The doctor is in and has a pile of patients to see this week. At this time of year, injuries are even more critical to your fantasy success with just four weeks left after this one. I’ll tell you which injuries will put you in a bind which ones are of no real worry.
Let’s start in Green Bay where the Packers are dealing with some wide receiver injuries. Greg Jennings had his sports hernia surgery yesterday and is going to be out for at least three weeks. No surprise there. Fellow WR Jordy Nelson missed last week’s game with a hamstring issue. He’s doing better but hasn’t been cleared to play against Arizona this week according to the Green Bay Press Gazette. Randall Cobb benefits from all this but Aaron Rodgers saw his passing yardage sink to less than 200 for the first time in two years. If Nelson doesn’t play, it might be time to let Rodgers ride the pine for this week if you have a good enough backup option since the Packers take on the Cardinals at Lambeau. Green Bay has the bye in week 10 so it would make a lot of sense to sit Nelson and let him heal for the final six weeks of the season.
Over in Tennessee, the Titans had all five offensive linemen be limited in practice or less according to the Tennessean. This should be enough to make Chris Johnson owners cringe. Banged up O-line plus Chicago coming to town = CJ2K is a flex play at best. QB Matt Hasselback will have a long day and don’t expect much out of the Titan receivers until you get to garbage time. P Brett Kern could be the MVP of that game for the Titans when they play the field position game.
The Detroit Free Press reports that the Lions have lost CB Bill Bentley to a shoulder injury. Bently went to see my hero, Dr. James Andrews, and will be out after dislocating his shoulder for the third time in eight games. The Lions’ secondary is banged up as well with S Louis Delmas and S Amari Spivey missing practice as well. This would be a big boost to the quarterback playing the Lions this week…if it wasn’t Blaine Gabbert.
Denver QB Peyton Manning is good to roll this week against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Denver Post reports this and it comes from good authority in WR Eric Decker about his thumbnail injury suffered last week.
Cleveland RB Trent Richardson suffered through some rib pain last week and chugged his way to 122 yards and a TD in the 7-6 win over San Diego. T-Rich can be used as usual this week.
Miami QB Ryan Tannehill suffered a bone bruise on his left knee last week against the Jets. He’s questionable for the game this week with Matt Moore standing by to take the start if needed against the Colts. Tannehill would make a moderate option at best and Moore would be a desparation starter. The game between Indy and Miami looks like a rushing clinic so it’s best to avoid either Miami QB.
St. Louis WR Danny Amendola is likely to make his return to action this week. Amendola started out this year as a monster, especially in PPR leagues, until his clavicle injury forced him to miss some time. The Rams had to balance out the passing attack by getting the ball to Chris Givens and Brandon Gibson. It’ll be interesting to see how Sam Bradford distributes the targets between those three receivers.
Houston WR Andre Johnson has been battling an on again, off again groin injury but is likely to play this week against Buffalo. It’s cost him practice time but has shown no indication of missing a game as of yet because of it. With the horrendous Buffalo defense on tap, Johnson should be ready for a big game against the Bills.
On the other side of the field, Bills DE Mario Williams will be making his first trip to Houston since bolting from the Texans. Williams told the Bills via text message that he was going to have surgery on his wrist during the bye week. He should be available to play for those of your who use IDPs. Of course his stat lines have been closer to LOL than OMG this season so keep your expectations modest.
Buffalo RB CJ Spiller is on the injured list but can be deployed as usual. Buffalo is merely trying to avoid being fined for being inaccurate with its injury report. They had issues with not disclosing Williams’ injury above and don’t want to go WTF when they see the notice about getting fined.
Over in Pittsburgh, the running back situation is messy to the say the least between Rashard Mendenhall, Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer. The Steelers take on the Giants Sunday afternoon and will fly up to the Big Apple Sunday Morning. Mendenhall is likely to miss a sixth game this season, this one with the same Achilles’ issue that plagued him since his return from the PUP list. Redman is dealing with an ankle sprain and Dwyer had some tightness in his thigh that forced him to leave practice early Wednesday.
This situation is up in the air week to week and the Giants front four will try to take advantage of a depleted Steeler offensive line to rush Ben Roethlisberger and disrupt the running game. This might be a week to be hesitant about using any of the Steeler running backs this week. In order: Dwyer, Redman and Mendenhall would be the order to use them in this week.
Seattle is down to just 4 WRs on the roster as they have been hit hard by injuries at the position, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Ben Obomanu was put on IR with a hand/wrist injury that will shelve him for 6-8 weeks. Braylon Edwards’ knee bothered him Sunday morning and he was made inactive. Edwards might come back this week against Minnesota but is highly questionable. Sidney Rice and Golden Tate will lead the passing attack this week but are not recommended since Marshawn Lynch could have a big day against a suddenly leaky Vikings’ run defense.
The Dallas running back situation is screwy at best. DeMarco Murray is still out. Felix Jones is hurting and highly ineffective which would will the role to Phillip Tanner. Neither of them are good options this week against Atlanta. Dallas called for three passes on a 2nd-and-1 situation against New York. None of them are viable plays. Dez Bryant will no longer be a punt return option after muffing a kick last week against the Giants that led to a first-half touchdown.
That wraps up another clinic visit for Doc Sawbones. Hope your team stays healthy in week 9. Good luck and leave comments and questions below.