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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Week 6 Injury Update #2
Philip Gentles
October 14, 2005

Drew Brees, QB, SD
Calf Contusion

Huddle Up: Chargers QB Drew Brees, who was fitted for a protective boot on Tuesday after being kicker in the calf during Monday night's game against the Steelers, practiced on a limited basis on Thursday and remains questionable on the team's official injury report. Team officials don't appear to be concerned and they expect Brees to be the starter this weekend but it could come down to a game-time decision. Check back with us on Sunday morning for a final update.

Isaac Bruce, WR, STL
Sprained Toe

Huddle Up: Rams WR Isaac Bruce is listed as doubtful for Monday night's game against the Colts because of a sprained toe and according to team officials he will likely miss his third straight game. Bruce actually took part in individual drills on Thursday and he is apparently very close to being ready to play but the team's medical staff wants to hold him out of for one more week as a precaution. Kevin Curtis, who has done a terrific job with Bruce out, will once again start if Bruce can't play.

Nate Burleson, WR, MIN
Sprained PCL / Sore Shoulder

Huddle Up: Vikings WR Nate Burleson practiced on a limited basis on Thursday but he has already been ruled out for Sunday's game because the team's medical staff feels his knee and shoulder need another week to recover. Burleson recently told reporters that his "congested" shoulder has held him back in his rehab but team officials have yet to comment on the specifics of his shoulder problem. Head coach Mike Tice did mention that he felt Burleson would play if his shoulder was OK. He apparently failed to impress the medical staff and he has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Bears. Look for Travis Taylor and Marcus Robinson to start.

Daunte Culpepper, QB, MIN
Sprained MCL / Bursitis

Huddle Up: It looks like the bye week came at the right time for Vikings QB Daunte Culpepper. Culpepper entered the team's week 5 bye with a sprained MCL and an irritating case of bursitis, but he took part in practice on Wednesday and Thursday without a problem and he isn't being listed on the team's official injury report. Culpepper is reportedly feeling much better and he looked mobile during practice on Thursday. He's been a major disappointment this year but now that he is close to full strength we should start to see an improvement in his production.

Corey Dillon, RB, NE
Sprained Ankle

Huddle Up: Patriots RB Corey Dillon is currently listed as probable for Sunday's game against the Broncos but we still don't know if he will be able to play with his sprained ankle. Dillon missed the part of practice on Wednesday and Thursday that was open to the media but as expected the Patriots have been very secretive about his injury and have not said if he was able to practice during the closed sessions. Dillon isn't talking about his injury either so there really isn't much to go on. Hopefully we will know more about his status over the next couple of days.

DeShaun Foster, RB, CAR
Bruised Knee

Huddle Up: Panthers RB DeShaun Foster was held out of practice on Wednesday and Thursday with what the team is calling a bruised knee and head coach John Fox isn't sure if he will be ready to play this weekend. The Panthers have not said when the injured happened or how it occurred but they are preparing the team as if he won't be active for Sunday's game. Stephen Davis returned to practice on Thursday after being held out on Wednesday with soreness in both knees so it looks like he will be starting but if Foster is unable to play look for Nick Goings to be Davis' primary backup.

Torry Holt, WR, STL
Bruised Knee

Huddle Up: Rams WR Torry Holt is listed as questionable for Monday night's game against the Colts because of a bruised knee and it looks we won't know his playing status until gameday. Holt was injured early in last weekend's game but he returned to the field and put up big numbers. A precautionary MRI done on Holt's knee revealed a bone bruise and some joint inflammation but his ligaments and cartilage were reportedly fine. His knee remains sore and he was limited in practice on Thursday raising questions regarding his availability for Week 6. Unfortunately the Rams will probably wait until sometime on Monday before making a decision on Holt so if you have him on your team you will have set your fantasy lineup before we know for sure if he will be active or not. If Holt is a no-go look for Shaun McDonald to join Curtis in the starting lineup. Check the Sunday Morning Inactives & Injuries report for a final update.

Joe Horn, WR, NO
Strained Hamstring

Huddle Up: A strained hamstring has kept Saints WR Joe Horn inactive for the team's last two games but after practicing on Thursday for the second-straight day Horn has told reporters that he will definitely be back in the starting lineup this weekend against the Falcons. Horn isn't completely healthy and head coach Jim Haslett said that he remains questionable for Week 6. But team's medical staff is pleased with his progress and believes he is close to returning. The team will wait until after pre-game warm-ups before they decide to either clear him or keep him out for another week. It looks like Horn will play but be ready in case he doesn't.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh, WR, CIN
Bruised Hand

Huddle Up: Bengals WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh remains questionable on the official injury report because of a bruised hand and while he says he will play there is a chance that he will be deactivated for the second straight week. Houshmandzadeh was held out of practice on Wednesday and he will limited for the remainder of the week. He continues to get treatment and he continues to have his hand wrapped and while he sounds optimistic about his chances of starting team officials aren't so sure. This will be a game-time decision and if he is unable to play look for rookie Chris Henry to start.

Andre Johnson, WR, HOU
Strained Calf

Huddle Up: Texans WR Andre Johnson will probably miss this weekend's game against the Seahawks because of a strained calf muscle and according to team officials he might not be ready to play until Week 8 or 9. Johnson has been a regular in the Texans' training room and during supervised workouts he continues to complain of pain when he runs. He's still being listed as questionable and he could be a game-time decision but don't expect him to play. Corey Bradford will move into the starting lineup if Johnson is declared out.

Rudi Johnson, RB, CIN
Sprained Knee

Huddle Up: Bengals RB Rudi Johnson, who was absent from Wednesday's practice while he rested his sore knee, was back on the field on Thursday and according to reports he will be in the starting lineup on Sunday against the Titans. The Bengals have not said much about Johnson's knee but he hasn't practiced on a Wednesday since the start of the season. It looks like he will continue to play through the problem but until he is healthy don't expect him to have a breakout game.

Julius Jones, RB, DAL
Sprained Ankle

Huddle Up: Cowboys RB Julius Jones is officially listed as questionable for Sunday's game but the team is preparing to play this weekend without him. Jones, who missed the second half of last Sunday's game after spraining his ankle in the first half, was fitted for a protective boot on Monday. His foot was removed from the boot on Wednesday but he has not practiced. Instead he has been working with the team's medical staff and he was seen riding the stationary bike while the team practiced on Wednesday and Thursday. The Cowboys will continue to monitor his progress and they will know more about his Week 6 availability this weekend. It could come down to a game-time decision so be ready to go without him if he is deactivated. Rookie Tyson Thompson and Anthony Thomas will share the carries if Jones can't play.

Thomas Jones, RB, CHI
Sprained LCL

Huddle Up: Bears RB Thomas Jones, who left last week's game with a sprained knee, did not practice on Wednesday and Thursday and it doesn't look like he will be ready to play this weekend against the Vikings. An MRI on Jones' injured knee revealed a grade 1 or mild sprain of the lateral collateral ligament (LCL) and while he hasn't been ruled out for this weekend's game there is a good chance that he will be inactive. Jones has been seen jogging without a limp but he continues to experience soreness. So even though this could come down to a game-time decision look for Jones to miss the game and Adrian Peterson and rookie Cedric Benson to split the carries in his place.

Deuce McAllister, RB, NO
Torn ACL

Huddle Up: Saints RB Deuce McAllister has officially been declared out for the remainder of the season because of a torn ACL in his knee. McAllister, who has been placed on Injured Reserve, is scheduled to undergo reconstructive knee surgery and the team's medical staff is hoping that he will be ready to play sometime during training camp next year. Antowain Smith and Aaorn Stecker will split the carries in his place.

Clinton Portis, RB, WAS
Strained Calf

Huddle Up: Redskins RB Clinton Portis is still being listed as probable despite missing practice on Wednesday and Thursday with a strained calf. Portis apparently injured his calf during last Sunday's game. The team's medical staff doesn't consider the injury serious but they wanted Portis to get as much rest and treatment as possible so that his calf doesn't become a lingering problem. The Redskins expect Portis to start this weekend so unless he is downgraded and deactivated make sure he is in your fantasy lineups.

Ben Roethlisberger, QB, PIT
Bone Bruise

Huddle Up: The Steelers received some good news regarding QB Ben Roethlisberger's knee. The team initially feared that Ben Roethlisberger had seriously injured his knee but an MRI revealed just a bone bruise so it looks like his long-term status remains OK. However he did not practice on Wednesday and Thursday and he is being listed as doubtful for this weekend's game against the Jaguars. Head coach Bill Cowher said that he hasn't ruled out Roethlisberger for Sunday but a local radio station in Pittsburgh is reporting that Tommy Maddox will likely get the start. It's good to hear that Roethlisberger's knee isn't bad but it looks like he will be out for at least one game.

Aaron Stecker, RB, NO
High Ankle Sprain

Huddle Up: Saints RB Aaron Stecker, who is still being listed as questionable because of a high ankle sprain, was able to practice on Thursday and according to team officials he should be ready to play this weekend against the Falcons. Stecker originally injured his ankle back in Week 3 and after missing a couple of weeks he was finally activated last week. He's still not completely healthy but according to head coach Jim Haslett look for Stecker and Antowain Smith to split the carries for the remainder of the season.

Fred Taylor, RB, JAX
Sprained Ankle

Huddle Up: Jaguars RB Fred Taylor has been downgraded to questionable on the team's official injury report after missing practice on Thursday with a sprained ankle. Taylor reportedly injured his ankle in the fourth quarter of last week's game against the Bengals. He was working with team trainers on Wednesday and Thursday but did not take part in team drills and it looks like his availability for Week 6 won't be determined until gameday.

Michael Vick, QB, ATL
Sprained MCL

Huddle Up: Falcons QB Michael Vick, who was held out of last week's game against the Patriots because of a sprained MCL in his right knee, was able to practice on Wednesday and Thursday and it looks like he will be back in the starting lineup on Sunday against the Saints. Vick told reporters that he felt he was healthy enough to play last week and that he was frustrated with the team's decision to keep him out. But the team's medical staff is feeling much better about Vick's knee this week and unless he suffers a setback he will be starting for the Falcons this weekend.

Hines Ward, WR, PIT
Strained Hamstring

Huddle Up: Steelers WR Hines Ward was able to play in last Monday night's game against the Chargers despite being slowed by a sore hamstring. Ward strained his hamstring back in Week 3 and it has kept him limited in practice ever since. He was able to play on Monday night and team officials believe that he will be able to play this weekend against the Jaguars but he has not practiced this week because the team does not want him to aggravate the injury. Ward remains questionable for Week 6 and it looks like he will be a game-time decision but don't be surprised if he is active and starting.

Cadillac Williams, RB, TB
Strained Arch / Strained Hamstring

Huddle Up: Bucs rookie RB Cadillac Williams was held out of last Sunday's game because of his strained arch and his status for Week 6 remains a question mark. Cadillac was able to practice on a limited basis on Wednesday and Thursday and according to head coach Jon Gruden he is getting closer to being healthy. To clear things up Cadillac's hamstring is no longer an issue. His arch continues to be the problem and the Bucs are worried that if he plays he could overcompensate and create additional problems (like his Week 4 hamstring strain). He is improving and team's medical staff is confident that his arch won't affect him for much longer, but he is still questionable on the official injury report this week and it looks like his availability for this Sunday's game won't be decided until gameday.

Roy Williams, WR, DET
Strained Quadriceps

Huddle Up: Lions WR Roy Williams, who left last Sunday's game with a strained quadriceps, has not practiced this week and according to reports it doesn't look like he will be active for this week's game against the Panthers. Williams is still being listed as questionable and he might even be a game-time decision but a source close to the team has told The Huddle that Williams won't be back to full strength for at least a couple of weeks. So even if he plays he won't be much of a factor. But at this point it doesn't look like the team will risk playing him so don't be surprised if he deactivated. Rookie WR Mike Williams is still a bit banged up as well but he will start opposite Kevin Johnson this weekend. Charles Rogers is still out serving a league-imposed suspension.