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Sunday injuries spoil stretch run plans

Michael Turner was in the midst of a huge day.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Sunday was a tough one from an injury standpoint. With just three weeks remaining in the fantasy regular season and "bye" weeks finally over, most owners were hoping to get their full squads on the field for the all-important stretch drive.

Unfortunately, a rash of injuries will likely make that an improbable dream.

We start with the worst of them, the "dreaded" high-ankle sprain to top-three overall draft choice - Michael Turner. Turner was in the midst of a huge day, having already run for 111 yards on just nine carries (12.3 ypc) when he sprained his right ankle in the second quarter. Unheralded Jason Snelling is Turner's replacement with Jerious Norwood also sidelined. Snelling had 18 carries for 61 yards and a TD and added three catches for 32 yards. He should be the most sought after free agent this week. Snelling is owned in just 8% of all leagues.

Kyle Orton was sacked in the second quarter and limped to the sidelines, never to return. Also never returning to the game was the Denver Broncos' offense. Replacement Chris Simms was just 3-for-13 and neither Brandon Marshall (who was having a great day) or Eddie Royal contributed in the second half. I'd stay far away from this offense until Orton returns. It wasn't exactly great with Orton (22nd overall at 328.8 ypg) and with Simms they scored zero points and had a measly 36 yards of offense in the final two stanzas.

Ronnie Brown had to be helped off the field in the third quarter on Sunday, following a right ankle injury. Though x-rays were negative, he is not expected to play in Thursday's game against Carolina. Ricky Williams should have a big game, but this likely won't help Brown owners unless they "handcuffed" the two earlier this season as Williams is owned in 88% of all leagues.

Speaking of "handcuffed" running backs, if you have Brian Westbrook, I hope you also drafted or traded for LeSean McCoy. Westbrook suffered a second concussion in less than a month and I'd expect him to miss the remainder of the fantasy season, if not the regular NFL season.

Julius Jones' chest injury (similar to the Andre Johnson injury) could be the break that Justin Forsett needs to become a starter. It's been a circuitous route for the former California star, selected by Seattle in the seventh round of the 2008 draft, released, picked up by Indianapolis and released, then re- acquired by Seattle and this might be Forsett's best opportunity to stick around. He's looked solid in a limited role to date, averaging 6.6 ypc, but should be in line for his first career start on Sunday. He is owned in just 12% of all leagues.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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