Matt Stroup

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Injuries: Jamaal is Closed

Monday, September 19, 2011


Week 2 saw notable injuries (and aggravations of injuries) to prominent names such as Arian Foster, Miles Austin, Tony Romo, Felix Jones and Michael Vick, but the impact from one knee resonated more loudly than any other ligament or tendon on Sunday. We’re referring, of course, to the injury sustained by Jamaal Charles against Detroit.

Lunging toward the sideline midway through the first quarter, KC's dynamo RB landed hard on his left knee, resulting in what’s believed to be a season-ending torn ACL, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter (Charles is slated for an MRI Monday to confirm the diagnosis).

Unfortunately for fantasy owners, there’s no dynamic backup-in-waiting here, and Charles’ injury likely signals the finishing kick for a Chiefs offense that was arguably already dead (KC has now been outscored 89-10 through two games). Thomas Jones (12 rush, 40 yds) could have a handful of decent games in the right matchup, but obviously doesn’t have much left at age 33. Meanwhile, the diminutive Dexter McCluster (8 rush, 51 yds; 4 rec, -2 yds) could have a little bit of value in PPR formats, but there’s simply no replacing Charles, especially in an offense that was already sputtering horrendously in the first place.

In other Week 2 injury headlines:

Arian Foster (hamstring) started, but didn’t finish. Foster (10 rush, 33 yards) was featured early, but appeared to be lacking his usual burst before spending the second half on the sidelines. Gary Kubiak tried to downplay the issue in his press conference, saying that Foster was primarily dealing with fatigue, but beat writer John McClain reports that Foster admits his hamstring “was getting a little tight.”

We likely won’t have a clear read on Foster’s status until later in the week, but this is obviously becoming a frustrating situation for fantasy owners. At this point, it might be better for Foster’s long-term fantasy outlook if the Texans hold him out for a week or two. And either way, Ben Tate (23 rush, 103 yds; 4 rec, 32 yds) needs to remain owned in all leagues for the foreseeable future.

Miles Austin went berserk against the 49ers (9 rec, 143 yds, 3 TDs), but re-injured his hamstring. And on that front, the news is not good, with ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reporting that Austin may be out until after Dallas’ Week 5 bye. The biggest beneficiary here would be Dez Bryant, who would get a ton of targets as Dallas’ WR1 – assuming he can get healthy and stay that way after missing Week 2 due to quad issues.

In another piece (but not the last piece) of Cowboys news, Felix Jones separated his right shoulder, but was able to play through it. Obviously it’s a good sign that Jones returned after the injury, but it’s unclear what the injury means for the brittle RB’s status next week. If Jones is out, I’d prioritize adding Tashard Choice over DeMarco Murray, but it seems likely that they’d operate in something resembling a committee after both had seven touches on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Tony Romo suffered two cracked ribs in the first half, but returned to engineer an OT victory, finishing with 345 yards and two TDs. Romo is reportedly headed for a CT scan on Monday, but beat writer Matt Mosley predicts that Romo will play through the injury next week. It looks like Romo has a good chance to suit up (presumably with a flak jacket) during Week 3, but Jon Kitna (6-for-10, 87 yds, TD, 2 INTs) would get the start if Romo is unable to go.

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In the Sunday night game, Michael Vick sustained a neck/head injury after falling head-first into his own offensive lineman on a third quarter hit. Vick was taken to the locker room and didn't return, with NBC's Al Michaels reporting that Vick suffered a concussion (which would help explain why he didn't re-enter a close game with the Eagles trailing). The full extent of Vick's injury was unclear when this column was posted late Sunday night, so make sure to check back on Rotoworld Monday for more updates.

Steve Johnson lit up the Raiders (8 rec, 96 yds, 1 TD), but limped off late. There’s a chance it’s nothing to worry about, but Johnson – who was dealing with a nagging groin issue coming into Week 2 – had a noticeable limp when he walked off late in Sunday’s game. At this point we’ll consider no news to be good news, but we’ll be watching Johnson’s practice activity closely. David Nelson, already an intriguing waiver wire add after his 10-83-1 day, would be an even more appealing consideration if Johnson is out.

Aaron Hernandez had another big game (7 rec, 62 yds, 1 TD against the Chargers), but was limping “badly” due to a knee injury after the game, according to beat writer Shalise Young. The Patriots initially announced that Hernandez was probable to return, but he never did. As of Sunday night, the extent of this injury remained unclear. Stay tuned.

Ben Roethlisberger injured his knee, and in a not remotely shocking development, returned to play through it. Mike Tomlin said that Big Ben will likely have a precautionary MRI, but Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Roethlisberger is “okay.” This doesn’t sound like any cause for concern.

Eddie Royal (groin) went down, and Eric Decker’s stock surged upward. With Royal and Brandon Lloyd out, Decker shredded the Bengals with an eye-catching 5-113-2 line (including a fumble). Targets won’t be as plentiful once Lloyd is back, but Decker has done enough in the first two weeks to warrant consideration in most leagues.

Brandon Pettigrew suffered a shoulder injury, but eventually returned. Pettigrew finished with just one catch for seven yards on the day. If Pettigrew misses any time, Tony Scheffler (1 rec, 36 yds, 1 TD) would benefit considerably.

Editor’s note: If you want to play Daily Salary Cap Fantasy Baseball for real money, check out SnapDraft here.

Other Injury Notes: Braylon Edwards (knee) is headed for an MRI Monday … Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reports that Sidney Rice has a torn labrum, but the Seahawks are still hoping he can return in Week 3 … Malcom Floyd left Sunday’s game with a groin injury … Jordan Shipley (knee) left the stadium on crutches with a seemingly serious knee injury … Nick Mangold appears likely to miss multiple weeks with a high ankle sprain, which is bad news for the Jets offense on the whole … Roscoe Parrish was carted off with an ankle injury … The Ravens lost NT Terrence Cody due to a concussion … Packers FS Nick Collins was carted off with a neck injury, but he was seen waving to fans as he left, and a CT scan reportedly came back negative … Packers DB Tramon Williams (shoulder) is hoping to return for Week 3 … Aaron Kampman (knee) is expected to miss Week 3 … Dolphins DB Vontae Davis left with a hamstring injury … Cowboys guard Phil Costa (knee) left in the fourth quarter with a knee injury, leaving Dallas’ struggling offensive line even more depleted.

Note: For a comprehensive breakdown of all the key performances from Sunday, check out Chris Wesseling’s “The Morning After” column on Monday.



Matt Stroup covers basketball, baseball and football for Rotoworld.com. You can find him on Twitter here .
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