Aaron Rodgers may miss Week 6, Jermichael Finley out three weeks

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is hit by Washington Redskins Brian Orakpo after throwing the ball in the second half of their NFL game in Landover, Maryland, October 10, 2010.   REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

The Packers received some bad news on Monday when it was announced that tight end Jermichael Finley would miss at least the next three weeks and could possibly be out six weeks after having surgery on his knee. Green Bay has a bye in Week 10, so that means Week 11 will likely be his return to action.

In other injury related news, head coach Mike McCarthy said that quarterback Aaron Rodgers will miss some practice time this week after suffering a concussion on the final offensive play in Green Bay’s 16-13 loss to the Redskins on Sunday. There’s a chance Rodgers could miss Week 6, although it’s too early to determine his playing status at this point.

One player who is certain to miss Week 6 is middle linebacker Nick Barnett, who will undergo wrist surgery on Wednesday. Once he has the surgery, the team will decide whether or not to place him on IR and effectively end his season.

The last bit of injury news for the Packers is that Clay Matthews hasn’t been ruled out of Week 6 after suffering a hamstring injury on Sunday. Again, the team won’t know his playing status until later in the week.

If Rodgers can’t play, Matt Flynn would start against the Dolphins on Sunday.

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The Packers have some big-time issues

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) is stopped on the goal line by the Washington Redskins defense in the first quarter of their NFL football game in Landover, Maryland, October 10, 2010.   REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

If you wanted to trace back where the Packers started having issues, go ahead and start with the Monday night loss to the Bears three weeks ago.

That was the game where their troubles were put on full display. They had trouble running the ball, they were undisciplined and they lacked that killer instinct that most Super Bowl contenders have. At 3-2, Green Bay is still in great shape (it’s early yet), but this is a team that is hurting right now in more ways than one.

On the second play of Sunday’s 16-13 overtime loss to the Redskins, tight end Jermichael Finley (who is a huge part of the Packers’ pass-happy offense) suffered a knee injury and was carted off the field. Nobody knows at this point how long he’ll be out, but some are already speculating that he won’t play next week.

Making matters worse, Clay Matthews left Sunday’s game in the third quarter due to a hamstring injury, which affected the Packers’ pass rush for the rest of the game. Donovan McNabb had spent most of the first half running for his life but once Matthews came out, the Redskins were able to chip away at Green Bay’s 13-3 lead and eventually won the game in overtime. If you wanted to know what kind of an impact Matthews has for the Packers’ defense, just pop in the tape of today’s game and compare halves.

Finley and Matthews’ injuries come at a time when Morgan Burnett, Nick Barnett and Mark Tauscher are already out with various aliments. At this pace, Aaron Rodgers will be playing on both sides of the ball in a couple of weeks.

Speaking of which, Rodgers and the passing game continues to sing off key. Rodgers played well again today, but he was plagued by drops and was obviously affected by Finley’s injury. The fact that this team can’t run the ball (Brandon Jackson had 115 yards today, but 71 of which came on one play) doesn’t help Rodgers’ cause.

Things don’t get any easier for the Packers, either. They play a Miami team coming off a bye next Sunday and then host the Vikings before going on the road to face the Jets in Week 8. They host the Cowboys in Week 9 before having their bye in Week 10.

If this team can’t get healthy soon, we won’t be talking about Green Bay the potential Super Bowl team, we’ll be talking about Green Bay the what-could-have-been team.

2010 Fantasy Football Preview: TEs

SAN DIEGO - JANUARY 17: Tight end Antonio Gates #85 of the San Diego Chargers makes a catch against the New York Jets during AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Qualcomm Stadium on January 17, 2010 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

All 2010 Fantasy Football Articles | 2010 Position Rankings

The tight end position is often overlooked in fantasy football, but in leagues that award a point per reception, a stud TE can be quite valuable indeed. Over the past decade or so, NFL offensive coordinators have increasingly built game plans around their talented tight ends. It used to be that the position was meant to block in the running game and catch the occasional pass or two. But, more and more, the tight end has become a spot for a big playmaker with soft hands who can block a little.

The position isn’t nearly as deep as QB, but since many fantasy owners don’t consider taking a tight end until the fourth or fifth round, value is often found in the middle rounds. A vast majority of championship teams will get at least average production from the position, so no matter your strategy, you have to find a decent TE somewhere in your draft if you hope to be hoisting the trophy at the end of the season.

Here are a few TEs I’ll be targeting this season along with the round in which each player becomes a good value.

Antonio Gates in the 4th
With Vincent Jackson prepared for a long holdout, Gates will get a ton of targets from Phillip Rivers. It appears that his foot injury is behind him, so he’s in line for another Top 4 year. Gates is as consistent as they come.

Dallas Clark in the 5th
Clark was a stud last season, but with Anthony Gonzalez back and the continued development of Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie, one wonders if he can post 100 catches again. His previous high was 77, so the gut says ‘no.’ Still, even if he takes a 20% cut in production, that still would have been good enough to be TE3 in ’09.

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