Seattle Seahawks WR Nate Burleson out for the year

by Bryce McRae on September 8, 2008 @ 12:57:52 PDT


ESPN reports Seattle Seahawks head coach Mike Holmgren said wide receiver Nate Burleson (knee) will be out for the year with torn ligaments in his left knee.

The injury further depletes the Seahawks receiving corps. Wide receiver Deion Branch (knee) has yet to return from a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered in January, while wide receiver Bobby Engram (shoulder) is out another few weeks with a cracked bone in his shoulder. Both were inactive in Week 1.

Burleson was off to a quick start in Week 1, catching five passes for 60 yards and one touchdown. The team was relying on him to be the No. 1 option while they worked Branch and Engram back into the lineup. The Seahawks are now left with wide receivers Courtney Taylor, Logan Payne and Jordan Kent as the only healthy bodies.

In addition to his offensive contributions, Burleson was a solid return specialist. Holmgren has not yet come up with a way to replace him in the coming weeks. Quarterback Seneca Wallace took punt returns in Week 1 after Burleson was injured, and Wallace could see reps at receiver if the team can't sign a veteran wideout.

While it is a troubling injury for the Seahawks, it shouldn't be as bad for your fantasy team as, say, the loss of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (knee). Burleson likely was taken in the early middle rounds of your draft. He was ranked as a No. 3 wide receiver by KFFL entering Week 1. With his season ending, he should be released in all single-year fantasy formats.

Taylor would seem the logical candidate to pick up if available. However, he was not a strong receiver in Week 1, catching only two passes for 19 yards while dropping two other passes. He does have "special" athletic ability, according to Holmgren, and someone has to catch the passes in the Seahawks offense. Taylor was targeted nine times in Week 1, including once in the red zone.

Payne was the only other receiver to catch a pass in Week 1, totalling 25 receiving yards on two receptions. He received three targets. Kent did not catch a pass but was targeted on five plays, including once inside the 5-yard line. Both should remain on the waiver wire except in deep leagues.

If you have the room, grabbing Engram is a decent option if he's still available. He should be back after the team's bye in Week 4 and has the most experience with quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. He caught 94 passes for 1,147 yards and six touchdowns last year.

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About Bryce McRae

Bryce McRae is a Managing Editor with KFFL and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1999. He joined KFFL as a volunteer writer in March 2005 before becoming a Hot off the Wire Analyst in March 2006. He began working in his current capacity in September 2008. His work has appeared on fantasy sports sites such as Yahoo! and CBS Sportsline as well as in print. He graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2008 with a B.A. in History and U.S. Studies.

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