Damage Report: Clinton Clipped
By Christopher Harris
November 13, 2006
Shaun Alexander, Ray Lewis, Willis McGahee, Rodney Harrison, Ty Warren, Derrick Johnson, Matt Hasselbeck, Greg Wesley, Jerious Norwood, Leigh Bodden, Joe Horn, Brian Simmons, Rich Braham, Levi Jones, Marcus Robinson, Bob Sanders, Terry Glenn, Bernard Berrian, Simeon Rice, Carlos Emmons, Michael Strahan, Osi Umenyiora, Brandon Short (in other words, half the Giants' defense), Fred Thomas, Ian Gold, Luis Castillo, Napoleon Harris, Vernand Morency, John Abraham, Ed Hartwell, Vernon Davis, Gary Brackett.
That's quite a fantasy murderer's row. You could argue that at least something was expected of every single person on that least (okay, maybe not the stray offensive linemen), each of whom is due to return at some point in the next few weeks. Not that this list is by any means exhaustive, or that every guy mentioned above will definitely be back. But a little context does help us realize that fantasy football – and the injuries therein that shape our fantasy lives – is a cruel, cruel mistress. Let's take a look at the guys who left Sunday's games:
Tiki Barber, NYG – Barber sprained his right thumb during another great game on his retirement tour (Al and John should be proud for only mentioning it a dozen times Sunday night), and missed a large portion of the fourth quarter, as the game spiraled out of the Giants' control. It remains to be seen if he'll miss additional time.
Ronnie Brown, Mia – Brown told the Miami Herald that he was playing at "70 percent" because of a groin injury he suffered two weeks ago in Chicago. "It kind of tightened up on me," Brown said, though he did stay in the game.
Maurice Morris, Sea – Morris put up his second consecutive 100-yard rushing day against a pretty poor Rams defense, but missed the game's final few plays with an injured shoulder. There's little question that the Seahawks would be well-served if tests on Shaun Alexander's injured ankle came back "healed" early this week.
Musa Smith, Bal – Smith was carted off the field in Tennessee after Keith Bulluck landed on Smith's neck. It looked ugly, and Smith will continue to undergo tests on Monday, but X-rays were reportedly negative.
Larry Fitzgerald, Ari – Fitz played very well against the Cowboys, looking explosive and dangerous on all but a deep fly on which Matt Leinart overthrew him (and which the old Fitz probably would've caught). For the day, he registered six catches for a team-high 80 yards. However, on his final catch of the day, Fitz leapt and made an outstanding grab, but came down gimpy, left the field, and didn't return. Speculation is that he re-injured the hamstring that kept him out for more than a month, though the Cardinals say they're hopeful Fitz won't miss additional time.
Arnaz Battle, SF – Battle didn't come out of the Niners' win over the Lions, but according to the San Francisco Chronicle, post-game X-rays revealed that he fractured his left hand. Considering he played this week, it seems possible Battle could continue to play with the injury. The Niners will know more later in the week.
Eric Parker, SD – Parker left the game in Cincinnati in the second quarter because of an injured neck, and didn't return. He'll undergo tests Monday.
David Givens, Ten – Givens' horror-show of a season continued against the Ravens on Sunday; he injured his left knee and had to be carted off the field. According to the Nashville Tennessean, Jeff Fisher said the injury "doesn't look good."
Shaun Bodiford, GB – The Green Bay Press-Gazette reports that Bodiford injured his right shin in a collision with the Vikings' Antoine Winfield while returning the game's opening kickoff, and didn't return. He was seen on the sidelines on crutches. Noah Herron handled kickoff return duties thereafter.
Ryan Neufeld, Buf – The reserve tight end suffered plantar fasciitis against the Colts and didn't return.
Chris Villarrial, Buf – Oft-injured Villarrial, who is nonetheless perhaps the Bills' most important offensive linemen, injured an ankle tendon in the third quarter of Buffalo's close loss in Indy, and didn't return. The Buffalo News reports that Villarrial hurt the same tendon that caused him to miss two games earlier this year.
Mark Tauscher, GB – Tauscher hurt his right leg midway through the third quarter in Minnesota, limped off the field, and didn't return.
Luke Petitgout, NYG – Petitgout fractured his calf bone (don't you love it how everyone calls it a "fibula," and you just know they're not quite sure which leg bone that is?) in the Giants' dispiriting loss to Chicago. Petitgout told reporters that doctors told him the fracture "isn't weight-bearing," and it's unknown how much time he'll miss.
Zach Wiegert, Hou – Wiegert tore his ACL, and is out for the year. He was already replacing Charles Spencer, so the Texans are seriously hurting on the offensive line.
Jeno James, Mia – James re-aggravated an injury to his right knee, on which he underwent arthroscopic surgery less than two weeks ago. James told the Miami Herald his knee started to lock up, and he would have an MRI today to find out if he'll need to miss any time.
Billy Yates, NE – Yates started his third consecutive game in place of Stephen Neal at guard for the Patriots, but according to the Boston Globe, Yates suffered a "leg injury," and was taken to the locker room, from whence he didn't return.
Greg Ellis, Dal – According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Ellis tore his Achilles' tendon against the Cardinals this week, and is out for the season.
Antwan Peek, Hou – Peek, nominally a starter a defensive end, suffered a sprained MCL in Houston's win in Jacksonville, and will be lost for at least a couple of weeks. Jason Babin, who already plays a lot, will replace Peek.
Travis Johnson, Hou – Starting defensive tackle Johnson injured his calf, and according to the Houston Chronicle, may miss the rest of the season. The Texans' interior defensive line is officially held together by spit and bailing wire.
Travis LaBoy, Ten – LaBoy suffered a concussion Sunday against the Ravens and didn't return.
Leon Joe, Chi – Joe left Sunday night's game with a bad hamstring he injured playing special teams. He didn't return.
Jason Glenn, Min – The Vikings special-teamer left the field on a cart in the fourth quarter with a sprained knee.
DeShea Townsend, Pit – Townsend also left the game with a concussion. Townsend has been forced back into a starting corner role again this year, and has been picked on by opposing quarterbacks.
Tyrone Carter, Pit – Believe it or not, a third member of the Steelers' secondary also suffered a concussion. In Carter's case, his knocked noggin came in the service of helping Pittsburgh hang on and win; he jarred Terrance Copper on a catch deep in Steelers territory, creating a fumble with less than a minute left that sealed the win. Carter spoke with reporters after the game, and seemed to be all right.
Deltha O'Neal, Cin – The mercurial O'Neal left Sunday's contest with San Diego on Malcolm Floyd's long touchdown reception, when Floyd's leg appeared to strike O'Neal's helmet.
Sam Madison, NYG – Madison, who's struggled quite a bit in his first year with the Giants, allowed a long touchdown on a play where he seemed to re-injure a balky hamstring. He didn't return.
David Barrett, NYJ – According to the New York Daily News, Barrett hurt his ankle in the second half and didn't return.
Corey Ivy, Bal – Ivy, a regular visitor to the Damage Report, returned from his kidney tear (ow) in time to suffer a concussion on Sunday against the Titans. He didn't return.
Travis Fisher, StL – Fisher left the Seattle game in the second half with an injured right forearm. He didn't return.
Lewis Sanders, Hou – Sanders suffered a broken hand on Sunday. The starting cornerback will almost certainly miss multiple games.
Kelvin Hayden, Ind – The Indianapolis Star reports that Tony Dungy says Hayden's bruised heel "doesn't appear too serious."
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, Nov 13, 2006 12:35 pm, EST