- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.