This weekly series will provide you
with in-depth analysis of key injuries and their resultant implications
on fantasy football. This information comes straight from my perspective
as a Physical Therapist and Athletic Trainer for ten years. Over
this time, I have seen almost all the injuries that can happen
in this violent sport on the college level and how to treat them.
Hopefully, this piece gives you a little more insight into the
anatomy or an injury.
Player: Chad Pennington
Injury: Dislocated shoulder
Healing Time: Season
Impact on the Field: Tough break for the Dolphins. Pennington
had his shoulder dislocated and required the training staff to
ďpopĒ it back in to place. The Dolphins are winless
and this may end up being a good thing in the long run. They believe
Chad Henne is the future anyway and now they can find out exactly
what they have in the second-year pro from Michigan. Henne has
a strong arm and can stretch the field, which is something that
Pennington canít do but Henne will be much more interception
prone. He went 10-for-19 for 92 yards with an interception in
the Dolphins' 23-13 loss at San Diego.
Player: Frank Gore
Injury: High Ankle Sprain
Healing Time: 2-6 weeks
Impact on the Field: This injury is a very serious one. Gore injured
the joint directly above his ankle involving the two shinbones.
These bones are separated when the ankle is driven outward or
awkwardly receives pressure downward creating a force that penetrates
the joint of the shin. This injury is painful and also very limiting.
It is not a quick-healing injury. The 49er offense revolves around
Gore making this a troublesome injury for the team. They are already
devoid of playmakers and depend heavily on a strong defense and
rushing attack. Glen Coffee becomes an immediate pickup and should
receive the majority of carries. Expect Gore to miss at least
Player: Laurent Robinson
Injury: Fractured Fibula and High Ankle Sprain
Healing Time: Season
Impact on the Field: Robinson had turned into a waiver wire gem.
He was the most targeted and productive wide receiver in the abysmal
Ram offense. His production was good enough to warrant a start
in three receiver leagues. Unfortunately, his lower leg is in
shambles his season is over. It is one thing to have a high ankle
sprain, a whole different story when you also break the bone that
involves the joint. That is major trauma. There was so much force
across the joint, that the ligament ripped and the bone gave way.
Robinson was productive but injuries have gotten the best of him.
Keenan Burton will step into the starting lineup opposite Donnie
Player: Marc Bulger
Injury: Bruised Shoulder
Healing Time: 1-4 weeks
Impact on the Field: It is being reported that Bulger strained
his rotator cuff. When that occurs, one has difficulty elevating
and rotating the shoulder. Didnít need any medical background
with that injury, did you? Bulger and the rest of the Ram offense
have been dreadful. Steven Jackson has been OK and Laurent Robinson
was useful, but otherwise the offense is non-existent. The O-line
is a mess and Bulger does not look comfortable in the pocket.
His injury is relatively minor, but painful and will most likely
cause him to miss this week and will then be questionable for
the following week. Expect Kyle Boller to fill in Week 4. If you
are relying on Bulger, Boller, or any wide receiver in this offense
for production, find another hobby.
Player: Kevin Smith
Injury: ? Shoulder Injury
Healing Time: 1-3 weeks
Impact on the Field: Kevin Smith
is a really nice running back. He has some speed, good vision
and the ability to wiggle into small holes. He injured his shoulder
in the third quarter against Washington and was unable to return
to the game. He was going for an MRI to reveal the extent of his
injury. The Lions have taken the same approach as Eric Mangini
and the Browns with how they disclose injury informationÖ they
give as little information as possible. The Lions head coach does
not want to provide a team with a competitive advantage. Letís
be real here - these are the Detroit Lions. Even if Smith did
play, this is not the 2000 RAMS. Smithís injury is being listed
as week-to-week which means he probably wonít play because he
could not return to the game last week. His backups (Maurice
Brown) are shaky as is the matchup against Chicago. If Smith
does sit, look elsewhere for options.
Injury: Knee Sprain
Healing Time: 2-4 weeks
Impact on the Field: I am getting real tired with the vagueness
of injury information. When a knee is sprained it could be a variety
of things. I canít begin to explain the complexity of the
scenario without all the specifics. So, I will just explain the
results. He has swelling in his knee. It stiffens his knee and
prevents motion and causes pain so the training staff wonít
let him resume running and full activity until the swelling has
subsided. The bigger concern here is the frequency of injuries
that Jones sustains. He plays, he gets hurt. When heís expected
to carry a bigger load, he gets hurt. Jones looks fantastic whenever
he gets an opportunity, but canít seem to stay on the field.
By the time he is back and healthy, Barber will be there to resume
his full share of the load Ė which may be as soon as this
week. Too bad, because if Jones continued to produce numbers like
he did Monday night (8-94) and could stay out of the training
room, he would warrant more carries. But, for now, he is nothing
more than a piece of a three-back-committee.
Player: Willie Parker
Injury: Turf Toe
Healing Time: 3 Weeks
Impact on the Field: I looked back
at how many times I have written about Willie Parker and I could
not believe how many different injuries heís had. From a torn
labrum in his shoulder to turf toes, he has had it all. At some
point in his productive game on Sunday, he hyper-extended/twisted
his toe and now he is experiencing some problems. This guy is
brittle. He canít go a full game without some type of complication.
I am a big believer in Rashard
Mendenhall - heís ultra-talented but has a 2-cent head. He
supposedly pouted after Week 2 due to lack of carries therefore,
Mike Tomlin punished him by not giving him a carry last week.
Well, now Parker is hurt again and somebody is going to have to
run the ball. Turf toes donít go away in a week. In fact, they
usually take a month to fully heal. Heís expected to miss practice
time this week but the Steelers arenít expressing concern about
his availability for Week 4. However, if this is Parkerís injury,
he will be limited in some capacity and Mendenhall might actually
get his chance. Pick this guy up now if he is on waivers as this
might be the last chance to get him on the cheap. The opportunity
alone for carries makes him valuable.
Player: Brian Westbrook
Injury: Ankle Sprain
Healing Time: 1-3 weeks
Impact on the Field: Here we go again. It only took a week to
get this frequent flyer back on the injury report. As a guy that
has owned Westbrook in the past, I canít begin to explain
the anxiety that I used to get watching him be a game-time decision
every week. He sprained his ankle and that is usually not a big
deal. What is a big deal though, is the fact that he could not
run or cut on it during the game, which is why he took himself
out. It is his surgical ankle and that does raise a red flag.
Even if his ankle is not pristine, an ankle sprain is still just
an ankle sprain meaning that it should not have a major impact
on his ability to play. He now has an off-week to get healthy
which is exactly why the Eagles held him out Week 3. He should
be back in 2 weeks but expect more of the same with Westbrook
the rest of the year. He could be out any week with one wrong