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IDP Notes
Week 13
12/1/10

Week 13 Injury Report (available Friday PM)

IDP Depth Chart

Early Game Alert: Thursday: HOU @ PHI 8:20pm EST

Defensive Line

  • In my Week 9 column, I discussed expecting improvement from the pass rush in Minnesota, especially DE Jared Allen, as they would begin facing teams among the worst in the league at protecting the QB and the sacks have piling up the last few weeks. Allen has put up 6.5 sacks in the four games since then and now is at 7.5 sacks on the season after getting just one in the first seven games. DE Ray Edwards was getting similar results, tallying 4 sacks in the previous 3 games, but was impeded from adding to that total on Sunday when he left shortly before halftime with a right ankle sprain. Brian Robison replaced him and got a sack and a QB hit on the first series of the second half, and another QB hit later in the game. Edwards is day-to-day, so he could be a dreaded game-time decision. Robison will replace him if Edwards canít go.

  • After missing the previous game with a groin injury, DE John Abraham returned to the starting lineup and got his ninth sack of the season.

  • Another strong performance on the field translated to fantasy production by Chicago DE Julius Peppers. He recorded his sixth sack of the season when he closed quickly on Philadelphia QB Michael Vick after being left unblocked on a play action. He forced a fumble on the sack that Vick recovered. Peppers almost had a second sack later when he dove at the feet of Vick in pursuit and just tripped him up, but Vick fell across the line of scrimmage, so it was only recorded as a tackle. Reserve DL Henry Melton is finding a niche as an interior pass rush specialist. He has 2.5 sacks in the last three games.

  • A hip flexor left Philadelphia LDE Juqua Parker inactive on Sunday and gave first-round pick Brandon Graham his first start since Week 4. Against the worst pass protection in the league, Graham got his third sack of the season and first since Week 5. On the other side, RDE Trent Cole got a pair of sacks, giving him 9 on the season. DT Antonio Dixon played through an ab injury and was an explosive presence on the interior. He had 4 solo tackles, including 2 for a loss.

  • As expected, Cincinnati DE Antwan Odom remained inactive after revealing he had surgery for a broken wrist while on his four-game suspension. Michael Johnson started at RDE on Thanksgiving and had 5 tackles (3 solo) and had nice plays batting down 2 passes, but continues to fail to get to the QB. Despite starting 5 games this year, he has just 0.5 of a sack, compared to 3 in no starts last year. Of course the Bengals frequently playing from behind this year hasnít given the pass rush as many opportunities to pin their ears back and rush the QB. He remains an enigma, but the way heís been developed hasnít helped. He spent a lot of time learning SLB, but hasnít been used that way in the regular season. Despite the team having the worst pass rush in the league, he has also gone through a couple games seeing just a handful of snaps. He has a great first step, but at a lanky 6í7Ē, exposes up a lot of area for offensive lineman to get their hands on him, instead of using his length to keep them off him. He doesnít have the strength or moves yet to break that initial contact with blockers frequently enough. That has been the difference between him getting to the QB or merely harassing him. Robert Geathers, purely a run-stopper, remains the starter at LDE, while rookie Carlos Dunlap is taking advantage of his opportunity for more playing time. With 2 sacks, it was the first multi-sack game of his career, and the first of the season for the Bengals. Dunlap now takes over the team lead in sacks with 3, all in the last three games, for the team with the fewest sacks in the league.

  • The night after their Thanksgiving victory, New Orleans DE Will Smith was arrested for domestic abuse battery, a misdemeanor, after an alleged altercation with his wife outside a nightclub. A Twitter account supposedly belonging to Smithís wife defended Smith, saying the incident was misunderstanding and Smith is innocent. If his wife remains supportive, this likely goes away, from a legal and league standpoint, but itís far from over. Watch for his status for this week to be clarified prior to the game if you are potentially looking to use him in your lineup this week. Jeff Charleston is the top back-up at DE for the Saints. After a career-high 13 sacks last season, Smith has been a fantasy disappointment most of this season, although he did have 3 solo tackles, including a strip sack, and a pick on Thursday.

  • While second overall pick DT Ndamukong Suh has gotten most of the press, and deservedly so, third overall pick DT Gerald McCoy has elevated his play for Tampa Bay lately. He had a pair of sacks on Sunday and over the last three games he has 11 tackles (9 solo), 3 sacks, a forced fumble and batted down 3 passes. LDE Kyle Moore missed his third straight game with a shoulder injury and Tim Crowder picked up another start, getting his third sack of the season. Moore was placed on the IR this week, so Crowder should finally get an opportunity to string some starts together. Iíve long felt heís needed a regular opportunity in this league, so Iím anxious to see the results.

  • Another rookie finally posted some numbers as Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul got his first 2 career sacks in the second half on Sunday, forcing a fumble on both of them. Pierre-Paul has been working a lot inside, which has impeded his production. He isnít a safe start, but the performance gives his dynasty owners hope for the future.

  • Arizona was without DE Calais Campbell on MNF with an ankle injury that knocked him out of the previous game early. Alan Branch started in his place. DE Darnell Dockett suffered a left shoulder stinger in the game, but he returned.

  • Teams allowing the most sacks this season (start your pass rushers against them):
    1. Chicago (41)
    2. Arizona (36)
    3. Carolina, Oakland (33)
    5. Philadelphia, Washington (32)
    7. Denver (29)
    8. Jacksonville, Pittsburgh (28)

  • Top waiver wire recommendations of the week: I like the opportunity Tim Crowder is going to get and Brian Robison is a nice fill-in player this week if Ray Edwards is inactive.

Linebacker

  • Minnesota WLB Chad Greenway led the team with 9 tackles (6 solo) and is third in the league in tackles with 108 on the season. MLB E.J. Henderson had a sack and a pick on Sunday. It was his third interception of the season, a new career high. After two injury-plagued seasons, it looks like Henderson has come all the way back. He has started every game this season and is on his way to triple-digit tackles, with some big plays sprinkled in.

  • Another game, another double-digit tackle performance for New England ILB Jerod Mayo. He led the team with 12 tackles (8 solo), his eight double-digit tackle performance of the season. Mayo leads the league by a comfortable margin with 132 tackles on the season.

  • Green Bay third ILB Brandon Chillar aggravated a lingering right shoulder injury on Sunday and has been placed on the IR. Bump up starting ILBs Desmond Bishop and A.J. Hawk, as both see expanded roles in Chillarís absence. Bishop led the team with 10 tackles (6 solo), his fourth double-digit tackle of the season in his seven games as a starter. OLB Clay Matthews didnít get a sack on Sunday, but retained his league lead in sacks with 11.5 on the season.

  • With another sack on Sunday, Miami OLB Cameron Wake has 4 sacks in his last four games and is closing in on the league lead with 10.5 on the season. The two-time CFL Defensive Player of the Year has successfully translated his pass rushing skills from the tundra of British Columbia to South Beach. On the other side, rookie OLB Koa Misi isnít helping draw any attention away from Wake as he hasnít had a sack in five games and is losing snaps to Quentin Moses. ILB Karlos Dansby was questionable coming in to Sundayís game as he battled turf toe, ankle and elbow problems, but he started. However, he added a wrist injury to his litany of health problems and was limited to use on passing downs in the second half. Reserve Tim Dobbins stepped up and led the team with 6 tackles (4 solo).

  • It was still Stephen Nicholas starting at SLB for Atlanta, but rookie Sean Weatherspoon saw his workload increase, still primarily on passing downs, in his second game back after missing several with a right knee sprain. Weatherspoon had 3 tackles (2 solo) and Nicholas had 1 solo tackle. They will continue to cannibalize each otherís stats as long as this remains a platoon.

  • The Nic Harris Era was short-lived in Carolina. HC John Fox made Jason Williams the new starting WLB on Sunday. The former third-round pick of Dallas, who they recently claimed off waiver from the Cowboys, had 7 tackles (5 solo), forcing a fumble he recovered on one of them, in his first career start.

  • Indianapolis MLB Gary Brackett (turf toe) and WLB Clint Session (fractured right forearm and dislocated elbow) missed their third and fourth games, respectively. Rookie Pat Angerer continued to fill in in the middle and led the team in the game with 12 tackles (8 solo, including 1 on special teams). WLB remained a platoon of rookie Kavell Conner and Tyjuan Hagler. Hagler was the nominal starter as the defense began in the nickel, but Conner was more productive with 10 tackles (7 solo, including 1 on special teams). Both Brackett and Session remain questionable, but could return this week. Iíd think Brackett has a better chance of returning, bumping Angerer back to SLB.

  • Denver ILB D.J. Williams started despite suffering a concussion in the previous game and had 8 tackles (4 solo) and broke up 2 passes. He is safe to start this week. OLB Robert Ayers returned to the starting lineup from a broken foot, playing for the first time since Week 5. He pushed Jason Hunter back to the bench, but the two rotated frequently. Mario Haggan remains the starter at the other OLB spot and Joe Mays remained the other starter inside.

  • The Buffalo career of OLB Shawne Merriman ended before it started when he was placed on the IR last week. He aggravated an Achillesí tendon injury within 15 minutes of his first practice with the Bills and never suited up again. The season also officially ended for ILB Keith Ellison. Ellison has been battling knee and quad problems much of the season. The quad problem has been lingering since it cost him the second half of 2009, when he went on the IR about the same time last year. The team promoted Thomas Williams to the practice squad to bolster their depth at LB. Williams is a former fifth-round pick of Jacksonville out of USC who spent the preseason with New England before landing on Buffaloís practice squad for the season. He should be limited to special teams. Injury problems at LB are becoming an annual problem for the Bills. They have already lost Andra Davis for the season.

  • Although Zach Diles was active after missing the previous game after being hospitalized with heart palpitations, rookie Darryl Sharpton remained the starter at WLB and Diles rotated in. The position is a bit of a mess right now, so I wouldnít start either this week. SLB Brian Cushing led the team with 7 tackles (6 solo) and broke up 2 passes. While heís still looking for his first sack of the season, he did have 4 QB hits, so he is returning to form.

  • Top waiver wire recommendations of the week: As the new starting WLB in Carolina, Jason Williams is a high priority, but HC John Fox shook up the lineup in a few ways on Sunday, so itís hard to tell what will stick the last few games, but Williams is worth a flyer.

Defensive Back

  • Cincinnati was without their top defensive backs at three of the four spots in the secondary, with only RCB Leon Hall active among their normal starters, as well as missing two reserve corners. FS Chris Crocker went on the IR last week after tearing his right MCL in the previous game and Reggie Nelson, the former first-round pick acquired from Jacksonville earlier this year, looks like heíll remain the starter at FS the rest of the season. SS Roy Williams was out with a concussion and replaced by Chinedum Ndukwe. After being signed off the street on Monday, Jonathan Wade got the start at LCB on Thursday becauseJohnathan Joseph is out with a high ankle sprain, while top reserves Brandon Ghee (groin) and Rico Murray (ankle) were also inactive on Thanksgiving. A former third-round pick of St. Louis, they gave up on him after two years and he started this season in Detroit before being released earlier this month. In just his seventh career start, Wade had a decent showing despite being with the team just a few days. He was beat for a long first down by Jets WR Braylon Edwards and a short TD by WR Santonio Holmes on a brilliant cut after stumbling, but that was really it as he posted 3 tackles and broke up a pass. Wade looked impressive enough to continue to start until Joseph returns, and perhaps hang on as the nickel when he does. Former Houston fourth-round pick Fred Bennett, also signed last week, was the third corner, but didnít have much use as reserve S Tom Nelson played the nickel. The team called up S Jeromy Miles from the practice squad for depth will the all the injuries and he worked on special teams. His stay shouldnít be long.

  • A left Achillesí tendon injury left Washington SS LaRon Landry inactive for the second straight game and HC Mike Shanahan hasnít offered any confidence in his comments that Landry will be back soon. As discussed in this column last week, the injury has gotten progressively worse and will be a concern for the rest of the season, if he does return. Reed Doughty continues to be solid in his place at SS. He led the team with 10 tackles (7 solo, including 2 on special teams) on Sunday, after sharing the team lead the previous game with 7 (5 solo). CB Carlos Rogers returned to the starting lineup after missing the previous game with a hamstring.

  • Philadelphia missed LCB Asante Samuel on Sunday, who was inactive with a sprained MCL. Nickel CB Joselio Hanson replaced him and was successfully picked on by Chicago. Rookie Trevor Lindley replaced Hanson as the nickel. Samuel retained the league lead in interceptions with 7 despite missing his second game of the season. He practiced this week and looks like he should play Thursday night.

  • Tampa Bay rookie FS Cody Grimm is done for the season after breaking his left leg on Sunday. The seventh-round pick had been a solid replacement after the team lost Tanard Jackson to an indefinite suspension for violating the leagueís substance abuse policy earlier this season. Grimm was replaced by Sabby Piscitelli in the game, but he wonít be the new starter. In a relatively shocking turn of events, Piscitelli, a former second-round pick, was released on Tuesday. Instead, Corey Lynch will be the new FS. Lynch, a sixth-round pick of the Bengals in 2008, was signed off Cincinnatiís practice squad last year. Vince Anderson was called up from the practice squad and Larry Asante, a fifth-round pick of Cleveland this year, was signed off the Brown practice squad for depth. CB Aqib Talib had a brilliant break on the ball and diving pick, doing a nice job keeping the ball off the ground and bouncing up to get a 25-yard return, in the second quarter. He is tied for second in the league with 6 interceptions this season despite missing the season opener for violating the leagueís conduct policy related to punching a cab driver last year. Talib and an official allegedly got in to a verbal confrontation after the game about a pass interference call on rookie Myron Lewis that could result in disciplinary action for both Talib and the official. I wouldnít expect a suspension for Talib, but he could get fined.

  • After missing the previous game with a game with a strained groin/hamstring, Dolphins FS Chris Clemons returned to the starting lineup. Both Clemons and SS Yeremiah Bell each grabbed their first pick of the season in the victory. Sophomore starting corners Sean Smith and Vontae Davis were benched for the first series for reportedly being chronically late to meetings, giving Benny Sapp and rookie Nolan Carroll the start. Smith and Davis were back in shortly for the rest of the game.

  • Struggles in covering opposing TEs had FS Brodney Pool demoted in favor of Eric Smith on Thursday. Smith led the team with 9 solo tackles, including one on special teams. Pool still rotated in, so itís hard to recommend Smith despite the production.

  • Oakland CB Nnamdi Asomugha returned from a right ankle sprain and was back in the starting lineup, but was still significantly hampered by it. He aggravated the ankle during the game and had a MRI on Monday. The team is desperate for him to play with a key division game with the Chargers this week, but if he does, heíll be limited. Nickel CB Chris Johnson was inactive with a groin strain and rookie CB Walter McFadden got his first extensive work in his place. McFadden turned the momentum of the game when he went for the pick early in the third quarter and after missing, allowed Miami WR Marlon Moore spun away for a 57-yard TD to put the Dolphins ahead 20-14, a lead they wouldnít relinquish the rest of the game. SS Tyvon Branch and FS Michael Huff each had a sack.

  • A hamstring injury was the latest setback for Green Bay SS Atari Bigby, who was inactive on Sunday. Charlie Peprah has been very solid in the role and it likely would be a platoon, at best, for Bigby this season.

  • Cleveland S Abram Elam continued his hot playmaking streak. He had a pair of sacks among his 7 tackles (6 solo). Over the last two games, he has 13 tackles (12 solo), 2 sacks, an interception and a forced fumble. LCB Eric Wright missed the last game and after injuring his left knee on the first series of the previous game. He could return this week, but may have lost his job to rookie Joe Haden who has had a pick in three straight games.

  • Carolina CB Chris Gamble was demoted to third corner Sunday in favor of Captain Munnerlyn, who got the start opposite Richard Marshall. Munnerlyn made the most of the opportunity, picking up 6 solo tackles and returning his an interception for a TD in the third quarter. HC John Fox said the demotion was performance-based and wouldnít commit to a starter this week.

  • Denver SS Brian Dawkins left the game in the third quarter with a left knee injury. He sounds doubtful this week. CB Nathan Jones replaced Dawkins and with lots of injuries in the secondary, he could get the start at SS if Dawkins is out.

  • In San Francisco, Reggie Smith remains the starting SS and rookie Taylor Mays is working mostly on special teams. FS Dashon Goldson played through a right ankle sprain after leaving the previous game earlier due to it.

  • Apparently some bad information last week, as rookie Amari Spievey remained the starter at SS and did not surrender the role back to C.C. Brown. Spievey led the team with 10 tackles (8 solo).

  • Tennessee CB Cortland Finnegan was only fined for his altercation with Houston WR Andre Johnson on Sunday. Finnegan will start as usual this week.

  • Despite playing with a fractured right hand, Houston CB Glover Quin had 3 picks on Sunday and broke up 2 other passes.

  • Top waiver wire recommendations for week: Whoever is healthy in the Cincinnati secondary, as they should be busy with the Saints in town this week. In particular CB Jonathan Wade if Johnathan Joseph remains inactive. In tackle-heavy leagues, Reed Doughty has led, or shared the team lead, in tackles in both games since replacing LaRon Landry.