Carroll: Smith, Portis and other Week 3 injuries

It's not a football story per se, but it affects what I do. When Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams were sentenced to as long as 18 months in jail, your chance of learning important information got worse. I won't pretend that injury info to help your fantasy team approaches the work those writers did in breaking the BALCO case. This isn't the next Watergate or Pentagon Papers. The sentence did chill the possibilities for writers like myself who use sources. The NFL strictly controls information, with rules against trainers and doctors speaking with the media, making anonymous sourcing a must for my column and others you read on ESPN. The fact is that unless my sources believe I can protect them, I won't get the information you read here. It's a chilling day for journalism and for freedom, even in the fantasy world.

Enough reality; let's get to it.

Clinton Portis gets a gold star from me for admitting he lied last week. Sure, we'll knock some points off for lying at all, but that's part of the game. This week, Portis looks to be ready to go, but we're not taking his word for it. Sources tell me that Portis looked solid in practice but that he was in some pain afterward. The shoulder isn't 100 percent yet, so I spoke with Dr. Neil ElAttrache from the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic; he's one of the top shoulder guys in the world, and he thinks this problem will linger. Portis will lose some carries to Ladell Betts, especially in goal-line and short-yardage situations. Whether what he does get will be enough for him to be an elite RB again remains to be seen. I'll never bet against the guy who came up with Coach Janky Spanky, and yes, he's in my lineup for Sunday (at least right now.)