Will Carroll offers up his injury assessments over at Si.com. Amongst those players everyone is worrying about is Clinton Portis of the Washington Redskins, Steven Jackson of the St. Louis Rams, Reggie Bush of the New Orleans Saints, Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Frank Gore of the San Francisco 49ers. Of these, only Roethlisberger and Frank Gore appear to be starting and slated for their regular workloads.
Ben Roethlisberger has been replaced mid-game by Byron Leftwich. This is disconcerting enough to override the favorable match-up Big Ben has against a weak San Diego Chargers pass defenses. I can see sitting Roethlisberger in favor of Tyler Thigpen. Just keep in mind this is a decision based on the risk of not receiving four quarters of production from Big Ben versus four quarters of another QB.
Frank Gore is the type of decision that worries fantasy football owners all day. Following a 99-yard effort, Gore was expected to produce strongly against a pee-poor St. Louis Rams' defense. Then Gore tells the press he is suffering from a concussion as a result of his failure to score a TD from one yard out at the end of Monday night's loss to Arizona. A couple days later, his head coach Mike Singletary refutes Gore's self-assessment. Gore is again ready to play.
Just as a lawyer says something in front of a jury that the judge instructs the jury to ignore and it can't, fantasy owners cannot forget what Gore said. Now we worry that Gore will take a hard hit and be lost for the game. I am sticking with Gore despite the option of starting Steve Slaton or Ladell Betts.
RB Earnest Graham, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The recent activation of RB Cadillac Williams doesn't worry me in the slightest. He was activated from the PUP because the Bucs didn't want to be compelled to place him on IR and lose him for the season. Graham's knee and the presence of RB Warrick Dunn are the issues with Graham. After a season's worth of splitting carries with Dunn, I'm sitting Graham if another viable option exists. For me, "viable" means Kevin Smith of the Detroit Lions. Even Ladell Betts or Peyton Hillis would quailify.
RB Willie Parker, Pittsburgh Steelers: Fast Willie is playing with a torn labrum in his shoulder. Following his earlier knee injury and the broken leg from 2007, FWP appears to be injury-riddled and a seeming sit this week. However, WR Chad Johnson has played all season with a similar injury and has been relaitvely productive all things considered. I'd start Willie Parker as a RB2 with the understanding he may lose 25% of his touches to Mewelde Moore. If for some reason he is slotting as your RB1, then start him without concern for his injury or touches.