Thursday, December 3, 2009
News you can use from around the NFL
First off, thanks to all who responded to yesterday's personal appeal. I'm grateful for your generosity and the thoughts and prayers on Danny's behalf.
Now, on to the updates...
All signs point to Big Ben and Kurt Warner returning to action this week, though Warner's status is still day-to-day. Fortunately, his lingering vision problems subsided yesterday, so he seems in little jeopardy of sitting out another game. Though he and the Cards won't risk long-term damage, the team needs him back in the lineup as Arizona's lead in the NFC West is quickly disappearing.
Concussions will keep Westbrook and Portis sidelined again, while Jamal Lewis has already landed on IR. I'd love to think Chris Jennings (pictured above) will join the ranks of stellar backups now that he has landed a starting gig in Cleveland; but really...what have you seen out of him -- or the Browns, for that matter -- that makes you willing to put him in your lineup? Not to mention Jerome Harrison will get a fair share of the carries as well.
Speaking of concussions, it's safe to assume DeSean Jackson won't play this week. Even though the Eagles have yet to rule him out, one constant has emerged this year: Teams, and players, aren't messing with head injuries any more. I still like McNabb against the Falcons' horrible pass defense, and both Jeremy Maclin and Jason Avant should perform nicely in D-Jax's absence.
In Atlanta, Chris Redman will get the start for the injured Matt Ryan (toe), while Michael Turner will surely miss another game after aggravating his ankle last week. Keep in mind that's better news for Jerious Norwood than it is for Jason Snelling. I'm also concerned about Roddy White's chances against the Eagles. Keep in mind he was on pace for a pretty mediocre game against the lowly Bucs until his last second TD catch.
DeAngelo Williams' ankle has kept him out of practice, but that's become a weekly recurrence with him. Don't be unnecessarily alarmed, but we'll keep an eye on his status all the way up to game time.
Bad news for Justin Forsett's owners: Julius Jones appears to be heading back to the starting lineup. Frankly, I don't understand what's the rush, but sharing carries is bad news for both backs when the opponent is San Fran's tough run defense. Perhaps Forsett will show the coaches what you and I already know: He's better than Julius. Then we can start him again during the fantasy playoffs.
I don't expect to see Ahmad Bradshaw suit up this week against the Cowboys. Nor do I expect much from the incredible, shrinking Brandon Jacobs. Wow...what's happened to him?
Cedric Benson (hip) has already been named the starter for Week 13. He also rejected to half court the notion that he'll be sharing carries with Larry Johnson and/or Bernard Scott, given their solid performances in relief. That ain't gonna happen. Benson was one of the best stories of 2009 before getting hurt three weeks ago, and you can bet he'll run roughshod over the Lions in his return to the gridiron. The only way LJ puts up stats is if the Bengals get off to an insurmountable lead and they decide to rest Benson early. Scott's best chance to find the end zone will be as a kick returner, though he may not even play given his turf toe injury.
Looks like Matt Moore will start over the injured (finger) and ineffective Jake Delhomme. This change has been a long time coming. Moore can't be any worse for Steve Smith than Delhomme was. Can he?
I love all things NFL, but I must admit to having a large measure of ambivalence about tonight's Jets-Bills matchup. I'm expecting big things from Thomas Jones, but I'm benching TO (picked him up off waivers in one league a few weeks ago!), mostly because I like my other options better. But I don't expect much from either passing game tonight. Fred Jackson should have a decent game, though probably nothing to get overly worked up about. Marshawn Lynch is darn near waivable at this point.
In case you missed it, Chris Cooley was placed on IR a couple days ago. So if you were holding out hope for his return, it's time to move on.
Jason Elam has been booted (sorry) from Atlanta, and replaced by former Buc Matt Bryant. Meanwhile, Lawrence Tynes and Nick Folk also appear to be on thin ice due to some uncharacteristic misses lately. Though I doubt either is in jeopardy of losing his job -- mostly because of the dearth of talent available on the market -- it's something to keep an eye on. I just dropped Tynes for Bironas in one league, more due to the Titans' resurgence and the Giants' fading fortunes than anything.