By Bryan Jeon
NFL Injury Report:
Steven Jackson (RB) St. Louis – Out at least one week, probably several, with a tear of his groin. Rookie Brian Leonard is going to fill the big shoes this week for the Rams, finishing Sunday’s game with 4 carries on 21 yards. He’s worthy of a fantasy pickup despite the Rams’ 0-3 start, Marc Bulger playing with two broken ribs and 60% of the starting offensive line missing.
Rudi Johnson (RB) Cincinnati – Johnson will miss Monday Night Football against the New England Patriots with a strained hamstring. Kenny Watson can make for a good fill-in back for the week, as he’ll get at least 20 touches against a tough NE defense.
Deuce McAllister (RB) New Orleans – McAllister is out for the year with a torn left ACL in Monday’s loss to the Tennessee Titans. That means Reggie Bush‘s fantasy value should only increase with the loss of the Saints’ two-back tandem. Bush scored twice from 1-yard out with Deuce knocked out of the game so the rushing touchdowns should pour in as well.
Josh McCown (QB) Oakland – Hopefully, McCown wasn’t on anyone’s roster, but the injury here opens the door for Daunte Culpepper‘s starting debut for the Raiders. And what timing, as he’ll face the Miami Dolphins, the team who released him just a couple of months ago. McCown’s out for several weeks with a broken big toe so watch Daunte’s performance this week to see if he’s fantasy-worthy again.
Vernand Morency (RB) Green Bay – Morency will make his season debut, coming from a knee injury that’s kept him out all year, for Green Bay. The undefeated Packers have been absolutely abysmal with the run, averaging a league-worst 57.0 YPG. Morency, who was the projected starter ahead of Ahman Green before Green got traded to the Houston Texans, should jump in and get a number of carries quickly, as Brandon Jackson is out and DeShawn Wynn is expected to remain the backup. Don’t expect much from this first game, though, as the Vikings have not given up a 100-yard rushing game yet.
Hines Ward (WR) Pittsburgh – The tough Ward will miss Sunday’s game against Arizona with a sprained knee. Nate Washington will replace Ward and can make for a decent third receiver this week if one of your regular starters are on bye.
Javon Walker (WR) Denver – Despite Walker claiming he will play on Sunday, reports don’t look good about his knee. The Broncos’ main receiver has had a solid start to the season, but look for a replacement this week, as Brandon Stokley looks to start and make a good bye starter.