Injuries are mounting as the NFL season nears the two-thirds mark. A slew of strained hamstrings, sprained ankles and torn ACLs has begun to really test the depth of each team affected.
Injury problems are unavoidable in the NFL; it's not avoiding them that opens the door for success, it's adjusting to them that allows the best teams to rise to the top. In an ultra-competitive league, with only 16 opportunities to separate yourself from your opponents, having ready and capable backups is essential.
Which super subs are ready to save the day for their teams this in Week 10?
Chris Ogbonnaya, Cleveland Browns RB
Simple addition spells out why the lightly-used Ogbonnaya is poised for a big game: No Peyton Hills, plus no Montario Hardesty, plus the 32nd-ranked Rams' run defense, plus the revenge of carving up the team that drafted you equals plenty of motivation and opportunity to explode.
Ogbonnaya has never had a better chance to prove he can succeed in the NFL. In three years, he's amassed just 41 carries and 136 yards. Now he finds himself in a starting role against a really bad defense.
With Hillis and Hardesty on the mend, there's no better time for Ogbonnaya to impress head coach Pat Shurmur than right now.
Roy Helu, Washington Redskins RB
This announcement might be a few weeks late, given the rookie's strong play with limited opportunity. Last week, Helu set the Washington franchise record with 14 receptions against the stout 49er defense, showing his versatility in the pass game and ability to impact a game in general.
Which back will have a better game in Week 10?
This week, the Shanahan running back carousel continues to spin at full speed, as Ryan Torain, the starter since Tim Hightower's ACL injury, will back up Helu.
Enjoy Helu while you can, because Shanahan is liable to turn back to Torain or the newly-acquired Tashard Choice at any second.
Vincent Brown, San Diego Chargers WR
As long as Malcom Floyd is slowed by a hip ailment, San Diego State rookie Vincent Brown should enjoy plenty of one-on-one coverage. Against the porous Oakland pass defense and with Philip Rivers showing signs of life for the first time all season, that is a very favorable spot to be in. Brown impressed last week against the Packers with four catches for 79 yards opposite the unstoppable Vincent Jackson.
Thursday night, slowing the Rivers-Jackson and Rivers-Antonio Gates combos will be top priorities for Raiders coach Hue Jackson, which leaves Ryan Mathews and Brown with a lot of potential chances to connect with Rivers.
Don't be surprised if you hear Brown's name called frequently on Thursday night as the Chargers look to build momentum in their passing game, which has been stagnant all season.