Saturday, September 12, 2009
Pierre out, Bell in, Welker looks good to go
No game-time decision on Pierre Thomas. He's out for Week 1. Don't hesitate to put Mike Bell in your lineup if you had been counting on Thomas. He should get a big load against the Lions; and, even if it's a blowout, he will likely stay in the game longer than the other key position players, since he's not a bona fide starter. Bell is the team's goal-line back even when Thomas is playing, so count on at least one score from the preseason sensation. (FYI, I "tweeted" this news last night. Make sure you're signed up for breaking news updates at twitter.com/ladd_biro.)
If I had to guess -- I don't, but I will anyway -- I'd say that Wes Welker will play (and play well) on Monday night, but we probably won't see Kevin Walter or Bernard Berrian. Not that you probably care, but I doubt Deion Branch suits up either.
I don't like the words that came out of Anquan Boldin's mouth yesterday: "You don't want to risk getting injured and then being out four weeks. That would be stupid. It's a long season. It's only Week 1. I'd rather sit out game one as opposed to sitting out four or five other games."
Hmmm. Methinks I know which way he's leaning now. Time for Plan B.
Conversely, here's Chris Henry's take on the thigh bruise that landed him on the injury report this week: "I'm playing. You can't miss this, it's the opener. I'm doing everything I can do to rehab and be ready for this game."
Funny. Given their respective histories, you'd expect those quotes to be reversed, wouldn't you?
Why am I not buying all the enthusiasm for Matt Hasselbeck, who's facing the stink-ola Rams defense in the opener? Because LT Walter Jones and C Chris Spencer are out, and last year's starting LG left in free agency. Leonard Little could be using Hasselbeck as a futon by the second quarter of this game. Those counting on big numbers out of Hasselbeck this week should remember that QBs are worthless when they're lying on their backs.
Jets TE Dustin Keller is listed as probable for Sunday's game against Houston. If he's your top TE option, start him with confidence.