Another week and another injury for Vikings quarterback Brett Favre. The 41-year-old veteran left early in the fourth quarter after he took a hit that opened up a laceration on his chin. The cut required eight stitches to close and he did not return to the game. Favre believes he did not suffer a concussion on the hit but will undergo testing to make sure. The busted chin is the latest injury on a laundry list of ailments for Favre that includes elbow tendinitis and two fractures in his left ankle. He expects to keep his consecutive starts streak alive and play against the Cardinals. However if you are still clinging on to Favre in the fantasy world, it is time to jump ship. He has 11 interceptions to just seven touchdowns and isn't worth the weekly headache. The shocking release of Randy Moss and an ankle injury to Percy Harvin further diminishes Favre's limited value.
Harvin twisted his left ankle early in the game against New England but returned to action after the athletic training staff retaped the joint. However he was obviously in pain after the game and hobbling around the locker room. Ankle injuries can be particularly problematic for wide receivers because the ankle joint requires stability to properly make cuts while running routes and exploding off the line of scrimmage. Even if Harvin is able to play, he is making himself susceptible to further injury. An unstable ankle joint increases the likelihood of an injury at some other part of the kinetic chain, in Harvin's case, the left lower extremity. Expect Harvin to rest the ankle throughout the week and for his availability to be come clearer closer to game-time. However Harvin's number will take a hit, as defenses will now be able to focus on the hobbled receiver since they no longer have to plan against Moss.
Breakout receiver Kenny Britt will be sidelined indefinitely with a hamstring injury. The wideout injured his right hamstring in the first quarter of the Titans' loss to the Chargers and will be reevaluated throughout the team's bye week. Coach Jeff Fisher does not feel the injury is season-ending but expects to be without Britt for an extended period of time. The Tennessee athletic training staff will aggressively treat the hamstring strain utilizing ice and heat, therapeutic ultrasound, and electrical stimulation. Each therapeutic modality is designed to control unnecessary swelling and accelerate the body's natural repair process by making it more conducive to healing. The extra time off will allow Britt to gain a head start on his rehab but it sounds like he will miss Week 10 against Miami. Nate Washington performed well in Britt's absence, catching four balls for 117 yards and touchdown and could be a decent fill-in in the coming weeks.
Michael Vick is set to return after missing three games with a cartilage injury to his ribs. Vick suffered a crack in the costal cartilages of ribs 2 and 3 near the sternum but felt "great" after practicing Monday. Vick will wear extra padding, likely a flak jacket, and vows to play smarter against the Colts. Remember the extra padding needed to protect the injury site is bulky and tends to increase a player's propensity to fumble. However Vick was a top-tier fantasy quarterback before the injury and should be plugged back into fantasy lineups. Kevin Kolb owners should stash the former starter in case Vick aggravates the injury or is surprisingly ineffective.
Vick should have his number one receiver back on the field as DeSean Jackson hopes to be cleared to return to play after suffering a concussion in Week 6. Jackson has returned to the practice field on Monday and did not display any exertion-related symptoms in limited action. Jackson has passed the team's examination but must adhere to the NFL's new concussion guidelines and be cleared by an independent neurologist. He is a game-time decision. The return of Vick and Jackson would be a huge gain for fantasy owners as the duo developed a nice connection that resulted in two long touchdowns in their two complete games together.
Green Bay's Donald Driver left fantasy owners high and dry in Week 8 after he failed to record a statistic before aggravating a quadriceps injury. He originally sustained the injury in Week 5 against the Dolphins and has failed to catch a pass in back-to-back weeks. The muscle group known as the quadriceps consists of four muscles, the rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, and vastus intermedius. These muscles work synergistically to straighten or extend the leg at the knee. The rectus femoris also plays a role in flexing or bending the hip. When injured, the athlete often experiences pain and associated limitation dependent on the severity of the strain. Driver has attempted to play through the injury but it is clearly bothering him. With a bye week looming in Week 10, I wouldn't be shocked to see the Packers hold the veteran out of their games against the Cowboys. Fantasy owners that rolled the dice in Week 8 on Driver should learn from their mistake and bench him in Week 9.
Redskin quarterback Donovan McNabb took some extra time off from practice to rest his ailing hamstrings and as result was benched in his team's recent loss to the Lions. Coach Mike Shanahan elected to play Rex Grossman in the fourth quarter because he felt the time McNabb needed to rest resulted in a decrease in his cardiovascular endurance. Exercise, like football, puts a toll on the body's muscles, increasing their need for oxygen. The heart will increases its number of beats to better handle the workload, causing an athlete's breath rate to also significantly increase. While cardio fitness is much easier to lose than gain, it is hard to believe a well-conditioned athlete like McNabb would be unable to run a two-minute drill after missing several days of practice. McNabb owners ought to be more frustrated with Shanahan's decision than with McNabb himself and should continue to start the quarterback as needed.
Jeff Stotts is a Certified Athletic Trainer, MAT, PES and the Injury Analyst for Rotowire.com. You can follow him on twitter @RotoWireATC.