Shark Bites

Both Saints starting inside LBs showed up questionable on the week's final injury report.  David Hawthorne (toe) missed practice all week and seems the bigger question mark for Sunday night's contest.  We'd be wary of using him in your IDP lineup this week.  Curtis Lofton, meanwhile, sat out Friday's practice with an ankle injury that didn't show up on the reports for Wednesday or Thursday.  Lofton practiced in full each of those days before sitting out Friday.  We've yet to see any specifics on whether he sprained an ankle in Thursday's workout (seems likely) or how bad it might be.  We'll keep an eye on the status of each heading into Sunday's games.  If you plan to use Lofton in your IDP lineup, you could look to Dallas' Bruce Carter, Tampa Bay's Mason Foster and Miami's Philip Wheeler or Dannell Ellerbe as emergency fill-ins.

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The Saints will be without LBs Curtis Lofton and David Hawthorne for at least a couple of weeks. Lofton suffered a high ankle sprain against Jacksonville. Hawthorne tore a meniscus in the same game and has already had surgery. It's not yet clear whether either will be available for the regular-season opener. The team previously lost OLB Chris Chamberlain to an ACL tear. And, of course, there was Jonathan Vilma's suspension. As a result of all those issues, the Saints sent an undisclosed draft pick to the Seahawks last night for Barrett Ruud. The veteran has no history with Steve Spagnuolo or Joe Vitt and has strictly been a MLB in his career. That could suggest the team is more concerned about Lofton. Of course, it could also mean that the OLB backups are simply stronger. Either way, Lofton and Hawthorne have slid down our rankings a bit. Fortunately, we weren't drafting Lofton quite as early as many others to begin with.

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3 years ago

David Hawthorne reached a 5-year deal with the Saints on Tuesday. Given the Saints' recent signing of Curtis Lofton, Hawthorne is clearly headed for an OLB job. Primarily a MLB in his time with Seattle, Hawthorne did spend 2010 starting on the outside with Lofa Tatupu in the middle. Hawthorne's quickness and range makes him a fit at multiple positions and he should remain a worthwhile IDP contributor. We'll try to get more specifics on the team's plans at LB before getting into projections. This move also seems to indicate that the team expects to lose Jonathan Vilma for a while ... or perhaps that the staff finally realizes he's an overrated name at this point.

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Seahawks MLB David Hawthorne missed the 1st 2 days of practice this week because of a knee injury. He could be heading for a game-time decision on Sunday. He has been decent for IDP owners lately but not good enough to be worth the extra risk. Rookie K.J. Wright filled in for Hawthorne to start the season and could start in his place if Hawthorne is inactive.

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Seahawks HC Pete Carroll reportedly expects to have starting MLB David Hawthorne back at 100% for Week 2. Good thing, because Seattle will need all the help it can locate on the road against an angry Steelers team. Hawthorne missed Week 1 with a knee injury, but Seattle still held Frank Gore to just 59 yards on 22 carries.

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4 years ago

Seahawks MLB David Hawthorne is inactive for the Week 1 matchup with the Niners. Rookie K.J. Wright will start in his place. This change could motivate the Niners to run inside even more than they might have already and could lead to quality tackle numbers for Wright. It certainly doesn't hurt Frank Gore's fantasy outlook.

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The Seahawks should have 2 of their top defenders on hand Sunday. DE Chris Clemons and MLB David Hawthorne both looked iffy after Thursday's practice, but each is listed as probable for the matchup with the Niners. Each is slightly worrisome, in terms of whether he'll play his full alotment of snaps. Hawthorne should be treated as he normally would for fantasy purposes. Clemons missed much of the preseason and would be better to leave on the bench if you can.

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4 years ago

MLB David Hawthorne was a limited practice participant Wednesday and Thursday because of a sore knee. Meanwhile, rookie K.J. Wright has taken the majority of 1st-team reps at MLB. HC Pete Carroll has spoken this week of the team having confidence in Wright, certainly making it sound like the rookie might be needed. We'll keep an eye on this situation. If healthy, Hawthorne could be a top-10 fantasy LB this year. Anyone playing MLB this week should get some tackle chances in a matchup with Frank Gore.

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Adam Schefter reports that the Seahawks are set to release LB Lofa Tatupu. The team reportedly asked him to take a pay cut, which motivated the veteran MLB to ask for his release. The team will apparently grant that wish. His release could be awesome news for the IDP value of David Hawthorne. Hawthorne was merely a decent fantasy play at OLB in 2010 in his 1st crack at starting full time. He was a surprise top-5 performer in 2009, though, while filling in for an injured Tatupu at MLB. If Hawthorne makes a permanent move to the middle, the team could replace him outside with Leroy Hill, who re-signed this week. Tatupu will surely latch on elsewhere but doesn't appear likely to match the too-big Seattle contract. He hasn't reached 100 total tackles in a season since 2007 and might have the oldest knees of any 28-year-old LB in the league.

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ProFootballFocus.com ranks Seattle's David Hawthorne as the league's 4th-best OLB over the past 3 years. Hawthorne spent just 1 of those seasons starting on the outside, so the rating is mostly a tribute to just how awesomely he filled in for Lofa Tatupu at MLB in 2009. PFF also points out that the Seahawks curiously took Hawthorne off the field for 3rd downs in 2010. If the team changes that, it will obviously boost his stat potential. Hawthorne also showed much more big-play ability in 2009 than in 2010. He's a high-ceiling IDP with some risk.

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