News and Notes 9-18-12


*-No word yet on whether John Skelton will be able to practice this week or not. After Kevin Kolb led the Cardinals to a victory over the Patriots week 2, it would be a major surprise to me if Kolb didn't get a chance to start this week against his former team, the Eagles.

*-Blaine Gabbert is expected to play week 3 despite having suffered what is believed to be minor injuries to both his hamstring and his toe. As long as he can practice this week, he'll be good to go, but you shouldn't be starting him.

*-Despite struggling week 2, the Titans say they have no plans to bench Jake Locker. Locker is dealing with an injured non-throwing shoulder, but he is expected to start week 3.

Running Backs

*-Ahmad Bradshaw is very questionable for Thursday night's game against Carolina. Bradshaw suffered an as of yet undisclosed neck injury and he didn't practice today. Andre Brown took over week 2 when the injury happened and put up some quality numbers. It's expected that Brown, and not highly touted rookie David Wilson probably will start in Bradshaw's place and be the primary RB. However, I wouldn't be surprised if Wilson got a fair amount of carries as well.

*-Speaking of Carolina, Jonathan Stewart's status for Thursday night is unclear. Stewart didn't practice today and it's unknown if he was just given a day of rest since week 2 was his first action since suffering an ankle sprain in preseason, or if he aggravated it. We should know more tomorrow.

*-On the heels of Atlanta's Monday night victory over Denver, Falcons RB Michael Turner was arrested for speeding and DUI during the overnight hours. He was released on bond. This would be Turner's first known offense in the NFL so it's unlikely he'll draw a suspension. It's also likely that whatever court hearings he may have in the future because of this incident will be pushed off until after the 2012 season is over.

*-Steven Jackson suffered a minor groin injury week 2. The Rams say Jackson could have continued playing but backup Daryl Richardson was doing so well they decided to let Richardson finish out the game. Richardson performed very well and should be considered the must have handcuff for Jackson owners. More highly touted rookie Isaiah Pead didn't get a single carry after Jackson suffered the injury and appears to have fallen well behind Richardson.

*-Detroit's Mikel LeShoure returns from his league imposed two game suspension this week. The Lions say they want to get LeShoure as much playing time as he can handle week 3, but with Kevin Smith doing a pretty good job the first 2 weeks, it's likely LeShoure will be eased back slowly. LeShoure needs to show he has both his power and speed back after missing all of his rookie 2011 season with a ruptured Achilles tendon. Like I said last week though, LeShoure makes a nice roster stash in case he proves he's back to form.

*-Jonathan Dwyer has a toe injury, but it's believed to be minor and he should be fine for week 3. Dwyer didn't get much going week 2, but I still think he has a chance to prove he is the best Steelers RB even when Rashard Mendenhall returns. Mendenhall is still not expected back until week 5 at the earliest.

*-Jamaal Charles poor week 2 may have an explanation. Apparently, Charles was experiencing soreness in his surgically repaired knee. This is just a reminder about players coming back from torn ACL's; they usually aren't the same player they used to be for at least a complete season after the injury occurred.

*-Ryan Mathews is expected to finally return to game action week 3 for the Chargers. Week 3 was the original timetable for his return from a preseason broken collarbone injury to begin with and barring any setbacks in practice he should reclaim the feature RB role for San Diego right away.

*-LeSean McCoy owners listen up. It appears that rookie Bryce Brown has pushed Dion Lewis down the depth chart to be the top backup to McCoy. Those with both McCoy, and the bench space, should probably make the handcuff as it's a long season and you never know.

*-I'm advising patience for those with Denver rookie Ronnie Hillman. He's been inactive the first two games, but Knowshon Moreno is hardly impressing anyone as Willis McGahee's backup and Denver's 3rd down RB. Another game or two where Moreno coughs up the ball, or looks sluggish as he has, Hillman could find himself back to being a potential sleeper.

Wide Receivers

*-Hakeem Nicks was rested in practice today. This was planned after he had his surgically repaired foot stepped on in week 2. Nicks was able to finish the game and should be just fine for Thursday night's game against Carolina. Teammate Domenik Hixon though suffered a concussion and probably will miss it. Hixon has been serving as the Giants 3rd WR, but it's unclear which of Reuben Randle, Ramses Barden, or Jerrel Jernigan would get first crack at taking Hixon's place in 3 WR sets. My money would be on Barden, but that doesn't mean I think he'll be fantasy relevant.

*-Carolina's Steve Smith aggravated his knee injury week 2 but he was able to practice some today and all signs point to him being fine for Thursday night. If that changes, I'll let you know.

*-Greg Jennings is expected to be able to practice this week and be fine for week 3. Jennings missed last Thursday night's game because of a groin injury suffered week 1. His expected return pushes James Jones back to the 3rd or 4th WR role.

*-Jeremy Maclin is questionable for week 3 after aggravating his hip injury in week 2. He's not supposed to practice until Thursday the earliest and probably is going to come down to a game time decision for this week. I'd exercise caution and be ready to keep him benched. If he can't play, Damaris Johnson would likely start in his place.

*-No word yet on whether Austin Collie will play for the Colts this week. Collie's missed the first two games with a concussion. Donnie Avery has started in his place and performed pretty well and makes a decent acquisition for those who are WR needy.  

*-New England signed Deion Branch today. Branch is worth a deep roster stash, but I have little hope for him being fantasy relevant. To make room for him, they released WR Greg Salas.

*-San Diego's Eddie Royal suffered a shoulder injury week 2 and his status for week 3 is unclear. Royal isn't worth a roster spot right now anyway.

Tight Ends

*-After being a surprise inactive week 2, it's hoped Antonio Gates will be fine for week 3. Gates reportedly was having problems with his injured ribs in pre-game warm-ups and decided to shut himself down. That led to Dante Rosario having 3 touchdown catches in his place. Rosario isn't a recommended add as anything more than insurance for Gates. He won't often score a TD, let alone 3 when he only gets targeted 4 times the entire game. We should know about Gates later in the week, and for what it's worth, I expect he'll play.

*-Aaron Hernandez is expected to miss at least 4 weeks because of an ankle injury suffered Sunday. Initially it was feared to be a high ankle sprain but the Patriots deny that is the case. To help out until Hernandez returns, New England signed Kellen Winslow today. While I'm sure some will jump on Winslow on their free agent wires, let's remember that Winslow, while capable of catching a ball, is no threat running with it after he catches it because of his balky knees. I'm not rushing to my waiver wires to add Winslow and don't think you should either.

*-Todd Heap was having a nice game for the Cardinals before suffering a sprained PCL in his knee. His status for week 3 is questionable and even if he plays, I wouldn't recommend starting him. More likely Heap misses the game leaving Rob Housler and Jeff King to split up the TE duties. Neither is worth adding yet.

*-Fred Davis suffered a concussion week 2 and his status for week 3 is uncertain. He'll need to pass a concussion test before being allowed to practice, let alone play.

*-It's believed that Kansas City's Kevin Boss also suffered a concussion week 2. There's been no official word on that, but Boss is a guy I wouldn't be counting on.

*-Heath Miller has a rib injury but is expected to play thru it. I'm not too concerned about Miller's status as a fantasy TE2 for this week unless he misses practices.

*-Seattle's Zach Miller played thru a foot injury week 2, but was in and out of the lineup throughout the game. This led to an increased role for Anthony McCoy and McCoy performed pretty well. If McCoy can string together a couple of good games, he may be worth considering as a low end fantasy TE2.