The weekend is here and it’s time to look at the recent practice schedules and make some tough lineup decisions based on the injuries. As explained last week, we’ll update you on the key impact injuries now and when the official NFL injury report is released later Friday evening, we’ll update this article, add in some additional commentary if needed, and get you 100% prepared for the Week 3 games. Here’s the latest…
Tony Romo, DAL – We’ve all heard the stories and yes, Romo is being revered for his tenacity and willingness to sacrifice himself for the Cowboys. He’s got atleast one cracked rib, but a CT scan revealed that the puncture in his lung is healed and there is talk of him still playing Monday night. While that may be the case, he is not really a recommended start this week. His receivers are hurt, his running back is hurt, his tight end is banged up and Redskins defensive back DeAngelo Hall has already mentioned targeting Romo’s ribs. You might want to give some serious though to using your backup…whoever he is.
Michael Vick, PHI – It was officially announced Friday that Vick has been cleared by an independent neurosurgeon to practice on a full time basis and will be the starter this Sunday against the Giants. Vick suffered a minor concussion last week and was forced from the game. Despite reports that the concussion was minor, the Eagles were very careful to follow the correct NFL protocol in an effort to get Vick back on the field. You should feel vcomfortable starting him against a very banged up Giants secondary.
Jason Campbell, OAK – While he’s been limited in practice Wednesday and Thursday and listed as questionable with a foot injury, Campbell is fully expected to start on Sunday. However, he’s probably not the most recommended option this week. The Raiders’ receivers are all banged up and the Jets secondary is one of the best in the NFL. Darelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie could have a field day during Sunday’s contest.
Arian Foster, HOU – Foster’s hamstring injury has left him listed as questionable yet again and is being called a game-time decision. However, reports came in earlier in the week that there was a strong chance that Foster would rest for another week in an effort to get the running back as close to full health as possible before having him shoulder the workload in a game. Even if Foster is declared active this week, Ben Tate should be the guy to start.
Steven Jackson, STL – After practicing on a very limited basis both Thursday and Friday, Jackson will be considered a game-time decision as he continues to work himself back from a quad injury that kept him out of Week 2. Reports don’t sound too optimistic about him playing, so prepare your fantasy lineup around him. With Cadillac Williams also hurting (hamstring), Jerrious Norwood could be the primary back for the rams this weekend.
Darren McFadden, OAK – The raiders’ running back has been limited in practice all week with a shoulder injury and is listed as questionable for Week 3 against the Jets. However, additional reports have come in saying that McFadden will play and that the team is just limiting him in practice in an effort to keep him rested enough for full game action on Sunday. It’s a tough matchup, but given his first two weeks, you’re not going to bench him.
Knowshon Moreno, DEN – Despite dealing with a lingering hamstring issue and being listed as questionable, Moreno has been practicing on a limited basis all week and should be able to play this weekend. In all likelihood, he will share carries with Willis McGahee, thus diminishing the value of both moving forward.
Felix Jones, DAL – After separating/dislocating his shoulder last week, Jones has been severely limited all week and is listed as questionable for Monday’s game against the Redskins. Jones did return to practice Friday and got a little more involved and those in the know speculate that he will be in uniform and ready to go on Monday. Unfortunately, a game-time decision on Monday means you should probably make alternative arrangements for your fantasy lineup.
Reggie Bush, MIA – Although he is dealing with a slight groin strain, Bush has been a full participant at practice both Wednesday and Thursday. He is listed as probable, so all signs point to him in uniform on Sunday. Now the question is how much work he will actually get. After it was announced that Bush would receive atleast 20 touches each week, he took a backseat to rookie Daniel Thomas who rushed for over 100 yards and saw more than twice the touches Bush saw. The Fins envisioned a two back system, but one with Bush getting most of the reps, however, given Thomas’ ability, that could have just been wishful thinking. Thomas is clearly the preferred choice given his ability to run in between the tackles.
Marion Barber, CHI – Barber practiced again on Thursday, the first time he’s been able to practice, albeit on a limited basis, since he injured his calf. He’s still listed as questionable, but this has been the most encouraging news on him in a while. He’s still not a viable option in fantasy, but he could start to see some added reps as his health improves. Continue to stash him as Matt Forte’s handcuff.
Jerome Simpson, CIN – The Bengals wide receiver will miss this week’s game against the 49ers after getting caught by police with 8 ½ pounds of marijuana at his home. Apparently a package containing 2 ½ pounds of chronic was delivered to Simpson’s home and during the arrest, the police found another 6 pounds along with packaging supplies, scales, and smoking paraphernalia. He has been excused from practice all week and is likely to be awaiting a ruling from the commissioner’s office. Perhaps a doctor can make a quick diagnosis for glaucoma? Andre Caldwell becomes a bit of a sleeper pick this week if you’re desperate for a WR3.
Domenik Hixon, NYG – For the second season in a row, Hixon’s season comes to an early end due to a torn ACL. He made that amazing juggling catch on Monday night for a touchdown and had to be helped off afterwards. Now we officially know why. He was placed on IR and can subsequently be dropped from your roster.
Danny Amendola, STL – Talk about a speedy recovery…original reports had Amendola sidelined for 8-10 weeks with the elbow injury he sustained in Week 1. However, the swelling has apparently subsided so much that his road to recovery is moving much quicker. In fact, he was actually campaigning to play last Monday night. This is great news for his owners, but the Rams will still play it safe. He hasn’t practiced at all this week and is being listed on the report as doubtful. However, it does not look like he will be out for too much longer.
Miles Austin, DAL – As expected, Austin missed practice again on Friday and hasn’t practiced all week due to a hamstring issue. He’s being listed as questionable, but he is almost a near certainty to miss the Week 3 matchup on Monday night. In fact, there is still some speculation that he is more than just a few weeks away from returning. Continue to stash him on your bench and scour the waiver wire for some alternatives.
Dez Bryant, DAL – The Cowboys did receive some encouraging news when Bryant showed up ready to practice Friday. Given the status of Miles Austin, this is definitely a plus for Dallas, although Jason Garrett says that he is still evaluating Bryant on a day to day basis. Keep checking back, but with the Cowboys game on Monday night, Bryant satnds a good chance to being in uniform, barring any setbacks.
Earl Bennett, CHI – Bennett missed practice again and hasn’t been able to go all week as he deals with a bruised chest he suffered during his Week 2 game. While he’s technically listed as questionable, the word is that he’ll sit out this week. He was only an option in the deepest of deep leagues, so chances are you’re not missing him too much.
Kenny Britt, TEN – After pulling himself from Wednesday’s practice with a thigh/hamstring injury, Britt returned to full practice Thursday and looks like he’ll be ready to roll come Sunday. He’s listed as questionable, but Coach Mike Munchak said that he looked good on Thursday and fully anticipates his wide receiver continuing his breakout 2011 campaign this week when the Titans take on Denver.
Lee Evans, BAL – Evans is still dealing with an ankle injury and is now a game-time decision on Sunday. It’s been a lingering issue for the Ravens’ wideout and kept him out of action in Week 2, mostly because he can’t make the necessary cuts during games. Even if he does play, he’ll be considered a low-end WR3 due to his time away and the fact that the rams pass defense is surprisingly strong, holding the opposition to 174 passing yards per game.
Other wide receivers that are listed as questionable and could miss Week 3 include: Jacoby Ford (hamstring), Malcom Floyd (groin), Mario Manningham (concussion)
Other wide receivers listed as questionable that are still expected to play include: Santonio Holmes (quad), A.J. Green (toe), Brandon Lloyd (groin)
Antonio Gates, SD – After missing another practice this week with that nagging torn plantar fascia from last year, Gates is being listed as questionable and could actually be a game-time decision this week against the Chiefs. There’s a chance that he could just be getting some extra rest, but coach Norv Turner insists that he’s rather have gates active at practice on a regular basis. Monitor this on Sunday as gates looks to join Tony Gonzalez as the only two tight ends in history to record 70 touchdowns. Gates has one more to go.
Aaron Hernandez, NE – Despite walking without a limp Thursday and declaring that he was feeling great, Hernandez is still expected to miss a couple of weeks with a sprained MCL. The Patriots will likely err on the side of caution and keep their star tight end on the sidelines, so don’t expect to see him in uniform on Sunday.
Brandon Pettigrew, DET – After missing practice Wednsday and Thursday, Pettigrew returned to practice on Friday. He’s been dealing with a sore shoulder all week and is listed as questionable right now. You will probably want to find another tight end for this weekend to be on the safe side, and if you’re a Tony Scheffler owner, you might want to consider someone else as well if Pettigrew does, in fact, play. Matthew Stafford can spread the ball around, but let’s be realistic here.
Kevin Boss, OAK – It looks like Boss will make his regular season debut this week against the Jets after missing the first two weeks with a knee injury. He practiced both Wednesday and Thursday and is now listed as probable on the injury report. Jason Campbell likes utilizing his tight ends, so while this week may be a tough matchup, Boss could be a solid option moving forward.
Dallas Clark, IND – Despite missing practice Wednesday with a foot injury, Clark was back in action on Thursday on a limited basis. He is listed as questionable, but the Colts expect him to be on the field and ready to go. It’s a tough matchup against Pittsburgh, so keep your expectations low.
...and now for the official NFL injury report for the weekend --
SAN FRANCISCO at CINCINNATI — 49ERS: OUT: WR Braylon Edwards (knee), RB Moran Norris (fibula). PROBABLE: CB Tramaine Brock (hand), WR Michael Crabtree (feet), QB Alex Smith (concussion). BENGALS: OUT: LB Dontay Moch (foot). DOUBTFUL: DE Robert Geathers (shoulder), G Otis Hudson (knee). QUESTIONABLE: WR Jerome Simpson (not injury related). PROBABLE: WR A.J. Green (toe), S Taylor Mays (knee), T Andre Smith (ankle).
NEW ENGLAND at BUFFALO — PATRIOTS: OUT: TE Aaron Hernandez (knee), T Sebastian Vollmer (back), DE Mike Wright (concussion). QUESTIONABLE: S Patrick Chung (hand), CB Ras-I Dowling (hip), LB Gary Guyton (hamstring), DT Albert Haynesworth (back), LB Jerod Mayo (thigh), P Zoltan Mesko (left knee), WR Taylor Price (hamstring), C Ryan Wendell (calf). PROBABLE: CB Kyle Arrington (concussion), S Josh Barrett (thumb), CB Leigh Bodden (hand), LB Dane Fletcher (thumb). BILLS: OUT: CB Terrence McGee (hamstring), LB Kirk Morrison (hamstring), G Kraig Urbik (knee). PROBABLE: DE Spencer Johnson (hip), WR Stevie Johnson (groin), NT Torell Troup (back).
HOUSTON at NEW ORLEANS — TEXANS: OUT: CB Sherrick McManis (hamstring), RB Derrick Ward (shoulder, ankle). QUESTIONABLE: RB Arian Foster (hamstring), WR Jacoby Jones (knee). PROBABLE: G Thomas Austin (knee), G Mike Brisiel (hip), LB Brian Cushing (knee), CB Johnathan Joseph (ankle), LB DeMeco Ryans (elbow, Achilles), QB Matt Schaub (foot), RB Ben Tate (back), WR Kevin Walter (shoulder, thigh), LB Mario Williams (thumb). SAINTS: OUT: WR Marques Colston (shoulder), K Garrett Hartley (right hip). DOUBTFUL: LB Jonathan Vilma (knee). QUESTIONABLE: CB Tracy Porter (calf). PROBABLE: S Jonathon Amaya (shoulder), LB Jonathan Casillas (foot, knee), S Roman Harper (ankle), DT Tom Johnson (calf).
N.Y. GIANTS at PHILADELPHIA — GIANTS: OUT: CB Prince Amukamara (foot), WR Mario Manningham (concussion), DE Osi Umenyiora (knee). PROBABLE: C David Baas (lower leg), TE Travis Beckum (hamstring), DT Jimmy Kennedy (knee), DE Justin Tuck (not injury related). EAGLES: OUT: DE Juqua Parker (ankle), DE Darryl Tapp (pectoral). QUESTIONABLE: QB Michael Vick (concussion). PROBABLE: S Nate Allen (knee), TE Brent Celek (hip), DE Trent Cole (hand), WR Riley Cooper (hamstring), TE Clay Harbor (ankle), LB Akeem Jordan (shoulder), T Winston Justice (knee), LB Brian Rolle (quadriceps), CB Asante Samuel (finger), WR Steve Smith (knee), QB Vince Young (hamstring).
MIAMI at CLEVELAND — DOLPHINS: OUT: CB Vontae Davis (hamstring), DT Tony McDaniel (hand). DOUBTFUL: WR Roberto Wallace (quadriceps). QUESTIONABLE: CB Will Allen (hamstring), S Chris Clemons (hamstring). PROBABLE: RB Reggie Bush (groin), LB Karlos Dansby (groin), WR Brandon Marshall (groin). BROWNS: OUT: LB Titus Brown (ankle), S Eric Hagg (knee). QUESTIONABLE: WR Joshua Cribbs (groin), RB Peyton Hillis (illness), WR Mohamed Massaquoi (ankle), T Tony Pashos (ankle). PROBABLE: LB Marcus Benard (not injury related), WR Carlton Mitchell (finger), DT Scott Paxson (shoulder).
DENVER at TENNESSEE — BRONCOS: OUT: DE Elvis Dumervil (shoulder), WR Eddie Royal (groin), WR Demaryius Thomas (finger), TE Julius Thomas (ankle), DT Marcus Thomas (groin). QUESTIONABLE: CB Champ Bailey (hamstring), RB Knowshon Moreno (hamstring), LB D.J. Williams (elbow). PROBABLE: WR Brandon Lloyd (groin). TITANS: QUESTIONABLE: DE William Hayes (shoulder), S Chris Hope (shoulder), WR Damian Williams (hamstring). PROBABLE: WR Kenny Britt (thigh), RB Chris Johnson (ribs).
DETROIT at MINNESOTA — LIONS: OUT: DT Nick Fairley (foot), T Jason Fox (foot). QUESTIONABLE: WR Rashied Davis (hamstring), LB DeAndre Levy (knee), TE Brandon Pettigrew (shoulder), WR Maurice Stovall (hand). PROBABLE: DE Cliff Avril (knee), S Louis Delmas (hip), WR Calvin Johnson (ankle). VIKINGS: QUESTIONABLE: CB Chris Cook (groin). PROBABLE: CB Asher Allen (toe), DE Jared Allen (shoulder), WR Percy Harvin (illness), LB E.J. Henderson (knee), WR Michael Jenkins (groin), CB Marcus Sherels (chest), DT Kevin Williams (foot).
JACKSONVILLE at CAROLINA — JAGUARS: OUT: DE Aaron Kampman (knee), WR Kassim Osgood (hamstring). QUESTIONABLE: DE Matt Roth (neck). PROBABLE: DT Tyson Alualu (knee), CB Derek Cox (chest), WR Jason Hill (hip), TE Marcedes Lewis (calf), LB Clint Session (wrist), G Jason Spitz (quadriceps). PANTHERS: DOUBTFUL: S Charles Godfrey (head). QUESTIONABLE: CB Chris Gamble (ankle). PROBABLE: QB Cam Newton (ankle).
KANSAS CITY at SAN DIEGO — CHIEFS: OUT: WR Jonathan Baldwin (thumb). QUESTIONABLE: DE Wallace Gilberry (neck). PROBABLE: LB Tamba Hali (ankle). CHARGERS: OUT: DE Luis Castillo (tibia). DOUBTFUL: WR Malcom Floyd (groin), DE Corey Liuget (ankle), S Bob Sanders (knee). QUESTIONABLE: TE Antonio Gates (foot). PROBABLE: WR Vincent Jackson (abdomen), CB Quentin Jammer (illness), RB Mike Tolbert (calf).
N.Y. JETS at OAKLAND — JETS: OUT: C Nick Mangold (ankle), WR Logan Payne (wrist), T Robert Turner (ankle). QUESTIONABLE: DE Muhammad Wilkerson (shoulder). PROBABLE: DE Mike DeVito (shoulder), DT Marcus Dixon (knee), LB David Harris (toe), WR Santonio Holmes (quadriceps), S Jim Leonhard (hamstring), WR Derrick Mason (knee), QB Mark Sanchez (right elbow), S Eric Smith (ankle). RAIDERS: OUT: WR Jacoby Ford (hamstring), S Mike Mitchell (knee), WR Louis Murphy (groin). QUESTIONABLE: CB DeMarcus Van Dyke (knee). PROBABLE: TE Kevin Boss (knee), S Jerome Boyd (knee), QB Jason Campbell (foot), WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (knee), K Sebastian Janikowski (left foot), CB Chris Johnson (groin), RB Darren McFadden (shoulder).
BALTIMORE at ST. LOUIS — RAVENS: OUT: WR Lee Evans (ankle), WR David Reed (shoulder), CB Jimmy Smith (ankle). QUESTIONABLE: CB Chris Carr (thigh), G Ben Grubbs (toe). PROBABLE: C Matt Birk (knee), NT Terrence Cody (head), DE Cory Redding (toe). RAMS: DOUBTFUL: WR Danny Amendola (elbow). QUESTIONABLE: DE C.J. Ah You (wrist), RB Steven Jackson (quadriceps), LB Ben Leber (groin), RB Carnell Williams (hamstring). PROBABLE: TE Michael Hoomanawanui (calf), WR Greg Salas (ribs).
ATLANTA at TAMPA BAY — FALCONS: OUT: DT Jonathan Babineaux (knee), CB Kelvin Hayden (hamstring). QUESTIONABLE: LB Stephen Nicholas (calf). PROBABLE: DE John Abraham (thigh), DE Ray Edwards (foot), C Todd McClure (knee), DT Corey Peters (back), S Shann Schillinger (neck), WR Roddy White (knee). BUCCANEERS: OUT: T James Lee (knee), WR Sammie Stroughter (foot). DOUBTFUL: LB Quincy Black (ankle). QUESTIONABLE: DE Tim Crowder (calf), TE Kellen Winslow (knee).
ARIZONA at SEATTLE — CARDINALS: OUT: TE Jim Dray (pectoral). QUESTIONABLE: WR DeMarco Sampson (hamstring), RB LaRod Stephens-Howling (hand), WR Chansi Stuckey (hamstring), LB Daryl Washington (calf), RB Beanie Wells (hamstring). PROBABLE: LB Paris Lenon (groin), LB Joey Porter (knee). SEAHAWKS: OUT: T Jarriel King (ankle), CB Byron Maxwell (ankle), RB Michael Robinson (ankle). PROBABLE: G Robert Gallery (groin), WR Sidney Rice (shoulder), LB Malcolm Smith (hamstring).
GREEN BAY at CHICAGO — PACKERS: OUT: S Nick Collins (neck), DE Mike Neal (knee), LB Frank Zombo (shoulder). PROBABLE: T Chad Clifton (knee), TE Jermichael Finley (ankle), RB Alex Green (Achilles), CB Davon House (ankle), LB Clay Matthews (quadriceps), DE Ryan Pickett (foot), LB Vic So'oto (back), CB Tramon Williams (shoulder), CB Charles Woodson (foot). BEARS: OUT: WR Earl Bennett (chest), T Gabe Carimi (knee). QUESTIONABLE: RB Marion Barber (calf), S Chris Harris (hamstring), G Lance Louis (ankle), WR Roy Williams (groin), S Major Wright (head, neck).
PITTSBURGH at INDIANAPOLIS — STEELERS: OUT: DE Brett Keisel (knee). QUESTIONABLE: C Maurkice Pouncey (hamstring). PROBABLE: RB Jonathan Dwyer (shoulder). COLTS: OUT: QB Peyton Manning (neck), LB Ernie Sims (knee). QUESTIONABLE: LB Gary Brackett (shoulder), S Melvin Bullitt (shoulder), TE Dallas Clark (foot), QB Kerry Collins (right shoulder), G Ryan Diem (ankle), TE Brody Eldridge (knee), DT Eric Foster (hamstring), DE Dwight Freeney (abdomen), DE Robert Mathis (chest), DT Fili Moala (ankle), TE Jacob Tamme (concussion), WR Blair White (back).
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 email@example.com.
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