Atlanta Falcons running back, Steven Jackson, was back on the practice field this week for the first time since Week 2. The 30-year-old veteran has missed the last 4 games with a hamstring injury, but said he is feeling good and is ready to “give it a go.” When asked about Jackson’s return to practice, Falcons head coach, Mike Smith, said:
“This is all based on what the doctor will say in terms of how much he’ll participate in practice as we go through the week, but when we left out of here on Friday, everything was very good in terms of (Jackson’s) testing and the opportunity to return to play. We are anticipating to get him in and see how he handles it. You’ve got to go in and take it one day at a time when you’re coming back from an injury.”
Jackson certainly has been taking it one day at a time, but says he feels good enough to be effective in the Week 8 matchup against the Arizona Cardinals. However, Week 8 may not be the most ideal time for fantasy owners to put their faith back in Jackson, as the Cardinals offer a pretty hard-hitting ‘Welcome Back’ to the NFL.
The Cardinals are giving up about 13.7 fantasy points per game against opposing running backs, which ranks 10th in the NFL. They haven’t been scored on by a running back yet and are giving up less than 50 yards per game on the ground. Jackson hasn’t played since Week 2, and is going up against a notoriously pesky hamstring issue. To complicate matters further, Jacquizz Rodgers has performed at a high level in Jackson’s absence and has definitely earned some snaps, even if the starter returns.
In his only full game of the season, Jackson rushed for 77 yards on 11 carries; he did not find the end zone before sustaining his injury early in Week 2. Rodgers is averaging 27.5 yards per game, and has reached the end zone twice. Whether it’s Jackson or Jacquizz on the field for the most part on Sunday, the Falcons have their work cut out for them running against the Cardinals. However, fantasy owners should definitely keep an eye on S-Jax and see how he plays on Sunday.