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IDP Notes
Week 5
10/6/10

Week 5 Injury Report (available Friday PM)

IDP Depth Chart

Bye Weeks: Dolphins, Patriots, Steelers, Seahawks

Defensive Line

  • A horrible Chicago OLine cured what was ailing the Giants defense. The Giants sacked the Bears 10 times and hit the QB another 9, knocking Chicago QB Jay Cutler out of the game. LDE Justin Tuck got his first 3 sacks of the season, forcing a fumble on one. Banged-up RDE Osi Umenyiora looked like a Pro Bowler again, also getting 3 sacks and forcing fumbles on 2 of them. Due to his various nagging injuries, Iím still not convinced Umenyiora can be relied on regularly, but heíll be back in my lineup next week. The team was without DE/OLB tweener Mathias Kiwanuka, who woke up with neck pain on Friday and was shocked to find out he was playing with a bulging cervical disk. After initially being ruled out indefinitely, Kiwanuka said Monday he has more specialists to see, but now could be back as early as this week Ė which seems overly optimistic. Tuck was used as an elephant LB in their ďbig baseĒ package in place of Kiwanuka. It was veteran DE Dave Tollefson, and not first-round pick DE Jason Pierre-Paul, who benefit from Kiwanukaís absence and Tuckís additional role.

  • Tennessee first-round pick DE Derrick Morgan is done for the season after suffering a torn left ACL on Sunday. After missing most of the preseason, the rookie was just beginning to flash his talent in a limited role. However, the end position has been carried by a couple journeymen who are having career years after previously having appeared to have topped out as role players. Former Houston first-round pick Jason Babin has started the first four games, as many as he has with any team since his rookie year in 2004, and after tallying 1.5 sacks on Sunday now has 3.5 on the season, on pace to shatter his career high of 5 sacks. Babin remained the starter at LDE despite William Hayes being back for his second game. Hayes is being eased back in after suffering a right MCL sprain in the preseason. Even if Hayes reclaims his starting role, Babin should continue to have a significant role. The bigger surprise has been Dave Ball, who has started every game this season, doubling his career total. Jacob Ford was expected to start at RDE, but Ball got the nod to start the season and has held the job after Ford banged up his knee and ankle in Week 2. With Ford already out and Morganís day ending early, Ball had a career game on Sunday. He had 2.5 sacks among his 4 tackles (3 solo) and another 3 QB pressures. Ball has already tied his career high with 4.5 sacks through just 4 games. With Morgan out for the season, Ballís role will remain significant even once Ford returns, which is expected this week, and Ball should retain the starting role. The front four suffered another setback in DT Sen'Derrick Marks, who sprained his left MCL and is questionable this week.

  • A great performance by Chicago DE Julius Peppers was lost with a brutal offensive showing getting all the headlines. Peppers had 4 tackles (3 solo) and got his second sack of the season, on which he forced a fumble, and a handful of additional pressures. He also batted down a third-down pass in the second quarter. DT Tommie Harris was back active on Sunday, but he didnít start and played only about a third of the snaps. DE Henry Melton is being utilized more inside as a pass rusher. The Bears released Mark Anderson and added former New Orleans DE Charles Grant, who was recently let go by the UFL Omaha Nighthawks.

  • Seattle DE Chris Clemons had 2 sacks for the second straight game. He has a bye this week and then gets a Chicago team that just gave up 10 sacks on SNF.

  • While Jacksonville Derrick Harvey remains the starter at LDE, he continues to lose snaps to Jeremy Mincey. Mincey had his first sack of the season on Sunday, while Harvey is still looking for his and has just 3 tackles on the year. The pass rush continues to be a problem for the Jaguars, as RDE Aaron Kampman has been held without one for three straight games after starting the season with 1.5 in Week One.

  • Jets DE Shaun Ellis sprained his left patellar tendon on Sunday, but is expected to play this week. The team bolstered their depth with the addition of DE Trevor Pryce late last week. Pryce was released in a procedural move by Baltimore and the team indicated they would resign him this week, but Jets HC Rex Ryan, who is close with Pryce from back when he was DC in Baltimore, snatched him up.

  • Baltimore is going to miss Pryce after third DE Paul Kruger suffered a left MCL sprain on Sunday. Heís expected to miss a few weeks. The team will likely add depth, and now it canít be Pryce, this week.

  • Buffalo DE Marcus Stroud was inactive Sunday with an ankle sprain. Heís expected back this week.

  • Speaking of former Jacksonville DTs, thereís no timetable for the return of Oakland reserve DT John Henderson who is battling a mysterious foot problem.

  • Look, a NT Albert Haynesworth sighting! After being a non-factor in the first three games for Washington, he posted 4 tackles (3 solo) and batted down a pass, along with drawing a couple of holding calls and generally being a disruptive force.

  • Top waiver wire recommendations of the week: If anyone was flustered with Osi Umenyiora and dropped him, scoop him up in most formats. In deeper leagues, Dave Ball is now appealing with Derrick Morgan done for the year. Chris Clemons is heading in to a bye, but is rising fast in sack-heavy leagues.

Linebacker

  • Patient owners of productive Denver ILB D.J. Williams were finally rewarded with his first double-digit tackle game of the season. He posted 10 (8 solo), including a sack.

  • It was Miami who first converted Rob Ninkovich from a DE to OLB when they switched to a 3-4 in 2008, but he washed out there like he did in two separate stints with New Orleans, who originally drafted him in fifth-round in 2006. New England finished the job Miami started and in his third start of the season, and his career, Ninkovich showed his old team how well he learned to play in coverage with his hand off the ground by grabbing the first two picks of his career. He also 4 tackles (3 solo), including his first sack of the season. ILB Jerod Mayo led the team with a game-high 16 tackles (14 solo).

  • After a slow start to the season, Tennessee MLB Stephen Tulloch put up double-digit tackles for the second straight game. Tulloch, who had 13 the previous week, had 12 (6 solo) on Sunday. Tulloch wonít put up many other stats, but will rack up stops in tackle-heavy leagues. SLB Gerald McRath returns from a four-game suspension this week and HC Jeff Fisher says he wonít immediately assume a starting role. Itís a bit irrelevant as SLB is the odd-man out in a defense that spends a lot of time in nickel with Tulloch and WLB Will Witherspoon locked in as LBs in that package.

  • With Green Bay ILB Brandon Chillar out with a shoulder injury, A.J. Hawk took advantage of his opportunity to be a three-down player. Hawk broke up 2 passes, grabbing his first pick of the year, and posted 12 tackles (9 solo). Hawk is back on the radar after appearing to be phased out earlier this year, but his reps will be impacted when Chillar returns. He remains questionable this week. ILB Nick Barnett left the game with a wrist injury, but returned to finish the game with a cast on it. The only report has been confirmation the wrist isnít broken. After surprisingly being held without a sack for the first time at Chicago in the previous game, OLB Clay Matthews got his league-leading 7th sack of the season on Sunday. UDFA rookie Frank Zombo remained the starter outside opposite Matthews, but Brad Jones and Brady Poppinga saw equal time. Avoid all three.

  • Houston OLB Brian Cushing returns from suspension this week and will slide back in his starting SLB role. Zac Diles is at WLB and Xavier Adibi sits down.

  • The Jets expect to get OLB Calvin Pace back this week from a broken foot. With Jason Taylor playing well, he can be eased back in, but Taylorís workload should begin to decrease.

  • With Atlanta rookie SLB Sean Weatherspoon inactive with an ankle sprain, Stephen Nicholas was back in the starting lineup and led the team with 13 tackles (12 solo). The team has kept quiet on the extent of the injury, but Atlanta Constitution-Journal beat writer Orlando Ledbetter believes it is serious and expects him to be no better than a dreaded game-time decision this week.

  • The LB corps in Indianapolis got a boost with the return of WLB Clint Sessions after missing two weeks with a hamstring injury.

  • Miami ILB Channing Crowder is yet to suit up this season as he battles groin problems. If he isnít ready after the teamís bye this week, he could be a candidate for the IR. Bobby Carpenter and Tim Dobbins continue to cannibalize each otherís value as they rotate in his place.

  • Oakland MLB Rolando McClain is consistent, but not in a good way. He has posted a consistently mediocre 6 tackles in every game this season.

  • Seattle reserve LB Leroy Hill was placed on the IR with an Achillesí injury. This locks in the value of WLB David Hawthorne this season, although he, like all the Seattle LBs, are coming off disappointing productivity in their loss to St. Louis. Hillís absence also makes Will Herring the top back-up and he was worked in on Sunday with SLB Aaron Curry battling a hamstring injury.

  • The OLB situation in San Diego has gotten clearer, but not in a positive way. Shawne Merriman was out Sunday and has missed 3 of 4 games this season with tendinitis in his Achilles and a calf problem. The team will be desperate to have him ready this week after losing two other players. Larry English is now out at least three weeks after undergoing surgery on his left foot. Jyles Tucker returned to action after missing a week due to a personal issue only to suffer a torn pec. He is done for the season. That left Antwan Applewhite as the starter again opposite Shaun Phillips. Phillips stepped up as a one-man wrecking crew, racking up a career-high 4 sacks among his 6 tackles (5 solo) and returned a pick 31 yards for a score. He jumped up to second in the league with 6 sacks on the season.

  • Giants MLB Jonathan Goff had the first double-digit tackle game of his young career, posting 10 tackles (4 solo), including a half-sack.

  • With a career-high 16 tackles (14 solo), including his first sack of the season, Carolina SLB James Anderson continues his huge season. Anderson is now second in the league in tackles.

  • Top waiver wire recommendations of the week: A.J. Hawk reinforced heís back if people didnít jump on him last week. Keith Brooking might be out there coming off a bye week in some leagues. Jonathan Goff is still a risky play, but should be owned in deeper leagues and dynasty leagues.

Defensive Back

  • New England FS Patrick Chung had a career game in just his fifth career start. Chungís had 4 tackles (3 solo) were the least of his accomplishments on a night when he blocked a punt in the third quarter that lead to a TD, blocked a FG in the third quarter that was returned for a TD by CB Kyle Arrington, and finished his night returning his second pick in as many games for a 51-yard TD. Arrington started for the second consecutive game over Darius Butler, so he looks to remain with the first team opposite rookie Devin McCourty. S Brandon Meriweather was back in the starting lineup Monday night, after the Pro Bowler lost it the previous two games due to underperformance, but it didnít last long as he left the game in the third quarter with a knee injury. Not surprisingly, little information from the team on his status. James Sanders gets a bump if Meriweather misses any time.

  • Promising Green Bay rookie SS Morgan Burnett was lost for the season after suffering a torn ACL in Sundayís narrow victory over Detroit. Derrick Martin will replace him for now, but Charlie Peprah is in line, when he gets healthy, as DC Dom Capers said Peprah is ahead of Martin on the depth chart. Last yearís starter, Atari Bigby, is on the PUP and isnít available until at least Week 7, but would likely take over if healthy at that time. CB Jarrett Bush could also see work there and then there is using more of their ďBig OkieĒ package where ILB Nick Barnett or ILB Brandon Chillar play a tweener safety role in their big base. Martin was a sixth-round pick by Baltimore and has previously failed to work his way in to a starting role. He was a special teams ace in his first season for the Packers last year, their top gunner and leader in special teams tackles with 21.

  • Like they have the previous two seasons, Indianapolis was well-prepared for the annual loss of SS Bob Sanders this year because of their quality depth in Melvin Bullitt. However, they have a unique challenge now that Bullitt is lost for the season with a broken right shoulder. Former KC third-round pick DaJuan Morgan gets the first shot at replacing as the only other healthy safety on the roster. The team hasnít yet put Sanders on the IR with a torn biceps, but he wonít be back soon. The team added experienced street FA Aaron Francisco for depth.

  • In a bizarre turn of events for a struggling team, SS Michael Lewis staged a walkout last week due to being benched and didnít join the team for their trip to Atlanta on Sunday. He was inactive and rookie Taylor Mays got the start. He responded with leading the team in tackles with 11 (9 solo) and scoring his first career TD with a brilliant grab of a blocked punt in the end zone and toeing the line to stay in bounds. Grab Mays in all formats. Thereís some concern his liability in pass coverage will eventually give Reggie Smith a greater role, but he has a huge opportunity and the talent to be a playmaker. Donít drop Lewis yet, although heís just a run-stopper at this point in his career, several teams have issues at the position and he shouldnít be without work long.

  • Cincinnati SS Roy Williams will miss up to a month with a MCL sprain in his knee, so Chinedum Ndukwe gets another shot in the starting lineup. Ndukwe has been a playmaker when healthy and is still viewed as the long-term answer at SS.

  • Former UDFA SS Steve Gregory had been one of the inspiring stories of the season as the career special teamer and role player appeared to have finally earned a regular starting role this season, but now heís been suspended four games for violating the leagueís policy on performance-enhancing drugs. Paul Oliver, a former supplemental draft pick in 2007 after being ruled academically ineligible as a promising CB at Georgia, will get the first shot to replace him. Rookie SS Darrell Stuckey, who many expected to beat out Gregory for the starting job to begin the season, should also see work in run packages. The team added experienced veteran FA Tyrone Carter for depth.

  • St. Louis FS Oshiomogho Atogwe was inactive with a left thigh injury suffered in the previous game. James Butler started in his place. Atogwe should be back this week.

  • Once again, the New Orleans secondary is ravaged by injury. CB Tracy Porter will miss up to a month with a partially torn MCL in his knee. Randall Gay should move in to the starting lineup and rookie Patrick Robinson should get more work. The team also lost reserve S Chris Reis for the season with a shoulder injury and is without reserve S Pierson Prioleau indefinitely with a concussion. Prioleau was hurt filling in for SS Roman Harper, was inactive Sunday with a hamstring injury. Harper should be back this week. This is a great opportunity for Robinson and versatile FS Malcolm Jenkins could also see a bump in value as DC Gregg Williams looks to apply him more creatively. Help is on the way as FS Darren Sharper is reportedly ready to play. However, because he was placed on the PUP, Sharper canít return until Week 7, at the earliest.

  • Atlantaís Erik Coleman has returned from knee injury, but William Moore is going to remain the starting SS.

  • Carolina FS Sherrod Martin suffered a concussion on Sunday and was replaced by Jordan Pugh. Martin is questionable this week.

  • Buffalo CB Terrence McGee had minor knee surgery and is out 2-4 weeks. Drayton Florence moves to the right, Leodis McKelvin moves from nickel to LCB and Reggie Corner will get more snaps as the nickel.

  • Coming off the first two picks of his NFL career, Seattle FS Earl Thomas grabbed his third on Sunday. CB Marcus Trufant played through his left ankle sprain and should be back to full health after a bye this week.

  • The Jets expect CB Darrelle Revis to return this week, moving rookie Kyle Wilson back to nickel and Drew Coleman to the bench.

  • Jacksonville SS Anthony Smith returned from a foot injury and reclaimed his starting job from Courtney Greene, while Gerald Alexander replaced FS Sean Considine who was out with a hamstring.

  • Correcting last week, it will be seventh-round pick Cody Grimm, not Sabby Piscitelli, who will start at FS in place of the suspended Tanard Jackson as TB comes out of their bye this week, although it could be a bit of a job share.

  • It was Dominique Barber who starter for Houston at FS with Eugene Wilson out with a hamstring on Sunday, but it was Troy Nolan who made an impact there with the first 2 picks of his career. With Barber having previously failed to hold on to a starting role and Wilson on the decline, disappointing the team with drop of two easy pick in the previous two games, Nolan should be in line for more work. A seventh-round pick last year, Nolan spent the season on the IR after injuring his wrist in the preseason. This year he impressed in the preseason and has now demonstrated the big play ability he was known for in college. A JUCO transfer, Nolan returned 5 turnovers (4 picks and a fumble recovery) for TDs in just two years at Arizona State.

  • As discussed here last week, Tennessee rookie CB Alterraun Verner was tested plenty after taking over for Jason McCourty, who is out another 2-5 weeks with a broken right forearm. Verner had 11 solo tackles and broke up 3 passes while on Denver WR Brandon Lloyd, who was targeted 18 times and put up 11-115-0 on him.

  • Top waiver wire recommendations of the week: Taylor Mays tops the list in all formats, although I wouldnít expect him to be on the waiver wire in any dynasty leagues. I wouldnít drop Michael Lewis in deep leagues, see where he lands. Iím not very high on DaJuan Morgan, but as literally the only option until they make a move in Indy, heís worth adding. Iím more skeptical on Derrick Martin. Deeper leagues might need to take a chance on him, but I donít think that situation is resolved yet. Iíd rather have Chinedum Ndukwe, even if itís only short term or William Moore, especially in dynasty. Iíd give up on Steve Gregory in all formats. Oliver and/or Stuckey may not relinquish the job when he returns.