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Fantasy Checkup Week 13

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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:


Just when I say the injury scene in the NFL was betting boring, everybody goes and gets themselves all dinged up! There are some key names sitting out this week. The incidence of concussions is getting to ridiculous proportions. The league has implemented a new policy for return to play following a concussion. This, I believe, is only the first of many policies to come.

Before I begin, I must apologize for my wrong upset picks last week. But that is why I treat injured athletes and don't make millions as a Vegas handicapper. The Redskins managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory (again), and the Patriots literally had their backsides handed to them. It doesn't like good for the Redskins this coming week.

Let us begin.

There is good and bad news for the Carolina Panthers. The good news is Jake Delhomme has hurt his little finger and will not be playing this week. Matt Moore will get the start and certainly can not do any worse than Jake has done of the last three months. The bad news is DeAngelo Williams sprained his ankle in last week's game. He missed practice this week but is expected to play. The Panthers have two hobbled running backs but still should have a potent duo against a weak Tampa Bay defense.

From all reports, Big Ben Rothlisberger is not having any residual symptoms from his fourh concussion. He is expected to play this weekend against the Oakland Raiders. It may be a good idea to rest him one more week given Oakland's defense is not a soft as the offense, and we have seen what has been happening with returning to competition to soon (reference Brian Westbrook, who is out this week as well). Troy Polamalu is out this week as well.

DeSean Jackson is out this week, as he sustained a concussion and has had some residual headaches. Unfortunately, he is the latest in this growing list of high profile players sidelined with concussions.

Kurt Warner is dealing with visual changes after his concussion two weeks ago. He has had concussions in the past. Changes in vision is one of the common symptoms of a post concussive syndrome and the comprehensive effect of repeated concussions. Warner has been seen by an eye specialist this week. He participated in practice without limitations this week as he did last week.

There hasn't been any word if Warner will or will not play. The eye "fogginess" he is having could be unrelated to his concussion and that is what the eye doctor is supposed to clear up. We will have to wait for further word this weekend if he is going to play.

Cedric Benson had a full practice the last two days and is expected to be in the starting lineup. With the addition of Larry Johnson, Benson does not have to shoulder the entire load. I expect both of them to have big numbers against Detroit.

Michael Turner is still out for the Atlanta Falcons. As we have been following him for the last couple of weeks, no report that he is getting better (except for his own inaccurate prediction at the beginning of the injury that he would play). Again, his injury is a high ankle sprain which can take a prolonged time to heal.

Coupled with Turner's absence, the Falcons will be without their sophomore sensation Matt Ryan, who sustained a turf toe injury last week. We have talked about this injury being a hyperextension of the big toe and can nag for the rest of the season. He should make it back in the lineup in a couple weeks, next even. Chris Redman did an excellent job in backup last week and will need to be even better against a strong Philadelphia team.

Wrapping this week up, we talk about the Saints versus the Skins. David versus Goliath. I would say that the Redskins will upset the Saints at home, but that is more wishful thinking than an educated guess. The Saints have listed everybody on their bruised and battered list, but the only key guy who will be out is Lance Moore.

The Saints displayed last week they have an unlimited number of offensive weapons and a deep arsenal of defensive ones as well. I mean, when your back up back up corners are Chris McAllister and Mike McKenzie, you are loaded on defense. Along with Darren Sharper, it is very tight to throw a pass through the secondary.

So, Portis is out for the Redskins, but Ladell Betts should be back. Albert Haynesworth is still nursing a sore ankle. DeAngelo Hall did not practice with a knee injury and may not play. . . . blah blah blah blah blah . . . it could be ugly for the Redskins. Has anybody seen how New Orleans embarrassed the Giants, the Eagles, and the Patriots? I forsee a lot of Redskins injuries next week.


Mackie Shilstone's Analysis:

On Wednesday of this week, The N.F.L. said that it would establish stringent rules regarding the management of concussions by its teams. This comes in the wake a number of high profile concussions and Congressional hearings probing the effective care, management and follow-up. Wednesday's injury report listed 11 players with concussions and an additional 8 with head injuries.

Among the high profile players, Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner said he plans to see an ophthalmologist about some lingering post concussion symptoms which kept him out of last Sunday's game against Tennessee.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has worked out without problems, since missing last Sunday's game against Baltimore, according head coach Mike Tomlin. Cleveland Browns running back Jamal Lewis was placed on the IR list with "post concussion symptoms," which ends his N.F.L career. It was to have ended anyway at the conclusion of this season.

Joining Lewis on the concussion list was his teammate Brodney Pool, after he sustained his fourth known concussion last weekend. Also sustaining a concussion and missing last Sunday's game was Jets cornerback Donald Strickland.

Philadelphia wide receiver DeSean Jackson's status is uncertain after he sustained a concussion in Sunday's win over Washington. His teammate Brian Westbrook, another concussed Eagle, will be re- examined this week, after being out the last two weeks with his second concussion of the season.

Redskins Clinton Portis will miss his fourth game this week against the Saints with a concussion he suffered on November 8th against Atlanta. Quite a busy time for neurology consults in the N.F.L.

Here are other notable injuries of record.

Atlanta will be without quarterback Matt Ryan, who sustained a turf toe- a sprain of the metatarsophalangeal of the great toe- against Tampa Bay. The Falcons will also miss running back Michael Turner, who aggravated his right ankle sprain. You cannot rush back from an ankle injury or it will sit you down in short order. Just ask Cardinals wide receiver Anquan Boldin or any of the other numerous bench warmers who tried and failed to beat this injury too quickly. Turner says he has not given up hope of playing against the Eagles this Sunday despite sitting out of practice. Atlanta also lost offensive lineman Harvey Dahl to a right ankle and Achilles tendon injury and Sam Baker to a left elbow injury.

In Carolina, struggling quarterback Jake Delhomme sustained a fractured finger on his throwing hand late in the 4th quarter against the Jets last Sunday. He could be sidelined for 3 to 5 weeks.

In New York, Giants' quarterback Eli Manning is being treated for a "stress reaction in his right foot that is the result of a continuing problem with plantar fasciitis." Many times when an athlete plays with an injury, such as plantar fasciitis- an inflammation of the plantar fascia, the thick fibrous tissue that runs through the sole of the foot- it can cause a change in his biomechanics and stress other areas of the foot. He certainly does not need a stress fracture which would halt his ability to play.

Manning said that "continuing discomfort in his right foot would not prevent him from practicing regularly or playing Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys."

The Cleveland Browns placed nose tackle Shaun Rogers on the IR as a result of an injury to lower leg against Cincinnati last Sunday. He will require surgery.

In Tampa, it is a tough time for the punter, Dirk Johnson, who will miss the rest of the season with a pulled hamstring. Remember my comments in week one that the hamstring accounted for the most down time of any injury in the N.F.L. It has struck again, and again, and again.

In Washington, Jeremy Jarmon and Chris Cooley make nine players placed on Washington's injured reserve list so far this season. Jarmon tore his ACL in the left knee and Cooley broke his right ankle. Lights out for both this season. Corner back Justin Tryon has a hip pointer - a contusion to the front part of the pelvis that you can feel on both sides of the waistline. Tryon should be a go. And, Fred Smoot has a head injury and awaiting test results.

Finally, the Redskins' opponent this week, the Saints, listed 18 players on their Wednesday injury report. Notable was running back Reggie Bush with a knee bruise who was held out last Monday against New England. Reggie says he is ready. Let's see what happens in warm ups. Monday night's victory took a toll on corner back Randall Gay who re-aggravated a strained hamstring he sustained on November 15 against the Rams. Once again, I remind you that statistics say there is a 50 % chance of re-injury to the hamstring, if you come back too quickly. Now, more scar tissue will form and he will note that it "grabs" a little which will make him pull up. It will also affect him mentally as well.

Shocking to see how many concussions are being sustained this year. Looks like the helmets need to be reworked sooner than later for the sake of the players.

By Emil Steiner  |  December 5, 2009; 11:02 AM 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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