NFL Camp Notes: Favre, Maclin injured & Babineaux suspended

PHILADELPHIA - AUGUST 27:  Jeremy Maclin #18 of the Philadelphia Eagles runs the ball against the Jacksonville Jaguars on August 27, 2009 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Favre has yet to tell Childress that he’s retiring
Despite reports that state he won’t return, Vikings’ head coach Brad Childress insisted on Tuesday that Brett Favre has not told him he’s retiring. Minnesota still considers the situation “fluid” and Viking players have told the media that nothing has changed in regards to Favre’s status with the team. A “family source” also tells the Biloxi Sun Herald that Brett has not decided whether to play this year. With over a month left before the season starts, it’s doubtful that Brett has made any concrete plans about whether or not to come back – even though many media outlets are reporting that he’s likely done.

Eagles’ Maclin suffers hyperextended knee injury
Second-year receiver Jeremy Maclin suffered a hyperextended left knee injury during practice today. According to some reports, he looked to be in serious pain on the field and his teammates even huddled for a prayer after practice. He’ll undergo an MRI on the knee to determine how much camp time he’ll miss. Hopefully the injury wasn’t serious and he’ll only miss a week or so.

Falcons’ Babineaux suspended one game
The Falcons won’t have their best interior pass-rusher when they take on the Steelers in Week 1, as defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux has been suspended one game for violating the league’s Personal Conduct Policy. (The suspension stems from Babineaux’s 2009 arrest for possession of marijuana.) Kudos to GM Thomas Dimitroff for having the wherewithal to know Babineaux was likely to be suspended and to select DT Corey Peters in the third round of April’s draft. Non-kudos to Babineaux for the arrest.

Haynesworth skips conditioning test again
Another day, another skipped conditioning test for Albert Haynesworth. Mike Shanahan says that Haynesworth’s knee is still bothering him and that when he’s ready to take the test again, “he’ll take it.” Shanahan is standing firm that Haynesworth is not allowed to practice until he passes the test (which some media members have reportedly attempted and passed over the last coupe of days).

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NFL Week 16 ROY Power Rankings

Lots of rookies this year keep reminding us why they were drafted so high, making this a very difficult race to predict. But we’ll try our best……

1. Jairus Byrd, Buffalo Bills—He hasn’t had an interception in a few weeks, but he’s still tied with Asante Samuel and Darren Sharper for the NFL lead with 9.

2. Knowshon Moreno, Denver Broncos—He leads all rookies with 897 rushing yards, with an outside chance of reaching 1000 yards Sunday against the Chiefs.

3. James Laurinaitis, St. Louis Rams—Yes, he plays for the Rams, and yes, a good linebacker who doesn’t rack up a ton of sacks isn’t one of those sexy picks for MVP or Rookie of the Year. But Laurinaitis’ 102 solo tackles ranks behind only Patrick Willis, Jon Beason and Curtis Lofton.

4. Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants—46 catches for 795 yards and 6 scores is a good stat line for any receiver. But when you consider how big a question mark the Giants were at the position, this rookie has stepped up nicely and immediately contributed.

5. Percy Harvin, Minnesota Vikings—He’s battled migraines recently, but this explosive game-changer is a dual threat as a receiver and as a kick returner.

Honorable mention: Johnny Knox, Bears; Ryan Succop, Chiefs; Beanie Wells, Cardinals; Jeremy Maclin, Eagles; Brian Cushing, Texans; LeSean McCoy, Eagles; Michael Oher, Ravens

NFL Week 14 ROY Power Rankings

Each week we’re reminded that 2009 was a very strong rookie class, despite the lack of a true breakout star ala Adrian Peterson a couple years ago. And it’s going to be a very difficult decision to make for whoever votes.

1. Jairus Byrd, Buffalo Bills—Back in the NFL lead with 9 interceptions. If only he was on a better team.

2. Knowshon Moreno, Denver Broncos—Not exactly a breakout game against Indy, but still solid.

3. Percy Harvin, Minnesota Vikings—Migraines held Harvin out last weekend against the Bengals, and he may miss Week 15 as well. But that doesn’t take away from what he’s done this season so far.

4. James Laurinaitis, St. Louis Rams—After 13 seasons in his rookie campaign, Laurinaitis is averaging 7 solo tackes per game. That’s just sick.

5. Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants—Sure, he dropped a couple on Sunday night, but if you saw his grab out of thin air that he then turned into a 68 yard touchdown, you know that this kid is special.

Honorable mention: Johnny Knox, Bears; Ryan Succop, Chiefs; Matthew Stafford, Lions; Beanie Wells, Cardinals; Jeremy Maclin, Eagles; Brian Cushing, Texans; LeSean McCoy, Eagles; Brian Orakpo, Redskins; Michael Oher, Ravens

NFL Week 13 ROY Power Rankings

There are several rookies making an impact this season, and you could probably make a case for any of the names mentioned below. Considering most of them have not played more than 11 or 12 games in a season until now, it will be interesting to see how it shakes out the next few weeks:

1. Percy Harvin, Minnesota Vikings—Six more catches for 79 yards and another TD in a losing effort in the desert. The kid keeps putting up numbers and Favre has got to love him.

2. Knowshon Moreno, Denver Broncos—He’s really starting to carry the load in Denver, literally. Last Sunday Moreno carried 21 times for 86 yards and 2 touchdowns. Next season this kid is going to be a high fantasy pick.

3. Jairus Byrd, Buffalo Bills—He’s still tied for the NFL lead with 8 interceptions, but hasn’t had one in a few weeks. That doesn’t bode well for Matt Cassel today.

4. James Laurinaitis, St. Louis Rams— Nine more solo tackles against the Bears has kept Laurinaitis in good company. Very good company.

5. Michael Oher, Baltimore Ravens—This kid is a rookie who already has a movie about him…the fact that it’s already a blockbuster earns Michael a spot here, and oh yeah, he’s played really well.

Honorable mention: Hakeem Nicks, Giants; Johnny Knox, Bears; Ryan Succop, Chiefs; Matthew Stafford, Lions; Beanie Wells, Cardinals; Jeremy Maclin, Eagles; Brian Cushing, Texans; LeSean McCoy, Eagles

2009 NFL Week 13 Top 5 Observations: Eagles 34, Falcons 7

“Hey, there are the two fans I gave the middle finger to a couple years ago!”

Here are five quick-hit observations for the Eagles’ 34-7 win over the depleted Falcons in Week 13.

1. God hates the Falcons and their fans.
The above sentence might read a little harsh, but there’s just no other explanation for when Michael Vick scores his first two touchdowns of the season in Atlanta against his old team. Shame on those Falcon fans for not raining down a heavy layer of boos on that turd after he went to the sidelines with a fat smile on his face following his two touchdowns. The guy single-handily sends the Falcons franchise into the depths of hell and then scores two touchdowns in the house he burned down. The only bigger injustice this season was when Brett Favre went to Lambeau and beat the Packers.

2. Eagles get a much-needed free win.
The only team that was more banged up offensively than the Eagles this week were the Falcons, who were without Matt Ryan, Michael Turner and two starting offensive linemen. Atlanta actually moved the ball decently today, but Chris Redman had zero time to throw the ball and the running game was non-existent. Considering they were without Brian Westbrook and DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia was incredibly fortunate to be in the middle of playoff contention and play a road game against the Falcons’ JV squad.

3. Leonard Weaver, aka “The Ultimate Weapon.”
The Eagles’ best offensive player today wasn’t Donovan McNabb, LeSean McCoy or even rookie Jeremy Maclin (who had a solid outing). It was actually Leonard Weaver, who made countless big plays to keep drives alive and put the Eagles in scoring position. His final stats might not show it, but Weaver came up huge today for Philly and made one of the best grabs of the week on a 59-yard reception in the first half.

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