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Andy Behrens

7-on-7: Clinton Portis just needs a new leg, that's all

Andy Behrens
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The Redskins have become the best kind of bad football team, providing great theater if not great on-field product. The erosion of Jim Zorn's authority – and the subsequent defense of Zorn by various stars of the 1970s – has been a delight to watch if you have no rooting interest in the team, nor any fantasy investment in Washington's, um..."talent." One of the mysteries of the NFL season thus far is the relatively sad performance of Clinton Portis(notes) in matchups that should have been outstanding. This week, Portis discussed a few of the injuries affecting him, ultimately concluding that he requires at least one new leg: "It's just my right leg. I've got plantar faciitis, an ankle, the inside of my MCL, and a calf all on my right leg. So if I can get a new lower leg, I'll be fine." [Washington Post]
In all likelihood, you were not planning to lean heavily on the Jets passing game in Week 7. But if you were, please note that Jerricho Cotchery(notes) has already been ruled out of the matchup with Oakland due to a left hamstring injury: "'I was hoping, I know he is getting better and all that,' [Rex] Ryan said on Cotchery. 'At the end we are just like, we definitely don't want this to happen all the time and each week we are wondering is he going to be up. We don't want to make it worse. If we get a chance to get him 100 percent or near 100 percent that is probably the best option.'" Start Thomas Jones(notes), start Leon Washington(notes); hope that Mark Sanchez(notes) doesn't mess things up. [New York Daily News]
Cotchery isn't the only low-ceiling wide receiver who's battling injuries: "Roy Williams said Thursday he will play Sunday against the Falcons, but coach Wade Phillips is not so sure. ... 'You can tell he's in pain sometimes during practice, catching the ball, those kinds of things,' Phillips said." Nice to hear that Williams can apparently catch balls in practice. He seems unable to catch 'em in the end zone. [Dallas Morning News. Let's make this a very special two-for-one news bullet: Felix Jones(notes) (PCL) "looks like he will be fullspeed on Sunday against the Falcons."]
If indeed the Jacksonville coaching staff was privately "not happy with the comments" made by Maurice Jones-Drew(notes) after the team's disastrous 41-0 loss to Seattle, they actually handled the situation quite well. And they gave MJD 33 carries with which to back up his words. [Lots of nuggets in this link: Pro Football Weekly. It's not just MJD]
We've already discussed the struggles of the Bears' offensive line and the obvious impact on Matt Forte(notes). Here are a few of Greg Cosell's observations, based on a review of the coaching tape: "Bears offense very constricted. My sense is it’s by design – they are trying to protect a bad OL, and they don’t want Cutler running around trying to make individual plays outside the framework of the offense. ... Cutler forced to make far too many throws with pressure in his face, very few clean pockets. ... LT Pace really struggled to anchor. It looks as if there is no strength left in his lower body – he has no movement skills anymore. He is a liability as a pass protector. ... RT Williams struggled with pass protection in this game, tough to develop any kind of downfield passing attack when both tackles have troubling protecting – one reason TE Olsen has not been a big factor in the passing game at the intermediate levels." And it just goes on and on and on and on like that. Horrid. Depressing. []
Indianapolis safety Bob Sanders(notes), the AP's 2007 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, will return to the field in Week 7 at St. Louis. He's been sidelined by Iowa Hawkeye fever! a knee injury of unspecified severity. His return is obviously a huge boost to a defense that already sat near the top of the weekly position ranks. [Indianapolis Star]
In other Colts news, wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez(notes) is reportedly nearing a return: "'It’s kind of a day to day thing,' [coach Jim] Caldwell said. 'He’s been feeling really good. He has not obviously practiced to this point, but we do feel that he’s going to start shortly. When that is, I’m not certain.'" This clearly isn't great news for Pierre Garcon's(notes) rest-of-season production; slot receiver Austin Collie(notes) has a better chance to retain his present value. [Associated Press]


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