Doc is not surprised that Darren McFadden got hurt. That’s right up there with the sun rising in the east, the Cubs being a crummy baseball team and the SEC thinking its the best college football conference since the dawn of mankind. It’s predictable and quite dull.
Since McFadden is quickly becoming a charter member of the frequent injury punch card club, let’s grab his file and see who else is joining him in the clinic this week.
Week 9 saw the most-dreaded three word phrase in injuries rear its ugly head: high ankle sprain. That injury felled Pittsburgh WR Antonio Brown and Oakland RB Darren McFadden and is one of the most frustrating injuries in all of sports.
The injury itself is to largest ligaments right above the ankle which makes it tougher to heal because of the size of the ligament themselves and location. This comes from an outward twisting of the foot as opposed to the more traditional ankle sprain that occurs when the foot twists inward. This injury would take several weeks to heal so this may be yet another fantasy season-ending injury to Run DMC. He shall now be known as Limp DMC with how often he gets hurt with various leg injuries over the years. Backup Rb Mike Goodson has suffered the same injury in the same game against Tampa Bay. Their X-rays were negative but neither has been ruled out for this week’s game at the Ravens.
Oakland was 30th in rushing with about 77 yards per game. The prudent move would be to rest the injured backs and let Marcel Reece carry the load this week. Then again, how long has it been since we’ve seen the Raiders be prudent?
Antonio Brown had the same thing happen so the remainder of his season is in jeopardy after he got hurt against the Giants. Pittsburgh losing Brown is damaging both in the passing game and the return game as well. Emmanuel Sanders and Jericho Cotchery will pick up the slack in the passing game with Sanders getting the extra nod in the return game.
Also in the Steel City, the ground game is a mess. Isaac Redman gets the start against Kansas City while Jonathan Dwyer is the backup. Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles) will sit out against the Chiefs. With the expected demolition of the Chiefs being saved for Monday Night Football, consider Redman a flex option this week mainly based on when he plays. That and Pittsburgh should be running a lot after getting up by on the scoreboard by roughly the amount of the national debt on Kansas City by halftime.
The Chiefs will be without Brady Quinn (head injury) and Matt Cassel will get the start. Ricky Stanzi is the third quarterback for Kansas City. Act surprised when you see him on the field in the fourth quarter. RB Jamaal Charles suffered a neck injury in a helmet-to-helmet collision in last week’s game. Charles is probable but hasn’t produced much as of late. Charles has 634 rushing yards this season but 373 of them came in two games (NO, BAL). It also means he hasn’t broken the 90 yard barrier in his other six games this season including a pair of games with less than 5 rushing yards.
Detroit WR Calvin Johnson admitted he had been suffering from some nerve damage issues since his stinger in week four. Johnson told the team’s official website that the nerve damage contributed to him uncharacteristically dropping passes in the last few games. He said his pre-injury form is coming back so fantasy owners can rejoice in having a healthy Megatron as they push for the playoffs.
Minnesota WR Percy Harvin sprained his ankle in three places last week…and thinks he might play this week. Harvin is a game-time decision but with the Vikings have a bye next week, keep your options open. Without him, the Vikings’ passing attack doesn’t have much of anyone to turn to and none of the other wide receivers have much fantasy value.
Per usual, half of the New England Patriots are on the injury report. Tom Brady has been probable since 2002; Rob Gronkowski and Wes Welker are questionable like the quality of the beef in a Yogoboya bucket. Unless someone is missing a limb, you know they’re going to play for the Patriots.
Jacksonville QB Blaine Gabbert reinjured his left shoulder during the loss to the Colts last night. Chad Henne came in to finish the game off and both quarterbacks played about as well a single-digit Wonderlic score. The ground game was atrocious with Rashad Jennings picking up 27 yards on 11 carries. Maurice Jones-Drew thinks he’ll back for week 12 despite being seen on the sideline in a walking boot last night. I’m hopeful he can come back since the Jaguars need him like a drowning man needs a life preserver.
Titans QB Jake Locker might get the start Sunday against Miami. It would be his first action since week 4 when he dislocated his non-throwing shoulder for the first of two times this season. The Titans are advising Locker not to get involved in playing defense if a turnover occurs. Locker should be left on the waiver wire as I expect Miami DL Cameron Wake to introduce himself to Locker repeatedly. The Dolphins will prepare for either quarterback but both could have a tough time.
Miami WRs Brian Hartline and Davone Bess are both coming off of injuries. Hartline (hamstring) looks to be good to go this week. Bess has been limited in practice for non-injury related reasons but is also expected to play. Both are low-end players this week only by the easy matchup they have.
Buffalo WR Stevie Johnson is back in practice after missing a couple days with a thigh injury and will have a good matchup this week against New England. I’m still waiting for Buffalo QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to copy edit this column like he did to Ruxin’s speech this week on “The League.”
New Orleans RB Darren Sproles is still out of the lineup after missing last week’s game against Philadelphia with the broken hand he suffered two weeks ago. Sproles could be out one more week or as many as three. Either way, keep him on the bench for now and ride out the pain. No definite timetable has been given for his return.
Denver WRs Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas are coming off of injuries. Decker (thigh) is back to full speed at practice and Thomas fell hard on his knee against the Bengals but missed a few plays and hasn’t missed time at practice. Deploy both Broncos against Carolina as you usually would.
Dallas RB DeMarco Murray is getting close to returning. He was back on the practice field for the first time in a couple weeks which is an encouraging sign. Don’t expect him to come back this week against the Eagles but keep an eye out and see if he might be back next week.
Minnesota RB Adrian Peterson missed practice Thursday which casts a small shadow over his status for this week but it’s nothing major so use him as usual.
St. Louis WR Danny Amendola is expected back in action six weeks after his clavicle injury. Keep an eye on how he gets worked into the wideouts by QB Sam Bradford but don’t expect him to get the lion’s share of the targets this week.
NY Giants WR Hakeem Nicks says the swelling in his knee has subsided and he will play this week. Nicks wasn’t concerned with his lack of production. When asked about being a disappointment in fantasy, he replied “Stats are for girls.” Nicks also doesn’t get involved in social media as he’s not on Facebook nor Twitter.
Regardless if whether or not you can pull off a pencil skirt and pumps, leave your questions or fashion advice below. Good luck to everyone in week 10.