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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Week 14 Injury Update #2
Philip Gentles
December 9, 2005

Kevan Barlow, RB, SF
Sprained Knee

Huddle Up: 49ers' RB Kevan Barlow, who was inactive for last week's game against the Cardinals because of a sprained knee, has shown signs of improvement and according to reports he should be ready to play on Sunday. Barlow did not practice on Wednesday and was limited in workouts on Thursday, however team officials believe that he will be able to do more in practice today (Friday). Rookie Frank Gore will likely be the starter but although an official decision on Barlow' status won't be made until Sunday expect him to be active and share in the carries.

Jerome Bettis, RB, PIT
Sprained Knee

Huddle Up: Steelers' veteran RB has been dealing with sprained knee for several weeks but it looks like he will continue to play through the pain and discomfort. Bettis did not practice on Wednesday and according to reports he spent a large portion of the day getting treatment and working with the medical staff. The good news is that he was able to practice on Thursday and he's currently listed as probable for Sunday's game. Bettis should be active this weekend and if he does play look for him to get all of the team's goalline and short-yardage carries but as long as he is hurt look for the Steelers to limit his playing time.

Ladell Betts, RB, WAS
Sprained MCL

Huddle Up: Redskins' RB/KR Ladell Betts has missed the last three games because of a sprained MCL in his knee but he returned to the practice field on Wednesday and he is no longer being listed on the team's injury report. Betts has apparently looked pretty good in practice this week and baring a setback he should be active for Sunday's game against the Cardinals.

Chris Brown, RB, TEN
Sprained Ankle

Huddle Up: Browns' RB Chris Brown, who was slowed last week because of a sprained ankle that occurred in Week 12, was held out of practice on Wednesday while he received treatment. But he was back on the field on Thursday and team officials expect him to play this weekend against the Texans. According to reports Brown has a history of ankle sprains in both legs and he has both of his ankles wrapped r prior to practices and games regardless of how they feel. The team's medical staff will wrap his injured ankle even more, which should give it additional support but at the same time it will also limit his mobility. So even if he is active on Sunday he won't be anywhere close to full strength and he probably won't be very productive.

Marty Booker, WR, MIA
Strained Calf

Huddle Up: Dolphins' WR Marty Booker returned to unrestricted play on Thursday, took part in a full practice and has been upgraded from questionable to probable for Sunday's game against the Chargers. Booker was inactive last week because of a strained calf, but the injury has improved and his strength has completely returned. Bryan Gilmore, who started in place of Booker last week, will likely be a game-time decision because of a shoulder injury so look for Booker to return to the starting lineup.

Tom Brady, QB, NE
Shoulder Soreness

Huddle Up: Patriots' QB Tom Brady is reportedly dealing with soreness in his right shoulder and after making it through a full practice on Wednesday he was limited in practice on Thursday. As expected the team has not released any specific information regarding Brady's injury but he is currently being listed as probable and team officials expect him to start on Sunday. You never know with the Patriots but I can't imagine Brady being inactive unless the injury is a lot worse than what is being reported.

Mark Bulger, QB, STL
Sprained AC Joint

Huddle Up: The St. Louis Rams will once again be without starting QB Marc Bulger who is out for Week 14 with a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder. The team's medical staff had been targeting this weekend's game against the Vikings for Bulger's return. Unfortunately his recovery hasn't gone as quickly as the team was hoping for and there is concern that he might not be able to play again this season. Ryan Fitzpatrick has been named the starter for Sunday's game.

Domanick Davis, RB, HOU
Knee Inflammation

Huddle Up: Texans' RB Domanick Davis continues to be bothered by inflammation in his knee. Davis, who has complained of pain and swelling in his knee for over a month, was held out of team drills on Wednesday and Thursday but he did some individual work under the supervision of the team's medical staff on both days and he is still expected to start on Sunday. An official decision on his availability for Week 14 won't come until gameday but it looks like he will be active. There is definitely more to Davis' knee problem than what is being reported but as long as he continues to play there is no reason for you to keep him out of your fantasy lineup.

Trent Dilfer, QB, CLE
Bruised Knees / Tendinitis

Huddle Up: Browns' QB Trent Dilfer, who is dealing with tendinitis in both knees, practiced with the first-team on Wednesday and Thursday and according to the team's official injury report he is probable for Sunday's game. Head coach Romeo Crennel told reporters that he has been pleased with Dilfer's progress and that he will start him at QB if all goes well in practice over the next couple of days. We will keep you posted.

Corey Dillon, RB, NE
Strained Calf

Huddle Up: Patriots' RB Corey Dillon returned to the starting lineup last week. However his injured calf was very sore on Monday and according to reports he was limited in practice on Thursday. Dillon is currently listed as questionable which means his status for Week 14 is up in the air but team officials believe that he will be back on the field on Sunday against the Bills. He will likely be a game-time decision do check back on Sunday for an update.

Reuben Droughns, RB, CLE
Sprained Knee

Huddle Up: Browns' RB Reuben Droughns was held out of practice on Wednesday with what the team is calling a sprained knee. Droughns returned to practice on Thursday however he is still being listed as questionable and it looks like he will be a game-time decision. Droughns apparently felt discomfort in his knee during last week's game and it got so bad that it almost forced him to the sideline. He had an MRI on Monday but team officials said that the results were favorable and that the injury was just a sprain. The medical staff held him out of practice on Wednesday but allowed him to return on Thursday and they hope that he will be able to practice today and tomorrow.

Brett Favre, QB, GB
Bruised Forearm / Hand Laceration

Huddle Up: As expected Packers' QB Brett Favre was held out of practice on Wednesday to rest his bruised forearm. Favre, who suffered a laceration on his hand in last week's game as well, returned to practice on Thursday and according to head coach Mike Sherman he will be back in the starting lineup this weekend. Favre is a little banged up right now but he's played hurt in the past so this is nothing new for the veteran signal caller.

Jay Fiedler, QB, NYJ
Sprained Shoulder

Huddle Up: Jets QB Jay Fiedler will miss the remainder of the season after doctors determined that surgery was the only way to repair his injured shoulder. The team was optimistic about Fiedler's chance of returning before the end of the season however his shoulder has not responded well to treatment leaving the medical staff with surgery as the only other option. According to reports the Jets aren't exactly sure when he will undergo surgery or how long it will take for him to recover but they believe he will be ready in time for the start of the 2006 season.

Bubba Franks, TE, GB
Strained Neck / Back

Huddle Up: Packers' TE Bubba Franks is listed as doubtful for Sunday's game because of a strained neck and back and according to several team officials they would be surprised if he even played again this season, much less in Week 14. Franks re-injured his neck and back in last week's game and there is a chance that he won't be completely healed until the off-season. With the Packers already eliminated from the playoffs the team's medical staff is strongly considering shutting him down for the remainder of the year. Nothing is official yet, but don't expect Franks to play this weekend.

Gus Frerotte, QB, MIA
Concussion

Huddle Up: Dolphins' head coach Nick Saban has already named Gus Frerotte the starter for Week 14. Frerotte was knocked out of last week's game with a concussion, however tests performed on Monday and then again on Tuesday confirmed that everything was fine and the medical staff has since cleared him to play. Many thought that Saban would have gone with Sage Rosenfels, who had a terrific performance against the Bills, as his starter but he has decided to stick with original number 1 QB.

Darrell Jackson, WR, SEA
Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

Huddle Up: Seahawks WR Darrell Jackson will reportedly attempt to take part in a full practice today (Friday) for the first time since undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery back in October. Jackson has not looked particularly good running this week but he will have his knee wrapped and the team hopes that everything goes well today. If Jackson makes it through practice today and tomorrow without a problem head coach Mike Holmgren said that he would probably play on Sunday against the 49ers. But at this point Jackson is considered a game-time decision so keep an eye on how he does over the next couple of days and check back with The Huddle on Sunday for an update.

Stephen Jackson, RB, STL
Sprained Ankle

Huddle Up: Rams' RB Stephen Jackson, who missed practice on Wednesday because of a sprained ankle, returned to practice on Thursday and is listed as probable for Sunday's game. Jackson reportedly took part in several team drills on Thursday and according to team officials it didn't look like his ankle was giving him trouble. This doesn't look like a problem guys so expect Jackson to start for the Rams this weekend.

Kevin Jones, RB, DET
Thigh Contusion

Huddle Up: Lions' RB Kevin Jones was held out of last week's game because of a thigh contusion. However the extra rest and additional treatment has done Jones well as he returned to unrestricted activity and practice on Wednesday and he is no longer listed on the injury report. Head coach Dick Jauron expects Jones to start this weekend but Jones has been one of the least durable running backs in the NFL this season and he really can't be counted on. I suggest you start someone else.

Erron Kinney, TE, TEN
Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

Huddle Up: Titans' TE Erron Kinney will miss at least one week and could potentially miss the remainder of the season after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. Kinney was hurt in last week's game and an MRI confirmed that surgery was necessary to fix the injury. Team officials remain optimistic about his chances of returning in a couple of weeks but at this point there is no reason to rush him back. So don't be surprised if the Titans decide to shut him down for the remainder of the year.

Steve McNair, QB, TEN
Sprained Ankle / Bruised Shin

Huddle Up: Titans' QB Steve McNair, who suffered a sprained left ankle and a bruised left leg in last week's game, was held out of practice on Wednesday and Thursday. But head coach Jeff Fisher told reporters that he wanted to give McNair additional time to rest and recover and that he expects McNair to play in Sunday's game against the Texans. McNair is still experiencing soreness in his lower leg and the team's medical staff is still worried about his lingering back problem but has played hurt all season so there is no reason to think that he won't play now.

Mewelde Moore, RB, MIN
Quadriceps Injury

Huddle Up: Vikings' RB Mewelde Moore left Thursday's practice after injuring his quadriceps and while his official status for Sunday's game is probable the team will have to wait to see how his leg responds to treatment over the next couple of days before they know if he will be able to play this weekend or not. It is not clear how Moore got hurt but according to reports he was extremely sore this morning and the Vikings will likely keep him limited until gameday. We probably won't know anything concrete until Sunday so check back then for an update.

Santana Moss, WR, WAS
Strained Hamstring

Huddle Up: According to reports Redskins' WR Santana Moss left practice on Wednesday after straining his hamstring. The team's medical staff does not believe the injury is serious but Moss was held out of practice on Thursday as a precaution. He is currently listed as probable for Sunday's game and team officials expect him to bounce back quickly and play this weekend. He will likely be a game-time decision so don't expect an official decision on his availability to be made prior to gameday.

Neil Rackers, PK, ARI
Strained Calf

Huddle Up: Cardinals' kicker Neil Rackers continues to be bothered by a strained calf muscle but despite being held out of practice on Wednesday and Thursday he was upgraded from doubtful to questionable and the team is now hoping that he will be able to kick as early as today (Friday) in practice and play as early as this Sunday. Rackers will cut down on his steps in practice today and focus on kicking just short field goals. He was held out of last week's game and was supposed to miss anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks but if all goes well over the next couple of days he could be ready to go this weekend.

Marcel Shipp, RB, ARI
Strained Neck

Huddle Up: Cardinals' RB Marcel Shipp is still trying to recover from a strained neck that kept him out of last week's game. But Shipp was able to practice on Thursday, he has shown signs of improvement and he is now listed as probable for Sunday's game. Team officials believe that he will be back on the active roster for Week 14 but even if he does play he will end up splitting carries with rookie J.J. Arrington. Nothing is official yet but we should know more about his status prior to kickoff.

Fred Taylor, RB, JAX
Sprained Ankle / Bone Bruise

Huddle Up: Jaguars' RB Fred Taylor, who has been inactive for the last two games because he wasn't physically and mentally prepared to play, took part in practice on Wednesday and Thursday and he status for Week 14 remains probable. However head coach Jack Del Rio hasn't decided if he is going to activate Taylor for Sunday's big game against the Colts. Del Rio still considers Taylor "week-to-week" so there is still a chance that he will be deactivated on gameday. Greg Jones has played well in place of Taylor the last couple of weeks and Del Rio indicated that even if Taylor plays he will likely split carries with Jones. I suggest you stay away from Taylor this week but if you are counting on him playing check back on Sunday for an update on his availability.

LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, SD
Bruised Ribs

Huddle Up: Chargers' RB LaDainian Tomlinson, who bruised his ribs in last week's game, missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday and will be held out of contact drills today (Friday) as a precaution. According to reports Tomlinson is feeling much better and he could suit up and play today if he had to. But the team does not what him to aggravate the problem prior to Sunday's game so they will keep him away from contact until then. Tomlinson expects to play this weekend and team officials anticipate that he will be ready to go but don't expect an official decision on his status to be made prior to gameday.

Brian Westbrook, RB, PHI
Lisfranc Sprain

Huddle Up: Eagles' starting RB will miss the remainder of the year after suffering a Lis Franc sprain in his right foot during Monday night's game against the Seahawks. Westbrook was injured in the first quarter when he was tackled and forced out of bounds at the end of first-down reception. He was checked on the sideline by the team's medical staff but returned to finish out the half. But he did not play in the third and fourth quarters. An MRI performed on his foot on Tuesday revealed a severe sprain to the Lis Franc ligament in his foot, an injury that will knock him out for the remainder of the year. Rookie Ryan Moats will likely take over as the starting RB but don't be surprised if Any Reid gives carries to Lamar Gordon as well.