Worst time of the year for injuries, no doubt. The fantasy regular season is coming to a close and we’re just about to start the playoffs. Last week’s games had their fair share of key injuries and the impact on your Week 12 lineup has been immense. With trade deadlines having passed, you’re going to have to do some serious roster maneuvering to keep your championship hopes alive, and learning from the latest injury updates is the best place to start. Let’s get to it this week…
Jay Cutler, CHI -- Apparently thumb surgery was a success and Cutler will be able to start rehabbing it within a few days. He will not, however, be able to throw for atleast a few weeks. The Bears aren’t ready to put him on IR just yet, holding out hope for a return during the final weeks of the season or even just the playoffs. For your fantasy season, he’s probably done and not even worth a spot on your roster anymore.
Matt Hasselbeck, TEN – He’s got a favorable matchup against Tampa Bay and has been listed as probable on the injury reports, however, there’s obviously a certain amount of risk given the fact that it’s an elbow issue. There might not be any structural damage, but the risk of re-aggravating it is strong and if you have a healthier alternative, you might want to consider him. There’s also the possibility of a short leash given the way Jake Locker performed last week, so another reason to be concerned despite the upgrade on the injury report.
Kevin Kolb, ARI – It looks like another week without Kolb, folks. He may be listed as questionable, but the outlook is not too good. He’s now missed three games and has been limited all week, so look for John Skelton in this tasty matchup with the Rams.
Michael Vick, PHI – After missing practice again on Friday, the chances of Vick playing have gone to almost nil. Vince Young will be under center and you should continue to stash Vick and hope that Week 13 brings better news.
Fred Jackson, BUF – By now, you’ve heard the news that Jackson’s minor calf injury is actually a broken leg. He’s been put on IR and is done for the year, so free up that roster spot. C.J. Spiller is the top choice for replacement and the Bills also claimed Tashard Choice off waivers. However, given the success rate of both of them (insert sarcastic eye roll), keep an eye on Johnny White. He’s a big, bruising back who can pound the ball between the tackles which is something neither Spiller nor Choice can do very well.
Adrian Peterson, MIN – He’s listed as doubtful and the chances of him playing this week are ridiculously slim. Still, it’s good to see that he is out of the walking boot and the possibility of him coming back for Week 13 is stronger. Toby Gerhart will get the start, and there’s talk of Percy Harvin getting more carries as well.
Montario Hardesty, CLE – While he’s listed as questionable, there seems to be a strong chance that Hardesty will return this week. He obviously won’t shoulder the load by himself if he plays, so you can’t consider him too strong an option just yet, especially against a strong Bengals run defense, but he could be an interesting option moving forward. Keep an eye out for Peyton Hillis though, as he’ll be a game-time decision and could steal some carries as well.
Darren McFadden, OAK – Do we even continue to list him? He’s out again this week and there is still no timetable for his return. Michael Bush will get the nod again and should be considered a strong option this week.
Jahvid Best, DET – It’s official. The season is over for Best who was put on IR due to the concussion. After weeks of stashing him, you can finally have that roster spot back. Just sayin’.
Joseph Addai, IND – While Addai has been a participant at practice all week, he still came out and said that he may not play in Week 12. That screams volumes about a guy. The Colts are 0-10 and have a great matchup against the Panthers this week, so you’d think that a guy who has missed the last five weeks would be champing at the bit right now for some game action. Instead, Addai is talking abou the slow healing process of a hamstring. Even if he does dress, don’t expect to see too much of him as he protects himself from further injury. Donald Brown and Delone Carter have been shouldering the load thus far and should continue to do so.
DeSean Jackson, PHI – Officially listed as probable and ready for a matchup against a very porous New England secondary. With Jeremy Maclin out, expect Jackson to see plenty of targets this week and should produce enough points regardless of who is throwing him the ball. Not quite a WR1, but certainly a WR2.
Darrius Heyward-Bey, OAK – After getting knocked out of the game last week, Heyward-Bey has been listed as questionable with a neck injury. But after practicing in full both Thursday and Friday, you can expect to see him on the field this Sunday. He was actually having a real good game last week before he got hurt, catching four passes for 43 yards, so perhaps he and Carson Palmer have gotten on the same page at last.
Denarius Moore, OAK – Moore spen tall week in a walking boot due to a nagging foot injury and actually missed practice all week. With Heyward-Bey banged up and Jacoby Ford already ruled out, coach Hue Jackson was trying to be hopeful and optimistic about Moore’s chances to play this week. Unfortunately for you fantasy owners, you’ll have to formulate a contingency plan and keep your fingers crossed when they announce the Raiders announce their inactives for this week.
Deion Branch, NE – He’s been bothered by a hip injury and after being limited in practice both Thursday and Friday, he is being listed as questionable on the Patriots injury report. His pattern thus far has been a TD every other week for the last six weeks, so if the pattern holds, he’s due. But obviously that is nowhere near an exact science or even a prediction. Consider him a low end WR3 right now and just check back before game-time to make sure he’s active if you need to use him.
Percy Harvin, MIN – While Harvin has been limited in practice all week due to the nature of his rib injury and is listed as questionable, he is still expected to be on the field this Sunday when the Vikings take on the Falcons. With Peterson likely to sit out, there is plenty of talk about harvin getting some extra carries this week in addition to his normal receiver workload. Feel confident with him in your lineup this week.
Julio Jones, ATL – After missing three weeks, coming back and exploding for 131 yards and two TDs, leaving the following week early and then missing last week’s contest, Jones is apparently now ready to go. He has practiced both Thursday and Friday and the Falcons have him listed as probable. Time to get him back in your lineup against the 29th ranked Vikings pass defense and hope the hamstring holds up.
Mario Manningham, NYG – He’s missed practice all week due to a swollen knee, but because the Giants don’t play until Monday night, they have an extra day to make a determination as to his status. He’ll likely be listed as questionable and will be a game time decision. If he plays, then he’s a decent WR3. If he doesn’t, then bump up both Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz given the impending shootout with the Saints.
Visanthe Shiancoe, MIN – He’s been bothered by a hamstring injury all season but has managed to play through it for the most part. After missing practice earlier in the week, Shiancoe was back on the field Friday in limited capacity. From the sound of it, he is expected to be on the field Sunday despite being listed as questionable.
Other key players that are already listed as OUT for this week include: Malcom Floyd, Jacoby Ford, Miles Austin, Dallas Clark, Rian Lindell, Dan Carpenter
PROBABLE RB LaRod Stephens-Howling (shoulder), RB Beanie Wells (knee), DL Darnell Dockett (groin), LB Paris Lenon (groin)
QUESTIONABLE QB Kevin Kolb (toe), TE Todd Heap (hamstring), TE Rob Housler (groin), OG Brandon Keith (head), CB Michael Adams (hamstring)
OUT LB Joey Porter (knee), FS Kerry Rhodes (foot)
INJURED RESERVE RB Ryan Williams (knee), DL Dan Williams (arm), CB Crezdon Butler (ankle)
PROBABLE WR Julio Jones (hamstring), TE Tony Gonzalez (undisclosed), OT Justin Blalock (ankle), C Todd McClure (undisclosed), DL John Abraham (undisclosed), DL Corey Peters (knee), LB Curtis Lofton (ankle), SS William Moore (quadriceps)
QUESTIONABLE OT Sam Baker (back), DL Vance Walker (groin), CB Brent Grimes (knee)
OUT CB Kelvin Hayden (toe)
INJURED RESERVE FB Ovie Mughelli (knee), OL Mike P. Johnson (foot)
PROBABLE WR Stevie Johnson (shoulder), WR David Nelson (illness), OT Demetrius Bell (shoulder)
OUT RB Fred Jackson (leg), WR Naaman Roosevelt (shoulder), PK Rian Lindell (shoulder), SS George Wilson (neck)
INJURED RESERVE WR Marcus Easley (illness), WR Donald Jones (ankle), WR Roscoe Parrish (ankle), DL Kyle Williams (foot), LB Robert Eddins, LB Shawne Merriman (Achilles'), LB Reggie Torbor (undisclosed), CB Terrence McGee (knee)
PROBABLE DL Charles Johnson (shoulder), LB James Anderson (ankle), LB Dan Connor (neck)
QUESTIONABLE WR Legedu Naanee (ankle), LB Jason Phillips (calf)
DOUBTFUL LB Omar Gaither (knee)
INJURED RESERVE RB Mike Goodson (hamstring), WR David Gettis (ACL), TE Gary Barnidge (undisclosed), OT Jeff Otah (knee), DL Ron Edwards (biceps), LB Jon Beason (Achilles'), LB Thomas Williams (neck), CB Cletis Gordon (undisclosed)
PROBABLE WR Devin Hester (shin), FS Brandon Meriweather (concussion)
DOUBTFUL CB D.J. Moore (ankle)
OUT QB Jay Cutler (thumb)
INJURED RESERVE TE Kyle Adams (hamstring), OT Gabe Carimi (knee), C Patrick Mannelly (knee), OG Chris Williams (wrist), LB J.T. Thomas (undisclosed), FS Anthony Walters (hamstring)
PROBABLE QB Andy Dalton (shoulder), WR A.J. Green (knee), OT Andrew Whitworth (thigh), DL Michael Johnson (shoulder), DL Dontay Moch (undisclosed), DL Domata Peko (foot), LB Vincent Rey (hamstring), CB Nate Clements (knee), CB Brandon Ghee (groin), CB Adam Jones (groin), FS Chris Crocker (knee)
DOUBTFUL TE Donald Lee (foot), DL Carlos Dunlap (hamstring)
INJURED RESERVE WR Jordan Shipley (knee), TE Bo Scaife (undisclosed), LB Roddrick Muckelroy (undisclosed), CB Leon Hall (Achilles')
PROBABLE QB Colt McCoy (shoulder), TE Benjamin Watson (elbow), OG Shawn Lauvao (knee), DL Jabaal Sheard (thigh), DL Emmanuel Stephens (foot), LB Auston English (knee)
QUESTIONABLE RB Montario Hardesty (calf), RB Peyton Hillis (hamstring), FB Owen Marecic (head), OT Tony Pashos (undisclosed), DL Jayme Mitchell (ankle), DL Brian Schaefering (ankle)
OUT LB Quinton Spears (hamstring), FS T.J. Ward (foot)
INJURED RESERVE RB Brandon Jackson (toe), P Reggie Hodges (Achilles'), P Richmond McGee (back)
PROBABLE RB Willis McGahee (hand), TE Daniel Fells (concussion), TE Julius Thomas (ankle), CB Cassius Vaughn (hamstring), SS Brian Dawkins (ankle), FS David Bruton (Achilles')
INJURED RESERVE RB Mario Fannin (knee), RB Brandon Minor (undisclosed), RB Knowshon Moreno (knee), WR Jamel Hamler (undisclosed), DL Kevin Vickerson (ankle), CB Syd'Quan Thompson (undisclosed)
PROBABLE WR Andre Johnson (hamstring), FB James Casey (chest), TE Owen Daniels (knee), DL Earl Mitchell (ankle), DL Jesse Nading (shoulder), DL Antonio D. Smith (shoulder), LB Mister Alexander (shoulder), LB Bryan Braman (thigh), LB Tim Dobbins (hamstring), LB DeMeco Ryans (shoulder), CB Jason Allen (knee), FS Danieal Manning (ankle)
QUESTIONABLE FB Lawrence Vickers (hamstring), DL Tim Bulman (calf)
DOUBTFUL TE Garrett Graham (hamstring)
INJURED RESERVE QB Matt Schaub (foot), WR Devard Darling (knee), WR Lestar Jean (shoulder), OT Rashad Butler (triceps), OG Shelley Smith (ankle), OG Kasey Studdard (ankle), CB Rashad Carmichael (shoulder), SS Dominique Barber (foot)
QUESTIONABLE RB Joseph Addai (hamstring), WR Anthony Gonzalez (groin), TE Brody Eldridge (hand), DL Drake Nevis (back), LB Adrian Moten (undisclosed), CB Terrence Johnson (ankle), FS Stevie Brown (hamstring)
DOUBTFUL OL Joe Reitz (knee)
OUT QB Peyton Manning (neck), TE Dallas Clark (leg)
INJURED RESERVE QB Kerry Collins (concussion), FB Chris Gronkowski (pectoral), WR Blair White (knee/back), OG Ben Ijalana (knee), OG Seth Olsen (hand), DL Eric Foster (ankle), LB Gary Brackett (shoulder), SS Melvin Bullitt (shoulder)
PROBABLE FB Brock Bolen (calf), WR Brian Robiskie (hamstring), WR Cecil Shorts (hamstring), OT Guy Whimper (thigh), DL John Chick (abdomen)
QUESTIONABLE DL Aaron Kampman (hamstring)
OUT DL Terrance Knighton (ankle), DL Matt Roth (concussion)
INJURED RESERVE RB Rashad Jennings (knee), RB Richard Murphy (undisclosed), WR Mike Sims-Walker (knee), TE Zach X. Miller (shoulder), TE Martin Rucker (undisclosed), OT Eben Britton (back), OG Kevin Haslam (knee), DL Austen Lane (shoulder), DL Aaron Morgan (undisclosed), DL D'Anthony Smith (undisclosed), LB Kyle Bosworth (hand), LB Clint Session (concussion), CB Derek Cox (knee), CB David Jones (undisclosed), CB Rashean Mathis (knee), SS Rod Issac (hamstring)
Kansas City Chiefs
QUESTIONABLE DL Glenn Dorsey (knee), LB Demorrio Williams (groin), SS Jon McGraw (shoulder)
OUT OG Ryan Lilja (head)
INJURED RESERVE QB Matt Cassel (hand), RB Jamaal Charles (knee), TE Tony Moeaki (knee), LB Gabe Miller (undisclosed), LB Brandon Siler (undisclosed), SS Eric Berry (knee)
PROBABLE QB Christian Ponder (knee), OT Charlie Johnson (Achilles'), DL Christian Ballard (hamstring), LB Erin Henderson (hamstring), SS Jamarca Sanford (shoulder)
QUESTIONABLE WR Percy Harvin (ribs), TE Visanthe Shiancoe (hamstring)
DOUBTFUL RB Adrian Peterson (ankle), TE Kyle Rudolph (quadriceps)
OUT OG Anthony Herrera (knee), CB Chris Cook (undisclosed), SS Husain Abdullah (concussion)
INJURED RESERVE LB Jasper Brinkley (undisclosed), CB Benny Sapp (clavicle), CB Antoine Winfield (clavicle)
New England Patriots
PROBABLE WR Wes Welker (knee), OG Brian Waters (knee)
QUESTIONABLE WR Deion Branch (hip), WR Chad Ochocinco (hamstring), WR Taylor Price (hamstring), WR Matt Slater (shoulder), OT Matt Light (ankle), OT Sebastian Vollmer (back), OG Dan Connolly (groin), LB Gary Guyton (shoulder), CB Devin McCourty (shoulder), SS Patrick Chung (foot), SS James Ihedigbo (shoulder)
OUT LB Dane Fletcher (thumb), LB Brandon Spikes (knee)
INJURED RESERVE C Dan Koppen (ankle), DL Myron Pryor (groin), DL Mike Wright (concussion), LB Christian Cox (neck), LB Jeff Tarpinian (head), CB Ras-I Dowling (hip), FS Josh Barrett (calf)
PUP DL Ron Brace (undisclosed), DL Brandon Deaderick (undisclosed)
New York Jets
PROBABLE QB Mark Sanchez (neck), RB Shonn Greene (rib), RB Bilal Powell (illness), TE Matthew Mulligan (hip), OT D'Brickashaw Ferguson (ankle), OT Wayne Hunter (hamstring), C Nick Mangold (ankle), OG Matt Slauson (knee), DL Mike DeVito (knee), DL Marcus Dixon (shoulder), DL Kenrick Ellis (ankle), LB David Harris (groin), LB Calvin Pace (groin), FS Brodney Pool (knee)
QUESTIONABLE RB LaDainian Tomlinson (knee), WR Jeremy Kerley (knee)
INJURED RESERVE WR Scotty McKnight (knee), WR Logan Payne (wrist), TE Jeff Cumberland (Achilles'), LB Bryan Thomas (Achilles')
PROBABLE C Samson Satele (concussion)
QUESTIONABLE RB Taiwan Jones (hamstring), FB Manase Tonga (knee), WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (neck), WR Denarius Moore (foot), DL Lamarr Houston (knee), DL Richard Seymour (knee), CB Chris X. Johnson (hamstring/groin), SS Michael Mitchell (ankle), FS Michael Huff (ankle)
OUT QB Jason Campbell (collarbone), RB Darren McFadden (foot), WR Jacoby Ford (foot), LB Jarvis Moss (hamstring)
INJURED RESERVE DL Matt Shaughnessy (shoulder), LB Ricky Brown (concussion), LB Travis Goethel (undisclosed), CB Chimdi Chekwa (hamstring), FS Hiram Eugene (undisclosed)
PROBABLE WR DeSean Jackson (foot)
QUESTIONABLE QB Michael Vick (ribs), CB Nnamdi Asomugha (knee), CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (ankle)
DOUBTFUL WR Jeremy Maclin (hamstring/shoulder)
OUT OT King Dunlap (concussion)
INJURED RESERVE DL Victor Abiamiri (undisclosed), DL Antonio Dixon (triceps)
PROBABLE QB Ben Roethlisberger (thumb), WR Emmanuel Sanders (knee), LB James Harrison (back), SS Troy Polamalu (ribs)
QUESTIONABLE WR Arnaz Battle (hamstring), LB Stevenson Sylvester (calf), LB LaMarr Woodley (hamstring)
INJURED RESERVE RB Baron Batch (ACL), P Daniel Sepulveda (knee), DL Aaron Smith (foot)
San Diego Chargers
PROBABLE RB Ryan Mathews (knee), TE Antonio Gates (undisclosed), DL Jacques Cesaire (knee), LB Bront Bird (ankle)
QUESTIONABLE LB Shaun Phillips (foot), CB Marcus Gilchrist (hamstring)
DOUBTFUL OG Tyronne Green (hand), OG Louis Vasquez (ankle)
OUT WR Malcom Floyd (hip), OT Marcus McNeill (neck), DL Luis A. Castillo (leg)
INJURED RESERVE PK Nate Kaeding (knee), OG Kris Dielman (concussion), OG Scott Mruczkowski (concussion), DL Damik Scafe (undisclosed), LB Larry English (foot), LB Jonas Mouton (shoulder), SS Bob Sanders (knee), FS Nick Polk (undisclosed)
PROBABLE QB Tarvaris Jackson (pectoral), WR Ben Obomanu (knee/ankle), WR Sidney Rice (knee), DL Anthony Hargrove (hamstring), SS Atari Bigby (hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE DL Alan Branch (ankle), CB Byron Maxwell (ankle)
INJURED RESERVE WR Kris Durham (shoulder), WR Isaiah Stanback (undisclosed), TE John Carlson (shoulder), TE Jameson Konz (knee), OG John Moffitt (knee), DL Jimmy Wilkerson (undisclosed), LB Matt McCoy (knee), CB Walter Thurmond (leg), CB Marcus Trufant (back)
PUP CB Roy Lewis (undisclosed)
St. Louis Rams
PROBABLE WR Austin Pettis (knee), TE Lance Kendricks (head), CB Justin King (knee)
QUESTIONABLE RB Cadillac Williams (calf), WR Danario Alexander (hamstring), DL Chris Long (ankle), LB James Laurinaitis (foot)
OUT OL Mark LeVoir (pectoral), DL Justin Bannan (shoulder), LB Josh Hull (hamstring)
INJURED RESERVE WR Danny Amendola (elbow), WR Mark Clayton (knee), WR Greg Salas (leg), OT Rodger Saffold (pectoral), OT Jason Smith (head), DL Jermelle Cudjo (back), CB Timothy Atchison (hamstring), CB Al Harris (knee), CB Brian Jackson (knee), CB Marquis Johnson (spleen), CB Jerome Murphy (undisclosed)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
PROBABLE OT Jeremy Trueblood (knee), DL Albert Haynesworth (knee), DL Brian Price (forearm)
QUESTIONABLE LB Adam Hayward (foot), LB Dekoda Watson (groin), FS Tanard Jackson (hamstring)
DOUBTFUL DL Michael X. Bennett (groin)
INJURED RESERVE RB Earnest Graham (Achilles'), WR Raymond Webber (undisclosed), DL George Johnson (undisclosed), DL Gerald McCoy (biceps), FS Cody Grimm (knee), FS Devin Holland (back)
PROBABLE QB Matt Hasselbeck (elbow), PK Rob Bironas (back), C Eugene Amano (hip)
QUESTIONABLE OT Michael Roos (groin), OT David Stewart (calf), DL Karl Klug (knee), DL Derrick Morgan (ankle), LB Colin McCarthy (knee)
OUT LB Barrett Ruud (groin)
INJURED RESERVE WR Kenny Britt (knee), WR Kevin Curtis (undisclosed), CB Ryan Mouton (Achilles')
PROBABLE WR Santana Moss (hand), OT Jammal Brown (groin), OT Sean Locklear (ankle), OT Trent Williams (knee), OL Maurice Hurt (knee), LB London Fletcher (ankle), LB Keyaron Fox (infection), CB Josh Wilson (hamstring), SS DeJon Gomes (knee), FS LaRon Landry (Achilles')
QUESTIONABLE WR Niles Paul (toe), WR Donte' Stallworth (foot)
INJURED RESERVE RB Tim Hightower (knee), WR Leonard Hankerson (hip), TE Chris Cooley (hand), OL Kory Lichtensteiger (knee), DL Kedric Golston (knee), CB Phillip Buchanon (neck/knee)
PUP FS Kareem Moore (knee)
Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over 10 years on a variety of websites. You can follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or for questions, thoughts or comments you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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