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Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak chatted with the media on Monday and made some intriguing comments about injured wide receiver Andre Johnson. In discussing Johnson, Kubiak stated that he was day-to-day and he would not yet rule him out for Sunday's game against the Baltimore Ravens.
Johnson suffered a hamstring injury that required a surgical procedure expected to sideline him upwards of three weeks. He missed this past week's game, but now Kubiak thinks Johnson will try and practice during the coming days. The odds are slim that he will play against the Ravens, but it is worth checking the practice participation reports to see if he is in the mix.
The Texans were able to spread the ball around to a mix of players on Sunday against the Raiders. Arian Foster was their leading receiver, with Joel Dreessen, Owen Daniels and Kevin Walter getting into the mix significantly. The Raiders have had trouble in the past with tight ends so it is not surprising that Dreessen had success on Sunday. For fantasy purposes, Kevin Walter could be the guy to look to moving forward while Johnson remains out.
Jacoby Jones filled in for Johnson at the X role but only had one reception for nine yards. He once again remains a non-factor in fantasy. Kevin Walter is not a superstar wide receiver, but I would not be surprised to see him continue to take advantage of added playing time during Johnson's absence.
Buffalo Bills wide receiver Donald Jones will be sidelined for four to six weeks with what is being described as a high ankle sprain, suffered in the Bills 31-24 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. Jones grabbed two catches for 25 yards before leaving with the sprain. Following the game he was seen on crutches with a boot on his ankle.
When Jones went down with the ankle injury, David Nelson slid over into the starting receiver spot opposite Stevie Johnson. Nelson was only targeted twice, catching one pass for six yards, but it was a touchdown reception. Naaman Roosevelt ended up as the primary beneficiary in the slot position. Roosevelt was targeted seven times and finished with five receptions for 41 yards.
Roosevelt and Nelson are questionable fantasy options at best, but could be possibilities if you face a particularly tough bye week. It will be interesting to see how the New York Giants game-plan around those two receivers. Nelson was the higher upside guy coming into the game, but Roosevelt did a bit more with his opportunity. If you can get either without spending quality waiver priority go ahead. But if you've got good waiver priority a running back like Jackie Battle would be a better add.
Washington Redskins running back Tim Hightower spoke with the media on Monday and said he had every intention of playing this Sunday when the Redskins face the Eagles. Hightower reportedly injured his shoulder in the Redskins 17-10 win over the Rams. Ryan Torain came on in relief and put together a dominant performance that naturally raised some questions about the Redskins rushing situation.
When Mike Shanahan has dealt with injuries in the past, it has often led to a running back by committee situation. Given the performance of Torain against the Rams, it would not be surprising to see some sort of committee. For fantasy purposes that creates huge headaches since it conceivably limits the value of BOTH Torain and Hightower.
The good news for owners of either running back is that the Redskins host the Philadelphia Eagles who boast one of the worst rush defenses in the league. If Torain and Hightower both play, they could both be viable fantasy options given the weak performance of the Eagles rushing defense for much of this season.
For now though, you'll want to keep an eye out for updates on the Redskins this week. I don't know if we'll get many straight answers from Mike Shanahan, but information could still leak out. We'll have updates throughout the week.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back LeGarrette Blount left the team's ugly loss to San Francisco in the third quarter after taking a hit to his lower left leg. Blount was struggling on the day with 34 yards on ten carries and his team was down big, which makes it less surprising to see him seated for the fourth quarter. Head coach Raheem Morris did not know whether Blount would have been able to return to the game if needed, stating simply, "I just listen to what my doctors tell me. I know he didn't come back. He was icing down. Healthy men have to play."
The Bucs host a tough Saints squad next Sunday followed by the Bears before hitting their bye week. The 49ers are a tough defense against the run, so his struggles are not exactly shocking. We'll get a better idea of his status when Morris meets the press on Monday. If Blount is limited, Earnest Graham would be the next man up. We'll keep an eye on Morris' press conferences and Wednesday through Friday practice participation reports to see just how Blount is feeling this week.
San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews saw his day come to a premature conclusion after a strong showing that was marred by multiple injuries. Mathews finished the day with 125 rushing yards but he had to enter and exit the game as injuries built up. The Chargers lead back injured his calf in the first quarter and subsequently injured his wrist as well.
The Chargers were forced to mix up their rushing game due to these injuries as well as a concussion suffered by Mike Tolbert. Jacob Hester was forced into extra duty and finished with 11 carries for 47 yards, running behind impromptu fullback Randy McMichael. The Chargers were forced to mix and match but still found success in holding off the Denver Broncos.
The Chargers will likely have an update on both Mathews and Tolbert on Monday. I would suspect the two backs will be sidelined for some of practice this week. It will likely take at least two or three days to get a better idea of the full status of both running backs.
Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson struggled in the Titans big loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and that extended into the training room. Johnson left the game after 51 yards on 14 carries due to some tightness in his hamstring. Johnson started the game strong with a 21-yard run on his first touch of the game. Unfortunately that was the highlight for him as he averaged a mere 3.6 yards per carry in a season filled with struggles for the former fantasy stud.
Johnson said after the game that he was set to get back onto the field but by then the game was out of hand and the coaching staff didn't want to risk further injury. That is a reasonable excuse for keeping Johnson out of the game, but his situation will bear watching moving forward. The Titans are on bye this coming week, so he'll have extra time to loosen up the hamstring.
We likely won't hear a whole lot this week, but next week it will be worth keeping an eye out to see what happens with that hamstring. If he is not practicing the week of the Titans next game, then there might be some reason for concern. For now just hold steady. Depending on Monday's update, we'll keep an eye on the necessary running back waiver wire details for you.
Pittsburgh Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall is listed as active by the Steelers for their 1 p.m. tilt against the Tennessee Titans, but ESPN's Chris Mortensen is reporting that he's only available for emergency duties. Isaac Redman will get the start.
Speculation has come all week that Mendenhall would either be inactive or not play today. Last year's breakout fantasy RB has been disappointing all year, tallying only 173 yards and two touchdowns in four games, running for only three yards per carry and less than 50 yards a game. Now, Mendenhall is, for all intents and purposes, sidelined with a hamstring injury. Anyone who's dealt with a hamstring strain can tell you they're the most frustrating to deal with because of their ability to linger, and completely, well, hamstring your ability.
Redman is probably only of any use as a flex play as the Steelers' offense has struggled. With Ben Roethlisberger's injury probably limiting him and the banged up offensive line, avoid Steelers if possible.
For more info on the Steelers, check out Behind The Steel Curtain.
Mario Manningham, Hakeem Nicks and really any other potential receiver on the New York Giants could be poised for big day against the Seattle Seahawks now that cornerback Marcus Trufant has been ruled inactive for Sunday's game. Second year cornerback Walter Thurmond will start in place of Trufant, a former Pro Bowl corner who had been fighting a back injury.
Nicks is coming off a monster game against the Arizona Cardinals, another team that has been dealing with injuries in its secondary. The Giants third-year receiver caught 10 passes for 162 yards and a touchdown last week. He now has two touchdowns and 347 receiving yards for the season.
Manningham has gotten off to a much slower start, but could be poised for a breakout game. Although he's caught just seven passes for 115 yards, his speed makes him a constant deep threat and the Seahawks will likely be especially vulnerable this week.
For more fantasy updates, be sure to follow this StoryStream.
Michael Vick was simply phenomenal last week, but in case he goes down, it’ll be Vince Young, not Mike Kafka, who takes over:
Heap has been a lower-tier fantasy option (to say the least), but with six NFL teams on a bye this week, it’s possible some casual fans might remember he was a one-time fantasy force and roll the dice. Despite the fact he’s yet to find the end zone this year, he’s actually done a decent job racking up yards for a tight end, picking up at least 40 yards in three of his four games.
But again, don’t be that guy — he’s not playing this week.
For more on today’s game, see SB Nation’s Cardinals-Vikings preview. For more on the Cardinals head over to Revenge of the Birds. For more on the Vikings, check out Daily Norseman. Follow the rest of Week 5 of the regular season at SB Nation NFL.
Beanie Wells is officially active for the Cardinals this week. This should not come as a surprise: despite officially being listed as questionable with a hamstring, he didn't miss a practice all week.
Wells was questionable heading into last week's game, but that didn't stop him from carrying his heaviest load of the season. He ran the ball 27 times for 138 yards while scoring three touchdowns against the Giants. For the season, Wells is averaging an impressive 5.4 yards per carry, although the Vikings hope to knock that number down this week.
Minnesota has done an excellent job stopping the run: they're fifth in the league by giving up just 76.3 rushing yards per game, and they rank sixth by allowing just 3.3 yards per carry. They've given up just three rushing touchdowns on the year, half of what they've allowed through the air.
For more on today's game, see SB Nation's Cardinals-Vikings preview. For more on the Cardinals head over to Revenge of the Birds. For more on the Vikings, check out Daily Norseman. Follow the rest of Week 5 of the regular season at SB Nation NFL.
The Minnesota Vikings released their inactive list for Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals, and starting wide receiver Bernard Berrian is on it. However, he's not suffering from an injury of any kind. Rather, this is likely a disciplinarian move after Berrian ranted on Twitter earlier this week about how open he's been. He's been targeted 16 times by Donovan McNabb, and has just two catches.
Michael Jenkins will start in Berrian's place. Perhaps more distressing for the Vikings, and more relevant for fantasy purposes, is starting CB Antoine Winfield is also inactive with a neck injury. He would have been charged with covering Larry Fitzgerald for most of the game, which leaves the door open for Fitz to have a monster game. Things are shaping up for another tough week in Minneapolis.
Hernandez suffered a MCL injury September 18 against the San Diego Chargers and has not played since. CSN New England's Tom Curran believed that Hernandez's injury would keep him out of action for four to six weeks, so "it'd probably be unfair to expect Hernandez to be a full-time player in just the third week."
The Patriots listed Hernandez as questionable on this week's injury report. He missed practice Wednesday, but practiced Thursday and Friday. Hernandez has 14 receptions for 165 yards and no touchdowns in just two games this season. Via SB Nation's Patriots blog, Pats Pulpit, "the Patriots' tight ends are destined to have a big day today." The Pats have Rob Gronkowski available if need be.
Mendenhall fully participated in practice Friday despite missing the previous two after injuring his hamstring last week in Pittsburgh's 17-10 loss to the Houston Texans. The Steelers listed him as questionable on this week's injury report.
Mendenhall has 58 carries for 173 yards and two touchdowns on the season, including one last week before getting injured. His possible replacement, Redman, has 22 carries for 107 yards this season. Redman has just one career touchdown, which came in Week 2 in Pittsburgh's 24-0 win over the Seattle Seahawks.
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Devery Henderson has had a rough week due to a calf injury earlier in the week. He was limited in practice on Wednesday and then missed practice on Thursday. He was limited again on Friday before being listed as questionable on the final injury report of the week. He is likely a game-time decision, but given that he bumped up from no practice to limited practice, odds are high that he will play.
While Henderson may very well play on Sunday, he is not a particularly useful fantasy option. In a bye week he does have some value, but with the return of both Lance Moore and Marques Colston, Henderson is now battling Robert Meachem for looks. They're basically deep threats and not a whole lot more. That doesn't remove all fantasy value if you're in a bye week hole, but consider them carefully.
Carolina Panthers tight end Jeremy Shockey was limited in practice this week, but appears set to play on Sunday barring any unexpected setbacks. Shockey suffered a concussion and aggravated his broken finger in week four, leaving him questionable earlier in the week. He had to pass a battery of concussion tests and also receive an independent clearance, and it appears he has done so.
Shockey and the Panthers face the New Orleans Saints this week in a game that could see a decent amount of passing yards. While Shockey has had big numbers in the past, at this point he seems to have fallen behind Greg Olsen on the Carolina depth chart. He'll get a few looks here and there, but for the most part, Shockey's days as a viable fantasy option are behind him. He could get some value again if Olsen goes down, but otherwise he is not much of a fantasy option at this point.
San Diego Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson is expected to play with a hamstring injury. Jackson practiced in full on Friday and is expected to start against the Denver Broncos. Jackson played only 22 snaps last week, but Chargers head coach Norv Turner told the media he expected Jackson to play at least that against the Broncos.
Even though Jackson is likely going to be matched up with Champ Bailey all day, it's virtually impossible to sit Jackson if he's going to play. Even with limited snaps last week against the Miami Dolphins, Jackson had 3 catches for 103 yards and a touchdown. With tight end Antonio Gates likely out again, Jackson will be quarterback Philip Rivers primary target as usual. Jackson should have another good showing against a struggling Broncos pass defense.
For more news and analysis on the San Diego Chargers and Vincent Jackson, visit the SB Nation Chargers blog Bolts From The Blue
San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates is expected to miss the game against the Denver Broncos, opting to sit out and rest his foot again. At this point there is concern that Gates may not play for the season and at some point could go on injured reserve. The Chargers however plan to give Gates as much time as he needs to try and get healthy enough to play before possibly putting him on injured reserve.
At this point it's unknown when Gates will play, but he is expected to try and resume practice after the Chargers bye week next week. Gates has been running on a treadmill with no setbacks, so it looks like the plan is still in motion. Without Gates, the Chargers passing attack and offense has been up and down. He's clearly a missing cog in their offense.
For more news and analysis on the San Diego Chargers and Antonio Gates, visit the SB Nation Chargers blog Bolts From The Blue
New England Patriots running back Danny Woodhead is listed as doubtful on the injury report with an ankle injury and is not expected to play against the New York Jets. Woodhead missed all three practices this week with the ankle injury. The extent of Woodhead's injury is unknown, but the fact that he did not practice at all all week seems to indicate it's possibly more than just a simple sprain.
In Woodhead's absence last week, back up Stevan Ridley got significantly more playing time. Ridley ended the day with 10 carries for 97 yards and a touchdown. In the Patriots offense, the running back isn't typically featured, but Ridley looks to get increased touches with the absence of Woodhead in the line up. In the last two games, Ridley has 139 yards on 16 carries.
For more news and analysis on the New England Patriots and Danny Woodhead, visit the SB Nation Patriots blog Pats Pulpit
New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez is nursing a knee injury and is listed as questionable on the injury report. Hernandez is expected to play however, as beat writers have noted Hernandez walking around the Patriots facility without a limp. He missed practice on Wednesday, but practiced on both Thursday and Friday.
Hernandez is expected to be active and play, so he's worth the risk on your roster. He's currently slated to finish in the Top 10 for fantasy scoring for tight ends. If Hernandez is limited however, expect the Patriots offense to continue to flow around the other tight end, Rob Gronkowski, who's been the team's best redzone threat. Make sure to check your leagues waiver wire's to see if anyone got impatient and decided to drop Hernandez.
For more news and analysis on the New England Patriots and Aaron Hernandez, visit the SB Nation Patriots blog Pats Pulpit
Update: It's official.
Arizona Cardinals running back Beanie Well is expected to play this weekend against the Minnesota Vikings. Wells is coming off a monster game last week where he ran for 138 yards and 3 rushing touchdowns on 27 carries. He was limited in practice all week, but the belief is that it was just a precautionary measure. Officially, Wells is listed as questionable for the game.
Wells is off to a nice rebound season, averaging just over 5 yards per carry and has 5 rushing touchdowns in just 3 games. If you have Wells in your line up, make sure he is active before setting it and walking away. He is expected to play, but hamstrings are tricky. You should be safe to play him, as most believe he was held out of practice by the staff rather than because of his injury.
San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore is expected to start on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Gore is coming off his best game of the year last week, when he rushed for 127 yards and a touchdown on just 15 carries. He's been limited all week in practice with an ankle injury, but is listed as probable on the injury report.
Last week, Gore was listed as questionable and made the start. The fact that he was "upgraded" this week to probable is a sign he's getting healthier. Gore ran all over the Philadelphia Eagles rush defense, but the Bucs defense isn't that poor. Gore is getting healthier however, so one would expect him to get fed the football. Kendall Hunter may give him a breather or two, but the work will be Gore's for the most part.
For more news and analysis on the San Francisco 49ers and Frank Gore, visit the SB Nation 49s blog Niners Nation
The Seattle Seahawks will be without wide receiver Mike Williams (commonly referred to as "Big Mike") this weekend. Williams suffered a concussion and has set out practice all week long. In order to play this weekend against the New York Giants, Williams would have had to have been cleared by the medical staff. He sat out all week of practice. so he will not play.
Ben Obomanu is expected to start in his place with Doug Baldwin remaining in the slot. If you're a Sidney Rice owner, he's still the clear cut number one receiver but will likely face double teams and be the focus of the Giants defense. If you had Mike Williams, you may consider dropping him. He's having a dismal season and is on pace for only about 400 yards receiving.
For more news and analysis on the Seattle Seahawks and Mike Williams, visit the SB Nation Seahawks blog Field Gulls.
New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs was held out of practice again on Friday and is listed as doubtful on the injury report. Jacobs is dealing with a knee injury that multiple people have listed as a mild MCL sprain. Tom Coughlin likes to play with the "competitive advantage" of the injury report and will list Jacobs as a game time decision, but Jacobs will not be active when the Giants take on the Seattle Seahawks.
The other Giants running back, Ahmad Bradshaw, will get the lion's share of the workload at running back on Sunday. Back up D.J. Ware will get the snaps if Bradshaw needs a breather, but expect Bradshaw to get the bulk of the carries. While Jacobs will not play this weekend, if his injury is in fact an MCL sprain, it could linger.
For more news and analysis on the New York Giants and Brandon Jacobs, visit the SB Nation Giants blog Big Blue View
Houston Texans star wide receiver Andre Johnson will be out this week against the Oakland Raiders. Johnson had been off to a hot start with at least 7 receptions and 90+ yards in the first three games before injuring his hamstring last week. Johnson recently had surgery on his hamstring and is expected to miss a couple of weeks. Apparently his hamstring had been bothering him since training camp and had some scare tissue removed from his previously surgically repaired knee.
Johnson could be back as early as Week 8, but in the time being the next target in line for the Texans is likely Jacoby Jones. The guy who's second in receptions however, is tight end Owen Daniels followed by tight end/fullback James Casey. I would expect the Texans to lean more on the run and their tight ends while Johnson is out, but Jacoby Jones could be a nice WR3 type pick up.
For more news and analysis on the Houston Texans and Andre Johnson, visit the SB Nation Texans blog Battle Red Blog.
Houston Texans back up running back Ben Tate returned to practice on Friday after being held out of Wednesday and Thursday's practices. Tate was limited in his return on Friday and is officially listed as questionable for the game Sunday against the Oakland Raiders. Tate currently leads the Texans in carries and rushing yards, but now that Arian Foster is fully healthy his carries will significantly decrease.
Coupled with his injury, he's also going to lose more carries to Chris Ogbonnaya who's the only other fully healthy running back on the Texans. Derrick Ward is also banged up, so Tate will be the third option and likely for emergency use only, if he's even active. If you have Ben Tate on your roster, your best bet is to sit him for someone else this week.
For more news and analysis on the Houston Texans and Ben Tate, visit the SB Nation Texans blog Battle Red Blog
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White practiced in full on Friday for the first time in a few weeks. White has been nursing a thigh injury for a while and has been limited in practice most weeks. White is listed officially as probable on the injury report and he will start against the Green Bay Packers in the rematch of the NFC Division playoff game from 2010.
White looks to be close to 100 percent and should put up some good numbers in a game against the Packers that looks to be a shoot out. White is on pace for over 100 receptions on the season as well as over 1,200 yards, barring major injury of course. Over the last two games, White is averaging over 13 yards per catch, combining for 15 receptions and 218 yards. White does have only one receiving touchdown on the season, however.
For more news and analysis on the Atlanta Falcons and Roddy White, visit the SB Nation Falcons blog The Falcoholic.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger hurt his foot in last weeks loss to the Houston Texans. Early on in the week he was seen wearing a protective boot and many feared his foot was broken. It turns out however, that the injury was simply just a bruise or a sprain to his foot, the team never clarified what exactly the injury is.
Roethlisberger practiced in full all week and is officially listed as probable on the injury report. It's virtually a guarantee Roethlisberger will play, but how effective he will be is another question. He's going against the top ranked defense in the Tennessee Titans this week, and newly signed Max Starks is slated to start at left tackle. Starks was let go earlier in the year and was rumored to be severely out of shape, so Roethlisberger's foot injury could limit his typical fantastic escapability.
For more news and analysis on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Ben Roethlisberger, visit the SB Nation Steelers blog Behind The Steel Curtain
San Diego Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson returned to practice Friday after missing Wednesday and Thursday recovering from abdomen and leg issues. The leg issues appeared this past Sunday due to Jackson over-compensating for the the abdomen injury.
Initially there was concern it might cost him this Sunday, but his ability to practice on Friday is a big step forward. Jackson still might be limited this Sunday in terms of total snaps, but if he is active, it's tough to not start him. With certain players you don't really want to over-analyze the situation. Jackson proved last week how much he could do with limited playing time. Additionally, he sat out early practices and returned to the field on Friday.
He is a late play so there is always some concern about a late deactivation, but at this point he seems like a safe play. One way to cover yourself is slot him into your flex position if possible. That way you can replace him with either a late playing running back or receiver. Of course, that all depends on your current starting lineup.
New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs sat out his third straight practice on Friday and at this point it is highly doubtful that he'll play on Sunday. I suspect the Giants will say he is a game-time decision, but don't expect him in the lineup. Adam Schefter has reported Jacobs' injury is an MCL sprain. While that is not as big a deal as any sort tear, it can often result in missing games. It looks like such will be the case with Jacobs.
Jacobs absence means Ahmad Bradshaw will end up with a sizable load of carries and Danny Ware will likely operate as his backup. Bradshaw has not rushed more than 15 times this season. He had five games of 20+ carries last season so he can handle such a load. Ware has only had three carries in one game this year, so while he might get some work, it will not be a whole lot. If you've got Bradshaw, this could be a breakout week for him.
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall sat out his second straight practice on Thursday, endangering his chances of playing on Sunday against the Tennessee Titans. This comes a day after he sat out Wednesday practice with the hopes of testing out his hamstring on Thursday. One can assume the test either did not go well, or simply did not happen.
If you have Rashard Mendenhall, you should fully expect to have to sit him this Sunday. There is a chance things could turn around, but for now it appears unlikely. Isaac Redman would get the start if Mendenhall is a no-go. If you don't have Redman, he is likely already off the waiver wire today. If you do have Redman, he is not a fantastic start against the Titans, but given the bye week, he's probably better than most other options.
Redman's play this season has been up and down in limited time. Last week against Houston he rushed six times for 40 yards and hauled in a 12-yard pass. In week three against Indianapolis he rushed three times for six yards. In week two he rushed ten times for 49 yards and caught a six-yard pass. He has never had more than those ten carries in a game, so it will be interesting to see how he handles the full load if Mendenhall is out.
New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs sat out a second consecutive day of practice Thursday as coach Tom Coughlin informed the media "we'll have to see" in regards to Jacobs. While Jacobs did not appear to get hurt in Sunday's win over the Cardinals, he sat out Wednesday with some knee swelling.
The fact that Jacobs sat Thursday as well is not a good sign for his availability this Sunday. He likely will be a game-time decision, but if he does not go on Sunday that could be a huge boon for Ahmad Bradshaw. To date, Bradshaw has gotten the majority of the work, but with Jacobs handcuffing him, Bradshaw has not had more than 15 carries in a game. If Jacobs sits out Sunday, Bradshaw could be in line for 20+ carries. Add in a juicy home matchup against the Seattle Seahawks and Bradshaw could be in line for a monster game.
We'll keep an eye out for more updates on Jacobs, but expect him to be listed as questionable on Friday's final injury report.
San Diego Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson has been hampered by injuries much of the 2011 season, but he has managed to battle through them and put up solid numbers thus far. In week four, while dealing with leg and abdominal issues, Jackson played only 22 snaps but still managed 108 yards and a touchdown.
Jackson continues to be quite limited in practice and sat out Wednesday's session. He was apparently in a somewhat similar condition to last Monday and he was able to bounce back quite well from that point. That would seem to indicate he is on the mend. One difference is this leg strain he's been dealing with recently came as a result of over-compensating for his abdominal problem.
All in all it is creating some problems for the receiver, but for now he's playing through it. You'll want to keep track of his work through the week and the inactive list on Sunday, but otherwise all you can do is keep slotting him into your starting lineup. The Chargers do have a bye in two weeks, which can not come soon enough for Jackson.
Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson left Sunday's game with a hamstring strain and the latest word is that the procedure he had done was a surgical procedure on the distal tendon of his hamstring. The source of that report indicated the three week recovery time is an accurate assessment as well. Such a recovery time would likely mean Andre Johnson is back on the field week eight at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars. That's what we call a favorable matchup.
In the meantime, Jacoby Jones will occupy Johnson's X role, which likely means a few more passes coming his way. Jones has not impressed in limited time this year and will look to advantage of what is really a huge opportunity. Owen Daniels would likely see a sizable increase in passes coming his way, but Jacoby Jones will be right up there. Jones is off to a slow start with only seven receptions, but coming off a bit of a breakout 51-catch season in 2010, he might be a bit of an undervalued asset right now. Maybe worth a spot if you've got someone at the bottom of your roster not worth keeping.
Arizona Cardinals running back Beanie Wells made an appearance on the team's practice participation report on Wednesday as he was limited in practice. Wells made it through last Sunday's game against the Giants without any further injury issues and given his domination on the ground, his limitation this week is likely just precautionary.
Wells is coming off a game in which he rushed for 138 yards and three touchdowns, marking far and away the best performance of his three year career. There have been some question marks as to whether he could shoulder the whole load when they traded away Tim Hightower, but he has looked solid. He missed one game with a hamstring issue but has otherwise been fine.
Wells is averaging 5.4 yards per rush this season and there's nothing to indicate it will stop soon. He is officially a must-start every week as long as he is healthy. If he has any setbacks this week we'll let you now.
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Marques Colston broke his collarbone in the Saints season opener but made it back in time for last Sunday's week four contest against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Saints limited Colston to only 20 offensive snaps and he finished with one reception for eight yards.
The latest news out of New Orleans indicates Colston might have the shackles removed this week as he is reportedly "fully healthy." Head coach Sean Payton indicated that Colston would see his role increase this weekend against the Carolina Panthers. It remains to be seen whether that means a full workload or still more of a partial workload.
Given that it's a bye week you might feel obligated to start Colston, but if you have some other options, you might want to wait one more week. At the very least we'll keep an eye out for more news on Colston as the weekend approaches. The Panthers do give up a lot of passing yards so it might be worth it to roll the dice with Colston in his second game back.
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall left Sunday's loss to the Texans with a hamstring injury and reports since have been somewhat unclear as to his status. We do have one update as he did in fact sit out Wednesday practice. The Steelers are encouraged he could practice on Thursday, which would indicate the hamstring is responding well to treatment. If he can practice on Thursday that would be a big step towards playing Sunday against the Titans.
If Mendenhall is unable to play on Sunday, Isaac Redman would get the start in his place. Redman has been averaging 4.9 yards per carry in limited play and would be a very intriguing option if Mendenhall is inactive or limited. Mendenhall has struggled mightily this season along with the Steelers. He's not likely to be replaced anytime soon, but if you can handcuff him with Redman in your league, it would be a wise decision.
In the meantime, we'll be back Thursday with another practice participation report update. If Mendenhall sits out Thursday's practice as well, odds would increase that he'll sit out Sunday.
Green Bay Packers running back Ryan Grant missed last Sunday's contest against the Denver Broncos due to a bruised kidney suffered in the Packers victory over Chicago. It appears to only be a one week injury as Grant returned to practice on Wednesday.
In Grant's place, James Starks rushed for 63 yards on 13 carries. He also grabbed five receptions for 38 yards. The Packers have been going with a bit of a hot-hand committee in the backfield. It has dominated for the Packers but made things a little more difficult for fantasy owners. The first two weeks James Starks put up the better numbers. Week three Starks more or less fell off the earth finishing with 11 rushes for 5 yards while Ryan Grant put up 92 yards on 17 carries.
For many weeks it really is going to be a craps shoot with that platoon. I think Ryan Grant is the guy they would like to make a bit of the work-horse but it's hard to tell for certain how it will go week-to-week. I think this week we could see Starks getting more of the load given Grant's off-week. But honestly, I think you have to go with your gut with either of the two running backs.
John Clayton went on Sportscenter Tuesday and reported that Andre Johnson would definitely miss Sunday's game against the Oakland Raiders and could miss upwards of two to three weeks after that. The Texans have not provided specific confirmation, but Clayton generally has solid sources. We'll learn a little bit more as the week progresses and the team starts issuing their practice participation reports on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
As it currently stands, it is likely safe to move Andre Johnson to your bench and consider alternative wide receiver options. If your bench is a bit soft you could always consider adding Jacoby Jones who will attempt to fill Johnson's role in the offense at the X position. Owen Daniels is likely to benefit the most in terms of getting more looks from Matt Schaub, but when you remove the biggest weapon the team, it becomes a little easier for opponents to defend everybody else.
We break down Andre Johnson's hamstring injury could mean for the wide receiver and fantasy football owners. For more on the Texans, check out Battle Red Blog. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams.
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