Jay Cutler - QB - Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler hopes to stay with the team beyond the 2014 season. Cutler signed a seven-year, $126.7 million extension a few months ago and was benched Wednesday, Dec. 17, in favor of QB Jimmy Clausen.
Huddle Up: After missing out on the playoffs for a fourth straight season, the Bears appear headed for an off-season of upheaval, and there will likely be a whole new regime calling the shots. Cutler's fate is most certainly up in the air, and he's put himself there with a poor 2014 performance.
Toby Gerhart - RB - Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars RB Toby Gerhart left the team's game against the Tennessee Titans Thursday, Dec. 18 with a second-half rib contusion but later returned. He finished with 12 carries for 53 yards and a TD and one catch for 7 yards.
Huddle Up: Gerhart had his best fantasy outing of the season, but, naturally, while he was out, Jordan Todman ripped off an 62-yard scoring run and finished as the Jags' leading rusher with five carries for 71 yards. Gerhart, though, will have a couple of extra days to recover and should be the Jags' starting RB in Week 17 vs. the Texans should you need him.
Percy Harvin - WR - New York Jets
New York Jets WR Percy Harvin (ankle) was limited in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, but barring a setback, he's expected to play in Week 16 against the New England Patriots. Harvin suffered a third-degree ankle sprain just two weeks ago, according to head coach Rex Ryan. Harvin was limited to a special teams role last week.
Huddle Up: Harvin had a season-best 6-124-1 performance in his last healthy outing in Week 14 and his presence is key for the Jets and prevents the Patriots from focusing on WR Eric Decker.
Julius Thomas - TE - Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) played just 29 snaps in Week 15; only ten of them were pass routes, according to Pro Football Focus.
Huddle Up: Thomas has killed his fantasy owners with one catch for 30 yards over the last two weeks but pretty much still remains a must fantasy start if he's starting given his upside and the dearth of TE options.
Dwayne Bowe - WR - Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe missed his second straight practice due to an illness Thursday, Dec. 18.
Huddle Up: Bowe has missed the team's first two practices of the week but should be good to go come Sunday in Pittsburgh.
DeAndre Hopkins - WR - Houston Texans
Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Dec. 18.
Huddle Up: Definitely concerning as Hopkins is classified as day-to-day, and his fantasy owners will need to pay close attention to Friday's practice reports.
Frank Gore - RB - San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore continues through the concussion protocol this week, but head coach Jim Harbaugh anticipates Gore suiting up in Week 16 against the San Diego Chargers Saturday, Dec. 20. Gore was limited in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, after sitting out Wednesday, Dec. 17.
Huddle Up: Gore looks like he may buck the odds and play on a short week following a concussion. Meanwhile, Carlos Hyde remained out of practice Thursday with his ankle issues.
Jermaine Gresham - TE - Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals TE Jermaine Gresham (toe) was a full participant in practice Thursday, Dec. 18.
Huddle Up: A good sign for Monday as Gresham was a full participant in Cincy's first practice of the week after sitting out Week 15.
Kendall Wright - WR - Tennessee Titans
Tennessee Titans WR Kendall Wright (hand) is active for Week 16 after being limited in practice all week.
Huddle Up: The Titans' leader in TD receptions will play after missing last week but will be hard to trust given his hand injury and the team's QB situation.
Ryan Mathews - RB - San Diego Chargers
San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Dec. 18.
Huddle Up: Mathews is still unable to get on the field so expect a second straight inactive designation Saturday night when the Bolts visit the Niners.
A.J. Green - WR - Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green did not participate in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, due to an illness.
Huddle Up: Sounds like nothing more than a bug, and Green will even have an extra day to get past it with the Bengals not playing until Monday night this week.
Blake Bortles - QB - Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles (foot) will start Thursday night.
Huddle Up: As expected the first-round pick will be under center against the Titans, but it's been a season-long struggle with only one 300-yard game and two multi-TD pass contests so far.
Alshon Jeffery - WR - Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears WR Alshon Jeffery (non-injury related) did not practice Thursday, Dec. 18.
Huddle Up: No immediate word on what kept Jeffery out, but there's no reason to think it's anything too serious, either.
Dexter McCluster - RB - Tennessee Titans
Tennessee Titans WR Dexter McCluster (knee) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Thursday, Dec. 18.
Huddle Up: McCluster's Nashville debut netted 26 catches for 197 yards, 40 rushes for 131 more and one total TD. In short, a disappointment even for those in deeper leagues hoping to glean even flex-worthy fantasy value out of the WR.
DeMarco Murray - RB - Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand), who took some team snaps in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, is in no more risk if he plays in Week 16 against the Indianapolis Colts than if he sits out this week, according to head coach Jason Garrett. Murray had a plate and screws put into his broken left hand to stabilize the fourth metacarpal. He's been wearing a hard plastic shell on top of his glove for more protection.
Huddle Up: Murray is getting a test run in practice this week, and his status for Sunday remains up in the air, although things seem to be leaning toward him playing against the Colts. We'll certainly remain attuned to the situation with the rest of Fantasy Nation.
Peyton Manning - QB - Denver Broncos
Updating a previous report, Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (thigh) left practice early Thursday, Dec. 18, because he is receiving a scheduled day of rest. Manning was not limping when he was walking to the locker room.
Huddle Up: Sounds like a late-season, veteran maintenance day for Manning, who suffered a thigh bruise Sunday in San Diego. He's expected to practice Friday and be fully ready for the Week 16 Monday night game in Cincy.
Jordan Matthews - WR - Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles WR Jordan Matthews (knee) fully practiced Thursday, Dec. 18.
Huddle Up: If you weren't scared off by his untimely Week 15 doughnut (0 catches), the rookie wideout will be good to go Saturday against the Skins.
Chris Polk - RB - Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles RB Chris Polk appears to have become the team's goal-line back of late, and two of the three snaps he played in Week 15 led to short rushing touchdowns. On another snap inside the five-yard line, RB Darren Sproles took the ball for a TD. The Eagles have struggled in the red zone this year, and they think Polk's size and power gives him an advantage at the goal line. "Some of the short-yardage stuff, Polk's obviously a little bit more powerful back, so they've been giving him some of the runs in short-yardage in a couple games, especially last game," RB LeSean McCoy said. McCoy has 10 carries inside the 5-yard line this year and has three touchdowns.
Huddle Up: McCoy ranks 11th among fantasy RBs in standard-scoring formats, but he's been tough to fully trust given his drop in receptions (52-24 from last season) and now, lately, the goal-line situation. Weigh your options wisely.
Percy Harvin - WR - New York Jets
New York Jets WR Percy Harvin (ankle) is participating in practice Thursday, Dec. 18.
Huddle Up: Harvin was able to get back on the field after sitting out Wednesday, but his status for Sunday is still yet to be determined.
Kyle Rudolph - TE - Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph (ankle, knee) is not participating in practice Thursday, Dec. 18.
Huddle Up: Increasingly troubling news as it's the second straight missed practice for Rudolph, who is coming off a season-high seven-catch, 69-yard effort in Week 15. Rudolph owners will have to hope for better news in Friday's always-important practice.
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