Dose: Mo-Jo's boo-booFriday, December 06, 2013
A lot of people are going to point to Maurice Jones-Drew’s performance in Thursday night’s 27-20 win over the Texans and say, “he’s back.” After all, he rushed 14 times for 103 yards, showing excellent tackle-breaking ability and burst. He even broke off a vintage 48-yard run that looked like the pocket Hercules of old.
Slow down. First of all, Jones-Drew was facing a Texans defense that was mailing it in early on. Second, he tried to hurdle a defender in fourth quarter and pulled his hamstring in the process. That’s what happens when you’re nearly 29 years old and have more than 2,000 career touches on your resume. After the game, MJD told the NFL Network on-air guys that he’ll be fine and was just removed as a precaution, but players always say that right after a game.
Jones-Drew will have 10 days to get his hamstring right ahead of a Week 15 matchup with the Bills, but the prospects of a guy with very little lateral juice playing at less than 100 percent is not appetizing. Jones-Drew’s 100-yard game was his first since Week 3 of the 2012 season and I’d be surprised to see him have another one this year.
TEXANS at JAGUARS RANDOM THOUGHTS
Cecil Shorts played better than his 2/13/1 box score looked. He drew a pass interference call deep down the field, was wide open for a bomb in the first half but was slightly overthrown by Chad Henne and had a chunk play called back by a penalty. … Case Keenum was yanked midway through the third quarter due to ineffectiveness once again. Matt Schaub actually got the Texans back in it by running the no-huddle, but then predictably threw a back-breaking interception to seal the game. … Ben Tate had 10 carries for 41 yards in the first half, but the Texans gave up on the run in the second half as they fell behind 24-10. … Andre Johnson gets open at will no matter who is at quarterback. Chalk up a 13/154/0 line. Ho-hum. … Garrett Graham (8/73/1) isn’t that impressive as a player, but his volume is absurd. After seeing 14 targets Thursday night, he’s averaging 11.5 over the last four contests.
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NEWS OF THE DAY #1
Aaron Rodgers was sporting pads during Thursday’s practice for the first time since fracturing his collarbone a month ago. Unfortunately I’d still be absolutely shocked if he played in Sunday’s game against the Falcons.
Matt Flynn took the first-team reps once again Thursday. Rodgers’ boy in the media, ESPN Wisconsin’s Jason Wilde, has all but ruled the franchise quarterback out. And there have been prior reports that the team/doctors want to take a conservative approach. If Rodgers were to take a similar hit to the one that knocked him out, he’d be in trouble long-term. Is it worth the risk for the 5-6-1 Packers?
Flynn was a disaster on Thanksgiving, but he says he didn’t have the full playbook at his disposal and barely had any practice time. He vows to be far better this week and I believe him. He’ll be at home against a bad Falcons defense and will have gotten plenty of real practice time in. Expect bounce-back performances out of Eddie Lacy and Jordy Nelson as well.
NEWS OF THE DAY #2
The Bears certainly make it easy on us. For the second consecutive week, they’ve ruled out Jay Cutler (ankle) and named Josh McCown the starter early on.
In four full games this year, McCown has averaged 298.7 yards with seven touchdowns and one interception. Now he gets to start at home against the Cowboys, setting up as a strong QB1 play. Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery both remain elite options.
As for Cutler’s eventual return, he was able to get in a limited practice Thursday. It suggests he has a reasonable shot to return for Week 15, but there’s no way to know for sure yet. The Bears don’t even know.
NEWS OF THE DAY #3
Before Reggie Wayne went down, Darrius Heyward-Bey was averaging 2.5 catches per game. Since then, with his team in desperate need of him to step up, DHB has averaged 1.8 catches per game. He’s simply been atrocious with drops, slips and failure to get open. The fans are frustrated, the media is frustrated and now the coaches are getting frustrated.
Da’Rick Rogers played on 13-of-65 snaps in his NFL debut last week, but that number could very well be on the rise. When asked who will be starting across from T.Y. Hilton come Sunday, coach Chuck Pagano gave a round-about answer by saying he’ll need all his guys. Rogers isn’t startable in fantasy right now, but he’s a name to watch for the future as a talented guy playing with a talented quarterback on a team desperate for weapons. Reggie Wayne is 35 years old and coming off a torn ACL and DHB is on a one-year deal.
INJURY QUICK SLANTS: QUARTERBACK AND RUNNING BACK
Reggie Bush is dealing with a calf issue. It doesn’t look like he’s going to be 100 percent Sunday. … Carson Palmer’s right (throwing) elbow is bothering him after getting it bent the wrong way against the Eagles. Considering his history of elbow issues, it’s definitely worth monitoring. … Le’Veon Bell (concussion) is practicing in full and ready to rock. … Same goes for Rashad Jennings (concussion), who is set for a full workload against the Jets’ elite run defense. … Jonathan Stewart (ankle) and DeAngelo Williams (quad) are both expected to play this week, along with Mike Tolbert. Hands off. … Andre Ellington(knee) got back in practice, but he’ll be hard to trust at less than 100 percent and playing behind Rashard Mendenhall. … Jason Campbell (concussion) has been cleared to practice and took the first-team reps. Good news for Josh Gordon owners.
INJURY QUICK SLANTS: WIDE RECEIVER AND TIGHT END
Percy Harvin (hip) isn’t practicing this week. Doug Baldwin is a dice roll WR3 for me. … Delanie Walker (concussion) hasn’t been cleared quite yet. Check back Friday. … Denarius Moore (shoulder) remains sidelined. Andre Holmes is a WR4 with upside. … Kenbrell Thompkins (hip) got back in practice, but any Patriots wideout other than Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola is off the radar. … Julius Thomas (knee) is practicing in full. It would be a surprise if he’s not back this week. … Eddie Royal (toe, chest) isn’t practicing this week. His potential absence would be good news for Ladarius Green. … Jordan Reed (concussion) got back in practice. He should be fine. … Vincent Jackson (hamstring) got a limited session. He’s on track to suit up against the Bills Sunday.
DEPTH CHART QUICK SLANTS
Darrelle Revis (neck, shoulder) is fine for Week 14. That makes Stevie Johnson a no-go in fantasy formats. … Roddy White was in on 85-of-88 snaps last week. He’s a great WR3 bet against the Packers Sunday.