NFL preseason Week 2 began Thursday night with a slate of games that of course included some key injuries that are worth looking into, as well as important performances of note.
-Green Bay Packers lumbering second-year running back Jamaal Williams had to exit the team's game versus the Pittsburgh Steelers but he said afterwards he believes he is fine. While we never buy into a player's diagnosis, Williams was moving fine in the locker room afterward according to the team's reporters and team brass didn't make much of a fuss about it as well during the postgame press conference. As far as Williams and his immediate fantasy football outlook, he is lucky that fellow second-year back Aaron Jones is suspended for the first two games because it wouldn't take much to supplant the former from the starter's role. While Williams technically was the most productive back on the team in 2017, it was not saying much as he averaged a pathetic 3.6 per carry. In other words, Williams is 3 yards and a cloud of dust while Jones has true home run ability. Add in the pass receiving duties that will fall to Ty Montgomery and the Packers backfield looks like one of the least promising in terms of possible fantasy football impact.
-It was at least somewhat disturbing to hear that New England Patriots running back Rex Burkhead is dealing with a slight tear in his knee. Both Burkhead and Bill Belichick downplayed the injury and said if it was a regular season game, Burkhead would have been out there Thursday night. The fact of the matter is that Burkhead dealt with knee trouble in 2017 and he always seems to be nicked up. It is getting to the point where Burkhead simply may not be able to withstand consistent NFL pounding and so his fantasy football outlook is that of a RB 3 to begin the season. Keep in mind the Pats still have James White, Mike Gillislee, and Sonny Michel who should be close to contributing on or soon after Week 1.
-The Philadelphia Eagles have major QB problems right now as Nick Foles suffered a shoulder injury Thursday night and that tests were going to be needed on Friday to see if there is any structural issues going on. This is certainly not what the Eagles want to hear from their Super Bowl MVP backup as starter Carson Wentz is still recovering from a torn ACL last November and who himself said it would be "close" in terms of being ready for Week 1. If the Eagles are forced to go with Nate Sudfeld for Week 1, downgrade all Philly wideouts for the opener.
-New York Jets rookie QB Sam Darnold was not great but he was not terrible in getting the start Thursday night versus the Washington Redskins. Darnold did complete 8-of-11 throws for 62 yards but he tossed an interception and also held the football way too long in taking two sacks. While this is not going to set back Darnold enough to remove him from the running to start in Week 1, he does need a good outing next week to solidify such a status.
-The Redskins can't get a break when it comes to their running backs this summer. Just a week after rookie Derrius Guice was lost for the season with a torn ACL, backup Samaje Perine was forced out after his first carry for 30 yards versus the Jets with an ankle injury. Perine had to soon head to the locker room in obvious pain and so now we are down to Rob Kelley and Kapri Bibbs. Kelly has shown he can be a RB 3/4 in standard leagues but the Redskins will only have pass receiver Chris Thompson in terms of PPR value.
-Redskins QB Alex Smith completed 4-of-6 throws 48 yards in his short outing Thursday night before heading to the bench. This was typical Smith in that he protected the football and relied on short throws. That puts Jamison Crowder and Jordan Reed in prime position to be very good PPR weapons if they can stay on the field.