Patrick Daugherty

Football Daily Dose

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Beanie's Tire Losing Air?

Friday, September 23, 2011


Your Thursday is going fine.

You had leftover pizza and a Dr. Pepper for lunch, bought gas for under $3 a gallon and won your league’s waiver claim on Denarius Moore.

Again, just a solid afternoon. Only then you go to check Rotoworld. You’re looking to see if there have been any updates on Arian Foster, your RB1. What you get instead is the news that your RB2, Beanie Wells, pulled up lame at practice with a hamstring injury and is suddenly questionable for Week 3.

Is there any bigger punch in the gut? Wells can carry the ball 32 times in his first two games without so much as getting a scratch but can’t run through a couple of cones without tweaking a leg muscle? You’ve now got injury concerns at the two most important positions in your standard-scoring league.

The early indications are that Wells’ Thursday incident was little more than a scare. Excellent Cardinals’ beat writer Kent Somers reported Wells did not have his leg wrapped as he walked off the field, and made himself available to the media afterward. Rarely, if ever, will a player speak with the media immediately after suffering a serious injury.

Then, Wells himself took to Twitter to issue reassurances:

“I'm all good, just needed to rest my wheels and maybe change a tire,” he tweeted.

Great, fantastic, wonderful. If only seemingly minor leg injuries didn’t prevent players from playing every week, or at least render them ineffective. When your business is your legs, no injury is minor until proven so.

There’s no doubt the signs are positive, but until Wells wakes up without any unusual soreness, practices in full on Friday, says “I’m good” and is listed as probable for Sunday against the Seahawks, his injury is an issue.

If it proves to be one that holds him out this weekend, Chester Taylor and LaRod Stephens-Howling would likely split carries in his absence. With Taylor running on fumes and Stephens-Howling still nursing a hand injury (and still being 5-foot-7, 185 pounds), neither would be a recommended play against a Seahawks team that has excelled at stopping the run so far in 2011.

NEWS OF THE DAY #2
Wells isn’t the only load of an RB2 dealing with a supposedly minor leg injury.

Coming off back-to-back disappointing running efforts to begin his season, Mike Tolbert has yet to practice this week as he nurses a toe ailment.

Although he says he’s “doing great” and expecting to return to practice on Friday, the injury couldn’t come at a worse time for one of 2010’s fantasy darlings.

As his play has lagged, Ryan Mathews’ has improved. Tolbert has taken the ball just 45 yards on his 21 carries this season, which comes out to an abysmal 2.1 yards per carry. Mathews, meanwhile, has traveled 109 yards on his 24 totes, giving him a much more healthy 4.5 YPC.

Certainly bad, but not the worst thing for Tolbert through only two games. He is, after all, a short-yardage runner who makes some of his biggest contributions in the passing game. Except Mathews has played him to a dead heat in the air, making 10 catches for 135 yards compared to Tolbert’s 17 for 131.

It's true that Tolbert has found the end zone two more times than Mathews (3-to-1), but he's also lost one more fumble (1-to-0).

It’s play that’s been bad enough that it should just about erase all the goodwill Tolbert has built up with fantasy owners and Chargers coaches if it continues for a third game on Sunday.

He needs to get healthy and up his game against the Chiefs, or the next thing he’ll fumble will be his status as San Diego’s most productive fantasy back.   

NEWS OF THE DAY #3
After turning in a full practice Thursday, Michael Vick will start against the Giants on Sunday “barring any setbacks,” according to NFL Network’s Albert Breer.

It’s no longer common practice for players to return just one week after getting their bells rung, but Vick never appeared to be out of it last Sunday, and was even lucid enough to taunt Falcons fans as he walked off the field to the locker room.

Vick remains an injury risk as a quarterback who likes to run behind an offensive line that has struggled to give him any protection so far this season, but has a dream matchup in a banged up Giants secondary that’s allowed 11 pass plays of 20 yards or longer in its first two games.

NEWS OF THE DAY #4
The Dallas Morning News’ David Moore became the latest to report on Thursday that Felix Jones (shoulder) should be able to suit up on Monday against the Redskins. What he or nobody else knows, however, is how effective he might be playing with a bum wing.

Although there’s never a good time for your starting running back to get hurt, Jones’ latest injury will have him playing at less than 100 percent when the Cowboys can least afford it.  

The best way for Dallas to protect its similarly ailing quarterback Tony Romo (ribs) against Washington would be to establish a robust ground attack. That should prove quite difficult with Jones wondering if he might dislocate his shoulder any time he initiates contact.

Throw in the fact that Washington’s run defense has been stout in its first two games, and Romo could be forced to take to the air all night on Monday, exposing him to any number of free shots at his ribs.   

With Jones’ status unlikely to be certain by the time you set your lineup on Sunday morning, he’s best avoided if you have any viable alternatives in your backfield.

NEWS OF THE DAY #5
Kenny Britt’s troublesome hamstring reportedly “loosened up” on Thursday, prompting HC Mike Munchak to say “I don't see him being limited at all for this weekend."

A full practice on Friday would be ideal, but after Britt gave everybody a scare by leaving practice early on Wednesday, it looks like he’ll be healthy and ready to post his third straight 130-yard receiving effort against a Broncos secondary that will be missing Champ Bailey.  

INJURY QUICK SLANTS
Steven Jackson (quad) is "questionable to doubtful” for Week 3, and will be best avoided against the Ravens even if he is cleared to play in pregame warmups. … Although he returned to limited practice Thursday, Arian Foster (hamstring) isn’t looking like a particularly great bet to be active against the Saints this weekend, and will likely be used in a limited role behind Ben Tate if he’s able to get onto the field. … Both Santonio Holmes (quad) and Roddy White (thigh) were limited for the second straight day on Thursday, but neither is in danger of sitting out on Sunday. … Brandon Lloyd returned to full practice Thursday, and will be back in action in Week 3 barring a hiccup some time between now and Sunday morning. … The same appears to be true of Lloyd’s teammate Knowshon Moreno, though Willis McGahee should shoulder the load in Denver’s backfield for the second straight week. … A.J. Green will be active on Sunday despite coming down with a minor toe injury on Thursday. … If Sidney Rice (shoulder) is active and starting, will it make a sound? We should find out on Sunday.


Patrick Daugherty is a football and baseball writer for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Patrick Daugherty



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