There are fewer storylines on the injury front this week as the draft took center stage last week, but a few notable names came across the wire. Funny thing is, all three of the players in the MMR had their fantasy stock negatively affected by the draft this weekend, too.
Hit the jump to visit the MMR.
Willie Parker [RB, Steelers]
From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
On the first offensive huddle of the first practice of the Steelers’ new season, No. 39 lined up at tailback behind quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
Willie Parker did nothing spectacular yesterday, unless you count the fact he was back on the field, running and cutting with the rest of his teammates.
“Right now I’m a little shaky,” Parker said, “but I’m at full speed, cutting and all that stuff. If not 100 percent, I’m real close to it.”
The sooner he gets back on the field, the better. FWP will see some fierce competition this summer at runningback after the Steelers added Rashard Mendenhall to the roster in the first round of this weekend’s draft.
Mendenhall should see plenty of action in his first year. Pittsburgh likely will use him to spell Parker, but may give him more opportunities given that he is a workhorse-type back.
Clearly, Pittsburgh sees Mendenhall as FWP’s future replacement.
Cedric Benson [RB, Bears]
Bears GM Jerry Angelo said that RB Cedric Benson and S Mike Brown will both be “up and going with no restrictions” by the end of May. Benson is recovering from surgery on a broken ankle, and Brown is recovering from a torn ACL. The team has continued to be very optimistic about both of their recoveries, but there are serious concerns about how Benson will perform following his injury.
Injury or no injury, Benson’s job is in jeopardy. Not that he will be cut, because the Bears have too much invested in him to do that just yet.
But after Chicago drafted Tulane’s Matt Forte, Benson again finds himself in a split backfield. Forte’s versatility will guarantee him time on the field, especially in 3rd-down situations.
The Bears said they see Forte as an everydown back, which might be their way of trying to light a fire under Benson’s backside. Or not.
Kellen Winslow [TE, Browns]
From The Plain Dealer:
Longevity issues with Kellen Winslow and a potential contract dispute factored into the Browns making a surprise trade in the fourth round of the draft Sunday.
They gave up their 2009 third-round pick to select pass-catching tight end Martin Rucker of Missouri.
It has been amazing to see Winslow recover from his gruesome knee injury. But the Browns are thinking about the future, and the possibility exists that Winslow only has so much left in the tank.
Now, we know Winslow would never admit that because he is a solider. But Cleveland may as well be prepared for life after Winslow.
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