Jerick McKinnon - RB - Cleveland Browns
Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (back) will retain the lead-back role, even after the team claimed RB Ben Tate off waivers from the Cleveland Browns Wednesday, Nov. 19, according to offensive coordinator Norv Turner. Turner said Tate was brought in for insurance because both McKinnon and RB Matt Asiata (concussion) were dealing with injuries this week. McKinnon said he will be ready for Week 12 against the Green Bay Packers. However, Asiata's status is in doubt. "We're excited about Jerick and what he's done, and I see him as our running back,' Turner said. "He's been limited in practice last week and couldn't practice (Wednesday) So you got to protect yourself, obviously with Matt not being able to practice (Wednesday) and in doubt as to whether he'll play or not.'
Huddle Up: The lead-back designation is one thing, but McKinnon's fantasy owners would like to see Turner and the Vikes back that up with more touches as the rookie has been averaging only 13.4 per outing over the last seven games.
Steven Jackson - RB - Atlanta Falcons
Updating a previous report, Atlanta Falcons RB Steven Jackson was out of practice with an illness Thursday, Nov. 20.
Huddle Up: Perhaps it's the same bug which has sidelined Julio Jones the past 2 days, but both should be good to go for Sunday's home date with the Browns.
Dwayne Allen - TE - Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) missed his second straight day of practice Thursday, Nov. 20, and The Indianapolis Star's Zak Keefer would bet on Allen sitting out this weekend against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Huddle Up: It's most definitely looking like Coby Fleener time Sunday against the Jags. Fleener had a career-high 144 receiving yards on seven catches in the Week 11 loss to the Pats.
Larry Fitzgerald - WR - Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) was not participating during the media-access portion of practice Thursday, Nov. 20.
Huddle Up: That two straight missed practices for Fitz. See what transpires Friday, but it has the look of a game-time decision Sunday afternoon in Seattle.
Fred Jackson - RB - Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills RB Fred Jackson said he believes the team is at a disadvantage for its Week 12 game against the New York Jets because the snow in the Buffalo area has prevented the team from practicing. Jackson said the players are using their iPads to study the game plan for Week 12.
Huddle Up: Yeah, we'd say being unable to practice is certainly a setback. The new date -- likely Monday -- and location for the contest should be announced soon with Ralph Wilson Stadium and the Buffalo area blanketed by ongoing snowfall.
Giovani Bernard - RB - Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (clavicle, hip) is fully participating in practice Thursday, Nov. 20.
Huddle Up: Don't look now, but that's now two straight days of workouts for Bernard, who's missed the last three games. Nothing's official yet, but start tinkering with idea of having Bernard available Sunday.
Emmanuel Sanders - WR - Denver Broncos
Updating a previous report, Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) is able to exercise as part of his concussion protocol. He missed a second straight day of practice Thursday, Nov. 20.
Huddle Up: Getting exercise clearance is a good sign, but fantasy owners are going to have wait and see on the final call for Week 12, which will likely come Friday.
Charles Clay - TE - Miami Dolphins
Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay (knee) is expected to be a game-time decision for Week 12 because of a knee injury.
Huddle Up: The late-afternoon kickoff in Denver isn't in the favor of Clay's fantasy owners so make other TE plans if you prefer to play it safe.
Julius Thomas - TE - Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) is not participating in practice Thursday, Nov. 20.
Huddle Up: Thomas missed a second straight day, but still has a chance to play Sunday, especially if he can get in some work Friday.
Julio Jones - WR - Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (illness) is not participating in practice Thursday, Nov. 20. It appears like Jones will still be ready for the team's Week 12 game.
Huddle Up: Sounds like a bug is making the rounds in Atlanta, but go ahead and count on having Jones available Sunday, especially if he can return to practice Friday.
Le'Veon Bell - RB - Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell will receive as many carries as he can handle, according to offensive coordinator Todd Haley.
Huddle Up: With the release of LeGarrette Blount the Steelers are thin at running back, but Bell has handled large workloads before and fantasy-wise now there's no risk of someone sniping him at the goal line.
Arian Foster - RB - Houston Texans
Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) is likely share carries with RB Alfred Blue if he plays in Week 12.
Huddle Up: Seems like the Texans have said this before, and the result was a full workload from Foster. If Foster can play, expect him to have close to his usual duties; otherwise, the team's MO has been to sit Foster if he's not at full capacity, in which case Blue will be the primary ballcarrier.
LeGarrette Blount - RB - New England Patriots
The New England Patriots signed free-agent RB LeGarrette Blount (Steelers) to a two-year deal for the veteran's minimum plus incentives Thursday, Nov. 20.
Huddle Up: The Patriots get back their former free agent just in time for the playoffs. His arrival could negatively impact new fantasy stud Jonas Gray, however.
Kenny Britt - WR - St. Louis Rams
St. Louis Rams WR Kenny Britt has not had any contract talks with the team, nor there have been communications about negotiations. Britt has said he wants to stick with St. Louls. "Hopefully I can stay here after this season and be in this locker room," Britt said. "It's hard to put a team together like this in the locker room, with this chemistry."
Huddle Up: We'll see just how much Britt wants to stick in St. Louis once teams start throwing free agent money at him this offseason.
Eli Manning - QB - New York Giants
New York Giants QB Eli Manning told reporters on Wednesday, Nov. 19, that he wanted to retire from football as a Giant. No details of a new contract or extension were announced, but sources indicate the team would like to keep him. Giants owner John Mara, in a separate interview, said he believes Manning has 'a lot of good years left.'
Huddle Up: Manning does have a pair of Super Bowl rings to his credit, and he picked up the team's new offense surprisingly quickly after things looked hopeless in the preseason. His price tag and the Giants' ability to find and prep an heir to Eli's job will go a long way towards determining whether or not he remains in New York as well.
Jeremy Hill - RB - Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals RB Jeremy Hill is likely to get a bulk of the carries in Week 12 against the Houston Texans, according to beat writer Geoff Hobson, despite the return of RB Giovani Bernard (clavicle, hip). Offensive coordinator Hue Jackson indicated Wednesday, Nov. 19, that Bernard will be eased back into the process.
Huddle Up: Makes sense for the team to handle Gio with kid gloves, and Hill has certainly demonstrated his ability to successfully handle a larger workload.
Giovani Bernard - RB - Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (clavicle, hip) will be eased back into the lineup, offensive coordinator Hue Jackson said Wednesday, Nov. 19. 'I think we've got to work him back into our process and how we do things. What will determined that is just how fast and how we think he is ready to go,' Jackson said.
Huddle Up: The suggestion here is that Gio won't walk back into a full share of carries like he had previous to his injury. Jeremy Hill has handled the job just fine in Gio's absence and will likely be the majority shareholder of Bengals backfield touches for this week and perhaps the next week or two as well while Gio reacclimates to the lineup.
LeGarrette Blount - RB - Pittsburgh Steelers
Free-agent RB LeGarrette Blount (Steelers) went unclaimed on waivers Wednesday, Nov. 19, and is now an unrestricted free agent available to sign with any club.
Huddle Up: Blount will probably land with a team in the near future but the fact that no organization was willing to use a waiver claim on him says something. For now, Blount has no fantasy value.
Eric Decker - WR - New York Jets
New York Jets WR Eric Decker (hamstring) said Wednesday, Nov. 19, his hamstring improved over the bye week. 'I feel good, I feel good physically, more so mentally,' Decker said. 'You step away for a bit and get a refresh, a restart.'
Huddle Up: Decker has been dealing with a bad hamstring all season. It sounds like he's finally healthy but it may not matter much in the Jets offense. He'll be a WR3/4 this week against Buffalo.
Jordan Reed - TE - Washington Redskins
Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) is not participating in practice Wednesday, Nov. 19.
Huddle Up: Not a good sign for Reed, who was hurt in Week 11 and missed four games earlier in the season with a hammy issue. Start scratching together a Plan B now.
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