- A right ankle sprain suffered in the previous game kept DE
Edwards inactive on Sunday. As expected, he was replaced
Robison who posted 3 tackles (1 solo), deflected a pass
that was intercepted by CB Antoine
Winfield and recovered 2 fumbles, including one forced by
Allen on the only sack of the game for Minnesota. The sack
by Allen give him 7.5 in the last five games and heís now up
to 8.5 on the season, despite getting just one in the first
seven games. Robison is lined up to start opposite Allen in
2011 if Edwards departs via free agency.
- First-round pick DE Brandon
Graham started again for Philadelphia Thursday night as
Parker missed his second straight game with a hip flexor.
Graham had just 1 assist in the game. Fellow rookie DL Daniel
Te'o-Nesheim saw more work in the rotation more with Parker
out. He had 1 solo tackle. Parker is expected to return this
week. Third DE Darryl
Tapp recovered a fumble to sealed the victory after FS Nate
Allen sacked Houston QB Matt
Schaub late in the fourth quarter. Parker is expected to
return this week. RDE Trent
Cole had 3 solo tackles. DT Mike
Patterson has strung together a couple of nice games. He
had a sack for the second straight game and has 7 tackles (5
solo) in the last two. Reserve DT Trevor
Laws had his first career pick when Schaub tried to put
a screen pass in their too softly in the second quarter.
- A week after getting his first 2 career sacks, Giants rookie
Pierre-Paul got 2 more on Sunday. He also recovered a fumble.
Starting ends Osi
Umenyiora and Justin
Tuck each had a sack, as well. It was a team-leading ninth
on the season for Umenyiora, but the first sack since late October.
He has been battling knee problems this season and is a gamble
any game. The emergence of Pierre-Paul could reduce Umenyioraís
snaps to keep him healthy for the playoffs. Tuck is a half-sack
behind Umenyiora with 8.5 on the season.
- Rookie DE Carlos
Dunlap dropped New Orleans QB Drew
Brees on a third down in the fourth quarter to help set
up a FG to tie the game and shared a sack with fellow rookie
Atkins earlier in the game. He now leads the team with 4.5
sacks on the season, all in the last four games, but is still
just primarily in a pass rush specialist role behind starting
Johnson and run-stopping LDE Robert
Geathers. For the second season in a row, Cincinnati DE
Odom ends the year on the IR. In 2009, he was leading the
league with 8 sacks, most of those courtesy of a five-sack game
against Green Bay, through five weeks of the season when a he
suffered a torn Achillesí tendon in the sixth game of the season.
This year he played in the first four games before serving a
four-game suspension for violating the leagueís banned substance
policy. During his suspension, he had surgery for a broken wrist
and didnít play again, and now wonít this year. The team brought
back FA Victory Adeyanju for depth after releasing him two weeks
- It was revealed by Houston HC Gary Kubiak that DE Mario
Williams has been battling a sports hernia all year. Tackles
have been down for Williams, but he has 8.5 sacks on the season,
including 3 in his last three games, after a disappointing 9
all of last season. I keep playing him in sack-heavy leagues,
but heís not a must-start in others. I imagine he could be shut
down when the Texans are officially out of playoff contention.
- Detroit RDE Kyle
Vanden Bosch was inactive on Sunday with a neck injury sustained
in their Thanksgiving game. He was replaced by Turk
McBride, who posted 5 tackles (1 solo), including a sack
where he forced a fumble and recovered it. However, the story
of the DLine was LDE Cliff
Avril. He took advantage of facing the team that has given
up the most sacks with a career game, posting 3 sacks. Rookie
Suh was hit with a questionable personal foul that helped
the eventual game-winning drive for Chicago.
- The night after their Thanksgiving victory, New Orleans DE
Smith was the starting RDE as usual after his arrest for
misdemeanor domestic abuse battery after an alleged altercation
with his wife outside a nightclub the night after their Thanksgiving
victory. Both Smith and his wife say the incident was a misunderstanding
and it appears neither the club nor league will take any action
at this time. Smith had 2 solo tackles in the game.
- The injuries continue to pile up in Buffalo as last week
they lost DE Dwan
Edwards with a hamstring injury suffered in the previous
game. DL Spencer
Johnson returned after missing two games with his own hamstring
injury to replace him, while rookie DE Alex
Carrington and forgotten former first-round pick DL John
McCargo saw more work in the rotation.
- After posting 2 sacks, Green Bay DE Cullen
Jenkins aggravated his calf injury late on Sunday and is
expected to miss at least this week. Rookie C.J.
Wilson and Jarius
Wynn pick up more snaps in his place.
- Miami DE Phillip
Merling played for the first time this season, coming off
surgery for a torn Achillesí tendon over the summer. He didnít
start, but his return may be just in time, as DE Kendall
Langford, who has been starting in Merlingís place, left
the game early with a concussion.
- After a few weeks with Washington DT Albert
Haynesworth only being talked about for his performance
on the field, the tense relationship between him and HC Mike
Shanahan once again became a distraction for the team when Haynesworth
was benched on Sunday and then the team announced this week
he was suspended without pay for the last four games. Depending
on the source, including Shanahanís evolving explanation, this
chain of events is due to any or all of him being sick, being
hungover, late to a meeting or practice, missing meeting or
practice, performance in practice, and insubordination. Haynesworth
and his agent will undoubtedly appeal this, but itís just about
getting money. Haynesworth is unlikely to play another down
anywhere this year, and wonít play another as Redskin as long
as Shanahan is there. Itís a circus and another complete disaster
in Shanahanís first year in Washington.
- Top waiver wire recommendations of
the week: Iíve previously discussed making sure rookies
Pierre-Paul and Carlos
Dunlap werenít on any dynasty wavier wires, but after their
last few games, both are risk/reward picks for sack-heavy redraft
- Death, taxes and 100-tackle season for London
Fletcher. The Łber-consistent Washington ILB hasnít slowed
down at age 35, as his 4 solo tackles once again made him a
triple-digit performer over a season, with four games left to
play. Fletcher also broke up 2 passes, picking 1 of them for
his first interception of the season.
- Minnesota WLB Chad
Greenway had 7 tackles (6 solo, including 1 on special teams)
and is clinging to third in the league in tackles with 115,
tying his season high with four games still to play. After posting
double-digit tackles in five of his first seven games, he hasnít
had one since Week Eight, but remains an extremely consistent
producer. Heís posted either 7 or 9 tackles in his last five
games and has posted 7-12 tackles in every game this season.
He hasnít turned in many big plays, but is a lock for lineups
in tackle-heavy leagues. After missing his rookie season in
2006 when he blew his knee on the kick-off of their first preseason
game, Greenway hasnít missed a game since and has been an extremely
consistent tackle producer with sporadic big plays. He is the
new London Fletcher from a fantasy perspective.
- With another sack and a half on Sunday, Miami OLB Cameron
Wake has taken over the league lead in sacks. He has 5.5
sacks in his last five games and now has 12 on the season. Despite
Dansby adding a wrist injury in their previous game to lingering
turf toe, ankle and elbow problems, he was needed for a full
slate of work because ILB Channing
Crowder was inactive with his chronic knee problems. After
working for Dansby in running situations the previous game,
Dobbins took on the whole workload for Crowder, posting
7 tackles (5 solo) and leading the team in tackles for the second
- Held without a sack for the second straight game, Green Bay
Matthews surrendered the league lead in sacks. Stuck at
11.5 on the season, he is now a half-sack behind Miami OLB Cameron
Wake. The absence of third ILB Brandon
Chillar didnít pay immediate dividends for the production
of starting ILBs Desmond
Bishop and A.J.
Hawk, but that was because the Packers dominated time of
possession, not giving them many opportunities.
- OLB Parys
Haralson was a scratch with an ankle injury and Travis
LaBoy got the start at the pass-rushing OLB spot, but he
alternated series with Ahmad
Brooks. Both brought good pressure with Brooks racking up
a pair of sacks and LaBoy getting one. Both now have 4 sacks
on the season. ILB Takeo
Spikes led the team with 17 tackles 13 solo), while fellow
Willis had just 5 (4 solo). With double-digit tackles in
his two of his last three games, Spikes is now on pace to end
with exactly 100 tackles, the first time since 2003 he hits
triple-digits. Willis eclipsed the 100-tackle mark during the
game, making it four times in his first four seasons, but he
is projecting to have the lowest overall and solo tackle totals
of his career. However, he has already set a single-season high
with 5 sacks this year.
- Indianapolis MLB Gary
Brackett returned on Sunday after missing three games with
turf toe. He was back in the starting lineup, bumping rookie
Angerer back to SLB, and Brackett posted 10 tackles (5 solo)
and broke up a pass. Angerer had 7 tackles (6 solo). WLB Clint
Session (fractured right forearm and dislocated elbow) missed
his fifth game, with a platoon of rookie Kavell Conner and Tyjuan
Hagler continuing to replace him. Session remains questionable
- The injuries continue for the LB corps in Denver. Emerging
run-stopping ILB Joe
Mays was placed on the IR after straining a ligament in
his left knee on Sunday. With OLB Robert
Ayers back, the team should move Mario
Haggan back inside, giving Ayers his starting role back
Hunter outside. Haggan had his fifth sack of the season
on Sunday. There was also concern ILB D.J.
Williams suffered a serious elbow injury in the game. He
had a giant bump on it he posted a picture of via Twitter. X-rays
were negative, but there was also concern he ruptured his bursa
sac. He was in practice on Monday, so seems likely to play this
- While theyíve been plagued with plenty of injuries all over
the defense the last few years, linebacker has been a particularly
jinxed position in Buffalo. Last week a shoulder injury had
Torbor, who had found a regular role when the team was in
a 3-4 scheme and in the nickel, become the fifth Buffalo LB
to go on the IR since training camp. His replacement, rookie
OLB Antonio Coleman, didnít make it out of the first quarter,
suffering a knee injury early in the game and not returning.
He became the sixth Buffalo LB to go on the IR. The role of
rookie OLB Arthur
Moats, who had already worked his way up in the rotation,
grew and former first-round pick Aaron
Maybin actually got in for a handful of plays. Moats could
become a part of NFL football lore if his hit on Minnesota QB
Brett Favre becomes the one that finally costs him a game, or
his career. WLB Paul
Posluszny led the team with 15 tackles (11 solo), including
his second sack of the season. After missing a couple game early
in the season, Poz has posted double-digit tackles in seven
of the last nine games as is all the way up to 111 on the season,
tying his career season high, and tied with teammate S Donte
Whitner for fourth in the league in tackles. MLB Akin
Ayodele also had double-digit tackles for the second consecutive
- Dallas rookie ILB Sean
Lee grabbed the first two picks of his career, the second
off a deflected pass from Indianapolis QB Peyton Manning in
OT that set up the game-winning FG for the Cowboys. He sprained
his left shoulder diving for the first pick, but obviously returned
to the game. His playing time in the nickel has been coming
at the expense of veteran ILB Keith
- Oakland MLB Rolando
McClain played through tendinitis in his foot and led the
team with 7 solo tackles.
- Cleveland OLB Scott
Fujita remained out with ligament damage in his left knee.
He started the week as questionable, so it looks like he has
a chance to return this week. Jason
Trusnik and Marcus
Benard continued working at OLB in his place.
- St. Louis SLB Na'il Diggs suffered a torn right pectoral
muscle on Sunday and is done for the season. The Rams have been
playing musical chairs at WLB, so some combination of Chris
Kehl, and David
Vobora will work the two OLB spots.
- Top waiver wire recommendations:
Watch for updates on if Scott
Fujita returns this week, he could have been dropped after
missing several games and could provide a boost to a desperate
LB situation. Injuries and a bad run defense have given the
opportunity for Akin
Ayodele to be plenty productive in tackle-heavy leagues.
- A lingering left Achillesí tendon injury had Washington SS
Landry already declared inactive for the third straight
game early last week. Reed
Doughty continues to replace him and led the team with 10
tackles (7 solo). Doughty has had at least a share of the team
lead in tackles since replacing Landry. HC Mike Shanahan said
he expects Landry to return this week, but is a risky play.
Also ruled out early last week was CB Carlos
Rogers. After missing Week 11 with a hamstring injury, Rogers
returned for Week 12 and injured his other hamstring overcompensating.
Buchanon got another start in place of Rogers with Kevin
Barnes handling the nickel in his place, but Buchanon was
benched in favor of Barnes in the second half after not contributing
on run defense.
- A short week wasnít enough time for Philadelphia LCB Asante
Samuel to rest his sprained MCL, despite practicing last
week, and he missed his second straight game on Thursday night.
Samuel is expected to return this week. CB Joselio
Hanson replaced Samuel in the starting lineup and rookie
Lindley replaced Hanson as the nickel. Rookie FS Nate Allen
sealed the victory with his second sack of the season, forcing
a fumble that the Eagles recovered with less than three minutes
left in the game.
- Rookie Kareem
Jackson remains the nominal starter at corner across from
Quin in Houston, but Jason
Allen, the former first-round pick of Miami acquired off
waivers a few weeks ago, is seeing a more prominent role. Allen
led the team with 9 solo tackles and had his first pick as a
Texan. Houston scored on the subsequent drive for their first
lead of the game. Quin continues to play through a broken bone
in his right hand. SS Bernard
Pollard had to leave the game briefly in the fourth quarter
after a collision on an attempted TD pass, but returned to finish.
Pollard had 5 solo tackles, including his first sack of the
- With 7 tackles (5 solo) on Sunday, Buffalo SS Donte
Whitner set a new career high for with 111 tackles, tied
for fourth in the league on the season. A porous and injury-plagued
front seven have given the secondary plenty of tackle opportunities
this season. Whitner also had his first pick this season in
the game, as did CB Leodis
McKelvin. McKelvin started in place of CB Terrence
McGee again, as he continues to struggle with a nerve problem
behind his knee. McGee will try practicing again this week,
but thereís no timeline for his return. The other starter, CB
Florence, returned his third pick of the season 40 yards
for his first career TD.
- Cincinnati LCB Johnathan
Joseph returned from a high ankle sprain to his starting
role opposite RCB Leon
Hall, but Jonathan Wade, who made a positive impression
in their Thanksgiving game when he replaced Joseph as a starter
just days after joining the team off the street, still played
an integral role as the nickel. Depth at corner was still thin
with rookie CB Brandon Ghee remaining inactive with a groin
Williams returned from a concussion, but Chinedum
Ndukwe remained the starter at SS. Both rotated along with
starting FS Reggie
Nelson, who replaced Chris
Crocker who went on the IR before their previous game. There
were plenty of mistakes by all, with a few big plays allowing
the Saints to hang in for the win despite it being one of the
Bengals better performances this year.
- Lions CB Alphonso
Smith suffered a right shoulder injury late in Sunday's
game and did not return. Specifics havenít been given yet, but
HC Jim Swartz says it could be a ďlong-term thingĒ. Rookie SS
Spievey led the team in tackles for the second straight
week with 9 (4 solo, including 1 on special teams).
- Minnesota started Tyrell
Johnson instead of Madieu
Williams at FS reportedly because Williams was late for
the team bus after their last game. Williams was back as the
starter after the first series.
- Cleveland S Abram
Elam continued his hot playmaking streak. He led the team
with 7 tackled (5 solo) and grabbed his second pick of the season.
Over the last two games, he has 20 tackles (17 solo), 2 sacks,
2 interceptions and a forced fumble. LCB Eric
Wright was active after missing the previous game with a
left knee injury, but as discussed as a possibility last week,
rookie missed the last game and after injuring his left knee
on the first series of the previous game. Instead it was rookie
Haden starting opposite Sheldon
Brown and Haden had a pick for an incredible fourth-straight
game. He has five on the season and is coming off being named
the NFL defensive rookie of the month for November. The team
claimed S Sabby
Piscitelli off waivers from Tampa Bay. Despite losing their
second starting FS of the season two weeks ago, the Bucs were
done with their former second-round pick. Piscitelli was active,
but only worked on special teams.
- Already without starting CB Kelvin
Hayden, who was inactive with a stinger in his right shoulder/neck,
Indianapolis lost their other starting CB, Jerraud
Powers, on Sunday when he broke his right forearm in the
first half. Jacob
Lacey was starting in place of Hayden, so Justin
Tryon replaced Powers. Powers was placed on the IR this
week, so Lacey should step in to the starting lineup for him
and with Hayden still questionable, Tryon could get a start
as well. Still no firm word on when, or if, SS Bob
Sanders (torn biceps) will return. He was supposed to be
cleared to return to practice last week, but was already declared
out by last Tuesday.
- Dallas CB Mike
Jenkins aggravated a knee injury on Sunday, but sounds like
heíll play this week. The situation is less clear for nickel
Scandrick, who returned the second pick of his career for
a TD in the third quarter before suffering a concussion. If
Scandrick canít go, playmaking UDFA rookie Bryan McCann should
see a bigger role.
- Denver S Brian
Dawkins was inactive with a knee injury so David
Bruton got the start in his place. Rookie Perrish
Cox replaced Andre Goodman.
- Tampa Bay lost CB Aqib
Talib for the season when tore a tendon off his right hip
bone. He was placed on the IR. Talib was tied for second in
the league in pick with six. E.J.
Biggers replaces him in the starting lineup.
- Jets FS Jim
Leonhard was placed on the IR after breaking is right shin
during practice on Friday. A liability in coverage, Leonhardís
value was as the QB of the secondary. Eric Smith replaced him
on defense and got his first career sack in the game. Depth
at safety took another hit on Monday night as S James
Ihedigbo suffered a high ankle sprain and knee injury. He
is expected to miss some time.
- Detroit CB Alphonso
Smith has no timetable to return after suffering a right
- Jacksonville SS Courtney
Greene is expected to miss some time after suffering a shoulder
Considine replaces him in the starting lineup and S Michael
Hamlin was brought up from the practice squad for depth.
- Top waiver wire recommendations of
the week: The duo of young corners in Indianapolis will
be tested, so Iíd add Jacob
Lacey and Justin
Tryon in that order.