By the standards of the modern NFL — it of the torn ACL and fourth career concussion — Week 1 was light on notable injuries. So then it was only fitting that Week 2 made up for it in spades. Ray Rice (hip), Steven Jackson (thigh) and Maurice Jones-Drew (ankle) all went down — and that was just on the fantasy team I was facing (seriously). Even more astonishing? I lost, thanks in large part to the departures of Reggie Bush (knee) and Larry Fitzgerald (aggravated hamstring).
Five of the league’s most visible players, all affixed to the sideline before dinner time on the East Coast. Joining them in no particular order were Eddie Lacy (concussion), Andre Johnson (concussion), Malcom Floyd (neck), Brandon Weeden (thumb), Martellus Bennett (shoulder) and Darrius Heyward-Bey (shoulder). We’re probably forgetting somebody, but so is life on the Week 2 MASH beat.
The most concerning injury has to be Rice’s, both because of its nature (non-contact) and his injury history (nonexistent). This was a player who never gets hurt going down on a play where he wasn’t even touched. The early prognosis is good. X-rays revealed only a left hip flexor strain, while Rice supposedly won’t even undergo an MRI. That’s very hard to believe, but for now consider Rice questionable for Week 3 against the Texans with a legit shot at suiting up.
The truth, however, is that we’re unlikely to have a good bead on Rice’s status before the Ravens return to practice on Wednesday, and that’s the case for all of these players. What is claimed in Sunday or Monday’s press conference has been known to pull a complete 180 by Thursday or Friday. It’s important to remember that this time of year.
Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-week $25,000 Fantasy Football league for Week 3. It's $10 to join and first prize is $3,500. Starts Sunday at 1pm ET. Here's the link.
Like Larry Fitzgerald and teammate Roddy White, Jones was playing hurt Sunday. Unlike Fitzgerald and White, Jones went off, matching a career-high with 11 catches while posting a regular-season best 182 yards. However, the 11-catch, 182-yard day was his second in three games going back to the NFC Championship Game. He scored two touchdowns against the 49ers last January. Sunday? He had to settle for one, an 81-yarder in the first quarter. Even at less than 100 percent, Jones is a top-five receiver, and a top-five physical freak.
We’re not here to talk about the fact that Royal’s touchdown rate is sustainable. That typically, a player doesn’t find the end zone on one out of every two catches. The fact that Royal has scored five times on just 14 targets. That he has four more touchdowns than the Jaguars. That he has as many scores as he did in 2009-2012 (52 games) combined. We’re just here to congratulate a player on his moment in the sun. Is it one that’s going to translate to sustained fantasy value? Almost certainly no. The above numbers should tell you that. But is there any harm in saying “what the hey,” and giving Royal one of your final bench spots for the time being? Absolutely not. Just don’t expect touchdowns six, seven and eight in Week 3.
While it was Aaron Rodgers who truly tore apart the Redskins “defense,” it was Starks who peeled away the final layer of their supposedly good Run D. The Redskins got some credit for ranking fifth against the run last season (95.8 yards per game), but that ignored the fact that they were far more ordinary in yards per carry against (4.22, 17th) and were really only “good” on the ground because they were so, so bad in the air. Rumbling for a career-high 132 yards Sunday, Starks became the first Packers’ runner in 45 games to breach the century mark. It’s a nice achievement, but don’t let it trick you into thinking Starks is going to remain ahead of Eddie Lacy (concussion) once he returns. The definition of a replacement-level talent, Starks entered Sunday averaging 4.0 yards per carry for his career. So don’t get it twisted: He only went off the way he did because of the gaping holes he was running into. Starks did his job against a bad defense, but it’s your job not to blow your entire FAAB budget on a No. 2 runner who doesn’t typically get more than what’s blocked.
1. What part about “don’t hire Mike Shula to call plays in the NFL in the year 2013” was so hard to understand?
2. Will the last Redskins defensive back to get burnt to a crisp turn the light out?
3. Why does Trent Richardson have just five more carries than Fred Jackson through the season’s first two weeks?
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