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IDP Notes
Week 14

Week 14 Injury Report (available Friday PM)

IDP Depth Chart

Thursday Game Alert: PIT @ CLE 8:20pm EST

Notable Injuries

  • DE Robert Mathis, IND - fresh off his AFC Defensive Player of the Month award, left the game early Sunday with a hamstring. Expect the team to be cautious with their playoff fate well under control and expect Mathis to be very questionable.

  • DE Greg Ellis, OAK - as discussed here last week as likely, he was inactive battling arthritis and swelling in his recently surgically-repaired left knee. Matt Shaughnessy started in his place, but it is Trevor Scott in his hybrid Elephant role that remains the story. After losing his starting role when the team added Ellis and Richard Seymour in the offseason, Scott now started the second-straight game and got his fifth sack of the season. He has three in the last two games. Thomas Howard has moved over to more of a SLB role to make room for Scott's new role.

  • DT John Henderson, JAX - left early after aggravating a lingering shoulder injury. X-rays were negative, he should play this week.

  • DT Cornelius Griffin, WAS - left in the third quarter with an arthritis flare-up in his knee. Albert Haynesworth also aggravated his ankle injury that he just returned from on Sunday, but finished the game. Keep an eye on his status this week.

  • DT Jason Jones, TEN - done for the season with a torn rotator cuff.

  • DT Domata Peko, CIN - the run-stopper will miss at least two weeks with a knee injury.

  • DE Kenyon Coleman, CLE - missed Sunday with a right knee injury suffered in the previous game. His replacement, C.J. Mosley, broke his right ankle early in the game and was placed on the IR. Corey Williams replaced him.

  • MLB E.J. Henderson, MIN - done for the season after suffering an ugly broken left leg on SNF when rookie teammate Jamarca Sanford clipped him at full speed after a juke by AZ RB Tim Hightower. Fifth-round pick Jasper Brinkley gets a big opportunity, with OLB Ben Leber remaining in on the nickel and the next option for every down in the middle if Brinkley struggles.

  • OLB Lance Briggs, CHI - missed Sunday with a left knee sprain and hip pointer. Jamar Williams, a fourth-round pick in 2006 who has been a super-sub his entire career, replaced Briggs well on the weak side as he posted a career-high 18 tackles (13 solo) and broke up 2 passes. Williams, a free agent after this year, earned himself some money and better chance to be a starter somewhere, if not Chicago, next year. Briggs is expected back this week and while Williams may have earned more work at the other two LB spots, he looks like a one-week wonder this year.

  • OLB Shawne Merriman - as expected, was inactive on Sunday to deal with, among others, a lingering foot injury. Although he been a perpetual injury concern this year, it was the first full game he's missed. First-round pick Larry English had 4 solo tackles in his first career start.

  • OLB Scott Fujita, NO - missed Sunday after emergency surgery for a staph infection related to ruptured bursa sac in his left knee. He is likely out this week and could miss more time.

  • S Ed Reed, BAL - was a late scratch from MNF with a hip injury after being questionable and practicing last week. Tom Zbikowski got his first career start in Reed's place and grabbed his first career pick, but also looked to be responsible for a Jermichael Finley TD. Reed was an animated cheerleader on the sidelines. He is expected back this week.

  • S O.J. Atogwe, STL - dislocated his right shoulder on Sunday and is done for the season. Craig Dahl replaces him. Dahl earned a Super Bowl ring with the Giants as an UDFA in 2007 while current Rams' HC Steve Spagnuolo was the DC there. Dahl was out of football last year after tearing his ACL during the preseason with the Giants. He wasn't tendered an offer in New York, but Spagnuolo gave him another chance in St. Louis. The team added former Charger Clinton Hart, who could challenge Dahl.

  • S Michael Griffin, TEN - aggravated a shoulder injury on Sunday and left early. Kevin Kaesviharn replaced him.

  • S Chris Crocker, CIN - left early Sunday with a right ankle injury. UDFA rookie and "Hard Knocks" hero Tom Nelson replaced him and grabbed his first career pick. Crocker should be questionable this week.

  • CB Aqib Talib, TB - inactive with a hamstring. Elbert Mack replaced him.

  • S Tyrell Johnson, MIN - left early with a concussion on SNF. Seventh-round pick Jamarca Sanford replaced him.

  • CB Quentin Jammer, SD - replaced by Antoine Cason after suffering a hamstring injury.

  • CB William Gay, PIT - suffered a concussion in the fourth quarter on Sunday and you'd expect he'd be unlikely to play with a short week, but he practiced in full on Wednesday.
Defensive Line

  • With their defense struggling, the Giants shook things up last week. On the DLine, Mathias Kiwanuka replaced Osi Umenyiora as a starter at end opposite Justin Tuck and Chris Canty started inside next to Barry Cofield instead of Fred Robbins. Kiwanuka was the biggest beneficiary, posting a season-high 6 tackles (3 solo) and forcing a fumble that Umenyiora recovered and returned to the Dallas' 24-yard line to set up a TD in the second quarter that tied the game. The team still only had two sacks in the game, and neither from the defensive line, so while the defense was a bit more impressive this week, the fantasy impact looks limited to bumping up Kiwanuka and pushing down Umenyiora, although he'll rotate in enough that the he could end up picking up enough big plays in any given game to contribute like a fantasy starter.

  • Minnesota DE Jared Allen was held sackless for the third time in the last four games and fell further behind league leader Elvis Dumervil. Allen, who has 12.5 sacks on the season, has quite gotten fat off two teams. He had 2 sacks against the Bears the week before and has 7.5 in two games against Green Bay. He has just 3 sacks in his other nine games.


  • In addition to the changes to the DLine mentioned above, the defense made other changes in the front seven. Second-year LB Jonathan Goff bounced journeyman Chase Blackburn out of the middle. In his first career start, Goff had 8 tackles (4 solo) at the MIKE. Obviously unsatisfied with Blackburn's performance since losing Antonio Pierce for the season, Goff should continue to start, making him a nice addition as a two-down LB in tackle-heavy redraft leagues and having an intriguing outlook in dynasty leagues. Rookie OLB Clint Sintim also brought some success along with his youthful enthusiasm. Sintim got his first career sack among his 3 solo tackles on Sunday as he rotated with veteran starting SLB Danny Clark. With the front four failing to bring pressure, Sintim, developed as a blitzing OLB in a 3-4 at Virginia, should continue to see more work. WLB Michael Boley continues to be the most productive tackler among the LBs, as he remains on the field in the nickel. He posted 11 (4 solo) in the game, his second double-digit tackle performance in the last three games. Since returning from injury in Week 9, he has 36 tackles (25 solo), a sack and 3 passes defensed in the last four games.

  • Missing his third game on Monday night with a sprained right MCL, BAL OLB/DE Terrell Suggs himself in the headlines after being slapped with a temporary restraining order last week. It has been reported the woman who filed it is his girlfriend, but Suggs denies it, although he has referred to the situation as a "family matter". There is another hearing on the complaint later this week. Suggs was originally expected to miss 2-3 weeks with the injury and has begun practicing, but appears very questionable to play this week.

  • Denver OLB Elvis Dumervil increased his league lead in sacks with his 15th of the season on Sunday among his 5 solo tackles. He has 3 sacks in the last two games.

  • Despite dealing with a stress fracture and playing with a cast on his left hand for a small fracture in his wrist, Dallas OLB DeMarcus Ware had a season-high 7 tackles (6 solo), including his 9th sack of the season.

  • A couple nice games followed his Week 10 benching, Miami OLB Joey Porter had no sacks and just 4 tackles (3 solo) playing on a gimpy knee that had him as questionable heading in to Sunday's win over New England.

  • Philadelphia continued to rotate MLBs between Joe Mays and Jeremiah Trotter. They cannibalized each other's value, with both posting 3 solo tackles. Will Witherspoon remained at WLB, while Akeem Jordan remains out with a knee injury, but could be eased back in this week, meaning Witherspoon goes back to the middle. Chris Gocong remains at SLB.

  • With a season-high 16 tackles (12 solo), his eight double-digit tackle game of the season, San Francisco ILB Patrick Willis passed Atlanta MLB Curtis Lofton for the league lead in tackles.

Defensive Back

  • With a short week, Pittsburgh SS Troy Polamalu isn't expected to return yet and admitted it is possible he's done for the season. He has missed the last three games with a strained PCL in his left knee.

  • Despite being expected back a couple weeks ago, Minnesota CB Antoine Winfield remained inactive as he recovers from a fractured right foot. Winfield, who hasn't played since Week 6, was thought to be ready for their Thanksgiving weekend game against Chicago. However, he reportedly aggravated the foot in the Friday practice before that game which contributed to him being inactive in Week 12. He was limited in practice last week and listed as questionable before being ruled out for their SNF lose at Arizona. Expect him to be a game-time decision again this week. Their other starting CB, Cedric Griffin, was also shaken up late in the game. With Benny Sapp already replacing Winfield, the team was down to Karl Paymah and rookie Asher Allen for depth at corner.

  • After being demoted the last two weeks, S Kerry Rhodes returns to the starting lineup for the New York Jets. He has not been a playmaker this year under new HC Rex Ryan, but has an appealing match-up this week at Tampa Bay.

  • Cleveland CB Eric Wright played through a sore hamstring on Sunday and has been limited this week in practice with a short week.

  • In Chicago, Kevin Payne regained his starting SS role this week, pushing rookie Al Afalava to FS and Danieal Manning to a reserve role. Manning still played an extensive role, so no Bears safety is a great play. The change may just have been just a one week move to strengthen the run defense against Steven Jackson.