The Philadelphia Eagles had a serious scare Thursday night when LeSean McCoy went down with an ankle injury. While he returned to the field, it was enough to make grabbing Bryce Brown in fantasy football a smart move.
McCoy had a fantastic game against the Kansas City Chiefs, totaling 158 rushing yards and a touchdown in a losing effort. However, the most notable part of the game for him came in the first half, when he went down hard at the end of an 18-yard run.
Michael Fabiano of NFL.com provided the reaction that many fans had at the time:
LeSean McCoy down. Oh no.— Michael Fabiano (@Michael_Fabiano) September 20, 2013
While the running back was able to run off the field on his own power, he certainly was not in good shape on his way to the locker room. Courtney Fallon of NBC provided an inside look as to how bad the injury seemed:
Alex Flanagan describes McCoy's emotion as he left the field. Headed down the tunnel, stopped, threw his hands on his knees and wept.— Courtney Fallon (@CourtneyNBC6) September 20, 2013
Of course, McCoy returned later in the game and was quite impressive. Still, even he admitted that he was not completely healthy. According to Phil Sheridan of ESPN, the running back thought it was a high-ankle sprain, saying:
The way I landed, I felt pain right away. I had that type of injury before and I felt the same type of pain, so I thought it was something serious.
I still was in pain. A couple of runs, I could feel it.
This is not exactly what Eagles fans or fantasy owners want to hear following the game. Although it is commendable to play through an injury, it is clear that he is not 100 percent healthy.
Anyone who has ever played sports knows that adrenaline can help you through an injury during a game, but things get worse in the coming days. McCoy should definitely remained concerned that this issue might linger.
In this case, fantasy owners would be wise to grab or hold onto Brown as a safety net. The backup running back has not done much this season (15 carries for 45 yards), but he could be an elite fantasy option if given the opportunity.
Will Bryce Brown be a viable fantasy option as some point in 2013?
Not to take anything away from McCoy, but the current Eagles offense is perfectly built for a running back to succeed. Chip Kelly put together a high-paced attack with great run-blockers in front to clear lanes for whoever is in the backfield.
Despite a lack of success this year, Brown showed last season that he is more than capable of excelling when he is the featured back. In four games as a starter in 2012, he exploded for 387 yards and four touchdowns with an average of 5.5 yards per carry.
With above-average size and speed, the second-year player can be just as productive in a starting spot this season.
Unfortunately, fans are unlikely to see this ability until McCoy is unable to play. Still, this past game showed that an opportunity can come at any time.
Even though the starter returned to action Thursday and was impressive in the second half, there is no guarantee about his status going forward. McCoy remains a question mark for Week 4, which makes Brown a must-add in all leagues.
If the backup does get his chance, the patience will pay off for all fantasy owners.
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