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IDP Notes
Week 10
11/10/10

Week 10 Injury Report (available Friday PM)

IDP Depth Chart

Early Game Alert: Thursday: BAL @ ATL 8:20 pm EST

Byes this week: Packers, Saints, Raiders, Chargers

Defensive Line

  • As I mentioned in this column last week, despite the lack of pass rush from Minnesota through eight weeks, the slate of games against teams with high sackability favors them in the second half. That started with Arizona coming to town on Sunday. After three weeks without a sack and last in the league in the category, the Vikings doubled their season total with 6 sacks in the game. DE Jason Allen, who had just one sack entering the game, led the way with 2.5 sacks. On the other side, Ray Edwards also had a pair of sacks. This week they head to Chicago, who have given up the most sacks in the league. Start your Vikings.

  • Chicago fans held their collective breath when DE Julius Peppers laid in the end zone after a diving tackle attempt on Buffalo QB Ryan Fitzpatrick late in the game. It appeared Peppers slammed his left shoulder when landing and that he took an unintentional knee to the head from Fitzpatrick, but Peppers and HC Lovie Smith reported he just had the wind knocked out of him after having to exit the game. While Peppers fantasy production has been disappointing, he has had a beneficial impact on the rest of the defense. With all the attention Peppers demands, MLB Brian Urlacher and WLB Lance Briggs have been freed up to fly around and make plays. On the other side, DE Israel Idonije, a full-time starter for the first time in his career, leads the team with 5 sacks, already a single-season best in his career. I was a little dubious of Idonijeís success earlier this year, but he is locked in as their DE2 and keeps on producing. He also blocked the seventh extra point of his career on Sunday.

  • Jets HC Rex Ryan continues to make first-round bust DE Vernon Gholston his pet project. He tried to use returning to his hometown of Detroit as motivation and gave Gholston the start at DE over Mike DeVito. Gholston responded with a goose egg in the box score in a rotation with DeVito.

  • Green Bay DE Ryan Pickett, who missed their previous game with a right ankle sprain, aggravated the injury again on SNF in the second quarter. Rookie C.J. Wilson replaced him and got his first career sack, as many Packers on both sides of the ball padded their stats on an embarrassing Dallas squad. The Packers have a bye this week for Pickett to rest the ankle.

  • Philadelphia DT Brodrick Bunkley (torn elbow ligament) was active again coming out of the bye, but former UDFA Antonio Dixon remained the starter next to Mike Patterson. Dixonís numbers take a hit with Bunkley back. DE Trent Cole had a sack, giving him at least one for three-straight games and a team high seven on the season. Reserve DE Darryl Tapp had his second sack as an Eagle and is clearly the third DE now as rookie first-round pick Brandon Graham falls out of the picture. After 4 sacks in the first 3 games, starting DE Juqua Parker hasnít had one since.

  • Cincinnati DE Jonathan Fanene remained inactive with a hamstring injury and DE Antwan Odom has two games left on his four-game suspension. Frostee Rucker continues to start at RDE and Robert Geathers at LDE. They primarily rotate as a pair with Michael Johnson (RDE) and rookie Carlos Dunlap (LDE). Geathers had the teamís only sack, his first of the season, as all four put in another unimpressive demonstration of rushing the QB.

  • Washington should continue to explore how to use Andre Carter back at DE over the bye. Lorenzo Alexander had already replaced Carter as the starter at LOLB opposite Brian Orakpo back in Week Four. DC Jim Haslett had been putting Carter back in to rush with his hand on the ground in certain passing situations. In being vocal about not taking to playing standing up, Carter seems to be his own worst enemy in the change, so the team will look for beneficial spots to use him and he should be gone after the season.

  • Seattleís defense was rendered impotent without three of their top four DLinemen. Last week DE Red Bryant was placed on the IR and he was replaced by Kentwan Balmer, as expected. A first-round pick of San Francisco two years ago who was acquired for a sixth-round pick this year, Balmer posted 8 tackles (6 solo), but HC Pete Carroll wasnít impressed. While recognizing the tackles in his post-game comments, Carroll said Balmer wasnít ďas forceful at the line of scrimmage as we wanted at all.Ē On the other hand, he had praise for DT Junior Siavii, who replaced Colin Cole, inactive after spraining his ankle in the previous game. Cole is very questionable this week as the sprain was described as ďsevereĒ last week, so expect Siavii to get another start. The team hoped to have DT Brandon Mebane back, but he missed his fourth straight game with a calf injury. Craig Terrill replaced him. After a successful workout on Monday and expectation of full practice on Wednesday, the confidence level is higher Mebane returns this week. Another beneficiary of the injuries is undersized rookie pass rush specialist DE Dexter Davis. He had 3 solo tackles and an assist on special teams in his most significant playing time yet this year.

  • Pittsburgh DE Brett Keisel returned from missing two games with a hamstring injury, but aggravated the hamstring again Monday night warming up. He played sparingly and is questionable this week.

  • After a slow start, Detroit DE Cliff Avril had the teamís only sack and forced a fumble on it, giving him 8 tackles (5 solo), 3 sacks and forced fumble in the last two games. He now has 4 sacks on the season. After PK Jason Hanson was injured in the game, many football fans were shocked to find out rookie DT sensation Ndamukong Suh was their back-up kicker. Suh missed his first career extra point in the third quarter, which unfortunately contributed to the loss by allowing a Jets FG to tie the game and send it to OT. BTW, if you want to see a ridiculous demonstration of rookie DT Ndamukong Suhís athleticism, take a look at him trying to block the game-winning kick in OT. He is #90Öthe one hurdling the center out of a three-point stance.

  • I discuss it more below in the ďLinebacker NotesĒ, because the impact is greater there, but after experimenting with a 4-3 base recently, Buffalo appears to have returned to a 3-4, which makes the addition of OLB Shawne Merriman make slightly more sense. Not much of an impact to NT Kyle Williams, who produces not matter where they put him. The ends remain Marcus Stroud and Dwan Edwards, who showed a bit of their pass rush ability as 4-3 ends, so donít expect much more of that. DE Aaron Maybin was a healthy scratch for the third consecutive game. They feel heís useless in either scheme.

  • Teams allowing the most sacks this season (start your pass rushers against them):
    1. Chicago (32)
    2. Arizona (28)
    3. Oakland (26)
    4. Carolina (25)
    5. Philadelphia (24)
    6. Washington (23)

  • Top waiver wire recommendation of the week: Ray Edwards. He was back to getting after the QB and has a great match-up last week.

Linebacker

  • Carolina MLB Dan Connor left the game in the second quarter after breaking a bone in his hip. Nic Harris replaced him at WLB, while Jon Beason slid back in to his familiar MLB spot. Beason finished with 9 tackles (7 solo), while Harris had 7 tackles (5 solo), including sharing the first sack of this career with DE Charles Johnson. Connor is done for the season, as he was placed on the IR this week. Beason will return to MLB, which should be good news for his fantasy owners. After spending the season at WLB, while Beason is on track to break 100 tackles, it currently projects to be a career low and he hasnít been a playmaker. He is still without a sack, pick or forced fumble on the season. Connorís injury looks like a big opportunity for Harris, although HC John Fox reportedly will give Jordan Senn and the recently acquired Jason Williams a chance too. A classic SS/LB tweener, Harris played all over the back seven at Oklahoma in college and was extremely productive. However, his tweener status was a problem for the next level; heís too stiff in the hips and too slow for the secondary, but on the small side for a linebacker. Buffalo selected him in the fifth-round last year and he eventually found a spot at LB, even earning a couple of starts with the Bills when they experienced a similar deluge of injuries at LB that the Panthers are having this year. Despite that, Harris was released by the Bills before camp as he struggled to recover from a knee injury last season that ended his rookie year. The Panthers signed him shortly after and he stuck on the roster. Harris got his chance this week because the team just lost their top back-up at LB when Jamar Williams was placed on the IR last week with a spinal concussion. They filled his roster spot with Jason Williams, who Dallas cut last week. I donít see Jason Williams being in the picture, as he couldnít even contribute enough on special teams for the Cowboys to warrant a roster spot despite being a great athlete and third-round pick last year. Williams was inactive on Sunday and looks like a project. While I think Harris gets the first opportunity, he could be pushed by Jordan Senn.

    Another undersized LB, Senn was a UDFA out of Portland State who signed with Indianapolis in 2008 and played mostly special teams with them for over a year. The Panthers added him during last season and heís remained mostly a special teamer. One player who wonít be bolstering the depth is their stud WLB Thomas Davis. After tearing his right ACL last November, Davis was in the midst of a remarkable comeback when he tore the same ligament during OTAs in June. He immediately had surgery and was not put on the IR in hopes of returning this season. After some discussion he might return to practice this week, he was finally placed on the IR and is done for the season. As he may have pushed his rehab too hard, too fast last winter, resulting in the reoccurrence of the injury, it would have made no sense for Davis to do it again for a team that is 1-7. With all the activity at the other two LB spots, SLB James Anderson continues piling up tackles as his breakout season rolls on. With 9 solo tackles on Sunday, Anderson is fourth in the league in tackles.

  • Green Bay OLB Clay Matthews improved his potential DPOY resume with a dominating performance against an impotent Dallas offense. With one of the teamís four sacks on SNF, Matthews extended his league lead to 10.5 on the season. He helped pour it on the fourth quarter when he returned his first career interception 62 yards for a TD. With just 4 tackles (3 solo), ILB Desmond Bishop missed putting up his fifth straight double-digit tackle game, but got his second sack of the season and forced a fumble on it, as he continues to be waiver-wire gold for his fantasy owners.

  • Dallas OLB DeMarcus Ware failed to gain any ground on league sack leader Matthews in their head-to-head meeting. Ware did tackle Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers for a loss on a broken play, but as Rodgers was clearly intending to run, Ware was not credited with a sack. Ware remained tied for third place with 8 sacks on the season, 2.5 behind Matthews. Too bad Ware doesnít get to face the Dallas offense. On the other side, OLB Anthony Spencer left the game late in the fourth quarter after suffering a stinger in his neck/left shoulder.

  • Oakland MLB Rolando McClain continues to disappoint fantasy owners, but it wasnít all his fault on Sunday. He suffered a hip pointer in the first half and ended up missing most of the victory over Kansas City. Ricky Brown replaced him and had 3 tackles (2 solo). The Raiders are on a bye this week, so McClain has some time to heal. He hasnít had more than 7 tackles in any game this season and is on pace to fall well short of triple-digit tackles.

  • As expected, Gerald Hayes returned to his starting job at SILB, pushing rookie Daryl Washington to the bench, with veteran Paris Lenon keeping a starting role, playing WILB for Arizona. Lenon was the most productive with 7 tackles (5 solo), while Hayes had 4 tackles (2 solo) and Washington had a single solo tackle. In the two games since returning from the PUP after offseason back surgery, Hayes has 9 tackles (5 solo) and fumble recovery for a TD. Hayes has the most job security in a redraft league, but as long as Lenon remains a starter, his production has been solid. He leads the team with 61 tackles (46 solo) and is on track to just eclipse his best season with 121 tackles in 2008. Heís also an asset in pass coverage and has translated it to fantasy value with 4 passes defensed and 2 picks. Rookie Daryl Washington still has nice upside in dynasty leagues, and it would make sense for the team to let him take over for Lenon as playoff hopes are fading, but he has no value in redraft leagues for now. That opportunity could come sooner than later, as Lenon suffered an ankle sprain in the game and is having an MRI this week. On the outside, Joey Porter continues to rack up sacks. With 2 on Sunday, he has at least one in three straight games. He brought a ton of pressure on Minnesota QB Brett Favre and has another nice match-up this week with a banged up Seattle OLine offense coming to town. Ride his hot streak. On the other side, Clark Haggans remained inactive with a groin injury and Will Davis got his second career start. Rookie OLB OíBrien Schofield, who was recently activated off the PUP with Hayes, continues to be limited to special teams, but made his first significant contribution, forcing a fumble on kick coverage that was returned for a TD by Arizona.

  • Atlanta rookie SLB Sean Weatherspoon missed his third straight game since injuring his left knee in Week Five. Stephen Nicholas continues to start in his place and led the team with 8 tackles (7 solo). With the way Nicholas has played in his absence, Weatherspoon will likely have to earn his job back when healthy, and he remains a question mark to return this week.

  • Buffalo used their first position on the waiver wire to selected OLB Shawne Merriman after he was released by San Diego last week. He was inactive on Sunday, but on the sidelines in Bills gear with his new teammates. He is expected to practice this week and I expect him to play this week. A bit of a curious addition as the Bills have recently experimented with a 4-3 base, which is a poor fit for Merriman, strictly a 3-4 pass rusher at OLB even at the peak of his career. However, the Bills were again running out of a 3-4 base on Sunday, so the whole defense is a bit of mess. The team was without ILB Andra Davis, who had been their MLB in 4-3 fronts, as HC Chan Gailey shared for the first time that Davis is playing with a torn labrum in his shoulder. The injury reportedly occurred in their season opener, but Davis had been playing through it. Now his season is over after he was placed on the IR this week. Akin Ayodele replaced Davis and was inside with Paul Posluszny in their base 3-4 and should continue to start with Davis done for the year. Outside, the team had Chris Kelsay and Reggie Tobor at OLB, with rookie Arthur Moats working as the pass rush specialist. Moats saw a lot of work in various packages, regularly bumping Ayodele. Former first-round pick Aaron Maybin remains a healthy scratch, as Moats makes him unnecessary. Poz, who had been working at WLB when they played a 4-3, tied for the team lead with 10 tackles (6 solo). The change back to a 3-4 didnít help their pass rush, as Buffalo was only able to muster one sack (by DL Spencer Johnson) against a Chicago team that has allowed the most sacks in the league.

  • A left arm injury that kept Indianapolis WLB Clint Session out for just a series in the previous game turned out to be a dislocated elbow and fractured forearm. He was inactive on Sunday and Tyjuan Hagler started in his place. Haggler had his first sack since 2007 among his 4 tackles (2 solo). The Colts are hoping to prevent putting Session on the IR, if they can keep his roster spot open, but he seems sure to miss a few weeks. MLB Gary Brackett was shaken up in the fourth quarter and had to be assisted off the field, but he returned shortly. Philip Wheeler got on while Brackett was out. Wheeler lost his starting SLB job in the previous game to rookie second-round pick Pat Angerer.

  • As I discussed in this column last week, New England gave a lot of opportunities to rookie ILB Brandon Spikes, as the dedicated run-stopper in a platoon, against a Cleveland team that would heavily feature RB Peyton Hillis. Spikes had 8 tackles (4 solo). Fellow ILB Jerod Mayo led the team with 10 tackles (7 solo) and remains the league leader with 96 tackles on the season. Mayo also forced a fumble.

  • Minnesota WLB Chad Greenway led the team with 9 tackles (5 solo), including his first sack of the season. One of the most consistent tackle providers, he hasnít had less than 8 tackles in any game this season and with five double-digit tackle games, he is sitting at second in the league overall. He also should have had his first interception of the season, but he bobbled it as he went down and it was taken away on reversal after a challenge showed on replay the ball hit the ground before he secured it.

  • Kansas City OLB Tamba Hali was able to bring good pressure against Oakland rookie LT Jared Veldheer, including getting his eighth sack of the season, putting him in a tie for third in the league. Hali is just half a sack away from setting a new career single-season high and well on his way to double-digit sacks halfway through the season. After a year inexplicably in HC Todd Haleyís doghouse, ILB Derrick Johnson is born again hard under new DC Romeo Crennel. He forced his third fumble of the season on Sunday and his team-leading 65 tackles tied him for 15th in the league. Halfway through the season, he projects to shatter his previous best single-season tackle total of 95 as a rookie in 2005. He has also broken up 8 passes and returned his interception this year for a TD. He has no sacks, but using him less as a pass rusher has helped keep him in position to rack up tackles. Johnson was rewarded for his turnaround with a lucrative 5-year extension this week.

  • Disappointed fantasy owners of Seattle OLB David Hawthorne were finally rewarded for their faith, or desperation, in continuing to use him with his first double-digit tackle game on Sunday as he led the team with 12 tackles (9 solo) and recovered a fumble. Donít be too excited about the production, there were plenty of tackles to go around as the Giants absolutely dominated the time of possession, running 79 plays and holding on to the ball for over 42 minutes.

  • San Diego OLB Larry English is back from foot surgery and didnít start, but was active on Sunday. Antwan Applewhite remained the starter.

  • Detroit MLB DeAndre Levy made it through his second game and was much more productive, leading the team with 10 tackles (9 solo). As expected, it was Ashlee Palmer taking over for Zack Follett (neck) at WLB, as Follett went on the IR last week.

  • The second spin for Brian Cushing in his new role as MLB in Houston didnít go much better. He had just 5 tackles (2 solo) for the second straight game. WLB Zac Diles remained the more productive option, posting 8 tackles (3 solo).

  • Top waiver wire recommendations of the week: This one is easy. DeAndre Levy, if heís still out there, leads the list. Zac Diles is next, blowing up like he did early in the season at WLB, if heís still out there. In deeper leagues, Tyjuan Hagler back in a starting role. In even deeper leagues, if you want to bet on the new WLB in Carolina, Iíd go with Nic Harris.

Defensive Back

  • New Orleans got their top two corners back on Sunday with Jabari Greer and Tracy Porter active and in the starting lineup. Despite still being limited in practice last week, Greer showed no ill effects from his injured shoulder when he grabbed a pick and returned it for a TD in the fourth quarter. The two corners returned just in time, as the team was without rookie CB Patrick Robinson, who was inactive after suffering a high ankle sprain in the previous game. With Robinson out, Leigh Torrence served as the nickel. Malcolm Jenkins was back to starting at FS, having moved to corner the previous game due to their lack of depth. He left early with a shoulder stinger and didnít return with the game well in hand. He should be fine with the Saints on a bye this week. It didnít result in more opportunity for veteran Darren Sharper, as he left early with a hamstring and Usama Young got the work at FS. I expect them to come out of the bye with Sharper more involved. Jenkins likely remains the starter at FS in the base package, with Sharper taking over in passing schemes where his value as a playmaker in centerfield is highest. Jenkins then probably slides to nickel corner, so thereís a good chance his value remains relatively stable, while Sharper only has value in big play leagues, and even then itís a gamble if he isnít a full-time player.

  • San Diego wasted no time getting SS Steve Gregory back in the lineup coming off a four-game suspension for violating the leagueís substance abuse policy. He started at SS, pushing Paul Oliver back to the bench. However, the change didnít last long as Gregory left in the second quarter with a shoulder injury. Oliver returned to the lineup and while he struggled with his tackling a bit, he got 7 (5 solo) and clinched the game with his first pick of the season deep in San Diego territory late in the fourth quarter.

  • Detroit SS C.C. Brown was inactive with a right knee injury, so rookie Amari Spievey got the start. Spievey had 5 tackles (4 solo).

  • It looked like Arizona was off to a great start when FS Kerry Rhodes picked off QB Brett Favre on Minnesotaís first drive of the game and was coasting toward the end zone some 60 yards late. However, Vikings receiver Greg Camarillo chased him down from behind and knocked the ball loose at about the 3-yard line. It went out of the end zone for a touchback and the Cardinals would lose in OT. Rhodes also broke up another pass and had 4 tackles (3 solo). Rhodes left the game briefly in the third quarter when he aggravated a left hand injury from blocking a field goal in the previous game, but would return.

  • Philadelphia rookie FS Nate Allen was shaken up on a TD-saving tackle in the second quarter, mostly when teammate MLB Stewart Bradley crashed in to him while diving in the scrum. Allen was down for several minutes after his head was snapped awkwardly. He left the game and didnít return. Kurt Coleman replaced Allen. Fortunately the MRI on Allen was negative and his injury is being called just a neck strain. Allen said heís fine and will play this week. As discussed in this column last week, Dimitri Patterson returned from the bye as the new starting RCB opposite Asante Samuel. It was the first career start for Patterson, a five-year vet who has hung around for his work on special teams, and he did a nice job on Indianapolis WR Reggie Wayne, holding him to 83 yards, and no long catches, on 11 receptions, as QB Peyton Manning frequently targeted the new starter. Patterson finished with 6 solo tackles and a pass defense. Ellis Hobbs, who Patterson replaced, was inactive. What first appeared to be a performance-related benching after Hobbs was torched by Tennessee WR Kenny Britt in Week Seven, now appears related to a hip flexor strain that Hobbs tried to play through. Heís seeking another specialist opinion this week. In the unlikely case heís already healthy to play this week, Patterson seems to have earned at least another start. Samuel sealed the win with his fifth pick of the season with seconds left in the game, moving him in to a tie for second in the league in interceptions.

  • Oakland CB Nnamdi Asomugha was inactive with a right ankle sprain suffered in their previous game. As mentioned here last week, there were unconfirmed reports it was a high ankle sprain, which would mean heíd be likely to miss multiple weeks, but the Raiders have a bye this week, so weíll revisit his status next week. Nickel CB Chris Johnson returned after missing the previous game with a concussion, so he stepped in for Asomugha opposite Stanford Routt. A pair of seventh-round picks I discussed in more detail last week, Stevie Brown and Jeremy Ware, also had big contributions in Asomughaís absence. Brown worked some FS as Michael Huff again saw work as the nickel and Brown also worked in the hybrid nickel S/LB role Mike Mitchell usually handles after SS Tyvon Branch left with a concussion early in the third quarter and Mitchell took over. Brown also had his full slate of special teams work and finished with 3 solo tackles, including one on special teams. As the fourth corner, Ware grabbed his first career pick in the end zone to stop a Kansas City threat late in the second quarter.

  • Green Bay finally activated SS Atari Bigby from the PUP and worked him in for an occasionally series with starter Charlie Peprah at SS, with Anthony Smith also in the mix. This is a fantasy mess and Iíd avoid them all until the situation sorts itself out. Bigby has the most upside, but has the most risk coming off his serious ankle injury and inconsistent history. The team released CB Al Harris on Monday, instead of activating him from the PUP or putting him on the IR. The soon-to-be 36-year old corner is likely done despite his valiant efforts to return from a devastating leg and knee injury last year, although I wouldnít be surprised to see a potential playoff team unsuccessfully give him another chance. Starting corners Charles Woodson and Tramon Williams tied for the team lead with 5 solo tackles on SNF. Woodson also had a sack and forced a fumble as he keeps rolling on as one of the top playmakers in the secondary in the NFL. FS Nick Collins brought some unexpected help to his fantasy owners when he recovered what was ruled a fumble on a kick off, because Dallas HC Wade Phillips couldnít challenge it, and returned it for a TD. He was also fined $50K for a helmet-to-helmet hit that stunned Dallas WR Roy Williams, but he was not suspended.

  • After missing the last three games with a MCL sprain in his knee, Cincinnati SS Roy Williams returned to the starting lineup, as did his back-up, Chinedum Ndukwe, after he missed the previous game with a knee injury. Williams briefly kept hope alive for the Bengals on MNF with his first pick since 2007 in the fourth quarter. Also returning to the starting lineup was CB Johnathan Joseph who was out since Week Five with an ankle injury. Joseph has been banged up most the season, also battling a deeply bruised right forearm. However, the team lost FS Chris Crocker on Monday night to left calf injury. He was replaced by Reggie Nelson.

  • The knock on Kansas City first-round pick SS Eric Berry early in the season was he hadnít been enough of a playmaker. After getting a pick in each of the last two games, as well as forcing a fumble in one of them, he had his first 2 career sacks at Oakland on Sunday. Entering the game, the Chiefs had not recorded a sack by anyone in their secondary, but DC Romeo Crennel dared the Raiders and their questionable passing game to beat him by frequently bringing Berry on a blitz. A 73-yard punt return for a TD by CB Javier Arenas was negated by a questionable clipping call on Berry in the second quarter.

  • New England SS Patrick Chung missed his second straight game with what is believed to be a knee injury. As I said in this column last week, I expected the team to be cautious and be more concerned with having Chung for Pittsburgh this week than Cleveland on Sunday, although that proved to be a bad gamble since Cleveland upset them and they could have used Chung to help slow down Cleveland RB Peyton Hillis. The team was also without Jarrad Page, inactive with a calf injury, so James Sanders and Brandon Meriweather saw plenty of work. I expect Chung to return this week. The team also released CB Terrence Wheatley this week. A desperate Jacksonville team snatched the former second-round pick off waivers.

  • After being benched for getting beaten for three TDs by Buffalo WR Lee Evans in Week Seven, Baltimore CB Fabian Washington came out of their bye remaining the starter on Sunday. It was a short-lived reprieve, as he was benched again in favor of Josh Wilson at halftime. Wilson, who has been an extremely productive playmaker when given the opportunity, had a solo tackles and broke up 3 passes, including grabbing his first pick as a Raven to seal the victory late in the fourth quarter. Washington expects to be starting again this week and HC John Harbaugh gave Washington a vote of confidence, which is the kiss of death, expect Wilson to start Thursday night. FS Ed Reed had 4 solo tackles and grabbed another pick, giving him three picks and a forced fumble in the two games since coming off the PUP.

  • Speaking of struggling corners, Houston first-round pick Kareem Jackson continues to stumble through his first season. On Sunday he was surrendered over 100 yards, including two long TDs, to San Diego UDFA rookie Seyi Ajirotutu, who would be about seventh on the Chargers depth chart if all the receivers were healthy. This replaces making Dallas WR Roy Williams looked like a real player again in allowing just his second 100-yard game in three years as Jacksonís lowlight for the season.

  • After not practicing last week, Dallas CB Terence Newman played through muscle strain and cartilage tear in his ribs. It was hard to isolate how much it impacted him since the whole team played so poorly. Rookie DB Akwasi Owusu-Ansah is out 4-6 weeks with a high ankle sprain and the team doesnít want to give rookie WR Dez Bryant, their punt returner, any more work as he is evolving in to their most potent offensive weapon, so they signed UDFA rookie CB Bryan McCann off the practice squad. McCann got plenty of opportunities with Green Bay running up the score and his performance was a mixed bag. He showed great elusiveness and vision in averaging almost 28 yards per return, but also lost the ball on a return in the second quarter that was returned for a TD to expand Green Bayís lead to 28-0 and effectively any hope for Dallas.

  • After missing a game with a concussion and knee injury as the result of a vicious fine-inducing hit on Philadelphia WR DeSean Jackson, Atlanta CB Dunta Robinson returned to the starting lineup after their bye. Brian Williams has replaced Christopher Owens as the nickel CB. Now the wrong side of 30 for a football player, Williams has struggled to return to form from a torn ACL last year that derailed his first season as a Falcon. He can be extremely productive when healthy, so heís a good player to keep an eye on now that heís working his way back to significant playing time.

  • A week after Tampa Bay CB Aqib Talib grabbed 2 picks to move in to a tie for second in the league with 5 on the season, he shut down stud Atlanta WR Roddy White. Talib is quickly moving among the elite corners in the league in real NFL terms, which could have an inverse effect on his fantasy value as teams look to avoid him. Donít take him out of your lineup, just something to keep an eye on.

  • Still no LCB Terrence McGee for Buffalo, despite practicing fully last week and being listed as probable. He missed the last five games with a pinched nerve and knee problems in his left leg.

  • Indianapolis got CB Jacob Lacey back, but was still without CB Jerraud Powers (feet) and lost CB Justin Tryon with a foot injury last week.

  • Washington CB DeAngelo Hall held on to his league lead in interceptions through the teamís bye. He comes out of the week off with a streak of 5 picks in his last two games and will set a new single-season high for his career with his next pick. SS LaRon Landry fell to fifth in the league with his team-leading 76 tackles this season over the bye. Reserve S Chris Horton was placed on IR with an ankle injury. After looking like a promising playmaker as a rookie, injury and inconsistency derailed his sophomore season last year, before he fell completely off the radar of new DC Jim Haslett this season.

  • Top waiver wire recommendations of the week: Not much jumps out. A gamble on Josh Wilson, who has been productive in a limited sample set, or either of the Saints corners, Jabari Greer or Tracy Porter, now that theyíre back healthy.