Matt Stroup

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Bad Day Forte

Monday, December 05, 2011

One of the most significant injuries of Week 13 happened almost immediately after games got underway Sunday afternoon, as Matt Forte (5 rush, 12 yds) departed midway through the first quarter with what is believed to be a partially torn right MCL, according to ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio. The early word (per Bears beat writer Mike C. Wright) is that Forte is expected to miss 2-4 weeks.

Forte will get platelet-rich plasma treatment in an effort to heal faster (and was reportedly walking sans crutches after Sunday’s game), but fantasy owners should still be prepared for the Chicago RB1 to miss multiple weeks.

The impact: Marion Barber (14 rush, 44 yds) becomes a must-add off the waiver wire, with the caveat that the Bears offense only scored three points against the Chiefs, and suddenly has a rather low ceiling with Caleb Hanie under center.

In other injury news…

While putting together a solid second game back from injury (4 rec, 97 yds) – and establishing a strong rapport with new starting QB T.J. YatesAndre Johnson pulled up mid-stride with another hamstring injury. This was to his left hamstring – not the right hamstring that led to his earlier extended absence – but either way, it’s another significant setback in a very frustrating season. Johnson’s timetable should become clearer after a Monday MRI, but fantasy owners should be prepared for the Texans WR to miss at least one game, and possibly more.

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Kevin Smith went down with an apparent aggravation of his high ankle sprain early in the third quarter of Sunday night’s game. Smith walked off the field under his own power, and appeared to be making efforts to get back into the game, but the Lions didn’t give him that chance. Smith has already shown impressive toughness in playing through his ankle trouble, so it’s certainly possible he’ll be ready to play in Week 14. Maurice Morris (12 rush, 28 yds; 5 rec, 47 yds, TD) would benefit if Smith can’t play, but it’s hard to imagine relying on Morris in the fantasy playoffs outside of deeper PPR leagues.

Per beat writer Scott Petrak, Peyton Hillis (12 rush, 45 yds; 1 rec, 52 yds) was not in the Browns’ locker room after Sunday’s game due to an undisclosed injury. Browns coach Pat Shurmur said he doesn’t believe that Hillis aggravated his troublesome hamstring, and as of Sunday night the RB’s status was unclear, with an update expected on Monday. If Hillis is unable to play, Montario Hardesty could see extensive work in a brutal matchup against the Steelers on Thursday.

Kyle Orton came on early in relief of a brutally bad Tyler Palko, but left with an injured right index finger on his first (and only) pass attempt. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reports that Orton dislocated his index finger, leaving his immediate status uncertain. A healthy Orton would likely get a shot to start in Week 14, but there appears to be at least a decent chance that Palko will be back doing his wretched starting QB impersonation next Sunday.

James Starks was carted off in the second quarter due to an ankle injury. Ryan Grant should theoretically benefit if Starks can’t play in Week 14, but he was altogether uninspiring against the Giants (13 rush, 29 yds; 1 rec, 17 yds). Furthermore, the Packers got Brandon Saine involved for his most extensive work yet (6 rush, 16 yds; 4 rec, 29 yds), and with or without Starks, the Green Bay backfield remains too unreliable to trust in fantasy leagues.

Nate Washington (4 rec, 40 yds) picked up an ankle injury in Sunday’s win over the Bills. No word as of Sunday night exactly how serious the injury might be, but any absence for Washington would mean more targets for Damian Williams (4 rec, 62 yds), with Lavelle Hawkins (2 rec, 9 yds) potentially surfacing as someone to watch in deeper leagues.

Andy Dalton left Sunday’s blowout loss with what initially appeared to be a hip injury, but the Bengals later referred to his absence as a coach’s decision. Based on early indications, this doesn’t sound like a significant cause for concern.

Other Injury Notes: Chaz Schilens had his most productive outing since 2009 (6 rec, 89 yds), but was unable to finish Sunday’s game due to a foot injury (which was very Chaz Schilens of him) … Colt McCoy missed time early due to a knee injury, but re-entered the game and played through it … The Jets lost Joe McKnight to an elbow injury … LaDainian Tomlinson missed time with a knee injury, but was able to return … Eddie Royal left with a neck injury … Martellus Bennett saw his day end early due to a rib injury … Rex Grossman needed a shot in his left (non-throwing) shoulder prior to Sunday’s game … Kevin Boss was unable to finish the loss to Miami due to a hip pointer … Laurent Robinson went to the locker room with a second quarter shoulder injury, but was able to return.

Editor’s note: If you want to draft a new fantasy team, check out SnapDraft here.

Defensive Injuries: 49ers LB Patrick Willis (hamstring) is headed for a Monday MRI … Cowboys DE DeMarcus Ware was on the sideline (with helmet on) due to a neck injury late in Sunday’s game … Bucs CB Aqib Talib suffered a hamstring injury in the first quarter … Packers CB Charles Woodson sustained a concussion … Steelers LB LaMarr Woodley tweaked his troublesome hamstring … Texans LB Brian Cushing suffered a knee injury while getting faked out of his trousers by Tony Gonzalez (which is not an occurrence that happens to many defenders these days).

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