October 01, 2011
Players get hurt in the middle of all that elegant violence, so let's have a good look around. It's a shorter lap than usual, thankfully; the injury list is considerably tighter than it was at this time last week.
• So much for the Daniel Thomas(notes) buzz: he suffered a hamstring injury late in the week and has been ruled out for Sunday's game at San Diego. This forces the Dolphins to go back to Reggie Bush(notes) as a starter, and it also means newcomer Steve Slaton(notes) is likely to see some work. Miami also has 240-pound Lex Hilliard(notes) to consider, at least in goal-line situations.
• Beanie Wells(notes) (hamstring) is a game-time decision for the second consecutive week; he took some reps Friday. Wells is optimistic that he can go, the common player stance on most injuries. Ken Whisenhunt is also whistling a positive tune here, but we won't know anything until Sunday. Arizona plays one of the late games Sunday, so stash Wells into a flex spot and have a caddy ready. (Would Wells prove more durable if he had a rugged, tough-guy nickname? I suppose it's too late to switch now.)
• Ryan Grant(notes) (kidney) is out for Week 4, which means James Starts gets the plum start against the Broncos. If you're desperate for a cheap look at a touchdown, John Kuhn(notes) might see work at the goal.
• Arian Foster(notes) (hamstring) had a good week of practice and will go back to the starting gig against Pittsburgh. Gary Kubiak says the Texans will "put [Foster] back to work full-time and see how he holds up." The vaunted Steelers rushing defense hasn't been sharp in 2011, allowing 4.6 yards a carry.
• The Rams expect to start Steven Jackson (quad) against the Redskins. Jackson practiced Friday and is listed as probable.
•Speaking of backs in limbo, Cedric Benson will play in Week 4; his three-game league suspension looms, but he has an appeal pending. Buffalo comes in on Sunday. If the Bernard Scott(notes) segment of the program were to start next week, he would face Jacksonville, Indianapolis and Seattle (the Bengals also have their bye in the middle of all that, Week 7).
• Frank Gore(notes) (ankle) did some work Friday and probably will go at Philly, though his official injury tag is questionable and he's no sure thing to handle a heavy workload. We'll know after the pre-game warmup; in the meantime, I'm ranking him outside the Top 30 at the position. Kendall Hunter(notes) is the No. 2 back for the Niners.
• Dez Bryant(notes) (quad) did very little at Friday's practice after sitting out the Thursday session. He's going to be a game-time decision for Sunday's match against Detroit. At least it's an early game, a break for the rotoheads. Miles Austin(notes) (hamstring) will not play this week, and all things considered, the Cowboys are probably happy to have their bye slotted for Week 5.
• Vincent Jackson(notes) (abdomen) and Malcom Floyd(notes) (groin) were at Friday's practice and should go against the Dolphins. It's a wonderful time to draw Miami, as the secondary is in shambles and corner Vontae Davis (hamstring) won't play.
• Roddy White(notes) (thigh) missed some work this week and is listed as questionable, though he's played through that tag through regularly through his career. Give him the due-diligence check on Sunday, but I fully expect him to go at Seattle.
• Jacoby Ford(notes) (hamstring) was active in practice this week but he admits he's not 100 percent yet and the Raiders are listing him as questionable. Even with New England's messy secondary on the other side, Ford looks too risky to use.
• Danny Amendola(notes) (elbow) missed Friday's practice and doesn't seem ready to return quite yet. Someday, I'd like to see the Rams add a franchise receiver to their offense; Sam Bradford(notes) deserves it.
• Antonio Gates(notes) (foot) is listed as doubtful, though no one expects him to play. It's possible we might not see him return until Week 8. Veteran Randy McMichael(notes) is a reasonable fantasy fill-in if you're in a deeper pool.
Images courtesy Associated Press