The trend of running back by committee and the rise of timeshares in the backfield has grown to the point where it's tough (and costly) to find a real feature back.
But in Baltimore, they have one in
The RB position is the most replaceable on the field, one that
Knowing this, using a bunch of specialists in the running game should be reasonable. It keeps RBs cheap, easily replaced and it should take some wear and tear off of them. In essence, the RB position on several teams is becoming like a bullpen, a collection of role-playing specialists. You see it in Baltimore, in Oakland, and to some extent, in Dallas. I think I've seen the future, but I'm not sure that it will reduce injuries as much as it will elevate the few real feature backs to epic valuations. That will take data. For now, we'll just look at this week's injuries:
In a normal week, we might see the
I'll admit that when Williams snapped his patellar tendon last year, I thought it would be the last of him. He was fragile before, with spinal issues that go back to his high school days and was establishing himself as a committee back rather than the feature. Give him some credit here; he's managed to come back, but returning to the game is not returning to level, and it's not going to make him any less fragile. Despite an injury to Graham -- a minor knee sprain -- Williams was activated because of the PUP rules, not because he's ready to come in and be a gamechanger. Play? Yes, he will, but not much for the next few weeks. How
The Rams continue to be very conservative with Jackson, describing him as day-to-day after keeping him out of last week's game. The quad strain's location appears to be the real problem, with the proximity to the patellar tendon causing an issue. All the symptoms match up, including pain at the start and end of workouts, plus a "creaky" knee as described by Jackson himself. While we shouldn't trust Jackson given his earlier statements on his readiness, the tendon involvement explains why his return is going slowly and why his forcing himself on the field was such a bad idea, setting his full return back significantly. In essence, the Rams havwe been forced to treat one injury in two ways -- as they would for a muscle strain and as they would for a tendon strain. The treatment isn't significantly different, but the recovery period and recurrence risk is, which leads to the conservative treatment. We'll have to see if Jackson can practice on it this week, as
People are making a very big deal about Romo still feeling pain when he's making throws. The question here isn't comfort, it's function and recovery. So far, no one has reported that Romo isn't making the bulk of the necessary throws off the tree or that he's having difficulty sustaining the level he's at. The one thing not replicated in practice is contact, which is, of course, the main risk, but splinted, Romo should be fine. The thing I'll be looking for is whether he has touch, the part of a QB's game that can be most affected by grip. The Cowboys are also a bit iffy on whether Jones will be available. He's a speed guy, so a slower recovery than average isn't that much of a surprise, especially given the severity of his hamstring strain. Jones hasn't practiced yet this week and appears to be pointed toward a Week 12 return.
Rather than taking a week off to rest his shoulder as some were suggesting, Roethlisberger and
The Redskins rushing attack has some problems. Portis has an MCL sprain, this year's "it" injury, while
The Saints are coming off a crushing loss to the Falcons and seem to be one of those teams who are losing chemistry as losses pile up. It's easy to point fingers when things are going badly, and let's face it, the Saints aren't nearly as good as anyone expected, even with