Injury Rundown: Down and out

Andy Behrens

If your league's championship gets settled in Week 17, then injuries are the least of your worries right now. Every NFL playoff spot is secured, except for the final wild-card in each conference. The first-round byes are decided, too. There's a very good chance that stars who've carried you for 16 weeks won't be available to help in the most important week of your fantasy season.

But don't worry, Luke McCown will be there. So will Clifton Dawson, Ahmad Bradshaw, Ruvell Martin, Aaron Rodgers (or possibly Craig Nall), Michael Clayton, T.J. Duckett, Jim Sorgi, and at least a dozen other un-owned players who could find themselves among the Week 17 scoring leaders.

Don't waste any effort complaining. That's really not going to help right now. If you signed up for a league that plays meaningful games in Week 17, this is what happens. Let's look at the key injuries from this weekend's games …

Terrell Owens (high ankle sprain)
No real chance he plays at Washington next weekend. Sam Hurd should benefit, fantasy-wise. The Cowboys wrapped up home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs when Green Bay lost in Week 16, so the Redskins might be seeing Brad Johnson, Miles Austin, Tyson Thompson, Anthony Fasano and other such luminaries. There a decent chance Owens and Tony Romo will have plenty of time on the sidelines to admire each other's backwards hats.

Willis McGahee (broken ribs)
He took a shot at the end of a one-yard gain in the first quarter in Seattle and reportedly broke two ribs. McGahee's season is almost certainly finished. Mike Anderson replaced him, losing a fumble that led directly to a touchdown. Then he left the game with a hamstring issue, and was replaced by Musa Smith. The Ravens get Pittsburgh at home in Week 17, in a game that really won't mean much for either team. Cleveland's loss at Cincinnati clinched an AFC North Division title and a home playoff game for Pittsburgh.

Kevin Jones (knee)
"It doesn't look good." That's how Rod Marinelli described Jones' knee injury following Detroit's Week 16 win. T.J. Duckett will be your principle Detroit running back in Week 17 at Green Bay. Duckett carried 15 times for 102 rushing yards and one TD against the Chiefs on Sunday.

Prediction: Jonathan Stewart will be the Lions' Week 1 starting RB in 2008.

Marques Colston (chest)
Let's just quote the Associated Press' account of this injury: "Marques Colston left the game in the first half with a chest contusion that had him spitting up blood." That's pretty unpleasant. Colston had missed practice time during the week with a back injury, too.

Brandon Jacobs and Aaron Stecker both left their teams' Week 16 games with apparent ankle injuries, but both later returned. Brodie Croyle injured his throwing hand chasing that Paris Lenon interception return TD. That might have been the worst attempted tackle in NFL history that didn't involve a punter or kicker.