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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Tuesday Injury Report - Championship Week
Philip Gentles
January 18, 2011
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This early injury report will provide in-depth injury information on key fantasy players that suffered injuries in the previous weekend's games. All player injuries will be tracked during the week via our Injury & Practice Reports which are published on Fridays. Be sure you check out our Priority News often during the week as all breaking player news will be posted there.

QUARTERBACKS

Tom Brady, NE – Bruised Shoulder

According to reports Patriots’ QB Tom Brady bruised his right (throwing) shoulder during Sunday’s loss to the Jets and his status for the Pro Bowl is up in the air. Brady didn’t say when he was hurt, but there is a good chance that the injury occurred during one of his five sacks. As expected the Patriots’ officials haven’t said a single thing about Brady’s shoulder and since it isn’t serious they probably never will. However there is speculation that he is going to use the injury to get out of playing in the Pro Bowl.

Ben Roethlisberger, PIT – Undisclosed Knee Injury

Steelers’ QB Ben Roethlisberger appeared to injure his knee when he was hit in the first half of Saturday’s game against the Ravens, but he did not leave the game and he was able to play through the discomfort. Roethlisberger grimaced after the hit and reached for the knee several times during game, however the injury was not included in the team’s post-game injury report. I fully expect Big Ben to start against the Jets, but don’t be surprised if he misses practice time this week while recovers.

RUNNING BACKS

Justin Forsett, SEA – Sprained Ankle

Seahawks’ RB Justin Forsett sprained his ankle in the second half of Sunday’s game against the Bears. However the injury is considered minor and the team expects him to be completely healed before the start of OTAs. According to reports Forsett was seen limping in the locker room after the game and he’ll spend at least a week getting treatment. The good news is that it won’t take long to heal so he will have plenty of time in the off-season to prepare for 2011.

Marshawn Lynch, SEA – Undisclosed Shoulder Injury

Seahawks’ RB Marshawn Lynch had just 4 carries for 2 yards against the Bears on Sunday and it turns out an injury might have been the reason for his lack for involvement and production. According to reports Lynch suffered an undisclosed shoulder injury on a carry in the first quarter. The exact nature and severity of the injury remains a mystery and his status for the off-season is unknown. We’ll probably find out more in the coming weeks and we’ll bring you an update as soon as additional information becomes available.

TIGHT ENDS

John Carlson, SEA - Concussion

Seahawks’ TE John Carlson has been released from a Chicago-area hospital and has returned to Seattle after suffering what is being called a serious concussion against the Bears on Sunday. Carlson briefly lost consciousness when his head hit the ground after being upended by Bears’ DB Daniel Manning after a reception in the first half. He was seen moving his legs while on the ground and he was responding to the medical staff, but he was secured to a spine board, carted off the field and taken to a local hospital as a precaution. According to reports he complained of blurred vision and memory loss and an increasing need to sleep, all of which are signs of a serious concussion. So he was kept in the hospital overnight. It will take at least 2 weeks and probably longer for him to completely recover, but he should be ready for the start of the team’s OTAs.

Tony Gonzalez, ATL – Undisclosed Knee Injury

Falcons’ veteran TE Tony Gonzalez left Saturday’s game against the Packers after hurting his knee in the third quarter and his status for the off-season is unknown. Gonzalez appeared to slightly twist his right knee as he was being tackled on his only catch of the game. He stayed on the ground for a few minutes while being examined by the medical staff before being escorted off the field. He did not return to the game and he was seen limping in the locker room afterwards. According to reports he was scheduled on Monday to undergo an MRI. Gonzalez has indicated that he could retire in the off-season, but he would like to end his NFL career with at least one playoff win so there is still a chance that he could return.

INDIVIDUAL DEFENSIVE PLAYERS

Will Allen, DB, PIT – Undisclosed Knee Injury

Steelers’ backup safety and special teamer Will Allen left Saturday’s game against the Ravens with an undisclosed knee injury and his status for the AFC Championship game is in question. Allen went down in the second half and he was unable to finish the game. Head coach Mike Tomlin indicated that Allen would miss some practice time while he recovers, however he said that he wouldn’t know if Allen would be able to play until later in the week.

Chris Harris, DB, CHI – Hip Pointer

Bears’ FS Chris Harris, who left Sunday’s game against the Seahawks after suffering a hip pointer (hip contusion), told reporters that he was feeling better on Monday and team officials expect him to play in the NFC Championship game against the Packers. Harris hurt his hip in the first quarter and he tried to play through the injury. Unfortunately he wasn’t very effective and he eventually pulled himself from the game in the third quarter. Harris will probably be limited in practice this week, but it appears that he will be healthy enough to play this upcoming weekend.

James Harrison, LB, PIT – Undisclosed Shoulder Injury

Steelers’ LB James Harrison hurt his right shoulder during Saturday’s win against the Ravens, however he told reporters that he will definitely play in the AFC Championship game. Harrison was injured when he dove to force Ravens’ QB Joe Flacco out of bounds in the second half. Harrison was given credit for a sack, but he was slow to get up and he appeared to be in a lot of pain on the sideline. The exact nature of the injury is unknown and although he has undergone an MRI the results have not been made public. Head coach Mike Tomlin indicated on Monday that Harrison would be limited in practice this week, however he was confident that Harrison would still start against the Jets.

Bryant McFadden, DB, PIT – Lingering Hip Soreness

Steelers’ CB Bryant McFadden, who dealt with a nagging hip injury during the last month of the regular season, aggravated the injury in the first quarter on Saturday and his status for the AFC Championship Game is considered questionable. McFadden limped off the field after hurting his hip on the first series of the game and he did not return. Head coach Mike Tomlin told reporters that he wasn’t sure if McFadden would be able to play against the Jets and he indicated that a decision on his availability might not be made until game day. We’ll keep you posted on his recovery.

Rob Ninkovich, LB, NE – Sprained LCL

According to reports an MRI on LB Rob Ninkovich’s injured left knee revealed a torn lateral collateral ligament and it appears that he will not need surgery to repair the damage. Ninkovich was hurt in the third quarter of Sunday’s game and there was speculation that he may have suffered damage to his ACL. Evaluations on the field and in the locker room were inconclusive, but an MRI showed that his ACL was fine. Unfortunately he did tear his LCL and he will spend the next 6 – 8 weeks in rehab. The good news is that he should be ready for the start of OTAs.

Marcus Trufant, DB, SEA – Concussion

Seahawks’ CB Marcus Trufant, who suffered a serious concussion during Sunday’s game against the Bears, has been released from the hospital in Chicago and he returned to Seattle on Monday. Trufant was hurt when he took a knee to the helmet in the third quarter. According to reports he was knocked out cold, but he appeared to regain consciousness while being examined by the medical staff and he demonstrated movement in his arms and legs. He was still secured to a spine board, carted off the field and taken to a local hospital where he was diagnosed with a severe concussion. He spent the night in the hospital, but he was released on Monday morning. Head coach Pete Carroll told reporters that Trufant was doing well and that he should be able to make a full recovery in time for the start of the team’s off-season conditioning program.

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