People often ask me why I don't use the normal designators -- out, probable, questionable, and doubtful -- when referring to injuries. The fact is that the Official Injury Report uses very clear definitions for those terms while I have a bit more gray area in mine. I'm more concerned with the effects of the injury rather than whether or not someone will merely play and I continue to think that it's more valuable as well. The OIR has its uses and it works; studies of the use of the designations shows that teams are not gaming the system and that players in aggregate come very close to the defined percentages. I don't deal in averages; I deal in specifics, trying to dig into the injuries through information and sourcing. Heck, I'd rather invent my own terms anyway. Let's get to it:
The Steelers are keeping things very close to the vest on Parker. So far, they've only said that he has a sprained knee, leaving us to guess on the severity and his timeline. At this stage, all we know is that he's out this week, but going forward there are a lot of things that come into play. It's safe to say that the injury isn't sending him to surgery, or he would have been in by now. There's a precedent for teams being able to keep a surgery secret, as was done last year with
"Strain: a tearing of muscle or tendon." It's the simplest definition, but key in understanding what's happening with Westbrook. It could have been much worse, such as another Lisfranc or other foot injury. It might have been a severe sprain or high ankle sprain. With a strain, the most likely area is the Achilles tendon, which is the strongest tendon in the body, but something of an all or nothing area. When it snaps, it's fixable, but a player is done for the season. Westbrook suggested in a radio appearance that the damage was to "ligaments and tendons," so there might be more going on here that just a strain, but
Favre just plays. Let's face it, love him or hate him, he's always going to show up at kickoff. We know he loves a challenge, that he wants the things that he doesn't think will just be given to him, and that he still feels that near-insane persistence that keeps him chasing things he may never get. The Jets aren't a great team, and even with Favre in place of
Fantasy players seem happy about the points Tomlinson put up on Monday night. He managed to score a couple times, catch a couple passes, make some yardage and didn't do the same thing to his owners he had done in Week 2. Still, it's the low average and lack of burst that have fantasy owners worried. Without some magical cure, Tomlinson's toe isn't going to heal in a snap; it's going to take time and rest, two things you just don't get between games, especially in a short week. Tomlinson ran behind his line and took the "easy" yards rather than looking for the big break, which just never came. It's smart in ways, since he's unlikely to be able to take advantage of those holes and he has to be more concerned with making the positive yardage he can than getting caught improvising. With the bye week a ways off, Tomlinson isn't so much a risky play as he is one that's unlikely to get you the value you expected when you drafted him No. 1.
McFadden played through turf toe last week and was productive, if not explosive. One detail that's been offered in some stories actually tells us a lot more than anything else: McFadden went through three pairs of cleats, seeking a comfortable level of traction due to his inability to "dig in" the front and get acceleration. With the steel plate and a numb toe, McFadden had no way to do something that comes naturally to him, and because of that, couldn't use the burst he possesses. While
At 3-0, you'd think that the Titans were having no issues at all, but that's certainly not the case. They're using a backup QB, a timeshare at RB, and are missing their WR1. Gage missed last week with a strained groin and things are looking rough for Week 4. However, it was Gage, not Justin McCareins, who was on the field Wednesday. Don't read too much into this since, as one observer told me, "Gage wasn't banged up from the game." It's an interesting point, but Gage's groin is still slowing him, especially on deceleration, forcing Gage to jog to slow rather than simply stopping. We'll have to watch the practice reports, but I have a feeling Gage may well be a "check with me" come Sunday.
The Vikings need all the help they can get, and Rice looks to be helpful this week. Coming back from a PCL sprain in just two weeks is nice healing, but this season is showing us that we have to once again re-set the rehab clocks for players coming back from knee injuries of all sorts. Whether it's
Harris wins the
I like Green. He's a great story and a smart guy. I worried when he went to Miami last year, knowing that he was one big hit away from losing those smarts and so much more. He doesn't need the money, but as Brett Favre showed us, sometimes it's really not about the money for these guys. Green's severe concussion in 2006 remains a danger, and one more bad hit could lead to more permanent damage. Green was lucky to come back as well as he did from a hit with the force that one head injury expert felt might have decapitated some people. I can only hope he has some of that luck left and that it rubs off on the Rams offensive line.