| Early Game
Alert: Eagles @ Seahawks, Thursday 8:20 PM ET
- DET DT Ndamukong Suh was ejected on Thursday for stomping
on the arm GB RG Evan Dietrich-Smith as the two untangled, after
Suh shoving his head in the ground in the pile. Suh showed zero
contrition for the act in his statements after the game and
while the team has denounced his behavior publically, they didn't
impose any punishment. However, the NFL suspended him two games
for this unfortunate incident in their showcase Thanksgiving
game. The severity of the discipline, the multi-game ban, likely
was impacted by Suh being a repeat offender - his 9 personal
fouls since last year leads the league. He is expected to appeal
the decision to try to be eligible to face the Saints this week,
but expect the suspension to stand. The incredible lack of maturity
he displays in taking responsibility for his actions, much less
the recitative behavior itself, should be a bit alarming to
dynasty owners. DE Cliff Avril had his seventh sack of the season
and is 1.5 off his career high, set last year. He leads the
team in sacks on the season.
- MIN DE Jared Allen went sackless for the second straight
game and remains second in the league with 13.5 on the season.
He remains DT Kevin Williams made it back-to-back games with
a sack, his second of the year.
- DEN DE Elvis
Dumervil and rookie SLB Von
Miller continue to propel the defense, which has been the
underappreciated reason for the team's recent success in the
shadow of the Tim Tebow Story. Dumervil had 5 tackles (3 solo)
and a pair of sacks. He is up to 5.5 on the season, all in the
last four games. Miller continued to lock up Defensive Rookie
of the Year, posting 10 tackles (8 solo), 2 TFL, breaking up
a pass and getting another sack. He is up 10.5 sacks on the
season, tied for third in the league.
- BAL DE Terrell Suggs had a Thanksgiving feast of SF QB Alex
Smith. He had 3 sacks, forcing a fumble on one, and 3 QB hits.
It was his second three-sack performance of the year, doing
the same in the season opener. He leads the team with 9 sacks
on the season. The whole defense brought relentless pressure,
with DL Cory Redding (2.5) and DL Haloti Ngata (2) also putting
up multi-sack games. Ngata has 5, half a sack behind the career
high he set last year, and Redding has 3.5 on the season.
- CHI DE Julius
Peppers did his best to propel the team to victory without
QB Jay Cutler. Peppers had 5 solo tackles, 3 TFL, 3 QB hits
and a pair of sacks. He leads the team with 8 sacks on the season.
Melton and back up DT Amobi
Okoye each had a sack, their fifth and fourth, respectively,
of the season for the impressive interior pass rushing duo.
- ATL reserve DE Lawrence Sidbury had a pair of sacks, tying
him for the team lead with DE John Abraham at four on the season.
With Abraham and LDE Ray Edwards struggling to get to the QB,
Sidbury, Abraham's back up, could get more opportunities.
- CAR DE Charles Johnson got to the QB for the first time since
Week 8. He shared a sack with DT3 Andre Neblett, who has all
1.5 sacks in the last three games since he's been give more
snaps. Johnson leads the team with 7.5 sacks on the season.
- IND ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis each had a sack
and share the team lead with 5.5 this season. It makes back-to-back
games for Mathis, but the first time since Week 5 that Freeney
got to the QB.
- CIN reserve DE Carlos Dunlap was inactive again after aggravating
a lingering hamstring injury. He has missed two of the last
three games with it. DT Geno Atkins had a sack for the third
straight games and leads the team with 6.5 on the season. LDE
Robert Geathers also had a sack. He has 2.5 on the season, all
in the last three games. DT3 Pat Sims left in the third quarter
after rolling his left ankle.
- HOU DE J.J. Watt had a pair of sacks as the front seven racked
up seven sacks against the Jaguars. The rookie has 4.5 on the
- GB DL B.J. Raji didn't get back in the end zone on Thanksgiving,
but he did have their only sack. He has three on the season.
- CLE DE Emmanuel Stephens just replaced Jayme Mitchell as
starting RDE in the previous game, then suffered a pec injury
on Sunday and is now done for the season. Mitchell was a scratch
for the second time in the last three games as he's also battling
an ankle injury, so Brain Schaefering replaced Stephens. Mitchell
should resume his starting role when healthy. On the other side,
rookie DE Jabaal Sheard had a strong performance, beating CIN
former first-round pick RT Andre Smith regularly. Sheard posted
4 solo tackles and forced a fumble on a sack. He leads the team
with 4.5 sacks on the season.
- A decimated JAX defense was without NT Terrance Knighton,
who missed his third game with an ankle injury, and two of their
top three ends. LDE Matt Roth was inactive after suffering a
concussion in the previous game and third DE Aaron Kampman missed
his third straight game with a hamstring. In place of Roth,
DL Leger Douzable got the start, instead of former CFL star
John Chick, opposite RDE Jeremy Mincey. Chick worked as the
third DE. DT C.J. Mosley continued to replace Knighton inside.
- STL DE Chris Long and rookie DE3 Robert Quinn keep on rolling.
Long reached double-digit sacks for the first time in his career
with his team-leading tenth sack. He has had at least one for
five straight game and seven total in that span. Quinn has sacks
in back-to-back games and is up to five on the season.
- TB rookie DE Adrian Clayborn made it back-to-back games with
sacks as he got his team-leading fifth sack of the season, the
only one for the team on Sunday. On the other side, fellow rookie
DE Da'Quan Bowers got his first career start with Michael Bennett
inactive and expected to miss a couple weeks with a groin injury.
Bowers had a solo tackle and a QB hit, but is still looking
for his first sack in the NFL. Tim Crowder split time with him
and was more productive. DT Brian Price was carted off the field
with an ankle injury late in the second quarter. Roy Miller
and John McCargo saw more work with Price out. Price says he
expects to play this week.
- TEN DE Dave Ball returned after missing the previous two
games with a concussion and had the team's only two sacks on
Sunday. DE Derrick Morgan remained the starter opposite Jason
Jones despite Ball's return, but Ball got his production mostly
at the expense of Morgan, who was playing on a sore ankle and
continues to disappoint.
- OAK DT Richard Seymour played through a sore knee and had
his sixth sack of the season, the most he's had in three seasons
as a Raider.
- WAS DE Stephen Bowen shared a sack on Sunday, giving him
five on the season, a new career best, but he also suffered
a slight PCL tear in his knee. He sounds doubtful to play this
week, but should be back this season.
- KC DE Glenn Dorsey returned after missing the previous game
with a knee injury. He had 3 solo tackles.
- NO DE Will Smith had 5 tackles (4 solo) and the team's only
sack, on which he forced a fumble. He leads the team with 5.5
sacks this season. The team opened the game in a 3-4 look on
MNF and used it quite frequently, with Smith and rookie DE Cameron
Jordan at the ends and DT Sedrick Ellis on the nose to start,
with Aubrayo Franklin, who has a lot of experience in the role,
- NYG third DE Osi Umenyiora rolled his ankle in the second
quarter and although he was indicated as probable to return,
he never did. Reports are he had another MRI on Tuesday and
will miss some time with the injury. Third DE Jason Pierre-Paul,
who was held without at least a partial sack in a game for just
the third time this season, will take over at RDE. The team
had no sacks in the game. JPP is tied for third in the league
with 10.5 sacks on the season. LDE Justin Tuck also tweaked
his left ankle in the game, but said he is fine. He had 4 solo
tackles and 2 QB hits, but his production continues to disappoint
as he has battled neck and groin problems most of the season.
- Waiver Wire Recommendations:
Indy ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis haven't been the
reliable sack producers they have been in the past, which has
left both alternating on-and-off of waiver wires in standard
redraft leagues, but both still bring pressure and showed it
on Sunday. I like the match up this week against the tall tackles
on the Patriots and either might pay off on a gamble. STL rookie
DE Robert Quinn has been getting to the QB more consistently,
appealing only for sack-heavy leagues with his limited role,
and could be available in shallow redraft leagues.
- BAL MLB Ray Lewis missed his second straight game on Thanksgiving
with a toe injury. He remains very questionable again this week.
The team was also without his back up, Dannell Ellerbe, who
was inactive with a hamstring. Rookie UDFA Albert McClellan
got his first career start in place of Lewis and posted 4 tackles
(2 solo), splitting time with Brendon Ayanbadejo, who had 4
solo tackles. WLB Jameel McClain stepped up again with Lewis
out, sharing the team lead in tackles for the second straight
game, putting up 8 (3 solo).
- TEN MLB Barrett Ruud was inactive after aggravated a groin
in the previous game. Once again rookie Colin McCarthy replaced
him and once again McCarthy impressed. He led the team with
10 tackles (7 solo), making back-to-back game with double-digit
tackles, and grabbed his first career pick. As discussed in
this column last week, it would not be a surprise if McCarthy
holds on to the job the rest of the season. He handled play
calling duties on Sunday and even stayed in the nickel package,
along with fellow rookie SLB Akeem Ayers, making it veteran
WLB Will Witherspoon who was bumped in pass packages.
- SF ILBs Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman led the team with
8 tackles (4 solo). Both remain among the top ten in the league
- GB OLB Erik Walden was arrested early Friday morning on suspicion
of felony domestic assault, allegedly on his live-in girlfriend.
With OLB Frank Zombo continuing to be inactive with a lingering
hamstring, Walden has been a regular most of the season and
started on Thanksgiving. He led the team in tackles with 8 (5
solo) and had 2 QB hits. He has 3 sacks on the season. His status
for this week remains unclear. The league won't take action
until the legal process has run its course, but the team could
still hold him back. The team lost both inside linebackers to
calf injuries during the game. Desmond Bishop left late in the
first quarter and was replaced by sixth-round pick D.J. Smith.
Smith had 6 tackles (5 solo, including 1 on special teams).
A.J. Hawk left in the second quarter and was replaced by Rob
Francois, who had 3 solo tackles and a fantastic leap for his
first career INT in the third quarter. Francois, a former UDFA
whose previous claim to fame was being the player released as
a rookie by the Vikings to make room for QB Brett Favre in 2009,
had a very good preseason. The Packers have a long week for
the duo to heal, but Bishop's injury sounds like the more serious
of the two and the one whose next appearance is in the most
jeopardy. OLB Clay Matthews grabbed his first pick of the season
on a diving grab of a pass tipped by DL Ryan Pickett to set
up the first score of the game. He also had 4 tackles (3 solo)
and a QB hit.
- DET SLB Justin Durant had one of the few defensive highlights
for the team on Thursday with his first sack of the season on
a nice pursuit of GB QB Aaron Rodgers. There were few tackles
opportunities up front facing a pass-heavy attack from the Packers.
Durant (1 solo), MLB Stephen Tulloch (3 solo) and WLB DeAndre
Levy (1 solo) all had just 3 tackles each.
- MIA ILB Kevin Burnett led the team with 12 tackles (11 solo),
his third double-digit tackle game of the season. ILB Karlos
Dansby had just 2 solo tackles as he was used as a pass rusher
frequently, getting 3 QB hits. OLB Cameron Wake got his first
solo sack since Week 7. He leads the team with 6.5 on the season.
- In his third game back from a dislocated wrist, still playing
with a cast, DAL ILB Sean Lee got his first sack of the season
and had 7 tackles (5 solo). OLB DeMarcus Ware failed to build
on the league lead in sacks he took over in the previous game
with 14 on the season. He didn't get to the QB and had only
one assist, but did recover a fumble. On the other side, OLB
Anthony Spencer had a day on Thanksgiving, leading the team
with 8 tackles (6 solo) and 3 TFL. Reserve OLB Victor Butler
continues to flash his potential as a pass rusher. The converted
collegiate DE has had sacks in back-to-back games and now has
3 on the season.
- MIN SLB Chad Greenway had another huge tackle performance,
leading the team with 16 (7 solo). He has four double-digit
tackle games on the season, all in the last five games and is
up to third in the league with 104 tackles on the season. MLB
E.J. Henderson had his second double-digit tackle game of the
season, his first since Week 3. He posted 12 tackles (9 solo).
WLB Erin Henderson was eased back in after missing the previous
game with a hamstring injury. He had 2 tackles (1 solo).
- IND MLB Pat Angerer had 7 tackles (3 solo) for the second
straight game and still leads the league with 112 tackles on
the season, but his lead has been eroded significantly the last
few games. He also had his first sack of the season and a couple
- ATL WLB Sean Weatherspoon led the team in tackles with 10
(7 solo), his sixth double-digit tackle game, and got his third
sack of the season. Finally healthy in his sophomore year, the
former first-round pick is having a breakout year. MLB Curtis
Lofton had 9 tackles (2 solo) and broke up a pass. He broke
triple digits on tackles for the third consecutive season and
leads the team with exactly 100 on the year. Lofton is tied
for fifth in the league in tackles on the season and Weatherspoon
is sitting just outside the top ten. SLB Stephen Nicholas left
the game in the third quarter with a shoulder injury. Veteran
Mike Peterson replaced him.
- HOU OLB Connor Barwin led the team with 10 tackles (7 solo),
5 TFL, 6 QB hits and set a franchise record with 4 sacks. He
now leads the team with 8.5 on the season. On the other side,
rookie OLB Brooks Reed had his sixth sack of the season and
extends his streak of five straight games with at least one
- OAK OLB Kamerion Wimbley got his team-leading seventh sack
of the season and just missed a pick six on his second career
interception, being dragged down by a horse collar after a 73-yard
return. MLB Rolando McClain got his second sack of the season.
- CIN MLB Rey Maualuga had his most productive game since returning
from a lateral ankle sprain three weeks ago. Maualuga led the
team with 10 tackles (6 solo) and had a TFL. WLB Thomas Howard
had 9 tackles (4 solo), a TFL and 2 QB hits. SLB Manny Lawson,
who had been the most productive Cinci LB the last couple games,
had just an assist. The team did not active WLB Keith Rivers
off the PUP and the window closed this week, so he will not
return this season after wrist surgery in the offseason.
- CLE MLB D'Qwell Jackson led the team with 9 tackles (5 solo).
At exactly 100 tackles, he broke triple digits for the first
time since 2008, the third time in his career. He is tied for
fifth in the league in tackles. SLB Scott Fujita broke a finger
and suffered a break in his right hand or arm in the game and
was placed on the IR. Chris Gocong will move over to SLB and
Kaluka Maiava should take over at WLB, but Maiava dinged his
knee on Sunday and is questionable this week. Titus Brown would
be the next man up.
- CAR MLB Dan Connor returned after missing the previous game
with a shoulder injury. Jordan Senn, who replaced Connor in
that game, remained in the starting lineup as he took over WLB
for Omar Gaither, out with a knee injury. Senn and SLB James
Anderson led the team with 10 tackles (3 solo) each.
- JAX MLB Paul Posluszny couldn't get to the QB for the third
straight game, but he had new OLB Russell Allen, replacing Client
Session who went on the IR, both had 7 tackles (4 solo) and
a TFL. Poz also forced the fumble that was returned for the
team's only TD by CB Ashton Youboty.
- BUF ILB Nick Barnett led the team with 8 tackles (6 solo).
He leads the team with 86 on the season.
- NYJ reserve OLB Garrett McIntyre, former UDFA who spent the
last few seasons between the Arena Football League and CFL,
got his second career start, in as many games, as the latest
player trying to fill the gap opposite OLB Calvin Pace after
the loss of OLB Bryan Thomas for the season. He had 3 solo tackles,
including 1 on special teams, and remains in the base, while
OLB Aaron Maybin is used as a situational pass rush specialist
in limited snaps. Maybin had a pair of sacks and now leads the
team with five on the season. ILB David Harris had his third
sack of the season and shared the team lead with 8 tackles (7
- STL MLB James Laurinaitis couldn't make it three games in
a row with double-digit tackles, he's stuck on four this season,
as he finished with 6 (4 solo) on Sunday, but he did grab his
second pick of the season. He leads the team with 90 tackles
on the year.
- NE OLB Rob Ninkovich had a sack for the second straight game
and is up to 3.5 on the season. LB Jerod Mayo failed to build
on his second double-digit tackle game last season. He had just
3 solo tackles on Sunday. Special teams' ace Jeff Tarpinian,
who was seeing an increased role on defense, went on the IR
last week due to a head injury.
- AZ OLB Sam Acho had a pair of sacks on Sunday, forcing a
fumble on one, and recovering a fumble on another play. He has
5 sacks on the season, sharing the team lead with DE Calais
Campbell. Acho continues to replace Joey Porter, who has been
out since Week 7 with a knee problem he a procedure on earlier
this month. The team hasn't put Porter on the IR yet, but it
would be a shock to see him back with the team this year the
way Acho is playing.
- WAS ILB London Fletcher had his fifth double-digit tackle
game, posting 11 (4 solo) and is second in the league with 107
tackles. Next to him, Perry Riley continues to rack up tackles
at a similar pace. Riley had his second straight double-digit
tackle game, leading the team with 14 (6 solo). He has 35 tackles
in three games since taking over for Rocky McIntosh, who was
benched. OLB Brian Orakpo shared a sack with DE Stephen Bowen.
Orakpo now had six on the season, tied with rookie OLB Ryan
Kerrigan for the team lead.
- SEA MLB David Hawthorne left Sunday's game in the third quarter
dinging his knee, but would return. He finished with 7 tackles
(6 solo). OLB Leroy Hill led the team with 8 tackles (6 solo).
- I discussed DEN rookie SLB Von Miller and another great performance
above with the defensive linemen. WLB D.J. Williams led the
team with 12 tackles (10 solo). Wesley Woodyard and Joe Mays
continue to rotate in the middle.
- SD OLB Shaun Phillips returned after missing four games with
a foot injury and had 4 tackles (2 solo). He remained on a snap
count, so Antwan Barnes, who replaced Phillips while he was
out, still had a significant role and posted 4 solo tackles
and 2 assists on special teams. ILB Takeo Spikes led the team
with a season-high 14 tackles (8 solo), his second double-digit
tackle game of the year.
- PIT OLB LaMarr Woodley missed his third straight game with
a hamstring injury. Once again, Jason Worilds replaced him in
the starting lineup and had the best game of his young career
on Sunday night. Worilds had 6 tackles (4 solo), 4 QB hits and
his first sack of the season, the only one for the team on the
night. Woodley is expected back this week.
- ILB Derrick Johnson once again led the team in tackles, posting
9 (8 solo) and a TFL on Sunday night. He leads the team with
92 on the season.
- NO MLB Jonathan Vilma was inactive for the second straight
week after undergoing surgery on his problematic left knee over
the bye. He was a game-time decision and is likely the same
this week. JoLonn Dunbar replaced him again and led the team
with 11 tackles (6 solo, including 1 on special teams) and forced
a fumble. He was especially impressive with his strength at
the point of attack standing up NYG Brandon Jacobs at the line
of scrimmage on one play. The team showed more 3-4 looks during
the game, with Ramon Humber getting his first start of the season
joining Dunbar inside. Humber had 4 tackles (3 solo) and a TFL.
On the outside, Scott Shanle and Jonathan Casillas started in
the 3-4 look, with Shanle neither particularly productive nor
appearing comfortable in a role further in space. Casillas,
a nice pass rusher, but a liability in coverage, was replaced
by Will Herring, who had a TD-saving interception at the goal
line in the first quarter.
- NYG WLB Michael Boley was inactive for the second straight
game with a hamstring injury and rookie Jacquian Williams saw
most of the work in his place. NYG rookie UDFA Mark Herzlich
got his second straight starting in the middle on MNF, but left
in the second quarter with a sprained ankle. Greg Jones replaced
him. The team showed a lot of looks in their Big Blue package,
with Herzlich, and then Williams, and SLB Mathias Kiwanuka as
the LBs and third safety Deon Grant on NO TE Jimmy Graham, a
mismatch favoring the Saints. Kiwanuka should see a bigger pass
rushing role in store with DE Osi Umenyiora looking like he'll
miss some time. The team brought back versatile LB Chase Blackburn
for depth at an already thin LB position and now with Boley
and Herzlich hurting.
- Waiver Wire Recommendations:
I expect it's too late for TEN rookie MLB Colin McCarthy and
WAS ILB Perry Riley, last week's recommendations, in all but
the shallowest leagues. With both GB ILBs dinged up, keep an
eye on the status there. Rookie D.J. Smith becomes appealing
if Desmond Bishop is out and the same for Rob Francois if A.J.
Smith is out.
- BAL SS Bernard Pollard shared the team lead in tackles with
WLB Jameel McClain for the second straight game, with MLB Ray
Lewis out. Pollard had 8 (6 solo). Pollard remains locked in
as a starter, but S Tom Zbikowski, who Pollard replaced when
Zibby was injured early this year, is back in the picture. Zibby
got his first career sack and had 2 solo tackles. He is also
back as the primary punt returner. CB Lardarius Webb shared
a sack for the second time this season and grabbed his fourth
pick of the year. He leads the team in interceptions.
- After a scare at practice last week, PHI CB Nnamdi Asomugha
was active Sunday with a hyper extended left knee. He was carted
off at practice last Thursday and the expectation was he has
suffered a devastating injury. In fact, the team was so surprised
at the mildness of the diagnosis that they had the knee tested
again. His snaps were limited to the dime role, with Brandon
Hughes replacing him opposite CB Asante Samuel. Hughes was the
most productive of the group, as he was picked on relentlessly
by NE QB Tom Brady, with 4 solo tackles. Asomugha did not participate
in practice on Monday and his outlook is cautious for him this
week with the quick turnaround - the Eagles have a Thursday
night game this week. The secondary was also without nickel
CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who remained inactive with a
high ankle sprain and is expected to remain out this week. Joselio
Hanson continued to replace him as the nickel and posted 6 solo
tackles. S Kurt Coleman led the team with 12 tackles (11 solo).
- The last time AZ CB Patrick Peterson faced the Rams, he won
the game with a 99-yard punt return for a TD. This time he tied
the game late with an 80-yard punt return for a TD that they
would win later on a field goal. With that return, Peterson
tied the NFL record, shared by three others, including CHI WR
Devin Hester, for punts returned for a TD in a season. All of
Peterson's returns for a score have also been at least 80 yards
and he leads the league in punt return yardage with 558. While
Peterson has been amazing in the return game, he has struggled
at corner, but that doesn't hurt his fantasy stats, as opposing
teams continue to target him. He also had 5 solo tackles and
thanks to being used as a Wildcat QB on one play where he lost
the shotgun snap, helped his fantasy owners further by being
credited with a fumble recovery.
- GB CB Tramon Williams had 4 solo tackles and broke up 2 passes
as he locked down DET WR Calvin Johnson most of the game. CB
Charles Woodson ripped his sixth pick of the season from the
hands of DET TE Brandon Pettigrew. He is now second in the league
in interception on the season. Reserve CB Patrick Lee was ejected
in the second quarter after a fight during punt coverage.
- DET CB Chris Houston, FS Louis Delmas and dime back Brandon
McDonald all left Thursday's game with knee injuries. With Eric
Wright and nickel Aaron Berry the only healthy corners left
on the active roster by the third quarter, the team had to turn
to WR Rashied Davis, primarily a special teams player, as an
emergency option at CB. He was credited with 2 solo tackles.
Delmas' injury appears the most severe, he tweeted that he expects
to miss a few weeks, and has already been declared out this
week. The team signed S Ricardo Silva off the practice squad
for depth this week. If Houston missed any time, Berry should
start in his place opposite Wright with McDonald, if he is healthy,
or Alphonso Smith, who was a healthy scratch, in the nickel.
Veteran Chris Harris replaced him and should get the start if
Delmas misses any time. After being benched in the previous
game in favor of Harris, SS Amari Spievey was back in the starting
lineup and led the team with 7 tackles (6 solo).
- MIA corners Vontae Davis and Sean Smith each had a pick on
Thanksgiving. It was the first of the season for Smith and second
for Davis. Davis also broke up another pass and had 5 solo tackles.
FS Reshad Jones started his second straight game and appears
to be back to a full time role. He has been battling a knee
injury for over a month and sharing time with Tyrone Culver.
- DAL CB Mike Jenkins remained inactive for the fourth straight
game with a right hamstring injury. Orlando Scandrick continued
to replace him and got his first sack of the season. He also
had 7 tackles (6 solo) and broke up a pass. Jenkins returned
to practice this week and is expected to play. FS Gerald Sensabaugh
started and played through a sprained right foot. He had 4 tackles
- A thin MIN secondary took some more hits on Sunday. Already
without FS Husain Abdullah (inactive with a concussion), his
replacement, Tyrell Johnson left in the second quarter with
a hamstring injury. Rookie Mistral Raymond replaced Johnson
and will now be the starter, as Abdullah and Johnson were both
placed on the IR. The team signed S Jarrad Page for depth and
he should push Raymond for a starting job. CB Asher Allen, who
just took over for Antoine Winfield, left in the first quarter
with a shoulder injury. Nickel CB Benny Sapp replaced Allen
opposite Cedric Griffin and Marcus Sherels took over the nickel
- ATL SS William Moore was active, but did not play, as he
returns from a thigh injury that kept him out of the previous
two games. Veteran James Sanders replaced him in the starting
lineup again and posted 8 tackles (5 solo). Nickel CB Kelvin
Hayden was inactive with a dislocated right toe suffered in
the previous game. CB Chris Owens started the game replacing
him and was pressed in to a full-time role when CB Brent Grimes
left the game in the second quarter after aggravating a knee
injury that had him questionable to play at all. He sounds doubtful
to play this week. Owens had 4 tackles (3 solo) and got his
first career sack. On the other side, CB Dunta Robinson was
dinged during the game too, but would return. Dominique Franks
took over the nickel after Grimes was hurt.
- CIN CB Adam Jones continues to start opposite Nate Clements
as the replacement for Leon Hall, who is done for the season
with a torn left Achilles' tendon. CB Kelly Jennings remains
the nickel. SS Chris Crocker left in the third quarter with
arm injury, but would return to the game. Taylor Mays replaced
him at SS while Crocker was out. FS Reggie Nelson had his second
pick of the season.
- CLE SS T.J. Ward remained inactive with a right foot sprain
that is expected to keep him out at least another two weeks.
Usama Young remained his replacement.
- Barely a month after breaking his left leg, HOU FS Danieal
Manning was back and in the starting lineup on Sunday. He had
1 solo tackle.
- After losing CB Rashean Mathis with a knee injury in the
previous game, JAX CB Derek Cox joined Mathis on the IR last
week with his own knee problem. Without their top two corners,
the Jaguars had CB William Middelton continuing to replace Mathis
and selected newly-acquired Ashton Youboty, signed to take Mathis'
roster spot, to replace Cox. In his first start as a Jaguar,
Youboty had a breakout performance. He led the team with 8 solo
tackles and returned a fumble 38-yards for a TD. CB Drew Coleman
remains the nickel.
- The CAR secondary posted some big numbers against the struggling
offense of the Colts. CB Chris Gamble and FS Sherrod Martin
each had their third pick of the season. SS Charles Godfrey
forced a fumble on a sack and had 6 tackles (4 solo).
- As expected, BUF rookie CB Aaron Williams got the start in
place of CB Terrence McGee, who is done for the season, opposite
Drayton Florence. As discussed last week in this column, former
first-round pick Leodis McKelvin is off the radar on defense
since being demoted. He suffered a rib injury on special teams
and did not finish the game on Sunday. SS George Wilson remained
inactive with a neck stinger for the second consecutive game.
Rookie Da'Norris Searcy continued to replace him.
- OAK FS Michael Huff was back in a full-time role after being
eased back from a right ankle sprain in the previous game. He
grabbed his second pick of the season as the team feasted on
the errors of CHI replacement QB Caleb Hanie in his first career
start. CB Chris Johnson was active, but did not play, as he
recovers from groin and hamstring injuries. Lito Sheppard remained
the starter opposite CB Stanford Routt, who had his third pick
of the season. SS Tyvon Branch again led the team in tackles,
posting 8 solo and getting his first sack of the season.
- NE CB Devin McCourty was inactive again with a right shoulder
injury, reportedly a separation, and remains questionable this
week. Antwaun Molden continued to replace him and grabbed his
first career pick. They were also without S Patrick Chung for
the third straight game with a foot injury. Sterling Moore continues
to replace him. CB Kyle Arrington didn't add to his league-leading
7 interceptions, but helped his fantasy owners by leading the
team with 10 solo tackles and breaking up 2 passes.
- STL SS Darian Stewart had a sack for the second straight
game and had 7 tackles (5 solo). Amazingly, it doesn't look
like any Rams corner ended up on the IR this week.
- TB FS Tanard Jackson returned to the starting lineup after
missing the previous game with a hamstring injury. He had 5
tackles (4 solo), broke up a pass and recovered a fumble. SS
Sean Jones had the exact same stat line. CB Aqib Talib returned
his second pick of the season 27 yards for a TD. He returned
his other pick 28 yards for a TD. CB Ronde Barber led the team
with 7 tackles (6 solo) and forced a fumble.
- TEN SS Chris Hope will remain in a rotation with Jordan Babineaux,
with the latter remaining the starter. Babineaux is getting
more snaps and producing more, but the situation is fantasy
unfriendly. Reserve S Tommie Campbell took a reverse on a kick
return back 84 yards for a TD in the first quarter, but his
enjoyment of the game was short-lived, as he left with a left
shoulder sprain later in that quarter and did not return.
- Nickel CB D.J. Moore was inactive again with an ankle sprain
and for the second straight game, CB Corey Graham had a pick
in his place and continues to show he's more than just a special
teams ace. CB Tim Jennings should have had at least one pick,
but ended up with just 3 passes defensed and 3 solo tackles.
SS Major Wright led the team with 7 tackles (6 solo) and broke
up a pass.
- WAS SS LaRon Landry returned after missing the previous game
with his was lingering left Achilles' tendon issue. He left
game for a bit in the first half with a groin strain, but returned
and finished with 4 tackles (3 solo), a sack and a pass defensed.
HC Mike Shanahan has taken to handling the FS spot like his
RBs. After a productive game by rookie DeJon Gomes in his first
career start there last week, it was veteran Reed Doughty getting
the start this week as Oshiomogho Atogwe is still battling a
knee and toe issues. Atogwe was active and rotated in on limited
snaps. CB DeAngelo Hall grabbed his second pick of the season.
- DEN fourth-round pick FS Quinton Carter continues to start
ahead of second-round pick Rahim Moore.
- PIT SS Troy Polamalu was knocked out of the game on the first
series after a head shot. He experienced "concussion-like symptoms",
according to HC Mike Tomlin, but was reportedly fine by the
end of the game and could have returned, but was apparently
held out as a precaution. There were reports this week about
Polamalu having a history of concussions back to high school
and concerns he'd be out for a while, but it sounds like he
is expected to play this week. Ryan Mundy replaced Polamalu,
finishing the game leading the team in tackles with 11 (8 solo,
including 1 on special teams) and grabbed his first interception
of the season.
- KC SS Jon McGraw returned from a shoulder injury and was
back in the starting lineup. He had 4 tackles (3 solo) and broke
up a pass.
- Waiver Wire Recommendations:
If it is announced PIT SS Troy
Polamalu can't go this week, Ryan
Mundy jumps to the top of the list. The situation doesn't
sound promising though, with Polamalu likely to be a game-time
decision, at worst, making Mundy a risky addition. Pick a player
in the TB secondary. They should be busy chasing CAR rookie
QB Cam Newton when he breaks through to the second level and
good candidates for a pick, Newton is tied for third in the
league. Same for Carolina's secondary, as TB QB Josh Freeman
is second in the league in picks.