By Christopher Harris
September 11, 2006
Also See: Sunday Scene
Sunday's games were strange. A lot of first halves filled by field goals. A lot of second halves featuring comeback attempts that fell short. No one other than Arizona really exploded offensively, and several defenses were extremely good (or their opposing offenses were atrocious).
To this equation, add the fact that not all that many players were injured. Trent Green was probably the injury with the farthest-reaching fantasy implications, and on Sunday night the Chiefs were saying that Green had an "outside chance" of playing in Week 2. Fortunately for all us fantasy players, no other crucial footballers seem like they'll be inhibited come next weekend. Let's take a first pass at Monday's injury news, with an eye toward fantasy implications.
Trent Green, KC – Jake Plummer's ego took a pretty big hammering in St. Louis (who's clamoring for the Jay Cutler Era to begin in Denver?), and I'm sure lots of signal-callers around the league are mighty sore this morning. Matt Hasselbeck got dinged in the head, but stayed in the game; Chris Simms looked as though he got dinged in the head; and Kerry Collins missed Bo Scaife wide open in the end zone on fourth down as the Titans tried to score against the Jets. But the only guy whose status is officially in jeopardy is Green. He scrambled to his right and started to slide, but by the time his feet touched the ground, Cincinnati DE Robert Geathers had already launched himself, and Green's head snapped back in truly ugly fashion. He was carted off the field, but X-rays revealed no broken bones, and Green was reportedly moving around okay on Sunday night. It seems highly unlikely that Green will play Week 2 in Denver, perhaps primarily because the Chiefs have a bye in Week 3. Damon Huard will go in Green's place, but you don't want any part of him.
Mike Bell, Den – The most important fantasy backfield injury may be Mike Bell's fractured (or dislocated, depending whom you ask) finger; according to the Rocky Mountain News, he may need surgery to ease the healing process. It's unknown whether such surgery would cost him any time, but considering how good Tatum Bell looked, it's not great news for Mike Bell owners.
Reggie Bush, NO – Bush was shaken up in the first half of the Saints/Browns game, but returned and was very productive thereafter. It may be significant to note, however, that fullbacks Mike Carney and Keith Joseph were injured, and each could miss at least next week's game. This begs the question: if Sean Payton wants to run a two-back set, will Bush and Deuce McAllister set up together? (As far as I could see, it didn't happen at all in Week 1.)
Willis McGahee, Buf – McGahee twisted an ankle, which gave Anthony Thomas a chance to get a series, whereupon Thomas (naturally) scored a rushing touchdown. However, McGahee returned, and should be fine.
Cedric Benson, Chi – Benson was questionable with his separated shoulder, and didn't take a snap in anger while the game was still in question. All of his 11 carries in Green Bay came in the second half, when the Bears had the game well in hand. However, the fact that he played and was decent (11 carries, 34 yards) could mean Lovie Smith might be tempted to lean back toward a platoon with Thomas Jones.
Joe Jurevicius, Cle – Jurevicius surprisingly didn't get the start on Sunday; Braylon Edwards and Dennis Northcutt did. But Joltin' Joe did get in the game early, just in time to catch a 20-yard Charlie Frye pass and take a wicked hit from Saints FS Josh Bullocks. The catch was called back because of a holding penalty, and Jurevicius broke ribs on the play. He's out four to six weeks; in the meantime, Northcutt should start and see a bunch more targets.
Darrell Jackson, Sea – D-Jax didn't practice for about a month, but played just about the entire game in Detroit on Sunday, though he only caught five passes for 47 yards. If he played in this one, you can assume he'll play next week at home against Arizona.
Steve Smith, Car – Hopefully you listened to the Yahoo! pre-game advice and benched Smith, who missed Week 1 with two bad hammies. I wouldn't be surprised if he misses Week 2 as well; Carolina travels to Minnesota where the both the turf and the secondary are tough.
Vernon Davis, SF – Davis had a terrific debut, looking big, athletic and extremely mean. He scored on San Francisco's first possession, and wound up with five receptions for 37 yards, though he lost a fumble as well. He also missed some game time with a stinger on his hip, but he returned and should be fine for next week.
Walter Jones, Sea – Shaun Alexander's leading blocker turned his ankle, but did come back after getting examined and re-taped.
Larry Allen, SF – Frank Gore had an amazing day, but if he's to repeat his good work against the Rams next week, he'll have to do it without Allen, who sprained his knee Sunday.
Chris Snee, NYG – Snee is one of the league's best young guards, but he badly twisted his ankle on Sunday night and didn't return. Tom Coughlin was quoted Monday morning saying that it "doesn't look good."
Travelle Wharton, Car – Wharton hurt his knee and exited Sunday's game against the Falcons, causing Carolina to shuffle their offensive line (Jordan Gross, the other starting tackle, switched sides to try and cover for Wharton). Nothing the Panthers tried worked, as Atlanta's defense ran wild. This one bears watching, as the Panther o-line was expected to be solid.
Andy McCollum, StL – The Rams center has been an anchor for seven years in St. Louis (and four in New Orleans before that), having never missed a game for St. Louis. That streak appears done, as McCollum is getting an MRI on his left knee, which "doesn't look good."
Reggie Hayward, Jac – This underrated defensive end tore his Achilles against the Cowboys on Sunday and is done for the season. It's a tough blow for one of my favorite fantasy defenses this season, though the Jags may just have enough depth to get by without him.
John Abraham, Atl – If Abraham doesn't earn Defensive Player of the Week honors, there's something wrong with the system. He was just awesome, registering two sacks, pressuring Jake Delhomme several more times, forcing two fumbles and making five tackles. Unfortunately, this major offseason acquisition also tweaked a groin that kept him out of the Jets lineup for just about all of 2003. He'll get an MRI this week.
Trevor Pryce, Bal – Another major d-line acquisition, Pryce suffered a concussion in Tampa, but should be okay for Week 2.
Dan Morgan, Car – Morgan suffered another concussion, which officially makes it No. 1,000,000 for his career. It's unknown how severe this one was, but he's missed time with concussions in the past.
Takeo Spikes, Buf – Spikes made the season's first huge play, sacking Tom Brady on the Patriots' first play from scrimmage and causing a fumble that London Fletcher returned for a touchdown. Later in the game, Spikes hurt his hamstring and didn't return, though he claims he'll be all right next week.
Lito Sheppard, Phi – Sheppard sprained an ankle very early in the Eagles' game against Houston and didn't return; X-rays showed no fracture, but his status for next weekend is unknown.
Troy Vincent, Buf – Vincent (the guy Sheppard replaced in Philly) made a single tackle on which he hurt a hamstring, and left the game for good in Foxboro. His status, too, is unknown just now.
Christopher Harris is a Fantasy Sports Writers Association award-winning columnist and beagle-owner who has written about fantasy sports for SportsIllustrated.com, NBA.com, and TalentedMrRoto.com. Send Christopher a question or comment for potential use in a future column or webcast.
Updated on Monday, Sep 11, 2006 2:24 pm, EDT
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