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IDP Notes
Week 4

Week 4 Injury Report (available Friday PM)

IDP Depth Chart

Notable Injuries

  • DT Albert Haynesworth, WAS - the 100 Million Dollar Man gave his team a scare on Sunday when he had to be carted off the field with a hip injury. He was able to return to the game and it appears the injury was minor and he'll play this week.

  • DE Dwight Freeney, IND - a strained right hamstring in the third quarter is expected to cost him a couple of weeks, but Freeney has not ruled himself out this week. I wouldn't bet on him playing.

  • DL Darnell Dockett, AZ - suffered a right ankle sprain in the first quarter during SNF, but returned in the second quarter.

  • MLB Gary Brackett, IND - missed the previous game with an unspecified knee injury and is expected to miss this week, as well.

  • OLB Shawne Merriman, SD - started despite a sore groin from the previous game, but played sparingly early and sat out the second half after aggravating the groin injury.

  • OLB Joey Porter, MIA - aggravated a lingering hamstring injury and had to leave the game early on Sunday. He has sat out practice so far this week, but should play.

  • LB Rey Maualuga, CIN - he had to be carted off the field in the third quarter with a left knee injury that appeared serious, but returned in the fourth quarter.

  • LB Hunter Hillenmeyer, CHI - left Sunday's game early with a rib injury and looks unlikely to play this week.

  • S Kenny Phillips, NYG - his season is over after being placed on the IR after having surgery this week for the patellofemoral arthritis in his left knee. There is some concern about the long-term impact of this condition.

  • S Bryan Scott, BUF - suffered a high ankle sprain in the second half, expected to miss a few weeks.

  • S Donte Whitner, BUF - broke his right thumb in the second half and is expected to miss at least this week.

  • CB Leodis McKelvin, BUF - out indefinitely with a cracked fibula.

  • SS James Butler, STL - out a few weeks with a serious MCL sprain in his knee.

  • DB Vincent Fuller, TEN - the versatile nickel back is out at least a month with a broken arm.
Defensive Line

  • With Cliff Avril battling a hamstring injury, Jason Hunter got the first two starts of his career for Detroit and produced a sack in each. Avril returned to practice this week, but Hunter looks locked in the rotation for now. Hunter was a back-up for four years in Green Bay, finally flashing some pass rush ability last year, but was discarded in the offseason when the team switched to a 3-4.

  • Giants' DE Osi Umenyiora wasn't injured on Sunday, but yes that was a goose egg he put up for many a disappointed fantasy owner. Don't worry, the Giants dominated the time of possession against Tampa Bay, leaving few opportunities for the entire team. Despite a left shoulder injury, Justin Tuck decided to play Sunday and saw 8 snaps, all inside on third down. He's expected to play this week, but the team will probably remain cautious with his use.


  • A heavy rotation is limiting the value of any individual linebacker in Green Bay. Nick Barnett is still being limited to about 40 plays per game while his knee recovers, giving additional work to not only Brandon Chillar, but now Desmond Bishop, as well. Chillar has been impressive and is also deployed as in a SS role when they run a big five-linebacker package in running situations. A.J. Hawk rotates out less than Barnett, but is also impacted. On the outside, Aaron Kampman has played fairly consistently, while Brady Poppinga starts on the opposite side and is replaced by rookie Clay Matthews, who got his first sack Sunday, about half the time.

  • Yet to return to practice, Jerod Mayo (right MCL sprain) is expected to be out again this week for New England. Gary Guyton has been a solid tackle producer in his place, but is yet to turn in a big scoring play. Guyton plays the middle in their 4-3 sets and Adalius Thomas slides inside with Guyton in 3-4 sets.

  • After losing his starting WLB job for the Colts this year, Freddie Keiaho got the start at MLB in place of Gary Brackett (knee). Keiaho had just 4 tackles (3 solo) and looks like he gets at least one more start this week.

  • The Eagles brought back Jeremiah Trotter for another tour of duty. The 32-year old linebacker's knee kept him completely out of football last year and assumed done. It doesn't seem like we should expect much from him, but any work he gets will come at the expense of MLB Omar Gaither.

  • A thin LB corps for Chicago took another hit when newly-minted MLB Hunter Hillenmeyer (ribs) left Sunday's game. The loss of Hillenmeyer, who replaced Brian Urlacher after his season ended after one game, meant Nick Roach slid down from SLB to the middle. Roach was replacing Piso Tinoisamoa (knee), who is expected to be out until after the Week 5 bye. Roach looks to get another start in the middle this week and is a solid bye-week filler. Jamar Williams fills in at SLB for Roach. Special teams ace Darrell McClover was re-signed for depth.

  • SLB David Vobora was suspended four games for violating the league's substance abuse policy. The 2008 Mr. Irrelevant (last player selected in the draft) had worked his way in to a starting role at the end of last season and held off the competition in the preseason to start the first three games of the season. Now he may have blown his chance. Either Larry Grant or the recently signed Paris Lenon will replace him, with neither being an appealing fantasy option.

  • 2008 undrafted free agent David Hawthorne was extremely impressive for Seattle filling in for MLB Lofa Tatupu (hamstring) on Sunday with a game-high 16 tackles (15 solo) and his first career pick. Tatupu is expected back this week, but Hawthorne is worth picking up if Tatupu aggravates the injury. If you already have Hawthorne in deep leagues, stash him on your bench. Hamstrings can linger.

Defensive Back

  • Houston signed Bernard Pollard, a surprise cut in the preseason by the Chiefs, late last week. Dominique Barber has failed to hold to the starting role and John Busing is a career back-up, so Pollard could start as soon as this week. He's a better fantasy player than real player, so scoop him up if he gets the starting nod. Might not want to wait past this week in deep leagues.

  • Buffalo's secondary was devastated by injuries last week with both safeties, Donte Whitner (broken right thumb) and Bryan Scott (high ankle sprain), and CB Leodis McKelvin (cracked fibula) all lost to injury, some for a while. Rookie Jairus Byrd will get his first career start in place of Whitner at FS, while reliable super-sub George Wilson gets the start at SS in place of Scott. Inconsistent veteran Drayton Florence gets a shot to start again in place of McKelvin. Wilson is the most appealing of the group if you need help at DB.

  • In reporting generic comments by Dolphins' HC Tony Sparano about possible lineup changes, the Miami Herald intimates S Gibril Wilson could be one target. Wilson has struggled in pass coverage and is missing tackles.

Milk Carton Player of the Week

After writing last week about the disappointing production from Pittsburgh OLB LaMarr Woodley so in to the season (and no signs of hope last Sunday), I started thinking about other players who have disappeared from the fantasy landscape in 2009. This week I'm wondering when we'll see Tampa Bay DE Gaines Adams again. After an opening day goose egg, he racked up 4 tackles (3 solo) in Week 2, but followed that with 1 solo tackle on Sunday. He hasn't had a sack all year, including preseason, after putting up just 6.0 and 6.5 his first two seasons. That's disappointing production from a player drafted fourth overall in 2007. His freakish potential and inconsistent production remind me of Andre Carter, who was selected seventh overall in the 2001 draft. However, Carter put up his first double-digit sack season in his third year. He wouldn't have another for four more years and outside of those two seasons, Carter's highest total in the other seven years of his nine-year career is 6.5 sacks. It's hard to give up on a young player with Adams' potential, but at this point, becoming another Andre Carter may be his ceiling.