The calendar turned from September to October and the injuries continue to pile up around the league. At this rate, the Arizona Cardinals might be trying out fans to play running back (maybe, you never know) after their Thursday night disaster. The Rams didn’t get away unscathed either.
Let’s start with last night’s game and head back through the week. The doc has a lot of new patient files to get you up to speed on.
Thursday night was not a good night. St. Louis lost star receiver Danny Amendola with what looked like a broken collarbone or clavicle. It remains to be seen whether he will go on the short-term IR and be out for 8 weeks or if he will be done for the season. Either way, it’s time to drop Danny. Without him, the Rams don’t have anyone really relevant in their receiving corps and Sam Bradford’s value takes a significant hit here. St. Louis might wind up relying more on Steven Jackson for the rest of the season despite his on-again, off-again groin injury.
For Arizona, they lost running back Ryan Williams with a shoulder injury in the fourth quarter of their loss to St. Louis. This leaves Arizona with a major problem in the backfield. Beanie Wells is out with turf toe until late November. We don’t know how long Williams will be out. LaRod Stevens-Howling is hobbled and fullback Anthony Sherman left the field limping against the Rams.
Alfonso Smith is the only healthy running back on the roster for Arizona and any free-agent they sign will be irrelevant in fantasy because of their poor offensive line play.
Jets’ WR Santonio Holmes is done for the season with a foot injury suffered against San Francisco. With Holmes out, it leaves Jeremy Kerley and Chaz Schilens as the top two receivers for the Jets. Tim Tebow might be starting at quarterback this week so the Jets’ wideouts shouldn’t even be a thought to hold on your roster, let alone start. It’s hard to find much of anything right now for the J-E-T-S that doesn’t S-T-I-N-K.
Redskins WR Pierre Garcon has been upgraded to being limited in practice. Several people have been waiting on him to get back into action after his stellar week one against Ne Orleans. Garcon hit the field against Tampa and should be in play when Washington hosts Atlanta. It could still be a while until he is full strength but would be best suited as a flex option in week five.
Green Bay WR Greg Jennings is out with a groin injury. He suffered it against San Francisco and then reaggravated it against the Saints. It’s a groin injury so this should be monitored week-to-week until we hear otherwise. James Jones is scheduled to get more targets from Aaron Rodgers in the interim.
Giants WR Hakeem Nicks is also out this week with leg injuries. Domenik Hixon and Ramses Barden are in line to get his targets but it’s hard to predict how they will share those passes from Eli Manning. Consider Hixon and Barden WR3 at best.
Tennessee will be without Jake Locker against the Minnesota Vikings. Locker hurt his non-throwing shoulder last week and Matt Hasselback will be called on to start the game. It remains to be seen how long he will be out for but Hasselbeck would be a desperation play at best. CJ2K will have a very tough time against the Vikings’ defense and the Titans might be without WR Kenny Britt. Britt’s ankle is being a real pain and he is a game-time decision. With the Titans being a late game, look for Plan B now. Keep in mind, Britt has a total of 60 receiving yards this season.
Kansas City has put tight end Kevin Boss onto IR with a head injury. Tony Moeaki is expected to be the starter this week against Baltimore in a tough matchup. Moeaki is still waiver wire fodder.
Pittsburgh has several key injury updates for this week. Safety Troy Polamalu is back in the lineup and linebacker James Harrison will make his first start of the season. The Steelers will also welcome back Rashard Mendenhall into their backfield in hopes of bolstering a sagging running game. The Steelers’ DST should be performing better while Mendenhall is worth a roster spot and a is a flex play at best this week. We need to see how his knee is doing in game situations after tearing his ACL on New Year’s Day.
Minnesota QB Christian Ponder is having mobility issues and it might limit him against the Titans. He’s been battling a knee injury and that could slow him down significantly. Keep an eye on him as you get closer to kickoff. Remember this stat as well: Ponder is the only starting quarterback who has not thrown an interception this season.
Miami RB Reggie Bush is questionable with a hip injury that came up in practice mid-week. He was questionable last week as well against Arizona and still played with moderate success. He takes on a Bengals squad that shutdown MJD last week so he might have a tough go of things on Sunday. Look for him to be an RB2 this week.
Jacksonville WR Laurent Robinson made a lot of headway last season when he scored 11 touchdowns for Dallas. He went to Jacksonville in the offseason and is now making another kind of headway. Robinson has suffered a concussion for the second time in as many weeks. Robinson had barely a shred of fantasy value before but is now totally droppable after getting his brains scrambled, again.
New England TE Aaron Hernandez is back to practicing and is limited. I don’t expect him back in this week for the game against Denver but he should be back before the team’s week nine bye. Owners who have held on to him may finally get their chance to put him back in the lineup next week.
Ne Orleans WR Lance Moore has been battling a hamstring injury this week and is questionable. Use caution with Moore since he plays Sunday night against the Chargers.
In Houston, RB Ben Tate has been battling a toe injury for most of the season. This means Arian Foster might be in for a pounding this season as he is expected to shoulder the workload. Could Foster get 400 carries? Perhaps, if Tate is down for an extended period of time.
Finally in Chicago, RB Matt Forte is listed as questionable for the Sunday afternoon game at Jacksonville. He’s expected to start Sunday but watch how he is with cutting on those sore ankles. He came out of the game against Dallas for a while and had to get them retaped before he could run with confidence. Forte and Michael Bush both remain good plays against a weak Jacksonville team.
DE Julius Peppers rested his ankle injury but is also expected to go against the Jaguars. As if the Bears’ defense needed anymore weapons. They dismantled Dallas Monday night and we can only imagine the how bad of a beatdown Blaine Gabbert will be in for this week.
As always, check the inactives list for last-minute updates (i.e. Buffalo running backs last week) and feel free to leave questions below. Good luck to everyone in week five!