Monday is inevitably a day of anxious injury tracking. If you're a Ronnie Brown owner, there's just no way to focus on your job at the moment. You really have to wonder what the net impact of fantasy football is on workplace productivity, don't you? Brandon Funston alone probably costs U.S. businesses over a billion dollars a year.
Sunday was another cruel day, injury-wise. Here are the tweaks, aggravations and sprains that we'll be monitoring all week …
Ronnie Brown, knee
Quick, can you name all the running backs who've outscored Ronnie Brown this season in fantasy leagues?
The answer, of course, is nobody. Not LaDainian Tomlinson, not Larry Johnson, not Adrian Peterson … nobody. Brown's 125 fantasy points lead all running backs. He was injured while trying to make a tackle on an interception return in the second half of a 42-7 game. "I didn't feel anything pop and I just got it twisted up," he later told reporters. Fears of an ACL injury were expressed following the game, however.
The Miami Herald's Jeff Darlington, citing unnamed sources, has reported that Brown will miss the remainder of the season. We're awaiting official confirmation from the team. If this were "Deal or No Deal" and you were offered four weeks and a sprain, you'd really have to take it right now. Jesse Chatman is available in over 99 percent of Yahoo! leagues; he would clearly be the fantasy beneficiary if Brown is done.
Travis Henry, ribs
Entering the season, you would have never guessed that we'd all pretty much hate the Denver running back situation entering Week 8. But we do.
Henry left the Broncos' Week 7 win over Pittsburgh with what the Denver Post calls "badly bruised ribs." There are multiple reasons to get off the Henry bus – which you have to imagine is a lot like Ken Kesey's bus – but it's not like you can really jettison the Broncos' starting RB. Any competitive fantasy owner with Henry on their roster should have added Selvin Young by now, but he remains available in over 60 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
Frank Gore, ankle
Gore ran for 88 yards on 14 carries against the Giants, and his fantasy owners are fortunate that the fumble on that botched handoff was attributed to Trent Dilfer. Gore played through an ankle sprain in Week 7. He has a series of favorable match-ups coming up: New Orleans, Atlanta, Seattle, St. Louis. We'll have to watch this situation all week. It's not like Michael Robinson or Maurice Hicks can just step in and produce Gore's numbers.
Brandon Jacobs, ankle
That's what Tom Coughlin called Jacobs on Monday: "Fine." Jacobs figures to be limited this week, but it sounds as though he'll play against the Dolphins in Week 8. That, obviously, is a great match-up. Miami allows 156.4 rushing yards per game.
Matt Schaub, hip
Schaub was swallowed whole by Albert Haynesworth on Sunday. Here's what Gary Kubiak told the Houston Chronicle about Schaub: "He's having an MRI. We're concerned about his hip. But just in general, Matt's beat up."
Sage Rosenfels was positively Jim Everett-like in Schaub's absence, throwing four touchdown passes and three interceptions. The Texans face the Chargers in Week 8, and – unless you're Jay Cutler – you can actually throw productively against San Diego. They allow 238.0 passing yards per game.
Matt Hasselbeck, oblique
This injury doesn't sound so bad. But Hasselbeck's comments to the Seattle Times were funny enough that he has to be listed in the rundown: "I think it's a great thing. Actually I'm kind of excited. They told me I tweaked my oblique, which is awesome because I didn't know I had any obliques."
Byron Leftwich, ankle
It's doubtful that you thought any Falcons quarterback would be the solution to any fantasy problem, so you're probably not affected by Leftwich's apparent ankle sprain. Bobby Petrino told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "I'm hoping Byron's on a timetable that he's back at some point." That clearly doesn't sound promising. Joey Harrington will resume warming the chair for Brian Brohm.
- Ronnie Brown