo) and a pass defensed. OLBs Clark Haggans and Joey Porter each had a sack. Porter also had his first pick of the year. Haggans may not be 100% back from a partially torn groin and Porter continues to play with a sore knee. ILB Larry Foote led the team with 7 tackles (6 solo).

The play of rookie CB Bryant McFadden likely played a role in the release of veteran Willie Williams. A starter until Ike Taylor supplanted him, Williams fell even further with the rise of McFadden. A week after his first career sack and forced fumble, McFadden had a solo tackle and his first career fumble recovery. He’ll still see limited time, but McFadden is developing nicely as a playmaker.

St. Louis
The defense had no sacks and couldn’t stop SEA RB Shaun Alexander. LB Pisa Tinoisamoa led the team with 10 tackles (8 solo). DE Leonard Little returned after missing two games after the tragic death of his brother and had 4 tackles (2 solo).

FS Mike Furrey remains the impact player. He had a pick for the third straight game and has made a big play in each game since becoming a starter. He also broke up another pass in the game and had 5 tackles (2 solo).

San Diego
OLB Steve Foley, who missed the previous two games with an abdomen injury, didn’t practice over the bye week and seems unlikely to play again this week. Shaun Phillips will continue to replace him as long as he is out.

After timing the surgery to heal over the bye, 1st round pick Shawne Merriman is expected to play this week in a cast after having pins inserted to support a dislocated wrist last week. He has 19 tackles (16 solo), 4 sacks, and a forced fumble over his last three games since becoming a starter.

San Francisco
Despite wind conditions that forced both teams to mostly run the ball, the 49er defense was fantasy-deprived of the chance to put up more tackle stats due to a plethora of Chicago turnovers, mostly on punts. CB Shawntae Spencer made a nice pick in the end zone with a beautiful break on the ball, after baiting rookie CHI QB Kyle Orton into to lobbing one to a seemingly open Mushin Muhammad. He also had 4 tackles (2 solo).

SS Tony Parrish broke his left ankle and fibula on the first series of the game and will miss the rest of the season. Parrish had started 121 consecutive games, including never missing a game after surgery to remove a testicle due to an abnormality prior to the 2002 season when signed as a free agent after leaving the Bears. Keith Lewis replaced him and had 4 tackles (3 solo). Lewis should get first crack at retaining the starting job, but Ben Emanuel will see more work too.

ILB Derek Smith led the team with 7 tackles (5 solo). OLB Julian Peterson had 5 solo tackles and broke up 2 passes.

CB Ahmed Plummer (ankle) and LB Saleem Rasheed (knee) both remained out after arthroscopic surgery on their ailments a few weeks ago. It was thought Plummer might return this week after returning to practice, but he was inactive. HC Mike Nolan said CB Bruce Thornton will remain a starter even when Plummer returns.

Two impressive back-ups once again stepped up, in starting roles on Sunday. With DT Marcus Tubbs inactive due to leg injuries, Rocky Bernard got the start and had a sack among his 5 tackles (4 solo). Unfortunately, Bernard had to leave the game after a right knee injury in the second half. Last week it was for D.D. Lewis, this week rookie Leroy Hill got a start with OLB Jamie Sharper out indefinitely with a staph infection in his right knee. Hill stayed at WLB, where he replaced Lewis in Week Nine, while Lewis, who returned from his own knee injury, moved over to Sharper’s SLB spot. Hill had 4 solo tackles, including his fourth sack of the season. Hill is undersized, but a playmaker with great athleticism and instincts. He has nice dynasty potential, and could be the next Demorrio Williams. He has good value as long as Sharper is out. Sharper’s infection was unknown when he had the knee drained before his Week Nine game, but swelling returned and it was drained again last week. It’s now looked at as fairly serious and he could miss up to a month. This was the first game Sharper missed in his nine-year career, after playing in 136 consecutive games and starting in all but one.

Rookie MLB Lofa Tatupu led the team with 10 tackles (9 solo), including a sack.

Nickel CB Andre Dyson was injured again, leaving the game with a lower back strain. Dyson had just returned last week after missing two games with a hamstring injury. Kelly Herndon, who replaced Dyson as a starter when he was out, had 8 tackles (6 solo). CB Marcus Trufant had 3 tackles, including chasing down STL K Jeff Wilkins and breaking up a bizarre and ill-advised fake FG attempt that must have made Ram fans wonder if Mike Martz had returned to the sidelines. FS Marquand Manuel had 8 solo tackles, broke up a pass, and recovered a fumble. SS Michael Boulware had 6 tackles (4 solo) and a pick.

Tampa Bay
Simeon Rice owners upset with his performance the last two weeks faced even more frustration if they decided to bench him this week. After two weeks of goose eggs, he posts 4 solo tackles, including 2 sacks with 2 forced fumbles, as well as his fifth career interception, for good measure. The second fumble was recovered by DL Dewayne White deep in Redskin territory and set up a short TD run. DE Greg Spires had to leave in the fourth quarter with a sprain of the AC joint in his left shoulder. He is questionable this week and Ellis Wyms or Dewayne White would replace him if he is inactive.

With Dexter Jackson already out due to a hamstring injury, FS Will Allen was sidelined with a left knee sprain. Kalvin Pearson replaced him and it doesn’t look good for Allen this week, so Jackson’s return could be expedited.

HC Jeff Fisher hopes the bye can help LB Peter Sirmon heal his knee and ankle injuries. Sirmon was active, but did not play in Week Nine. Fisher talked about the importance of Sirmon’s presence not just for his football skills, but also as a coach on the field for the defense.

After seven turnovers and ten sacks with Chris Simms at QB for TB the previous two weeks, the Redskin defense couldn’t muster one of either and struggled while missing DT Cornelius Griffin and FS Sean Taylor in the lineup. Griffin missed another game due to a strained hip flexor and was again replaced by Demetric Evans, who posted 4 tackles (2 solo), a pass defensed, and a fumble recovery. Pierson Prioleau replaced Taylor, whose ankle remained in a boot cast on Monday. Taylor is also battling shoulder problems.

OLB Marcus Washington led the team with 6 solo tackles. OLB Lavar Arrington remained a starter, but was a disappointment with just 3 solo tackles.

Several Redskin players were fined for uniform infractions in Week Nine varying from un-tucked jerseys to different colored socks and shoes. The fines totaled $55,000 and involved most of the starting defense. Several players are appealing, but it is apparent the NFL is out to make and example and/or has had previous problems with the Redskin look. Only tangentially related to Washington IDPs, but an interesting observation about the conform-or-pay Gestapo tactics of the NFL front office when it comes to uniforms.