November 16, 2011
It was an ugly week for QBs in week 10, as three starting QBs suffered serious injuries, two of whom that are prominent QBs in the league.
Michael Vick suffered a pair of broken ribs on the second play of the game last week, and his performance suffered badly. Vick didn't practice Wednesday and is not expected to play vs. the NFL's top sack defense, the NY Giants. Owners should grab Vince Young asap as insurance, not just for this week, where Young is expected to start, but for the rest of the season. Vick's rib injury could keep him out more than one week, and could affect his performance as the season goes on. Reuben Frank of CSN Philly reports that Mike Kafka will only play if Young is injured. Jeremy Maclin also didn't practice, as he is dealing with a sprained AC joint in his shoulder according to Geoff Mosher. If Maclin doesn't practice by Friday, it would indicate that he will not play this week, and could indicate his injury is more serious than what has been currently revealed. Jason Avant and Steve Smith (who had an awful game vs AZ Sunday) would see more PT if Maclin can't go. DeSean Jackson is expected to play and should be started in all formats.
Matt Schaub suffered what is likely to be a season ending injury to his foot. Matt Leinart gets the reigns in Houston, so you should expect a run heavy offense centered on Arian Foster and Ben Tate as a result. Desperate owners can take a flier on Leinart but set your expectations accordingly, as Leinart has been a major bust since entering the league. T. Y. Yates is now the backup. The 5th rd pick impressed in preseason and if Leinart bombs, he's shown enough in preseason for HC Gary Kubiak to consider going to him. Andre Johnson says he will be back Week 12 according to Nick Scurfield. Its still one more missed game for him, but considering he has not been as optimistic on his return date as Kubiak has, his assertion should be taken with strong validity.
Matt Cassel underwent surgery on his throwing hand Monday according to the Kansas City Star. He is likely out for the year. Tyler Palko takes over for the Chiefs. He went undrafted in 2007, mostly due to the fact he doesn't have a strong arm and he was a scrambler. Palko could have a short leash with 5th rd pick Ricky Stanzi waiting in the wings. Downgrade all Chiefs offensive players.
According to a ProFootballTalk report on NBCSports.com, Denver's Willis McGahee sounded confident he would play Thursday vs. the Jets. Follow reports tomorrow for more info but temper your expectations. He's banged up and will likely face 8 and 9 man fronts from the Jets all day. Lance Ball becomes a must add this week as he becomes the #2 RB with Knowshon Moreno going on IR. In Denver's run heavy attack, he could get double digit touches, and there's still the possibility McGahee either doesn't play or gets a lighter load. HC John Fox has already admitted he can't run a traditional offense with Tim Tebow, but acknowledges Tebow is a "special player" and will continue to run the option offense with him at QB.
The Jets have already declared Jeremy Kerley and LaDainian Tomlinson out for this week. Patrick Turner is expected to join the roster from the practice squad, but realistically won't be much of a threat. Expect the Jets to remember who Dustin Keller is this week. Joe McKnight will be the backup RB according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. This could be an opportunity for McKnight to showcase his wares, as Shonn Greene has not excelled and his pass catching skills remain suspect.
Ryan Mathews was a full participant in practice Wednesday & insisted he is healthy per a Michael Gehlken report. He's gotten extra rest since the Chargers' loss to Oakland on Thursday. SD faces the Bears this week. Chicago's defense on the season hasn't been great at stopping other team's RBs in the yardage dept, they have been playing better as of late. Mathews is a decent RB2 this week. Malcom Floyd shouldn't be expected to play this week. HC Norv Turner conceded Floyd's non participation in practice Wednesday is a sign Floyd isn't likely to play this week. Rookie Vincent Brown has played well the past 2 weeks in his stead and will continue to get reps in Floyd's absence.
Matt Forte was limited in practice Wednesday with a shoulder injury but is expected to play. Start him with confidence.
Sam Bradford was a full participant in practice Wednesday, and appears to be over his high ankle sprain. He should be able to get back in a rhythm vs. suspect Seattle pass defense. Being at home should help, it will be Bradford's first home game since week 4. He's a low end QB2 but his budding chemistry with Brandon Lloyd gives both of them upside.
Doug Baldwin was limited in practice today after suffering from a concussion, but HC Pete Carroll believes he has a good chance to play this week vs a weak St. Louis defense. Still, you should be able to do better. Tarvaris Jackson was also a limited participant Wednesday per a John Boyle report, but its expected to be precautionary. Jackson has been very inconsistent which makes it hard to trust him despite the favorable matchup. He's an iffy start as a QB2. Sidney Rice still needs medical clearance to play vs. St Louis as he also recovers from a concussion, though he was a limited participant in practice Wednesday. Carroll is optimistic Rice will play. With the matchup hes a decent WR3.
According to the Arizona Republic, Kevin Kolb "didn't look close to being ready to play". Expect more John Skelton vs SF. Hes a low end QB2. Beanie Wells didn't practice Wednesday. Wells has been a trooper playing through a knee injury the last 2 weeks but its clearly affected his performance. Cards could just be resting him to get him as close to healthy as they can for Sunday's matchup vs San Francisco's top ranked run D.
Frank Gore didn't practice today per a Matt Barrows report, and should be expected to have a light practice week. HC Jim Harbaugh still expects Gore to play but indicated his workload could be lighter than normal. Owners should pick up Kendall Hunter as insurance.
Jacoby Ford isn't expected to play this week per a San Francisco Chronicle report. There is no timetable for his return. HC Hue Jackson said Darren McFadden is "making huge progress" in his recovery from a foot sprain per the Chronicle. DMC is still considered a long shot to play this week. He is out of the walking boot, but week 12 looks like best bet for a return. Michael Bush will continue to start in McFadden's stead.
Josina Anderson reports that Jahvid Best still has not been cleared yet for football activities, and there's still no timetable for his return. Maurice Morris will continue to start. Matt Stafford appeared to have no problems throwing the ball in practice Wednesday & took his usual number of snaps with the first team offense according to the Detroit Free Press. He should be fine for this week's matchup vs Carolina.
Harry Douglas was limited in practice Wednesday with a thigh injury, though he's expected to play Sunday. He could start if Julio Jones is unable to overcome his hamstring injury. Jones did not practice at all Wednesday according to a D. Orlando Ledbetter report. Follow his status this week, but if he doesn't practice by Friday he won't play.
Hakeem Nicks is not on the Giants injury report. If his over the shoulder catch in the 4th quarter last week vs SF wasn't enough evidence, start him with confidence. Mario Manningham was limited in practice Wednesday, but assuming no setbacks, he will play this week vs. Philly. He's a fine WR3. Ahmad Bradshaw isn't expected to play this week according to Mike Garofalo. Brandon Jacobs will start for the 3rd straight game and is a decent RB2 vs Eagles.
David Nelson missed practice Wednesday according to Joe Buscaglia, but Nelson said it was just a rest day. If Stevie Johnson can't go, Nelson would be the Bills' top WR. Johnson didn't practice Wednesday either, & isn't certain to play vs Miami this week. He suffered a shoulder injury late last week vs. Dallas. There's no structural damage, so check his status through Friday. Again, no practice by Friday = not playing.
Ryan Grant didn't practice Wednesday according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. No injury was listed, but he's clearly the #2 guy behind James Starks in the Packers pass happy offense. He isn't worth starting.
Montario Hardesty missed practice Wednesday according to Nate Ulrich. He's recovering from a torn calf, so expect Chris Ogbonnaya to continue to start this week.
Felix Jones returned to practice on a limited basis for the Cowboys Wednesday, but is now the clear cut #2 to DeMarco Murray. He's not worth starting.
AJ Green says he will be a game time decision this week according to the Bengals official twitter account. An MRI on his knee showed a bone bruise but no structural damage. If he can't go, Jerome Simpson and Jermaine Gresham should see more targets.
Lee Evans says he will be a game time decision vs Bengals according to Aaron Wilson. He has been out close to two months and would easily be behind both Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith on the depth chart, so you should be able to do better this week.
Curtis Painter has regressed so badly over the past 4 games that HC Jim Caldwell is considering changing to Dan Orlovsky. The Indianapolis Star reports that Caldwell would not commit to Painter as his QB in week 12. Throw in the fact Dallas Clark isn't expected back for at least 3 more weeks and there is no timetable for Joseph Addai to return, downgrade (in fact, avoid) all Colts offensive players as the team marches towards 0-16.
Ben Roethlisberger broke his right thumb Sunday according to Scott Brown, but says he will play when Pittsburgh returns from the bye on week 12. Owners may want to pick up Charlie Batch as insurance but Big Ben has a reputation for playing through pain and injury. While his stats could suffer somewhat short term, he's still better than Batch would be. At this time, expect Ben to be ready to go.
Start/Sit questions? Contact me on Twitter @PCreightonWCWP
You can hear Patrick Creighton on The Sportswire Fridays at 6pm on 88.1fm and WCWP.org
Patrick Creighton has appeared on WFAN NY and YES Network, and is the play-by-play voice of C.W. Post Pioneers football. Patrick's next appearance on WFAN is Dec 27th from 2-4am.