It’s that time again. Time for your daily dose of tears, cheers, and other such emotions that lead to loud noises and possibly vengeful outbursts.
We’ll keep updating this post with reaction to the notable or surprising early game actives/inactives, and so far there are few that fall under either category, although the handful we have are pretty significant.
Trent Richardson (ribs): The most questionable of all the questionables throughout the week, T-Rich will play through his rib injury. While that’s splendid, it means an RB who’s at less than full health will be running against the league’s second-ranked run defense, with the Chargers one of only three teams allowing less than 80 yards on the ground per game.
Donald Brown (knee): After missing two games, Brown will play today, but only in a limited capacity as he’ll be Vick Ballard’s backup. Those planning to flex Ballard in an appealing matchup against Tennessee can still do so with confidence, but next week Brown should slide back into his starting role.
Wes Welker (ankle): Welker was limited Wednesday and Thursday, but I didn’t really take that status seriously, mostly because Belichick. But for those who did, he’s fine, and he could and should see even more work today with Cortland Finnegan and Janoris Jenkins taking away Brandon Lloyd deep, and with Aaron Hernandez sitting out.
Brandon Lloyd (knee): Oh and about Lloyd, he’s active too, and so is Rob Gronkowski after they were both limited throughout the week. As a child Bill Belichick was handed an injury report for Christmas. Best. Gift. Ever.
Jordy Nelson (hamstring): As expected, Nelson will sit today, causing especially searing pain for his owners due to the pin cushion Jaguars secondary he was set to face. Aaron Rodgers owners need to be concerned with both Nelson and Greg Jennings out, but only mildly. James Jones has stepped up nicely in Jennings’ absence and will continue to do so, and there’s been a growing connection between the Packers quarterback and Randall Cobb. That will grow further today, and Rodgers should still easily be able to take advantage of a great matchup. Jermichael Finley owners may benefit the most from the black plague that’s struck the Packers’ wideouts, with the tight end getting a few more targets and opportunities than usual.
Logan Mankins (hip): Mankins will miss his second straight game due to a hip injury, leaving Tom Brady without his Pro Bowl guard. Last week Brady was only sacked once, but that was against a weak Jets pass rush. The absence of Mankins could become glaring and troublesome today against a Rams front seven that has 21 sacks (tied for fifth).
Braylon Edwards (knee): A surprise inactive due to both a surprise injury and the fact that he’s still Braylon Edwards, the Seahawks receiver wasn’t listed on the injury report at all this week. However, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reports that he woke up this morning with a stiff knee. Suddenly Golden Tate is a much better deep league flex option.