Here are a few snippets from yesterday's 4th & Long column, along with additional injury updates from today's news.
In exceedingly disturbing news, Adrian Peterson's
2-year-old son died yesterday from severe head injuries incurred while allegedly being beaten by his mother's boyfriend. As a fellow father, this is about as horrible as it gets. Obviously, AP has
weightier concerns than the Panthers right now, but he says he's going to play Sunday. Not sure how, but I wouldn't want to be the guy trying to bring him down. Our prayers go out to AD and his family.
Stevan Ridley will probably
be back in the lineup this week, but anyone that still has him on their
roster knows better than to trust him. Those hoping that LeGarrette Blount or Brandon Bolden will come to the rescue should ratchet down their expectations as well.
All three primary backs in Oakland are
practicing on a limited basis, and it's too soon to say which of them
will be available on Sunday. Darren McFadden and Rashad Jennings are both nursing sore hamstrings, and Marcel Reece
is still dealing with a knee issue. At this point, Reece appears most
likely to play and get the bulk of the workload. He'd draw a tough
assignment against the Chiefs, but Reece's skills as a receiver make him
worth a look for teams thin at RB, especially if his fellow backs are
David Wilson may have a season-ending -- if not career-threatening -- neck injury. He's getting a second opinion, so don't drop him yet. But Brandon Jacobs should definitely be secured by those who've been counting on Wilson.
The Falcons have a Week 6 bye to patch together a solution to the season-ending injury to Julio Jones. Those of us that own both Matt Ryan and Josh Gordon think they'd be a match made in heaven. Hopefully the rumors of a Gordon trade to Atlanta are true...
Miles Austin is expected to return Sunday
night from his latest hamstring injury. While he's an iffy prospect
despite the favorable matchup, Austin's presence should give pause to
those counting on another big game from Terrance Williams.
It may not be much longer before Percy Harvin and Michael Crabtree return to action. If you have room on your bench, consider socking one or both away for the stretch run.
Andre Johnson (hamstring)
will be a game-time call Sunday against the Rams. Keep an eye out for
his status. I'm guessing you didn't need to hear this news to make your
decision on Matt Schaub. [Update: AJ says he's going to play.]
It's a similar issue for Larry Fitzgerald, as he tweaked his hamstring in a different spot this week. Though he is currently expected to play, he's questionable.
Mike Williams could miss a delicious matchup with the Eagles due to a bum hammy.
Not that you were going to start him anyway, but Lance Moore is likely out for a couple more weeks with his hand injury.
Rob Gronkowski will be a
game-time call, but after a hint of optimism earlier this week,
prospects have turned dim again. He's having on-going issues with his
surgically repaired forearm. [Update 10/12: He is now expected to be inactive. He has not been cleared to play by Dr. James Andrews.]
This news fortunately only applies to roughly 11% of you, but if you're carrying Kellen Winslow Jr, it's time to give him the heave-ho. He's just been suspended four games for PED usage.
TO JAY CUTLER: You have never been
welcome on any of my fantasy teams. Until this week, while Ryan is idle
and after Schaub became synonymous with "pick six." Nice work Thursday night, sir.
TO MAURICE JONES-DREW: You're dead to me...
TO JUSTIN BLACKMON: Talk about making lemonade out of lemons. Welcome back.