Fantasy Football Week 9: Latest Updates on Injured Stars
It's an unfortunate fact of life in fantasy football.
Now matter how well you fared in your draft, or how prescient you are in putting the right players in your starting lineup every week, nothing will kill a season faster than watching in helpless horror as injuries derail the season of one of your star players.
The 2012 season has certainly been no exception, and as we begin the push for the fantasy playoffs, here's a look at the latest news on some dinged-up fantasy studs.
Larry Fitzgerald Is "Fine"
As if it hasn't been bad enough that the Arizona Cardinals are mired in a four-game losing streak and that wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald is having a disappointing fantasy season (by his standards), now injury has been added to insult.
The ninth-year veteran, who has 45 catches for 511 yards and three touchdowns so far this year, was given concussion tests after taking a shot to the head in Monday night's loss to the San Francisco 49ers, and he took a couple more pops later in the game.
However, Fitzgerald's fantasy owners can breathe a little easier, as Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic reports that the 29-year-old was feeling "fine" after the game.
Now if the Cardinals could just protect the quarterback long enough for him to get the blankety-blanking football to their best offensive weapon.
Maurice Jones-Drew Ruled out for Week 9
It's been a miserable season all the way around for Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew and his fantasy owners.
First there was the protracted contract holdout that cost the NFL's leading rusher in 2011 nearly all of training camp and the preseason, causing his fantasy draft stock to drop like a stone.
The seventh-year veteran reported just before the season began, but outside of a 177-yard explosion in Week 3, it's been more whimper than bang from a fantasy perspective for Jones-Drew this year.
Now a foot injury suffered two weeks ago has sidelined Jones-Drew indefinitely, and as Ryan O' Halloran of the Florida Times-Union reports, Jones-Drew has already been ruled out for this week's tilt with the Detroit Lions.
I'm speculating here, so take this with a grain of salt, but I smell a more serious injury than the Jaguars are letting on here, and I wouldn't hold my breath waiting on Jones-Drew's return.
Unless, that is, you can hold it until 2013.
Calvin Johnson Will Push Through Knee Injury
OK, so maybe the Madden curse is real after all.
Despite actually being targeted more through seven games in 2012 than he was through the same period during his monster season a year ago, the fantasy numbers of Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson are way down, due in large part to his only having a single touchdown and having dropped a number of passes.
Part of the 27-year-old's troubles this season may be attributable to a nagging knee injury that has hindered Johnson the past few weeks, but the sixth-year pro fully intends to play this week against the Jacksonville Jaguars and isn't making any excuses, according to Justin Rogers of the Detroit Free Press.
"I'll be all right," Johnson said. "You're good after the win, but you'll feel it all on Monday. It's tough to stick my foot in the ground with my knee hurting, but that's no excuse."
This is an instance where fantasy owners just have to take a deep breath and keep running Johnson out there.
The dam's gotta break sooner or later.
DeMarco Murray's Week 9 Status Uncertain
The 2012 season is rapidly getting away from the Dallas Cowboys, and while the team could certainly use their top running back on the field this week against the undefeated Atlanta Falcons, it's unknown if that will be the case.
Second-year pro DeMarco Murray, who has missed the past two games with an injured foot, is no sure bet to make his return in Week 9, according to what head coach Jason Garrett told Calvin Watkins of ESPN.
"We’ll just have to see," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Monday afternoon. "It seems like he’s moving around a little bit better. Again, that’s an injury you have to be patient with. We don’t want to rush him back then take any backward steps. We’ll see how he is day-by-day this week."
Given how badly backup Felix Jones fared last week in the Cowboys' loss to the New York Giants, the Cowboys will likely make a concerted effort to get Murray back in action against the Falcons, but Murray's fantasy owners need to once again have a Plan B at the ready.
Pittsburgh's RB Merry-Go-Round Keeps Spinning
After topping 100 rushing yards the past two weeks, it appeared that Jonathan Dwyer may have solidified his hold on the role of starter in the Pittsburgh Steelers' backfield, but as has been the case all season long, injury may have thrown a wrench into those plans once again.
As Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports, the quad injury suffered by Dwyer in the Steelers' win over the Washington Redskins will keep him out of practice Wednesday, while the return of Rashard Mendenhall on a limited basis muddies the waters even further.
#Steelers Tomlin: Mendenhall can start individual work Wed. Dwyer won't practice Wed. Quad
Dwyer's injury isn't believed to be overly serious, but with Dwyer, Mendenhall and Isaac Redman all hampered by injury to some degree, it's very possible that we could see a fantasy value-sapping committee attack this week when the Steelers face the New York Giants.