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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Week 4 Injury Update #1
Philip Gentles
September 27, 2005

David Akers, PK, PHI
Partially Torn Hamstring

Huddle Up: Eagles kicker David Akers, who injured his right (plant leg) hamstring during Week 2, will likely miss next weekend's game and he could be out 3 - 6 weeks after re-injuring the same hamstring during Sunday's game against the Vikings. Akers was hurt during the opening kickoff sequence in which the Eagles were called for a penalty forcing him to re-kick the ball. After both kicks he fell to ground in pain and on the second occasion he had to be helped to the sideline. He later returned to kick the game-winning field goal but he didn't look good in the locker room following the contest. An MRI on his leg revealed that Akers suffered a tear in his hamstring but in a spot lower than in his original injury. Injuries of this nature can take anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks to heal but head coach Andy Reid told reporters that it is too early to tell how long Akers will be out. If Akers in unable to play in Week 4 look for Todd France to do the kicking.

Isaac Bruce, WR, STL
Sprained Toe

Huddle Up: Rams veteran WR Issac Bruce could be out a couple of weeks after hyperextending his big toe during Sunday's game against the Cardinals. Bruce was hurt during Marshall Faulk's second quarter touchdown run. He said he felt a pop in his toe when he pushed off while he ran. He had to be helped off the field and after an examination in the locker room the team's medical staff decided he was done for the day. An MRI on his injured toe reportedly revealed sprained ligaments but news on the severity of the injury has not been released to the public. Bruce said that he will be ready for Week 4 but the Rams aren't so sure. They will know more about his status later on in the week so let us just hope that he makes a quick recovery. If he can't play in Week 4 look for Kevin Curtis to get the start in his place.

Jay Fiedler, QB, NYJ
Separated Shoulder

Huddle Up: According to several published reports Jets' backup QB Jay Fiedler will miss the remainder of the season after separating his shoulder during Sunday's game against the Jaguars. Fiedler, who was in for an injured Chad Pennington, was hit while completing a pass in the fourth quarter forcing him to land awkwardly on his shoulder. Fiedler told reporters that he "felt something go" and that immediately knew that he would be unable to throw a football. Look for the Jets to make this news official over the next couple of days.

Steven Jackson, RB, STL
Bruised Ribs

Huddle Up: Rams RB Steven Jackson appears to be OK after missing parts of the second and third quarter during Sunday's game against the Cardinals because of bruised ribs. After taking a shot in the chest area in the second quarter he was replaced by Marshall Faulk and taken to the locker room for precautionary X-rays. The X-rays came back negative but he remained on the sideline for much of the third quarter. He returned just prior to the fourth quarter and he was able to finish the game without a problem. Jackson went in for treatment on his ribs on Monday and said that he may be held out of practice on Wednesday as a precaution but team officials expect him to be fine so look for him to start for the Rams in Week 4.

Donovan McNabb, QB, PHI
Abdominal Strain / Bruised Sternum / Bruised Shin

Huddle Up: Head coach Andy Reid told reporters that he is concerned about the health of QB Donovan McNabb, but he wasn't talking about McNabb's bruised chest. McNabb apparently strained his abdomen and not his groin during Week 2's win over the 49ers. So why did the team lie about his injury? Well at the time they were concerned that he might have suffered a sports hernia or a tear in the abdominal area that would require surgery. Although a sport hernia has not been ruled out McNabb was able to practice and play through the pain and the immediate plan is to allow McNabb to play as long as he can deal with the pain and discomfort. At the moment the Eagles are calling the injury a strain but Reid said that he has no intentions of keeping McNabb out at the present time. This is something worth keeping an eye on because it's an injury that he could easily aggravate. McNabb is already dealing with a bruised sternum and shin so this latest development makes things more difficult for him to deal with. He's a tough guy but you have to wonder how much more he can take before his production starts to suffer.

Chad Pennington, QB, NYJ
Torn Rotator Cuff

Huddle Up: It looks like Jets QB Chad Pennington, who had off-season surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder, will miss the remainder of the 2005 season after re-tearing the same rotator cuff during Sunday's game against the Jaguars. Pennington was hurt when he was sacked during the first series of the second half. He was replaced by backup Jay Fiedler but when Fiedler went down in the fourth quarter with an injury of his own he was actually cleared by the team's medical staff to return to the field. Pennington was able to finish the game but told reporters in the locker room that his shoulder felt similar to the way it was last year. An MRI on his injured shoulder reportedly showed torn rotator cuff muscles but the Jets have been advised that there is a chance that he may only torn scar tissue from his earlier surgery. Pennington will see a specialist today (Tuesday) and he is scheduled to undergo further examination to determine the extent of his injury but at this point things aren't looking very good. If he indeed re-tore his rotator cuff he could face additional surgery and he would definitely be out for the year. Brooks Bollinger will be the starter next weekend against the Ravens and look for the Jets to bring in a veteran QB to serve as his backup.

Ben Roethlisberger, QB, PIT
Unspecified Shoulder Injury

Huddle Up: Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger injured his right shoulder in the second quarter of Sunday's game against the Patriots. Backup Tommy Maddux warmed up on the sideline while the team's medical staff examined Roethlisberger but he wasn't needed as Big Ben was given the OK to return to the field on the next offensive series. Now the Steelers have not revealed the extent of his injury but head coach Bill Cowher doesn't believe that it is serious and he expects his starting QB to be fine when the team returns from its Week 4 bye.

Kurt Warner, QB, ARI
Strained Groin

Huddle Up: Cardinals veteran QB Kurt Warner will miss at least one week after straining his right groin during Sunday's game against the Seahawks. Warner was injured when he tried to scramble in the second quarter. He left the game for an examination but did not return and was replaced by Josh McCown who will continue to start while Warner is out. Warner was extremely sore on Monday, walked with a limp and told reporters that he felt the injury was significant but the Cardinals are remaining optimistic and they hope he returns in a couple of weeks. But with a bye coming up in Week 6 we may not see him until at least Week 7.

IDP Report

Cardinals' DL Darrell Russell will likely undergo surgery to repair a torn biceps in his left arm, a procedure that would end his season. Russell was injured in Sunday's game against the Seahawks and told reporters that his arm didn't feel too bad, but according to reports an MRI revealed a tear that will require surgery. Eagles' DL Darwin Walker will likely miss next weekend's game after suffering a quad contusion during Sunday's game against the Vikings. Walker was having difficulty walking on Monday and he will be held of practice this week while he receives treatment. He will be evaluated on a daily basis but the team doesn't expect him to be active in Week 4.

Bills' LB Takeo Spikes tore his right Achilles' tendon during Sunday's game against the Falcons and he will unfortunately miss the remainder of the season. Spikes was hurt in the second quarter while trying to tackle Falcons QB Michael Vick. He ended up face down and in obvious pain and after being attended to by the team trainers he took off his helmet and slammed it to the ground. Spikes will likely undergo surgery to repair the tear and the team expects him to make a full recovery in time for the 2006 season. 49ers' LB Julian Peterson was sidelined in the second half of Sunday's game because of a strained right hamstring and according to head coach Mike Nolan he will be limited in practice this week and he is questionable for Week 4. Dolphins' LB Junior Seau left in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game with stiffness in his calf. The team is still awaiting the results of an MRI but according to team officials they believe he suffered a minor strain and they expect him to be fine following their bye in Week 4.

Patriots' DB Rodney Harrison will miss the remainder of the season after tearing the ACL in his left knee during the first quarter of Sunday's game against the Steelers. According to reports Harrison may have suffered additional knee damage and as soon as the swelling within the joint has subsided he will undergo corrective surgery. Cardinals' rookie DB Antrell Rolle re-injured his left knee during Sunday's game against the Seahawks and his status for Week 4 remains in question. Rolle apparently injured his knee during practice last week and following the game he told reporters that he probably shouldn't have played. He will be reexamined later in the week so check back on Thursday for an update. Broncos' DB Champ Bailey strained his hamstring during Monday night's game against the Chiefs. He was injured in the first half and after limping to the sideline he did not return to the field. His status for Week 4 is unknown but he dealt with hamstring problems during training camp and the pre-season so don't be surprised if this causes him to miss a game or two. Titans' DB Andre Woolfolk dislocated his finger during Sunday's game against the Rams but the team's medical staff was able to reduce the dislocation and they expect him to be ready to play in Week 4.