Fragile FelixWednesday, December 21, 2011
Felix Jones is at it again.
His season came full circle against the Bucs last week, finally rewarding owners that paid a hefty sum for his services four months earlier. But during the game, he needed an IV and suffered from cramps in the fourth quarter. Sammy Morris got the majority of fourth-quarter snaps. Even more concerning, Jones emerged from those 25 touches with hamstring tightness, causing him to miss Tuesday’s practice.
It’s an all too familiar turn of events for Jones, who has missed 16 games in his four-year career due to hamstring, toe, knee and ankle injuries. None of the ailments are serious, but they are all enough to drive fantasy owners up a wall. That 16 game stat doesn’t include all the times Jones has been limited in games or left them early. He leads the league in nagging injuries.
So what now? In the short term, look for Felix to play against the Eagles in a huge game for Dallas. However, we can’t trust him to finish the game or push for 25 touches again -- leaving him as a high-risk, high-reward RB2.
The long-term outlook for Jones is much worse. Just like everyone else, the Cowboys are enamored with his raw talent. But it’s obvious that he’s not durable enough to be an every-down back, so he’s headed for a kick return/third-down role in 2012. DeMarco Murray (injured reserve, ankle) will be featured as the primary runner.
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NEWS OF THE DAY #2
There’s reason to be a little concerned on Roy Helu this week as well. He was clearly not himself against the Giants last week, failing to burst through holes and break arm tackles like he normally does. In between series, he was getting stretched out on the trainers table. At one point in the second half, he went into the locker room to get re-taped.
Helu sat out Tuesday’s practice with toe and knee issues. This week’s opponent, the Vikings, is much more susceptible to the pass than the run. And the Redskins may want to ease back on Helu’s workload so they don’t wear him out in meaningless games. He’s racked up at least 23 carries in four straight contests.
Helu projects to start against the Vikings, but comes with risk this week.
INJURY QUICK SLANTS: QUARTERBACKS AND RUNNING BACKS
Willis McGhee (hamstring) practiced Tuesday on a limited basis. He appears set to start Saturday. … Mark Sanchez (shoulder) is a full go. … Rashard Mendenhall is dealing with some sore ribs, but he should be fine. Meanwhile Mewelde Moore (knee) is done for the year. Isaac Redman is a handcuff add. … Colt McCoy (concussion) still hasn’t gotten medical clearance. Seneca Wallace is expected to start. … Chris Johnson (ankle) is having problems cutting. It’s something to watch. … Darren McFadden (foot) is jogging, but still not close to playing.
INJURY QUICK SLANTS: RECEIVERS, TIGHT ENDS AND KICKERS
Owen Daniels (knee) is headed for a true game-time call thanks to the short week. … Stevie Johnson (groin) and A.J. Green (shoulder) both missed practice, but both are fully expected to play Week 16. … Arrelious Benn (concussion) returned to practice. Forget about Dezmon Briscoe. … Scott Chandler (ankle) has been updated to day to day. … Andre Johnson (hamstring) will not play in Week 16. … Dallas Clark (stinger) did not get back in practice.
DEPTH CHART QUICK SLANTS
The Chicago Tribune is speculating that the Bears could start Kahlil Bell over Mario Barber. … The Niners confirmed that Braylon Edwards was a healthy scratch Monday night. … Santonio Holmes isn’t going to be punished despite his boneheaded plays in Week 15. … Josh McCown is expected to draw the start over Caleb Hanie this week.