By Nick Weimer
It’s another week, and another edition of “Good News, Bad News”! Injury expert Nick Weimer here again with all the injury news you need in Week 2, to help you set the best lineup and dominate your competition. Bang-ups, bruises, bone breaks and more, I cover them all to help you get a leg up on the competition. Without further ado, let’s get to the injury update!
Reggie Bush — RB, DET
Bush did not leave his impressive 2013 debut unscathed. Although Bush notched 191 total yards and a receiving touchdown, he suffered a dislocated thumb and groin injury this past Sunday. Bush’s thumb injury was to his CMC ligament, which keeps the thumb in position against the palm. He has said that after the injury, his thumb was pointing in the opposite direction. It was popped back into place, taped, and Bush returned to the game, making sure to carry the ball with the other hand. The pain should subside soon, and heal in two weeks for this injury. On the next series, however, he strained his groin. Bush fully participated in Thursday’s practice and is Probable for the Week 2 game against the Arizona Cardinals. Proceed with caution, but he has high fantasy upside and is ranked 9th among RB’s for Week 2 by our staff.
Tony Romo — QB, DAL
The Cowboys’ signal caller took a shot to the midsection in the first half of Sunday night’s game. He was forced to leave the game, but then returned to play the entire second half. The X-Rays of his ribs on Monday morning were negative. Romo was a full participant in practice on Thursday and will be Probable for Sunday. Expect that Romo plays and this injury should be nothing more than a few days of soreness throughout this week. Remember that he played through the injury after it occurred. Play Romo as you would.
Morris Claiborne — CB, DAL
Claiborne is going to play on Sunday again the Chiefs despite dislocating his shoulder in Sunday night’s game against the Giants. He returned to the game with a shoulder brace, but likely felt the residual effects from the injury the following day. This type of injury is one to be concerned with because the shoulder is now more likely to dislocate a second time. With popping his shoulder out, the labrum was stretched and will need proper time to heal (at least a week, maybe two). The brace he will wear in Week 2 will certainly help prevent another dislocation, but how limited his play will be as a result of the brace is yet to be seen. Claiborne is Probable and expected to play this week.
Jamaal Charles — RB, KC
Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles had his thigh stepped on in Week 1, which has given rise to quadriceps pain throughout the week. Charles is Probable, but was limited in practice on Thursday. This injury is a situation to monitor because a muscle strain can become a nagging injury if not given time to fully heal. You should start Charles and not be too concerned with this injury at this time. The only way it would cause Charles to miss time is if he reinjures the area.
Daryl Richardson — RB, STL
Richardson will be Probable for Sunday’s contest against the Falcons. He was limited in practice on Thursday. Isaiah Pead also returns from suspension for the Rams this week, so monitor their Friday practice reports carefully. Richardson still appears to head the backfield, and we rank him accordingly among RB’s for Week 2.
Dez Bryant — WR, DAL
Bryant appeared to have rolled his ankle in Sunday night’s contest. He fully participated in practice and is Probable for Sunday against the Chiefs. He may not be at full speed, but is too valuable to bench.
Larry Fitzgerald — WR, ARI
Fitzgerald is listed as questionable with a hamstring injury, and the Cardinals signed WR Kerry Taylor off the practice squad as insurance in case Fitz can’t go. He was limited in practice, but with the late start it’s hard to trust Fitz unless you have another option starting in the late games.
Rashard Mendenhall — RB, ARI
Unlike his teammate, Larry Fitzgerald, Mendenhall is still Probable for Week 2 with a hamstring injury. This will most likely be a game time decision, but he is expected to play.
Jermichael Finley — TE, GB
Finley is Probable this Sunday with a toe injury. The extent of the injury remained inside the locker room, but we understand that it is not serious.
Roddy White — WR, ATL
White has actually been battling a high ankle sprain as opposed to a low ankle sprain, which was our previous diagnosis. The sprain came in a Falcons preseason game on August 15th, and false reports of a low sprain had many fantasy owners mistakenly unconcerned.
The difference between a high ankle sprain and a low ankle sprain is important to understanding why many athletes with low ankle sprains are able to return to playing form in less time. In a low ankle sprain, which is also known as ‘rolling an ankle’, the ligament that holds the lower leg’s outer bone (fibula) and superior foot bone (talus) is stretched/partially torn. This can cause swelling, but within 1-2 weeks of rest (for both minor and mediocre sprains) and/or an ankle brace to support the ligament, the athlete is back to playing form. However, in a high ankle sprain, the ligament that holds the two bones of the lower leg (fibula and tibia) together is stretched/partially torn. With each natural step, the bones of the lower leg experience an net outward force, so that the ligament between them has to pull in the opposite direction (inward). Therefore, the stretched ligament in a high ankle sprain pain can be felt with every step, and there is not a brace to combat this type of sprain.
White is Questionable for Sunday and did not participate in practice on Thursday. The Falcons will most likely limit the number of snaps White sees in the game. Also, it appeared last week that the injury was still affecting his play, so we advise to find another option for at least another week (including teammate Harry Douglas, who performed well in his stead in Week 1).
Vick Ballard — RB, IND
Ballard is Out for the season with a torn ACL in his right knee. In effect, RB Ahmad Bradshaw is the atop the depth chart for the Colts and figures to get around 15 carries per game (he received 7 in Week 1). The Colts take on the Dolphins this week at Miami without Ballard.
Maurkice Pouncey — C, PIT
Pouncey tore his ACL and MCL in Week 1. He is Out for the season. This is a costly loss to an already shaky offensive line, and it will affect all Steelers’ running backs.
LaRod Stephens-Howling — RB, PIT
The Steelers RB and kick returner is Out for the season with a torn ACL.
Larry Foote — LB, PIT
To make matters worse for Pittsburgh this week, Foote tore his bicep last Sunday and is Out for the season. This detracts from an already-ailing, formerly elite defense/special teams unit.