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Fantasy Football 2011 Injury Report: Week 9

SUMMARY: As we head into week 9, injuries mount but teams are withholding specifics, making it hard for FF owners to build reliable teams. Look for Julio Jones to return, but exercise caution on Peyton Hillis, Darren McFadden, Willis McGahee, and Sam Bradford.
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Tampa Bay RB LeGarrette Blount should be ready to go this week following his week 8 bye. With RB Earnest Graham out for the season, expect Blount to get an even greater share of the workload, including third downs and passing situations.

Arizona Cardinals RB Beanie Wells seems to be a regular on our injury reports. This week he’s struggling with a sore right knee. This dates back to week 7 and, though his status is unknown, we expect him to play on Sunday. This is basically the same issue he was dealing with last week and, once again, it comes down to how well the team is able to manage the swelling and inflammation. Watch for reports from Friday’s practice, as they will give the best indicators of his readiness. He surprised us last Sunday, so we’re not going to bet against him this week.

San Diego RB Ryan Matthews suffered a groin injury in Monday night’s loss to the Chiefs. Add this to a long list of nagging injuries for Matthews. This is another injury of unknown severity, so it’s important to monitor the practice reports. Sources are indicating that he is sub 50/50 to start but it’s a close call. Players often come back quickly from lesser groin injuries and they seem less susceptible to aggravation (as compared, for example, to hamstrings) but little is known about this particular case. RB Mike Tolbert sat out week 8, but is expected to return to action this week and should see a major uptick in workload.

RB Peyton Hillis, of the Indianapolis Colts, suffered a hamstring injury during the first half of the team’s week 6 loss to the Oakland Raiders. There was speculation that he would start last week but, once again, owners found him on the sidelines in street clothes. This week brings more uncertainty. He participated in the Wednesday morning walk-through, but he did not participate in any drills. Little is known about the severity of this injury, but his recovery has encountered a couple of setbacks over the last few weeks, so expect the Browns to be cautious with him during the week. Nonetheless, the best approach here is to look at the reports coming out Friday and Saturday to see if he participates in practices. If he does go, he should get a decent workload, splitting time with Chris Ogbannaya. RB Montario Hardesty has been ruled out with a muscle injury. As we said last week, we expect a major improvement from Hillis if he can get healthy. He has been banged up much of this year and he is coming up on free agency. With Hardesty out for at least a couple weeks (likely more), Hillis should get his opportunities.

Dallas Cowboy’s RB Felix Jones suffered a high ankle sprain in the team’s week 6 loss to the Patriots. A high ankle sprain is caused when the lower leg and foot twist out. These sprains take much longer to heal (typically 3 to 6 weeks). We predicted that Jones would miss roughly three weeks of action, which would put him on the field this week at the earliest. He is listed as day-to-day but, even if he returns, we expect him to share carries or even back up Demarco Murray, who has been strong during his absence.

New York Giant’s RB Ahmad Bradshaw is suffering from inflammation of the foot. The injury involves some pain and a reduced range of motion but should not keep him off the field on Sunday. Be advised, however, that Bradshaw is not practicing this week—so be sure to check team reports from later in the week to be sure there is not more to this story.

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