The NFL has taken notice of the helmet to helmet and "devastating" hits, but as we always ask around here, "What does that mean for my fantasy team?" It's unlikely that anything, even suspensions, will be able to stop the ingrained and instinctual explosive, head-down tackling methods that the league's big hitters have used.
Let's start with a couple very simple things that could be done right now, with no changes in the rules. First, players could switch to any approved helmet, such as the Xenith or Schutt DNA, that is designed more to prevent concussion than just skull fracture, which is what the modern plastic helmet was originally designed to do. (Of course,
The Eagles said on Monday that DeSean Jackson was "unlikely" to play. That's not an official designation, but one more likely to make Tennessee at least address Jackson in their game planning. It's gamesmanship, because in any reasonable world, Jackson is not just out for this game, but until he has no symptoms. The Eagles have been quiet about that since announcing Jackson's concussion was "severe." That designation as well is not official and not really informative. What does "severe" mean? I think anyone that saw the hit, saw how long Jackson was down and how he looked coming off the field could agree that "severe" was the right term, but in terms of symptomology, it's tougher. Jackson suffered some memory loss, though it's unclear if that means he couldn't answer simple questions on the spot ("Where are you? Who's the President?") or if he couldn't remember the play itself. We don't know if that was momentary or whether it lingered. We don't know how long the loss of consciousness was or if he is still having headaches. I'm not calling for a release of all that since there is a valid right to privacy, but Jackson and the Eagles could use this as a test case for the best practices the NFL has to offer. The Eagles are on bye in Week 8, so sitting out the Week 7 matchup would give Jackson three real weeks to heal up. We can only hope this takes that short a time to heal and doesn't expose Jackson to a third concussion in less than a year.
Concussions to both Josh Cribbs and Mohamed Massaquoi were well documented. Cribbs was hit while carrying the ball, while Massaquoi took a shot that, to me, was as cheap as they come. Steelers linebacker
Explaining the Joseph Addai situation is difficult because of the terminology. I've had discussions with several people, including spinal doctors and orthopedists on this one and short of the Colts coming out and saying exactly what's wrong, we're left trying to explain a very complex situation in laymen's terms. What you need to know is this: Addai has a really bad stinger, one that's recurrent, painful, and causing problems in his neck, shoulder, arm, and hand. You can best compare this to the situation last year with
The news leaked out on Dallas Clark in a way that some will find more interesting than the injury itself, but that's another story. The wrist sprain for Clark is, to use the technical term, "really bad." Clark's sprain is both painful and has caused structural issues, which means he's facing surgery and/or a lengthy recovery period. Clark was at a charity event Monday night with a wrist brace on, but didn't appear to be in any real pain, but that's not much of a tell. If he can't use the hand to catch and hold the ball, the Colts have a real problem. Clark functions as much as a WR as a TE, but due to the position, he's as valuable as any in fantasy. Right now, Clark is heading out for tests and for second opinions, but the best case is that he misses several weeks. The easy replacement for him in the offense would be
Sunday, Antonio Gates left the stadium in a protective boot, telling the press about the two instances where his
The Chargers are already down several big name players so losing Malcolm Floyd isn't going to help anyone. Floyd's Grade II hamstring strain will keep him out through Week 7 and potentially longer. The strain is said to be "deep and right in the belly" of the muscle. Leg strains of any type aren't good for anyone, but Floyd's size will help. Like Gates, he's not reliant on speed as much as he is size and his ability run routes in a way that puts him in good position. That latter part isn't the same as "crisp route running," which is the more common usage by scouts. Instead, it's more a body position thing, utilizing curls, post-ups, and "jump balls". One NFL observer told me that Floyd's physicality is his biggest plus tool -- "He'll body up guys, run into them more than around them, and any loss of that makes him pretty ordinary. He already takes forever to get to speed." This is definitely an injury that could linger and cause more problems due to style as much as severity.
A QBs thumb is a big deal, even when it's not on his throwing hand. While the Cowboys and much of their media tried to minimize this, the fact is that any hand injury to a QB comes into play on virtually every down. First, the QB takes the center snap. This can be gameplanned around by shifting hand position or by putting the QB into the shotgun. Second, the QB hands the ball off with either hand. Any pain or loss of grip strength can be an issue there. Finally, the QB is often hit while passing and has to either hold the ball so as not to fumble or is forced down, often in awkward ways that could re-injure the hand. Romo practiced without much issue on Wednesday, but even so, don't think this is going to be "no issue."