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