Vincent Brown, Beanie Wells & Cedric Benson: Worth Picking Up?
The following players have been placed on injured reserve but due to a new rule (only valid this year), they are eligible to return to practice six weeks after being placed on IR. (Only one player per team may be designated for return and they can return to the active roster after eight weeks.) So are they worth picking up? It depends on the player...
Vincent Brown, Chargers (fractured ankle)
We were told that Brown's ankle was “right on schedule,” but HC Norv Turner said on Tuesday that he's not yet ready to practice. The Chargers are on bye in Week 7, so a Week 8 return is possible, though beat writer Kevin Acee predicts that he will return in Week 9. Before his injury, Brown was going to be a big part of the San Diego offense and given Robert Meachem's struggles, there is definitely opportunity for Brown to make an impact down the stretch. The schedule looks pretty good after the Chargers' bye, with just one bad matchup (vs. BAL in W12) from Weeks 8-14. Owners with problems at receiver should consider adding Brown.
Beanie Wells, Cardinals (turf toe)
Wells is eligible to return Week 12, and given the season-ending injury to Ryan Williams, along with the Cardinals' surprising success this season, Beanie's return is a priority. Depending on the status of his toe in Week 12, he could be startable as a RB2/flex against the Rams if it looks like he's going to get a full workload. He also has decent-to-good matchups against the Jets in Week 13 and the Lions in Week 15.
Cedric Benson, Packers (Lisfranc foot injury)
Benson can't resume practicing until Week 14, and depending how the Packer RBs are holding up, he may be slowly worked back into the mix. The Packers are expecting to make a playoff run, so that's the priority. He's not worth considering in most league formats, though owners in leagues with large roster sizes may want to consider holding or adding in case he comes back to a full workload late in the season. The Packers play the Lions, Bears and Titans in Weeks 14-16. The most attractive matchup is Tennessee in Week 16.
Jahvid Best, Lions (concussion)
Best started the season on the regular reserve/PUP list. The Lions released a statement on October 15 stating that "it has been determined that Jahvid will not be permitted to return to play at this time," though GM Martin Mayhew did leave the door open by saying "Jahvid will continue to work with our medical and training staffs with the hope that he ultimately will be cleared to return to the playing field." He has less than three weeks to get healthy or his season is over. We're not expecting Best to play this year.