Clinton and the Heavy Workload - NBC New York

Clinton and the Heavy Workload

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Q&A of the Week, courtesy of the St. Petersburg Times interviewing Ike Hilliard:

    What website do you visit the most?

    Rotoworld.com, because I like to see what's going on in fantasy basketball. That's usually the first page that I go to once I see what's going on in the world. Fantasy basketball is my thing. I'm big on that.

    While the 143rd-leading receiver in NFL history gives Rotoworld basketball guru Steve Alexander some much-deserved love and causes us to take back anything bad we've ever written about him, here are some notes from around football .

    * Clinton Portis regularly broke off 50-yard runs early in his career, but has gone 670 carries spread over 33 games since breaking anything longer than 38 yards. Portis last topped 40 yards on a run way back in Week 13 of 2005, but no longer being capable of hitting the home run hasn't kept him from getting off to the best start of his career.

    Portis has a league-leading 115 carries, including at least 20 in every game, and is on pace for a career-best 1,645 yards and 13 scores. He's ceased being a big part of the Redskins' passing attack, but during the past eight games dating back to last year Portis has 820 yards and eight scores on 185 carries. Larry Johnson owners may recognize that as exactly a 370-carry pace over a full season.

    Why is that number important? Because as research by Football Outsiders has shown, running backs who carry the ball 370-plus times in a season typically see their performance drop significantly and/or break down physically in the following year. Of course, Portis' big workload has spanned just eight games spread over two years, so he doesn't have reservations for the "Curse of 370" club quite yet.

    * LaDainian Tomlinson managed just 57 yards on 17 touches running behind a surprisingly shaky offensive line Sunday and aggravated his injured toe in a loss to Miami, but said Monday that he'll continue playing through the pain. "It's not a one-week injury," Tomlinson said. "You can't get better in one week. One week isn't going to help. If I take a week off I've got to take three weeks off."

    While sitting out the rest of the month clearly wouldn't please his fantasy owners, watching Tomlinson struggle through a lingering injury and poor line play could prove equally frustrating. He had a big Week 3 in Oakland, but has otherwise averaged 3.3 yards on 69 carries and is on pace for a career-low 45 grabs. New England's run defense has struggled, but will give LT2 problems Sunday night.

    * Sage Rosenfels was making the case for a quarterback controversy in Houston by throwing for 300 yards and three scores through 3.5 quarters Sunday, but his historic meltdown in the final minutes made it much easier for coach Gary Kubiak to turn back to Matt Schaub as the starter. Kubiak said Monday that Schaub will get the Week 6 nod versus the Dolphins after missing Week 5 with an illness.

    While the Dolphins are a surprisingly non-cupcake matchup right now, things will get easier for the Texans' passing game after that with the Lions and Bengals up next. He got off to a terrible start after being one of my favorite draft-day values, but Schaub torched the Jaguars for 307 yards and three touchdowns in Week 4. He still has enough weapons to be a strong QB2 with low-level QB1 upside.

    Two-Minute Drill:Adrian Peterson managing just 32 yards on 21 carries Monday night was hugely disappointing given that the Saints were without run-stopping rookie Sedrick Ellis, but he gets an even juicier on-paper matchup versus Detroit this week . After another 300-yard effort Monday night, Drew Brees has racked up 4,921 yards and 34 touchdowns in his last 16 games . Despite leaving him on the field for just 17 snaps in Week 5, coach Bill Belichick said Tuesday that Laurence Maroney "is a good back" and "played well" . After catching just three balls in two games with Tarvaris Jackson starting, Bernard Berrian now has 267 yards on 14 grabs in three games with Gus Frerotte at the helm . Coach Mike Holmgren indicated Tuesday that Maurice Morris (knee) will resume splitting time with Julius Jones this week after sitting out a month . Pierre Thomas failed to touch the ball offensively Monday night now that he sits behind Deuce McAllister on the depth chart, but did have three nice kickoff returns . Courtney Taylor got the start in Seattle's first two games, but the receiving corps finally being healthy led to his release Tuesday.

    Red Zone:Willie Parker (knee) practiced without pads Tuesday and appears on track to return after Pittsburgh's bye . According to coach Marvin Lewis, Carson Palmer (elbow) "came through the game just fine" while totaling 217 yards and a pair of scores Sunday against the Cowboys . Ryan Torain (elbow) is scheduled to begin practicing soon, but coach Mike Shanahan speculated Tuesday that he won't see game action before Week 9 . Philip Rivers bruised his ribs in Week 5, but referred to the injury Monday as "nothing big" and "just a couple bumps and bruises" . Tony Scheffler said Tuesday that he doesn't have a hernia, but he's still not expected to suit up this week . Coach Jack Del Rio revealed Tuesday that Mike Walker may have sprained his knee while catching six passes for 107 yards Sunday night, making him a far less desirable waiver-wire grab . Roscoe Parrish (thumb) said Tuesday that he hopes to practice next week and is eyeing a Week 8 return . According to coach Tony Dungy, Anthony Gonzalez "seemed all right" Monday despite suffering a Week 5 concussion . Next week's bye and Steve Breaston playing well may keep Anquan Boldin inactive again Sunday.