Fantasy Football: Sunday Breakdown of NFL's Injury Report for Week 1

Jay Clemons@ATL_JayClemonsFantasy Sports Lead WriterSeptember 9, 2012

Vikings tailback Adrian Peterson (torn ACL last December), a top-5 fantasy back when healthy, will likely collect no more than 18 touches against the Jaguars in Week 1.
Vikings tailback Adrian Peterson (torn ACL last December), a top-5 fantasy back when healthy, will likely collect no more than 18 touches against the Jaguars in Week 1.Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Every NFL weekend, I'll provide an update of the league's injury report, an official listing that often undergoes substantial changes from Wednesday (the first day of midweek practice) to Sunday at 11:30 a.m. EST (for 1 p.m. kickoffs, all teams must have their official lineups submitted).

In other words, always take Wednesday's listing with a grain of salt.

Personally, I loathe discussing injuries in the fantasy realm. My rule of thumb: If a guy can practice at least twice for either Wednesday, Thursday or Friday (normal game week), then he'll likely be fine.

And if he can't partake in midweek drills, then so be it. As Plan B, I'll simply take my fantasy chances on a healthy talent of similar stature.

I'm also not one to overreact to a star player listed as "questionable," prior to kickoff. My rationale: Unless an asset is termed "doubtful," I assume he'll garner roughly 70 percent of his standard touches, targets or pass attempts.

Indianapolis @ Chicago (1 p.m. EST)

RB Mewelde Moore—Probable (Chest)
WR T.Y. Hilton—Questionable (Shoulder)
WR Austin Collie—Questionable (Head)
RB Delone Carter—Questionable (Chest)

LB Brian Urlacher—Probable (Knee)
WR Earl Bennett—Probable (Hand)

Jacksonville @ Minnesota (1 p.m. EST)

RB Justin Blackmon—Probable (Ankle)

RB Adrian Peterson—Questionable (Knee)
TE John Carlson—Probable (Knee)
WR Jarius Wright—Out (Ankle)

Breakdown: Adrian Peterson (1,109 total yards, 13 TD in 12 games last year) may be mentally prepared for Week 1 action, but I have serious reservations about AP carrying a heavy load early in the season—at least until Week 8 or 9.

I've been consistent on this issue from day one: Even the fittest of freakish athletes shouldn't be rushed back onto the field just nine months removed from major knee surgery (torn ACL on Dec. 24).

For the sake of long-term preservation, I hope Minnesota will keep Peterson on a restrictive diet of 20 touches or less per game for September. Unfortunately, that would result in a temporary downgrade from RB1 to weekly flex consideration.

Buffalo @ N.Y. Jets (1 p.m. EST)

WR Steve Johnson—Questionable (Groin)
WR Brad Smith—Probable (Groin)

LB David Harris—Probable (Ankle)
TE Dustin Keller—Questionable (Hamstring)
WR Santonio Holmes—Probable (Ribs)
WR Stephen Hill—Probable (Calf)
RB Joe McKnight—Probable (Hamstring)
S LaRon Landry—Probable (Heel)
WR Chaz Schilens—Probable (Ankle)

Breakdown: Donald Jones fans should really be rooting for Steve Johnson to play on Sunday. Otherwise, Darrelle Revis would likely draw the assignment of Buffalo's next best receiving option (instead of Jets corner Antonio Cromartie). For those who aren't regular readers of The Fantasy Blog, I've already hailed Jones as another Sidney Rice in the making.

Miami @ Houston (1 p.m. EST)

LB Koa Misi—Probable (Back)
LT Jake Long—Probable (Knee)
WR Brian Hartline—Probable (Calf)

LB Brian Cushing—Probable (Ribs)
WR Andre Johnson—Probable (Chest)
DE J.J. Watt—Probable (Elbow)
RB Ben Tate—Probable (Head)
TE Owen Daniels—Probable (Illness)
RB Arian Foster—Questionable (Knee)

Breakdown: I would hope the vast majority of Arian Foster owners took the somewhat-early leap to secure the Ben Tate handcuff in fantasy drafts. Not only is Tate one of the NFL's best backups...he's also a healthy lock for 90 total yards and 0.5 touchdowns in games of 17-plus touches—especially against a Dolphins team that isn't awash with top-notch defenders.

New England @ Tennessee (1 p.m. EST)

RB Shane Vereen—Out (Foot)
S Patrick Chung—Probable (Shoulder)

LB Zach Diles—Questionable (Hamstring)

St. Louis @ Detroit (1 p.m. EST)

DT Michael Brockers—Out (Ankle)

S Louis Delmas—Doubtful (Knee)
CB Chris Houston—Doubtful (Ankle)

Washington @ New Orleans (1 p.m. EST)

S Brandon Meriweather—Out (Knee)
LB Brian Orakpo—Probable (Chest)

WR Marques Colston—Questionable (Foot)
WR Adrian Arrington—Questionable (Knee)

Breakdown: Marques Colston's foot malady seemingly came out of nowhere, which means one of two things: Either Colston incurred a legitimate injury during a workout with no media on-site (plausible)...or the Saints are trying to get inside the Redskins' heads leading up to kickoff (even more plausible).

Philadelphia @ Cleveland (1 p.m. EST)

WR Riley Cooper—Out (Collarbone)
RB Dion Lewis—Questionable (Hamstring)
DE Jason Babin—Probable (Calf)
DT Fletcher Cox—Probable (Knee)

RB Trent Richardson—Questionable (Knee)
TE Jordan Cameron—Questionable (Groin)
TE Benjamin Watson—Questionable (Thigh)
RB Chris Ogbonnaya—Questionable (Ankle)

Breakdown: I took some heat from readers for suggesting that Browns backup tailback Montario Hardesty would log equal or more touches than Trent Richardson against the Eagles, as if I was doubting T-Rich's superhuman-esque approach to rallying back from two knee surgeries in nine months. If I'm wrong be it. My over-under for Richardson touches: 17.

Atlanta @ Kansas City (1 p.m. EST)

RB Jason Snelling—Probable (Calf)

LB Derrick Johnson—Questionable (Ankle)
CB Brandon Flowers—Questionable (Foot)

San Francisco @ Green Bay (4:25 p.m. EST)

RB Brandon Jacobs—Questionable (Knee)
WR Ted Ginn—Questionable (Ankle)

DT B.J. Raji—Probable (Ankle)
RB James Starks—Out (Toe)
RB Alex Green—Probable (Knee)

Breakdown: I'm not sold on Cedric Benson's season-long viability as the Packers' No. 1 tailback. That's why it's crucial for second- year rusher Alex Green to prove his worth each and every Sunday—starting with the Niners at Lambeau.

Seattle @ Arizona (4:25 p.m. EST)

T James Carpenter—Out (Knee)
WR Golden Tate—Out (Knee)
RB Marshawn Lynch—Questionable (Back)
QB Matt Flynn—Probable (Elbow)

TE Rob Housler—Probable (Hamstring)
RB LaRod Stephens-Howling—Probable (Groin)
WR Andre Roberts—Probable (Ankle)
RB Beanie Wells—Questionable (Hamstring)

Breakdown: I can recall the game-day chicanery surrounding Marshawn Lynch in Week 7 last year, where Lynch was a late (and unexpected) scratch. Well, I don't envision a repeat of that around 3:45 p.m. EST Sunday. In Lynch's case, I'm thankful for owning rookie Robert Turbin (handcuff) in three leagues.

Carolina @ Tampa Bay (4:25 p.m. EST)

RB Jon Beason—Probable (Thigh)
WR Steve Smith—Probable (Foot)
RB Jonathan Stewart—Questionable (Ankle)

WR Arrelious Benn—Questionable (Knee)

Breakdown: I don't anticipate Jonathan Stewart dressing for the opener, allowing him another week to rehab that cumbersome ankle injury. As a result, I have Carolina's DeAngelo Williams as a lock for 115 total yards and/or two touchdowns against Tampa Bay.

Pittsburgh @ Denver (8:30 p.m. EST)

RB Rashard Mendenhall—Doubtful (Knee)
RB Isaac Redman—Probable (Ankle)
LB James Harrison—Questionable (Knee)

G Chris Kuper—Out (Forearm)

Breakdown: For Isaac Redman, opportunity knocks. For Rashard Mendenhall, I likely wouldn't rank him as a top-40 tailback until Week 6, at the earliest.

Monday Games

**Cincinnati @ Baltimore (limited official info)

**San Diego @ Oakland (limited official info...although Chargers RB Ryan Mathews has already declared himself out)

Jay Clemons can be reached on Twitter, day or night, at @ATL_JayClemons.


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