Rodgers’ in­jury has rip­ple ef­fect

The Washington Times Daily - - Sports -

In a sea­son that in­creas­ingly has been de­fined by its in­juries, the big­gest name yet went down Mon­day night.

Un­like the rash of in­juries two weeks ago, Aaron Rodgers’ frac­tured col­lar­bone af­fects who plays fan­tasy foot­ball. It also sig­nif­i­cantly af­fects the Pack­ers’ play­off chances, but I’m go­ing to keep the hu­mor to a min­i­mum this week and thus will not get into that.

Rodgers was not hav­ing his typ­i­cal sea­son when the Bears’ Shea McClellin sacked him and ended his night on the first se­ries, but he’s still Aaron Rodgers. He had thrown 15 touch­downs through seven games. That’s a 34-TD pace. Now, how­ever, his sea­son is in limbo.

Rodgers has been vague about the ex­tent of the frac­ture, ex­cept to say it’s a “dif­fi­cult in­jury.”

Wish­ful thinkers con­tinue to re­port, tweet and ir­re­spon­si­bly push the nar­ra­tive that he’ll be back in three weeks. I even heard some­one on the ra­dio Tues­day night glee­fully say Rodgers had yet to be ruled out for Sun­day’s game against the Ea­gles. That guy must have Rodgers on his fan­tasy team. Even avoid­ing surgery, ev­ery­thing is go­ing to have to go right for Rodgers to be back within a month.

With Rodgers out for an un­de­ter­mined pe­riod of time, there is not a fan­tasy league in Amer­ica un­af­fected.

Just like the Pack­ers’ of­fense, fan­tasy own­ers with Rodgers on their team are go­ing to ex­pe­ri­ence a dip in pro­duc­tion. Even with Rodgers hav­ing a “medi­ocre” year, it’s un­likely the backup can fill the void. If you’re lucky enough to have Tony Romo or Matthew Stafford, good draft­ing. If not, good luck try­ing to grab Case Keenum or Nick Foles off the waiver wire.

I pre­fer Keenum over the long haul. The Tex­ans’ of­fense is more con­sis­tent than the Ea­gles’. I know Foles threw a record-ty­ing seven TDs last week, but noth­ing of the sort will ever hap­pen again. Also, Keenum seems to have re­vived the fan­tasy ca­reer of An­dre John­son, who has strug­gled for years to find the end zone.

Put it this way, each QB threw three TDs to a sin­gle re­ceiver last week. Which combo would you rather bet on: Keenum-to-John­son or Foles-toRi­ley Cooper?

With­out Rodgers, the rest of the skill play­ers on the Pack­ers be­come much less de­pend­able. As long as Seneca Wal­lace is start­ing, I wouldn’t bother start­ing of the Pack­ers’ re­ceivers. Not even Jordy Nel­son (who is guar­an­teed to catch two TDs on Sun­day now that I dissed him).

James Jones is still deal­ing with a nag­ging knee in­jury, and he has man­aged to dis­ap­pear Rodgers un­der center. I have him in two leagues, and I’m think­ing of drop­ping him in both.

Jar­rett Boykin is no longer a sleeper flex play. Drop him. He and Jones com­bined for two catches and 32 yards Mon­day night against a ter­ri­ble Bears de­fense.

Ed­die Lacy is the only vi­able starter on that of­fense right now, but he’ll be fac­ing one to two more de­fend­ers near the line of scrim­mage on ev­ery play be­cause de­fenses will be geared up to stop him. He no longer has the lux­ury of nickel-and-dime de­fenses more con­cerned with the quar­ter­back.

OK, I’ve talked enough about the Pack­ers, and I swear, I did not write this with a smile on my face.

Week 9 Lineup Crime: I went 6-0 this week, the first time I’ve done that all year. I even man­aged to win one matchup with Tom Brady and his 49 points on my bench.

Week 10 Lineup Time: Jay Cut­ler has been cleared to play, and the lat­est re­ports have him start­ing Sun­day against the Li­ons. It would be a more fa­vor­able matchup for Josh McCown, who’s com­ing off a great game against the Pack­ers. I don’t think Cut­ler is a good play in his first game back against a de­fense that forced him into four turnovers ear­lier in the year. On the other side of the ball, Reg­gie Bush should have another big game against Chicago. He had 173 to­tal yards and a TD in Week 4. … I was way off on Foles last week, but I feel con­fi­dent say­ing he will not throw nearly as many TDs this week against the Pack­ers. … Call it a hunch, but I like Mau­rice Jones-Drew’s chances against the Ti­tans. … Zac Stacy should have another big game, so keep him in your lineup for the Rams’ matchup with the Colts. … Philip Rivers should re­bound against the Bron­cos, and Keenan Allen likely will ben­e­fit.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Chicago’s Jay Cut­ler and Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers are headed in dif­fer­ent di­rec­tions this week. Cut­ler is ex­pected to start Sun­day, re­turn­ing two weeks ear­lier than ini­tially thought. But the news is not so good for Rodgers. Af­ter frac­tur­ing his col­lar­bone early in Mon­day’s loss to the Bears, he’s out in­def­i­nitely.

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