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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Week 13 Injury Update #2
Philip Gentles
December 2, 2005

Tatum Bell, RB, DEN
Bruised Chest

Huddle Up: Broncos' RB Tatum Bell was held out of the team's last game as a precaution but he hasn't missed a practice this week and he should be back on the active roster this weekend against the Chiefs. Bell bruised his chest back in Week 11 and told reporters that he probably could have recovered and played in time if the Week 12 game was on a Sunday rather than on Thanksgiving Thursday. According to reports Bell has looked sharp in practice and the team expects him to be a big part of the offense on Sunday.

Ladell Betts, RB, WAS
Sprained MCL

Huddle Up: Redskins' RB/KR Ladell Betts returned to the practice field on Thursday after missing Wednesday's workout and the team's last two games with a sprained MCL in his left knee. Betts continues to complain of soreness in his knee following long bouts of activity and according to reports team officials don't believe that he will be ready to play until at least Week 14. However he is improving and there is a chance that he will be activated as soon as this weekend. We probably won't know what his official status for Week 13 will be until gameday but don't count on him being active.

Marty Booker, WR, MIA
Strained Calf

Huddle Up: Dolphins' WR Marty Booker hasn't practiced this week because of a strained calf that occurred in last week's game and he is currently listed as questionable for Sunday's game. Team officials haven't said much about Booker's injury but the coaching staff is preparing Bryan Gilmore to start. Gilmore worked with the first-team offense on Wednesday and Thursday so unless Booker's status changes soon look for him to be inactive this weekend.

Chris Brown, RB, TEN
Sprained Ankle

Huddle Up: Titans' RB Chris Brown, who is still trying to recover from yet another sprained ankle, was held out of practice on Wednesday, was limited in practice on Thursday and his status for Week 13 remains questionable. According to reports Browns ankle remains sore and while he's been able to run under the supervision of the medical staff the Titans don't want him aggravating the injury. So there is a good chance that he won't go at full speed until pre-game warm-ups on Sunday. So don't be surprised if he ends up being a game-time decision.

Matt Bryant, PK, TB
Strained Hamstring

Huddle Up: Bucs' KIK Matt Bryant continues to be bothered by a strained hamstring but according to head coach Jon Gruden he has shown signs of improvement and if he makes it through practice today (Friday) without a problem he should be the team's kicker on Sunday. Bryant was limited in practice on Wednesday and held out of kicking drills on Thursday but he will attempt to kick in practice today. Todd France has already been signed by the Bucs and he will be the starting kicker if Bryant can't go.

Marc Bulger, QB, STL
Sprained Shoulder

Huddle Up: Rams' QB Marc Bulger, who is still trying to recover from a sprained AC joint in his shoulder, has not practiced since re-injurying the joint back in Week 11 and he's already been declared out for Week 13. The team's medical isn't sure if Bulger will be ready to return to the field anytime soon and according to reports there is a chance that he will miss the remainder of the regular season. Ryan Fitzpatrick will likely be the team's starting QB on Sunday.

Ernie Conwell, TE, NO
Torn PCL

Huddle Up: Saints' TE Ernie Conwell will miss the remainder of the 2005 season because of a torn PCL in his right knee that requires surgery. Conwell, who will likely be placed on injured reserve following the surgery, is expected to be back in time for training camp in 2006. Zach Hilton will get the start at TE in Conwell's place.

Trent Dilfer, QB, CLE
Knee Inflammation

Huddle Up: According to reports the MRIs performed on QB Trent Dilfer's right and left knees revealed mild bruising that occurred last week and inflammation that he apparently has been dealing with since the start of the season. Dilfer admitted to reporters that he is suffering from chronic tendinitis in both knees that he apparently aggravated during last week's game. Head coach Romeo Crennel confirmed that Dilfer has indeed been suffering from tendinitis although he didn't sound very concerned. Dilfer was held out of practice on Wednesday but he was able to practice with the team and take snaps with the first-team offense on Thursday, which means that he is close to being ready to play. Crennel has said that he will stick with Dilfer as long as he is healthy so unless he suffers a setback you should expect to see him back in the starting lineup on Sunday. But check back with us on Sunday for a final update.

Corey Dillon, RB, NE
Strained Calf / Sprained Ankle

Huddle Up: Patriots' RB Corey Dillon, who has missed the last two games with a strained right calf, made his return to practice on Wednesday, looked good in practice on Thursday and despite being listed as questionable team officials believe he will be back in the starting lineup this upcoming weekend. Dillon has been dealing with injuries all year but the good news is that his sprained left ankle finally appears to be healed. But with all this good news you just don't know what the Patriots' will do so don't expect a decision on his availability for Week 13 to come until sometime on gameday.

Bubba Franks, TE, GB
Mild Concussion / Strained Neck / Strained Back

Huddle Up: Packers' TE Bubba Franks continues to recover after suffering head, neck and back injuries during last Sunday's game and his status for this weekend's game remains questionable. Franks told reporters that he feels better every day however he hasn't practiced this week and team officials aren't sure if he will be able to make it back in time for this Sunday's game. At this point it looks like Franks will be a game-time decision but don't be surprised if the Packers play this one cautiously and keep him inactive.

Frank Gore, RB, SF
Strained Hip

Huddle Up: 49ers' rookie RB Frank Gore is still being bothered by a sore hip and according to reports he has already been declared out for Sunday's game against the 49ers. Gore did not practice with the team on Wednesday and Thursday and did some individual work with the athletic training staff as a part of his rehab. Unfortunately the medical staff doesn't have a timetable for his return but they hope he will be able to run with the team sometime next week. Maurice Hicks will continue to backup Kevan Barlow in Gore's place.

Darrell Jackson, WR, SEA
Surgery To Repair Torn Meniscus

Huddle Up: Seahawks WR Darrell Jackson has already been declared out for Week 13, but head coach Mike Holmgren told reporters that he expects Jackson to return and start in Week 14. Jackson has not played since Week 4 because of cartilage damage and a bone bruise in his knee. He underwent an arthroscopic procedure to repair the torn cartilage but his recovery has taken longer than expected. The good news is that he will probably start practicing next week and if all goes well he could be back in time for your fantasy playoffs

Brandon Jones, WR, TEN
Partially Torn ACL

Huddle Up: Titans' rookie WR Brandon Jones will miss the remainder of the season after partially tearing the ACL in his right knee during last Sunday's game against the 49ers. According to reports Jones will undergo reconstructive surgery within the next week to repair the ligament damage and with a recovery time of at least 9 months there is a good chance that he will not be ready for the start of training camp next year.

Steve McNair, QB, TEN
Back Spasms

Huddle Up: Titans' QB Steve McNair has been suffering with occasional bouts of back spasms for several months now and while his back has kept him limited in practice this week team officials expect McNair to start on Sunday. McNair, who is listed as questionable, took part in the first part of practice on Thursday but when his back began to flare up the team's medical staff decided to shut him down for the remainder of the day. He will attempt to practice today but even if he remains limited his history of playing hurt should give you confidence that he will be in the Titans' starting lineup this weekend.

Joe Nedney, PK, SF
Strained Groin

Huddle Up: 49ers' kicker Joe Nedney was held out of Wednesday's practice because of a strained groin but he was supposed to kick on Thursday. Unfortunately is rained all day and with the field in bad shape the team's medical staff didn't want him to aggravate the injury so they kept him out again. According to reports if the weather cooperates Nedney will attempt to kick in practice today and head coach Mike Nolan believes that there is a chance that he will be ready to play this weekend. Jose Cortez, who filled in for Nedney last week, will remain on the team's roster in case Nedney can't go.

Neil Rackers, PK, ARI
Strained Calf

Huddle Up: Cardinals' kicker Neil Rackers, who is on pace to break a number of single-season kicking records, will likely miss at least one game and could potentially miss the next 2 - 4 weeks after straining his left calf in practice on Thursday. Rackers said he felt like he "had been shot" in the calf when he planted his leg while he was kicking in practice. Head coach Dennis Green isn't optimistic about Rackers' chances of playing this week and he wasn't sure when his kicker would be able to return. The Cardinals will bring in several free-agent kickers today (Friday) so look for the team to sign one prior to Sunday's game.

Ben Roethlisberger, QB, PIT
Sprained Thumb

Huddle Up: Steelers' QB Ben Roethlisberger found his way onto this week's injury report with a sprained right thumb that reportedly occurred during last week's game. But Roethlisberger is listed as probable and he was able to practice on Wednesday and Thursday. Now he did complain of pain in his thumb after Thursday's practice but team officials expect him start this weekend against the Bengals. Check back with The Huddle on Sunday for an update but unless he suffers a setback he should be OK.

Fred Taylor, RB, JAX
Sprained Ankle / Bone Bruise

Huddle Up: Jaguars' RB Fred Taylor appeared healthy and ready to play next week but he was held out of Week 12 because head coach Jack Del Rio didn't believe that he was mentally prepared to play. The good news is that Taylor has reportedly looked good in practice this week and team officials believe that he will be back in the starting lineup this weekend. Nothing has been guaranteed at this point so there is still a chance that Del Rio could stick with Greg Jones as his featured RB but we should know more about Taylor's playing status over the next couple of days.