Sunday, September 6, 2009

Defensive Corner: Injury & Impact

Injury is many things: unexpected, seemingly unavoidable, and hard to watch (the Theismann injury still makes me nauseous), but most importantly injuries have the potential to alter a team's season and therefore command attention from fantasy team owners. So without anything further, here is a list of injuries and their impact on the defenses worthy of being drafted this season:

Baltimore Ravens

Ed Reed
(S): Reed did not practice on Tuesday due to a nerve impingment.
Terrell Suggs (LB): Suffered a heel injury earlier this week but according to the Baltimore Sun, was scheduled to play in the Raven’s preseason finale against the Falcons on Thursday.
Samari Rolle (CB): Will start the regular season on the Physically Unable to Perform List and will be out for at least six weeks due to a neck injury.
Ray Lewis (LB): Spotted sporting a wrapped elbow and forearm in the second half of last Saturday’s preseason game against the Panthers.

Impact: The Raven’s defense is going through a major transition this year and one of the keys to its success will be to create stability and a sense of familiarity on the field. So it doesn’t bring much comfort to see four of the most experienced and several of the most recognizable, impact players on the defense listed on the injury report prior to the start of the regular season. However, Baltimore fans and fantasy owners should not fret. In reality, aside from the injury to Samari Rolle, these injuries are not serious and any reservations the Baltimore organization may have about playing Suggs or Reed this week are more likely due precaution than the presence of an actual debilitating injury. In addition, the loss of Samari Rolle really isn’t anything new to the Ravens D : In 2007 Rolle only played a grand total of six games due to a shoulder injury and diagnosis of epilepsy and last season Rolle missed six games with a neck injury. As such the Ravens have prepared themselves for a loss at this position with the recent addition Domonique Foxworth as well as last year’s pickup in Fabian Washington. In all, given the trivial nature of the injuries to Suggs, Lewis and Reed in conjunction with the distant proximity from the start of the regular season and the ability to replace Rolle, I don’t really see any red flags in regards to either drafting or starting this defense; in fact I highly suggest you do.
New York Giants:
Antonio Pierce (LB): Foot injury but partook in individual workouts and limited team drills earlier this week.
Osi Umenyiora (DE): No technical “injury” but perhaps a big case of the cry-babies. Umenyiora stormed out of practice on Monday for which he later apologized.
Chris Canty (DE): Hamstring injury but was back in team drills early this week.
Michael Boley (LB): Hip injury but, like Canty, was also back in action early this week.

Impact: Like that of the Ravens, the list of names on this injury report are just the ones necessary to send chills down the spine of a fantasy owner, however, also like the Ravens, these injuries are not serious enough to raise any red flags. This is evidenced by the quick return to practice of these players. While there may be some alarm about injuries this early in the season, well, technically preseason, again I chalk any limitations in practice and play up to precaution and what I like to call the “breaking in” process (when bodies are adjusting back to full on contact) that is the preseason. In actuality the only “injury” listed here that concerns me is the behavior of Umenyiora. Although he is a star of the defense and the likelihood of him being benched is almost nothing, given the success of the Giant’s D last year without him, Umenyiora doesn’t have the clout necessary to become a locker room distraction without represecussion.

Washington Redskins:
Albert Haynesworth
(DT): Haynesworth was out earlier this week with a stomach ailment as at the time of this piece remained sidelined.

Impact: Haynesworth was the big name acquisition of the free agency period this year and his loss would certainly be have big implication on the morale of, not only the team, but the Redskin fans. However, unless he has contracted a case of H1N1 and is secretly an infant, pregnant woman or elderly individual, Haynesworth should bounce back in time to wreak havoc on the field by the start of the regular season.

Sidenote: Coach Jim Zorn, as per, is reportedly concerned that CB Carlos Rogers has missed too much of the preseason with a calf injury to be sufficiently prepared for the regular season but nothing concrete has been decided at the moment.

Pittsburgh Steelers:
Lawrence Timmons (LB): Timmons is hurt… again, but this time with an ankle injury. Although the Steelers have reported that X-ray’s have been negative, Timmons is listed as questionable for the opener against Tennessee.

Impact: Although his speed would be an added advantage the defense, the Steelers linebacking core is strong enough that Timmons absence will not make too big of an impact. ( On a purely personal note, this just adds fuel to my annoyance with the fact that Timmons was selected over LB Paul Posluszny (Bills) in the 2007 Draft.)


Miami Dolphins: Matt Roth (DE): May or may not be placed on the Physically Unable to Perform List.

Houston Texans: Euguene Wilson: Suffering from a cheap shot…er, I mean knee injury resulting from an illegal block thrown by Brett Favre. Wilson was reportedly “okay” following Monday’s game so this won’t be causing problems with the status of the Texan’s D.

Tennessee Titans: No major injuries sustained last week but instead the Titans got back three players ( DE Jason Jones, S Vincent Fuller and LB Stephen Tulloch) from injury.

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Alpha Beta '74 said...

Great article. Any chance we can get some gameday updates if anything changes. I don't know why, but I feel I trust you more than a lot of the other similar columns on the web.

Mike Colligan said...

Hi Alpha Beta,

It just so happens that this year on the SportsJudge Blog we are planning to feature live GameDay chats where our team will be on hand to answer your fantasy football questions. If you would like to see specific in-depth topics covered, feel free to email us beforehand at

For Week 1, we will be live from 11am to 1pm and available to answer any questions you may have. Be sure to stop by then and check back over the next few days where we have a handful of great columns lined up. We look forward to hearing from you then.

Mike Colligan
Managing Editor

fiona said...

hi, its very informative, Neck Injury , thanks

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Georgina said...

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