- Adam Schefter, NFL
Adam Schefter answers reader questions in his mailbag on Wednesdays during the NFL season. Got a query of your own? Submit it here.
-- Tom (Connecticut)
A: Done for the year, Tom. Lee needs surgery on his big toe. It's a real painful injury, one that can threaten a player's career. Felix Jones once had the surgery and bounced back from it, and the Cowboys believe Lee will do the same. It just won't be this season. It's a big loss for the Cowboys, who are losing their leading tackler and a playmaking linebacker. Lee has been one of the NFL's most underrated players.
Q: I'm a Tennessee Titans fan who is excited for Jake Locker's career, but how can the coaches not stick with Matt Hasselbeck right now? With the AFC wild-card race wide open and his playoff credentials, why not take a chance and see if he can catch lightning in a bottle? He's earned it, right?
-- Seth (Tennessee)
A: You're right, Seth. Hasselbeck has led the Titans to two straight wins over the Steelers and the Bills (in Buffalo). Can't go away from that now, no way. Until Hasselbeck falters or the team starts losing, Tennessee would be better served sticking with the veteran rather than going to the younger Locker. At some point, Locker will get his chance, and this doesn't change the fact that he's Tennessee's quarterback of the future. But Hasselbeck is the quarterback of the present -- as we both agree he should be.
Q: Adam, why are the San Diego Chargers so scared to move in a direction away from Norv Turner and A.J. Smith? Not only are the Chargers progressively declining every year, Philip Rivers' play seems to be eroding as well. I know you can't blame everything on Norv and A.J., but I'm a firm believer that leadership starts from the top. They have to be held accountable at some point, right?
-- Mike (California)
A: There's been an erosion of talent there, Mike. Think about all of the players who have walked out the door without the team being able to trade them away to get compensation in return: Drew Brees, Michael Turner, Darren Sproles, Vincent Jackson, etc. But great players just can't leave without a team getting anything in return. It comes back to haunt them. Plus, Rivers is under more pressure than he's been at any point in his career. The pressure has forced him into turnovers, and those turnovers have cost San Diego games. There are increasing cries to fire Turner and Smith. It's fair to say that if San Diego doesn't get it done this season, the Chargers will be looking for new leaders and direction.
-- Jerry (Ohio)
A: Jerry: The Bengals haven't had another player emerge to take the pressure off A.J. Green. Last game, it sounded like Cincinnati was counting on fifth-round pick Marvin Jones to have a big role in the game plan. And he went out and got hurt, crushing those plans. Teams have been able to gear their coverage around Green the same way Lions opponents do it with Calvin Johnson, which has contributed to Matthew Stafford's struggles. Still, Dalton needs to play better just as Stafford needs to play better. But they also could use a little bit of help.