The Week That Was Football: The Injuries From Week 11

Big name injuries highlight this week’s Football Week That Was.

For 2014, The Week that Was: NFL will focus on injuries and their effects. 

Montee Ball:  After all the reports of a leaner meaner Montee, Mr. Ball went out and re-injured his strained groin.  It looks like he will miss a few more weeks making him a visitor to cut city for all those in re-draft leagues.  With Ball and Hillman on the shelf, it looks like C.J. Anderson will keep the job for at least a couple of weeks.  9 carries for 29 yards is nothing to write home about but his 8 catches for 86 is PPR gold.  With Denver’s scheduled filled to the rim with stout run defenses, only those in ppr leagues should spend to get C.J. 

Emmanuel Sanders:    Emmanuel Sanders got his clock cleaned Sunday and is now formally in the NFL concussion protocol.  If he plays, you play him.  It is that simple.  However, there is no way to know what will happen as the week progresses.  If you own Sanders and Welker is on the waiver wire (as he is in many leagues), it would not be a bad strategy to grab up the former Patriot for insurance.  That said, I would only be tempted to start Welker IF Sanders is out and IF it is a PPR league.

Arian Foster:  With Arian Foster sitting this one out, Alfred Blue rose to the occasion – big time!  Blue rushed for 156 yards on 36 carries – yes 36 carries.  This is why the R in SMART stands for Reserves and why we have been using that strategy since before it was fashionable to use the phrase “handcuff”.    Blue is not a starter if Foster suits up but if he doesn’t you are still sitting pretty.

Ryan MathewsRyan Mathews returned from his MCL injury and looked pretty good rushing for 70 yards on 16 carries. The really good news for Mathews owners is that he appears to have come through his return without suffering a setback.  The bad news is that the Charger offense looked pretty weak and when 3d down came along, Branden Oliver took over.  If you own Mathews you need to run him out there most weeks but I really do not like the matchup with the Rams defense next week.  Look for alternatives. 

Julius Thomas: According to reports, Julius Thomas’s ankle sprain is not that severe and not the dreaded "high" sprain variety.  Broncos fans and Thomas owners please take your collective sigh of relief. Good, feel better?  Well, hold on.  It is still not clear if he can go against the Dolphins this Sunday.  If he goes, go with him. After all, Thomas is totally TD dependent so if he sits a bunch, no worries.  You just need him to play in the red zone.  If Thomas and Sanders are both out, Jacob Tamme becomes a very interesting possibility.  Watch the news carefully.

Brandin CooksBrandin Cooks broke his thumb and the most recent reports say a week 16 return in the best case scenario.  If you own Cooks in a redraft league, “waive” goodbye.  Honestly, there is no telling who will get the balls going Cooks way but if I had to guess, I would say that Marques Colston goes from basically irrelevant to possibly important. 

Ahmad BradshawAhmad Bradshaw broke his leg and absent a miracle, is done for the fantasy football season.  If you drafted Bradshaw, do not fret as his 725 yards and 8 TD are far more than you expected.  Now, the question is whether Trent Richardson can finally justify the trade the Colts made to get him last year.  Well, the schedule is excellent with Jax, Was, Clev and Houston coming up.  The bad news is that TRich is averaging 3.4 yards per carry and that is well, not good.  Bottom line here – I like TRich because of the schedule, the goal line opportunities he will get and his ability to make some catches out of the backfield.  I know some will laugh but if TRich is on my waiver wire, I am all in.

Final Thought:  Injury news changes quickly so make sure to check back right here at for all the news you need to know.