Breaks, Bumps, & Bruises: NFL Week Three Injury Impact

Michael WhooleySenior Writer ISeptember 29, 2009

SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Quarterback Chad Pennington #10 of the Miami Dolphins sits on the bench after a shoulder injury against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on September 27, 2009 in San Diego, California. Pennington did not return to the game. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

We are now three weeks into the fantasy football season, and you should now be getting a good feel for your team and what you can expect from them for the rest of the year. However, remember that injuries can always rear their ugly head, forcing you to make some nifty roster moves, especially with bye weeks also on the horizon. With that said, it’s time to see how injuries from Week Three have affected the fantasy stratosphere.

Marc Bulger, QB, St. Louis Rams:

You likely did not draft him to be your starter, but may have grabbed him to be your backup. If so, dump him now. It looks as though Bulger may be out for the season if the early speculation that his shoulder injury he suffered is indeed a rotator cuff tear. Bulger’s days of being fantasy relevant may be a thing of the past.

Chad Pennington, QB, Miami Dolphins:

Another fantasy backup quarterback went down Sunday, as Pennington left his game against the Chargers with an injury to his throwing shoulder. The injury is to the same shoulder he has had two major surgeries on, and it has been determined he has a torn capsule, which means he will miss the rest of the season. Chad Henne will step in for Pennington and could be a decent backup for your fantasy team depending on how his chemistry is with the offense. Take a flier on him to see how he does.

Frank Gore, RB, San Francisco 49ers:

The biggest injury of the day may not only have cost you a win this week, but also severely hurt your chances for the weeks ahead. Gore left the Niners’ match-up with the Minnesota Vikings before the game really even got started, hurting his ankle on his first carry.

The team is detailing his ankle as a strain and not a high ankle sprain as originally reported. Still, It looks doubtful that he plays this week, and the injury may even cause him to have sit out a couple games following this weekend’s contest. Hopefully, if you own Gore, you have his backup Glen Coffee.

If not and he is available, rush out to get him. The rookie has a lot of talent and will be a nice fill-in, especially with the beleaguered Rams next on the schedule.

Kevin Smith, RB, Detroit Lions:

The Lions got a win, but the injured running back may be a bigger loss. Smith left the Lions’ game against the Redskins with a shoulder injury and did not return. Detroit has downplayed the injury and has not addressed it in any way, but it could be more than a minor bump or bruise.

Until some new information comes out, it is tough to predict how much time he could miss. Right now expect to be without him for a couple weeks at the minimum. If he can’t go, Maurice Morris and Aaron Brown would likely split the carries, with neither having much fantasy value.

Laurence Maroney, RB, New England Patriots:

Maroney left the Patriots game against the Falcons with a thigh injury but said after the game he was fine. In fact, Maroney says he could have went back into the game if need be. It looks like he will be good to go for Week Four, but considering how little he touches the ball, it is hard to argue his worth in fantasy football as of now.

Donnie Avery, WR, St. Louis Rams:

Avery suffered a rib injury on Sunday, and there is no word as to how serious this injury is. Considering how terrible he has played to start the year, if he misses any time, you may want to consider dropping him. He will likely no longer have his starting quarterback throwing to him and has not gotten many looks in the offense.

Laurent Robinson, WR, St. Louis Rams:

Robinson suffered an ankle injury in the Rams’ loss on Sunday, which was bad enough that he had to use crutches to get around following the game. Look for Robinson to miss a couple games, if not more. Like his teammate above, if Robinson is out a couple of games or more, look to unload him, scouring the waiver wire for a wide out with upside.

Albert Haynesworth, DT, Washington Redskins:

Haynesworth suffered a strained right hip flexor in his game against the Lions and had to be carted off the field. Although he did return to the game, he said to the media he did not come back playing like himself. If the medical staff cleared him to play though, expect Haynesworth to be back on the field this week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Redskins defense may be worth playing in the match-up, seeing as the Bucs had just 86 total yards of offense in Week Three, and of course, Haynesworth will be good for IDP leagues.

Darnell Dockett, DT, Arizona Cardinals:

Dockett left the Sunday night game with a sprained right ankle but was able to return. He is lucky it did not turn out to be worse after someone landed on the ankle. Dockett is one of Arizona’s best defensive players, and if he missed any time, it would regulate their defense to do not own territory (unless playing the Rams). Since he returned to the game, there should be no worries, but check back here on game day just to be safe.

Dwight Freeney, DE, Indianapolis Colts:

Freeney left the game Sunday night against Arizona with a quad injury and will have an MRI today to see what the severity of the injury may be. The thinking is it isn’t too serious since Freeney stayed in the game until it was basically out of hand. If he is unable to go, the Colts defense takes a big drop in value. Those in IDP leagues should wait and see what they say about him this week in practice before making any moves.

Shawne Merriman, LB, San Diego Chargers:

Merriman left his game after re-aggravating a groin injury and has said he may sit until the Chargers bye week in Week Five, which means he will miss the game Sunday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He hasn’t been a strong play in IDP leagues and has not helped turn the Chargers defense into a force. While he is a good player, he isn’t what he used to be on the field before his injury last year.

Cortland Finnegan, CB, Tennessee Titans:

Finnegan suffered a hamstring injury against the Jets on Sunday. There is no word on the severity of the injury and whether he may miss time. The Titans defense has been a disappointment thus far and considering the biggest reason is their secondary, this is a big blow. Watch for more on his status when it comes closer to game day.