(Details in individual team notes)
Week 10 Injury Report
(available Friday PM)
- Week Ten byes: HOU, NE, NYJ, TB
- PTI OLB James HarrisonÖWOW!
- SF rookie LB Willis breaks hand, doesn't miss a beat
- NYJ rookie LB Harris continues to be tackle-machine
- CAR LB Morgan to IR
- GB DE Kampman catches PHI DE Cole to tie for sack lead
- STL DE Little done for year
- TEN SS Hope is rebounding, LB Bulluck is not
- BUF MLB DiGiorgio suffers concussion
- TEN DT Haynesworth has career game, hurts hammy
- AZ DT Dockett has dominating day in loss
- SD loses DE Castillo for a while to ankle injury
- JAX DT Stroud suspended, rookie LB Durant arrested
- HOU CB suffers gruesome leg injury
- PHI FS Dawkins returns, CB Sheppard aggravates knee
- GB FS Collins sprains knee, will miss time
- SD nickel CB Cromartie not done making huge plays
Despite a solid performance, the defense didnít stand a chance
as an inept offensive effort led to TB totaling dominating the time
of possession, more than 2:1. WLB Monty Beisel led the team with
12 tackles (9 solo) as he continues to start in place of Karlos
Dansby. While he returned to practice in limited fashion last week
after their bye, Dansby missed his second game with a left knee
sprain. He sounds probable to return this week.
DT Darnell Dockett brought great pressure the whole game and
netted 2 sacks among his season-high 10 tackles (9 solo). He leads
the team with 8 sacks on the season. MLB Gerald Hayes had 8 solo
tackles, including his second sack of the season.
Reserve DB Antrel Rolle saw significant work for the first time
this year, despite not starting. He had 10 tackles (7 solo, including
one on special teams). There appears to be hope for the former
first round pick after all.
SLB Michael Boley continues his outstanding season, leading the
team in tackles with 10 (9 solo). He also forced a fumble and
broke up a pass. Tackles are down and the big plays havenít
been there for MLB Keith Brooking, but he had his first sack among
his 6 solo tackles on Sunday. WLB Demorrio Williams failed to
gain any more ground with rookie LB Stephen Nicholas missing another
game with his ankle injury. Williams had just 4 tackles (2 solo).
Nicholas continues to run, but is still struggling with explosion
and cutting on the ankle. He is likely to miss this week.
DE John Abraham had his sixth sack of the season and continues
to lead the team. He consistently brings good pressure and is
on track for double-digit sacks, but his tackle numbers have been
Milloy had his first pick of the season and CB DeAngelo Hall
grabbed his team-leading third of the season. Hallís pick was
huge, coming deep in SF territory with a one-point lead and less
than three minutes to play. It set up a FG and reserve DB Jimmy
Williams sealed the victory with his first career pick on the
final SF drive.
CB Chris McAllisterís knee didnít improve enough over the bye
and CB Samari
Rolle had a reportedly had a relapse of the undisclosed illness
that cost him some game earlier this season, so the Ravens were
without their starting corners on Monday night. It was pretty
noticeable when PIT QB Ben Roethlisberger lit the defense up for
five TDs in the first half. Two of the biggest highlights were
hits on FS Ed
Reed, instead of by him. PIT OLB James
Harrison was just starting his Superman performance when he
labeled Reed on a punt return as he tried to jump over someone.
Harrisonís helmet was right on the ball for a text book hit. The
second was a block by PIT WR Hines Ward that Reed never saw coming.
He was lifted off the ground and shook up on the play, but did
return and had a pick in the game.
DE Terrell Suggs led the team with 11 tackles (6 solo), including
a sack. DE Trevor Pryce returned from a broken wrist.
Despite forcing no turnovers, the defense did enough to support
an excellent offensive effort. On a day of mostly good news, the
team took another injury hit to a defense that can ill-afford
to suffer any more. MLB John DiGiorgio suffered a concussion in
the third quarter and left the game. SLB Angelo Crowell moved
to the middle, finishing with a team-high 14 tackles (11 solo).
Crowell leads the team in tackles for the season. With DiGiorgio
out, WLB Keith Ellison became the second LB as the team played
a lot of nickel against the three-wide sets CIN ran. If DiGiorgio
misses any time, Crowell likely moves to the middle with Coy Wire
working at WLB in the base 4-3 and Ellison playing SLB. Depth
is a problem at LB as special teamer Leon Joe sat out with a leg
injury and is questionable this week.
CB Terrence McGee had another strong game. He has always put up
solid tackle numbers, but has really matured in coverage. He broke
up 4 passes and already has a new career high with 14 on the season.
In leagues that include return yardage, he is especially valuable.
DE Ryan Denney was active for the first time this year, returning
from a broken foot, but saw very little work. FS Jim Leonhard
returned from a calf injury, but played mostly on special teams.
George Wilson remained the starter at FS for at least one more
game. CB Ashton Youboty missed another game with his ankle injury.
The once-proud pass rush of this defense managed a season-high
three sacks, but remains the worst in the league. DT Damione Lewis
had two sacks and now leads the team with 2.5 on the season. DE
Julius Peppers lost his lead of 1.5 sacks, which all occurred
in Week Six, and had 3 tackles (2 solo). He also suffered a toe
injury in the game and had two unsportsmanlike penalties.
MLB Dan Morgan was finally placed on the IR due to his Achillesí
tendon injury. Rookie Jon Beason remains in the middle and led
the team with 11 tackles (9 solo), his third double-digit tackle
game. Heís doing just fine in the tackle department, but
it would be nice for his fantasy owners if he could finally mix
in a sack or a turnover here and there. SLB Thomas Davis had his
first sack of the season and is now a serious threat to challenge
his previous career best of 1.5. He is on pace to eclipse his
career high in tackles set last year, but still not break 100.
It is also disappointing that the converted college DB doesnít
have a pick yet in his career.
DE Alex Brown has begun encroaching on DE Mark Andersonís
snaps lately. Anderson has struggled to be an effective pass rusher
as an every-down player and is struggling in run defense, often
overrunning the play. CB Nathan Vasher believes he is on target
to return this week from a partially torn groin.
Smith played through a sore hamstring and had 7 tackles (4
solo). He is still looking for his second sack of the season.
While never an elite pass rusher, his production in that department
has been disappointing. However, Smith is on pace for career-high
tackle numbers. DT John
Thornton was inactive with a neck stinger. Michael
Myers started at DT in his place.
Brooks (groin) missed his sixth straight game and LB Caleb
Miller (back) missed his fifth straight. There continues to
be no timetable for their return and there is talk Miller is done
for the season. The team brought back Ed Hartwell for a workout
last week, but havenít signed him. Hartwell was a surprise cut
after a decent preseason with the team. Anthony
Schlegel continues to play some outstandingly consistent mediocre
MLB, posting his usual 5 tackles (3 solo) and no big plays. He
has started five games and averages exactly 5 tackles and nothing
else. Schlegel suffered an injury to his mid-section in the game,
as he was wrapped after and in pain. WLB Landon
Johnson led the team with 9 tackles (5 solo). SLB Dhani
Jones had 8 tackles (7 solo), rotating less with Robert
Geathers, who saw more time on the line with Thornton out.
Rookie CB Leon Hall got his team-leading third pick of the season
on a WR screen in the first quarter. It appeared BUF ran the same
play as the previous one, which Hall broke up for a two-yard loss.
It was one of 4 solo tackles Hall had in the game.
ILB Andra Davis was unspectacular in his return to the starting
lineup. He had 4 tackles (3 solo). ILB Leon Williams had 6 tackles
(5 solo) and broke up a pass. ILB DíQwell Jackson is reported
to miss ďat least a couple weeksĒ, so donít
count on him this week.
CB Leigh Bodden led the team with 8 tackles (6 solo) and recovered
a fumble, the only turnover for the Browns.
The team finally put NT Ted Washington on the IR to mercifully
end his season, and possibly the career of the storied big man.
They signed CB Ricardo Colclough, recently released by the Steelers,
to fill his roster spot. The 2004 second-round pick was a small
school prospect who bumped his stock at the Combine.
OLB Demarcus Ware led the team with 8 tackles (7 solo) and 1.5
sacks. He leads the team with 7 sacks this season. CB Anthony
Henry returned after missing three games with a high ankle sprain.
He didnít start, but did grab his fifth pick which moved
him back in to a tie for the league lead he held before getting
DT Tank Johnsonís eight-game suspension is over. He is expected
to take over at NT sooner than later.
Even the rare highlights for the Broncos on Sunday ended up tainted.
Dumervil had the only sack for DEN on the day in the second
quarter. However, he grabbed DET QB Jon Kitnaís facemask on it
and the personal foul negated what would have resulted in a fourth
down. The Lions scored a TD on the drive. It was the seventh sack
of the season for Dumervil, who leads the team.
MLB D.J. Williams led the team with 9 tackles (4 solo) and forced
a meaningless fumble he recovered near the end of the game. Williams
briefly left the game with a back injury, but returned shortly
and finished the game.
FS John Lynch was inactive with a pinched nerve in his neck suffered
in the previous game. Domonique Foxworth started at FS in his
place and had 6 tackles (3 solo). An MRI revealed no structural
damage in Lynchís neck, but he is day-to-day and hasnít
been cleared to play this week yet. Rookie DE Jarvis Moss broke
his right fibula and tore ligaments in the same ankle in practice
last week. He is done for the season. The team took a look at
former Broncos Kenny Peterson and Demetrin Veal as potential replacements
on the roster. DEs John Engleberger, Simeon Rice, and Tim Crowder
all rotated and each had just a solo tackle. Rice also batted
down a pass. Dumervil is by far the only Bronco DL worth owning.
Rogers easily had the IDP video highlight of the week in the
fourth quarter of their blowout victory. The Broncos tried to
set up a screen, which DET played well, and as DEN QB Patrick
Ramsey tried to lob it off his back foot, Rogers grabbed his first
career pick out of the air like a DB and raced 66 yards for a
TD. DEN RB Selvin Young caught up to Rogers around the 15-yard
line, but Rogers, generously listed at 340 pounds, road him down
and knocked him away with a fabulous stiff arm. Rogers also led
the team with 2.5 sacks. He has 4.5 on the season, one shy of
his best career total for a season. It was the second of two defensive
scores on a huge day for the Lions. DE Dewayne
White picked up a fumble forced by DE Corey
Smith in the third quarter and returned it three yards for
a score. White aggravated a left triceps injury on the play and
left the game as a precaution. The team was already short at DE,
Edwards remained inactive. Smith and Jared DeVries have played
well in place of Edwards, who missed his second game because of
the knee injury and missed two earlier this year due to an ankle
injury. Despite Edwards practicing last week, the team had no
reason to rush him back. Similarly, they continue to keep rookie
inactive while he develops, since he doesnít add value on special
teams. DeVries shared a sack with WLB Ernie
Sims, giving DeVries 3.5 for the season, a new career best.
Sims led the team with 9 tackles (6 solo).
MLB Paris Lenon had 5 tackles (2 solo) and continues to rotate
with Teddy Lehman, who had 4 tackles (1 solo). CB Travis Fisher
was OK after leaving their previous game early with a hip/lower
back bruise. He remained a starter opposite Fernando Bryant.
After a bomb to WR Greg Jennings got them a one-point lead late
in the fourth quarter, CB Charles
Woodson ensured QB Brett Favre would get his first win over
KC. A miscommunication between KC RB Priest
Holmes and QB Damon
Huard resulted in Huard lobbing a pass right to Woodson in
the middle of the field. Woodson returned his second pick of the
year 46 yards to seal the victory.
The defense kept the pressure on all day, getting to Huard five
times. DT Corey Williams led the way with 2 sacks that were part
of his team-leading 6 solo tackles. Most of his damage was in
the first half, because Williams was helped off the field with
a knee injury in the third quarter. He will have an MRI, but indicated
it wasnít serious after the game. Third DE Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila
also had 2 sacks, his third multi-sack game of the year. He now
has 6.5 on the season, surpassing his disappointing six in 2006,
and is on track for his first double-digit sack season since 2004.
DE Aaron Kampman continues to prove his sack numbers from last
year were no fluke as he registered his 9th sack of the season
among his 4 solo tackles. Kampman moves in to a tie with PHI DE
Trent Cole for the NFL lead.
FS Nick Collins went down in a heap of pain, grabbing his left
knee, after a tackle early in the third quarter. He was helped
off the field and on crutches after the game, but he was optimistic
and the MRI showed it wasnít as bad as it appeared to be
watching it. He has no structural damage, but a sprain in a ligament
in the left knee that will cost him a few weeks. Rookie Aaron
Rouse replaced him and has 3 solo tackles. Rouse, a third-round
pick, gets a big opportunity. He is a super-sized safety who is
probably a better fit at SS, but lost that competition to Atari
Bigby in the preseason. Still, the team thought enough of him
as a rookie to part ways with veteran Marquand Manuel. Despite
standing 6í3Ē, he has shown to be a liability in coverage,
but that doesnít matter for fantasy purposes. He is an intriguing
waiver wire pick if you are desperate at safety. After drawing
four penalties last week, including two that helped a TD drive,
SS Atari Bigby had another big penalty this week. After the GB
offense turned it over in their own territory, KC had the ball
at the GB 30-yard line with less than 30 seconds to go. A pass
interference by Bigby on the first play ended hope of holding
the Chiefs to a FG, as they ran for a TD on the next play to take
a 7-6 halftime lead. If not for late comebacks, Bigby could be
a big factor in two losses for the Packers and I suspect that
has not gone unnoticed by the GB coaching staff.
WLB A.J. Hawk has been a mild fantasy disappointment this year.
He is not producing at the same clip he did as a rookie, especially
in the big play department. However, he had a solid game on Sunday,
getting his first pick of the season and posting 5 solo tackles,
including one on special teams. He also broke up another pass.
The Texans up-and-coming young defense suffered a huge blow when
it lost one of itís cornerstones on Sunday. Late in the
first quarter, CB Dunta Robinson had his right leg contorted during
a gang tackle. His hamstring was completely ripped off the bone
and he at least tore his ACL in the right leg. He is obviously
done for the season. CB Petey Faggins returns to the starting
lineup, where rookie CB Fred Bennett had replaced him. Jamar Fletcher
would regain the nickel CB job, but he had an appendectomy last
week and will miss three weeks. Dexter Wynn should see time in
Bennett had his first career pick on Sunday and MLB DeMeco had
his first pick of the season. Ryans also broke up another pass
and had 6 tackles (4 solo). Rookie DT Amobi Okoye had his team-leading
fifth sack, and first since Week Four.
The game got off to a good start when DE Robert
Mathis sacked NE QB Tom Brady on their first play from scrimmage.
Mathis had another sack among his 6 solo tackles, passing DE Dwight
Freeney (who has 3.5) for the team lead with 4 sacks on the
FS Antoine Bethea grabbed his team-leading third pick of the season
just outside their own end zone in the third quarter to stifle
an NE scoring drive. He also had 5 solo tackles. MLB Gary Brackett
made an outstanding athletic play in the fourth quarter when he
tipped a ball at the height of his leap to himself, then tipped
it again before catching it as he fell. It was his second pick
of the season. He also had 7 tackles (6 solo). CB Marlin Jackson
led the team with 9 tackles (6 solo).
WLB Freddie Keiaho remained inactive with post-concussion syndrome.
SLB Tyjuan Hagler was also inactive with a neck injury, making
Rocky Boiman the only LB other than Brackett with significant
experience. It wasnít a major problem, as the team ran plenty
of nickel against the Pats pass-first, and then a lot more, offense.
HC Tony Dungy is optimistic both Keiaho and Hagler will be back
this week, but both remain questionable.
An aerial assault by the Saints left plenty of tackle opportunities
for the safeties Sammy Knight and rookie Reggie Nelson. Knight
led the team with 11 (9 solo) and broke up 2 passes. It was his
second double-digit tackle game of the season and he leads team
in tackles on the season. Nelson had 10 solo tackles.
DT Marcus Stroud had a tackles and knocked down a pass in his
last game for a while. Stroud was suspended four games for violating
the leagueís substance abuse policy. The signing of Grady
Jackson now makes a lot of sense, especially with the loss of
DT Tony McDaniel last week, although it should be Rob Meier who
starts while Stroud is out, with Jackson rotating in. Meier is
a decent interior pass rusher and is a good pick-up for leagues
that require a DT, if you have a need. DE Paul Spicer had his
team-leading sixth sack of the season, the only one for the team
in the game. He is well on his way at age 32 to breaking his single-season
best of 7.5 sacks and is the only Jaguar regularly bringing good
Stroudís looming suspension wasnít the only off-field
issue disrupting the team last week. OT Richard Collier and rookie
LB Justin Durant were arrested in separate off-field incidents.
Durant was passed out in his car with an open container of alcohol
and then arrested when he resisted arrest. Durant didnít
travel with the team on Sunday and was suspended for another game
by the team.
Williams missed another game with a sore hamstring, giving
Coming out of their bye week, the offense was sluggish in the
first half and defense gave up some yards, but allowed only six
points and the second of two interceptions would swing the momentum
heading in to halftime. CB Patrick Surtain grabbed his second
pick of the season on the first drive by GB. With less than a
minute to play in the second quarter, nickel CB Benny Sapp got
his first pick of the season in GB territory. The offense converted
the turnover to take a 7-6 halftime lead. The got to GB QB Brett
Favre in the first half too, with DEs Jared Allen and Tamba Hali
sharing a sack on which Hali forced a fumble, but GB recovered.
It gives Hali three sacks on the year and 8.5 for Allen, who falls
to a tie for third in the league.
It was a different story in the second half. While the offense
got on track, the defense failed to force any more turnovers or
get to Favre the rest of the afternoon. GB got the decisive TD
late in the fourth quarter when a trips set caused match-up problems,
leaving OLB Donnie Edwards in coverage on GB WR Greg Jennings
on a streak up the middle, which resulted in a TD. Edwards led
the team with 7 solo tackles.
Reserve MLB Johnny Baldwin was placed on the IR due to a knee
injury. The fifth-round pick of the Lions showed some flashes
in Detroit before ultimately getting cut. Since bringing him in,
the Chiefs have liked him enough to maintain a roster spot for
him while he was injured before finally putting him on the IR.
He could be a name for dynasty leaguers to remember. Reserve OLB
Keyaron Fox remained inactive, as he continues to battle a hamstring
problem, despite returning to practice after their bye week. He
is expected to be active this week.
MLB Zach Thomas began practicing this week after their bye, but
has not been cleared for contact and is questionable for the this
While RB Adrian Peterson had another record-breaking day, the
defense contained SD RB Ladainian Tomlinson. MLB E.J.
Henderson led the way with 7 tackles (6 solo) and some spectacular,
albeit uncredited, hits on SD QB Phillip Rivers. Henderson was
coming up the middle on blitzes frequently and one when Tomlinson
tried to cut his legs, Henderson leaped at Rivers, crushing him
just as he released the ball. Henderson forced Rivers to throw
early and rung his bell another time when he followed Ben
Leber on a delayed blitz. I think the official scorer did
a poor job of recording QB hurries, as the Vikings were credited
with none. Rivers would disagree. After getting dinged earlier
in the game, DE Ray
Edwards had the only sack, his first time getting the QB since
Week Two, giving him 2.5 on the season. Edwards also forced a
fumble on the sack. WLB Chad
Greenway recovered a fumble on an aborted snap and had 4 tackles
Winfield was inactive with a hamstring injury he suffered
in the previous game that was aggravated during practice last
week. The team hopes to have him back this week, but he remains
questionable. Rookie Marcus
McCauley, who has struggled in his nickel role recently, got
the start in place of Winfield. SD WR Chris
Chambers beat him a few times, but he also broke up a potential
TD to SD WR Vincent
Jackson and McCauley had 4 solo tackles. Nickel CB Charles
Gordon had his first career interception when he stepped in front
of SD TE Antonio Gates as DT Kevin
Williams pressured Rivers. FS Dwight
Smith returned to the starting lineup after missing two games
with a hamstring injury. DE Erasmus
James also returned from a shoulder injury and saw a few snaps
on defense for just the second game this year.
With the team running a lot of nickel, they ran a lot of schemes
with four down linemen. Richard Seymour got the start at DT to
fill the extra spot. DE Jarvis Green made his case to remain a
key part of the rotation with Seymour back as he had a big game.
He had 5 tackles (4 solo) including a sack to preserve the victory
late in the fourth quarter on which he forced a fumble that flew
in to the hands of OLB Rosevelt Colvin. Colvin also had a sack,
as did ILB Mike Vrabel. Vrabel moves in to tie for third in the
league with 8.5 sacks this season, one short of his career best.
DE Ty Warren led the team with 7 tackles (5 solo).
DE Charles Grant started, but was limited by his sprained left
ankle, opening the door for Renaldo Wynn to see work as a pass
rusher. Wynn, an eleven-year vet and former first-round pick of
their opponent, had a rare multi-sack game. His two sacks give
him more than Grant and as many as DE Will Smith. DT Brian Young,
who leads the team with three sacks, was inactive with a swollen
left knee. Antwan Lake started in his place. Young is expected
back this week and Grant is expected to see more snaps, although
Wynn had to impress as a pass rusher on a team that has struggled
to get to the QB this year.
WLB Scott Shanle was inactive with a hamstring injury suffered
in their previous game. Brian Simmons got the start in his place
and had 5 tackles (2 solo). Their LB depth took a hit, as the
team placed Alfred Fincher on the IR due to a concussion. The
team signed Matt McCoy, recently cut by the Eagles, to replace
him. The team basically swapped a 2005 third-round bust for a
2005 second-round bust at LB. Fincher had shown he was nothing
more than a special teams player, and may not be back next year,
whereas McCoy at least can replace Fincher on special team, but
also has some starting experience to add to a weak LB group.
CB Mike McKenzie had a good day. He had 4 solo tackles and broke
up 3 passes, including returning one 75 yards for his first TD
as a Saint.
New York Giants
SS James Butler continues to battle hamstring and ankle problems,
despite coming off the bye, so rookie Michael Johnson could get
another start this week.
New York Jets
Rookie ILB David Harris continues to be a spectacular fantasy
producer. He led the team with 24 tackles (20 solo) in his second
career start, including a stop on third-and-short late in the
game that allowed the offense to drive for a game-tying FG. After
his first career start in their previous game, he now has 41 tackles
just between those two games, moving him to the team lead for
tackles on the season. Fellow ILB Eric Barton had 8 tackles (4
solo), including his first sack of the season. He also had his
first interception since 2004.
Unfortunately for the Jets, that was about all of the highlights.
Several players are nicked up on defense, including CB Darrelle
Revis. He strained his hamstring during the game, but returned.
SS Kerry Rhodes (knee), CB Hank Poteat (chest), FS Abram Elam
(neck), and DT Dewayne Robertson, who has been battling knee problems
most of the season, will all benefit from the bye this week.
ILB Jonathan Vilma is following suit with the team practice of
keeping quiet regarding injuries. He has not commented on it,
leading to speculation he is personally motivated to do so because
it is related to the bone condition in the right knee he came
in to the league with discussed here last week. He is having surgery
this week, but HC Eric Mangini did not get in to specifics, of
course. Matt Chatham was activated from the PUP, adding depth
to the LB group in Vilmaís roster spot. The team also appears
satisfied enough with new starting FS Abram Elam that they released
Rashad Washington. This also gives some confidence that Kerry
Rhodesí knee injury isnít serious.
Warren (thigh) and SLB Sam
Williams (shoulder) each missed their third-straight game.
started in place of Williams and led the team with 11 tackles
CB Nnamdi Asomugha injured his knee in the game and while it is
reported as not serious, he is questionable this week. Fabian
Washington replaced him and would return to the starting lineup
this week if Asomugha canít go. The team signed DT Josh
Shaw to add depth with Tommy Kelly out for the season, and Jay
Richardson has moved in to the starting lineup in place of him.
CB Lito Sheppard had his first pick of the season, but aggravated
his left knee injury he sprained his MCL in that cost him four
games earlier this season. An MRI showed the knee appears OK and
he is expected to play this week. FS Brian Dawkins returned from
his neck injury after missing five games. He had 2 solo tackles
and was expected to just time with Quintin Mikell, but saw more
work when SS Sean Considine was injured. Mikell led the team with
9 tackles (3 solo, including one on special teams). Considine
suffered a shoulder sprain in the shoulder he dislocated his rookie
season. His status sounds very questionable.
It would take an entire article dedicated to OLB James Harrison
to do justice to the performance he had Monday night. He forced
a fumble on the first series putting his helmet right on the ball
after Steve McNair eluded his grasp the first time. He then put
his helmet right on the ball again to force a fumble on an Ed
Reed punt return that rookie Lawrence Timmons recovered. And the
big plays kept coming all night. His final line: 9 tackles (8
solo), 3.5 sacks, 6 QB hits, one INT, 2 forced fumbles, and one
fumble recover. Ya think they made the right call letting Joey
Smith (sprained left knee) and FS Ryan
Clark (inflamed spleen) remained inactive. Travis Kitschke
started in place of Smith and had a sack. Anthony Smith again
started in place of Clark. Both remain questionable this week.
DE Leonard Little will miss the rest of the season with a torn
ligament connecting his left big toe. He has at least four months
of rehab ahead of him.
A week after an incredible game for nickel CB Antonio Cromartie,
which included two TDs, he had quite an encore. He grabbed a missed
57-yard FG attempt at the end of the first half just inside the
backline of the end zone and took it 109-yards for an NFL record
that conceptually (you canít be on the 110th yard, it would
be out of bounds) canít be broken. It is (obviously) the
longest play in NFL history. Three players were previously tied
for the longest play in history. CHI CB Nathan Vasher set a new
record with a 108-yard missed FG return two years ago, which teammate
WR Devin Hester replicated last year, and NE CB Ellis Hobbs returned
a KO that far this year.
Unfortunately for the Chargers, most of the other highlights involved
the Vikings, particularly RB Adrian Peterson. Peterson set an
NFL single-game record with 296 rushing yards, not a record a
defense likes being associated with. WILB Matt Wilhelm led the
team with a career-high 14 tackles (11 solo). The defense generated
little pressure on the few passes the Viking threw. The team was
already without OLB Shaun Phillips, who was inactive with a groin
injury he thought he would be able to play through this week,
when they lost another key part of the front seven. DE Luis Castillo
had to be assisted off the field with a right knee and ankle injury
after a Peterson run in the third quarter. He had surgery Monday
on a tendon in the right ankle and is expected to miss up to six
weeks. He missed six games last year due to a left ankle sprain.
Before leaving, Castillo had 3 solo tackles, including the only
sack of the game. He shared his first in their previous game,
giving him 1.5 on the season. Jacques Cesaire is a solid back-up,
but not the explosive player or pass rush threat that Castillo
is. Look elsewhere for a replacement, if necessary. Phillips is
expected back this week.
After a 64-yard run by Peterson, the Vikings tied the game at
14 early in the third quarter. On the next play from scrimmage
by the Chargers, an aborted snap gave the ball right back to MIN
deep in SD territory. FS Marlon McCree temporarily stopped the
bleeding when he recovered an unforced fumble by MIN RB Chester
Taylor on the subsequent drive. The offense failed to capitalize,
punting away on the following drive. They had the same problem
on their only other turnover in the game. SILB Stephen Cooper
forced Peterson to fumble and CB Drayton Florence recovered in
the fourth quarter, but it also led to a punt.
Cromartie and Cletis Gordon saw more work again this week when
CB Quentin Jammer left his second consecutive game with a hamstring
injury. Jammer aggravated the right hamstring he injured in Week
Eight. He will be day-to-day again this week. NT Jamal Williams
returned to the starting lineup after missing the last game recovering
from minor surgery on both knees before their Week Seven bye.
In a story that will go down as legend in what is looking like
a tremendous career, rookie WILB Patrick Willis never missed a
play after breaking his hand in the first half. Willis was fitted
with a soft cast on his right hand at halftime and took his normal
snaps in the second half. Willis led the team with 10 tackles
(8 solo), including his first career sack. He took over the league
lead in tackles with his latest performance. X-rays revealed a
small fracture in the hand, but he will be fitted with a cast
and is not expected to miss any time. Willis played his senior
year with a cast for a broken finger that never seemed to hamper
his outstanding play. Jeff Ulbrich saw significant time over Derek
Smith at SILB and was more productive. HC Mike Nolan complimented
Ulbrichís play and indicated heíll continue to split
time with Smith, which kills the value of either player. A former
starter, Ulbrich hadnít previously been in Nolanís
good graces, as he worked almost exclusively on special teams
Lewis left the game with apparent ankle pain after a tackle
in the first quarter, but returned and had his first pick as a
49er. He finished with 6 solo tackles, as well. Shawntae Spencer
started in place of CB Walt
Harris who was inactive with a hyperextended knee suffered
in the previous game. He looks to be questionable again this week.
In what has become an annoying weekly special teams move, SF again
released LB Hannibal Naives and signed FB Zak Keasey. It would
seem theyíd have violated some CBA agreement by now. The
impact is Parys Haralson and Tully Banta-Cain appear locked in
as the starters outside, with Brandon Moore not getting a chance
and Navies relegated to a practice player plus status.
MLB Lofa Tatupu led the team with 8 tackles (7 solo). DE Darryl
Tapp played with a broken finger. While he didnít get a
sack, he had a pick and 3 solo tackles. DE Patrick Kerney is playing
through a strained oblique and questionable this week.
Limiting AZ to less than 17 minutes of possession in the entire
game left few tackles opportunities. MLB Barrett Ruud had just
one assist and lost the league lead in tackles. DT Jovan Haye
led the team with 4 tackles (3 solo) and brought some good pressure,
as he continues to have a breakout season. SS Jermaine Phillips
had his team-leading third pick late in the fourth quarter to
secure the victory. Just last year the team was considering replacing
him, now he is one of the top playmakers on the team, in addition
to remaining an intimidating hitter.
DE Greg Spires was inactive with a calf injury suffered in the
previous game, giving rookie DE Gaines Adams his first career
start. Adams posted just one solo tackle, but got in the backfield
on passes a couple of times and knocked one down. Spires is expected
to miss at least another game despite the bye this week, so Adams
could get another start. Pass rush specialist Patrick Chukwurah
(left shoulder) remained inactive, but is expected back after
the bye. CB Brian Kelly returned after missing five games with
a groin injury. He didnít start, but bumped Sammy Davis
out of the nickel job.
After the pass rush finally got on track in the previous game,
it blew up against the Panthers and highly-sackable QB David Carr.
Haynesworth led the way with a sack on the first play from
scrimmage and two more in the game. Haynesworth set a new career
high, and is tied for the team lead, with five sacks. He also
led the team with 7 tackles (6 solo). Haynesworth injured his
hamstring during the game and left in the fourth quarter, but
is expected to play this week. DE Travis
LaBoy had a sack, keeping pace with Haynesworth with five
on the season, and his first career pick. However, LaBoy suffered
a concussion in the game and will be evaluated later this week.
Vanden Bosch also had his fifth sack of the season.
SS Chris Hope kept his mid-season fantasy rejuvenation going.
For the second straight game he has 6 tackles (5 solo) and a pick.
On the other hand, WLB Keith Bulluck continues to disappoint.
He had just 3 tackles (2 solo). SLB David Thornton continues to
produce on a pace to have at least his best season since 2003,
when he played the fantasy-coveted Tony Dungy defense WLB position.
Thornton had 6 tackles (5 solo) and his first sack of the year.
The team signed LB Rich Scanlon to fill the roster spot opened
by Corey Simonís retirement. Depth is good at most positions
on the team, so signing a player to no specific one is a surprise,
but I still wonder if there isnít an undisclosed injury
Bulluck is battling.
Pacman Jones was supposed to meet with commissioner Roger Goodell
last week to discuss early reinstatement. Not surprisingly, the
suspension was not reduced. The juxtaposition of Haynesworth and
Jones is interesting. Last year Haynesworth was perilously close
to being out of the league after stomping Andre Gourde on the
haid. He accepted blame while he quietly served his penalty, and
now is having a career year living up to his tremendous potential.
Jones, on the other hand, appears to show no contrition beyond
lip service after being faced with a similar situation. He continues
to be in the news for the wrong reasons, including mocking his
strip club situation at a recent wrestling event, and now his
tremendous potential seems to have a better chance of being met
in the wrestling ring, instead of on the football field.
After going in and out of most of their previous game due to recurring
problems with pinched nerves in his shoulders, WLB Rocky
McIntosh looked fine and played well. He led the team with
12 tackles (11 solo). He is closing in on team-leading MLB London
Fletcher, who had 7 solo tackles. SLB Marcus
Washington was inactive again with lingering problems in his
left hamstring. He missed two games before returning in Week 8
and now missed another game with the problem. Randall
Godfrey started in his place.
CB Fred Smoot returned from his hamstring problem to resume starting
with Carlos Rogers done for the year. He had 4 solo tackles, but
aggravated his hamstring. Leigh Torrance would get the start if
Smoot canít go. On the other side, CB Shawn Springs finished
with 6 solo tackles and forced a fumble that was recovered by
SS LaRon Landry.