The tale of St. Louis Rams’ running back Isaiah Pead may end up being a short one.

Pead was taken by the Rams with the 50th overall pick of the 2012 Draft, eights spots ahead of stud linebacker Lavonte David and ten picks ahead of corner Casey Hayward.  There would’ve been no reason to doubt the Rams selection at the time, after all, the University of Cincinnati product was an electrifying running back in college and performed very well in the pre-draft combines.  The 5’10″, 200-pounder finished fourth among all RBs in the cone drill (6.95) and had the fifth-best 40 time at the position (4.47).  Pead went into camp that year looking to compete, but quickly fell behind Steven Jackson and Daryl Richardson on the depth charts, finishing with just 10 carries for 54 yards during his rookie season.

2013 was supposed to be his breakout.  Fantasy football owners pegged him as a guy who could be taken later in drafts, yet had fantasy starter capability.  With Jackson signing in Atlanta, Richardson was the starter on paper, but he could easily be overtaken.  Pead’s sleeper status grew exponentially during the off-season, until a suspension for substance abuse derailed that somewhat.  He was forced to miss the Rams’ season opener and never regained any of his momentum from training camp.  Coach Jeff Fisher saddled Richardson with the bulk of the ball-carrying duties for the first couple weeks of the season, limiting Pead’s upside.  Pead received only one carry in Week 2, turning that into just one yard.  He had two catches for 18 yards as well, but he was clearly behind the eight ball.  During Week 3 vs. Dallas, Pead rushed for 20 yards and caught seven balls for 43 yards — a pretty productive game.  Things were looking up for the second-year back — or were they?

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Hay-low boys and girls, it’s that time of the year again when mini-camps and OTAs are over and the NFL Preseason is underway.  With most teams having already played their first game, and some having played two, there’s no better time than now to begin reviewing some of the injuries that are plaguing the league’s players. If you follow the fantasy baseball side of Razzball, which I’m sure most of you do (if you don’t, you’re dead to me), you all know I, SethDaSportsMan, bring you the weekly “Ambulance Chasers” column, featuring all the nicks, bangs, and bruises from across the diamond.  Luckily for you pigskin lovers — and you perverts with S&M fetishes — I’ll be doing the same throughout the entire fantasy football season.

Why me, you may ask?  Am I turned on by the idea of blood and breaking bones?  Not really.  In fact, I’m getting sick and tired of seeing all these guys across the sports landscape getting hurt.  What I offer is experience in the health and fitness field – I’m a certified personal trainer and fitness nutrition specialist, as well as a certified fitness instructor.  I’m no doctor (it’s never gonna happen, mom!), but all my schooling gave me a vast knowledge of sports injuries and the human anatomy.  I also played sports at a highly competitive level until my early-20s and have personally gone or will have undergone five major surgeries by the time 2015 rolls around.  So, yeah, you could say I’m “close” to the subject. This piece will be the first of many to grace the glorious pages of Razzball Football.  Once the season starts, look for Ambulance Chasers each and every Wednesday morning, and you can see my handsomeness in the flesh when I review my Weekly Injury Report on Razzball Radio with the Italian Stallion himself, host Nick Capozzi.

Now, what you’ve all been waiting for…

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Ouch! That hurts! A lot! Get the cart and take this guy back to the locker room. Let’s check out his (insert body part here) and…oh my…this doesn’t look good. Let the coach know he’s done for the year and put him on injured reserve.

That scene has played out across the NFL countless times this season. Because of how often it’s happening, we have enough players to put together an amazing team of players who are or have been on injured reserve this season.

We took into consideration players on the traditional injured reserve list as well as those who have had a stint on the designated-to-return injured list as well. This was going to be an end-of-season feature but we have enough talent down for the count that we can do it now.

Without further delay, let’s meet the All-IR Team for 2013.

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In most leagues this is championship week. It also means 80 percent or more of players are done for the season. For those who still remain, let’s take a look at the key injuries that can make or break your title dreams.

Adrian Peterson (foot, groin) was limited in practice the last couple days as was Toby Gerhart (hamstring) and Matt Asiata didn’t practice either so the Vikings’ running back situation looks like a big mess heading into this week against Cincinnati. Today should provide clarity as to who will do the running against the fifth-best rush defense in the league.

If Peterson’s available, you play him. Gerhart is more of desperation play and Asiata looks like someone to avoid all together. While Asiata scored three times last week, keep in mind his low yardage totals. Asiata should only be used in TD-only formats if both AP and Gerhart are out.

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Doc is back and has another room full of patients after last week’s spate of season-ending injuries.

Rob Gronkowski was lost for the season after tearing two ligaments in his knee. Arizona lost safety Tyrann Mathieu to a torn ACL and LCL which ends his strong rookie season. Baltimore wide receiver Brandon Stokely suffered a concussion and is done for the season. Green Bay put seldom-used receiver Myles White on IR with a knee injury and it leaves the Packers few options in the passing game. Brandon Jacobs of the Giants is done after getting a cartilage graft in his left knee.

You get the idea. People are dropping like flies at the end of the season but most of them aren’t fantasy-relevant which makes it easier to sift through the impacts of said injuries.

Gronkowski being done makes Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman better options, especially in PPR formats. When you factor in Kenbrell Thompkins (hip) being questionable for this week, it makes both of those wide receivers Tom Brady’s top targets. Shane Vereen is also back there too but when it comes to deep passes he really has two choices.

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We’re coming down to the last week of the regular season in most leagues and the first week of the playoffs in others. Hopefully you have your playoff spot wrapped up and are planning your path to postseason glory.

But Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers (collarbone) shouldn’t be a part of those plans. He practiced yesterday for the first time in the month since he suffered his collarbone injury against the Bears. Matt Flynn is expected to get the start this week against Atlanta at Lambeau Field.

If you’re hanging on to the hopes of having Rodgers for the playoffs, don’t. The Packers are 0-4-1 without him this season and his absence has dragged down the values of the Green Bay wide receivers. At 5-6-1 their only real chance of trying to make the playoffs is to win the NFC North. They have virtually no shot at a wild card and losses to Philadelphia and San Francisco really hurt their chances in that regard.

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Yesterday’s games left us with two thoughts. First, how are Le’Veon Bell and Rashad Jennings going to be for next week after suffering head injuries? Secondly, where’s the Pepto? I ate waaaaaay too much and it’s not sitting well. Even the turkey basted with butter every half hour that tasted like heaven.

Both of them looked wobbly at best coming off of the field. Bell’s hit looked harder since his head hit the turf after his helmet came off.

Jennings looked wobblier than Grandma’s Jell-o mold. They both had really good days but be glad they have extra days off before their next game. Look for reports on Wednesday of next week to clarify these two running backs.

Around the rest of the league we go in a short list form. Some us have to work the day after Thanksgiving, you know.

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Aaron Rodgers’ collarbone injury impacts everyone in fantasy football. Rodgers is one of the most consistent and healthiest quarterbacks in the league. He’s going to be out up to six weeks with a fractured collarbone.

At least that’s an injury fantasy owners can cope with. It’s serious enough to miss a few games but not enough to put him on the shelf for the season. The other nice thing about it is that Rodgers should be healthy when it comes to fantasy playoff time. So should Randall Cobb.

This kind of an injury (even in the non-throwing shoulder) is one that the Packers will have to be careful on how to treat him and let him heal. Rodgers probably won’t even run for the next three weeks because you want the rehab of this to not be bumpy and jarring. He’s going to spend a lot of time on the bike to keep in shape while he waits for his collarbone to heal up. Even something like a speed bump, if taken too fast, will send waves of pain into his collarbone. It’s going to take time and a lot of softness to get Rodgers healed.

That said, the Packers are accepting donations of bubble wrap to protect their quarterback in for the next four to six weeks.

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The demolition derby of humanity known as the NFL continues to churn on and keeps filling my office with patients.

Doug Martin of the Bucs missed last night’s game with a torn labrum and could be done for the year. Reggie Wayne and Sam Bradford are both toast with ACL injuries. Jay Cutler of the Bears is out for four weeks with a groin injury. Jermichael Finley is done for the year after a scary neck injury and bruised spine.

Let’s go a little more in-depth on the Martin injury.

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This week’s injury report is brought to you by hurt hamstrings. These seem to be all the rage around the league right now and make up a majority of the injuries we’re seeing on this week’s report. The good news is that once old Doc here can figure out how to heal them, a lot of players should be coming back.

Hamstrings are the muscles in the back of the leg that help allow you to bend your knee. Imagine yourself trying to kick a football but you couldn’t bend your leg. That would be what life is like with a hamstring injury. Kicking is tough, running is hard and slow and they don’t seem to heal quickly for anything.

Let’s take a look at who is all on the training table this week. All injuries are hamstring unless noted otherwise.

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