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Fantasy Checkup: Week 3

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Welcome back to Fantasy Checkup, where our medical professionals provide us analysis of significant injuries that could affect your fantasy lineups. Come back each Friday to hear what Brion Gardner, the staff orthopedist at Camp Lejeune, and Mackie Shilstone Executive Director of The Fitness Principles have to say about each week's injury report.

Dr. Gardner's analysis:

The NFL season is becoming a war of attrition! There are so many injuries that I could say whoever shows up will play, and if they don't . . . I'm not sure.

As I stated last week, the MCL is the injury of the year. Several players have been hampered with this injury. It appears Mike Bell is not immune. He participated in practice in a limited fashion. It is difficult to predict how this will affect him. From all accounts, it is minor (grade I injury), and he should play. Luckily, Pierre Thomas is healthy this week and will be able to share the load. Translation: the Saints will put up a lot of points again.

And the first runner up goes to . . . the broken rib! Matt Hasselbeck is the next recipient of the broken rib honor. He had essentially no participation in practice and will be a game-time decision for this week. Hasselbeck likely will be replaced by Seneca Wallace. I don't anticipate more than a two-week absence from Hasselbeck, even possibly returning next week based upon reports from Seattle.

LaDainian Tomlinson was held out of practice again this week with an ankle injury. He most likely will not play again. As I've mentioned before, this will be a season long nuisance. He will be a week-to-week decision.

The best case scenario is that he sits out a couple weeks and allow his injury to heal while Darren Sproles racks up yards and stats. Hopefully, LT will be full strength toward the middle/end of season for a monster playoff run with a powerful 1-2 punch of running backs.

The other big name on the Chargers injury report is Shawne Merriman. He was held out of practice with a groin injury. He will play. He shouldn't have much of a dropoff in performance based on this injury. Pain will be his limiting factor. He should still be effective straight ahead and may not do many stunts or complicated changing direction type of rushes.

Keeping with the ankle theme, Brian Westbrook is listed with an ankle sprain. This is not new news for Eagles fans. He should play this weekend. The Eagles' offense will be nothing short of unpredictable with Donovan McNabb likely not playing, Kevin Kolb nervously at the helm, and Michael Vick and Jeff Garcia at Andy Reid's disposal.

DeSean Jackson has a groin injury that could linger through the season. He didn't practice this week, which leads us to believe he will be slowed in the game this weekend. With Westbrook and Jackson limping, expect No. 7 to get some plays called for him..

Wes Welker was held out of last weeks contest against the Jets. The Patriots could have used his consistency. No big surprise, but there are virtually no details about his knee injury. He did participate in practice this week on a limited basis, which would indicate he will play. If he does play, he will still be effective with his ball control short routes.

The Cowboys are concerned about Marion Barber. Everyone saw him pull up on Sunday night against the Giants. He has a quadriceps injury. He did participate in practice, but he will be nowhere near 100 percent. These type of muscle strains are nagging injuries that linger. He will develop increasing strength with each week, however it will take him several weeks to return to pre-injury form.

Fortunately for the Cowboys, Felix Jones is healthy and is the real deal! This gives Dallas the luxury of providing Barber the time to rest while Jones and Tashard Choice share the load.

The Giants have three wide receivers on the injury list, but by all accounts nothing serious. They will continue to produce for Eli Manning. Justin Tuck has a partially torn labrum in his shoulder. This is a recurrent injury from college. He will have some pain, but should still play and be effective. I anticipate he will be contemplating offseason surgery.

As usual, I am going to conclude with the Redskins injury report. Jason Campbell and Clinton Portis were listed on the report this week. No further comment. They are playing the Detroit Lions, who have lost 19 straight games. So, once again, no excuses.


Mackie Shilstone's Analysis:

Season ending injuries are the theme going into week three of the NFL season.

In Tampa Bay, safety Jermaine Phillips will miss the rest of 2009 with a broken left thumb sustained in the Buccaneer's loss last Sunday to Buffalo. Carolina placed defensive tackle Louis Leonard on the injured reserve list with a broken left ankle sustained in their loss to Atlanta.

The Buffalo Bills lost right tackle Brad Butler to a right knee injury in the game against Tampa Bay. Green Bay's QB Aaron Rodgers, who has been sacked 10 times this season lost his veteran left tackle Chad Clifton to a sprained ankle. Having worked with former All Pro left tackle Lomas Brown for 15 years, I know just how important that position is in protecting the quarterback's back side from a knockout blow. Let's hope Chad comes back soon.

Take a look at this trend. In San Diego, defensive tackle Jamal Williams was lost for the season with a triceps injury, as was the case in Washington where right guard Randy Thomas is out for the season after tearing his right triceps against St. Louis. And, back in Tampa, center Jeff Faine did not practice Wednesday or Thursday with a triceps injury.

Time out. Do I see here multiple triceps injuries. Could this injury have had its inception in the weight room and manifested itself on the playing field?

How about the calf injury Titans' punter Craig Hentrich sustained against Houston? Having working on over 20 NFL kickers and punters, I wonder if Craig had any mechanical low back pain on game day. Remember my kinetic chain comment (hips, thighs, calves, ankle) that I referenced in my week one analysis on lower extremity injuries. Such an injury (calf) can be the result of a dysfunction that might start in the low back or the ankle and go up or down the chain with injury implications, if there is dysfunction at any junction along the way.

And speaking of Houston, left guard Chester Pitt, "who has started all 114 games in the Houston Texans' franchise history," he is out for the rest of the season, after knee surgery on his right knee. He sustained the injury last week against Tennessee.
In Jacksonville, the Jags may be without receiver Troy Williamson because of a suspected right labrum tear (might end his season) sustained against Arizona. The labrum is a "cuff of cartilage ( in the shoulder) that forms a cup for the end of the arm bone (humerus) to move within." By the way, the shoulder is a ball and socket joint similar to the hip, so this injury, if in fact it is diagnosed, can be rate-limiting to a receiver, who must reach up for the pass and then take an impact to his shoulder by contact with the ground or a defensive player.

And now to Seattle, where there is quite a need for repair. In my analysis last week, I suggested, based on the three hamstring injuries reported, that there may be a hamstring trend in need of correction. Well, coach Mora listed 12 various injuries to his starters on the NFL injury report, which included his QB Matt Hasselbeck due to a broken rib. Keep in mind that last season Hasselbeck had some issue with his back.

Looks like, if this type of injury trend continues, it will be the last man standing in the NFL that wins the prize

By Gene Wang  |  September 25, 2009; 3:32 PM ET  | Category:  Fantasy Check Up , Fantasy Football Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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What about Moss (NE) & Bowe(KC)?

Posted by: CH | September 27, 2009 11:30 AM

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