Injuries that will be overlooked, but shouldn't be
Posted Aug. 03 at 10:07 PM
While most NFL fans and fantasy owners will be thinking about the how Beanie Wells and Brandon Marshall are doing, two injuries that could have far more significance to their team's playoff fortunes will likely be overlooked.
They're not household names, even among most fantasy owners, but Philadelphia's Stewart Bradley and Carolina's Maake Kemoeatu were lost for the season in the last two days, and that will almost certainly affect those team's fortunes -- both in NFL terms, and fantasy ones.
Bradley, Philadelphia's starting middle linebacker, was the team's leading tackler last year. He'll reportedly be sidelined for the season after tearing his ACL. His likely replacement, Omar Gaither, has played two linebacker positions and should be serviceable, but he was also benched last season for Akeem Jordan. Another possibility is the recently signed Matt Wilhelm, released by the Chargers this offseason. Either way, it's a blow to this defense.
Kemoeatu, who tore his Achilles tendon yesterday, might be even more important to his team. He's Carolina's key run-stuffing defensive tackle, and the Panthers might not have an adequate replacement on the roster. Players of that caliber aren't generally available in August, either.
Those losses, of course, could have a ripple effect across the team. The team defenses will likely be worse. Top IDP options like Carolina linebackers Jon Beason and Thomas Davis might be less effective. And lesser defenses could mean the offenses for those teams get less opportunities on the field each game.
You'll hear a lot more about how Tom Brady's surgically repaired knee is doing in the next month, but we'll be keeping an eye on how the replacements for Bradley and Kemoeatu are doing. The fortunes of two 2008 playoff teams will depend on them.
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