We've entered Week 2 of the 2012 NFL season, and along with the breakout performances and disappointing showings that are a part of every week in the NFL, we were also struck last week with the usual onslaught of injuries that throw a monkey wrench into the seasons of fantasy football players.
Here's a look at some of the latest significant injuries across the NFL, their fantasy impact and what steps the fantasy owners of the players in question can take to help prepare their teams for the upcoming week's contests.
The Green Bay Packers had injury added to insult in their opening-week loss to the San Francisco 49ers last Sunday.
Wide receiver Greg Jennings sustained a groin injury late in the team's 30-22 loss, and after missing practice Tuesday and with a short week before their Thursday night tilt with the Chicago Bears, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that "the word I'm getting is doubtful" in regards to Jennings suiting up.
Brave fantasy owners can wait to see if Jennings is active before deciding whether to risk starting him, but at this point given the short week, the smart play is to sit Jennings and look to alternate options such as sixth-year pro James Jones, who would start against Chicago if Jennings is scratched.
The biggest injury blow dealt to fantasy owners in Week 1 occurred in the Big Apple, where Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson suffered a sprained knee in the team's blowout loss to the New York Jets.
The 31-year-old told Jay Skurski of The Buffalo News that he was targeting Week 4 for his return, but that appears to have been overly optimistic given head coach Chan Gailey's comments to Chris Brown of the Bills' website.
“It’s going to be a few weeks," said head coach Chan Gailey. "It’s not going to be three, but I don’t think it’s going to be eight, but it’s probably somewhere in there in between. Hopefully sooner than later.”
That thrusts third-year pro C.J. Spiller into the starting lineup for the foreseeable future, and after racking up over 190 total yards last week, Spiller is a very solid fantasy start this week in a favorable matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Jackson owners have little choice but to hold and hope for the best, although those in shallow leagues may want to seriously consider cutting bait if other options are available on the waiver wire given that there's no guarantee when Jackson will return or to what role in the Buffalo offense.
Greg Jennings isn't the only prominent wide receiver dealing with an injury south of the border.
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin is dealing with a hip pointer that kept the 24-year-old out of practice Wednesday and leaves his status for Week 2 in question.
Maclin's fantasy owners need to monitor practice reports closely and have a plan B option ready to go Sunday when the Eagles face the Baltimore Ravens.
This malady could also impact fellow Eagles wideout DeSean Jackson, who would all but certainly be "shadowed" by Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb if Maclin sits.
After holding out for most of training camp and the preseason Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice-Jones Drew carried the ball 19 times for 77 yards last week, and it looks like the NFL's leading rusher in 2011 will be in for an even bigger workload in Week 2.
Jessica Blaylock of WJXL-FM in Jacksonville reports that head coach Mike Mularkey has indicated that due to the injury suffered by reserve Rashad Jennings, Jones-Drew won't be on any sort of snap count this week when the Jaguars play the Houston Texans.
The fantasy matchup is far from ideal, but Jones-Drew is at least a decent RB2 play this week, while fantasy owners hoping to ride Jennings for a few weeks while MJD got back up to speed can safely drop Jennings.
Since injuries are potentially pulling two big names out of the wide receiver pool this week, I guess it's only fair that the fantasy football fates throw at least one back in.
Tennessee Titans wide receiver Kenny Britt has rejoined the team after serving a one-game suspension as the result of an offseason DUI arrest, and while the fourth-year pro may only play in a limited fashion Sunday against the San Diego Chargers, head coach Mike Munchak told John Glennon of The Nashville Tennessean that he's confident Britt can help the team this week.
“He worked out with us today, doing his rehab, and he’ll do some work tomorrow and he’ll start with the team on Wednesday for practice,” coach Mike Munchak said Monday. “We’ll have to see how much he can handle and how he handles day-to-day, and decide during the week how much he can play on Sunday.”
However, Britt hasn't played since tearing his ACL in Week 3 last year and is recovering from a recent knee scope, so until we've seen the 23-year-old in action, he needs to remain on fantasy benches.