NFL Week One Injury Impact: Breaks, Bumps, and Bruises Hurting Fantasy Teams

Michael WhooleySenior Writer ISeptember 16, 2009

CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 13:  Quarterback Donovan McNabb #5 of the Philadelphia Eagles lays on the ground after injuring his knee in the second half of their NFL season opener against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on September 13, 2009 in Charlotte, North Carolina. McNabb did not return to the game. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Doesn't it seem like almost every week in the NFL, someone from your favorite team comes away with an injury that puts him on the injury report?

The same thing can be said with your fantasy football team, as injuries to some of your guys force you to look to your bench earlier than you thought. Time to see which injuries from Week One have the potential to make the biggest impact in the fantasy football world.

Donovan McNabb, QB, Philadelphia Eagles

McNabb suffered a cracked rib against the Carolina Panthers that could sideline him this week against the New Orleans Saints. Right now, you need to have a backup QB ready because in all likelihood, McNabb won’t be playing.

Not only is this week a concern for McNabb owners, but with the news of offensive lineman Shawn Andrews landing on the IR plus Michael Vick coming back in Week Three, McNabb could be losing snaps at times.

Sure he is a good quarterback, but with broken ribs, the return of Vick and the loss of one of his best offensive lineman, things aren’t looking so bright for McNabb owners.

Anthony Gonzalez, WR, Indianapolis Colts

Gonzalez strained a ligament in his left knee during the first quarter of the Colts game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The prognosis is for him to miss two to six weeks. While two weeks is being extremely optimistic, your best bet is to expect the latter.

The Colts will not rush him back onto the field under any circumstance and will try to break in less experienced options, Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon.

Tony Romo, QB, Dallas Cowboys

An MRI showed Romo does not have a high ankle sprain and should be good to go next week against the New York Giants. Romo looked very good behind center but was playing a weak Tampa Bay Buccaneers team.

Expect a tougher outing for Romo this week but the ankle shouldn’t be cause for concern.

LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, San Diego Chargers

Tomlinson was not on the field for the Chargers final drive of the game due to a sprained ankle. LT says he could have played if needed but was starting to tighten up as the game went on. Not sure the injury is a concern as much as his playing time.

Darren Sproles took a lot of his snaps in the game and was featured a lot more in catching balls out of the backfield, something Tomlinson did well in years past.

No need to worry over an injury here, but do be concerned the Chargers may hold him back to have him rested for later in the year.

Troy Polamalu, S, Pittsburgh Steelers

Polamalu may be one of the best safeties in the game, making unbelievable plays every week. Good news is he will not need surgery on his left knee and will miss anywhere in the time frame of three to six weeks. This is a big loss in IDP leagues, as he is always making big plays.

Anyone owning the Steelers Defense should not worry, though. Pittsburgh should have linebacker Lawrence Timmons on the field this week, which means defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau will have more flexibility in his blitz packages to compensate for the loss of Polamalu.

Expect Polamalu to be out over a month, as the Steelers won’t try to rush him back. It should be noted though, the USC grad is a fast healer.

Brian Urlacher, LB, Chicago Bears

What a blow to the Bears defense. They lose their leader in the middle of their defense, the guy who makes all the calls and lines everyone up in the right spots. While people in Individual Defensive Player leagues will miss his 100 tackles, his sack numbers dropped off last year. The Bears defense will take the biggest hit though, as they will struggle with assignments and likely blow a lot of easy plays. Monitor how they do in the coming weeks, but fantasy football owners shouldn’t expect what was originally thought from this team defense.

Antonio Bryant, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bryant returned to the field after having offseason surgery to his knee. He played a little over a half in the opener before shutting it down, which raises concerns among fantasy football owners.

Bryant said it was simply due to not playing in a game on his reconstructed knee and he will be fine for Week Two. Since there is no evidence of it being anything else, you must take him at his word for now and hope this is the case.

Hakeem Nicks, WR, New York Giants

Nicks played decently in his first NFL game for the Giants, as he was targeted four times and caught two passes for 18 yards. Now he has a couple weeks to reflect on his day. Nicks will be out two to three weeks with a sprained left foot, costing him a chance to continue his growth in the offense and become a good second half fantasy football receiver.

While you may not care about this injury, it is the type that could linger well into the season and for a guy who could have had an impact during your playoff fantasy stretch, it doesn’t seem like that impact may happen now.         

Anquan Boldin, WR, Arizona Cardinals

Boldin played on Sunday but was not effective, with two grabs for 19 yards. While his hamstring seems to be sore, it is believed he did not suffer any setback and should be fine for this coming week.

Boldin is a tough, hard-nosed football player who tends to play with injury. Don’t expect him to miss time unless something happens in practice this week.

Steve Breaston, WR, Arizona Cardinals

It was a shock to see Breaston not play in Week One with his right knee injury, as he practiced all week. The Cardinals held him out for precautionary reasons but he should be good to go this week with another week of practice.

Don’t hesitate to throw him into your lineup as a WR3 or Flex play in Week Two as the Cardinals have a favorable matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars. 

For more Fantasy Football insight and advice, please click here.

*This article written by BRUNO BOY GREG WARNOCK.


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