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News and Notes 10-23-12

Bye Weeks: Baltimore, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Houston


Quarterbacks

*-Tennessee has announced that Matt Hasselbeck is expected to start again week 8 over Jake Locker. This is just like I've been saying for the past few weeks: As long as Hasselbeck is playing well and the Titans are winning games, they won't rush Locker back from his shoulder injury. The extra rest can only do it good. I do expect though that it's likely we see Locker back in week 9. He's been able to practice in limited fashion the last couple of weeks and could be ready at any time.

*-Blaine Gabbert has a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder. Gabbert wants t play thru the injury, but it's unknown if team doctors will let him. If he doesn't start, Chad Henne would start in his place. Henne was pretty bad last week and there's little reason to think he'd be an improvement on Gabbert.

*-Kansas City has decided to bench Matt Cassel and go with Brady Quinn going forward. They'll soon realize how bad of an idea this really is and I expect we'll see either Ricky Stanzi or Cassel before too many weeks go by. Just avoid the Chiefs QB situation like the plague.

*-Jay Cutler suffered a minor ribs injury last night but it's not expected to prevent him from playing week 8.


Running Backs

*-Maurice Jones-Drew has a sprained arch in his foot and will miss at least 3 weeks, and possibly several more. At least it's not a Lisfranc injury. But for the next few weeks, Rashad Jennings will start in his place for Jacksonville and Jennings is this week's top priority add. Montell Owens and Jalen Parmele will be the backups and Keith Toston was signed for depth and insurance as Owens suffered a shoulder injury week 7, the severity of which is currently unknown.

*-Don't worry that Adrian Peterson isn't practicing. The Vikings play the Thursday night game and with AP having a minor ankle issue, the team is just resting him as much as they can on the short week. He'll start and be fine for Thursday night.

*-There are reports out of Cleveland that the Browns are considering shutting down Trent Richardson for the next 3 weeks to allow his ribs injury to heal up. Richardson aggravated the injury this past weekend and it's a good bet he'll keep aggravating it if he doesn't sit out a few games. Even if Richardson is active this week, expect to see a good bit more of Montario Hardesty. I personally expect Richardson isn't going to play, but that's just a guess.

*-DeMarco Murray is considered doubtful to play week 8 because of his foot sprain. While Felix Jones suffered minor knee and neck injuries, Jones is fully expected to start for Dallas again this week. However, he may split more time and carries with Phillip Tanner this week. Jones just can't handle a primary workload and while Tanner lacks explosive potential, he can bang it inside. Expect the split to prevent either player from being more than a desperation flex option.

*-Pittsburgh is hoping to have both Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman back this week. It's not a sure thing though and after Jonathan Dwyer showed really well week 7, it would be a surprise if it wasn't at least a 3 headed RBBC. There's also a good chance the Steelers give both Mendenhall and Redman another week off so they are even more healed up and ready to go week 9. We'll know more later in the week how the Steelers RB situation is shaking out for week 8.

*-The 49ers are confident they'll have Frank Gore for Monday night's game. Gore injured his ribs last Thursday night, but the extra time off is expected to be plenty good enough for him to be healed up enough to start without issue Monday against Arizona.

*-Carolina has said they want to turn Jonathan Stewart into their featured RB. It's about time they decided on someone as a primary RB instead of the ridiculous split situation they've had between Stewart, DeAngelo Williams, and Mike Tolbert. It appears Tolbert's role is safe, but Williams could be the odd man out. At least for the time being.

*-While it's still early in the week, it's likely that the Patriots will be without Brandon Bolden again this week because of his knee injury. Shane Vereen filled in capably week 7 behind Stevan Ridley and will likely do so again week 8.  

*-Although La'Rod Stephens-Howling got the bulk of the work for the Cardinals week 7, it's not expected to be that way going forward. William Powell was being punished for an early game fumble and Stephens-Howling was running with a lot more power than a guy his size usually shows. Chalk up his performance as being more likely to be his best game of the season rather than a sign of things to come from him.

*-Miami expects to have Daniel Thomas back week 8. Thomas had missed the last couple of games before Miami's week 7 bye because of a concussion. But he should be okay to return and be Reggie Bush's top backup this week.

*-Kansas City is hoping to get Peyton Hillis back this week. Shaun Draughn had been serving in that capacity while Hillis was out with an ankle injury, but Draughn failed to impress at all and it's likely Hillis will step back into a top backup role to Jamaal Charles.

*-Joe McKnight was a surprise week 7. Despite reportedly having a high ankle sprain, an injury that usually sidelines a player 4-6 weeks, McKnight played week 7 and it looks like he will try doing so again week 8. There's been no word if Bilal Powell (shoulder) will be able to play week 8 or not.

*-Washington released Ryan Grant and signed former Lions RB Keiland Williams. There's no fantasy upside here.


Wide Receivers

*-It's been revealed that Pierre Garcon has a torn tendon in his foot and that he probably will be sat out until week 11. Leonard Hankerson will start in his place until he can return. Hopefully by shutting him down for a few weeks, Garcon will finally be able to return and provide fantasy owners with some help down the stretch and in the fantasy playoffs.

*-Detroit's' Nate Burleson suffered a broken leg last night and his season is done. Titus Young steps in as the new starter opposite Calvin Johnson and Young now gets a chance to showcase the tremendous potential he has. Young is a smart addition as a bench WR as he has the upside to become a fantasy factor. Rookie Ryan Broyles will take over as the #3 WR for the Lions.

*-While the Packers are hopeful that Greg Jennings will practice later this week, it's not a sure thing and personally, I think Jennings will sit out week 8. Green Bay has the bye in week 10, so a week 9 return for Jennings, where they have extra time off afterwards to see how the groin injury responds if he plays week 9, sounds like the logical choice for a return week. But I'm just speculating here.

*-Laurent Robinson is expected to miss week 8. Robinson has been out several weeks now because of a concussion, the 3rd concussion he's suffered since training camp. There is no timetable for his return and Cecil Shorts will continue to start in his place for Jacksonville.

*-Cincinnati lost Marvin Jones for the season. Jones tore his MCL and won't play again in 2012. Mohamed Sanu should step in as the Bengals 3rd or 4th WR now.


Tight Ends

*-Fred Davis tore his Achilles tendon Sunday and he is gone for the rest of the season. Washington re-signed Chris Cooley and it's expected that Cooley will be the top receiving TE for the Redskins going forward. However we'll still likely see a bit of both Logan Paulsen and Niles Paul as well. It would take a leap of faith acquiring Cooley with the expectation he'd be anything like the TE he used to be.

*-It's sounding pretty good for Jimmy Graham's chances of playing week 8. Graham is scheduled to practice Wednesday and if he can get thru practices this week without any setbacks, he should be okay for week 8. Graham missed week 7 with an ankle injury.

*-Vikings backup TE John Carlson is expected to miss Thursday night's game because of a suspected concussion suffered week 7. This shouldn't impact anyone's fantasy team.

*-Dustin Keller made it thru week 7 without any setbacks in the hamstring injury that has plagued him and he appears ready to return to being fantasy worthy after a strong game. It's good news for the Jets as backup TE Jeff Cumberland suffered a dislocated hand injury and likely will be out a couple of games. If Keller is available in your fantasy league, he's worth grabbing as the Jets need to throw to someone and while Stephen Hill and Jeremy Kerley are turning out to be adequate, Keller has a proven track record with Mark Sanchez.


Kicker

*-San Diego placed Nate Kaeding on injured reserve because of his groin injury. He's done for the year barring an injury settlement release. Nick Novak will finish out the season as the Chargers kicker.