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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Week 9 Injury Update #2
Philip Gentles
November 4, 2005

David Akers, PK, PHI
Torn Hamstring

Huddle Up: Eagles' kicker David Akers is very close to making his return after missing the last 4 games with a partially torn hamstring. Akers, who is listed as questionable for Week 9, was back at practice on Wednesday and Thursday's. He looked pretty good kicking field goals but head coach Andy Reid let Jose Cortez handle the kickoffs. The Eagles will wait to see how Akers does in the practice today and Saturday before they make an official decision but it looks like he might be active for this weekend's game.

Drew Bennett, WR, TEN
Thumb Surgery

Huddle Up: Titans' WR Drew Bennett has not practiced since undergoing surgery to repair a broken bone in his thumb and he's already been ruled out of this weekend's game. The team doesn't expect him back for at least another two weeks, which means we probably won't see him until after Week 11.

Jerome Bettis, RB, PIT
Quadriceps Contusion

Huddle Up: Steelers' veteran RB Jerome Bettis, who has been dealing with a quadriceps contusion for a couple of weeks, apparently aggravated the injury during Monday night's game against the Ravens and after missing a big portion of practice on Thursday he was downgraded to doubtful on the team's official injury report. Head coach Bill Cowher wasn't prepared to rule him out but he didn't sound optimistic about Bettis' chances of playing when he spoke with reporters on Thursday. At this point it isn't looking good so don't expect him to play. Duce Staley, who has been inactive for virtually the entire season, will likely be activated and he will serve as Willie Parker's backup if Bettis can't play.

Anquan Boldin, WR, ARI
Bone Bruise

Huddle Up: The Cardinals will be without WR Anquan Boldin this weekend and he could be out until Week 12 because of a bone bruise in his knee. The team's medical staff has determined that Boldin will need 2 - 4 weeks to recovery from his injury but they remain cautiously optimistic about his chances of returning sooner rather than later. Bryant Johnson will get the start in Boldin's place opposite the Cardinals' other starter Larry Fitzgerald.

Kyle Boller, QB, BAL
Sprained Toe

Huddle Up: The Ravens were hoping that QB Kyle Boller would have been ready to make his return this week, but after experiencing soreness in his toe following practice last week it looks like his return has been pushed back at least another week. Boller was able to practice on Thursday but did not take part in any team drills and according to team officials he will likely miss this weekend's game.

Tyrone Calico, WR, TEN
Strained Calf

Huddle Up: The Titans have not released the results of an MRI done on Tyrone Calico's injured calf but according to reports he is still experiencing inflammation in the muscle and the team's medical staff doesn't know if he will be ready to play this weekend. Calico is currently being listed as questionable and he was held out of practice on Wednesday and Thursday. At this point it doesn't look like he will be active but look for this to be a game-time decision. The Titans are really hurting at the WR position so let's just hope that Calico can make a speedy recovery.

Domanick Davis, RB, HOU
Swollen Knee

Huddle Up: Texans' RB Domanick Davis has not practiced this week because of inflammation in his knee. The team did not say what was causing the inflammation but according to reports he was injured in last week's game. Head coach Dom Capers did not know if Davis would be ready to play this weekend but he said that he would update everyone on Davis' status after practice today. This looks like it could come down to a game-time decision so be ready to start someone else if Davis is deactivated. Jonathan Wells and rookie Vernand Morency will likely split the carries if Davis can't play.

Ken Dorsey, QB, SF
Sprained Ankle

Huddle Up: 49ers' QB Ken Dorsey was limited in practice on Thursday and while he should be active this weekend the team has decided to start Cody Pickett. The swelling and pain in Dorsey's ankle has decreased over the last few days and he's shown tremendous improvement but he isn't very mobile and the team's medical staff feels he won't be ready to start for at least another week. Rookie Alex Smith has already been ruled out for this weekend's game because of a sprained knee so look for Dorsey to serve as Pickett's backup.

T.J. Duckett, RB, ATL
Sprained Ankle

Huddle Up: It looks like the bye week came at the right time for RB. T.J. Duckett and the Atlanta Falcons. Duckett missed the team's last game in Week 7 with a sprained ankle and while he was held out of practice on Wednesday as a precaution he was cleared to practice on Thursday. According to reports Duckett looked strong in practice and team officials appear optimistic about his chances of playing this weekend against the Dolphins. He's still being listed as questionable on the team's official injury report but unless he suffers a setback he should be activate for Week 9.

Jeff Garcia, QB, DET
Fractured Fibula

Huddle Up: According to reports Lions' QB Jeff Garcia will probably miss Week 9 after aggravating his injured leg in last week's game. Garcia, who missed the first 6 weeks of the regular season with a fractured fibula, has begun to experience pain and discomfort in the same leg. Garcia told reporters that his leg was never completely healed and that he probably came back too early. His status for this weekend's game is in serious doubt and his status for the remainder of the season is in question. Joey Harrington will get the start in his place this weekend.

Bobby Engram, WR, SEA
Cracked Ribs

Huddle Up: Seahawks' WR Bobby Engram is currently listed as probable and it looks like he will be making his return to the starting lineup this weekend after practicing on Wednesday and Thursday without a problem. Engram hasn't played since Week 4 because of cracked ribs but he is no longer experiencing pain when he breathes or when he twists his torso. According to reports Engram has looked great in practice this week and the team believes that he will be a major factor in the offense this weekend.

Robert Ferguson, WR, GB
Torn LCL

Huddle Up: Packers WR Robert Ferguson was originally supposed to miss a month with a torn LCL, but the team's medical staff is now hoping that he will be able to return in Week 10. Ferguson's recovery has gone extremely well and his knee is getting closer to full strength. He did not practice with the team on Wednesday and Thursday and the team doesn't expect him to be active for this weekend's game but at least he's ahead of schedule, which is good news for those of you who have him on your roster.

Priest Holmes, RB, KC
Concussion

Huddle Up: Chiefs' RB Priest Holmes was held out of practice on Wednesday because of a concussion that he suffered in last week's game and he was in southern California on Thursday seeking a second opinion from a neurological specialist about his availability for this weekend's game. According to reports the team's medical staff examined Holmes on Monday and they said that everything appeared to be OK. However Holmes said that he didn't feel right and he insisted on getting a second opinion before he resumes practice. By all accounts he should be ready to play on Sunday but if he continues to second-guess his health he won't be mentally prepared to participate. We should know more about his status sometime today but let's just hope that Holmes is told exactly what he wants to hear.

Darrell Jackson, WR, SEA
Knee Surgery

Huddle Up: Seahawks WR Darrell Jackson, who is still trying to recovery from knee surgery to repair a torn lateral meniscus, has already been ruled out for this weekend's game and he probably won't be ready to play until at least Week 11. Jackson has shown signs of improvement but he's still not practicing, which means he still has a ways to go in his rehab. Bobby Engram will probably make his return this weekend but with Jackson out look for Joe Jurevicius to remain in the starting lineup.

Brandon Jacobs, RB, NYG
Quadriceps Contusion

Huddle Up: Giants' rookie RB Brandon Jacobs was added to the team's official injury report on Thursday and is listed as questionable after slipping in practice and bruising his quadriceps. Team officials aren't sure if Jacobs will be able to practice today or if he will play this weekend but if he is deactivated look for Tiki Barber to see more playing time in short-yardage and goal line situations.

Andre Johnson, WR, HOU
Strained Calf

Huddle Up: Texans' WR Andre Johnson, who hasn't played since straining his calf against the Titans back in Week 5, returned to practice on Wednesday and made it through practice on Thursday and according to team officials he should be back in the starting lineup this weekend. Johnson is still being listed as questionable but if things continue to go well he should be upgraded. An official decision on Johnson's availability probably won't come until gameday but it looks like he will be ready to go.

Chad Johnson, WR, CIN
Bruised Shoulder

Huddle Up: Bengals' WR Chad Johnson, who bruised his shoulder in last week's game, was held out of practice on Wednesday as a precaution. However he was back on the field on Thursday and according to reports it looks like he will be ready to play this weekend. Johnson told reporters that his shoulder does feel a little stiff but that he didn't expect it to affect his performance.

Brandon Jones, WR, TEN
Sprained Ankle

Huddle Up: Titans' WR Brandon Jones, who missed last week's game because of a sprained knee, did not practice on Wednesday and Thursday and his status for this weekend's game remains in question. Jones sprained his knee back in Week 7 and his recovery has reportedly been slowed because of a nagging ankle injury as well. Head coach Jeff Fisher isn't sure if Jones will be able to practice this week but don't expect a decision on his availability to be made before gameday.

Nate Kaeding, PK, SD
Back Spasms

Huddle Up: Chargers' kicker Nate Kaeding returned to the field on Thursday after missing practice on Wednesday because of back spasms. Kaeding, who is currently being listed as questionable, was held out of practice on Wednesday and Thursday last week because of the same back problem but he was still able to kick in Week 8. The Chargers expect him to be healthy enough to kick so look for him to be active this weekend.

Donovan McNabb, QB, PHI
Bruised Ribs / Sports Hernia

Huddle Up: Eagles' QB Donovan McNabb continues to be bothered by a sports hernia but he also suffered bruised ribs in last Sunday's game and he's been downloaded to questionable on the team's official injury report. McNabb did not practice on Wednesday and Thursday and head coach Andy Reid wasn't sure if he would be able to go today. But he does feel confident that his starting QB will be healthy enough to play this weekend. This will likely come down to a game-time decision so don't expect to hear anything definite on his status until gameday.

Terrell Owens, WR, PHI
Sprained Ankle

Huddle Up: The Eagles have not clarified if the injury to WR Terrell Owens' ankle is in anyway related to the surgery performed on the same ankle last year, however after initial reports from ESPN that said Owens could be out for two weeks it looks like there is a good chance that he will be able to play in this weekend's game. Owens sprained his ankle in last week's game against the Broncos and according to reports he was suffering from a tremendous amount of swelling in his leg the next day. But after being listed as doubtful on Wednesday he was able to take part in the team's walkthrough on Thursday morning and he looked great during practice on Thursday afternoon. The team's medical staff was very impressed with his performance and he's since been upgraded to questionable. However he still has some swelling in his ankle and head coach Andy Reid isn't sure if he will be ready to play this weekend and implied that an official decision on his availability probably won't come until gameday. Say what you will about T.O.'s antics, he is one of the toughest players in the NFL. He's never had a problem playing with an injury so don't be surprised if he starts on Sunday.

Willie Parker, RB, PIT
Sprained Toe

Huddle Up: Steelers' starting RB Willie Parker, who sprained his toe during Monday night's game against the Ravens, was held out of practice on Wednesday as a precaution but he returned to the field on Thursday and he's being listed as probable for this weekend's game. The severity of the sprain has not been revealed but it doesn't appear to be too serious. However this something to keep an eye on as toe injuries can linger and can affect performance.

Ben Roethlisberger, QB, PIT
Knee Surgery

Huddle Up: Steelers' QB Ben Roethlisberger will miss the next 1 - 2 weeks after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery to repair small tears in his lateral meniscus and remove a piece of torn cartilage. According to reports Roethlisberger, who originally hurt his knee in Week 1 against the Titans, aggravated the problem during Monday night's game against the Ravens and was diagnosed with a posterior capsule strain. But further examination revealed cartilage damage that needed to be fixed. Head coach Bill Cowher has already ruled him out for Week 9 but told reporters that there is a chance that he could be available in Week 10. Charlie Batch will be the Steelers' starting QB this weekend.

Lee Suggs, RB, CLE
Broken Thumb

Huddle Up: The Browns have already declared RB Lee Suggs out for Week 9 and according to published reports it looks like Suggs is still 2 - 3 weeks away from making his return. Suggs is currently recovering from a broken thumb and he remains in a cast that prevents him holding a football properly. Reuben Droughns has done a decent job starting for the Browns and he will continue to start as long as he is healthy.

Ben Troupe, TE, TEN
High Ankle Sprain

Huddle Up: Titans TE Ben Troupe, who is listed as questionable on the team's official injury report because of a high ankle sprain, was held out of practice on Wednesday and Thursday and according to team officials it looks like he could miss this weekend's game. Troupe was seen in a walking boot on Wednesday and he was still feeling sore on Thursday. This will likely come down to a game-time decision so check back this Sunday for a final update.

Reggie Williams, WR, JAX
Concussion

Huddle Up: Jaguars' WR Reggie Williams left last Sunday's game with a concussion and according to reports he was feeling a bit woozy on Monday morning. However he's made a quick recovery and he was cleared to resume practice on Wednesday. Williams reported no problems after practice on Thursday and he's expected to be ready for this weekend's game.

Mike Williams, WR, DET
Bruised Knee

Huddle Up: Lions' rookie WR Mike Williams left practice on Wednesday with what the team is calling a bruised knee, but he was able to return to practice on Thursday and according to reports he should be good to go this weekend. Charles Rogers makes his return after serving a 4-game suspension, but he hasn't looked good in practice. So if Roy Williams is still out because of injury Mike Williams will be the team's top WR.

Roy Williams, WR, DET
Strained Quadriceps

Huddle Up: Lions WR Roy Williams, who has missed the last three games with strained quadriceps, was back at practice on Wednesday and Thursday. Unfortunately according to reports Williams tweaked his quad in both practices making his status for this weekend's game a major question mark. The Lions will see how he does over the next couple of days but if he can't make it through a practice without a setback don't expect him to be active on Sunday.