Injury Spin Cycle: Frank Gore Fractures Hip, Placed on Injured Reserve
Gore left Monday night's game after just five rush attempts with a fractured hip and did not return. He broke off one 25-yard gain on his way to compiling 52 yards, which unfortunately will be the final yards of his 2010-11 season. The 49ers will now turn to Brian Westbrook as the lead running back heading into Week 13.
Westbrook, who entered the game with five caries for nine yards on the season, returned to the Westbrook of yesteryear rushing for 136 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries. He becomes an immediate add in all formats, but you should temper your excitement here. Westbrook isn't nearly as good of a back as Gore is, and it's worth making note of the matchup next week.
The 49ers play the Green Bay Packers who have allowed the third fewest points to opposing running backs on the season. I'd like to see what Westbrook can do against a top-rated defense before putting him in as your second running back. Pick him up, but don't necessarily slot him into your lineup for next week.
The other option here is Anthony Dixon who could get the goal-line carries in San Francisco. He's more of a deep-league add at the moment, however.
Bruce Gradkowski, Raiders - We spoke about Gradkowski's shoulder injury on Monday, but now it's just been officially announced that Jason Campbell will be the starter for the Raiders for the rest of the season. We'll have to see how this affects the running game. The Raiders will likely return to the run, if Darren McFadden and the offensive line can get back on track. Upside receivers like Jacoby Ford and Darrius Hayward-Bey get a slight decrease in value, though it is worth noting that Campbell did look for Ford deep in his Week 9 breakout game against the Chiefs. However, you shouldn't expect too much this week out of the Raiders passing attack as they line up against a Chargers defense on the road who made Peyton Manning look silly on Sunday night.
Joseph Addai, Colts - No big surprise here, but the Colts announced that Addai has been ruled out for Week 13 with a shoulder injury. The team does, however, expect to get Mike Hart back which should make for a timeshare situation in the backfield with Hart and Donald Brown. Neither should get the start as an RB2, especially given that the Colts will most assuredly turn to their bread-and-butter as often as possible -- the passing game.
Marion Barber, Cowboys - The Cowboys are holding out Barber for the next two weeks with a sore calf muscle. Felix Jones will continue to be the lead back, while Tashard Choice will get a few extra carries left over by Barber. While Jones will get most of the carries, Choice has a better chance of finding the end zone as the team's goal-line back. The best either player makes for is a low-end flex option.
Vincent Jackson, Chargers - After having an MRI on his injured calf, Jackson will miss the next two weeks with a strain. Fortunately there is no significant damage, but you probably want to move on without him. At this point in the season roster spots for injured players are tough to hold onto, especially as you gear up for the playoffs. Malcom Floyd, when healthy, will regain the No. 1 receiver spot for the Chargers.