NFL fantasy football: Blaine Gabbert on IR

The Jacksonville Jaguars announced Wednesday that quarterback Blaine Gabbert was placed on season-ending injured reserve with elbow and shoulder issues. By itself, that news won’t make any fantasy ripples — if you were relying on Gabbert, you’re not contending for a playoff spot — but it does raise some intrigue after the way Chad Henne played last week.

If someone had told you Henne would light up the Houston Texans for 354 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions, the appropriate response would have been “Go away, troll!” Yet the former Michigan Man looked fantastic against one of the league’s toughest defenses. Now the fantasy future for the Jaguars looks a little brighter; certainly much brighter than it did when I wrote this earlier in the week. Jacksonville has a favorable schedule, beginning with the Titans on Sunday.

There’s no guarantee that Henne will duplicate last week’s explosion, but his upside resides in getting more players involved by simply being able to get them the football. In addition to Justin Blackmon’s breakout, Cecil Shorts III continued to make an impact and we welcomed the return of Marcedes Lewis to fantasy relevance. Hopefully the threat of a competent passing game means good things for the rushing attack — especially with Maurice Jones-Drew plotting a return just in time for the fantasy playoffs. The Jags might just have a fantasy pulse after all.

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