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IDP Notes
Week 4

Quick Hits (Details in individual team notes)
  • Week Four byes: Denver, NY Giants, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay
  • CIN MLB Thurman arrested while still suspended
  • SD SS Kiel arrested on drug charges
  • CAR shuffles LBs, no work on MLB Morgan
  • ATL DE Abraham and MLB Hartwell inactive again Week Three
  • Thin PHI secondary takes more hits
  • BUF LB Spikes inactive again
  • BAL LB Scott and PHI DE Cole lead league in sacks
  • NYJ SS Rhodes making an impact
  • PHI DE Kearse injuries worse than originally reported
  • CIN SS Kaesviharn thrives as starter again, will replace Jackson for few weeks
  • STL DE Hargrove returns, but Adeyanju will continue to start
  • IND DT Brock thriving inside
  • JAX DE McCray role player to watch in dynasty
Week 4 Injury Report (available Wednesday PM)

IDP Depth Chart

Despite QB Kurt Warner throwing three picks, the defense appeared to have done enough to hold for the victory when backup DE Antonio Smith recovered an aborted snap by STL QB Marc Bulger in Ram territory down by two points. Instead of driving for a game-winning FG, Warner would cost the team the game when he fumbled a snap two plays later, sealing the loss.

MLB Gerald Hayes continues to be an extremely productive fantasy player. Although he was held without a pick for the first game this season, he led the team with 10 tackles (8 solo) and recovered a fumble. Calvin Pace returned to the starting lineup at SLB and Orlando Huff was the WLB. Despite the LB corps being thin with James Darling inactive and Karlos Dansby limited, Darryl Blackstock appear back in HC Denny Green’s doghouse a week after doing little when given a start. Blackstock was limited to special teams work.

The Rams focused on playmaking SS Adrian Wilson by assigning RB Stephen Jackson to account for him first on him on most pass plays. Wilson finished with 4 solo tackles and broke up a pass.

DE John Abraham was inactive for the second straight game with a groin injury. Chauncey Davis started in his place again. Abraham’s status remains uncertain, as he can do light running, but not yet work out of his stance. On the other side, DE Patrick Kerney continues to be limited by a triceps injury. He still saw most of the snaps, but finished with just 1 solo tackle. He’ll continue to play RDE while Abraham is out. With the starters dinged up, rookie Paul Carrington and Josh Mallard were again seeing more work at DE. The front four was held without a sack and failed to put much pressure on NO QB Drew Brees. Backup CB Kevin Mathis had their only sack and the team failed to force a turnover.

MLB Edgerton Hartwell is yet to play a game this season, still recovering from preseason surgery on both knees. The LBs once again lined up with Keith Brooking at MLB, Demorrio Williams at WLB, and Michael Boley at SLB. Boley led the team with 11 tackles (9 solo) and also had a pass defended.

CB DeAngelo Hall has to leave after a calf injury in the first quarter had him down on the turf for a while and assisted off, but he returned to the game.

With the Ravens in danger of falling to the winless Browns, CB Chris McAlister exploited a bad decision by CLE QB Charlie Frye picking off a pass in the end zone with less than four minutes remaining. McAlister is making the most of his INTs this season, as he returned one for a TD in Week One.

WLB Bart Scott continued his breakout season. He had two sacks in a game for the second time this season, setting a new career high with his NFL-leading fifth sack. He also posted 8 tackles (4 solo) and broke up a pass. DT Kelly Gregg and DE Trevor Pryce shared a sack and each had one of their own. DE Terrell Suggs and OLB Adalius Thomas each had their third sack of the season. Suggs had to leave the game in the fourth quarter with a hamstring injury. He said he felt good on Tuesday, wasn’t walking with a limp, and is day-to-day.

After getting to the QB seven times the previous week, they failed to generate much pressure on Sunday. The team posted just one sack and hit NYJ QB Chad Pennington only one other time, both by DE Chris Kelsay. They also forced no turnovers.

SLB Takeo Spikes was inactive for the second straight game and is expected to remain questionable for this week. Rookie Keith Ellison continued to start in his place and posted 8 tackles (1 solo). Ellison played SLB this time, while Angelo Crowell was back at WLB where he led the team with 10 tackles (6 solo), as well as defended a pass.

A lot of talk in the media recently about the quality of play of the linebackers. Pat Yasinskas of the Charlotte Observer quoted an anonymous NFC scout criticizing Adam Seward as the replacement for Dan Morgan, particularly the ability of Seward to diagnose plays and his quickness. This week the team moved Chris Draft to MLB, while Seward and Na’il Diggs both worked at WLB. Draft led the team with 10 tackles (8 solo, including 1 on special teams). Morgan remains out indefinitely with a concussion and is yet to comment on his status. The team said he will be reevaluated for Week Four.

SS Shaun Williams was out with a foot injury from Week Two. Colin branch started in his place and had 4 tackles (1 solo). CB Chris Gamble picked off the first pass of the game by TB QB Chris Simms to set up a TD.

After a three-sack game the previous week, DE Julius Peppers had another among his 7 tackles (5 solo).

DT Tommie Harris continues to look like an All-Pro. He drew double-teams all day and got his team-leading third sack in the game, but his biggest play didn’t show up in the box score. With the Bears trailing and less than four minutes to play, Harris burst into the backfield on a third-and-eight, blowing up a handoff that was fumbled and recovered by DE Adewale Ogunleye. The Bears scored the game-winning TD on the subsequent possession.

Backup DE Mark Anderson continues to make plays in limited opportunities. After Ogunleye got dinged and had to briefly leave the game in the second quarter, Anderson replaced him long enough to recover a fumble forced by SS Mike Brown after a 20-yard pass completion.

MLB Brian Urlacher led the team with 10 tackles (5 solo).

MLB Odell Thurman, already serving a four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, was arrested early Monday morning on a drunken driving charge. His blood-alcohol test 0.18, more than twice the 0.08 legal limit. HC Marvin Lewis said it would “surprise” him if Thurman were not suspended for the year and cleared out his locker this week. Ouch. Bump up Brian Simmons, who could now be the MLB all year, and Landon Johnson, who looks to remain a starter at WLB. The two tied for the team lead in tackles with 9 on Sunday. Simmons also recovered a fumble forced by SS Kevin Kaesviharn that led to a game-clinching TD in the mid-fourth quarter. Kaesviharn started in place of Dexter Jackson, who was inactive with an ankle sprain and expected out through at least Week Six. Kaesviharn also had 8 tackles (7 solo) and saved the game with an INT in the end zone on Pittsburgh’s final play from scrimmage. FS Madieu Williams also had a pick in the end zone on the first play of the second quarter.

Rashad Jeanty remains the starter at SLB with David Pollack having gone on the IR last week. If Thurman is done for the year, his job security improves. Jeanty had 7 tackles (2 solo).

DE Justin Smith (DE, LB) had his fourth sack of the season and with his second two-sack game of the year, so did Robert Geathers. Geathers disappointed as a pass rusher when he was the starter last year, but working as a pass rush specialist this year, he already set a new career high with 4 sacks through just three games.

OLB Willie McGinest, who was out with a calf injury the previous week, returned to the starting lineup posting 3 solo tackles, including a sack, and broke up a pass. McGinest and Kamerion Wimbley applied good pressure throughout the game in passing situations.

CB Gary Baxter was inactive after aggravating a pec injury last week. Daven Holly started in his place, and while he struggled with coverage, he had 7 solo tackles. ILB Andra Davis (4 solo) and SS Sean Jones (DE, DB) (4 solo) also tied for the team lead with 7 tackles.

DE Orpheus Roye was inactive with a shoulder injury and Ethan Kelley started in his place. Roye is expected back next week.

HC Bill Parcells said FS Pat Watkins had to quit “block tackling”, diving and leading with the head, and learn to wrap up. Otherwise, he’ll be benched, because “if he keeps doing it, he’s going to wind up in a coffin”, Parcells said. Watkins won the starting job in preseason regardless of vet Marcus Coleman being suspended for four games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

The defense has gone 11 quarters without allowing a TD, the best streak in the NFL since the Chicago Cardinals in 1942.

MLB Al Wilson aggravated a hamstring injury, which had him in and out of the game Sunday night. He had just 2 assists. With backup Nate Webster inactive, the team shuffled players to compensate. They played a lot of nickel in the second half while sitting on a lead, which utilized OLB Ian Gold and D.J. Williams in the middle. Gold led the team with 13 tackles (11 solo) and Williams had 10 (6 solo).

An already thin DE corps got a scare when Kenard Lang left the game with a mild concussion in the third quarter. He returned to the game and while he didn’t get a sack, hit Tom Brady 6 times during the game. The team had no sacks, but hit Brady a total of 15 times and caused 22 “deviant passes”, a stat the defense keeps indicating how many passes they negatively influenced from being on target. Lang continues to start in place of DE Courtney Brown, who has yet to be active for a game this year while he recovers from preseason knee surgery.

CB Darrent Williams had 10 tackles (9 solo) as the Patriots consistently avoided throwing at CB Champ Bailey. Bailey finished with just an assist. Williams left the game with a strained neck at one point.

DT Demetrin Veal had a key stop on fourth down in the second quarter.

For the second straight game, the Lion defense failed to record a sack, despite the Packers having two rookies on the OLine. They had five against Seattle in the season opener. The secondary was thin and the Packers exploited it running multiple three-receiver sets. CB Fernando Bryant was not at the game due to a death in the family. Jamar Fletcher started in his place and that forced reserve S Jon McGraw to be the nickel, as recent Day One picks Kevin Smith and Stanley Wilson have disappointed. McGraw fell down on an early 75-yard TD by GB WR Greg Jennings with a nice RAC. Rookie Daniel Bullocks got his first career start at SS with Kennoy Kennedy out with a foot injury. Bullocks had 6 tackles (4 solo) and a pass defensed.

SLB Paris Lenon and WLB Ernie Sims saw most of the work in the nickel, limiting the debut of Boss Bailey at MLB. Not sure if Bailey’s ankle remains a concern, but it is surprising how limited his use has been. Bailey 5 tackles (4 solo), while Sims led the team with 9 tackles (3 solo) and also broke up a pass.

Green Bay
After two big weeks, DE Aaron Kampman was unable to exploit rookie Jonathan Scott getting his first career start at tackle for the Lions. Kampman got close, but failed to record a sack for the first time this season. First round pick WLB A.J. Hawk had his first career sack among his 8 tackles (5 solo) in his best game. Reserve DT Corey Williams was the main pass rush threat, seeing more work with Colin Cole inactive. Williams had 2 sacks, as many as he had all last season, and just missed a few more. DT Ryan Pickett had to leave the game with a sprained ankle, but returned. His status for this week is uncertain as swelling remained a problem early in the week. Williams could step up again if Pickett can’t go.

SS Marquand Manuel had the only turnover, when he returned a deflected pass 29 yard for a TD. CB Ahmad Carroll appeared to have interfered on the play causing the ball to bounce up for grabs.

MLB Nick Barnett led the team with 9 tackles (just 2 solo). Brady Poppinga was the surprise starter at SLB to start the season, but his grip on the job is loosening because of his struggles in pass coverage. Ben Taylor, the free agent brought in who was expected to take the job, finally saw work in base defense as well as passing downs. Poppinga finished with 7 tackles (6 solo), while Taylor had 3 (2 solo, including 1 on special teams).

The Mario Williams Sack Watch goes on. The first overall draft pick posted 3 tackles (2 solo). He has yet to post a sack in an NFL game, pre- or regular season. HC Gary Kubiak was critical of Williams’ performance, as well. With Antwan Peek out indefinitely with a groin injury, Jason Babin remains a starter at DE, but had just 1 solo tackle. Peek is expected back this week. The biggest play up front was DT Travis Johnson stopped WAS QB Mark Brunell’s NFL-record 22 completions to start a game when he batted down Brunell’s 23rd pass.

The struggles in the front four can be seen in the fact CB Dunta Robinson (11 solo) and CB Lewis Sanders (9 solo, including one on special teams) led the team with 11 tackles. Rookie MLB DeMeco Ryans had 10 tackles (9 solo).

After missing most of the preseason with a calf strain, Michael Doss lost his starting SS to job to rookie Antoine Bethea. With FS Bob Sanders out with a sore knee, Doss made a big impact back at SS on the first team. Doss flashed his big hitting ability on his way to 9 tackles (7 solo) and sealed a win with a pick with less than a minute to play. With Doss back at SS, Bethea moved to FS and had an impressive day. He led the team with 12 tackles (4 solo) and broke up a pass. Sanders’ status for this week is uncertain, so Doss could continue to have value.

DE Dwight Freeney started after being a game-time decision, but wasn’t 100% with a strained gluteus. He hit Byron Leftwich once, but failed to post any other stat. With Freeney dinged, Bo Schobel and rookie Ryan LaCasse saw extra reps.

The conversion of Raheem Brock to primarily a DT has been a big success. Brock had been a tweener the last couple of years. He would typically play end on runs in their base defense and move inside on passing downs to make room for Robert Mathis. With Mathis installed as an every-down DE, Brock has done the same inside. He had the team’s only sack on Sunday and now leads the Colts with 2.5 through three games. In leagues that require a DT, he is a guy to check the waiver wire for. DT Corey Simon remains inactive with a knee injury and is not expected back until after their October 15th bye week.

CB Nick Harper had to leave the game with a strained groin. Harper had been questionable with rib and ankle injuries, but started. Marlin Jackson replaced him and had 8 solo tackles (including one on special teams) in the game. Harper is not expected to play this week, so Jackson should start in his place. Rookie CB Tim Jennings was active for the first time and had a tackle on special teams.

With Reggie Hayward done for the season, Rob Meier continues to start at DE, but it is Bobby McCray to keep an eye on. For the second consecutive game he had a sack, as his work as a situational pass rusher increases. McCray replaces Meier on third-and-long, with Meier moving inside. McCray was a blue chip HS recruit who flashed potential while playing at Florida. However, he never lived up to lofty expectations, while exhibiting behavior and attitude problems. The result was he fell to the seventh round where the Jaguars took him as a project. He is unlikely to be productive enough to be considered in redraft leagues, but now is worth considering as a developmental prospect in deep dynasty leagues.

MLB Mike Peterson (6 solo) and WLB Darryl Smith (4 solo) led the team with 8 tackles. Pat Thomas, who was beaten out by Nick Greisen for the starting SLB job in the preseason, was placed on the IR with a hamstring injury. With Thomas gone, rookie Clint Ingram was active for the first time, but saw little work.

Kansas City
DC Gunther Cunningham talked in the KC Star about being happy with the speed on the edges and pressure DEs Jared Allen and rookie Tamba Hali bring. He noted that they are frequently double-teamed. The paper went on to say the failure of the pass rush is that no pressure is generated by the interior DLine to collapse the pocket and prevent the edges from being double-teamed.

A secondary that was a liability in the first two games was key in their Week 3 win. CB Travis Daniels, who missed the first two games with an ankle sprain, returned. He didn’t start, but played, although he began to struggle and was removed in the second half. However, he had to return in the fourth quarter when CB Eddie Jackson sprained a toe. Daniels went on to seal the victory with a late fourth quarter pick in Miami territory. After he scored earlier in the game, TEN third-string TE Bo Scaife was stripped by CB Will Allen (CB, SS) at the Miami two-yard line and CB Andre Goodman recovered it.

MLB Zach Thomas has lost a more than a step in straight coverage, he was beat by Scaife on the TD and smoked by PIT TE Heath Miller earlier this year, but he can still make the big play when he is in position, especially if he’s helped there. Thomas was on a blitz in the first quarter when DE Jason Taylor hit TEN QB Kerry Collins as he was throwing. Thomas bounced off a blocker and the ball landed in his hands for his first INT of the season. Thomas also broke up another pass and led the team with 9 tackles (6 solo).

With two sacks on Sunday, 37 year-old DT Keith Traylor leads the team, and set a new career-high, with 3 sacks on the year.

As CHI QB Rex Grossman scrambled in his own end zone to avoid a safety, he attempted to hit RB Thomas Jones in the flat. The ill-advised pass was grabbed by CB Antoine Winfield and returned for a go-ahead TD early in the fourth quarter. However, the Vikings couldn’t protect the lead. Winfield also led the team with 10 solo tackles. FS Dwight Smith also had a pick. He had to leave the game due to dehydration, but returned after getting an I.V.

Rookie CB Cedric Griffin got a surprise first start on Sunday in place of Fred Smoot. Smoot came in the second series, played most of the game, and had 5 solo tackles and broke up a pass. HC Brad Childress hinted it was for disciplinary reasons, but did not elaborate. Smoot suffered a concussion in the game, but returned.

DT Pat Williams (ankle) and SLB Ben Leber (knee) suffered sprains during the game, but both returned.

DE Darrion Scott started in place of Erasmus James who is on the IR with a torn ACL. Scott had the only sack in the game.

SLB Ben Leber may have to sit out this week with a knee sprain. Leber’s backup is Jason Glenn, but Heath Farwell has also been mentioned as a possible replacement. HC Brad Childress declined to speculate. Dontarrious Thomas is the backup at MLB, but can play outside too.

New England
With the offense struggling, the defense was unable to create any plays to help. The team was held without a sack and forced no turnovers. They have only one this season, a pick by ILB Tedy Bruschi. Bruschi was unable to grab a batted pass in the first quarter that could have been an INT. OLB Rosey Colvin blindsided DEN QB Jake Plummer on second-and-11 in the second quarter and the ball came loose into the hands of the Pats, but it was ruled an incomplete pass. DE Richard Seymour hit Plummer 3 times, but couldn’t get there in time. He finished with 7 tackles (4 solo). ILB Junior Seau led the team with 13 tackles (just 2 solo) and broke up a pass.

SS Rodney Harrison had to leave the game for a time in the third quarter with an arm injury. James Sanders replaced him and demonstrated how thin the quality of depth is yet another year in the Pats secondary. Sanders was immediately flagged for a 30-yard pass interference call. Later, he failed to get over to help CB Asante Samuel on an 83-yard TD to DEN WR Javon Walker. CB Ellis Hobbs was beaten for a 32-yard TD by Walker earlier. FS Eugene Wilson also temporarily left with an injury.

New Orleans
A punt block by special teams ace S Steve Gleason recovered by backup CB Curtis Deloach for a TD set the tone, as a boisterous crowd helped and aggressive defense never let ATL QB Michael Vick and Falcons get settled in the game.

The pressure started up front, where Week One fantasy stud DT Brian Young bounced back from a shoulder injury in the previous game and had 5 tackles (4 solo), including a sack. DE Charles Grant had his first sack since November 2005 among his 5 solo tackles. Opposite him, Will Smith had a sack to give him one in each game so far this year.

SLB Scott Fujita led the team with 8 tackles (6 solo), including a sack and forced fumble.

Rookie DE Rob Ninkovich, who flashed some potential in limited exposure earlier this year, will be sidelined up to eight weeks with a knee injury.

New York Giants
After a strong start to the season, injury problems started again for WLB Carlos Emmons. He had to leave the game with a strained pec, the same injury that ended his 2005 season early. He is going through tests on the muscle and his status is up in the air for this week. Rookie Gerris Wilkinson replaced him and had 4 solo tackles.

SS Gibril Wilson led the team with 10 tackles (9 solo). Nickel corner R.W. McQuarters returned a pick for a TD. CB Sam Madison sprained his knee during the game, but was able to return.

New York Jets
SS Kerry Rhodes remains a tackle and playmaking machine, despite playing through a sore ankle. Rhodes (7 solo) and ILB Jonathan Vilma (6 solo) tied for the team lead in tackles. Rhodes also had 2 sacks, forcing a fumble on both, giving him 3 sacks and forcing a fumble on all for the season. He has been an unexpected replacement for the production of John Abraham. Vilma recovered one fumble and OLB Victor Hobson recovered the other, returning it 32 yards for a TD. Although it looked like Hobson stepped out of bounds on the return, the play was not challenged. Hobson had been benched early in the game after a roughing the passer penalty and was replaced by Matt Chatham. Hobson returned in the second half in time for the fumble return and also to post a sack.

Former first round pick Dewayne Robertson continues to struggle in HC Eric Mangini’s hybrid 3-4. The Star-Ledger compliments Robertson efforts in the second half, after admitting the Bills were running wild over him on the first half, but it was more the adjusted of beefing up with Rashad Moore and Bobby Hamilton in many sets that helped. Mangini has not been critical of Robertson, but he does not appear cut out to handle constant chips and double-teams a NT faces. Regardless of how well he places in real NFL terms, he is useless as a fantasy player now.

Derrick Strait started at FS despite the NFL Gamebook saying otherwise. This ended a streak of 34-straight starts for Coleman since winning the job as a rookie. Coleman was demoted after struggling in Week Two against the Patriots. He saw most of the work there during the game, however. David Barrett played through a hip injury to replace Justin Miller as a starter at CB during the game.

Rookie Anthony Schlegel has yet to be active for a game this year, but could be getting closer. He was practice team player of the week for the Jets in Week Three.

SLB Sam Williams (ankle sprain) and CB Nnamdi Asomugha (foot sprain) are both expected to play this week after a bye. Both were inactive Week Two. CB Fabian Washington, who left the game with a strained hamstring, is expected to play, as well.

Just shy of three bills, DT Mike Patterson is an unlikely answer to the question of who holds the longest fumble return in Eagle history, but that is what he became on Sunday. The ball popped out when SF RB Frank Gore ran in to FS Brian Dawkins on a goal-line lunge in the third quarter. While the 49ers all seemed to think the play was over, an alert Patterson picked it up and rumbled 98 yards for a TD. QB Alex Smith (QB, TE) was the first to finally notice, and although he could have caught up to Patterson, backup S Quintin Mikell provided the interference for Patterson to make it to the end zone. It turned out to be a more costly play for SF than just the TD. Gore left after straining his abdomen trying to stretch for the TD and TE Vernon Davis cracked a bone in his leg trying to chase Patterson down. Patterson recovered another fumble in the game and had a solo tackle, as well.

As expected, Trent Cole moved in to the starting lineup in place of Jevon Kearse, but at RDE. He had a sack among his 4 tackles (2 solo), tying him for the NFL-lead with five. Darren Howard seemed right at home switching over to LDE. Howard forced a fumble on a sack and had a TFL among his 3 solo tackles, as well as knocking down a pass. The DLine continued their hockey rotation without Kearse, as former first round pick Jerome McDougle active for the first time this year to fill the opening.

Despite being doubtful for the game, CB Rod Hood started, but was unable to finish the game. He continued to come out in nickel situations after Joselio Hanson replaced him in the base package, but left the field in apparent increasing pain after each series until not returning. Hood’s status is uncertain, but the team got good news in the CB Lito Sheppard is expected to practice this week and could play. There was further bad news on the injury front for the secondary. FS Brian Dawkins left with a concussion in the third quarter, but he says he will play this wee. Sean Considine replaced him and had to leave with a hip flexor. An MRI was clean, so Considine should be available. The most concerning injury seemed to be SS Michael Lewis (WR, SS) leaving on the second-to-last play of the game with a leg injury. Lewis had 8 tackles (6 solo), including demolishing SF QB Alex Lewis on a blind-side blitz late in the game for a sack and forced fumble. Lewis’ status is uncertain.

An update by Jay Glazer on Fox Sports pregame show indicated DE Jevon Kearse’s injuries were more severe than originally reported. As opposed to just having strained his three knee ligaments, Glazer said he tore his MCL and suffered partial tears to his LCL and PCL, as well as dislocating his knee cap and fracturing his tibia (among other less noteworthy problems). Regardless, this all still seems to be less critical than a torn ACL, as Glazer indicated with the ACL intact, all the rest should be rehabbed by training camp next year.

Once again the Eagles played a lot of nickel and dime packages, where OLB Shawn Barber is featured, chipping in to WLB Matt McCoy’s production. Barber led the team with 10 tackles (7 solo), including 1 on special teams, and broke up a pass. McCoy had just 3 tackles (2 solo).

The defense kept getting to CIN QB Carson Palmer and forcing turnovers, but the offense kept giving it back in key situations. CB Deshea Townsend led the way with a pick and a forced fumble on a sack recovered by ILB James Farrior. CB Ike Taylor also had a pick. OLB Clark Haggans had his first 2 sacks of the year, forcing a fumble on one. ILB Larry Foote led the team with 9 tackles (7 solo), including his first sack.

After a huge opener, OLB Joey Porter disappointed for the second straight week with, again, just 1 assist.

St. Louis
After DE Tony Hargrove went AWOL last week, he was inactive. Rookie Victor Adeyanju got the start and tied for a team-high 6 solo tackles, displaying nice hustle on one tackle 34 yards downfield after a reception by AZ WR Anquan Boldin. Hargrove apologized to teammates and will be reinstated, but HC Scott Linehan indicated Adeyanju would remain the starter, bumping his value in redraft and dynasty leagues. Hargrove’s unexcused absence was reported to be over a personal family issue. Backup DE Brandon Green also saw more work in Hargrove’s absence and shared a sack with backup LB Raonall Smith. Smith and Dexter Coakley, who had a pick, saw work spelling WLB Pisa Tinoisamoa, who played with a brace due to a dislocated elbow. Tinoisamoa started and had 2 solo tackles and a pass defensed.

QB Marc Bulger appeared to have fumbled the game away before the two-minute warning when he lost a snap in St. Louis territory and just a two point lead. However, AZ QB Kurt Warner would lose the snap two plays later and MLB Will Witherspoon would recover it to preserve the win. Witherspoon also tied for the team lead in tackles with 6 (4 solo). SS Corey Chavous had 6 solo tackles and a pass defensed.

San Diego
SS Terrence Kiel was arrested at the team’s practice facility on Tuesday on several drug charges, including intent to distribute. Clinton Hart is behind him on the depth chart.

LB Shawne Merriman is expected to be ready for Week Four after he underwent surgery for multiple nose fractures that occurred in Week Two.

DE Igor Olshansky expects to play in Week Four. He has a torn MCL, but it apparently healed sufficiently over the bye week.

San Francisco
After two sacks last week, backup S Chad Williams set a new career high in just the third game of the season when he shared a sack with MLB Derek Smith. FS Mike Adams should be looking over his shoulder as Williams continues to turn in big plays. Adams’ suspect tackling was on display when with a stiff-arm by PHI RB Brian Westbrook on a 71-yard TD was all it took to shed him. The team had been negotiating a contract extension with Adams, but the sides have been unable to come to terms. Williams played for HC Mike Nolan when he was DC in Baltimore and Williams has been a QB on the field, when he’s on the field, in helping teammates understand Nolan’s defense.

CB Shawntae Spencer led the team with 7 tackles (4 solo) and recovered a fumble forced by CB Walt Harris.

With the team employing a dime most of the fourth quarter after putting up a huge lead, backup S Jordan Babineaux saw extensive work in the middle field and piled up a team high 8 tackles (5 solo, including 1 on special teams). However, the team may have to take a look at the holes in their dime package, as NYG QB Eli Manning was able to direct three TD drive on it in the fourth quarter, so the conservative defense didn’t exactly prevent anything.

FS Ken Hamlin showed he is all the way back to being an impact player from a life-threatening skull fracture last season. He had 2 picks and 4 tackles (3 solo). SS Michael Boulware

Rookie Darryl Tapp continues to thrive as a situational pass rusher. He had his second sack in as many games.

Tampa Bay
Despite a knee injury from the previous week, DE Simeon Rice started and had his best game of the season. He had his first sack of the season on 4 tackles (3 solo) and forced 2 fumbles. With the Bucs down by 13 coming out of halftime, Rice forced a fumble on the first two Carolina drives of the second half. Both resulted in TDs that gave the team a brief lead for the first time in the game.

After being pushed back to the bench by the return of MLB Shelton Quarles, Barrett Ruud was back with the first team on Sunday. SLB Ryan Nece was out after injuring his knee in practice last week. As Ruud is more familiar with the middle, it was Quarles who moved over and replaced Nece at SLB. It was the first start for Quarles at the position since the 2001 season. It took Quarles little time to adjust, he finished with 8 tackles (5 solo), including a sack on which he forced a fumble, and a pass defensed. Ruud had 8 solo tackles at MLB.

Juran Bolden started at CB in place of Brian Kelly, who was inactive again with turf toe. After a huge game in Week Two, SS Jermaine Phillips was solid, if unspectacular, with 7 solo tackles and pass defensed.

OLB Keith Bulluck left the game with an ankle injury, but returned and looked fine on a sack where he forced a fumble in the fourth quarter. He finished with 5 tackles (2 solo). The pressure was good all day from the Titans for the first time this season. DE Kyle Vanden Bosch had his second sack of the season and a couple QB hits. DE Travis LaBoy and DT Albert Haynesworth each had their first sack of the season.

Rookie nickel corner Cortland Finnegan continues to be impressive. He just missed his second sack of the season when MIA QB Daunte Culpepper just made it back to the line of scrimmage in the first quarter. He had 4 solo tackles in the game, another hit on Culpepper, and recovered a fumble on special teams.

FS Chris Hope has been a tackle machine. He had a game-high 10 tackles (6 solo) and leads the team through three games. SS Lamont Thompson’s starting role is on shaky ground as HC Jeff Fisher said he has been put “on notice” after a poor game. Vincent Fuller and rookie Calvin Lowry are behind Thompson on the depth chart.

As running game rolled over Houston, the Redskins dominated time of possession, leaving few opportunities for the defense to put up stats. CB Carlos Rogers and WLB Warrick Holdman led the team with 8 tackles (each with 6 solo).

CB Shawn Springs missed another game as he continues to recover from abdominal surgery in mid-August. He hasn’t been active yet this season and is unlikely to play this week. Kenny Wright continues to start in his place.