Don't Kill KennyWednesday, October 10, 2012
It’s been a complicated 13 months for Kenny Britt.
In Weeks 1 of 2 of the 2011 season, he flashed his monstrous potential by totaling 14 catches, 271 yards and three touchdowns. Then disaster struck in the form of a Week 3 ACL and MCL shredding. A follow-up surgery in the spring and a one-game suspension for a DUI muddled the waters even further.
Even once Britt was off suspension and into the 2012 season, there was more drama. An ankle sprain sustained in Week 3 kept him out of practice for two whole weeks. Last Sunday, he was surprisingly active but strangely played just 28 snaps -- mostly in garbage time. Oh, and did I mention that noodle-armed 37-year-old Matt Hasselbeck is under center for now?
There’s a lot not to like here. Britt is coming off a devastating injury, is inconsistent on and off the field, and his quarterback situation is brutal. But by giving players with unique, elite, mind-boggling natural talent more rope than others, we set ourselves up for big rewards. Is there really anyone else on your bench or your waiver wire capable of doing what Britt can do?
For us hopefuls, we got a bunch of good news Thursday. Britt practiced in full and said he “felt the most confident I have this whole year.” He said he’s “definitely getting back to where I was at last year.” Britt may find the sledding tough while dealing with Hasselbeck and top Steelers CB Ike Taylor on Thursday night, but the reward waits in Week 7.
That’s when Jake Locker (shoulder) is expected back and the Titans will be facing the Bills’ 31st-ranked defense. It should be the jackpot at the end of a long rainbow.
NEWS OF THE DAY #2
Robert Griffin III didn’t even know the score or what quarter it was after taking a shot from Falcons LB Sean Weatherspoon on Sunday. No matter. RG3 has reportedly been medically cleared for exercise by an independent doctor already. The next step will be getting cleared for contact.
The biggest concern for Griffin owners now is if their prize quarterback will be more hesitant to tuck and run. Or more specifically, if the Redskins will continue to call quarterback draws and bootlegs in the red zone.
NEWS OF THE DAY #3
The Packers’ backfield has turned into a mess. Alex Green has been operating as Cedric Benson’s direct backup and is listed that way on the depth chart. But here’s a quote from coach Mike McCarthy that might give spot-starters some pause:
“Alex did some good things, and there’s some things he’ll definitely learn from. He obviously had the big run, did a great job there. But there’s some protection opportunities that we need to clean up and the course of certain runs. So, a young guy that took advantage of an opportunity and this will be an opportunity for him and James [Starks] and Brandon [Saine] to play this week against Houston.”
James Starks has been dealing with a turf toe ailment and has been inactive for five straight games. But there’s speculation that Ryan Grant’s old timeshare partner will at least share the load with Green. It makes sense considering the Packers’ lack of confidence in Green’s pass protection skills.
NEWS OF THE DAY #4
As the Bucs come out of the bye, we might have a running back controversy brewing.
According to coach Greg Schiano, LeGarrette Blount has “practiced better the last couple weeks. I think when you prepare better you play better.”
The coaches have been talking up Blount’s role for a couple weeks now and it’s only logical that they’re not thrilled with Doug Martin. The rookie is averaging just 3.23 yards per carry over the last three games.
Look for Blount to pick up reps as the battering ram and red-zone back as soon as this week.
DEPTH CHART QUICK SLANTS
Free agent Terrell Owens wants to join the Jets, but they don’t want him. Rex Ryan is fine with Jeremy Kerley, Chaz Schilens and Jason Hill right now. … Kai Forbath is the new Redskins’ kicker, replacing Billy Cundiff. … Rex Ryan gave Mark Sanchez another vote of confidence Tuesday. But if wins don’t come soon, we could be seeing Tim Tebow after the Week 9 bye. … Bilal Powell played more snaps than Shonn Greene for the second straight week on Sunday. Two poor talents not getting enough touches or holes to matter.
INJURY QUICK SLANTS: QUARTERBACKS AND WIDE RECEIVERS
The Niners are expressing a little concern over Alex Smith (finger). It’s something to monitor because Colin Kaepernick has a ton of upside as a fantasy quarterback. … Hakeem Nicks (knee, foot) has a shot to play in Week 6, but we’ll have to see how he responds to a Thursday practice. … Laurent Robinson (concussions) isn’t expected back this week. … Jerome Simpson is dealing with a strange back issue that’s causing numbness in his leg. He might end up needing surgery. Avoid.
INJURY QUICK SLANTS: RUNNING BACKS AND TIGHT ENDS
We don’t have any word on Jahvid Best’s concussion tests yet, but we do know he’s allegedly in the best shape of his life. … Ben Tate (toe) wasn’t close to playing Monday night, a sign that Justin Forsett will probably back up Arian Foster in Week 6. … Brandon Pettigrew (undisclosed) missed another practice Tuesday. It’s a concern as the Lions are coming out of their bye. … Peyton Hillis (ankle) is out again Sunday. He’s dealing with a high-ankle sprain. … Dustin Keller (hamstring) expects to finally return this week. Yawn.
DEFENSIVE SPOTS STARTS
Adding a different D/ST each week based on matchups is a fine strategy. Here are three units that might be on waivers to consider for streaming purposes:
* For more waiver thoughts at all positions, check out Chris Wesseling’s latest here.
1. STEELERS at Titans - Pittsburgh is banged up and has to go on the road in a short week. Luckily for them, the Titans’ offense can’t get out of its own way. Matt Hasselbeck is simply out of gas and has thrown 17 interceptions in his last 19 games.
2. DOLPHINS vs. Rams - Last Thursday, we got a look at what the Rams’ offense could do without Danny Amendola. It wasn’t pretty. Now they have to travel to Miami to face the league’s top rushing defense.
3. BUCS vs. Chiefs - It’s an ideal spot for Tampa. They are coming off a bye and the Chiefs poured everything they had into a narrow loss to the Ravens last week. Brady Quinn, who hasn’t started a game since 2009, will be under center in place of Matt Cassel (concussion).