Instead of diving in with the usual pizzazz, I want to step back and take a look at something that happened last week. Baltimore running back Ray Rice was held to 36 yards on 13 carries before leaving with a strained left hip flexor.
And then fantasy football showed its dark side. While we can’t see what was sent to him on his timeline (@RayRice27), it’s safe to say there were quite a few vicious tweets and people verbally puking on him.
What the hell is wrong with people? I get that Twitter gives a platform that can give more direct access to athletes than was ever possible before. To take it that far is ridiculous. This is a GAME, folks. It’s not life and death. As a fantasy doctor, I get life and death. Whether your team wins a game in Week 2 isn’t it.
Rice responded by saying on Twitter, “I was a fan of fantasy football until today so many spiteful and hateful words I still love you all God Bless great win today #Ravens.”
It was a classy answer from Rice given how much bullshit people gave him on his timeline. It should serve as a reminder to all of us—athletes are people too.
Rice is battling that hip flexor injury and is a game-time decision against Houston. Be ready with a Plan B and have it in place before the inactives come out. He’s going to be a game-time decision and, if he plays, it’s hard to tell how effective he will be. It’s not a long-term injury but it’s enough to cause his owners some tension on Sunday morning.
In Arizona, RB Rashard Mendenhall and WR Larry Fitzgerald are both listed as questionable with knee and hamstring injuries, respectively. Both have been held out of practice this week but are expected to play against New Orleans. Look for heavy usage out of both of them so they make good FLEX plays this week, depending on your roster.
Atlanta WR Roddy White is expected to play this week after being limited in practice with a high ankle sprain. If you don’t have anything better, play him. If you have something better, bench him. I would want to see how he actually plays in game situations before I go full speed ahead on Roddy.
Chicago WR Brandon Marshall is questionable heading into Sunday night’s tilt against the Steelers. He left practice yesterday with a “tight back” but the hope is that he is fine. The back is a new injury for this season for him so we really don’t know the exact nature of the problem. Either way, I’d feel confident going with Marshall. Besides, it would be tough to replace him with a Steeler or a last-minute Raider WR for Monday night. You know you won’t find a viable Denver WR on the wire so put Marshall in.
Detroit RB Reggie Bush is a dreaded game-time decision. He plans to practice today and the final decision will come from the coaching staff and doctors. Bush said he expects to play. Watch the inactives for his name too. If he goes, he’s a must start against an awful Washington defense. If not, Joique Bell gets the call.
RB Maurice Jones-Drew (foot) is a game-time decision. But, really? Jacksonville visits Seattle. Sit MJD this week with the matchup and save yourself the hassle.
Rob Gronkowski (multiple) is not expected to play this week. Look for the Gronk next week. Speaking of banged-up Patriots, WR Danny Amendola is week-to-week with hip and groin injuries. It could have been resolved with surgery but the Pats are going to ride it out for now. Either way, I wouldn’t expect Amendola back for at least two more weeks.
Speed Rounds: Falcons’ WR Julio Jones (knee) will play this week…Cincy RB Gio Bernard (hamstring) is likely to play. He should be taking over for The Law Firm in the very near future…Dallas WR Dez Bryant is probable (back) and will play against the Rams. St. Louis has a pillow-soft secondary so it’s all systems go on Dez…Giants TE Brandon Myers (ribs) is questionable but is expected to play this week. He’s a lower-end TE in their matchup with Carolina…RB Le’Veon Bell (foot) practiced this week for the Steelers but is still a couple weeks away from getting back in the lineup…San Diego WR Malcom Floyd is week-to-week after getting drilled last weekend against the Eagles…49ers TE Vernon Davis is day-to-day with a hamstring injury. He’s expected to play against the Colts and should have a solid game.