Sunday, August 30, 2009

Preseason Week 3 injury updates, and more

Bill Belichick is notoriously tight-lipped when it comes to discussing player injuries, so there's really no telling how seriously Tom Brady's shoulder was hurt when behemoth DT Albert Haynesworth pile-drived him in Friday night's game. All we're being told is that Brady is "sore," and that the result of the hit was just normal "bumps and bruises." But I'm not sure there's anything normal about a shoulder that gets driven into the ground by a 330-pound on-rushing defender. Keep an eye on this one...

Meanwhile, don't lose track of what happened before Brady left the game: He and Randy Moss were on fire, with Moss collecting six passes for 60 yards and 2 TDs. That's why both are at the top of my positional rankings.

In Arizona, Kurt Warner continues to look rusty, having not thrown a TD pass all preseason. Given his gimpy hip, I'm really starting to worry about his ability to make it through the season in one piece. No doubt he'll be among the best when he's in the game, but can he put together back-to-back 16-game seasons at his age? It's a real issue, which becomes magnified when you think about what would happen to Fitzgerald's and Boldin's value should Matt Leinart be needed for a game or more.

By the way, did you notice how Beanie Wells did in his first preseason action? How about 7 carries for 46 yards and 2 TDs! That's why I have him listed in my Top 10 RB rankings, and why I am making absolutely certain that he doesn't slip by me in the 5th or 6th rounds of my drafts. I realize it's just a preseason game, but his performance is exactly what I -- and the Cardinals -- were looking for to convince us that he will be the team's workhorse (and goal-line) back this season.

Oh, and remember the heads-up I gave you on Packers TE Jermichael Finley? He reeled in 2 TD passes on Saturday. He might be worth picking up sooner rather than later after all.

Matt Cassel left Saturday night's game with a thigh injury, but X-rays have since come back negative. He should be fine as a fantasy backup, though he hasn't exactly lit up the scoreboard during the preseason with his new team.

Michael Turner's backup, Jerious Norwood, injured his knee in the Falcons' preseason tilt on Saturday, but early indications are that it's nothing to be concerned about. He may even play next week, and seems to be a lock to suit up as normal in Week 1 of the regular season.

Despite all indications to the contrary, Reggie Bush did not play in the Saints' preseason game as a precaution. Sorry...I just can't risk a draft pick on a guy who's already injury-prone and still can't get on the field 8 months after the '08 season ended.

This just in: Drew Brees is pretty darn good.

As expected, Rashard Mendenhall did little to indicate that he's going to infringe much on Willie Parker's value this season. Getting his first start of the preseason, Mendenhall posted a pedestrian 48 yards on 16 carries. Parker offers great value in the 5-7th rounds.

Run DMC (Darren McFadden) looked awful last night, amassing zero yards on 3 carries. But hey, at least he fumbled twice! Ouch. I still like his chances to break out this season, but he's not doing much to make my optimism look logical.

Kevin Smith and Calvin Johnson both looked sharp in the Lions' win over the Colts. Smith combined for 83 yards on 8 rushes and 3 receptions, while Megatron hauled in 4 passes for 67 yards. Good signs for both.

Forget about drafting KC WR Mark Bradley, who showed promise last season. He's been supplanted in the starting lineup by Devard Darling (don't mess with him either after he got dinged up last night). I'm dropping Bradley out of my Top 60 WR rankings, which will be released tomorrow.

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