Adrian Peterson is at less than 100 percent entering Week 12. Here’s the latest injury-related information on the reigning MVP and a few other fantasy-relevant running backs.
Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers
Peterson’s sore groin was clearly an issue for him last week against Seattle. He got 21 carries, but only gained 65 yards with a long rush of 13 yards. The Vikings have gone with rest to try and get Peterson back to 100 percent and he is listed as Questionable to face the Packers. Peterson has said he intends to play, but there’s nothing wrong with checking his status before the 1 p.m. ET kickoff just to be sure. If he does play, don’t be surprised if it’s not a vintage “All Day” performance. Besides the sore groin, he’s also facing a Green Bay rushing defense that’s allowed just three 100-yard games to running backs all season.
Ben Tate, RB, Houston Texans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
No one can doubt Tate’s toughness. Already playing with broken ribs, Tate also is dealing with ankle and toe injuries. Despite this trifecta of maladies, Tate is listed as Probable and will take his shot at the league’s worst rushing defense (139.1 ypg). If not for his injuries, Tate would be a RB1 this week. As it is, Tate is a legitimate RB2 and should be in your lineup.
Trent Richardson, RB, Indianapolis Colts at Arizona Cardinals
Richardson is Questionable with a calf injury, but head coach Chuck Pagano said he feels pretty good about T-Rich’s chances of playing. That said, this could be just the “excuse” Richardson owners have been waiting for to finally bench him without any twinge of remorse (or guilt). T-Rich has been T-errible this season, regardless of which uniform he’s been in, and Donald Brown has just about replaced Richardson as the Colts’ primary back. Richardson may have a bright future, but his 2013 fantasy season is pretty much done.
Joique Bell, RB, Detroit Lions vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Bell got the call at running back last week following a Reggie Bush fumble. Bell was getting the job done against Pittsburgh (9 att., 49 yds., TD), but he had to leave the game because of an Achilles injury. He was a full participant in practice on Friday, but is considered Questionable to play today. His injury is believed to be tendinitis, so it’s definitely possible that he could be out there. Bell was a fairly dependable flex option early in the season, but that was before Bush started seeing the vast majority of the touches. The only reason Bell was so busy last week was because the coaching staff wanted to send a message to Bush following the fumble. There’s no reason to believe that Bush has lost his job as the No. 1 back, especially with Bell at less than 100 percent. Bell is a risky play this week, even as a flex, and probably should be avoided all together.
Brandon Jacobs, RB, New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys
After missing the previous three games with a hamstring injury, Jacobs returned last week against Green Bay and contributed nine yards and a touchdown on five carries. He’s Questionable again this week, this time with a knee injury, but is expected to play against Dallas. Andre Brown is the Giants’ bell-cow back now, so if you want to chase a potential short-yardage touchdown with Jacobs you go right ahead.
Already Ruled Out (Again)
Darren McFadden, RB, Oakland Raiders – McFadden is reportedly making progress with his hamstring injury, but not enough to return to the field. He will miss a third straight game, giving Rashad Jennings another opportunity. Jennings has gone over 100 yards rushing in two of his past three games, including 150 and a touchdown last week against Houston. The Raiders host the Titans, who are allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to running backs. The matchup is enough to put Jennings into the RB2 category.