Saturday, November 28, 2009
Saturday updates from around the NFL
First, I hope every Fool had a wonderful Thanksgiving with friends and family.
Okay, enough of the sappy stuff. Let's talk football...
Wish I had some definitive news on the various RBs who've been hurt, but it looks like Cedric Benson, Michael Turner and Julius Jones will all come down to game-time decisions. All three have outstanding matchups, so whoever starts should be in your starting lineup (except Julius; I don't trust him). That means Bernard Scott, Jason Snelling and Justin Forsett should be starting for you if they get the call for their club.
For what it's worth, I think Benson is the most likely to play. Turner has a high ankle sprain, which normally costs players two weeks or more. And Julius had a pretty serious lung contusion, so I can't imagine them risking his health against the Rams when Forsett is fully capable of covering for him. The main caveat for Snelling is that Jerious Norwood is likely to be back from his hip injury. Don't think he's going to get a lot of carries, though; so that shouldn't dampen your enthusiasm much.
Steven Jackson (back) has missed practice all week and will also be a game-day call. It doesn't sound to me like he's in real danger of sitting out, but anything is possible. If he plays, he's a must-start vs. Seattle. Make sure you're getting my inactive tweets.
By the way, Marc Bulger will be out for a few weeks with various injuries, so Kyle Boller will start in his place. Not sure if that's good or bad news for Donnie Avery, frankly. But at least they've had a full week of practice to get in sync.
Steve Slaton will get another start for Houston, but continues to split carries with Chris Brown. Hey, Ryan Moats, it was nice to meet ya. See ya later. Slaton is not a great start against Indy, but not a terrible one either. I wouldn't touch Chris Brown though.
I'm warning you, AP owners. It's just a matter of time before your top pick sits out a game or more with one ailment or another. He's been limited in practice this week with a sore ankle and an undisclosed illness. He's listed as questionable but it sounds like he'll be good to go this week. Just don't be surprised if he plays sparingly, especially if the Vikings get a comfortable lead on the Bears. If you don't have Chester Taylor waiting in the wings, you're playing with fire.
I'm still of the very strong opinion that Kurt Warner will start and play extremely well against the Titans. For those of you who suddenly fear Tennessee now that they've gone on a 4-game winning streak, keep in mind who they've beaten: JAX, SF, BUF and HOU. That's hardly a formidable gantlet to run. Meanwhile, they keep giving up loads of passing yards and scores (a league-worst 25 passing TDs to date), so don't hesitate to start Warner if he suits up. He's been practicing all week and says he feels fine. The Titans might just upset the visiting Cards, but they won't hold Warner down.
Big Ben has now be ruled OUT for Sunday night's game. As highlighted in this week's Starters & Benchwarmers -- which I wrote Wednesday when it appeared he was a shoo-in to play -- I didn't like his matchup against the Ravens anyway. Rookie Dennis Dixon will get his first career start. Methinks he would prefer not to see Ray Lewis staring him down in his initial outing, but that's why he's making the big bucks.
Laveranues Coles will be a game-time decision as well. He's a marginal WR3 against the Browns, but hopefully you have better options.
Rookie TE Brandon Pettigrew is out for the season after blowing out his knee on Thanksgiving. He was just starting to develop into an interesting option, so that's a shame.
If you have Neil Rackers, be prepared to make a last-minute switch. He's been dealing with a groin injury and is listed as questionable. Since he plays in the 4:15 ET game Sunday, it might be wise to make a preemptive move, depending on how your waiver system works. Rackers isn't someone you can't live without anyway.
Adam Vinatieri has already been ruled out again. Matt Stover will continue to handle kicking duties for the undefeated Colts.