In his recent book
Everyone knows that
Over the course of this season, I'll be along to help you understand how injuries are affecting teams on the field and on your fantasy team. Luckily, injuries affect both pretty much the same way. The Colts are hosed if
• 370. It's a number you're going to hear a lot this season when we discuss Larry Johnson. It's the magic number for running backs, or rather it's the reverse of magic numbers, the "cursed 370", because once a back passes that number of carries, he's in for a quick, precipitous decline. Research done by
The aggregate for an elite group that include
Worse, his line has grown even thinner, and with the likelihood that
• As if the Falcons didn't have enough worries, they'll now be without
• Last year at this time, we all wondered how
You might think that
• Having already said that McNabb isn't likely to be this year's version of Culpepper, what the heck can we expect from this year's actual
Culpepper has always been erratic, save for those two amazing years in 2003 and 2004. Given Culpepper's injury status, you can't ever expect he'll be the positive-value rusher he once was, which leaves you hoping for a comeback based on the hope that maybe he's got one more season in him like 2004. Even in the most liberal views of quantum physics, it's very hard to go back in time. For fantasy owners and prospective employers, it's time to move on.
• Should we ever worry about the left side of a right handed QB's body? If you're thinking about drafting
The offseason surgery shouldn't affect this and, in fact, his normal low position for the left arm may be affected less than most "normal" QBs. The biggest worry is that Hasselbeck will get hit and driven onto that right shoulder, breaking apart the fixes performed and leaving him in a mirror state to
• I know it's hard to think of
• I read that they're bringing back the
He's had both knees and both shoulders rebuilt and has seemed to come back even better. He had over 300 carries last season and some great stats. The one that should count more than his yards per carry (which was inflated by his big plays) is that he played in all 16 games. Gore's health is about the only thing that can hold him back from even bigger things (fumbling is another), but the acquisition of offensive lineman
• Everyone is watching
Taylor clearly wore down at the end of the season, having only one 100-yard rushing game and another at 99 during the second half last season. After those, he missed a game with sore ribs, the result of all the little hits he was taking. Taylor didn't reach 370 carries last year, but another interesting piece of that research shows that running between the tackles has a much higher cost to a runner than getting outside does. It's simple -- there are bigger guys inside. We've seen Taylor pay that price now and he's not likely to do any better this year, especially if he's splitting time.
• Once labeled injury-prone, it's nearly impossible to shake the tag. NFL careers, especially those of running backs, sometimes don't last long enough to make much more than a first impression.
Worse still, Portis has dealt with patellar tendinitis throughout the offseason, something that could limit his practice time and lead to more opportunities for Betts to impress. Portis has never had the success he had in Denver since moving east, and while he's still only 25, he's playing much older, showing definite signs of wearing down that come with chronic injury and a heavy workload. He's still got the burst, but I don't think he can stay healthy enough to break back into the elite level.
• In baseball, I have