Week 7: Game Time Decisions - Injury Updates
In this article we profile players that are struggling to get into uniform for the coming week. A few guys have already been ruled out for week seven, including Packer WR Randall Cobb (out until at least week 15), Texan TE Owen Daniels (placed on IR - likely out until week 14) and Giants running back David Wilson (dealing with a neck injury). Brandon Jacobs will draw a favorable Monday night start against Minnesota. Atlanta returns from their bye as one of the more injury riddled units in the league. Julio Jones is lost for the season, Roddy White continues to battle leg injures and RB Steve Jackson is likely to miss his fourth straight game. Tony Gonzalez has to be thinking why didn't I stay retired? Nick Foles impressed in a week six win over Tampa and is likely to get another start filling in for Mike Vick (hamstring).
Jackson suffered a hamstring injury during his week two reunion with St Louis and left the game with three carries for zero yards. In his Falcon debut, Jackson impressed rushing 11 times for 77 yards while adding five catches for 45 yards in a loss to the Saints. The 30 year old running back endured a heavy workload during his tenure in St Louis and is shaping up to be a fantasy bust in 2013. He's missed the past three games and appears very questionable to play this week following the Falcons' week six bye, which raises the question that the injury is more serious than first thought. All indications are that Jacquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling will share the workload against a solid Tampa run defense that is allowing the sixth fewest fantasy PPG to opposing running backs. Snelling is averaging 12 touches over the past three games and should dominate the red zone, while Rodgers remains the better play in PPR leagues.
Murray missed nine games during his first two seasons and suffered a sprained MCL suffered in week six – an injury likely to cost him at least one game. MCL sprains can cost a player 2-4 weeks depending on the severity of the injury, so Murray owners should be bracing for a multiple week absence. Through six games, Murray was averaging an impressive 72 yards per game on the ground with three touchdowns. He has added PPR value since he's totaled 24 catches for 164 yards. Lance Dunbar is dealing with a hamstring, which should open the door for fifth-round rookie Joseph Randle to get the start against a Philadelphia defense allowing the 18th most fantasy PPG to running backs. The Eagles are yielding 91 YPG on the ground and have allowed four touchdowns to running backs through six games. The Eagles-Cowboys game has the highest Over/Under (55 points) this week, so there should be some solid fantasy potential for Randle as the lead back for the Cowboys.
Megatron was a surprise inactive in week 5 with a knee injury, but returned in a limited fashion (played just 39 of 76 snaps) and finished with three catches for 25 yards in the week six win over Cleveland. Johnson practiced on Wednesday and appears likely to suit up for the Lions' week seven meeting with an above average Bengal pass defense that is allowing the 11th fewest fantasy PPG to opposing wide outs. Kris Durham [a teammate of Matt Stafford's at the University of Georgia] has been the primary beneficiary of more targets over the past two weeks. In week six, Durham finished with eight catches for 83 yards (team high 13 targets), one week after posting three catches for 30 yards and a touchdown. He's worth a look, especially in PPR leagues.
Cecil Shorts was held without a catch in the week six loss to Denver after he suffered a sprained shoulder (similar injury kept Ben Roethlisberger sidelined for three weeks last season). Shorts missed Thursday's practice and is having difficulty raising his arms above his head. He seems unlikely to play in a favorable matchup with a San Diego defense allowing the seventh most fantasy points to WRs. Justin Blackmon is coming off a career afternoon in Denver (14 catches for 190 yards) and could enter WR1 status this week as he's likely to see 10+ targets with Shorts in street clothes. Liberty alum Mike Brown caught four passes for 49 yards against Denver and is likely to start opposite Blackmon against San Diego.
The 29 year-old WR suffered a PCL knee injury in the week six win over Baltimore and his status for this week's meeting with Cleveland is in major jeopardy after he missed Thursday's practice. Jones is averaging 70 yards per game and has scored two touchdowns through the first five games this season (had 14 touchdowns in 2012). Randall Cobb was also injured in week six and he'll be out until at least week 15; Cobb is droppable in all re-draft leagues (unless you have an IR spot). Jordy Nelson and Jermichael Finley will see a major boost in targets and rookie Jarrett Boykin [a second year player from Virginia Tech] could get the start at WR if Jones is unable to go. Cleveland's pass defense [led by CB Joe Haden] is allowing the second fewest fantasy points per game to opposing WRs, so temper your expectations for the Packer passing game this week.