By Abby Sims
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Fantasy teams are as difficult to manage as the real ones this NFL season. Of the 32 teams, 12 of them have injured quarterbacks, three of whom are likely out for the season. The only odds that seem pretty good are that each week at least two quarterbacks will stagger or fall.
Peyton Manning (Colts) should probably consider shutting it down permanently after his third neck surgery, and Matt Cassel (Chiefs) just had surgery to address a “serious injury” to his throwing hand, suffered last week. Though many reports have team management hoping Cassel will make a miraculous recovery and return this season, it isn’t likely. The specific nature of his injury remains a mystery to me, as reports are vague.
With a bye in Week 11, the Texans are simply listing Matt Schaub as out for Week 12. Schaub was diagnosed with a Lisfranc Injury and, though surgery seems probable, even if it is avoided, Schaub clearly won’t be back this year.
Other starting QBs not practicing this week include: Michael Vick (Eagles), resting the cracked ribs he played with for most of last Sunday’s contest, and Jason Campbell (Raiders), out since leaving the game on 10/16 with a fractured clavicle (collarbone).
Those who participated in limited practice and are listed as questionable for this weekend include: Tarvaris Jackson (Seahawks) who’s been hampered since exiting a game on 10/9 with a torn pectoral muscle, and Kevin Kolb (Cardinals), who hasn’t played since sustaining a turf toe injury on October 30th.
Able to rest his newly fractured thumb with a bye this week, Ben Roethlisberger (Steelers), is probable for Week 12 after taking part in practice. Also likely ailing, though taking part in full practices and listed as probable for Week 11, is Sam Bradford (Rams), who suffered a high ankle sprain on 10/16.
Matthew Stafford (Lions) played last week with a fractured index finger in his throwing hand, an injury sustained in the game the week prior. The injury clearly limited Stafford’s effectiveness, yet he too is probable for Week 11.
Rookie Christian Ponder (Vikings), took a beating in a big Monday night loss this week and, despite the need for x-rays of his left hand, is also reportedly likely to start.
Finally, Josh Freeman (Bucs), who like Stafford, played with an injury (thumb) is again likely to play in Week 11. Both Ponder and Freeman threw a lot of interceptions last week, so for all the macho of the league, playing hurt doesn’t seem to be paying big dividends – for the injured players, the teams or for fantasy enthusiasts.
Many QBs on the current injury report made earlier appearances on the list this season with other ailments, as did some of their back-ups. It is likely that these injuries remain somewhat of an issue, though to a lesser extent (Stafford’s ankle, Schaub’s hip, Romo’s rib, Vick’s other fractured ribs, Bradford’s finger amongst them).
Exposed in the quarterback shuffle and in the push for starters to play through significant injury is the thinness of the rank at the QB position. How effective will the walking wounded be on Sunday?
Follow Abby on Twitter @abcsims
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