Fantasy Football Injury News and Player Notes 12-18-12


Quarterbacks

*-The New York Jets have benched Mark Sanchez for week 16 and will start Greg McElroy. Depending on how McElroy does will determine whether Sanchez's benching is for week 17 as well. There's speculation Tim Tebow will also have an increased role this week too, but all that does is make it even easier to recommend you stay far away from this situation.

*-Aaron Rodgers suffered an ankle injury week 15 but it is believed to be very minor and nothing that will prevent him from practicing, let alone playing week 16.

*-Too early in the week to know whether Robert Griffin III's knee injury will be healed up enough for him to start week 16 or not. The Redskins have said they will wait until the medical staff says he is in no danger of aggravating the injury before they'll bring him back. Given how well Kirk Cousins performed this past week, I think they're making the smart move here. But reports are that RG3 is progressing faster than expected and it's likely 50/50 whether he plays this week or not.

*-Kansas City may use a ribs injury as an excuse to bench Brady Quinn and start Ricky Stanzi this week. The team has clearly moved on from Matt Cassel and I'm willing to bet the decision will come down to whether Stanzi looks at all competent in practices Wednesday and Thursday. If he does, expect the Chiefs to say Quinn's ribs injury will make him miss week 16. If Stanzi looks as clueless as rumored to look most weeks in practice, look for the Chiefs to say Quinn will be okay to play. Either way, you shouldn't be planning on having a Chiefs QB anywhere near a fantasy starting lineup this week.


Running Backs

*-Ryan Mathews was placed on injured reserve yesterday by San Diego after he broke his collarbone again in week 16. With Ronnie Brown's status unclear because of a hamstring injury, the Chargers could be down to Jackie Battle and Curtis Brinkley as their top 2 RB's this week.

*-Chicago placed Michael Bush on injured reserve today because of the ribs injury that has limited his ability to have more than just some token playing time the last two weeks. Kahlil Bell was signed to provide depth at RB behind Matt Forte. Forte gets a nice bump up in value as he will have more of a true featured role without worries the last 2 games.

*-Pittsburgh says it's staying with Jonathan Dwyer as their primary RB despite his struggles as the featured guy the last 2 games. But now that Rashard Mendenhall and the team apparently have kissed and made up, there's a chance Mendy works his way back into the mix at RB.

*-It's believed the Eagles will have LeSean McCoy back this week. After Bryce Brown has continued to struggle the last two games the Eagles are expected to run both RB's. If McCoy is able to play, I expect he'd be more of the primary RB over Brown.

*-Ahmad Bradshaw has said he will play week 16 but the decision lies with the medical staff and not him. David Wilson would have had a much bigger game week 15 if not for the Giants getting down so early, but it's also believed Wilson may have missed some assignments last week and the team would feel better about Bradshaw in there for pass protection.

*-The Jaguars haven't ruled Maurice Jones-Drew out for week 16 yet, but with little to play for, it wouldn't be a surprise if they decided to shelve him the rest of the season. With Rashad Jennings still not cleared yet to practice, it seems unlikely Jennings will be able to play week 16. That would leave Montell Owens as the starting RB again for Jacksonville if neither MJD nor Jennings can return.


Wide Receivers

*-Too early in the week to know if Jordy Nelson will be able to play week 16 or not. Nelson has missed the last two games because of his hamstring injury.

*-San Diego placed Malcom Floyd on injured reserve today because of an ankle injury. His season is done. Likely the Chargers give Robert Meachem a two game audition to see if sitting on the bench wakes him up and improves his play.

*-Buffalo's Donald Jones is out the rest of the season because of his lingering calf injury that he can't seem to shake. T.J. Graham takes over as the starter opposite Steve Johnson.

*-Tennessee may end up placing Kendall Wright on injured reserve soon because of a cracked ribs injury. This would increase the value of both Kenny Britt and Nate Washington a little.

*-Torrey Smith is expected to be okay for week 16 despite having suffered a concussion week 15. It's believed to have mild and unless Smith doesn't practice later this week would I be worried about his status.

*-Brian Hartline appeared to have suffered an ankle injury week 15 but there's been no word about it since postgame and therefore I would expect it is a minor injury. We should know for sure tomorrow.

*-Dez Bryant Escaped week 15 without aggravating his finger injury. It limited him some but Bryant was still able to post decent fantasy numbers and he can be relied on going forward.

*-Emmanuel Sanders suffered a ribs injury week 15 and his status for this week is uncertain. He shouldn't be in your fantasy pans anyway.


Tight Ends

*-Expect a lot of media swirl about Rob Gronkowski this week. Gronk has reportedly shed his hard cast and will practice some this week. The way it's been reported, the plan is for Gronk to sit out week 16 unless he's looking great, and then have him return in week 17 as a tune up for the NFL playoffs. If that changes I'll let you know, but expect to hear about it daily from the national media.

*-Miami's Charles Clay suffered a knee injury week 15 and his season is done. This shouldn't impact any fantasy teams.

*-Philadelphia welcomes back Brent Celek just in time. Celek missed last week with a concussion but he is expected to be fine for this week. It's timely as Philadelphia placed his backup, Clay Harbor, on injured reserve today with a back injury.


Kickers

*-The Bengals are likely to sit Mike Nugent another week with his calf injury as Josh Brown has gone 6-6 on FGA's in his absence. We'll see whether they change their minds later in the week.

*-Green Bay says it is sticking with struggling Mason Crosby. Hopefully you moved on a while ago. A long while ago given how horrible Crosby has been this season.