Playing hurt is just part of life in the NFL. These running backs are dealing with different injuries and ailments. Can you count on them in Week 6?
C.J. Spiller, RB, Buffalo Bills vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Spiller’s status was somewhat in doubt for Week 5 against Cleveland, as he was dealing with an ankle injury that kept him from practicing and the Bills had to deal with the short turnaround that comes with playing on a Thursday. Spiller did suit up, and he produced his longest run of the year, a 56-yard TD scamper, in the loss. He also was held to just eight carries and once again was limited in practice this week. He is Questionable to face the Bengals, although head coach Doug Marrone said his back was making better progress this week compared to last week. The Bengals figure to be a tough matchup, but as Spiller showed last week, he is still capable of doing some damage, even if he’s not 100 percent. I would wait as long as you possibly can, but unless his status changes prior to kickoff, I would keep Spiller in my lineup.
Arian Foster and Ben Tate, RBs, Houston Texans vs. St. Louis Rams
Foster (right) has been dealing with some sort of injury since OTAs back in May and that trend has carried over to the regular season. His thumb and chest have been bothering him for the past few weeks, and these issues have limited him during practice. However, the All-Pro is Probable for today’s game and it would be surprising if he wasn’t out there against the Rams. Foster, of course is a must-start whenever he plays, and in a matchup like this his backup, Ben Tate, is definitely in the flex discussion. Tate, who has been dealing with an elbow injury, has seen at least seven carries in each game. Today, the Texans get a Rams rushing defense that has allowed more than 126 yards on the ground per game. Given Matt Schaub’s interception woes, it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Texans run the ball between 40-50 times today.
Bernard Pierce, RB, Baltimore Ravens vs. Green Bay Packers
Pierce has a thigh injury which has limited him in practice this week. Even though he is Questionable, he should play considering he and Ray Rice are the only running backs on the Ravens’ roster. Pierce is one of the more appealing handcuff options out there and he has already had to fill in for Rice because of injury. However, Rice saw a season-high 33 touches last week and I would expect more of the same against the Packers today. Pierce is still worth rostering, especially if you own Rice, but he probably won’t get enough touches to even merit flex consideration for the time being.
Zac Stacy, RB, St. Louis Rams at Houston Texans
The Rams have struggled to run the ball to start the season, but Stacy turned in a respectable performance last week against Jacksonville. The rookie, a fifth-round pick, got his first career start and finished it with 78 yards rushing on 14 carries (5.6 ypc), which is the most by any Ram this season. Stacy sustained some sort of chest injury during that game, but he was able to practice fully on Friday and is listed as Questionable for today’s game. He looks like a fairly safe bet to play, but unless you have no other options, there’s really no reason to take your chances with any Ram running back against Houston’s defense.