Injuries have absolutely decimated Seattle's receiving corps, knocking out Nate Burleson and Logan Payne for the season and sidelining Bobby Engram, Deion Branch, and Seneca Wallace until at least next month. Left with the likes of Billy McMullen, Courtney Taylor, and Michael Bumpus at wideout in Week 3 against the 49ers, the Seahawks gave 27 carries to Julius Jones in a 33-30 loss.
Seattle added a pair of veteran pass-catchers Tuesday, signing Koren Robinson to a one-year contract and sending an undisclosed late-round pick to Denver for Keary Colbert. Robinson hasn't topped 500 yards since 2003 and Colbert was nearly cut by the Broncos at the end of training camp despite being handed a big bonus to sign in March, so they're hardly confidence-inspiring reinforcements.
With that said, the Seahawks simply needed someone capable of stepping into the voids created by injuries to their top five receivers and Robinson at least has a little short-term fantasy potential. He should be picked up in deeper leagues, but the best bet to post strong numbers until Branch and Engram return is rookie tight end John Carlson, who caught six balls for 78 yards in Week 2.
Meanwhile, Jones goes from fantasy afterthought to solid RB2 option in the span of two weeks. He averaged 4.9 yards per carry Sunday and caught three passes, getting 29 touches for his biggest workload since the 2005 season opener. They won't be quite as a hamstrung after adding Robinson and Colbert, but expect the Seahawks to give Jones another 20 touches in a nice matchup versus the Rams.
While Robinson returns to the scene of his lone 1,000-yard campaign six years later, here are some other notes from around football .
* After getting just a dozen carries Sunday while being replaced by Kolby Smith and Jamaal Charles on passing downs, Larry Johnson used the post-game press conference to complain about his role. "Something's going on, I just don't know what it is," Johnson said. "I've always needed 20-30 carries, that's always been me. I'm going to sit down and talk with someone."
Coach Herm Edwards and the Chiefs would no doubt gladly feed Johnson 20-30 times per game if he was still running like he did in 2005 or 2006, but those days are long gone. Since the beginning of last year Johnson has averaged a measly 3.4 per yards on 192 carries spread over 10 games. He remains plenty powerful, but has lost the speed and elusiveness that made him an elite runner.
Sadly he appears to be on the Shaun Alexander career path and likely will never be the same following his 416-carry workload in 2006. Being phased out of the passing game is merely the first step to lessening Johnson's role, but because both Smith and Charles profile more as third-down backs he probably won't lose a ton of carries yet. Actually doing something with those runs is another issue.
* Rookie Chad Henne was impressive Sunday while mopping up in the Dolphins' blowout loss to the Cardinals, but coach Tony Sparano said Tuesday that Chad Pennington remains the team's starter. However, Sparano added that Henne will continue to see action in lopsided games and the Dolphins will likely be on the wrong end of plenty of those, so he'll have ample opportunity to impress.
Pennington hasn't been horrible, completing 36-of-63 (57.1 percent) passes for 363 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception, but his arm strength has gone from awful to essentially non-existent and he ranks 22nd in the league with just 5.8 yards per throw. Henne led the Dolphins to their lone Week 2 touchdown and threw for 62 yards in about nine minutes, showing off a vastly superior arm.
Two-Minute Drill:Steve Smith has officially returned to the Panthers following his two-game suspension and will resume starting Sunday . Perhaps unsatisfied with Rudi Johnson backing up Kevin Smith, the Lions gave Tuesday tryouts to both Shaun Alexander and Cedric Benson . Coach Bill Belichick said Tuesday that Randy Moss' poor Week 2 was due to the Jets constantly double-teaming him rather than Matt Cassel's inability to get him the ball . Tampa Bay released Ben Troupe to make room for Jerramy Stevens on the roster Tuesday . Initially said to be on the verge of being fired, coach Lane Kiffin's job now appears safe for another week . According to coach Romeo Crennel, Braylon Edwards' slow start is due to his missing time with a preseason foot injury . Rams owner Chip Rosenbloom indicated Tuesday that coach Scott Linehan's job will be in jeopardy if things don't "get better" following back-to-back blowout losses . Atlanta cut 2007 fourth rounder Martrez Milner loose Tuesday . Texans owner Bob McNair said Tuesday that the team's October 5 home game against the Colts may be played at Rice Stadium if repairs to Reliant Stadium aren't completed in time.
Red Zone: Coach Mike Tomlin clarified Ben Roethlisberger's status Tuesday by saying that his shoulder is sprained rather than separated, all but guaranteeing that he'll start this week . According to coach Wade Phillips, Jason Witten will practice Wednesday and play in Week 3 despite suffering a partially separated shoulder Monday night . Shawne Merriman underwent knee surgery Tuesday and now faces 6-7 months of rehab . Mike Nugent (quadriceps) is expected to miss Week 3, giving Jay Feely another chance to kick for the Jets . Following in Lawyer Milloy's footsteps, Tommy Kelly was arrested Monday and charged with suspicion of driving under the influence . After going without a catch in Week 2, Bernard Berrian was seen walking with a noticeable limp Tuesday . Defensive end Brett Keisel, who led Pittsburgh in quarterback pressures last year, is slated to miss at least a month after injuring his cal Sunday night . Roy Williams-the Cowboys coverage-challenged safety, not the Lions loud-mouthed receiver-is expected to miss at least one month after fracturing his forearm Monday night.