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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Week 7 Injury Update #2
Philip Gentles
October 21, 2005

Arnaz Battle, WR, SF
Sprained Knee

Huddle Up: Despite having an extra week to rest 49ers WR Arnaz Battle has been ruled out of this weekend's game against the Redskins because of a sprained knee. Battle did some light work with the training staff on Wednesday and Thursday but he hasn't been cleared for contact. Team officials aren't sure when he will be ready to make his return but they are hoping to have him back next week.

Drew Bennett, WR, TEN
Surgery To Repair Dislocated Thumb

Huddle Up: Titans WR Drew Bennett will not play this weekend and he is out for at least a month after undergoing surgery to repair a dislocated thumb. Bennett will have his thumb reevaluated prior to Week 9 but there is a chance that he could be out for a significant period of time. Rookie Brandon Jones will be the Titans top receiver on Sunday but look for Tyrone Calico and the TE's to become more involved in the passing game.

Kyle Boller, RB, BAL
Sprained Toe

Huddle Up: Ravens QB Kyle Boller has already been ruled out for Sunday's game but on Wednesday he was able to throw the ball in practice for the first time since spraining his toe in Week 1. Boller is reportedly jogging without any pain and the team's medical staff feel that he should be back at full strength in time for Week 9. Anthony Wright will get this start this weekend but his status as the starter when Boller is finally healthy has yet to be determined.

Isaac Bruce, WR, STL
Sprained Toe

Huddle Up: Rams WR Isaac Bruce is listed as questionable for Sunday's game but team officials aren't optimistic about his chances of playing. Bruce, who hasn't played since Week 3 because of turf toe (sprained big toe), did not practice with the team on Thursday but he did do some individual work under the supervision of the medical staff and he's looking much better. However the Rams aren't sure if he will be ready to play in time for Week 7. This will come down to a game-time decision but it looks like Kevin Curtis will once again replace Bruce in the starting lineup.

Marc Bulger, QB, STL
Sprained AC Joint

Huddle Up: Rams QB Marc Bulger, who sprained the AC joint in his right shoulder during last week's game against the Colts, will probably miss this weekend's game and according to reports he could be out until after the Rams November 6 bye. An MRI done on Bulger's shoulder did not reveal any serious structural damage but he has been diagnosed with a sprain and it looks like he will need several weeks of rest before he's able to return. Jamie Martin will start this weekend in place of Bulger.

Nate Burleson, WR, MIN
Sprained PCL / Sore Shoulder

Huddle Up: Vikings WR Nate Burleson appears ready to make his return to the starting lineup. Burleson missed the team's last three games because of a sprained PCL in his knee and shoulder soreness that apparently slowed his recovery process. He is currently listed as probable for Sunday's game against the Packers after practicing at full speed on Wednesday and Thursday. Burleson admitted that he probably wouldn't be 100% for another few weeks but that he is healthy enough to take the field and be productive. With Burleson returning look for Marcus Robinson to get bumped from the starting lineup.

T.J. Duckett, RB, ATL
Sprained Ankle

Huddle Up: Falcons RB T.J Duckett is still being hampered by a sprained ankle and according to team officials there is a good chance that he will be held out of Monday night's game against the Jets. The entire team did not practice on Wednesday but Duckett was still on the sideline when the team resumed practice on Thursday. The Falcons have a bye in Week 8 so the team's medical staff is seriously considering holding him out to give him the needed rest. If Duckett is deactivated look for Warrick Dunn to get even more carries, which should of course help his production.

Bobby Engram, WR, SEA
Cracked Ribs

Huddle Up: Seahawks WR Bobby Engram, who has not played since Week 4 because of a pair of cracked ribs, will not play this week. Engram could be ready to make his return within the next week or two but his ribs have not completely healed so he will remain on the sideline until they do. With Darrell Jackson still out nursing a knee injury look for Joe Jurevicius and Peter Warrick to get the start this weekend.

Bubba Franks, TE, GB
Sprained MCL / Bruised Knee

Huddle Up: Packers TE Bubba Franks, who is listed as questionable for Week 7 because of a sprained MCL and a bone bruise in his knee, took part in practice on Thursday and team officials expect him to be active this weekend. Franks is still not completely healthy and the team's medical isn't sure when he will be back to full strength. Franks has actually been active the last three weeks but his playing time has been limited because of his injury. The Packers have not said if and when Franks will return to the starting lineup but it looks like he will be limited again this weekend.

Jeff Garcia, QB, DET
Fractured Fibula and sprained ankle

Huddle Up: Lions QB Jeff Garcia has not played since fracturing his left fibula and spraining his ankle during the pre-season but according to reports there is a chance that he will make his 2005 debut this weekend against the Browns. Team physicians have already cleared Garcia to play and he split first-team reps with Joe Harrington in practice on Wednesday and Thursday. Garcia has not exactly impressed the coaching staff this week, but he does look healthy and with Harrington's lack of production this season don't be surprised if Garcia gets the nod.

Ahman Green, RB, GB
Bruised Quad / Knee

Huddle Up: Packers RB Ahman Green is still being listed as questionable for Week 7 with a bruised quadriceps and knee but he was able to practice on Thursday and the team expects him to make his return to the starting lineup on Sunday. Head coach Mike Sherman told reporters that not only does he expect Green to play but that he will probably see an increase in carries. Green continues to get treatment and he will probably have his knee and thigh wrapped but unless he suffers a setback in practice today or tomorrow he will be the starting RB on Sunday.

John Hall, PK, WAS
Partially Torn Quadriceps

Huddle Up: Redskins kicker John Hall, who has not played since partially tearing his quadriceps muscle in Week 1, returned to practice on Wednesday and he's being listed as probable for this weekend's game. Hall kicked field goals on Wednesday and did some kickoffs on Thursday but the team isn't ready to declare him fit to play. According to team officials the coaching and medical staff will wait until they see how he does in practice on Friday before they decide if he will be activated for Sunday's game. If Hall somehow suffers a setback and is not allowed to play look for Nick Novak to handle to kicking duties.

Torry Holt, WR, STL
Bruised Knee

Huddle Up: Rams WR Torry Holt played in Week 6 despite being hampered by a bruised knee and according to team officials he should be back in the starting lineup this weekend. Holt, who is listed as probable, did not take part in team drills during Thursday's practice as a precaution but he did do some individual work under the supervision of team trainers. Holt reportedly complained of swelling and stiffness in his knee following last week's game so the Rams do not want him to aggravate the injury in practice. Holt won't be at full strength but look for him to start and be productive in Week 7.

Joe Horn, WR, NO
Strained Hamstring

Huddle Up: Saints WR Joe Horn, who re-injured his hamstring during last week's game against the Falcons, did not practice on Wednesday and Thursday and according to team officials he will likely be deactivated for this weekend's game against the Rams. During an interview with reporters earlier in the week Horn implied that he may have come back from his hamstring injury too soon and that he will not attempt to play until he is completely healthy. We probably won't know what his status for this weekend's game will be until sometime on Sunday but don't be surprised if he isn't ready to play.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh, WR, CIN
Bruised Hand

Huddle Up: Bengals WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh returned to practice on Thursday but team officials aren't sure if he will be able to play this weekend. Houshmandzadeh has missed the team's last two games because of a bruised hand and even though he was practicing with the team on Thursday he was only allowed to catch passes that were lightly thrown. His hand is still be wrapped and he continues to get treatment so he is far from being healthy. A decision on Houshmandzadeh's availability won't be made until gameday so check back on Sunday for an update. Rookie Chris Henry would once again get the start if Houshmandzadeh doesn't play.

Andre Johnson, WR, HOU
Strained Calf

Huddle Up: Texans WR Andre Johnson, who did not play in last week's game because of a strained calf, is officially being listed as questionable for Week 7 but it doesn't look like he will ready to play this weekend. Head coach Dom Capers told reporters that Johnson hasn't improved very much and while it looks like he is headed for a game-time decision there is little chance that he will be ready to play. Corey Bradford will likely join Jabar Gaffney in the starting lineup against the Colts.

Larry Johnson, RB, KC
Quadriceps Contusion

Huddle Up: Chiefs RB Larry Johnson was held out of practice on Wednesday because of a quadriceps contusion. However Johnson, who is listed as probable on the official injury report, returned to practice on Thursday and he will be ready to play in tonight's game against the Dolphins. Priest Holmes will continue to get a bulk of the carries so unless you are out of options keep Johnson on your bench.

Rudi Johnson, RB, CIN
Sprained Knee

Huddle Up: Bengals RB Rudi Johnson did not practice on Wednesday because of a lingering knee injury but he was able to practice on Thursday and he will be back in the starting lineup this weekend against the Steelers. The team's medical staff has held Johnson out of Wednesday practices for four straight weeks. The Bengals have kept the details behind his injury under wraps but clearly he is dealing with a lingering problem. This probably explains why Johnson's numbers haven't been overly impressive. That and the emergence of Chris Perry. It looks like Johnson will continue to play through his injury problems but don't expect him to be anything more than a number 2 fantasy RB.

Kevin Jones, RB, DET
Sprained Shoulder

Huddle Up: Lions RB Kevin Jones has been held out of contact drills in practice this week because of a sprained shoulder and although he was able to play a majority of last week's game with the injury there is a chance that he will miss weekend's game. Jones, who is listed as questionable, continues to wear a brace on his shoulder. Head coach Steve Mariucci told reporters that Jones was getting stronger but he isn't sure when he would be ready for contact. His status is up in the air so don't expect a decision on his availability to come until gameday. Artose Pinner would start if Jones is inactive.

Julius Jones, RB, DAL
Sprained Ankle

Huddle Up: Cowboys RB Julius Jones did not play in last week's game because of a sprained ankle and according to reports he remains questionable for Week 7. Jones took was limited in practice on Wednesday and was held out of practice on Thursday, which clearly isn't a good sign. The word out of Dallas is that Jones is still experiencing pain and discomfort when he cuts and sprints. Head coach Bill Parcells will wait to see if he can practice today and tomorrow before he makes a decision but this could come down to a game-time decision. If Jones doesn't play look for the A-Train to make his second straight start.

Justin McCareins, WR, NYJ
Sore Knee

The Huddle: Jets WR Justin McCareins complained of soreness in his knee on Wednesday and was held out of practice on Thursday as a precaution. McCareins is still being listed as probable and he is expected to start on Monday but he will continue to get treatment twice a day. The team's medical staff will see how his knee responds following the game and they could send him for an MRI if he continues to feel sore. It doesn't affect his availability for this week but it is something to keep an eye on for the future.

Steve McNair, QB, TEN
Sore Back

Huddle Up: Titans QB Steve McNair was held out of practice on Wednesday because of a sore back but he was feeling much better on Thursday and head coach Jeff Fisher believes that he will be ready to go this weekend. McNair was excused from practice on Thursday for personal reasons but according to reports he should be back on the practice field today. He is still being listed as questionable but he should be upgraded soon.

Randy Moss, WR, OAK
Strained Groins / Bruised Ribs / Bruised Pelvis

Huddle Up: Raiders WR Randy Moss is listed as doubtful for Sunday's game after straining both groin muscles, bruising his ribs and bruising his pelvis in last week's game against the Chargers. Moss jogged gingerly during practice on Thursday but did not take part in any full speed drills. Although head coach Norv Turner has not ruled Moss out for Week 7 it isn't looking good. Team officials don't even know if he will be ready to play in Week 8 and there is a chance that he won't be at full speed for several more weeks. If Moss is deactivated this weekend look for Doug Gabriel to get the start opposite Jerry Porter.

Clinton Portis, RB, WAS
Strained Calf

Huddle Up: Redskins RB Clinton Portis, who is listed as probable for Sunday's game, did not practice on Wednesday because of a strained calf but he was back on the field on Thursday and he will ready to go this weekend against the 49ers. Portis injured his calf back in Week 5 and aggravated the injury last weekend but the team doesn't consider it a serious problem. As long as he is hurt he won't be able to put up big numbers but it looks like he will continue to start and play through it.

Ben Roethlisberger, QB, PIT
Bone Bruise

Huddle Up: Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger is officially listed as probable for this weekend's game because of a bone bruise in his knee but he was back working with the first team on Wednesday and unless he suffers a setback he will be in the starting lineup on Sunday. Roethlisberger felt he was ready to play prior to last week's game but the team's medical staff held him out as a precaution. He apparently looked good working in the pocket during pass drills this week and he is no longer complaining of pain when he runs. Roethlisberger will still have his knee padded but it shouldn't affect his mobility.

Aaron Stecker, RB, NO
Strained Achilles Tendon

Huddle Up: Saints RB Aaron Stecker is listed as questionable because of a strained Achilles tendon. However Stecker took part in practice on Wednesday and Thursday and according to team officials he should be active this weekend against the Rams. A source close to the Saints told The Huddle that Stecker has his leg and ankle specially wrapped prior to practice. The wrap is designed to reinforce his Achilles and he will apparently wear it during Sunday's game. It won't affect the way he runs but it will give him the extra support he needs. Antowain Smith will once again get the start but look for Stecker to get an even share in the carries.

Hines Ward, WR, PIT
Strained Hamstring

Huddle Up: Steelers WR Hines Ward, who was inactive for last week's game, did not practice on Wednesday and was limited in practice on Thursday as he continues to recover from a strained hamstring. Ward told reporters that he feels a lot better this week and despite being listed as questionable on the official injury report he guaranteed reporters that he would be back in the starting lineup this weekend. You usually can't rely on what an injured player says about his chances of playing but team officials believe that Ward is very close to making his return to the field. ESPN recently reported that Ward would indeed play in Week 7, but they have jumped the gun before so there are no guarantees. I suggest you wait until the Steelers make an official announcement on his status for the game before you submit your lineup. Antwaan Randel El also missed practice time this week but he was back on the field on Thursday and he should be ready to go this weekend.

Kurt Warner, QB, ARI
Partially Torn Groin

Huddle Up: Cardinals QB Kurt Warner, who missed several games this season because of a partially torn right groin muscle, was back at practice on Wednesday and Thursday and he appears healthy and ready to make his return. Head coach Dennis Green is pleased with Warner's recovery but he has not told the public who his starting QB will be for this Sunday's game. Josh McCown has played well in Warner's place so he seems to be the better choice but Warner won the starting job in the pre-season and Green might stick with his original starter. We won't actually find out who will start until gameday so check out The Huddle's Sunday Inactives and Injury Updates for the latest.

Roy Williams, WR, DET
Strained Quad

Huddle Up: Things aren't looking good for Lions WR Roy Williams. Williams, who is listed as questionable, did not practice on Wednesday and Thursday because of a strained quadriceps and team officials aren't expecting him to be active for this weekend's game. Head coach Steve Mariucci told reporters that Williams will not play until he is back at full speed. According to reports he was only able to jog on the sidelines on Thursday, which should tell you where he is in his recovery. An official decision on his availability won't come until sometime this weekend but don't expect him to be active.

IDP Report

Dolphins' DL Jason Taylor did not practice on Wednesday and Thursday because of a swollen foot and according to team officials he probably won't play in tonight's game against the Chiefs. Taylor was hurt in last Sunday's game and on Monday he was seen with crutches and a boot. He continues to receive treatment twice a day and while the Fins were optimistic earlier in the week about his chances of playing this weekend with the game being moved up because of Hurricane Wilma it doesn't look like he will be healthy enough to play in time. Falcons' DL Patrick Kerney, who has been bothered by an abdominal strain since Week 5, did not practice on Thursday but he is still being listed as probable and according to reports he should be in the starting lineup this weekend. Kerney was apparently held out of practice as a precaution. Don't be surprised if he ends up being a game-time decision but the team is expecting him to play. Patriots' DL Richard Seymour will not play this weekend because of a sprained MCL. Seymour was actually practicing on Thursday but he was limited to individual drills and it looks like he won't be back for at least another two weeks. Cardinals' DL Calvin Pace will miss the remainder of the season after suffering what the team is describing as a deep wound in his arm. Pace apparently got cut when his arm broke a window at his home. He has been placed on injured reserve and the Cards are hoping that he will be ready to play in time for mini camps next year.

Patriots' LB Tedy Bruschi returned to practice on Wednesday for the first time since suffering a stroke back in February. Bruschi, who has been working out on his own, did not take part in contact drills but he was able to work with the first team during position drills. Bruschi hopes to make his 2005 debut in Week 8 and while that might be a bit optimistic the Patriots believe that it is only a matter of time before he's ready to play. He's still on the PUP list but he could be taken off the list when the team returns from their bye. 49ers' LB Julian Peterson was held out of practice on Wednesday because of a strained hamstring but he returned to the field on Thursday and he's expected to be in the starting lineup this weekend against the Redskins. Cowboys' LB Dat Nguyen has missed the last two games because of pinched nerve in his neck. But Nguyen returned to practice on Wednesday and looked good working with the first team on Thursday. He's listed as probable for Week 7 so look for him to make his return to the field on Sunday. The Dolphins' were hoping that LB Junior Seau would be ready to play this week but with the game being moved up two days it isn't looking good. Seau did not practice on Thursday because of a strained calf and according to team officials he will probably be deactivated for tonight's game against the Chiefs.

Ravens' DB Ed Reed, who is still trying to recover from a high ankle sprain and a knee sprain, is listed as doubtful for this weekend's game and it looks like he will not be ready to play. Reed did not practice on Wednesday and Thursday and while he isn't talking to reporters he apparently cannot run without pain. The Ravens have not ruled him out but unless something unexpected happens look for Reed to be deactivated on Sunday. Chad Williams will get the start if Reed is unable to play. Broncos' DB Champ Bailey practiced on Wednesday and Thursday and will be able to play this weekend if he doesn't suffer any setbacks. Bailey has been dealing with a troublesome hamstring injury for nearly a month and according to team officials it's a problem that requires a significant amount of rest for it to completely heal. This will likely linger for the remainder of the season so while he's healthy enough to play now it's only a matter of time before he aggravates the problem again. Seahawks' DB Andre Dyson, who missed last week's game with a strained hamstring, did not practice on Wednesday and Thursday and it looks like he will be a game-time decision for this weekend's game. Dyson continues to experience soreness in his leg during activity and the team's medical staff is worried that if he tries to play he could suffer a setback. He's currently listed as questionable but don't be surprised if he doesn't play. Seahawks' DB Ken Hamlin, who was involved in a fight outside a Seattle nightclub on Monday, is no longer in intensive care and his condition has been upgraded from serious to satisfactory. Hamlin has been diagnosed with a fractured skull, a blood clot in the left side of his brain and a broken hand and while the team has not commented on his availability for the remainder of the season it doesn't look like he will be able to return anytime this year.