Patrick Daugherty

Football Daily Dose

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Feel Good No More

Friday, November 25, 2011

There’s a reason why football has so few “feel-good stories” — the human body won’t allow it.

When Kevin Smith came off the street to shred the Panthers for 201 yards from scrimmage last Sunday, it seemed too good to be true. This was, after all, the same running back who missed 13 games between 2009-10, finishing both seasons on injured reserve.

When he ripped through the Packers for 57 yards in the first quarter Thursday, we knew it was too good to be true.

So two minutes into the second quarter of Detroit’s dismal loss, there it was, the injury that again clouded Smith’s future — a (likely) high-ankle sprain suffered while flipping the ball on a reverse.

The implications for the Lions are grim. As Rotoworld’s Evan Silva pointed out on Twitterthe Lions have now lost every game in which they’ve been forced to go with Maurice Morris as their feature back. For fantasy owners, it’s another kick in the gut in a year that’s featured a truly astounding amount of running back injuries.

Predictably, Smith was all sunshine when asked about the situation afterward, saying "It wasn't that bad, it's just a matter of I couldn't cut.”  He even went as far as to suggest he expects to play next week. “I've got 10 days. In my mind, I'll be ready. We will see what happens."

It’s good that a player who’s faced so much adversity is staying positive, but consider it an upset if Smith is able to resume his storybook comeback in Week 13, and expect to be stuck with another episode of the “Maurice Morris and Keiland Williams Show” in fantasy leagues.  

Gifts like Smith’s out-of-nowhere Week 11 eruption simply don’t happen in football. Consider Thursday another cruel reminder.

If Smith actually is able to return in Week 13, he could be taking inspiration from Adrian Peterson, who boldly claimed Thursday he will return to practice this afternoon and expects to be active against the Falcons.

There’s no doubt that Peterson has been one of the NFL’s toughest and most durable players since arriving on the scene in 2007, but returning just seven days after suffering a high-ankle sprain wouldn’t just be uncommon, it would be unheard of. Expect Peterson to realize this today, and adjust his retun timetable back to 1-2 weeks.

One day after surprisingly claiming Kyle Orton off waivers, the Chiefs unsurprisingly announced he will not start in Week 12.

Of course, the Raiders said the same thing about Carson Palmer in Week 7, so it’s certainly a possibility Orton could see time if Tyler Palko struggles to put points on the board as much as he did in Week 11. The chance isn’t worth taking in two-QB leagues, though, where Orton should still be considered a lower-end QB2 despite his new duds.

A lower-end QB2 is better than what the Chiefs would have been going with, however, and the rest of season forecast for Dwayne Bowe, Steve Breaston and Jonathan Baldwin has improved dramatically

Ndamukong Suh is likely to be suspended at least one game for his stomp of Evan Dietrich-Smith, making the Lions’ fantasy defense borderline unplayable against the Saints in Week 12. … Matthew Stafford has tossed nine interceptions in his past three games. It’s probably a good time to remember he’s made just 24 career starts, or as many as Sam Bradford. … Maurice Morris is now the running back to own in Detroit’s backfield, but don’t be surprised if word begins to spread that Jahvid Best is targeting a Week 12 return. … Think some people in the Rams’ front office are re-assessing their opinion of Laurent Robinson? … Cut the cord on Dan Carpenter if you haven’t done so already. … Reggie Bush: clearly ahead of Daniel Thomas heading into the season’s stretch run. ... Brandon Marshall just seems to hate the game of football sometimes. … 49ers’ pass catchers are a poor basket to be putting your eggs into.     

Ryan Mathews (knee) missed his second straight practice, and is suddenly looking doubtful for Week 12. It’s time to get Mike Tolbert revved up in all formats. … Andy Dalton (shoulder) and A.J. Green (knee) were both full participants in Bengals practice, and are ready to go for Sunday’s showdown with the Browns. … Sebastian Janikowski (hamstring) has been removed from the Raiders’ injury report. … Mario Manningham (knee) was held out of Giants practice. With the G-Men not playing until Monday, he has two days to return to full practice. … Ben Roethlisberger (thumb) practiced in full, and will be ready for his appetizing matchup with the Chiefs. … Julio Jones (hamstring) reportedly looked “sharp” in a limited practice, and is on track to return against the Vikings. … Darren McFadden (foot) should be all but ruled out for Week 12. … Mark Clayton (knee) was placed on injured reserve. He caught three passes for 26 yards in two games this season. The Rams expect Danario Alexander (hamstring) and Austin Pettis (knee) to be active Sunday. … DeSean Jackson (foot) returned to Eagles practice and remains on track to be active against the Patriots. The opposite is true for teammates Michael Vick (ribs) and Jeremy Maclin (shoulder, hamstring).    

Santonio Holmes has five fewer receiving yards than Darrius Heyward-Bey despite appearing in one more game.  

Sam Bradford has one completion longer than the 55-yard strike Sidney Rice completed to Mike Williams in Week 11.

Kenny Britt still has more touchdown receptions than Brandon Marshall, DeSean Jackson, Julio Jones and Reggie Wayne. Rob Gronkowski has more touchdowns than Marshall, Jackson, Jones and Wayne combined.

Chris Johnson has just 188 more rushing yards than Tim Hightower, and fewer ground scores than Mark Sanchez.

Michael Vick has fewer rushing touchdowns than B.J. Raji.

Big game: Saints 34, Giants 21
In a game between two contending teams both still looking to nail down their identities, the Saints come off their bye looking motivated and well-oiled.  

Big game II: Raiders 31, Bears 14
Life after Jay Cutler proves to be cruel against a team really beginning to hit its stride.

Upset of the week: Redskins 17, Seahawks 3
Seattle almost never loses at home, especially to inferior teams, but one week and demolishing the Rams on the road, the Seahawks suffer a letdown and all but cede the NFC West to the 49ers.

The I really don’t have a clue but will pretend I do game: Bucs 27, Titans 13
Tampa builds off its impressive showing against the Packers with a thorough win against a team starting to get demoralized by its best player’s refusal to play the game of football.

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

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