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Green Zone League Articles

Injury Report Week 8
By Garth Pearce
Special to gzl-football.com

A few notable additions this week with the average injury length picking up in duration from previous weeks, meaning a few teams are getting mid-to-long term roster issues that won't be solved by IR easily.

The most impactful injury this week is felt by a resurgent Cowboys outfit who are now without their engine room of Felix Jones for 10 weeks. Jones was fairly quiet in the Romo golden years but has charged back to his best with Stanzi/Wilson behind center and is a big part of their divisional leading 5-3 record. I can't see Chris Ivory filling this void with the same amount of success, especially considering his poor form to date looking after the ball (and inability to get into the endzone from almost 100 carries). The pressure now rises on Tyler Wilson and Ricky Stanzi in the passing game which will challenge them to the extreme and I can only see the Cowboys slipping from this point.

Losing your best corner for 8 weeks will sting, especially when you're owning the 6th best defence in the league. The absence of the 6'0" Prince Amukamara will be felt as they'll now need rookie D.J. Hayden to step up and own the start whilst he gets support from 5'9" Javier Arenas or 3rd round rookie Jermaine Evans. The skill drop from Prince is significant and I wouldn't be surprised to see the effectiveness of this secondary take a huge hit and give up more yards and more points in short order.

He was Brady's heir apparent, then came Sanchez. He had a shot in Denver but Christensen won that. Then he was back in New England to backup Sanchez before finally getting a starting gig with the team that drafted him in week 5. After 2 and a bit games at the helm, Ryan Mallett is relegated to the bench once again for at least 3 weeks with a sprained elbow. This means his fellow long time backup Brian Hoyer (who has had a similar journey to Mallett) will be called upon to start under center. He has similar abilities to Mallett if not quite to the same level of physical prowess and hasn't shown quite the same poise as a passer this year when called upon. I can't see the Pats hanging in there with the Bills for the division under Hoyer's leadership and they'll likely lose a few games more regularly if he keeps turning the ball over and can't score.

It must be goal line sets that bring out RE Frank Price as he's sitting behind Jones and Heyward on the depth chart. Anyway this backup is out for 3 weeks with a sprained elbow. Don't expect the defense to drop off in his absence, unless you're expecting a lot of goal line sets.

Another Bear is down and this time it's the return specialist Chris Lowrie who feels the pain. Well not sure how much he's feeling with a mild concussion but he'll be out for two weeks and someone else will have the return duties. Cedric Peerman is the likely candidate to return to this role and apart from his low number of career TD returns he can give the same production as Lowrie.

DeAndre Brown is a probable starter for this week after his PCL strain. With the solid target he's given Big Ben (6 TD's, 0 drops from 30 receptions) they would miss his big frame if he fails to make match fitness, and with Mendenhall still questionable it would be a huge blow to an already depleted Steelers' offense.
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