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IDP Notes
Week 6

Week 6 Injury Report (available Friday PM)

IDP Depth Chart

Bye Week: DAL, IND, MIA, SF

Notable Injuries

  • DE Aaron Smith, PIT - suffered a torn right rotator cuff in Sunday's game and could miss significant time if he opts for surgery, but may choose to try to play through the injury

  • MLB Justin Durant, JAX - inactive with a hip injury on Sunday

  • LB Kawika Mitchell, BUF - carted off the field in the second quarter, his season is over with a right knee injury and he was placed on the IR

  • LB Marcus Buggs, BUF - carted off the field in the third quarter, his season is over with a left knee injury and he was placed on the IR

  • LB Ricky Brown, OAK - suffered a serious left ankle injury in Sunday's game and is expected to miss at least a few weeks

  • SS Michael Lewis, SF - a collision with bruising ATL RB Michael Turner knocked Lewis out of the game in the third quarter with his third concussion of the year; he has a bye this week to clear the cobwebs

  • CB Nick Harper, TEN - after suffering a rib injury in the previous game, he broke his right arm on SNF and is out 4-6 weeks

  • CB Cortland Finnegan, TEN - inactive for a second straight game with a bad hamstring
Defensive Line

  • A return to Tennessee last year didn't prove to be the catalyst for rejuvenating the career of DE Jevon Kearse and now it looks like at least his days as a starter are over. After starting the season with a sack at Pittsburgh, Kearse had just one assist in the last three games before finding himself a healthy scratch on Sunday night. He did not show up for the game after finding out. William Hayes started in his place, with Jacob Ford also seeing significant work, as usual. With the team needing to bring in some help in the secondary, Kearse could be released.

  • Washington DE Phillip Daniels tore his biceps, but will try to play through the injury. The team re-signed veteran Renaldo Wynn for depth, but this will be an opportunity for supplemental draft pick Jeremy Jarmon to earn a significant role now.

  • As discussed here previously as one likely outcome for Atlanta's disappointing former first-round pick, Jamaal Anderson has been moved inside and Kroy Biermann is now starting at anchor end. Biermann responded with a sack, his first since his surprising two-sack performance on opening day. Biermann is now worth picking up and for league's that use both ends and tackles, Anderson becomes someone to track when he's eligible at DT in your league.

  • While RDE Gaines Adams has struggled to live up to his potential in Tampa Bay, Jimmy Wilkerson is exceeding his as the starting left end. After five seasons with a limited role in KC, Wilkerson flashed pass rush potential last year with five sacks in the end rotation in his first season on the Bucs. This year he earned a starting job and had a career game on Sunday, with 6 solo tackles, including 3 sacks and another TFL, and forcing a fumble. Wilkerson has five sacks on the season, already tying his career best season, and is averaging 4 tackles per game.

  • Jacksonville DE tweener Quentin Groves missed the team flight after getting in car accident on the way to the airport. He was fined and should be back in the lineup this week.


  • The hits keep coming to the Buffalo defense. This week the weakened LB corps lost two more players. Kawika Mitchell, who had just moved to MIKE to beef up the middle of the defense, was lost in the second quarter with a right knee injury. In the third quarter, Marcus Buggs was lost with a left knee injury. Both players are done for the season. The team now has just four healthy linebackers on the roster: Keith Ellison, career practice squad/special teamer Jon Corto, and rookies Nic Harris (fifth-round pick) and Ashlee Palmer (undrafted free agent). Harris, who had been moved to safety, moves back to linebacker. Corto and Palmer saw their first snaps on defense in their careers on Sunday. With Mitchell and Buggs placed on the IR, the team has added versatile journeyman Chris Draft, who could step in to a starting role as soon as he can learn the defense. HC Dick Jauron has ruled out moving rookie DE Aaron Maybin to an OLB role. Ellison has the most fantasy value, he's likely to start in the middle until Paul Posluszny returns and then move back outside. Posluszny, who broke his arm in the season opener and it sounds like he will now try to push it and come back this week. Watch for updates on if he practices, he would be a risky start this week until it is confirmed.

  • New England eased MLB Jerod Mayo back in to action on Sunday. He posted 6 solo tackles and forced a fumble. Gary Guyton still saw significant work, but that could change now that team has brought Junior Seau back.

  • There haven't been a lot of bright spots in Tennessee's 0-5 start this season, but the rebound by OLB Keith Bulluck is one of them. After being one of the most consistent and top producing defenders in the league during this decade, Bulluck's tackle production fell precipitously in 2007. While a career-high 5 interceptions salvaged a bit of his fantasy value that season, everything from undisclosed injuries to scheme changes were blamed for his shocking decline in tackles. Most dismissed the season as anomaly and a return to form was expected in 2008. However, as Bulluck once again fell short of the 100-tackle mark and failed to grab a pick for the first time in his career, it appeared his career fell off a cliff at age 31. Bargain shoppers this year have been rewarded by a rejuvenated Bulluck. Through the first 5 games, he has three double-digit tackle games and is on pace for over 130 tackles. He had his best game so far this season on Sunday night, tying MLB Stephen Tulloch with a game-high 11 tackles (9 solo) and grabbing his first pick of the season. Tulloch's emergence has been equally impressive. Under former DC Jim Schwartz, the Titans predominantly featured a nickel defense, which meant less of a role for the MLB than on most teams and their attention to stocking the position reflected that. With the departure of Schwartz to lead Detroit and the promotion of Chuck Cecil to DC this year, the scheme was tweaked enough to give Tulloch more opportunities and the subsequent better utilization of his talent has translated into production. Tulloch is among the top ten in the league in tackles, four ahead of Bulluck.

  • Rookie DeAndre Levy has taken over the starting WLB job while Ernie Sims is battling a lingering shoulder injury. HC Jim Schwartz has confirmed Sims will resume starting when he is healthy.

  • Coming off the bye, Hunter Hillenmeyer (cracked rib) did not practice and his status for this week for Chicago remains in question. After his performance in Week 4, Nick Roach may retain the starting MLB job even when Hillenmeyer is healthy. Pisa Tinoisamoa (knee sprain) is expected to start at SLB this week, he has been in out since getting hurt a few plays in to their season opener.

  • The MLB in job share in Philadelphia was sorted on Sunday, and the results aren't good for either player. Jeremiah Trotter started and played exclusively on first downs, finishing with 2 tackles (1 solo). Omar Gaither saw most of the other work, finishing with 4 tackles (3 solo). Trotter will probably be worked in other short yardage packages and the result is neither player is worth starting in all but the deepest leagues.

  • While Tavares Gooden continues to recover from a concussion, Dannell Ellerbe will continue to start for Baltimore. Ellerbe should continue to rotate in with Jameel McClain even when Gooden returns.

Defensive Back

  • This week is the text book example of why you have to start Baltimore S Ed Reed despite his frustrating inconsistency. After just a handful of tackles and one pick through the first 4 games, Reed had the kind of game you drafted him for. He posted 6 solo tackles, forcing a fumble on one, and returned a pick 52 yards for the first score of the game. Reed lulls you to ambivalence about him after a string of games with unproductive fantasy output, then explodes when you've given up on him. He stopped tackling people a couple years ago, so if you have the guy with the second-most picks of any active player on your roster, you have to understand he is a boom or bust play any given Sunday, but the upside of when he hits is he can be a difference-maker in the outcome of your game that week.

  • The cupboard at corner is bare in Tennessee. Underrated nickel back Vincent Fuller broke his right arm in Week 3 and standout CB Cortland Finnegan was inactive in Week 4 with a hamstring injury, so rookie Jason McCourty was pushed in to a starting role. Finnegan remained inactive on SNF and the secondary took another hit when they lost CB Nick Harper with a broken right arm in the third quarter. Rookie Ryan Mouton replaced Harper.

  • SS Troy Polamalu (MCL sprain) is once again expected to return this week for Pittsburgh. Watch his progress and get ready to put him back in your lineup if all goes well.

Milk Carton Player of the Week
After failing to live up to the expectations of being the sixth overall pick in 2008, the possibilities for his sophomore season looked bright for Vernon Gholston with a fresh start in a new regime and the opportunity to start with Calvin Pace suspended for the first four games of the season. Those four games passed and Gholston posted 7 solo tackles and no sacks. Pace returned on Sunday, resumed starting, and almost matched Gholston's production with 5 solo tackles. It's hard to label a player bust after just one year and five games, but Gholston already needs another opportunity, perhaps in a 4-3. He should already be dropped in any redraft and only held on to in the deepest of dynasty leagues at this point.