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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Week 4 Injury Update #2
Philip Gentles
September 30, 2005

David Akers, PK, ATL
Partially Torn Hamstring

Huddle Up: As expected Eagles PK David Akers, who has a partially torn hamstring, will not be active for this weekend's game against the Chiefs. Head coach Andy Reid told reporters that the team plans to evaluate Akers on a week-to-week basis but several team officials have said that they don't expect to see Akers on the field for another 3 - 6 weeks. Todd France will kick for the Eagles this weekend and he will continue to kick as long as Akers remains on the sidelines.

Isaac Bruce, WR, STL
Sprained Toe

Huddle Up: Rams veteran WR Isaac Bruce continues to be bothered by a sprained big toe. Bruce, who hyperextended and sprained his toe during last Sunday's game, missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday, is being listed as doubtful on the official injury report and according to team officials there is a good chance that he will be inactive for this weekend's game. In fact this injury could keep him sidelined for several weeks so there is already concern about his status for Week 5. If Bruce doesn't play on Sunday look for Kevin Curtis to get the start opposite Torry Holt.

Nate Burleson, WR, MIN
Sprained PCL

Huddle Up: Vikings WR Nate Burleson, who has a sprained PCL in his knee, has already been ruled out for this weekend's game and according to reports the team doesn't know when he will be ready to return. Burleson has shown signs of improvement but it could be weeks before he's given clearance by doctors to take the field. Travis Taylor has played well in his place and he will continue to start opposite Marcus Robinson until he returns.

Donald Driver, WR, GB
Sprained Ankle

Huddle Up: Packers WR Donald Driver, who sprained his ankle during last Sunday's game, was held out of practice on Wednesday as a precaution but he return to the field on Thursday and he should be ready to play this weekend against the Panthers. Driver is officially being listed as probable but at this point there is no reason to think he won't be active.

Kevin Faulk, RB, NE
Broken Foot

Huddle Up: Patriots RB Kevin Faulk broke a bone in his left foot during last Sunday's game against the Steelers and according to several reports he will be out 6 - 8 weeks. As usual the team did not say how the injury occurred or what part of his foot was broken but they did sign free agent Amos Zereoue which indicates that the team expects to be without Faulk for a significant amount of time.

Jay Fiedler, QB, NYJ
Separated Shoulder

Huddle Up: Jets QB Jay Fiedler might be able to play again this season after all. The team's medical staff feared that Fiedler would require season-ending surgery to repair his injured shoulder. But after seeing a specialist it looks like Fiedler will not miss the remainder of the season and he is now expected back in 3 - 6 weeks. According to reports he has already started rehab and the team's medical staff is currently trying to reduce the pain and swelling while trying to improve his range of motion and strength. Getting him ready to return in 3 weeks seems like a long shot but if he doesn't require surgery you should expect him back sometime in early November.

Bubba Franks, TE, GB
Bruised Knee

Huddle Up: Packers tight end Bubba Franks, who is questionable for Monday night's game against the Panthers because of a bruised knee, missed his second straight practice on Thursday. Franks hasn't practiced in well over a week and it could force him to miss his second straight game. A decision probably won't be made until sometime this weekend but it looks like he will be inactive for Week 4.

John Hall, PK, WAS
Strained Quadriceps

Huddle Up: With the Redskins on a bye in Week 3 kicker John Hall had an extra week to rest. Unfortunately it looks like Hall will need at least one more week before he's ready to make his return. He has not practiced this week and according to team officials he will likely miss this weekend's game. Nick Novak will handle the kicking duties if Hall is deactivated.

Jason Hanson, PK, DET
Strained Hamstring

Huddle Up: Lions kicker Jason Hanson, who is trying to work back from a strained hamstring, returned to practice this week but he kicked on a limited basis and he remains questionable for this weekend's game against the Bucs. Hanson has looked good kicking short field goals but he continues to experience soreness and discomfort during kickoffs and longer field goals and there is a chance that he will be held out of Sunday's game. It looks like this will come down to a game-time decision.

Joe Horn, WR, NO
Strained Hamstring

Huddle Up: Saints WR Joe Horn missed his second straight day of practice because of a strained hamstring. Horn apparently hurt himself during last Sunday's game and while the team doesn't think that his injury is serious it looks like this injury is becoming a problem. Hopefully he will be back on the field this weekend but at this point there are no guarantees. We will have an update on his status on Sunday.

Steven Jackson, RB, STL
Bruised Sternum

Huddle Up: Rams RB Steven Jackson, who bruised his sternum in last Sunday's game, did not practice on Wednesday while he received treatment but he returned on Thursday and he took a majority of the snaps with the first-team offense. Jackson continues to complain of pain and stiffness in his chest but head Mike Martz expects him to be ready for this weekend's game. It's just a matter pain tolerance and if he can deal with the pain and he should be fine.

Donovan McNabb, QB, PHI
Sports Hernia

Huddle Up: Eagles QB Donovan McNabb has been diagnosed with a sports hernia and according to the team's medical staff he will probably need surgery to correct it. McNabb was tested last week for a sports hernia (which is a tear in the abdominal wall) but the results were inconclusive and head coach Andy Reid told reporters that the injury was just a strain. However McNabb went to Boston to visit a specialist for a second opinion and it was confirmed that he has a sports hernia. McNabb will require surgery at some point to fix the problem but the Eagles' medical staff will try and get him through the season without it. This is not good news. McNabb practiced this week and he is scheduled to start in Week 4 but trying to predict if he will be ready for anything beyond that is impossible. McNabb will have to play through the pain and he may still be productive but he could aggravate the injury at any moment. He's week-to-week at best and it will be this way for the remainder of the season. It's probably too late to trade him, but if you can get a good deal you might as well pull the trigger and avoid the headaches this will cause you in the near future.

Chad Pennington, QB, NYJ
Torn Rotator Cuff

Huddle Up: Jets QB Chad Pennington will miss the remainder of the season after a shoulder specialist confirmed that he had indeed suffered a tear in his rotator cuff. The team's medical staff initially diagnosed him with a tear but specialist Dr. James Andrews cautioned that the tears visible in the MRI could be to the scar tissue from surgery. However Andrews discovered that Pennington had indeed re-torn his rotator cuff and has since recommended season-ending surgery to repair it. Pennington, who has already been declared out for this weekend's game, will probably see how his shoulder responds to rest and rehab over the next two or three weeks before he decides to undergo the surgical procedure. With Fiedler out for at least another three weeks look for Brooks Bollinger to start in his place. And if he falters look for Vinny Testaverde to get his chance.

Rod Smith, WR, DEN
Mild Concussion

Huddle Up: Broncos veteran WR Rod Smith was knocked from last Monday night's game with mild concussion and while he did not return to finish the game the injury was never viewed as serious. Smith has not complained of any problems and he was back at practice on Wednesday and Thursday so look for him to be in the starting lineup this weekend.

Kurt Warner, QB, ARI
Strained Groin

Huddle Up: Cardinals veteran QB Kurt Warner will miss at least one week after straining his right groin during last Sunday's game against the Seahawks. Warner was injured when he tried to scramble in the second quarter. He left the game for an examination but did not return and was replaced by Josh McCown who will continue to start while Warner is out. Warner told reporters that he felt the injury was significant but the Cardinals are remaining optimistic and they hope he returns in a couple of weeks. But he's already been ruled out for this weekend and with a bye coming up in Week 6 we may not see him until at least Week 7.

Cadillac Williams, RB, TB
Strained Arch

Huddle Up: Bucs RB Cadillac Williams has been extremely limited in practice this week because of a strained arch in his foot but he's listed as probable on the team's official injury report and the team expects him to start this weekend against the Lions. The Bucs have relied on the rookie a lot to start the season and they have every intention of using him as much this weekend so they just want to make sure that his injured foot gets as much rest as possible. According to team officials Cadillac's arch continues to improve and they expect it to be an non-issue within a couple of weeks.

IDP Report

Falcons' DL Brady Smith returned to practice on Wednesday after missing Week 3 with a strained quadriceps. Smith wore a wrap around his leg but he looked good and the team expects him back in the starting lineup this weekend. Eagles' DL Darwin Walker, who suffered a quadriceps contusion during last Sunday's game, has made a quick recovery and he's being listed as probable on the team's official injury report. Walker was held out of practice on Wednesday and he will be limited during workouts for the remainder of the week but head coach Andy Reid still expects him to be ready for Week 4 action. Steelers' LB Clark Haggans will miss at least 5 weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a torn groin muscle. Haggans reportedly injured his groin on the second-to-last play of last Sunday's game against the Patriots. Although how he did it remains a mystery he was seen limping in the locker room after the game. Haggans saw a specialist on Wednesday and had surgery soon there after. Head coach Bill Cowher declined to discuss the exact nature of the injury but said that he expects Haggans to miss a minimum of 4 games. Dolphins' LB Junior Seau strained his left calf muscle during last Sunday's game against the Panthers and has been held out of practice this week. Seau reportedly bruised his calf in Week 2 and strained the same muscle in Week 3 but neither injury is considered serious. That being said the team's medical staff isn't sure if he will be ready to play this weekend so it could come down to a game-time decision. 49ers' LB Julian Peterson remains a question mark for Sunday's game against the Cardinals because of a strained hamstring. Peterson has been held out of practice this week and while he could return on a limited basis on Friday a decision on his availability for Week 4 won't come until sometime this weekend.

Giants' DB William Peterson could be out for the remainder of the season after doctors discovered a stress fracture in his lower back. An MRI last week showed the team's medical staff that he had developed a fracture but they allowed him to play in Week 3. However he experienced a tremendous amount of pain and in a follow up exam this week the injury appeared to be more serious. Peterson missed nearly all of the 2003 season with a similar injury and according to Peterson the injury this time around is similar but feels worse. He will continue to be monitored but it looks like he won't be back anytime soon. Saints' DB Jay Bellamy will miss the remainder of the season after tearing the rotator cuff in his right shoulder during last Sunday's game against the Vikings. Bellamy, who had started in 122 straight games, is scheduled to undergo surgery to repair the tear and he will be placed on Injured Reserve. The 49ers have lost a pair of DBs for a significant period of time, one for at least a month and another for the rest of the season. Ahmed Plummer underwent arthroscopic surgery to remove a bone chip in his left ankle and he will be out 4 - 6 weeks and Mike Rumph will miss the remainder of the 2005 season after tearing the plantar fascia on the bottom of his foot during practice on Wednesday. The 49ers defense was already one of the worst units in the league and these latest injuries will only make things worse. Vikings' DB Brian Williams will miss the next 2 - 4 weeks after partially tearing the MCL in his knee during last Sunday's game. Williams will not require surgery but it could take him a month to recover. The team's medical staff is hoping that he will be back in a couple of weeks but he's already been ruled out for Week 4. Ralph Brown will take over for Williams while he recovers. The Vikings expect Williams to return at some point this season but the same can't be said for Willie Offord. Offord tore the ACL in his left knee against the Saints last Sunday and he's scheduled to undergo season-ending surgery to repair the ligament. Cardinals' rookie DB Antrel Rolle has already been declared out for this weekend's game against the 49ers because of a sprained knee and according to reports he is scheduled to get a second opinion on the injury from a specialist in Miami. Rolle was hurt in the fourth quarter of last Sunday's game and at the time head coach Dennis Green didn't think the injury was serious. Let's just hope that he check's out OK and is ready to go in a week or two. Broncos' DB Champ Bailey got some great news from the team's medical staff regarding his injured hamstring. An MRI performed on Bailey's leg did not reveal any tears and according to several team officials there is a chance that he will be ready for this weekend's game but he was held out of practice on Wednesday and head coach Mike Shanahan doesn't expect him on the field prior to Sunday's game. He's officially listed as questionable but this could come down to a game-time decision.