It’s Friday and time to put your feet up and talk about what’s interesting.
Packers running backs – Ty Montgomery suffered broken ribs and that should keep him out next week and perhaps beyond. It depends on how well he can play with pain, but ribs are especially bad for any running back. And opposing defenses will ensure to give him a little extra shoulder if he plays before it is healed. His injury allowed Jamaal Williams to get playing time.Williams only lasted for four plays before he injured his knee.
The prognosis on that should be out today. But it was a knee and it seemed at least potentially serious. That brought out Aaron Jones who was the second running back that the Packers drafted (5.39). Jones will be THE waiver wire add if both Montgomery and Williams miss time.
Williams (6-0, 212) is a north-south running back who would be the primary if he is healthy and Montgomery is not. Jones (5-9, 208) was a four-year starter at UTEP who ran for 229-1,773-17 as a senior and had 28 catches so he is a complete back from a small school. He’s worth the speculative add if either Montgomery or Williams ends up missing much time.
Packers wide receivers – Davante Adams received a brutal helmet-to-helmet hit and was stretchered from the field. Early reports were encouraging but he’s almost certain to miss one or more games. A concussion has to be a given, neck injury is a fear. Next in line will be Geronimo Allison. Randall Cobb is healthy again and should see the biggest increase while Allison also gets more playing time. Allison caught six passes for 122 yards replacing Cobb in Week 3 when he was out with a chest injury.
Corey Clement – The undrafted rookie drew interest when he ran six times for 22 yards and one score for the Eagles last week. With Darren Sproles lost for the year, the depth chart all gets a bump up. Clement had one carry each quarter and then three more in the fourth quarter including a 15-yard run for the tying score. That they would use him late in the hotly-contested game is a positive sign and he impressed on the touchdown.
Wendell Smallwood was better. He ran for 71 yards on 12 carries and will be the replacement for Sproles. He’s had limited experience as a receiver so far but the Eagles have not yet thrown much to running backs aside from the five catches for 43 yards Sproles had in the opener. Sadly both will continue to mix in along with LeGarrette Blount but Smallwood is the better fantasy hold.
Doug Martin – Just a reminder that Martin returns in Week 5 when the Bucs host the Patriots. There was nothing but positive reports about Martin in the offseason. Martin has been one of the most hot-and-cold players in the NFL and it was looking like he might be back for his third big year. But he’s been out and the GM Jason Licht said that Martin was not guaranteed a starting job when he returned. Motivation was likely the biggest reason for his statement
.Jacquizz Rodgers replaced Martin so far. But he only ran for 67 yards on 19 carries in the season opener and then 15 yards on five runs in the loss to the Vikings. This week he’ll face the stout Giants defense and won’t help. Martin should open with a good effort against the visiting Patriots.
Jay Ajayi’s backup – Ajayi initially fell in the draft since the “bone on bone” report about his knees suggested he would not have a long career in the NFL if any. Ajayi struggled as a rookie but impressed in 2016 with three 200-yard games. But his knees have already been an issue this year. He’s due to play on Sunday but has missed practices. That begs the question – where to turn if he ends up creaky knees this season?
The answer is neither simple or encouraging. Damien Williams is the primary backup and cemented that job because he was not as bad as Kenyan Drake. Williams has never averaged more than 3.7 YPC in his four-year career. Drake was a third-round pick in 2016 but only had 33 carries and nine catches.
Should Ajayi need help, it would be a committee and not a great one. But it is a situation that could happen. If either back would eventually emerge with notable fantasy value, it would probably be Drake. But that is no lock to happen either way.
Jared Goff – The first rookie drafted in 2016 received nothing but bad press as he tried to breathe life into JeffFisher’s final failed offense. But in his second year, Goff already passed for 306 yards against the Colts and tossed three touchdowns and 292 yards versus the 49ers last week. He’s been scraped off most waiver wires by now.
The reality is that Goff greatly benefitted by facing the Colts and 49ers. And there was no previous game film on him in the new offense being installed by Sean McVay. And this week – he’ll still look good. Playing in Dallas against the same secondary that allowed Trevor Siemian to throw four touchdowns and Carson Palmer ended with 325 yards last Monday by throwing almost everything to Larry Fitzgerald. But Goff has to face SEA, @JAC, ARI, @NYG, HOU and @MIN next. If you have him, trade him after this week.
And an extra point – Through Week 3, there have been 2,090 carries by a running back in the NFL. That is the fewest number of carries since the NFL went to 32 teams. It was 31 fewer than 2016 which was the previous low.