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IDP Notes
Week 10
11/5/08

Quick Hits (Details in individual team notes)
  • Week Ten byes: CIN, DAL, TB, WAS
  • Thursday game this week: DEN@CLE
  • OAK CB Hall to be released?
  • MIA OLB Porter on track for NFL sack record
  • Scheme part of CHI MLB Urlacher struggles to produce
  • HOU MLB Ryans still struggling, SLB Diles still surging
  • TB MLB Ruud heating up
  • DEN LB Williams and FS McCree hurt on same play
  • MIN DE Allen dominates despite injury
  • ATL DE Abraham has another three-sack day
  • NYG DE Tuck has career sack day
  • Two top SEA defenders battling lingering injuries
  • NO DE Grant done for season, DE McCray gets bump
  • CLE NT Rogers putting up LB numbers
  • MIN FS Williams returns
  • STL DE Little still struggling with injury
  • TEN DE Vanden Bosch leaves early
  • WAS DE Taylor and CB Springs remain out
  • BAL gets by with patchwork secondary
  • BUF S Whitner hurts shoulder, out indefinitely
  • CHI S Brown hurt, rookie back-up Steltz makes big play
  • CIN S Dexter Jackson is done for season
  • STL LB Draft out until Dec.
  • GB releases franchise sack leader DE KGB
Week 10 Injury Report (available Friday PM)

IDP Depth Chart
ARI | ATL | BAL | BUF | CAR | CHI | CIN | CLE
DAL
| DEN | DET | GB | HOU | IND | JAX | KC
MIA | MIN | NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | OAK | PHI
PIT | STL | SD | SF | SEA | TB | TEN | WAS


Arizona
As mentioned in this column last week, SS Adrian Wilson looked improved in their previous game since coming off their Week Seven bye. He took another step this week, leading the team with six solo tackles, including his first sack since 2006. He forced a fumble on the sack that OLB Bert Berry recovered in the second quarter. It led to a FG that gave the Cards their first lead of the game, one they wouldn’t relinquish. Berry got the start with Travis LaBoy inactive again, after starting the previous game, as he battles a groin injury. LaBoy is expected back this week. DE Darnell Dockett got his third sack of the season.

FS Antrel Rolle had his first pick of the season and returned it 40 yards for his first TD of the season. Last year, Rolle has five picks and returned three for scores despite only starting sporadically the first two-thirds of the season. Rolle was streaky last year, with his big plays coming in bunches. All his picks and TDs came in two games. First-round pick CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has swapped spots with CB Eric Green, who was demoted to the nickel. DRC had five solo tackles. CB Rod Hood also had a pick.

Atlanta
With the offense completely dominating time of possession, there weren’t many opportunities for the defense to put up numbers in the less than 15 minutes the Raiders had the ball. DE John Abraham was a big contributor to keeping the OAK O stalled, as he posted three sacks, forcing a fumble on one, among his team-high five solo tackles. It was the second time this season Abraham had three sacks. He is tied for second in the league with 10 sacks on the season, and should easily exceed his career best of 13. Abraham was held sackless the previous two games, but his ability to put up huge sack numbers any week makes him a must-start in almost all leagues. DE Jamaal Anderson started despite coming off a concussion. Chauncey Davis saw a lot of worked in more with Anderson not at 100%.

Baltimore
Down by 14 late in the third quarter, the defense woke up and shut the Browns out in the fourth quarter, helped by a dropped TD by CLE WR Braylon Edwards, in the comeback win. OLB Terrell Suggs clinched the victory when CLE QB Derek Anderson tried to force a screen near mid-field late in the fourth quarter that Suggs grabbed for his second pick of the season and returned it 42 yards for a TD. ILB Bart Scott led the team with ten tackles (eight solo). DE Trevor Pryce had the only sack for the Ravens. Last week’s star, Jameel McClain, was back to just special teams work. Anyone who mistakenly rushed to pick him up after his big game (play) can drop him.

The defense was without three-quarters of its starting defensive backfield again. CB Chris McAlister (knee), Samari Rolle (neck surgery), and SS Dawan Landry (spinal cord concussion) remained inactive. Frank Walker and Fabian Washington remained the starters at corner. Washington had a scare when he briefly left in the third quarter with a stinger in his arm and shoulder. He is also dealing with a bulging disc in his neck, but unlike Rolle, opted for rest instead of surgery. Nickel CB Corey Ivy continues to be the most productive DB, posting four solo tackles, breaking up a pass, and forcing a fumble. Jim Leonhard remained the starter at SS. His return duties are being phased out with WR Yamon Figurs healthy, although both worked punt returns. To deal with the injuries at corner, reserve CB Evan Oglesby is seeing more action and the team activated CB Anwar Phillips from the practice squad. Rolle was supposed to return this week, so he seems questionable again this week regardless of what is reported. McAlister is reportedly considering season-ending surgery on his knee, so his situation should be sorted one way or another soon, but he is expected to miss this week either way.

Buffalo
CB Jabari Greer briefly closed the gap in the fourth quarter with a 42-yard TD return for a TD on his second pick of the season, but it wasn’t enough. The team had no other turnovers and no sacks. Greer dinged his wrist during the game, but is expected to play. MLB Paul Posluszny led the team with nine tackles (eight solo) and broke up a pass. He had the QB hit on Greer’s pick, as well.

DE Aaron Schobel (foot) missed his third game, giving Ryan Denney another start. The team is missing Schobel’s pass rush, as Denney has no sacks while subbing for him. Schobel is not expected to play for at least another two weeks and there are reports his season is in danger. FS Ko Simpson returned to the starting lineup and had five solo tackles, but S Bryan Scott continued to see work at both spots, posting three solo tackles, including on for a loss. SS Donte Whitner had four tackles (three solo), but suffered a separated shoulder in the game. Scott will start in place of Whitner at least his week and is a strong play at SS. Third CB Ashton Youboty missed another game with a foot injury, but is expected to return this week.

Carolina
Coming off his first multi-sack game of his career, third DE Charles Johnson is a player to watch in the second half as the team comes off a bye. Starting DE Tyler Brayton hasn’t shown much more in half a season with CAR than the former first round pick did with OAK. Johnson could see more snaps than just nickel and dime packages.

Chicago
Corner Nathan Vasher and Charles Tillman returned to the starting lineup coming off the bye, but the defense made DET QB Dan Orlovsky look like a Pro Bowler most of the first half. The D got off to a good start when FS Mike Brown had a diving interception on the first drive and appeared to return it 51 yards for a TD. The play was challenged and he was ruled down on contact, but the offense still converted a FG. The defense held the Lions to a three-and-out on the next drive, then marched for a TD on thee subsequent drive to give the Bears a 10-0 lead. After that, the wheel fell off. DET scored three unanswered TDs before the Bears defense woke up and shut the Lions out in the second half.

Brown would leave after the first half with a calf injury, posting five tackles (four solo), in addition to his pick. Rookie Craig Steltz would replace him and come up with one of several big individual efforts in the second half. After the Lions drove in to the Chicago red zone early in the fourth quarter, Steltz would barely cut in front of DET WR Calvin Johnson in time to grab his first career pick at the goal-line. OLB Lance Briggs had another huge play after a horrible punt gave the Lions possession near mid-field with three minutes left and down by four. Briggs would get under the pads on TE Michael Gaines, pop the ball out and recover it himself. Briggs also led the team with ten solo tackles in the game and leads the team with 52 tackles (43 solo) for the season. MLB Brian Urlacher had another quiet game, posting just three solo tackles, but showed he still has game-changing ability on two big plays as time wound down. On a long third down late in the fourth quarter he would come in unabated to the QB and forced Orlovsky to intentionally ground the ball to avoid getting crushed. Then, on the final play of the game, Urlacher got up over Megatron to safely knock the Hail Mary down. I talked about age and perhaps hiding continued back problems as contributing to Urlacher’s disappointing production this season, but should also add the standard scheme DC Bob Babich uses as a big factor. Babich frequently has Urlacher and Briggs right up on the line of scrimmage before the snap to disguise the blitzes and coverage. The overall results are obviously questionable against the pass, but specific to Urlacher, it lets the OLine immediately initiate contact with him when he does blitz, instead of allowing Urlacher to get a running start where he can uses his quickness to avoid it from a running start. When he doesn’t blitz, it also puts him at a disadvantage dropping back to his zone. Both contribute to why he has no sacks or picks halfway through the season.

DT Tommie Harris had his second sack of the year and has them in back-to-back games as he starts to give hope for his season battling a knee. Harris may get another after the scoring review, because he was the first man in when Orlovsky fell down for a sack that the Gamebook credited to “TEAM”. Harris had another nice pressure in the game where he threw DET G Stephen Peterman out of the way and forcing an early pass by Orlovsky. Vasher still doesn’t appear to be 100%, despite returning to the starting lineup. He was badly burned on a short TD in the first half and rotated with Corey Graham in run packages. Graham also played the nickel with Danieal Manning (hamstring) inactive. Manning should be back this week, but Graham will remain involved, if not completely replacing Manning as the nickel. SLB Hunter Hillenmeyer (thumb) was inactive, giving UDFA Nick Roach his first career start. Hillenmeyer should return this week, but may share time with Roach.

Cincinnati
A week after getting abused by HOU WR Kevin Walter, CIN CB Johnathan Joseph had a huge day in helping the Bengals get their first win of the season. He led the team with a career-high 15 tackles (11 solo) and broke up two passes, including a two-point conversion attempt late in the fourth quarter to preserve a 21-19 lead. Dexter Jackson was placed on the IR last week with a hamstring injury. Marvin White rejoined the starting lineup at FS to replace Jackson and Chinedum Ndukwe remains at SS, with both now having more job security the rest of the season. Ndukwe had seven tackles (four solo), including his second sack of the season. The team added veteran S Chris Crocker for depth to fill Jackson’s roster spot.

MLB Dhani Jones had disappointing tackles numbers for the second straight week, finishing with just three (one solo), but he did have his first pick since 2005 in the third quarter. Two plays later, the offensive scored the eventual game-winning TD. Brandon Johnson remained the starter at WLB and Rashad Jeanty at SLB. Darryl Blackstock has finished his four-game suspension for banned substances and will be back with the team over the bye. With depth a problem, he figures to remain with the team and could be challenging for a starting job in the second half of the season.

Cleveland
ILB D’Qwell Jackson moved in to a tie for the league lead in tackles after his fifth double-digit performance of the season. He led the team with 11 tackles (ten solo), including a sack. He has 1.5 sacks in his last two games, setting a new career high for a player not used much as a pass rusher through his three-year career. DT Shaun Rogers continues to put up monster numbers with nine tackles (eight solo) with FIVE for a loss, including his fifth sack of the season. It remains to be seen if he can keep it up, but halfway through the season he is on pace for 90 tackles and ten sacks, which are crazy numbers for an interior lineman. He needs to be started in all formats until he slows down. He is battling some sore ribs, but is expected to play this week.

Dallas
A week after being held without a sack for the first time since early December 2007, OLB DeMarcus Ware got his tenth sack of the season. He is tied for second in the NFL. He also had the strip and recovered the fumble on the sack. ILB Bradie James led the team with 12 tackles (nine solo), including his third sack of the season. He also recovered a fumble. ILB Zach Thomas had 11 (eight solo). Thomas leads the team with 66 tackles (49 solo) and while off the pace of the 150 tackle range he regularly put up in Miami, he is on track to return to triple-digit tackles this season.

CB Anthony Henry played through a quad injury to start opposite rookie Mike Jenkins. Jenkins got his first career pick and returned it 23 yards for his first career TD. CB Terence Newman remained inactive coming off a sports hernia surgery. The team heads to a bye this week, so we’ll see what Newman’s status is next week, as he was expected back after the bye. The team is still waiting for a decision on Pacman Jones, which won’t come until after Week 11.

Denver
The team lost SLB Boss Bailey for the season prior to the bye and now lost WLB D.J. Williams for a while coming out of the bye. Williams tore an MCL in his knee and is expected to miss at least three weeks. A huge loss for his fantasy owners, as Williams finished the week tied for the league lead in tackles. Undersized UDFA rookie Wesley Woodyard replaced LB D.J. Williams in the base scheme and Louis Green replaced Williams in the nickel situations. Former Bill Mario Haggan was added for depth and could be in the picture quickly. None of those three look appealing as a fantasy replacement. If he is still available, Jaime Winborn would be a better choice. Winborn moved in to the starting lineup for Bailey at SLB and had nine tackles (five solo, including one on special teams) and broke up three passes. Former first-round pick DE Jarvis Moss had a breakout game coming off the bye, posting two sacks. He had a half-sack before the bye and is becoming more involved. DE Ebenezer Ekuban also had a sack. He leads the team with four.

CB Karl Paymah had a rough day starting in place of the injured Champ Bailey. He was picked on constantly, giving up a career day to MIA WR Greg Camarillo. However, as is usually the way with a targeted corner, this translated to some nice fantasy numbers. Paymah led the team with 13 tackles (11 solo, including one on special teams) and broke up two passes, including his first pick of the season. Bailey suffered a groin injury last week and is expected to miss 3-5 more weeks. UDFA rookie Josh Bell replaced Paymah as the nickel CB. FS Marlon McCree suffered a left high ankle sprain on the same play Williams got hurt on in the fourth quarter. He is expected to miss 3-4 weeks and Calvin Lowry should replace him in the starting lineup. The team added Roderick Rogers from their practice squad for depth.

Detroit
DE Dewayne White was held without a sack for the first time in his last four games, but he had a diving interception after a tip by DE Jared DeVries. White also batted a pass down himself and had four tackles (two solo). It was just the second INT of the season for the team. CB Leigh Bodden has the other. Bodden had seven solo tackles in the game. FS Kalvin Pearson led the team with ten solo tackles, including one on special teams. Pearson continues to replace Dwight Smith, who missed his second game with a foot sprain. Smith remains in question this week. After a slow start, DT Cory Redding had his third sack of the season, all of them in his last four games. However, Redding dinged his knee in the game and his status is uncertain this week. Rookie reserve MLB Jordon Dizon missed another game with a hamstring injury.

Green Bay
WLB A.J. Hawk, CB Al Harris, and SS Atari Bigby both returned from injury coming off the bye. Both were back in the starting lineup. CB Tramon Williams and S Aaron Rouse returned to reserve roles, with Williams playing the nickel. DE Jeremy Thompson got the start, but Mike Montgomery, returning from an ankle injury, saw most of the snaps on the right side as his performed throughout the day. Montgomery finished with a career-high ten tackles (eight solo), including his firs sack of the season. The team released career sack leader Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila and activated KGB had not sacks so far this season and was passed by Thompson and Montgomery after Cullen Jenkins went down. Still, the move is a bit of a surprise considering thin depth at the position. The team activated DT Justin Harrell from the PUP to replace KGB’s roster spot.

Houston
DE Mario Williams had his eight sack of the season in their eighth game, on pace to best the 14 he had last year. MLB DeMeco Ryans continues to have disappointing production. He had just four tackles (three solo) in the game. His 51 tackles (40 solo) on the season after eight games are on pace to be season lows for his three-year career. As previously discussed in this column, Ryans is battling lingering ankle and shoulder injuries. Although he continues to downplay them, they obviously seem to be affecting his play. SLB Zach Diles led the team with nine tackles (five solo) and his breakout season continues. He leads the team with 66 tackles (47 solo) and is among the top 15 in the league in tackles.

CB Jacques Reeves returned his second pick of the season 44 yards for a TD. Fred Bennett was the other starter and Dunta Robinson saw limited work and received poor reviews after solid production in his first game back the previous week. Nick Ferguson (SS) and Eugene Wilson (FS) were the starting safety tandem after getting good reviews from HC Gary Kubiak in the previous two games. Brandon Harrison and Will Demps have been demoted from the starting SS and FS roles, respectively.

Indianapolis
SS Bob Sanders returned to the starting lineup and looked good, playing in every series. He posted eight tackles (six solo) and his first pick of the season on an athletic leap to end the Patriots best hope of coming back in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, the secondary took a huge hit when CB Marlin Jackson blew out his knee in practice last week. Jackson tore his ACL and damaged the meniscus cartilage, he is done for the season. A huge loss for the Colts and his fantasy owners, as Jackson was on his way to a 100-tackle season. Kelvin Hayden (knee) also remained inactive this week, so it was Tim Jennings and Keiwan Ratliff, who the team signed late last week, starting at the corners. Hayden should return this week and Jennings will remain in the starting lineup with him.

WLB Freddy Keiaho was inactive with a knee injury. Tyjuan Hagler replaced him and has nine tackles (three solo). MLB Gary Brackett led the team with 11 tackles (eight solo).

Jacksonville
Struggling in pass coverage, the defense moved Brian Williams back to CB in their previous game and he remained there at Cincinnati on Sunday. He replaces a struggling Drayton Florence, who moves to the nickel. Williams had four solo tackles and broke up two passes, including grabbing his second pick of the season. Gerald Sensabaugh is back at SS, replacing Williams, and he led the team with 11 tackles (eight solo), including an assist on special teams.

DT John Henderson was ejected, along with CIN OT Andrew Whitworth, after the two got in a fight late in the third quarter. Henderson had his second sack of the season before leaving. He could be facing a suspension of a game for the fight. Rookie third DE Derrick Harvey had the first sack of his career.

Kansas City
MLB Pat Thomas led the team with ten tackles (seven solo). RDE Turk McBride had six tackles (three solo) and recovered fumbles forced by OLB Derrick Johnson and CB Tyron Brackenridge. LDE Tamba Hali forced a fumble recovered by FS Jarrad Page. The team had no sacks and has just four on the season, worst in the NFL.

Johnson suffered a hamstring injury late in the second quarter and did not return to the game. Rocky Boiman replaced him and had five solo tackles. Johnson sounds unlikely to play this week and Boiman should get the start if he can’t go. Donnie Edwards started his first game since Week Three and posted eight tackles (six solo). Demorrio Williams saw little time, so he looks like the odd man out, for now. Rookie CB Brandon Flowers also suffered a hamstring and had to leave the game. He was replaced by UDFA rookie Maurice Leggett. Leggett had seven solo tackles, but also gave up a TD to TB WR Antonio Bryant that tied the game, after a two-point conversion, and sent it to OT. Depth was a problem at CB, where CB Patrick Surtain (quad) was inactive and Dimitri Patterson was released last week. Flowers is expected to play, but if he can’t, Surtain isn’t expected to play this week either. Tyron Brackenridge is working at the nickel while Surtain is out. Fellow rookie CB Brandon Carr, starting on the other side, had his second career pick.

Miami
OLB Joey Porter had another sack, giving him 11.5 on the season and setting a new career high. He is on pace for 23, which would eclipse Michael Strahan’s NFL record by half a sack.

A week after getting his first pick of the season, CB Will D. Allen grabbed his second in the first quarter and returned it 32 yards for a score. He had a strong day covering DEN WR Brandon Marshall, limiting him to just two receptions and none until late in the third quarter, although Marshall did have a long TD called back on a penalty. Allen also had four solo tackles. SS Yeremiah Bell led the team with seven tackles (six solo) and broke up three passes.

Minnesota
In the spring, DE Ray Edwards proclaimed he planned to chase Michael Strahan’s sack record this season because teams would have to focus on the rest of the all-stars on the front four. Heading in to Sunday, with only credit for a half-sack through seven games, he was still 22 sacks behind Strahan. However, he had his best game of the season against HOU. Edwards and SLB Chad Greenway led the team with nine tackles (six solo) each, and they also each had a solo sack. Edwards now needs just 21 to tie Strahan. Greenway also forced a fumble on his sack that WLB Ben Leber recovered. DE Jared Allen had two sacks, forcing a fumble on one and teaming with DT Kevin Williams on back-to-back sacks on the last two downs of Houston’s final series to preserve the win. The pair leads the team with seven sacks each on the season. After a slow start as a Viking, Allen has five sacks in his last three games. However, it was reported Allen suffered a partially separated right shoulder in the game as he missed time during the second half. Despite being able to return, Allen’s status is in question for this week as the injury was clarified as an AC joint sprain.

FS Madieu Williams got his first start as a Viking and had his first pick as a Viking in the end zone. Williams saw a full workload, posting eight solo tackles. Rookie Tyrell Johnson, who replaced Williams while he missed the first seven games, was relegated to the bench, seeing limited work. CB Antoine Winfield had his team-leading second pick of the season. As expected, Napoleon Harris remained the MLB. He had four tackles (three solo). David Herron Jr. remained inactive with a hip injury, but Harris is expected to remain the starter when he returns.

New England
First-round pick ILB Jerod Mayo led the team with 11 tackles (eight solo) and broke up a pass. He leads the team with 59 tackles (46 solo), but is lacking in the big play department (no sacks, picks or forced fumbles). ILB Tedy Bruschi lost time to UDFA rookie Gary Guyton inside. Guyton, apparently a new Belichick pet project, had six tackles (five solo, including one on special teams). Rookie nickel CB Terrence Wheatley left the game in the second quarter with a hand injury. Third DE Jarvis Green returned after missing a few games with an ankle sprain. The team had no sacks and forced no turnovers.

New Orleans
DE Charles Grant was placed on the IR with a triceps injury over the bye. DT Hollis Thomas was brought back to fill his roster spot, but Bobby McCray is the big fantasy beneficiary, as he moves in to a starting role with nice upside as a pass rusher. If you are hurting at DE, this is the guy to chase this week.

New York Giants
The Giants continue to prove the defending champs are the best team in the league with a dominating performance on both sides of the ball against the Cowboys. DE Justin Tuck had a career-high 2.5 sacks in the game. He is playing as well as any fantasy DE right now with 5.5 sacks in his last three games. His 8.5 on the season is on pace to shatter his career best of 10 set last year. DE Mathias Kiwanuka followed up his three-sack performance in the previous game with his sixth sack of the season. DT Fred Robbins is battling injuries on both hands. He’ll continue to play, but it will hamper him adding to his impressive 5.5 sack total so far this year. He hasn’t had one for the last two games.

Chase Blackburn got the start at WLB over rookie Bryan Kehl, who is battling a toe injury. while Gerris Wilkinson (MCL sprain) remained inactive. Wilkinson could return this week, but Blackburn is out of the picture if Kehl is healthy. SLB Danny Clark led the team with nine tackles (four solo). MLB Antonio Pierce continues to be a shell of the player he once was, battling various injuries. He is on pace for less than 80 tackles this season, far off his normal production since he became a full-time player. Cut bait in redraft leagues, if you haven’t already. SS James Butler left with a knee injury and veteran Sammy Knight was the main beneficiary. He posted five solo tackles. Knight has been a stat-machine when given the opportunity to start, so he is a nice addition if Butler misses serious time. Nickel CB Kevin Dockery (back) will miss another game this week. Rookie Terrell Thomas, who now comes in for three- and four-corner packages in Dockery’s place, dinged his shoulder in the game, but is expected to play this week.

New York Jets
An outstanding defensive effort compensated for an uneven performance from QB Brett Favre. NT Kris Jenkins led the way with two sacks, his first since Week Two. DE Shaun Ellis shared a sack with DL C.J. Mosley, giving Ellis at least a half-sack in five straight games. He leads the team with seven sacks. CB Darrelle Revis extended his team lead with his fourth pick of the season and also notched his first career sack, forcing a fumble on a blindside hit and recovering it himself in the first quarter. The offense converted the turnover to a FG and closed the deficit to one point. The Bills would have a sustained drive on the next possession, but it ended with a pick returned 92 yards for a score by SS Abram Elam. The Jets wouldn’t trail again in the game after that. Elam got the start with FS Eric Smith out with a concussion. Smith sounds unlikely to play this week. It was Elam’s first career INT. Multi-purpose DB David Barrett was back at CB with the first team in the second quarter when rookie Dwight Lowery was benched.

ILB David Harris was inactive with hip and groin injuries suffered in the previous game. David Bowens replaced him and had a sack among his five tackles (four solo). Harris sounds unlikely to play this week, as well. ILB Eric Barton led the team with eight tackles (seven solo).

Oakland
Plenty of tackle opportunities when the opponent has the ball for over 45 minutes. MLB Kirk Morrison led the team with 12 tackles (nine solo), his third double-digit tackles game of the season and second in as many games. SS Gibril Wilson kept pace with 11 tackles (seven solo). Hiram Eugene remained the starter at FS, posting nine tackles (six solo). SLB Ricky Brown was sidelined with a groin injury, so Robert Thomas got the start, but he left early with a hamstring injury and Sam Williams replaced him. Williams could be in line for the start this week.

DE Derrick Burgess missed his fourth straight game with a strained triceps. Jay Richardson continues to start in his place opposite Kalimba Edwards, but it was rookie Trevor Scott who got another sack rotating with Richardson, his third of the season. Edwards has his team-leading fifth sack of the season.

In some surprising news as we went to press, it is being reported CB DeAngelo Hall could be released this week. Hall has been putting up great fantasy stats because he’s played so poorly and teams preferred challenging him than a gimpy Nnamdi Asomugha. Stanford Routt would step in to the starting lineup if this happens.

Philadelphia
DL Darren Howard continues to thrive in a bounce-back season. He had two more sacks, giving him four in the last three games and a team-high 6.5 on the season. He still figures to be an erratic play, but is a now a must-start in most sack-friendly leagues requiring a DT (and he qualifies as a DT).

SLB Chris Gocong led the team with eight tackles (seven solo, including two on special teams). WLB Omar Gaither had six solo tackles, including a sack. His tackle numbers are on a pace down a bit from last year, when he played in the middle, but he has a career-high 2.5 sacks so far. Nickel CB Lito Sheppard injured his groin in the game and left in the second quarter. Joselio Hanson replaced him as the third CB and should continue to do so if Sheppard is out this week.

Pittsburgh
The Steeler LB group dominated the game, led by ILB James Farrior with a game-high 13 tackles (12 solo), including sharing a sack with OLB James Harrison. Farrior also broke up three passes. Harrison also had a solo sack among his 11 tackles (seven solo, including two on special teams). Harrison is tied for second in the league and has already set a new career high. On the other side, OLB LaMarr Woodley had two more sacks, giving him 9.5 on the season. Third ILB Lawrence Timmons had his fourth sack of the season.
Tyrone Carter started at FS for Ryan Clark (dislocated shoulder) and Deshea Townsend returned to the starting lineup with Bryant McFadden (broken arm) inactive. Both Carter and Townsend had their first picks of the season. Clark is expected back this week, McFadden is out indefinitely.

St. Louis
DE Leonard Little was active, but saw little work, as he battles a lingering hamstring injury. DE Victor Adeyanju got the start at LDE opposite rookie RDE Chris Long. James Hall worked as the third DE and had the only sack in the game. Eric Moore also was limited, battling a neck injury. The team forced no turnovers, although reserve CB Jonathan Wade couldn’t get the handle on a sure pick that bounced in to the arms of AZ WR Jerheme Urban for 56-yard TD. With Little unable to shake his injury, there isn’t a reliable fantasy starter among STL ends right now.

SS Corey Chavous led the team with seven solo tackles, including one on special teams. CB Ronald Bartell and FS O.J. Atogwe had six solo tackles. CB Tye Hill (torn cartilage in knee) remains inactive despite practicing last week. SLB Chris Draft suffered a fractured right foot in the second half and is expected to miss 3-6 weeks. Quinton Culberson replaces Draft in to the starting lineup.

San Diego
DC Ted Cottrell was fired over the bye week and replaced by LB coach Ron Rivera. Rivera was the DC in Chicago when the Bears went to the Super Bowl two seasons ago. While his experience is with a 4-3 base, the Chargers won’t change their base defense, but Rivera is expected to be more aggressive with blitzes. One player who has been underutilized and stands to benefit is OLB Shaun Phillips. CB Antonio Cromartie continues to battle hip problems through practice in the bye week.

San Francisco
One player to watch coming out of the bye is LB Ahmad Brooks . He seemed to be a pet project of new HC Mike Singletary. With Takeo Spikes and Patrick Willis locked inside, the former MLB isn’t going to find work there. The team was going to look at working him in as a pass rushing DE tweener over the bye.

Seattle
MLB Lofa Tatupu (groin) and DE Patrick Kerney (shoulder) were both inactive. D.D. Lewis got the start in the middle and had another solid fantasy game, leading the team with 11 tackles (nine solo, including one on special teams). While Lewis has filled in most of the last three games while Tatupu has battled a concussion in addition to his groin injury, this was the first start Tatupu has missed in his career. He will be a game-time decision this week and remains a risky play. Lewis only has value if Tatupu is out. Rookie Lawrence Jackson remained in the starting lineup at RDE with Kerney out again, but Jackson was shut out of the box score. LDE Darryl Tapp, who took the starting job back from Jackson three weeks ago, had his first sack of the season. Kerney will have a procedure this week on the injury in his surgically-repaired left shoulder. If he tore the labrum again, he is likely done for the season. They won’t know until they get in there. The best case scenario seems he’ll miss just two weeks. Regardless, if he Kerney returns, the shoulder will likely remain a problem the rest of the season. Rookie DT Red Bryant will miss a few weeks with a high ankle sprain. SS Deon Grant had his second pick of the season.

Tampa Bay
MLB Barrett Ruud led the team with 13 tackles (11 solo), including his second sack, giving him back-to-back double-digit tackles games. His 71 tackles and 55 solo both lead the team by significant margins. WLB Derrick Brooks had ten tackles (nine solo), his first double-digit tackle game since last November. He has just 38 tackles (30 solo) on the season and his previous high for a game being five, so don’t rush out to pick him up.

FS Tanard Jackson forced a fumble he recovered, the only turnover in the game. As expected, Sabby Piscitelli started in place of SS Jermaine Phillips, who was inactive with a broken forearm. Piscitelli had seven tackles (five solo) and broke up a pass in his first career start. The team has a bye this week, but Phillips should miss a few more weeks, giving Piscitelli a few more starts. First-round pick CB Aqib Talib spent a lot of time on top KC WR Dwayne Bowe. Bowe beat him for a TD, but Talib made a nice play breaking up another pass for Bowe later in the game.

Tennessee
DE Kyle Vanden Bosch tried to return from a lingering groin injury, but left in the first half and did not return. He reportedly had no problems pregame, but aggravated the injury shortly in to the game. Vanden Bosch expects to be play this week, but a groin strain needs time to heal and he seems extremely questionable this week, at a minimum. Dave Ball replaced Vanden Bosch and posted four tackles (three solo), including a sack. He has 1.5 sacks in the last two games replacing Vanden Bosch. OLB Keith Bulluck also left in the second quarter with a rib injury. He did return in the second half and finished with five tackles (four solo) and a pass defensed. Bulluck is expected to play this week. MLB Stephen Tulloch led the team with seven solo tackles, including one on special teams, and recovered a fumble forced by rookie DE Jacob Ford on one of his two sacks in the game. They were the first two of his career. Ford saw more work with Vanden Bosch out.

SS Chris Hope had a pick in the end zone, his third of the season – all in the last two games. He also had his first career sack among his five solo tackles.

Washington
DE Jason Taylor (calf) was inactive, as expected, and should return after the team’s bye this week. Demetric Evans replaced him and had a career-high 2.5 sacks among his seven tackles (four solo). He leads the team with 3.5 sacks, all in the last two games. Rookie SS Chris Horton returned after missing the previous game and continued to flash his playmaking skills with his first career sack among his five tackles (four solo). He also broke up a pass. FS LaRon Landry played through a hamstring, but CB Shawn Springs (calf strain) remained inactive, giving Fred Smoot the start across from Carlos Rogers. Springs is expected back after the bye. MLB London Fletcher led the team with eight tackles (six solo).