Jamal Lewis suffered a serious concussion Sunday in Cincinnati and visited a brain trauma specialist on Wednesday, said a source with knowledge of the situation.
Lewis, who previously announced this would be his last NFL season, has played his last down of football. He will retire as the 21st leading NFL rusher with 10,607 yards in 131 career games.
For all of you fantasy owners who will now have to dump Lewis, the obvious place to begin looking for a replacement should be the Browns backfield. But, who will get the majority of the carries moving forward, Jerome Harrison or Chris Jennings?
Harrison hasn't been doing much lately. He crushed Cincinnati for 121 yards back in Week 4, but has been in a downward spiral ever since -- even being place on the inactive list at times. He seemed to be having troubles with head coach Eric Mangini, but those issues were thought to be solved prior to the Browns Week 12 game against Cincinnati. But, Harrison only carried the ball twice after expecting to be involved more. It seems as Jennings has leap-frogged over Harrison on the depth chart.
Being ahead of Harrison on the depth chart isn't all roses and candy canes for Jennings. He's only carried the ball 19 times over the last three weeks for 59 yards. That's a 3.1 yards per carry average for those of you without you calculator handy, and that's not good enough to be a productive fantasy running back.
Putting Jennings' uninspiring skill set aside, he's still likely to get the first crack at being the featured back in Cleveland. And that alone means he should be signed and stashed in most leagues. He's only owned in 1% of Fleaflicker leagues, so he should definitely be available on most waiver wires.
But don't expect too much from Jennings, as he has quite a few things going against him. The biggest pitfall is that he plays for the dreadful Browns, a team with only three rushing touchdowns all season. If that's not enough to scare you away from Jennings -- remember that he's still going to share carries with Harrison and will probably lose a few touches in the backfield to Joshua Cribbs as well when they run the Wildcat.
Since I'm in a good mood, however, I will share a silver lining with you. Right around fantasy playoffs time, the Browns have two teams on their schedule that are extremely easy to run against. In Week 15 they face Kansas City and the following week they go up against Oakland.
Stashing Jennings until then to see if his matchup is better then any other running back on your fantasy roster isn't the worst idea ever..