- The day Jacksonville DE Jeremy
Mincey was announced as replacing former eighth-overall
Harvey at LDE, Mincey broke his right hand in practice.
Instead of reverting back to Harvey, the Jaguars gave rookie
Lane his first career start. He posted one TFL, while Harvey
had a goose egg in limited time. Lane had 29 sacks and 55 TFL
in his 43 games at FCS (D-IAA) Murray State, highlighted by
12 and 22 in his breakthrough senior season. He became their
highest-drafted player in the history when Jacksonville took
him in the fifth round. Lane had a nice showing at the Senior
Bowl and showed solid, but unspectacular, athleticism at the
Combine. Heís a nice long-term prospect, but needs to get stronger
and add more bulk to his over 6í6Ē frame. I have modest expectations
for Lane this year and expect to see Mincey take over as soon
as he can.
- It was a dominating performance for the Detroit front four
in the, with DE Kyle
Vanden Bosch, DE Cliff
Avril and rookie DT Ndamukong
Suh each racking up a pair of sacks and at least 5 tackles.
Suh also returned a fumble forced by KVB 17 yards for his first
career TD to seal the victory. Suh leads the team, and all rookies
in the NFL, with 6.5 sacks on the season, tied for eighth in
the league. He is the leading candidate for Defensive ROY.
- The season is officially over for Giants DE tweener Mathias
Kiwanuka. He was placed on the IR last week. He will try
to rest for his herniated disc to avoid surgery, but if he eventually
needs surgery, the longer he waits could impact his start to
the 2011 season. He is a free agent after this year, so someone
will potentially get a bargain, probably the Giants on a one-year
contract. The team claimed tweener Alex
Hall off waivers to fill the roster spot. Hall, who has
shown potential as a pass rusher with his hand off the ground,
could fill the role at SLB in their ďbig baseĒ package that
Kiwanuka thrived in.
- After leading the league in sacks with 48 last year, Minnesota
is tied for last in the league with 6 almost halfway through
this season. They have gone three weeks without a sack. In this
column the first week of the dry spell, I tried to rationalize
their already disappointing output with the impact of the injuries
in the secondary and the mindset of DE Ray
Edwards. While those reasons still apply, this is now a
team in full-blown turmoil and itís time to revisit expectations
for a turnaround up front. On the downside, the offense remains
in shambles, with QB Brett Favre struggling and now the Randy
Moss debacle. They also are still thin at corner with Cedric
Griffin done for the season. On the other hand, in the next
four games, they face the top three teams in sacks allowed this
season and three more teams in the top third of the league in
the final five games, including getting Chicago twice, who far
and away lead the league in sacks allowed. Compare that to in
their seven games so far this season, six of the teams they
have played are in the bottom third of the league in sacks allowed.
Iíd definitely buy low on DE Jared
Allen and his one sack so far this season. He is capable
of reaching double-digit sacks in nine games. However, heís
going to need help in drawing away double-teams. UT Kevin
Williams still requires attention, but NT Pat
Williams is playing on empty and itís time to give Jimmy
Kennedy and Letroy
Guion, whoíve shown potential in limited opportunities,
more work. Iím not as confident in Edwards bouncing back and
it may be time to give Brian
Robison and rookie Everson
Griffen more snaps in passing sets. And if they still arenít
getting it done up front, look for DC Leslie Frazier to bring
it with the blitz. He has been hesitant to sacrifice support
with the problems at corner, but he may have to take more chances
to try and get some pressure, making their linebackers the beneficiaries
of more sack opportunities.
- After missing the previous game with a calf injury, Green
Bay DE Cullen
Jenkins started and saw his normal amount of work in contributing
to Sundayís shut out of the Jets, but posted just one assist
and one pass defensed. On the other side, DE Ryan
Pickett was inactive after aggravating an ankle sprain in
their previous game. Rookie C.J.
Wilson replaced him and had another solid performance with
3 tackles (1 solo). The team added Howard
Green for depth last week with their DLine banged up and
he saw immediate work, posting 2 tackles (1 solo).
- Expected to have a breakout season when he inherited the
starting RDE job this season, Tampa Bay DE Greg
White, the sack artist formerly known as Greg, had a disappointing
start to the season. However, after just one sack in the first
5 games of the season, he now put up sacks in back-to-back games.
He also forced his second fumble of the season.
- Cincinnati DE Jonathan
Fanene aggravated his injured hamstring and could be done
for the season. DE Frostee
Rucker had another uninspiring start at RDE. Rookie Carlos
Dunlap saw more work than Michael
Johnson again this week as the reserve ends. The result
was no sacks for the second straight week. As I said in this
column last week, stay away from this mess.
- Already without LDE Aaron
Smith, who partially tore his left biceps in the previous
game, Pittsburgh also missed their other end, Brett
Keisel, out for the second straight game with a hamstring.
Eason replaced Keisel and former first-round pick Evander
Hood replaced Smith. Keisel thought he was going to be able
to this past week, so expect him back this week. The team DL
Steve McClendon for depth last week with both ends out and had
to cut rookie fourth-round pick OLB Thaddeus
Gibson to make room as they try to protect Smithís roster
spot. HC Mike Tomlin indicated theyíll wait and see about Smith
after his surgery on Monday. He was given an 8-9 week recovery,
which could have him back for the start of the playoffs. Ideally
theyíd like to have the experienced run-stopper back for the
playoffs, but it remains to be see how long they can afford
to keep his roster spot open. Smithís injury was almost a year
to the date after tearing his right rotator cuff to end his
season and late in 2007 he tore his right biceps. Smith is signed
through next season, but turns 35 before the season starts and
has now missed significant time in 3 of the last 4 seasons.
He could be done as a Steeler if Ziggy Hood can take advantage
of the opportunity. The 2009 first-round pick has not made much
of an impact in limited opportunities, but he has worked mostly
at LDE in preparation to eventually replace Smith and needs
to step or he might not be the long-term solution.
- Washington DT Albert
Haynesworth followed up a strong performance in the previous
game with his most productive performance of the season. Playing
primarily a situational pass rushing role in their nickel and
dime packages, he had 4 solo tackles, including the teamís only
sack of the game. It was his second sack of the season and came
for the second consecutive game.
- St. Louis DE James
Hall broke his hand on Sunday, but continued playing. The
team is on a bye this week, so expect Hall back with a cast
in Week Ten.
- New Orleans DE Will
Smith had a sack and shared another with S Pierson
Prioleau. It was the first time Smith had gotten to the
QB since Week Three. Smith now has 2.5 sacks through seven games
after a career high 13 sacks last season.
- Seattle lost DE Red
Bryant the season after he suffered a right knee injury
on Sunday. He hasnít been much of a fantasy producer, but the
converted DT has been an outstanding run-stopper since Carroll
blew up his front four in the offseason and moved Bryant to
LDE. Former first-round pick Kentwaan Balmer, who San Francisco
gave up on this year, is expected to take over at LDE. DT Colin
Cole also suffered an ankle sprain in the game and his status
is TBD. The team hopes to get DT Brandon Mebane back this week
after heís missed three straight games with a calf injury.
- Philadelphia comes off the bye looking to start former UDFA
DT Antonio Dixon next to Mike
Patterson although DT Brodrick
Bunkley, who has a torn elbow ligament, is being eased back
in to practice and could play this week.
- Buffalo DT Kyle
Williams was shredding the Kansas City interior line on
Sunday, racking up 2 sacks and a handful of other pressures.
Edwards had another strong game with 6 tackles (4 solo).
Maybin was a healthy scratch for the second consecutive
- Kansas City DE Wallace
Gilberry got his first career start, replacing Tyson
Jackson, and posted 5 tackles (4 solo), including his third
sack of the season. Gilberry had been rotating in as a pass
rush specialist for Jackson, but as Jackson has fallen behind
since his knee injury, Gilberry appears to be the beneficiary.
An undrafted free agent out of Alabama in 2008, the tweener
has shown the ability to get to the QB in limited opportunities.
- Tampa Bay placed second-round rookie DT Brian
Price on the IR. He has been out for a few weeks with a
hip injury, now heís done for the season.
- Teams allowing the most sacks this season (start your pass
rushers against them):
1. Chicago (31)
2. Washington (23)
3. Arizona, Oakland, Seattle (22)
6. Carolina, Denver, Philadelphia, San Diego (21)
- Top waiver wire recommendations of
the week: As discussed above, Greg
White is heating up and could be one of the few players
with pass rush potential on the wire in medium-to-deep redraft
leagues. Particularly in dynasty leagues, Austen
Laneís stock rises with the opportunity, although it might
Mincey in a few weeks.
- Instant impact Ė ILB Gerald Hayes played for the first
time this season, fresh off the PUP due to back surgery over
the summer, and returned a fumble 21 yards for a TD. While rookie
Daryl Washington started, PT for Hayes came more at his expense
than Paris Lenon. Hayes also had 5 tackles (3 solo, including
one TFL) and Washington had 3 tackles (2 solo). Lenon had 5
tackles (3 solo) and forced the fumble Hayes returned. With
Arizona starting to drift out of playoff contention, there no
longer seems to be a reason to stunt Washingtonís development
and keep Lenon in there. It may be a mess for another week or
two, but Iíd expect Hayes to be back starting in his SILB
role soon and Washington starting at WILB, with Lenon in a situational
role. Rookie OLB OíBrien Schofield was also activated
off the PUP, but was limited to special teams. Alex Hall was
released to help make room on the roster for the returning OLBs.
A disappointing pass rush had some success on Sunday, with starting
OLBs Joey Porter and Will Davis each getting a sack. It is back-to-back
games with a sack for Porter, but just his third of the season.
It was the first sack of the season for Davis in his first career
start, as Clark Haggans was inactive with a groin injury. Davis
hadnít been producing as a pass rush specialist, but as
a starter, in addition to the sack, he had 4 other solo tackles.
- Detroit MLB DeAndre Levy was finally back from groin and
ankle injuries, starting for just the second time this year
and posting 4 solo tackles in the middle. However, the team
lost another LB last week as Zack Follett (neck) was placed
on the injured reserve. Ashlee Palmer takes over WLB in place
of Follett and had 4 solo tackles on Sunday. The team added
Bobby Carpenter for depth. After extremely disappointing performances
in St. Louis and Miami already this year, I donít expect
Carpenter to compete for more than special teams work.
- ILB Desmond Bishop put up his fourth straight double-digit
tackle game, leading the team with 10 solo in their shutout
of the Jets. Next to him, A.J. Hawk saw his numbers dip a bit
with Brandon Chillar seeing more work. Hawk had 5 tackles (3
solo) and broke up a pass, while Chillar had 2 solo, including
a sack. OLB Clay Matthews extended his league lead in sacks
with number 9.5 on the season. On the other side, UDFA rookie
Frank Zombo returned to the starting lineup after putting Brad
Jones on the IR with a right shoulder injury last week. Itís
the second straight week the team has lost an OLB for the season,
with Brady Poppinga going previously. The team added OLB tweener
Erik Walden off the street for depth and he made an immediate
impact, getting 2 solo tackles on defense and another on special
teams. A sixth-round pick of Dallas in 2008, he didnít
make their final preseason cut before getting a cup of coffee
in Kansas City and then getting his longest stint in Miami.
Heís been almost exclusively a special teams player, but
with the depth problems at OLB, he looks a good bet to stick
this week despite the team having to make some tough decisions
with a slew of PUP activations hitting their roster.
- With his fourth consecutive double-digit tackle game, and
fifth in seven games this season, New England ILB Jerod Mayo
retained the league lead in tackles. He led the team with 14
(7 solo) on Sunday. He now has 86 on the season, an average
of over 12 per game, and is on pace for an incredible 195 this
season. As discussed in this column the last two weeks, it continues
to be a pretty straight platoon next to Mayo with rookie Brandon
Spikes starting and the run-stopper and Gary Guyton in there
against the pass. Fearing Minnesota RB Adrian Peterson more
than QB Brett Favre, a heavy dose Spike resulted in 7 tackles
(5 solo) for him. The Pats travel to Cleveland this week and
with RB Peyton Hillis their only threat on offense, expect plenty
of Spikes again on Sunday.
- Washington ILB Rocky McIntosh led the team with 9 tackles
(7 solo). He is on pace to shatter his highest single-season
tackle total with well over 100 tackles this season. ILB London
Fletcher had just 4 tackles (3 solo), but broke up a pair of
passes and recovered a fumble. He remains among the top ten
in tackles in the league. OLB Brian Orakpo missed a series with
an apparent left ankle or foot injury in the first quarter,
but returned. He injured the same foot last week.
- The move MLB didnít for Brian Cushing in Houston didnít
net big results on MNF. Cushing had 5 tackles (2 solo) and a
pass defense. Those who rushed out to grab WLB Zac Diles when
it was originally announced he would be the new Mike hopefully
got some residual benefit if they started him anyway since he
led the team with 11 tackles (10 solo), including a TFL. New
SLB Kevin Bentley had just a solo tackle, as Indianapolis dominated
time of possession and Houston played a lot of nickel against
the Colts three-wide set.
- Indianapolis MLB Gary Brackett returned to the starting lineup
from a groin injury and led the team with 9 tackles (7 solo).
WLB Clint Session had 8 solo tackles, including annihilating
Houston QB Matt Schaub on a sack in the second quarter. Session
left the game shortly after with a left arm injury, but would
return the next series. At SLB, Philip Wheeler was demoted in
favor of rookie second-round pick Pat Angerer, after his impressive
showing filling in for Brackett. Angerer had 4 tackles (4 solo)
and forced a fumble.
- Atlanta rookie SLB Sean Weatherspoon did not practice Monday
coming off the bye, so he looks questionable this week. He has
missed the last two games after injuring his left knee in Week
Five. Stephen Nicholas will get the start again if Weatherspoon
canít go, perhaps even if heís active but fully
healthy. Nicholas had played well and the team likely has no
reservations with either starting.
- Itís been a few weeks since Carolina SLB James Anderson
has gotten love for his breakout season. After posting double-digit
tackles in three of his first four games, he cooled off a bit,
but still hasnít had less than 7 tackles in any game.
On Sunday he had 8 solo tackles, including a sack, and now has
already set single-season highs for himself in both categories
with 68 tackles on the season, still among the top ten in the
league, and 2.5 sacks. The team placed reserve LB Jamar Williams
on the IR with a spinal concussion, pretty much locking in Dan
Connor in the middle and Jon Beason at WLB for the rest of the
season, not that they were considering changing anything up
regardless. Beason has been hurt by the move, with his numbers
down across the board. He has yet to get a sack, force a fumble
or grab a pick this season.
- Pittsburgh ILB Lawrence Timmons has had at least 11 tackles
in five of the teamís seven games this season and is tied
for fourth in the league with 74 this season. OLB LaMarr Woodley
played through a sore hamstring and had 2 solo tackles, a fumble
recovery and a QB hit.
- The move to WLB produced great results just couple weeks
in for Paul Posluszny in Buffaloís OT loss. Posluszny
had a career-high 18 tackles (11 solo), including sharing a
sack with DE Marcus Stroud. MLB Andra Davis had just 3 tackles
(2 solo), but the Bills played a lot of nickel, which bumps
Davis and features Posluszny and Reggie Tobor at the LBs.
- San Diego OLB Shawne Merriman was waived after previously
being placed on the IR. Heíll go through waivers on Wednesday
and be a free agent if no one selects him. Pretty much any 3-4
team has been reported as potentially interested.
- Miami ILB Channing Crowder played through a dislocated right
thumb and should play this week with a cast/club on the arm.
- St. Louis bumped Larry Grant from the starting lineup in
favor of Bryan Kehl at WLB. Kehl, who saw some spot starts with
the Giants earlier in his career, posted 3 tackles (2 solo).
- San Francisco claimed OLB Thaddeus Gibson off waivers when
Pittsburgh was forced to release him to address their injuries
on the DLine. A surprise early departure from Ohio State, Gibson
was a talented, but raw, tweener prospect when drafted in the
fourth-round this year. He becomes another LB project for HC
Mike Singletary, who has gotten modest results with his last
one, Ahmad Brooks, and might not be around much longer to tutor
- Tennessee had plenty of opportunities for tackles as San
Diego dominated the time of possession on Sunday. OLBs Gerald
McRath (10 solo) and Will Witherspoon (6 solo) each had 10 tackles,
while MLB Stephen Tulloch had 8 (4 solo). Tulloch is now second
in the league in tackles with 79 on the season. OLB David Thornton
is expected to begin practicing over the bye and must come off
the PUP by Monday, but McRath has played well since his four-game
suspension to start the season and shouldnít surrender
his starting role.
- Top waiver wire recommendations of
the week: It wasnít an impressive return for MLB DeAndre
Levy, but if heís out there in any medium-to-deep leagues, he
could pay dividends shortly. I also like Ashlee Palmer as the
new WLB with Zack Follett done for the year. All Indianapolis
linebackers had a great showing this week, with Clint Session
and Gary Brackett possibly available due to their bye the previous
week, and Brackett as he missed a few games. New SLB Pat Angerer
is more appealing to dynasty leagues, but also might be a decent
guy in very deep redrafts. With a bye this past week, Scott
Fujita might be out there and he was on the rise before
- It was a rough second half for Oakland CB Nnamdi Asomugha
on Sunday. He left the game in the third quarter with a hand
injury, then returned only to painfully sprain his right ankle
in the fourth quarter and have to be assisted off the field.
Versatile FS Michael Huff slid over to corner and seventh-round
pick Stevie Brown took over for Huff when Asomugha left because
nickel CB Chris Johnson was inactive with a concussion. Huff
had a pick negated due to illegal contact on the play by Stanford
Routt, who also had pass interference call in the game. However,
Routt did help the right team when he deflected a pass that
landed in the hands of SS Tyvon Branch for just his second career
interception, and first of the season. Branch also led the team
with 8 tackles (3 solo), including his second sack of the season.
With the improvement in the front seven, tackle numbers are
down for Branch this year after his breakout season last year,
but he remains on pace to eclipse 100 tackles and is still one
of the top-producing defensive backs. Johnson would be the replacement
if Asomugha is out this week, but if Johnson isnít ready
to go, Huff would start at corner, with seventh-round pick Jeremy
Ware playing the nickel again this week. There were reports
Asomugha has a high ankle sprain, in which case he could miss
more than a week, but HC Tom Cable said he could play this week.
It is a huge game for the Raiders against Kansas City for control
of the division, but with a bye for Oakland the following week,
it would make sense to rest Asomugha this week. It looks like
Brown has passed Hiram Eugene on the depth chart, so he could
start at FS, despite among the final cuts for the 53-man roster
to start the season and resigning later. Another possibility
is Mike Mitchell starting at SS and Branch moving to FS, but
the team has been quite happy with the production of Mitchell
as their nickel LB lately. Since reserve LB Thomas Howard went
down with a knee injury in Week 4, Mitchell has been extremely
productive in a hybrid role. Augmented by his special teams
contributions, over the last four weeks heís averaged
4 tackles per game, broken up a pass in each game, and has a
- The encore for Washington CB DeAngelo Hall after his record
4 picks in one game the previous week was to tie his career
season high in interceptions with his league-leading sixth pick
of the season. He broke up another pass and had 6 tackles 4
solo) as his monster fantasy season continues. SS LaRon Landry
had 8 tackles (7 solo), including 2 for a loss. He remains third
in the league with 76 tackles this season. He also broke up
2 passes, but is relegated to being the ďotherĒ
fantasy stud DB in the lineup while Hall is hot.
- Typical HC Bill Belichick shenanigans with New England SS
Patrick Chung last week. After Chung left their previous game
limping off the field and didnít return, there was an
unconfirmed local report that heíd miss a game or two.
I warned in this column last week Chung would be a highly risky
play if he showed up on the injury report, which he eventually
would as questionable. However, after returning to practice
late last week, most outlets were reporting he was expected
to play. Chung ended up inactive. Proceed with caution if he
is on the injury report again this week. I expect Belichick
is more concerned with having a fully healthy Chung in Pittsburgh
in two weeks then he is to have him in Cleveland this week.
- Despite CB Johnathan Joseph (ankle) returning to practice
last week, he was inactive again on Sunday. Morgan Trent, battling
his own PCL strain in his knee that limited him in practice
last week, got his first career start in place of Joseph and
was the star of the defense. He led the team with 11 tackles
(9 solo) and grabbed his first career pick that set up a TD.
Despite not practicing most of last week either, CB Leon Hall
started on a sore hamstring. Already replacing SS Roy Williams,
who missed his third straight game with an MCL sprain in his
knee, Chinedum Ndukwe was inactive with his own knee issue.
Reggie Nelson got his first start as a Bengal at SS. Disappointing
was the lack of use by rookie Brandon Ghee, the only healthy
corner on the roster. Instead of getting a shot at nickel, the
team primarily relied on FS Chris Crocker in the slot and gave
Tom Nelson some work at FS.
- Neither S Atari Bigby (ankle) nor CB Al Harris (knee) were
activated from the PUP last week, despite expectations both
would be. Charlie Peprah, who has been playing well, remains
the SS and rookie Sam Shields the nickel corner. Peprah had
4 solo tackles and broke up 2 passes, while Shields had a solo.
The reports again this week are Bigby and Harris will be activated,
although the team has until Monday. At best, Bigby is looking
at sharing the role with Peprah and Harris is expected to be
the nickel. Both corners Tramon Williams and Charles Woodson
had a pick.
- Hall of Famer Russ Grimm, the assistant HC for Arizona, finally
got to see his son, Tampa Bay FS Cody Grimm, play in person
as a pro. Unfortunately, it was on the other side of the field.
He saw Cody lead the Bucs in tackles with 8 (4 solo) in contributing
to the win. In the five games since taking over the starting
job, Cody has average 7 tackles per game and has 2 picks, one
returned for a TD, and forced a fumble. CB Aqib Talib exploited
the Cards brutal QB situation, grabbing 2 picks to run his total
to 5 on the season, second most in the league. The third-year
corner is turning in to one of the better ball hawks in the
league. Despite a hamstring injury limiting him late last season,
he has 10 picks in his last 19 games. He is gold in leagues
that value interceptions heavily, as long as he keeps out of
- Vikings SS Husain Abdullah returned to the starting lineup
after missing the previous game due to a concussion. Tyrell
Johnson returned to his backup role. Rookie nickel CB Chris
Cook left the game early with a thigh contusion. He was benched
last week for performance and has been a disappointment since
getting healthy in a year where he has had a tremendous opportunity.
Forget about starting, Asher Allen remains the starter opposite
Antoine Winfield, Cook needs to worry about losing time in the
nickel to journeyman Frank Walker.
- Despite reports that expected the contrary, Miami CB Jason
Allen reclaimed his starting role from CB Sean Smith. However,
Smith grabbed his first career pick late in the fourth to preserve
the victory. This situation is influx, making neither a good
- Denver got starters SS Brian Dawkins (strained knee ligament)
and CB Andre Goodman (hamstring) back in London, but were without
key reserves rookie CB Perrish Cox (concussion) and S Darcel
- Despite returning to practice last week, Buffalo CB Terrence
McGee missed his fourth straight game with a pinched nerve in
his left leg. HC Chan Gailey has said he expects him back this
- SS James Butler suffered an ankle sprain on Sunday, with
unconfirmed reports it could be of the high variety, meaning
heíd miss a few weeks. The Rams have a bye this week,
so look for more information next week. Butler has been sharing
the starting role with Craig Dahl, after Dahl originally won
the role out of camp. Both have battled some injury problems,
as well as FS Oshiomogho Atogwe, who missed a start with a thigh
injury, so none have been particularly productive. Last week
the team added Michael Lewis who quit/was cut by San Francisco
a couple weeks ago after losing his starting position. Lewis
was not active on Sunday, but could push for a significant role,
at least in run defense, especially if Butler misses some time.
Lewis has a relationship with HC Steve Spagnuolo that dates
back to when he was drafted by Philadelphia and Spagnuolo was
the DB coach. For Atogwe, it has been a slow start to the season
coming off major shoulder surgery and then the aforementioned
lingering thigh problem, but he is starting to show the playmaking
ability that used to make him one of the top fantasy DBs. He
had a sack and pick on Sunday, giving him both of his interceptions
for the year in the last three games. Banged-up St. Louis CB
Ronald Bartell had a shoulder stinger and thigh problem, but
played Sunday. Kevin Dockery got the start instead of Bartell,
but Bartell was the most productive corner. Bartell should be
better after the bye this week.
- Dallas CB Terence Newman started despite a rib muscle strain,
but couldnít finish on Sunday. He left in the third quarter
and was replaced by Orlando Scandrick. He looks questionable
for this week. Newmanís injury contributed to the big
day by Jacksonville WR Mike Sims-Walker.
- Despite CB Jabari Greer (shoulder) and Tracy Porter (knee)
returning to practice on a limited basis last week, New Orleans
was without their top two corners for another week (top three
corners for the season now, with Randall Gay on the IR). To
compensate, the team moved FS Malcolm Jenkins back to corner,
where he started opposite rookie Patrick Robinson with Leigh
Torrence at the nickel. The situation got worse during the game
when Robinson sprained his right ankle in the first quarter
and didnít return. Torrence move over, with Usama Young,
Darren Sharper, and Pierson Prioleau working the nickel and
FS. The recent return of Sharper from the PUP helped facilitate
the move, although it was Young who got the start at FS. However,
Sharper saw more work this week, especially with Robinson out
early, and was back to his playmaking ways. With just a three-point
lead in the fourth quarter, a fumble bounced right in to the
hands of Sharper that he returned near mid-field. The Saints
would score a TD on the subsequent drive and clinch the win.
- In the last three games since resuming the starting SS role,
Courtney Greene has averaged 8 tackles (6 solo). Don Carey,
who spent his rookie season on the IR last year, has taken over
the FS job, giving the Jaguars some youth and energy in a defensive
backfield, but still not much quality pass defense.
- Indianapolis corners Jerraud Powers (feet) and Jacob Lacey
(foot) were both inactive, giving Justin Tryon another start
in place of Powers opposite Kelvin Hayden.
- Dimitri Patterson returned from the bye week to find out
he was the new starting RCB in Philadelphia CB, replacing Ellis
Hobbs, who was torched by Tennessee WR Kenny Britt in Week Seven.
An undisclosed injury may have contributed to the poor play
by Hobbs, as he didnít practice Monday and instead was
reportedly seeing a doctor for unspecified tests. Further connecting
the dots, the Eagles brought in street free agent corners Fred
Bennett and Joe Burnett for workouts on Tuesday, although neither
- Detroit SS C.C. Brown left early Sunday with a right knee
injury. He had an MRI and said he wonít need surgery,
but it looks like heís out at least this week. Rookie
Amari Spievey, a converted college corner, would replace him.
- After four straight games with a pick, Tennessee FS Michael
Griffin didnít one against San Diego and missed tying
the franchise record.
- Picking up right where he left off any time heís healthy,
Baltimore FS Ed Reed stepped right off the PUP and in to the
starting lineup to grab a pair of picks and force a fumble.
He also had 4 solo tackles and was the only bright side in pass
defense for a secondary that was surprisingly torched by Buffalo
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. CB Fabian Washington was benched for Josh
Wilson in a move that could remain after their bye this week.
- San Diego SS Steve Gregory is done with his four-game suspension
for a banned substance and returned to practice. The team has
to activate him by Saturday to play this week, and is expected
to do so, otherwise heíll be activated on Monday. Paul
Oliver has played well in his absence, so returning to a starting
role isnít assumed. Watch for updates this week.
- George Wilson got the start at FS in Buffalo over Jairus
Byrd to shore up the leagueís worst run defense and counter
the strong run game of Kansas City. The two split time and cannibalized
each otherís stats, while SS Donte Whitner had 10 tackles
(6 solo). Look for plenty of Byrd against the pass-first Bears
this week and for the 2009 league leader in interceptions to
finally get one with pick-machine Chicago QB Jay Cutler coming
- Top waiver wire recommendations of
the week: Ed Reed might still be out there and coming
off a bye and people may have forgotten his 2 picks and forced
fumble, but you shouldnít if heís still on the waiver wire.
In tackle-heavy leagues, Courtney Greene is intriguing again
now back as a starter. Amari Spievey is appealing against a
run-heavy Jets team if C.C. Brown is out.