Donovan McNabb: Fantasy Castoff

Heading into the 2006 season a year ago all the negative eyes were on Donovan McNabb. He was without Terrell Owens and people figured the Eagles were on their way down as a franchise. They had been to the NFC Championship numerous times and a Super Bowl but failed to get the win. From the days of being booed on his draft day, to overcoming a slump through Rush Limbaugh comments, to last years doubts, they still do not stop coming for McNabb.

Without TO, McNabb was on his way to his best season ever. Each week he was throwing two to three touchdowns with around 300 yards passing. The naysayer did not even have a chance to down him as he was superb from week one on. His team was excelling and ended up staying on beat even without McNabb. As the season faded for McNabb he was left in the dust again to watch his team. A frustrating thing for a quarterback that has had the chances to get the big game won but can not complete it.

For a time rumors were that the Eagles might have a quarterback battle between Jeff Garcia and McNabb. After all Garcia kept things rolling for the Eagles and played well while doing it. Driving this controversy did not play long as Garcia was told he would not be resigned. Boosting the confidence of McNabb on the faith the Eagles franchise has on him. Not even a few months later though the Eagles spent a particularly high pick (second round) on drafting quarterback Kevin Kolb. A definite shot in the face to McNabb but also a wake up call. McNabb has had his fair share of injuries and been the starting quarterback since 1999.

Tearing his ACL in November and being ready to get back on the field by September is a quick turn around. McNabb’s work ethic leaves no doubt that he has done everything he can in rehabilitation to be where he needs to be. This injury is as severe as they get, and even though Daunte Culpepper tore all three major ligaments in the knee, we all saw that it can completely change a quarterback’s skill set. McNabb is 30 and close to 31. His body isn’t as young as Caron Palmer’s who had a hard time making his comeback in time for the 2006 season. Yet, McNabb is scheduled to enter the field and give it a go in the second week of preseason action.

This is what all fantasy owners and the Eagles organization want to see. A brief, quick, enter and go action from McNabb. Just to see if he can run the offense a series or two and watch how that knee responds to all sorts of contact and movements. Drop back contact with the turf or grass, how it responds to sharp twists and change of direction, and all the little things that Donovan McNabb does. He is what everyone wanted to see from Michael Vick, but everyone just doubted and downed him. Hopefully McNabb can get that chance to return to full strength and keep showing his greatness.

For fantasy purposes, McNabb stays as a prominent force. If healthy he is going to be one of the better and reliable fantasy studs at quarterback. The Eagles throw the football a lot and McNabb gets a lot of bonus passing yards by throwing to Brian Westbrook. If you can still McNabb in the third or fourth round then do not hesitate. He has side stepped every problem that faces him, and this will be another. AJ Feeley, Kevin Kolb, and Kelly Holcomb can keep their clipboards all season long.