Quick Hits (Details in individual
Week 5 Injury Report (available
- Week 5 Byes: KC, MIN, NYG, OAK
- Could NE LB Bruschi return this year?
- PIT LB Haggans tears groin, will miss at least a month
- NYJ MLB Vilma take over league lead in tackles
- SF DE Bryant Young takes over league lead in sacks
- MIN D ravaged by injuries in front four and secondary
- SF D a mess: Rumph done, Plummer out for a while, Winborn sent home
- Both starting CBs in DEN miss game, first ever for Bailey
- AZ rookie CB Rolle done for season, rookie CB Green steps up
- PHI FS Dawkins hurts ankle
- CAR MLB Morgan hurts groin
- IND DE Freeney AFC Def. Player of Month for Sept.
- STL SS Archuleta NFC Def. Player of Month for Sept.
- CIN MLB Thurman NFL Def. Rookie of Month for Sept.
- BAL DE Weaver dislocates toe, will miss at least a month
- KC CB Warfield and CIN DE Duane Clemons eligible to return
- DET LB Lehman returns
1st round pick CB Antrel Rolle played through a sore left knee in
Week Three, but further tests showed he has meniscus damage and
when they got in there to scope it on Monday, ligament damage was
found too. He is expected to be done for the season. Raymond Walls
started in his place, but Walls hurt his hip and groin and left
the game. Rookie Eric Green spent most of the game with the first
unit. Green looked good, leading the team (tied) with 5 tackles
(4 solo), as well as a pass defended and a forced fumble he recovered.
Green will likely end up replacing Rolle. CB David Macklin was Questionable
after his hamstring gave him problems last week in practice, but
he started. He was limited during the game and eventually he also
had to leave after aggravating the injury. This gave veteran journeyman
Robert Tate, who was just signed last week due to the injuries at
CB, significant action. Tate had 2 solo tackles, a pick, and a forced
fumble. To sign Tate, the team released LB Lester Towns, who started
the last couple games while James Darling was inactive with a sprained
knee. They were able to cut Towns because Darling returned and was
back in the starting lineup at MLB. Darling had 5 tackles (3 solo).
Reserve DE Calvin Pace had a rollercoaster game. The former 1st
round pick has largely disappointed, necessitating the acquisition
of free agents Bertrand Berry and Chike Okeafor, who have both
been tremendous. Pace had a solo tackle in the first quarter then
he had a personal foul on a punt in the second quarter that buried
the offense deep in their own territory. He made up for it with
a sack in the second quarter, his first of the season. Later in
the game, he committed a cardinal sin for a linemen, he tried
to advance a fumble in a crowd. With the Cardinals only up 21-14
at the start of the fourth quarter, DE Bertrand Berry sacked 49er
QB Tim Rattay forcing a fumble. Pace picked up the ball deep in
San Francisco territory and tried to make a dash for the end zone.
49er FB Fred Beasley knocked the ball loose and San Francisco
recovered, getting a first down on the change of possession and
negating an opportunity for the Cardinals to put the game away.
He then shared a sack with Berry later in the fourth quarter.
All in all, it was his best game of the year and his best since
the team played San Francisco last year and he had 2 sacks. While
Berry and Okeafor are firmly entrenched as the starters, if there
is an injury, this game gave some hope that Pace has still has
upside if he gets another chance to be a full-time player in the
future. DT Ross Kolodziej moved into the starting lineup with
Russell Davis out for the year. Kolodziej had 2 solo tackles,
including a sack, and a forced fumble.
A week after the Vikings appeared to have turned their season
around, the Falcons slapped them around in Atlanta, frustrating
QB Daunte Culpepper all day. He was sacked 9 times, intercepted
twice, and fumbled once. DE Brady Smith returned after missing
a couple of weeks with an injured hamstring and had 2 sacks, forcing
a fumble on one of them. DT Rod Coleman posted the same line,
giving him 2 sacks in back-to-back games. Coleman had to leave
late in the game due to leg cramps, but should be fine this week.
OLB Demorrio Williams was the third player to post 2 sacks for
the Falcons. He also totaled 8 solo tackles. OLB Keith Brooking
led the team with 9 tackles (8 solo), as well as getting a sack
and an interception.
CB Jason Webster returned to the starting lineup, but recent
FA addition Chris Cash, who saw significant time last week, continued
to this week, as he’s earned the nickel CB job. Cash had
7 tackles (6 solo) and a pass defensed. Cash had an excellent
rookie season with the Lions in 2002, when he posted 100 tackles,
breaking up 10 passes and picking off 1 of them. However, two
injury-filled seasons and limitation in pass coverage resulted
in him being cut and not finding work at the start of this season,
but he appears to be thriving in the Falcons’ system. CB
DeAngelo Hall’s shoulder appeared fine as he had 5 solo
tackles and his third INT of the season.
The defense finally got back on track on Sunday after the bye
week and against a Jet offense starting their third string QB,
Brooks Bollinger. DE Terrell Suggs finally got to the QB, sharing
a sack with OLB Tommy Polley. Suggs had his first big day of the
year, posting 8 tackles (3 solo) and knocking down a pass, in
addition to the half sack. Back-up OLB’s Peter Boulware
and Roderick Green did their job as pass rush specialists, with
each tallying a sack. Green now leads the team with two. MLB Ray
Lewis led the team with 9 tackles (7 solo) and had his first sack
of the year, as well.
SS Ed Reed had to leave the game after suffering a concussion.
He returned in the fourth quarter and said he was OK after the
game. He had 4 solo tackles. Reed is among the IDP’s on
the Ravens who have disappointed so far this season. The reigning
NFL Defensive Player of the Year has no interceptions yet, after
averaging 7 per season his first three years in the league and
leading the league with 9 last year.
DE Anthony Weaver dislocated a toe during Sunday’s game.
He had 3 solo tackles before leaving and was replaced by Jarrett
Johnson. Weaver had no ligament damage, but is expected to miss
at least a month. Johnson should continue to replace him in the
Angelo Crowell replaced Takeo Spikes (out for season) at WLB and
had 7 tackles (5 solo). He’s a nice pick-up in deep leagues.
MLB London Fletcher looked back to full speed, after being plagued
by a hamstring the previous couple of week. He had 9 tackles (5
solo), including a sack, and broke up a pass. Fletcher’s
sack was the only one and the defense forced no turnovers for
the third straight week.
SS Lawyer Milloy led the team with 10 tackles (7 solo). CB Terrence
McGee hasn’t done much on defense this year, but he is still
an elite return man. He brought back 4 kick-offs for 159 yards,
including an 82-yard return before being tripped inside the Saints’
5 as time expired in the first half.
DE Mike Rucker looked good again, setting the tone for the first
three quarters early, with a sack on the second play where he
forced a fumble deep in Packer territory that was recovered by
DT Kindal Moorehead. Rucker only had 3 other tackles the rest
of the game, but was frequently applying pressure.
LB Will Witherspoon returned from a knee injury that kept him
out the previous week. He posted 7 tackles (4 solo). MLB Dan Morgan
hurt his groin during the game, and missed two series, but returned
and played through it, posting 7 solo tackles and broke up 2 passes.
Warning siren are blaring if you are a Morgan owner, because where
there’s been smoke, there’s been fire in his injury-prone
career. Follow this carefully before you start him this week.
1st round pick Thomas Davis was limited to special teams work
for the second straight week. He’ll get back in there one
of these days and have a breakout game, but you need to bench
him until he does.
It was a quiet bye week for the Bears.
Leading the NFL with 16 takeaways through three games, the Bengals
only forced 1 turnover in Week Four, but it was a big one. With
the Cinci offense struggling for the first time this year, the
team found themselves up only three with Houston driving late
in the fourth quarter. DE Justin Smith hit Texan QB David Carr
and forced a fumble that DT John Thornton recovered. The play
was challenged, Houston believed it should have been an incomplete
pass, but the call stood. The Bengals took over and got another
FG on the ensuing drive to go up 16-10. The victory was sealed
when Carr was sacked for the seventh time with one second left
on the next possession. Seven separate players each had a sack,
including the first career sack for each of the dynamic rookie
duo of MLB Odell Thurman and reserve OLB David Pollack. Thurman
was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month for September and
Sunday was the first game he wasn’t involved in a turnover.
For the season, he has 21 tackles (15 solo), a sack, 2 passes
defensed, an INT, 2 forced fumbles and 1 fumble recovered.
FS Madieu Williams was inactive with a shoulder injury and remains
Questionable for Week Five. It has been reported he may have a
torn labrum. Ifeanyi Ohalete started in his place at SS, as Kevin
Kaesviharn moved to FS, and Ohalete had 3 solo tackles. S Anthony
Mitchell also saw more work, and had 3 solo tackles, including
a sack. Nickel corner Keiwan Ratliff continues to be productive.
He led the team with 6 solo tackles, including 1 on special teams.
After winning the starting RDE role this year, Robert Geathers
hasn’t produced much. He had his first sack of the season,
and another solo tackle. DE Duane Clemons is eligible to return
from his four-game substance-abuse suspension this week, however,
it is unclear where he’ll fit in, if at all. The team was
disappointed by his off-season effort, likely because he knew
he’d be suspended.
OLB Matt Stewart, sidelined with a sprained MCL since the season
opener, hopes to be back this week. He is expected to practice
this week, but his status will be announced on Wednesday. ILB
Orlando Ruff also used the bye week to recover, as he suffered
a concussion in Week Two. ILB’s Andra Davis and Ben Taylor
have played well, so Ruff might struggle to get back in the rotation
1st round pick OLB DeMarcus Ware had a sack for his second straight
game. While he has had an immediate impact, the Cowboys other
early defensive draft picks that were supposed to be a big part
of the move to a 3-4 this year haven’t contributed much
so far. Fellow 1st round pick DE Marcus Spears has been limited
after a preseason injury. He has been active the last few games,
but isn’t fully integrated into the rotation. 2nd round
pick OLB Kevin Burnett was active for the first time the previous
week and was active again Sunday, but has been limited to work
on special teams. Instead, it has been a couple of later round
picks who have contributed more. Rookie DE Chris Canty has been
a regular in the DE rotation and had a career-high 6 tackles (5
solo) on Sunday. He also had a sack in Week Two. Rookie DE Jay
Ratliff was active for the first time on Sunday and shared a sack.
Denver was without both their starting corners from the previous
week as Champ Bailey missed his first career game after pulling
his hamstring during the game the week before. Bailey had started
99 consecutive games, everyone since the first game of his rookie
year in 1999. After his first career start, rookie Darrent Williams
was also inactive with a sprained ankle. Rookie Dominique Foxworth
got his first career start and responded with 6 solo tackles,
a fumble recovery, and his first career INT.
Despite missing their starting corners, the defensive backfield
didn’t have to worry much about spreading itself too thin
helping in run support or blitzing, the front seven dominated
the line of scrimmage, holding the Jaguars to a franchise-low
12 yards rushing (on 11 carries) and providing pressure. MLB Al
Wilson led the way with 4 solo tackles, a sack, 2 forced fumbles,
and a pass defensed. Wilson forced a fumble on his sack that DE
Ebenezer Ebukan recovered. DE Courtney Brown remained the starter
and LDE and had 2 solo tackles. DT Gerrard Warren had his second
sack of the year in the second straight game.
James Davis started at WLB, but hurt his elbow during the game
and Teddy Lehman, active for the first time this year, got most
of the work there. Lehman had 3 tackles (2 solo) and a pick, but
was also burnt badly for a TD reception by Tampa Bay RB Michael
DE James Hall has been playing through a strained groin and has
not practiced the last two weeks. It explains his struggles since
opening day, after a breakout 2004. Hall aggravated the groin
early in the second half and did not return. Kalimba Edwards replaced
him and was already having a big game before Hall got hurt. Edwards
had 3 solo tackles, including 2 sacks, and forced a fumble.
Andre’ Goodman replaced Fernando Bryant (out for season)
at starting CB and had 6 solo tackles, but was beaten badly a
few times as he played through an ankle injury.
After posting just a half sack in the first three games, DE Kabeer
Gbaja-Biamila showed up at the right time. He got his first solo
sack of the year and forced a fumble that DT Corey Jenkins recovered
and pitched to MLB Nick Barnett for a loss. The recovery was deep
in Carolina territory, and the Packers scored on the next play.
After a two-point conversion, they tightened the game to 32-21.
On the next drive, KGB had his second sack when DE Aaron Kampman
pushed the RT into Carolina QB Jake Delhomme, who lost his balance
and was taken down by KGB. The Packers got the ball back shortly
after and scored again, cutting the lead to 32-29 after another
two-point conversion. The defense held again, including a run-stopping
tackle by KGB, and forced a punt just before the two minute warning,
but the offense couldn’t complete the comeback. KGB finished
with 7 solo tackles, including the 2 sacks, and a forced fumble.
MLB Nick Barnett led the teamm with 13 tackles (10 solo), giving
him back-to-back double-digit tackle games. SLB Na’il Diggs
was active for only the second game and reinjured his knee, tearing
his MCL, trying to tackle Stephen Davis on a TD run before the
half. Paris Lenon replaced him and finished with 5 tackles (3
solo). Lenon should get the first crack at replacing him the next
month or so, but Roy Manning will be in the picture, as well.
Joey Thomas returned from a concussion, but Ahmad Carroll remained
a starter a CB. He had a rough day, getting beat a few times and
committing a blatant pass interference when he totally misjudged
the timing of a pass. SS Mark Roman also drew a key PI call when
Carolina DE Julius Pepper unexpectedly lined up as a WR on a second-and-six
at the goal. The Panthers were able to run the ball in from the
one with the decisive TD on the next play.
DT Grady Jackson, looking ridiculously fat, was back in the starting
linep after being benched in the second half of Week Three. He
still saw less work than usual and finished with just 1 solo tackle.
The Texan corners earned the first check of the year in the ‘Yes’
box on the “Who will cover 85 in 2005?” list in Chad
Johnson’s locker. The entire secondary focused on number
85 and held him without at TD and to a season-low 67 yards. However,
with little help from the offense again, it wasn’t enough.
CB Phillip Buchanon, who was demoted from his starting position
last week, and new starting CB DeMarcus Faggins, primarily took
turns focusing on Johnson. CB Dunta Robinson had 7 tackles (6
solo), including a sack on which he forced a fumble. Rookie SS
C.C. Brown led the team with 9 tackles (6 solo).
OLB Jason Babin had already been demoted from the starting lineup
and with a shoulder injury bothering him, as well, he was left
inactive. Antwan Peek remained the starter at OLB.
DE Gary Walker was inactive due to a separated AC joint in his
left shoulder suffered in Week Two. He is out indefinitely. He
was replaced by rookie Travis Johnson, a converted college DT
who made his first career start. Johnson had a solo tackle.
DE Dwight Freeney was AFC Defensive Player of the Month for September.
It was his second consecutive award, as he won it for December/January
last year. Freeney had 11 tackles (10 solo), 4 sacks, and a forced
fumble in September. October started off a bit slower, as he had
just 2 solo tackles on Sunday. Pass rush specialist DE Robert
Mathis had another sack, to give him 1 in each game this year.
FS Bob Sanders led the team with 10 tackles (8 solo) and had
a pick, the only turnover forced by the Colts. DB Joseph Jefferson
was inactive again with a toe injury and is expected to miss this
week’s game, as well. SLB David Thornton played through
a strained groin and had 7 tackles (3 solo). MLB Gary Brackett
had 8 tackles (5 solo).
Last week DE Paul Spicer had 3 sacks, his first since 2002. Sunday
he shared a sack with fellow DE Reggie Hayward, who also had another
solo sack. Hayward moved back to starting at LDE, where he claims
he is more comfortable, and Spicer started at RDE. DT Marcus Stroud
looked fine after injuring his knee the previous week, he had
4 solo tackles. DT John Henderson had 6 tackles (5 solo).
LB Akin Ayodele led the team with 8 solo tackles. MLB Mike Peterson
also had 8 tackles (7 solo). Deke Cooper remains the starting
SS with Donovin Darius out for the year. Cooper had 7 tackles
1st round pick Derrick Johnson led the team with 10 solo tackles.
The team started in the nickel defense, so OLB Kendrell Bell did
not start and saw less work Sunday. Despite having a decent game
last week, he has been a major disappointment and was unproductive
again, posting just 1 solo tackle. With Bell a non-factor, FS
Greg Wesley has to focus a lot more on run support than you’d
like a centerfielder too, but that has led to more tackles. He
posted 7 solo in Week Four and is among the Top Ten in the league
for the season so far. The team’s options are limited with
Bell struggling, as top back-up LB Keyaron Fox remained inactive
and is expected to miss more than a month rehabbing a knee injury.
The DLine was shaken up again as Carlos Hall returned from back
problems and was in the starting lineup at RDE. Opposite him,
Jared Allen remains a starter and posted another sack among his
4 tackles (3 solo). DE Eric Hicks was bumped to make room for
Hall. He had to leave the game early with an apparent injury to
his right leg. John Browning remained a starter on the interior,
but Lionel Dalton was bumped for Jimmy Wilkerson. DT Ryan Sims
remained inactive with a foot sprain suffered in their first game.
CB Eric Warfield is eligible to return from a four-game substance
abuse policy suspension this week. Depending on the shape he is
in, he could replace Dexter McCleon soon.
LB Junior Seau (strained calf and Achilles’ tendon) and
SS Terbucky Jones (hamstring) rehabbed injuries over the bye week,
but have yet to practice this week. Jones believes he’ll
be ready, but the team and Seau have been quiet about his status.
Injuries hampered the Vikings preparations for Week Four and impaired
the defensive performance, but a return of ineffectiveness by
the offense killed the team.
Former 1st round pick DE Kenechi Udeze, who has disappointed
so far this season, was inactive after chipping a bone in his
left knee that caused him to leave the game early in Week Three.
The swelling didn’t subside during the week, leading to
concern that the injury is more serious. There will be another
arthroscopic procedure this week to examine the knee further,
but there are already reports that he may need season-ending surgery.
DE Lance Johnstone as also inactive after leaving with a shoulder
injury in Week Three. He damaged the tendon that connects the
pec to the shoulder and partially tearing the pectoral muscle.
However, the news on him was better last week, as reports said
surgery would not be required. With the Vikings on a bye this
week, he’ll have extra time to heal. The injuries resulted
in Darrion Scott returning to the starting lineup at RDE and Spencer
Johnson getting the start at LDE. Scott had 4 solo tackles and
Johnson had 5 solo. 1st round pick DE Erasmus James also saw more
work, but he failed to appear in the box score. However, his name
was prominent during the game, after he hit Atlanta QB Mike Vick
hard after a throw in the second quarter. Vick went down to the
ground where he rolled in pain for a while, holding his leg. Vick
suffered a sprained knee and was held out of the game as a precaution,
but sounds like he’ll be OK, sparing James from being remembered
in infamy by Falcon fans. James’ role will continue to increase
if Udeze and/or Johnstone are lost for a significant amount of
time. Despite being off to a slow start in his NFL career, he
is the only decent pass rush threat at DE (unless the team moves
Kevin Williams there full-time) with Udeze and Johnstone out.
DT Kevin Williams hurt his back at the end of the game, but the
injury is not believed to be serious. He has an extra week to
recover with the bye, but keep an eye out for updates next week.
FS Darren Sharper remained inactive with a sprained MCL in his
left knee. He is expected to miss at least another week. As Willie
Offord tore his ACL, ending his season, Ken Irvin moved into the
starting lineup at FS and Corey Chavous moved back to SS. Irvin
had 5 solo tackles and Chavous had 3 and a pass defended. CB Brian
Williams was also inactive, also with a sprained MCL. Ralph Brown
replaced him as the nickel corner and had 4 solo tackles. Williams
is expected to miss more time.
The LB group was all healthy and had a fairly stable and consistent
rotation for the first time. MLB Sam Cowart led the team with
9 tackles (8 solo) and had the only sack of the day. Cowart left
the game briefly after banging his knee, giving Dontarrius Thomas
some work, but Cowart returned the next series in the third quarter.
Flanking Cowart, E.J. Henderson and Napoleon Harris started at
OLB and saw the most work. Henderson had 6 tackles (5 solo).
As mentioned in this column previously, the constant movement
of personnel and changes in schemes of DC Ted Cotrell must be
contributing to the lack of success on defense. Obviously someone
high up in the Vikings agree, because former Viking DC Foge Fazio
is being brought in as a special consultant to analyze the defense.
LB Tedy Bruschi has apparently not given up on returning this
season. Although he refuses to comment, reports are he continues
to solicit medical opinions on the possibility of returning from
a stroke this off-season and the Patriots have not put him on
the IR yet at his request. He’s currently on the PUP, so
the team doesn’t have to make a decision on his status until
after Week 6. Owner Bob Kraft is reportedly against having Bruschi
return, even if he receives medical clearance. As far as I know,
this is unchartered territory as far as have a historical reference
for the likelihood of Bruschi ever returning, much less this year.
In deep dynasty leagues, he’s probably worth hanging on
to, but if your league has an IR and requires strict adherence
to the NFL IR, he’s making keeping more challenging. At
this point, it will all be sorted out in a few weeks when the
PUP expires, so you might as well hang on to him. In all other
leagues, this glimmer of hope doesn’t make him worth picking
With Rodney Harrison now done for the season, the team could
have used Bruschi on Sunday, as Ladainian Tomlinson and the Chargers
thrashed them at home, ending a 21-game home winning streak. Guss
Scott replaced Harrison at SS and had 7 tackles (5 solo) in his
first career start. OLB Mike Vrabel led the team with 11 tackles
(10 solo, including 1 on special teams), while ILB’s Chad
Brown and Monty Beisel each had 8 tackles (5 solo each).
CB Randall Gay (ankle) and CB Tyrone Poole (knee) remained inactive.
Duane Starks and Asante Samuel remained the starters at corner.
The Chargers apparently were looking to exploit Starks, as he
was victimized on both of the TD passes thrown by Drew Brees.
However, the TD to Reche Caldwell was simply a great pass in tight
coverage and an excellent athletic play by Caldwell with a leaping
Jay Bellamy was placed on the IR and Dwight Smith moved from FS
to SS to replace him. Smith finished with 5 solo tackles and a
pass defensed. Rookie Josh Bullocks moves into the starting lineup
and FS and got off to a solid start with 6 tackles (4 solo) and
a pass defensed. Bullocks has good upside as a ball hawk centerfield,
but struggled with his reads and the mental aspects of the game
in the preseason.
DE Charles Grant missed some practice last week as he battled
a toe injury. It might help explain why he had a disappointing
day the previous week, posting just 1 solo tackle. However, he
was back to his dominating self on Sunday, leading the team 7
solo tackles, as well as a sack, a forced fumble, and a pass defended.
Opposite him, DE Darren Howard remained hot with 2 sacks, forced
a fumble and broke up a pass. He has 13 tackles (9 solo) and 3.5
sacks in his last two games. Reserve DE Will Smith had a sack,
CB Fakhir Brown missed his third straight game with an ankle
injury and Jason Craft continues to replace him, despite the fact
he’s bad and Fred Thomas should be starting. Craft was the
beneficiary of another bad J.P. Losman pass, which he intercepted
and returned 39-yards. Losman would later be removed from the
After benching the entire LB group last week, all of them (Colby
Bockwoldt, Courtney Watson, and Sedrick Hodge) were back in the
starting lineup. MLB Watson was the most productive of the group
with 4 tackles (1 solo). However, HC Jim Haslett continued to
platoon all of them, until reserve OLB’s James Allen (hamstring)
and T.J. Slaughter (groin) were dinged up. Both are Questionable
this week. Ronald McKinnon could also apparently continue to platoon
New York Giants
After being benched the previous week, Gibril Wilson (SS) and
Reggie Tobor (SLB) were back in the starting lineup. Wilson led
the team in tackles with 12 (11 solo, including 1 on special teams)
and forced a fumble. It looks safe to keep him in your starting
lineup. WLB Carlos Emmons was inactive after hurting his knee
in practice last week. He may miss another couple of weeks. Nick
Greisen replaced him in the starting lineup and will likely continue
to until Emmons returns. Greisen had 9 tackles (5 solo) and recovered
a fumble. Greisen was the starting MLB heading into last season,
but was quickly replaced. He saw a lot of work at WLB last year
while Barrett Green was out, so Greisen is a solid fill-in if
Emmons misses any more time. Green remains inactive recovering
from a torn ACL last year and is not expected back until after
the bye week.
CB Will Peterson was inactive and could miss the season with
fracture in his lower back. The injury was on the other side of
the same bone he developed a stress fracture on in 2003 that cost
him most of the season. He’ll see another specialist this
week to determine if he can play through the injury. Peterson
was replaced in the starting lineup by Curtis Deloatch, who had
started in his place the first game of the season. Deloatch had
7 tackles (5 solo) and broke up a pass. Rookie reserve CB Corey
Webster returned from a thigh injury that kept him out of the
game the previous week. Peterson’s time in as a Giant may
be over regardless of the severity of the injury. Peterson and
HC Tom Coughlin were at odds after Peterson declared he was not
fit to play in the team’s season opener. This week, Coughlin
reminded players not to discuss injury information with the public
and media. Soon afterward, Peterson announced to the press the
seriousness of his injury and that he was out for Week Four. The
two apparently argued after this occurred and Peterson was told
not to join the team at their hotel for preparations prior to
Sunday’s game. However, the team will be challenged in getting
rid of him. They’d have to come to an injury settlement
and he just signed a five-year contract extension last year, so
there will be salary cap ramifications problems with cutting him.
The injury makes a trade now impossible, and if the team puts
him on the IR and tries to trade him next year, his value will
be nil. The team also has CB Will Allen in a contract year and
believe he has underachieved so far this year.
DE Michael Strahan didn’t seem to be affected by the back
spasms that have been bothering him. He had 4 tackles (3 solo)
and a sack to give him 3.5 on the season. DE Osi Umenyiora injured
his foot during the game. He doesn’t have a break, but his
status for this week is unknown.
New York Jets
Despite holding the Ravens to 2.6 ypc, with no support from an
offense that is down to their third string QB, Baltimore was able
to keep running and dink and dunk in the pass game to dominate
the time of possession and waste a solid effort by the defense.
MLB Jonathan Vilma led the team with 16 tackles (11 solo), his
third straight game with double-digit tackles. Vilma’s huge
day put him in the league lead for tackles with 48 (35 solo),
passing Miami’s Zach Thomas, who has a bye this week. WLB
Eric Barton was inactive after spraining his ankle during the
game the previous week. He was replaced by Mark Brown, who had
12 tackles (4 solo). SLB Victor Hobson also posted double-digit
tackles, finishing with 10 (5 solo) and a fumble recovery.
FS Erik Coleman appears to be recovered from a dislocated thumb.
He had a pick, in addition to 8 tackles (5 solo).
SS Derrick Gibson had a big game, leading the team with 8 tackles
(6 solo) and getting his second career sack. CB Charles Woodson
appeared unaffected after being dinged up the previous week. He
posted 5 tackles (4 solo) and grabbed his first pick of the year.
Woodson continues to see significant time at FS, which is fine
with Woodson. DT Warren Sapp continues to play well. He had his
first sack of the year, and 3 other solo tackles. Reserve DE Derrick
Burgess had 2 sacks and 2 other solo tackles.
Rookie LB Kirk Morrison continues to be consistent tackle-machine,
posting 7 (2 solo). MLB Danny Clark had his lowest production
of the season with just 5 tackles (4 solo). Morrison leads the
team with 36 tackles (23 solo), putting him in the Top Ten for
the League a quarter of the way through the season. However, both
he and Clark have yet to turn in a big fantasy play (no sacks,
turnovers, or scores for either).
DE Jevon Kearse got his first sack of the season, causing a fumble
recovered by reserve DT Sam Rayburn. Kearse also had 2 other solo
tackles and batted down a pass, giving him his best game of the
season. However, it may be premature to believe he has turned
around his season. Pro Bowl LT Willie Roaf was inactive and Kearse
worked against back-up LT Jordan Black, who struggled for the
second consecutive game after being moved from RT to replace Roaf.
TE Tony Gonzalez was frequently kept in to assist on pass blocking,
and Kearse’s sack actually came on an attempt by Gonzalez
to handle Kearse alone. 1st round pick DT Mike Patterson remained
a starter and continues to thrive. He had a sack for the second
straight game and 3 other solo tackles. Patterson again replaced
Darwin Walker, who missed his second game with a thigh injury.
Walker remains questionable to return this week. Depth on the
DLine, especially at tackle, took another hit as Paul Grasmanis
retore his Achilles’ tendon, the same one that ended his
2003 season early.
The Chiefs scored 17 points in little more than a quarter, but
the defense kept after it and QB Donovan McNabb pulled out the
win. The momentum turned not long after a blocked FG in the second
quarter kept the Eagles shut out and downtrodden. On Kansas City’s
ensuing drive, CB Sheldon Brown took an interception back 40-yards
for a score, putting Philly on the board. Brown had another pick
later in the game.
MLB Jeremiah Trotter led the team again with 10 tackles (9 solo)
and broke up a pass. He banged up his thigh, but should be fine.
FS Brian Dawkins had to be helped off the field with an apparent
left leg injury at one point during the game, but he returned
after missing just one play and finished with 6 solo tackles,
including a sack, and a pass defensed. He is having a MRI on his
ankle this week, so this is definitely a story to follow.
The bye week brought bad news to the Steelers. LB Clark Haggans
will miss at least the next four games after undergoing surgery
for a partially torn groin. Haggans suffered the injury late in
Week Three, but finished the game and didn’t have any problems
until the next day. After fizzling when handed the starting job
to replace Jason Gildon in 2004, Haggans was off to a great start
this year. He had at least one sack in each of the first three
games and was coming off a 12 tackle performance. James Harrison
will get the first shot to replace him while he’s out. Harrison
has been solid as a back-up and replaced Haggans and Porter in
the lineup when they’ve been out the past two years. The
way Steeler LB’s have plug and produce under HC Bill Cowher,
Harrison is a guy to consider in deep leagues, especially if you
need to replace Haggans. Keep an eye on rookie Andre Frazier,
CB Ike Taylor has been outstanding since an injury to Willie
Williams opened the door for him to start. Through three games
he has 29 tackles (23 solo) and has broken up 3 passes. However,
his knee is giving him some problems and he may be Questionable
A week after discussing how consistent DE Leonard Little has been,
he posts just 4 tackles (2 solo) and is held without a sack for
the first game. Opposite Little, Tony Hargrove came up with his
best game of the season and a little more job security for another
week. Hargrove had 4 solo tackles, including his first sack of
the season. The team had no other sacks and no turnovers.
SS Adam Archuleta was the NFC Defensive Player of the Month for
September. On Sunday he had 6 tackles (5 solo) and broke up a
pass. OLB Pisa Tinoisamoa led the team with 9 tackles (4 solo).
After the Week Four whipping by the Giants, HC Mike Martz complained
of the defensive effort and talked about giving some young guys
a chance if veterans continue to struggle. MLB Chris Claiborne
has to head that list, with OLB Dexter Coakley not far behind.
Don’t be surprised to see Trev Faulk and rookie Brandon
Chillar get more work at their expense.
The Charges took advantage of an injury-ravaged Patriot team in
the hardest part of their schedule and ended their 21-game home
winning streak. As usual, ILB Donnie Edwards led the team in tackles.
He had 11 (9 solo), as well as an INT, which he pitched to reserve
S Clinton Hart who returned it 40-yards for a TD. FS Bhawoh Jue
had his second pick of the season.
Rookie Luis Castillo remained the starting LDE, while Jacques
Cesaire remained at RDE. LB Ben Leber had the only sack for the
Chargers, among his 3 tackles.
A week of turmoil off the field got no better on the field, as
the 49ers were soundly beaten by the Cardinals at Azteca Stadium
in Mexico City, Mexico, the first regular season NFL game played
outside the United States.
Plenty of issues led up to the game. In a surprise move, OLB
Jamie Winborn, who started the first two games of the season,
was sent home last week. HC Mike Nolan talked cleaning house of
some players who were not on the same page after the team’s
rough start. Apparently, Winborn was one, as the team indicates
they are looking to trade him and don’t want him to get
injured working out with the team before then, so he cleared out
his locker and left. Andre Carter, who replaced Winborn in the
starting lineup in Week Three, remained a starter at OLB and posted
just 3 assists on Sunday night.
Meanwhile, OLB Julian Peterson had to be inactive after straining
his hamstring in the game the previous week. Brandon Moore started
in his place and had 7 tackles (5 solo) and recovered a fumble
after a sack by DE Bryant Young on the first play of the game.
As Moore rumbled toward the end zone, he was stripped of the ball
and LB Derek Smith fell on it for a TD in the end zone.
The secondary took a couple of big hits. The team found out FS
Mike Rumph was done for the year with a torn plantar fascia in
his foot. It’s the second straight year his season ends
early on the IR. Nickel CB Michael Adams replaces Rumph as the
starting FS. He had 3 solo tackles. To replace Rumph on the roster,
team signed Willie Middlebrooks. Middlebrooks had been acquired
by San Fran from Denver for DE John Engelberger in the preseason,
but was cut before the season began. Middlebrooks had 6 tackles
(5 solo) and a pass defensed. CB Ahmed Plummer was also inactive
after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on an ankle injury he aggravated
the previous week. Plummer is expected to miss several weeks.
Rookie Derrick Johnson, who had a big preseason, was promoted
to starter at LCB replacing Plummer. Johnson had 5 tackles (3
solo) and a fumble recovery returned 78 yards for a TD. However,
Johnson had to leave the game with an injury and did not return,
moving Middlebrooks into a full-time role.
The game started out well, as the San Francisco defense put the
team up by 14 on the aforementioned fumble recoveries, early in
the first quarter. However, those would be the only points the
team scored and the defense then allowed Arizona QB Josh McCown,
in his first start of the season, to get in a rhythm and systematically
pick them apart the rest of the game. DE Bryant Young continues
to have a monster year in his 12th season. In addition to the
sack he had on the first play of the game where he forced a fumble
that was recovered for a TD, Young beat a double-team to get another
sack and had 4 other tackles. For the season, he now has 17 tackles
(14 solo), 6 sacks, a forced fumble, and a pass defended. His
6 sacks lead the NFL. That’s the most sacks he’s had
since 2000, and that production is remarkable, considering he’s
playing a fantasy-unfriendly 3-4 DE. ILB Jeff Ulbrich led the
team with 11 tackles (9 solo).
After trailing since the second quarter, the Seahawks tied the
game at 17-17 with less than two minutes left and the defense
put them in position to with their only turnover of the day on
the following Redskin possession. A pass deflected off the hands
of Redskin RB Clinton Portis was picked by back-up CB Kelly Herndon
in Washington territory. They were unable to convert the FG and
then the defense was unable to stop the Redskins in OT.
MLB Lofa Tatupu led the team with 10 tackles (9 solo) and a sack.
SS Michael Boulware also had a sack. DE Bryce Fisher was held
without a sack for the first time this season, but he did have
6 tackles (4 solo) and knocked down a pass. Reserve DT Rocky Bernard
had 5 solo tackles.
FS Dexter Jackson was inactive after hurting his hamstring the
previous week and Will Allen replaced him. Allen was very active,
finishing with 7 tackles (6 solo) and could retain the job when
Jackson is healthy.
As usual, MLB Shelton Quarles led the team in tackles, posting
10 (7 solo) on Sunday. Quarles hurt his wrist early in the game,
but did not miss any time. DE Simeon Rice had 4 tackles (3 solo)
and a sack. He just missed another sack when he lost a scramble
to Detroit QB Joey Harrington to CB Rhonde Barber, who had just
blitzed right off Rice. It was Barber’s 19th career sack.
He needs one more to become the first player in NFL history with
20 picks and 20 sacks.
No sacks, no turnovers, and they were rolled by a Colt offense
that got back on track against them. Not many highlights for the
Titans on D. OLB Peter Sirmon led the team with 10 tackles (7
solo). 1st round pick CB Pacman Jones started his first game and
looked like a rookie. He drew two penalties, getting flagged for
illegal conduct and then a stupid personal foul for taunting on
a drive that resulted in a TD. He also was beat by Reggie Wayne
for a 25-yard TD. He finished with 3 tackles (2 solo).
DT Albert Haynesworth was inactive again due to a knee and toe
problems. Jared Clauss started in his place.
With CB Walt Harris inactive with a calf injury, 1st round pick
Carlos Rogers got his first NFL start. Rogers tied for the team
lead with 7 tackles (6 solo) and forced a fumble. If there’s
any doubt about Harris this week, they’ll have no problem
keeping Rogers in the starting lineup, where he’ll eventually
replace Harris at some point this season anyway. MLB Lemar Marshall
looked unaffected by a groin injury that limited him in practice
earlier last week. He led the team with 7 solo tackles, including
a vicious sack of Seattle QB Matt Hasselbeck.
SS Pierson Prioleau was also inactive with a hamstring injury
suffered in Week Two. Ryan Clark started in his place and had
3 solo tackles. FS Sean Taylor was Probable with a shoulder injury,
but he started and posted 5 solo tackles. However, he aggravated
the shoulder during the game and left late in the fourth quarter.
OLB Lavar Arrington was active, but played just four snaps. The
official word from the Washington coaching staff was he’s
not a starter, his packages were not called, and HC Joe Gibbs
said he’s 100% healthy. Either Gibbs is lying or something
else is going on here. Warrick Holdman, who continues to start
in his place, had just 1 solo tackle.