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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Week 15 Injury Update #2
Philip Gentles
December 16, 2005

Kevan Barlow, RB, SF
Bruised Knee

Huddle Up: 49ers' RB Kevan Barlow, who has been dealing with inflammation from a bruised knee for the last 3 weeks, did not practice on Wednesday and Thursday and he is listed as doubtful on the team's official injury report for Sunday's game against the Jaguars. Barlow was held out of Week 13 because of inflammation in his knee but he did play last week. That lead many to believe that his knee was finally healthy but unfortunately it flared up after last week's game and now it looks like it will keep him out of Week 15 as well. If he doesn't play look for Gore to start and get the bulk of the carries.

Arnaz Battle, WR, SF
Sprained Knee

Huddle Up: 49ers' WR Arnaz Battle continues to have problems with his sprained knee. Battles has been on and off of the active roster since hurting his knee earlier in the season and this week he has been downgraded from questionable to out for Week 15. The 49ers have not reported the exact nature and severity of the sprain but it wouldn't surprise me if the team shuts him down for the remainder of the year.

Cedric Benson, RB, CHI
Sprained MCL

Huddle Up: Bears' rookie RB Cedric Benson was originally targeting Week 15 for his return from a sprained MCL in his right knee. Unfortunately he hasn't recovered as quickly as the team had hoped for .He attempted lateral movement drills in practice on Wednesday and experienced problems moving to his left and while he ran on his own on Thursday he was held out of the team drills. Benson is officially listed as doubtful and it looks like he won't be ready until it at least Week 16.

Tom Brady, QB, NE
Bruised Shin

Huddle Up: Patriots' QB Tom Brady was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday because of what the team is calling a bruised shin and he has been downgraded from probable to questionable for tomorrow's (Saturday's) game. Under direct orders from head coach Brian Belichick Brady did not give any specifics about his injury or his actual status for the game. Team officials have also declined to comment on the nature of Brady's injury but he was seen running in practice on Wednesday and Thursday and he did so without a limp. We won't know if Brady will play or not until moments before the game but with the Patriots still fighting to secure the division I would be surprised if Brady isn't in the starting lineup.

Marc Bulger, QB, STL
Sprained AC Joint

Huddle Up: According to reports Rams' QB Marc Bulger, who has been ruled out for Week 15, began throwing the ball this week for the first time since injuring his shoulder back in Week 11. However he began to experience discomfort while he threw and he was feeling extremely sore afterwards so he was held out of throwing drills on Wednesday and Thursday and he will not begin throwing again until next week. Team officials are hoping that he will be back in time for Week 16 but at this point things aren't looking very good.

Domanick Davis, RB, HOU
Knee Inflammation

Huddle Up: Texans' RB Domanick Davis, who is listed as questionable, was held out of practice on Thursday because of lingering soreness and inflammation in his knee and several team officials believe that he will be a game-time decision for this weekend's game. Davis has been dealing with a bothersome knee injury all season and according to some reports if things don't improve the Texans would consider shutting him down for the year. The medical staff will continue to try and get him ready for each game and as long as he plays he makes a great fantasy start but with nothing to play for and the number 1 pick in the 2006 NFL Rookie Draft only a few losses away don't be surprised if the coaching staff holds him out.

Stephen Davis, RB, CAR
Knee Soreness

Huddle Up: Panthers' RB Stephen Davis has already lost his starting job to DeShaun Foster and now according to reports he has begun to experience soreness in his knee and is now being classified as questionable for Sunday's game. Davis dealt with soreness in his knee earlier in the season but the medical staff thought they had it under control. Unfortunately the discomfort has returned and the Panthers aren't sure if he will be able to play this weekend. He did practice on Thursday so that's a good sign but he may be limited today (Friday) if his knee doesn't improve. But no matter what happens look for DeShaun Foster to get a bulk of the carries.

Corey Dillon, RB, NE
Strained Calf

Huddle Up: Patriots' RB Corey Dillon was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday because of strained calf. But team officials say that he was limited as a precaution and that he will be active and in the starting lineup tomorrow (Saturday) against the Bucs. According to reports Dillon will likely have to deal with his injured calf for the remainder of the season but he appeared to be OK last week so let us just hope he can have the same kind of impact in the team's final three games.

DeShaun Foster, RB, CAR
Stinger

Huddle Up: Panthers' RB DeShaun Foster suffered a shoulder stinger in last week's game against the Bucs, however he was able to practice on Wednesday and Thursday without a problem and according to head coach John Fox he will be ready to go this weekend against the Saints. Foster had pain in his neck and shoulder and loss of strength in his arm after being hurt last weekend but his strength has returned and he hasn't complained of discomfort in hi shoulder since Monday. He appears to be fine so unless he is re-injured in practice over the next couple of days he will be Panthers' featured back in Week 15.

Bubba Franks, TE, GB
Strained Neck / Back

Huddle Up: Packers' TE Bubba Franks, who was held out last week's game because of a strained neck and back, was unable to practice with the team this week and according to reports the team's medical staff has not cleared him to play in Week 15. Franks continues to experience discomfort in his neck and back when he runs and team officials believe he is at least one week away from being able to take part in contact drills. His official status for Sunday's game is still questionable but head coach Mike Sherman doesn't expect him to play. David Martin and Donald Lee will see an increase in playing time if Franks is deactivated.

Darrell Jackson, WR, SEA
Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

Huddle Up: Seahawks' RB Darrell Jackson took part in a full practice with the team on Wednesday for the first time since undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery back in early October and according to reports he will start this weekend against the Titans. Jackson is still trying to work himself back into football shape and it could take him several more weeks before his conditioning has returned to where it should be. So even though Jackson is making his return to the starting lineup he doesn't make a good fantasy start because his playing time will probably be limited.

Kevin Jones, RB, DET
Sprained Elbow

Huddle Up: According to reports Lions' RB Kevin Jones, who is officially being listed as doubtful for Sunday's game because of a sprained elbow, will not play this weekend and there is a chance that he may be out for the remainder of the season. An MRI on Jones' injured elbow revealed a sprained ligament that will require several weeks of treatment and rehab. Head coach Dick Jauron told reporters that nothing was torn so it appears that surgery won't be needed but the Lions have nothing left to play for so look for the team's medical staff to take it's time in treating him. Artose Pinner will likely start in place of Jones but he will split carries with Shawn Bryson.

Erron Kinney, TE, TEN
Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

Huddle Up: Titans' TE Erron Kinney, who is still recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, did some light running on Wednesday and Thursday but he did not practice with the team and he will likely miss Sunday's game against the Seahawks. Kinney has told reporters that he will try and return to practice either today or tomorrow but with the Titans' already out of the playoff picture the medical staff will be in no hurry to get him back on the field so don't be surprised if he doesn't play again this season. Ben Troupe, who left last week's game with a concussion, has been limited in practice this week and is listed as questionable for Week 15 but the team expects him to play.

Jamal Lewis, RB, BAL
Sprained Thumb

Huddle Up: Ravens' RB Jamal Lewis, who did not play in last week's game because of a sprained thumb, has not practiced this week and his status for Week 15 remains questionable. Lewis told reporters that he suffered a sprained ligament in his thumb during Week 13 against the Texans. His thumb was apparently bent back when it got caught in the facemask of a defender while he was giving a stiff-arm. He remained in the game but his thumb was extremely swollen the following Monday and he was held out of Week 14 against the Broncos because he was unable to grip the football. According to reports Lewis' thumb has improved but he still experiences pain when he tries to hold the ball so don't be surprised if the Ravens decide to keep him sidelined for one more week.

J.P. Losman, QB, BUF
Strained Shoulder / Leg Injury

Huddle Up: Bills' rookie QB JP Losman was able to return to the practice field on Thursday after being held out of practice on Tuesday and Wednesday with a strained shoulder and leg injury. However head coach Mike Mularkey doesn't believe that Losman will be completely healthy by Saturday and has already named veteran Kelly Holcomb the starter for Week 15. According to reports an MRI on Losman's injured shoulder did not reveal any significant structural damage but it was sore following yesterday's practice and it could be an issue during next week's practice as well. His leg was heavily wrapped on Thursday as well indicating that he is dealing with another unspecified injury but the team isn't every concerned about it. Murlarkey is hoping to have Losman as his backup for Saturday's game but it looks like his availability won't be determined until gameday.

Mike McMahon, QB, PHI
Strained Hip Flexor / Bruised Knee

Huddle Up: Eagles' starting QB Mike McMahon is expected to be active this weekend after practicing on Wednesday and Thursday but he won't be 100%. McMahon was a major question mark earlier in the week because of a strained hip flexor and a bruised knee. But things went really well in treatment on Monday and Tuesday and despite feeling sore he was able to return to practice on Wednesday. According to reports out of Philadelphia he probably won't be completely healthy in time for Sunday's game but unless he suffers a setback he should be strong enough to make his fifth consecutive start.

Steve McNair, QB, TEN
Sprained Ankle

Huddle Up: Titans' QB Steve McNair missed practice on Wednesday because of a sprained left ankle but he returned to the practice field on Thursday and according to head coach Jeff Fisher he will be ready to start this weekend against the Texans. McNair was feeling sore on Wednesday and his ankle will likely be a problem in the team's final three games of the season. But he was able to play last weekend so there is no reason to think that he can't make it through a full game this weekend, unless he is re-injures the ankle of course. McNair is as tough as nails and he's showing signs of improvement so if he's your top QB don't hesitate to include him in your starting lineup on Sunday.

Santana Moss, WR, WAS
Strained Hamstring

Huddle Up: Despite not being listed on the team's official injury report, Redskins' WR Santana Moss was once again held out of practice on Wednesday to rest his sore hamstring. Moss has been dealing with a strained hamstring all season and he aggravated the problem in practice last week. He was able to return to the field on Thursday and he will be active and in the starting lineup this weekend but his hamstring has really affected his performance over the second-half of the season so don't be surprised if he has another sub-par performance.

Neil Rackers, PK, ARI
Strained Calf

Huddle Up: Cardinals' kicker Neil Rackers has not practiced this week and his individual workouts have been limited to light jogging and stretching. But according to reports the team still expects him to be active this weekend despite his strained calf. Rackers kicked in last week's game but was limited to just extra point short field-goal attempts and according to reports he will once again be limited to the same thing this week.

Michael Vick, QB, ATL
Bruised Ribs

Huddle Up: Falcons' QB Michael Vick, who was knocked out of last week's game against the Saints with bruised ribs, took all the snaps with the first-team offense in Thursday's practice and has now been completely removed from the team's official injury report for Week 15. Vick was limited in practice on Wednesday and actually complained of a little soreness in his ribs later that day but he has responded well to treatment since then and according to reports the team's medical staff has given him clearance to play this weekend. There are no guarantees in football and anything can happen in practice over the next couple of days so check back on Sunday for an update on his status but unless he suffers a setback look for Vick to start against the Bears.

Reggie Wayne, WR, IND
Back Tightness

Huddle Up: Colts' WR Reggie Wayne left practice on Thursday after complaining of tightness in his back, however team officials don't appear to be concerned and they still expect him to play this week against the Chargers. According to reports Wayne was held out of the final drill in practice after his back began to tighten up. He could have finished out the day but the medical staff didn't want him aggravating the problem. If Wayne practices today then there is no reason to think that he won't be available this weekend but keep an eye on his practice status over the next couple of days just to be safe.