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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Week 2 Injury Update #2
Philip Gentles
September 16, 2005

Mike Anderson, RB, DEN
Separated Rib Cartilage

Huddle Up: Broncos RB Mike Anderson, who suffered damage to his rib cartilage last weekend, returned to practice on Wednesday but he worked with the scout team and he was limited to non-contact drills. Mike Shanahan told reporters that Anderson looked good but that his real test will come on Friday when he attempts to practice with the first team offense. His status for Week 2 will be determined after the medical staff evaluates him following Friday's practice. If Anderson can't play then look for Tatum Bell to get a majority of the carries.

Jerome Bettis, RB, PIT
Strained Calf

Huddle Up: Steelers RB Jerome Bettis did not play last weekend because of a strained calf and it looks like he will not be ready for the team's Week 2 game either. Bettis has not practiced this week and remains doubtful on the Steelers' official injury report. A source close to the situation has told The Huddle that Bettis' calf is beginning to show signs of improvement but it looks like he won't be able to return to the field for at least another week. Willie Parker, who looked great in Week 1, will get the start in Week 2.

Kyle Boller, QB, BAL
Sprained Toe Ligaments

Huddle Up: Ravens QB Kyle Boller will not play in Week 2 after spraining ligaments in his right big toe during last Sunday night's game against the Colts. Boller's toe was hyperextended when Colts' DL Larry Tripplett sacked him in the third quarter. The team's medical staff doesn't expect him to ready for at least another two weeks so look for Anthony Wright to get the start.

Dallas Clark, TE, IND
Concussion

Huddle Up: Colts TE Dallas Clark, who was held out of Week 1 action against the Ravens as a precaution, finally made his return to practice on Wednesday and although being initially listed as questionable on the team's official injury report he's expected to make his regular season debut this weekend. Clark suffered a concussion during the pre-season that forced him to miss the final two weeks of the pre-season. He was suffering from headaches and bouts of dizziness but a neuro-psychological test performed on him last week revealed that everything was fine. Clark's headaches and balance problems have subsided and if he makes it through practice this week, as the team's medical staff expects him to do, he will make his first start of the year.

Jason Hanson, PK, DET
Strained Hamstring

Huddle Up: Lions kicker Jason Hanson, who strained his hamstring during Sunday's win over the Packers, has not practiced this week and based on the results of an MRI there is little chance that he will be ready to kick this weekend. An MRI done on Hanson's leg revealed a slight tear of the hamstring muscle. Injuries of this nature take at least a couple of weeks to heal. The Lions have already taken a look at several kickers so look for one to be signed over the next couple of days. Hanson believes that there is an outside chance that he will be ready to kick on Sunday but don't count on it.

John Hall, PK, WAS
Strained Quadriceps

Huddle Up: Redskins PK John Hall has not been ruled out of Week 2 action but there is little chance that his injured right quadriceps will allow him to play. Hall, who missed who missed 8 games last season with a partially torn quad, reinjured his thigh during his third field goal attempt last weekend. The injury isn't as bad as it was last year but the team's medical staff believes that Hall will be out at least a week The Redskins have brought in kicker Nick Novak as a replacement in case Hall can't kick.

Eric Johnson, TE, SF
Partially Torn Plantar Fascia

Huddle Up: It looks like the 49ers will be without their starting TE and best receiver for a second straight week. Eric Johnson, who missed the entire pre-season and Week 1 of the regular season with a partially torn plantar fascia in his foot, was unable to practice on Tuesday and Wednesday and his status for Sunday's game against the Eagles remains doubtful. The 49ers medical staff continues to work with Johnson and while they have been disappointed with the speed of his recovery they believe he will be ready to go by Week 3 or 4. Steve Bush and rookie Billy Bajema will likely play in Johnson's place but neither had a reception last weekend so don't expect much from them against Philadelphia.

Donovan McNabb, QB, PHI
Bruised sternum

Huddle Up: Eagles QB Donovan McNabb has been diagnosed with a bruised sternum after being hit in the chest by Falcons' DL Chad Lavalais during Monday night's game. McNabb stayed in the game but he was clearly hurt on the play and he looked uncomfortable moving around and throwing the ball the rest of the night. X-rays following the game were negative and an MRI and a CT Scan performed on Tuesday did not reveal any significant damage to his chest. McNabb did not practice on Tuesday and Wednesday but he was back in practice on Thursday and according to team officials he will be in the starting lineup against the 49ers. An official decision on his availability for Week 2 probably won't come until game day but I can't imagine him not playing, even if he's not completely healthy.

Itula Mili, TE, SEA
Intestinal Blockage

Huddle Up: Seahawks TE Itula Mili will probably miss his second straight game as he continues to recover from an intestinal blockage. Mili began to experience discomfort in his stomach last Wednesday, began to feel a bit better on Thursday but was rushed to the hospital on Friday morning when the problems got worse. He was expected to undergo a surgical procedure to clear the blockage but after further evaluation it was determined that the surgery was unnecessary. Head coach Mike Holmgren told reporters that Mili had his appendix removed when he was a child and that the scar tissue from the operation built up over time and it eventually created the blockage. Mili is expected to make a full recovery but he's lost a lot of weight and he could need another 2 or 3 weeks to regain his strength. Jerramy Stevens will continue to start in his place.

Jerry Porter, WR, OAK
Strained Hamstring

Huddle Up: Raiders WR Jerry Porter appears on the team's official injury report as probable, but several team officials believe he is 100% and back to full strength and the coaching staff is looking for him to have a big game against the Chiefs. Porter suffered a grade 2 hamstring strain in practice during the first week of training camp and he missed a good portion of the pre-season because of it. He played in Week 1 but he clearly wasn't at full strength, however he's looked terrific in practice and unless he suffers a setback he should be fine for the remainder of the season.

Patrick Ramsey, QB, WAS
Sprained Neck

Huddle Up: Redskins QB Patrick Ramsey returned to practice on Wednesday for the first time since spraining his neck and then being benched against the Bears in Week 1. Ramsey left the game against the Bears in the first half with a minor sprain but even after being cleared by the team's medical staff head coach Joe Gibbs decided to keep Ramsey, who had been struggling, on the sideline in favor of Mark Brunell. Ramsey's neck is fine and he will be active for Week 2 action but Brunell has already been named the starter so keep Ramsey out of your starting lineup (and off of your roster for that matter).

Ben Roethlisberger, QB, PIT
Bruised Knee

Huddle Up: Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger missed practice on Wednesday because of what the team is calling a bone-bruise in his left knee. It is unclear when the injury occurred but it doesn't appear to be serious and although Roethlisberger has been downgraded to questionable on the official injury report the Steelers medical staff still expects him to start in Week 2.

Jeremy Shockey, TE, NYG
Sprained Ankle

Huddle Up: An MRI done on the injured left ankle of Giants TE Jeremy Shockey came back negative and the team now believes that he will be ready to play this weekend. Shockey continues to experience discomfort and soreness in his ankle and he is being held out of practice as a precaution. Shockey has been running on the sidelines and working with team trainers as they try and prevent this injury from becoming a lingering problem. His ankle is fairly strong and he should be cleared to play in time for Week 2 but until an official decision on his availability for the game might not be made until the coaching staff sees him warm up with the team prior to kickoff.

Duce Staley, RB, PIT
Torn lateral meniscus

Huddle Up: Steelers RB Duce Staley continues to make progress in his recovery from arthroscopic knee surgery. His workload in practice has increased in each of the last two days and while his knee feels sore after workouts he hasn't complained of swelling or instability which is terrific sign. Staley recently told reporters that even when he's back to full strength that he expects Willie Parker, the Week 1 and now Week 2 starter, to remain in the starting lineup. If Staley continues to do well in practice he could be activated for this weekend's game but he won't be very productive even if he plays so keep him out of your starting lineup.

Lee Suggs, RB, CLE
High Ankle Sprain

Huddle Up: Browns RB Lee Suggs, who missed the team's regular-season opener with a high ankle sprain, returned to practice on Wednesday. Suggs continues to make a steady recovery and there is a good chance that he will be ready to make his regular-season debut on Sunday against the Packers. Reuben Droughns will likely get his second straight start even if Suggs is healthy but look for Suggs to be active.

IDP Update

Browns' DL Courtney Brown, who did not play in Week 1, is ready to make his regular season debut this weekend. Brown dislocated his elbow during training camp and he subsequently missed the entire pre-season and the first week of the regular season. However he's back in practice and he should be active on Sunday. Ravens' LB Terrell Suggs, who is listed as questionable on the official injury report, has missed practice this week because of a continuing case of back spasms. But Suggs is apparently feeling much better and while he won't do much in practice over the next couple of days head coach Brian Billick expects him to ready for Week 2 action. Titans' veteran LB Keith Bulluck has been limited in practice this week because of a strained calf muscle. However head coach Jeff Fisher told reporters that Bulluck would be fine by Sunday. Chargers rookie LB Shawn Merriman is not listed on the team's injury report and he should be ready to play this upcoming weekend. Merriman continues to work his way back from a sprained PCL in his left knee and he looks ready to play. But head coach Marty Schottenheimer would like to see Merriman in practice a little bit more before he becomes comfortable with his recovery. Chiefs' DB Patrick Surtain is listed as probable for Sunday's game against the Raiders. Surtain, who was knocked from the last game with a concussion, has returned to practice and even impressed the coaching staff with his performance in workouts the last couple of days. He isn't experiencing any lingering problems and he should be in the starting lineup this weekend. 49ers CB Ahmed Plummer will be ready to play in Week 2 despite undergoing surgery on Tuesday to repair a torn ligament in his thumb. Plummer actually suffered the injury before Week 1 but he was able to cope with the pain and play in the game. This week Plummer will be wearing a protective cast over his left hand that will make it hard for him to catch the ball. Broncos' DB Champ Bailey, who dislocated his shoulder against the Dolphins last weekend, will be reevaluated on Friday and according to Mike Shanahan a decision on his playing status won't be made until gameday. Bailey has not been able to practice but a source close to the situation has told The Huddle that his shoulder has improved and it should be completely healed by next week.