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IDP Notes
Week 2

Week 2 Injury Report (available Friday PM)

IDP Depth Chart

Notable Injuries
  • DE Reggie Hayward, JAX - a broken left fibula ended his season, placed on IR.

  • MLB Brian Urlacher, CHI - a dislocated right wrist ended his season, placed on IR.

  • ILB Jerod Mayo, NE - no one is more secretive about injury information than the Pats, but multiple sources are reporting a severe MCL sprain in his right knee and that he'll miss several weeks. Even Bill Belichick, when asked in his weekly conference call with the press if it was a season-ending injury said, "I don't think that's what it is".

  • MLB Paul Posluszny, BUF - for the second time in his first three seasons, Poz breaks his left forearm against the Pats in the season opener (he also did it as a rookie in 2007); watch for details on the severity, but he should miss at least a month.

  • ILB Lawrence Timmons, PIT - was inactive, as expected on Thursday night, with a high ankle sprain; status still in question for this week.

  • ILB Tavares Gooden, BAL - left the game in the third quarter with a right knee sprain; early reports are it is not serious and he's likely to play this week.

  • OLB Pisa Tinoisamoa, CHI - suffered a sprained right PCL on the first series on SNF; team is calling him day-to-day, but the starting SLB could miss a few weeks.

  • S Troy Polamalu, PIT - suffered a tear in his left MCL, but will not need surgery; expected to miss 3-6 weeks while adding to the Myth of the Madden Curse.

  • S Bob Sanders, IND - was inactive, as expected, as he recovers from offseason surgery on his right knee; still no timetable, other than he's expected back before Week 6 (hence why he wasn't placed on the PUP).

  • S Atari Bigby, GB - suffered what is being called a knee sprain and is expected to miss multiple weeks.

  • S Chris Harris, CAR - aggravated a lingering left knee problem in pregame warm-ups and was replaced by Quinton Teal as the starting SS in the season opener. He is yet to practice this week, so his status is up in the air for Week 2.
Defensive Line
  • Minnesota labor laws appear to have secured a reprieve for all the players who were handed four-game suspensions for violating the league's substance abuse policy related to the use of StarCaps last year. After a federal appeals court upheld the lower court's ruling of negating the suspension for the Vikings' interior duo of Kevin Williams and Pat Williams, the league has announced they will "defer" the suspensions of the Saints' end tandem of Charles Grant and Will Smith. Consider the matter closed, at least for this season.

  • After not showing up and causing a stir about speculation for his plans after being traded from New England, Richard Seymour pretty much walked off the plane and racked up two sacks on MNF as a terror up and down the line for the Raiders. He started at RDE, but moved inside in the nickel and bumped DT Tommy Kelly, confirming Trevor Scott retains his pass rush specialist role, while Kelly's value takes a hit. Greg Ellis had no problem settling back in as a 4-3 end, notching his first sack as a Raider.

  • Back in New England, the Patriots did show more 4-3 sets, with Jarvis Green and Vince Wilfork inside, Ty Warren at the anchor end, and, in a bit of a surprise, Tully Banta-Cain at the right end, where he notched two sacks. Derrick Burgess worked in frequently and got his first sack as a Pat.

  • Jacksonville DE Derrick Harvey appeared to be benched during the game with DT John Henderson sliding over to DE and Quentin Groves replacing Harvey in a tweener role as the Jaguars are showing some 3-4 looks this year. With the season-ending injury to Reggie Hayward, Harvey's status seems more secure, but his struggles against the run apparently have him in the doghouse. Groves gets a big bump with Hayward done for the season.

  • Cincinnati DE Antwan Odom parlayed a career-high 8 sacks in 2007 in to a big free agent deal with the Bengals, but an injury-plagued season last year had him return to the underachieving role he's played since the Titans took him in the second round in 2004 with visions of getting the replacement to Jevon Kearse (who ironically returned to Tennessee to replace Odom last year). However, after a two-sack performance (and another TFL) primarily against stud Denver OT Ryan Clady, Odom looks like a solid waiver wire material.

  • After an impressive preseason, I liked fourth-round pick Lawrence Sidbury Jr. to emerge as a productive situational pass rusher. While I still like Sidbury's potential, it was a fifth-round pick from last year, Kroy Biermann, who broke out in the season opener for Atlanta. A standout on special teams, Biermann was worked in as the nickel DE and should have earned more snaps with a two-sack performance. Jamaal Anderson remains the nominal starter at LDE and solid veteran Chauncey Davis is in the rotation, so Biermann's production will be inconsistent. It may be a bit of a fluke, so I wouldn't reach for him too much right now. Of greater note here is giving up (if you haven't already) on hope for Anderson and lowering expectations for Sidbury this year.


  • I talked about Gary Guyton potential in last week's column and now while Jerod Mayo is out, Guyton will be "The Man" for New England. He'll be the MIKE when they show 4-3 looks and call the plays, so he'll be on the field a lot.

  • With the season-ending injury to MLB Brian Urlacher and a knee sprain to SLB Pisa Tinoisamoa, the Bears' LB corps is in disarray. The team seems willing to give Hunter Hillenmeyer, who lost his starting SLB job to Nick Roach last year, the first shot to replace Urlacher in the middle this week. However, be aware he's on a short leash and there are multiple contingency plans in the works. On scenario involves bringing in former Buc WLB Derrick Brooks, who failed to find a job in the preseason. Now that the season is underway, veterans no longer require contracts guaranteed for the year, so you should begin to see homeless vets like Brooks swooped up. Brooks, who would be reunited with Lovie Smith, and his agent wasted no time expressing excitement at the opportunity, but the fact the Bears didn't pursue it this week makes it long shot. If Brooks came to Chicago, he'd likely take his familiar WLB role, moving Lance Briggs to the middle. A sneaky possibility would be giving the versatile Jamar Williams a starting role, either in the middle or at WLB, with Briggs moving to the middle. The longest shot is probably the Bears pursuing Zach Thomas who, like Brooks, is looking for work. For now, look for Hillenmeyer to start at MLB, Briggs to remain at WLB, and Roach to return to a starting role at SLB until Tinoisamoa returns. With depth at LB and special teams now a problem, the team added FA LB Tim Shaw this week.

  • While we're on the topic of Derrick Brooks, the Boston Herald suggested the Patriots may be interested in him with Mayo out. We might as well not rule out the recently retired Tedy Bruschi or yet another return of Junior Seau.

  • LB Derrick Johnson was bumped from a starting role at one of the ILB spots in the Chiefs' new 3-4 in favor of Corey Mays and Demorrio Williams. Regardless, Johnson was the most productive ILB. Don't drop Johnson, this may have been just a message, as Johnson is more talented that the other two and, talent, if nothing else, should get him out of the doghouse soon. Former first-round pick Tamba Hali adjusted well to being an OLB and is particularly attractive if your league still considers him eligible at DE.

  • NYG LB Michael Boley returns from a one-game suspension, but he is still recovering from hip surgery over the summer. Boley will be eased in, but could pay dividends down the road.

  • Carolina MLB Jon Beason looked fully recovered from his MCL sprain while posting 4 tackles and grabbing a pick in the season opener.

  • As discussed in last week's column, Minnesota MLB E.J. Henderson showed he's back from injury and has top 20 potential.

  • It looks like Brandon Chillar will cut in to reps for inside backers Nick Barnett and A.J. Hawk in Green Bay, as they ran a rotation among both spots. On the outside, rookie Clay Matthews played more than expected as the team used more nickel defense against Jay Cutler.

  • Seattle will be without SLB Leroy Hill for at least a month with a groin injury. Will Herring, a fifth-round pick of the Seahawks in 2007, replaces him.

  • OLB Keith Ellison and Marcus Buggs, an undrafted free agent out of Vanderbilt who was the back-up MIKE on the depth chart, got the first shot replacing Paul Posluszny in the middle for the Bills. Ellison was clearly the more impressive and could get the first shot. OLB Kawika Mitchell has starting experience in the middle and is a bit more stout than Ellison, but he's been very productive in his current role.

Defensive Back

  • With Green Bay looking at not having Atari Bigby for a few weeks, Aaron Rouse steps in at SS. Rouse has produced well at both safety spots when given the opportunity and is a nice acquisition if you need help at DB.

  • Melvin Bullitt only produced 2 tackles filling in for Bob Sanders at SS for the Colts, but he played well and is a solid play for at least this month, as Sanders probably won't be back until October.

  • Don't Call it a Comeback: the Bengals' Roy L. Williams and the Chiefs' Mike Brown both racked up nice fantasy games in their new surroundings after long tenures that ended sourly with their original team.

  • Downgrade Kevin Payne and upgrade rookie Al Afalava and versatile vet Danieal Manning in the Bears' safety rotation. Afalava replaced Payne as the starting SS, while Payne moves to the nominal starter at FS, getting replaced by Manning in many pass packages.

Position Eligibility

The complex and variable defensive schemes employed in the NFL have made identifying the position of a player ambiguous, at best, on some teams. If your league bases position eligibility solely as listed on your stat provider’s website, it is a good time to take stock of your roster and the waiver wire for players who may be recognized at a more beneficial position based on your scoring system. For example, in leagues where sacks are undervalued, a player who is listed as a DE, but will be more often line up as a LB, is likely to have more tackles and be more valuable, even though he may rush the passer less.

More on Rookies

For more detail on the top new faces, check out my preseason preview of IDP rookies