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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Week 17 Injury Update #2
Philip Gentles
December 30, 2005

Kevan Barlow, RB, SF
Sprained Knee

Huddle Up: 49ers' RB Kevan Barlow has been placed on Injured Reserve and will not play in the team's final game of the season because of a lingering knee injury. Barlow, who was suffering from what the team called a sprained knee, has played in only one game over the last 4 weeks because of the injury. The team's medical staff feels that he is still several weeks away from being able to play so after consulting with the coaching staff they decided to place him on IR, which in turn opened up an additional roster spot for the team. Frank Gore and Maurice Hicks have split the carries in Barlow's absence and they will continue to do so this weekend against the Texans.

Drew Bennett, WR, TEN
Strained Groin / Knee Soreness

Huddle Up: Titans' WR Drew Bennett, who is listed as questionable for Week 17 because of a strained groin and knee soreness, did not practice on Wednesday but returned to the practice field on Thursday and according to reports there is a good chance that he will play this weekend against the Jags. Bennett aggravated his injured groin and sore knee in last Sunday's game and received extra treatment for the injury while he rested on Wednesday. According to team officials he is feeling a lot better and he will try and practice again today (Friday) but a decision on his availability probably won't come until gameday so check back with The Huddle on Sunday for an update.

Cedric Benson, RB, CHI
Partially Torn MCL

Huddle Up: According to the Bears' medical staff rookie RB Cedric Benson, who hasn't played since Week 10 because of a partially torn MCL in his knee, is finally ready to make his return. Unfortunately Benson isn't as confident in his recovery and the coaching staff might have no choice but to deactivate him for their regular season finale. Benson has practiced everyday this week but according to reports he has looked tentative running the football especially when cutting and planting on his previously injured knee. The team's medical staff is confident that his knee has healed and that he is healthy enough to play but Benson is not even close to being mentally ready to take the field. So don't be surprised if he ends up being deactivated for Sunday's game.

Chris Brown, RB, TEN
Sprained Ankle / Bruised Shoulder

Huddle Up: Titans' RB Chris Brown has not practiced this week because a sprained ankle and a bruised shoulder and the team has him listed as questionable on their official injury report for Week 17. Brown, who has been dealing with all kinds of injuries this season, might not be able to practice today (Friday) which would leave his status for Sunday's game in doubt. At this point it looks like he will be a game-time decision but even if he does play he isn't healthy enough to be very productive (even against the 49ers). Look for Travis Henry to see a significant amount of the carries this weekend.

Ronnie Brown, RB, MIA
Sprained Ankle

Huddle Up: Dolphins' rookie RB Ronnie Brown, who was held out of last week's game because of a sprained ankle, was able to practice on limited basis on Wednesday and Thursday but he is still being listed as questionable and according to team officials he won't play this weekend unless he is completely healthy. Brown is still experiencing soreness in his ankle following activity but the medical staff is hoping that he will be able to make it through practice today without a problem. Either way it looks like Brown will be a game-time decision and if he doesn't play look for Ricky Williams to be the featured back against the Patriots.

Mark Brunell, QB, WAS
Sprained MCL

Huddle Up: Redskins' QB, who is listed as probable on the team's injury report for Week 17, returned to practice on Thursday and according to team officials he will be back in the starting lineup this weekend against the Eagles. Brunell sprained his MCL in his knee in last week's game against the Giants and he was held out of practice on Wednesday while he received treatment. But his knee has responded well to the treatment and unless he suffers a setback he should healthy enough to play this weekend.

Michael Clayton, WR, TB
Sprained Toe

Huddle Up: Bucs' WR Michael Clayton, who sprained his big toe in last week's game, has not practiced this week and has already been ruled out for Sunday's regular season finale against the Saints. According to reports Clayton 's toe is so bad that if the team makes the playoffs he probably won't be able to play. Head coach Jon Gruden addressed the media in regards to Clayton's injury and he didn't sound optimistic. Gruden wasn't prepared to rule him out for the playoffs but he said that there was little chance that he will be healthy enough to participate in the post-season. Ike Hilliard will start while Clayton is out.

Domanick Davis, RB, HOU
Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

Huddle Up: Texans' RB Domanick Davis will not play in the regular season finale after undergoing season-ending arthroscopic knee surgery. Davis has been bothered by inflammation in his knee for much of the season but his knee was no longer responding to treatment so the team's medical staff had no choice but to scope it. According to reports the team expects him to make a full recovery in time for minicamps in May. Jonathan Wells will get the start in his place provided he is healthy.

DeShaun Foster, RB, CAR
Sprained Toe

Huddle Up: Panthers' RB DeShaun Foster expects to play this weekend despite being limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday with a sprained toe. Foster, who injured his toe in last week's game, told reporters that he wants to play in the team's final regular season game. However he is currently listed as questionable on the team's official injury report and after being held out of the team portion of practice on Wednesday and Thursday the Panthers' aren't sure if he will be ready in time to play against the Falcons. An official decision on his availability for the game won't come until gameday but if he does practice with the team today it indicates that he is a step closer to starting. Nick Goings would get a bulk of the carries if Foster is inactive.

Samkon Gado, RB, GB
Partially Torn MCL

Huddle Up: Packers' RB Samkon Gado will not play in the team's regular season finale against the Seahawks. Gado is still recovering from a partially torn MCL in his knee and while he has shown signs of improvement he isn't anywhere close to being able to play in a game. The team's medical staff is confident that he will be able to make a full recovery (without surgery) in time for minicamps next year, but his 2005 season is over. Noah Herron and Tony Fisher will split the carries in Gado's place.

Terry Glenn, WR, DAL
Dislocated Thumb

Huddle Up: Cowboys' WR Terry Glenn is not listed on the team's injury report for Week 17 and according to team officials he will be back in the starting lineup this weekend against the Rams. Glenn dislocated his thumb in the first half of last Sunday's game but after having the dislocation reduced he returned to the field and finished the game. An MRI done on his thumb did not reveal any structural damage and he's been able to practice every day this week. Glenn will have his thumb taped prior to Sunday's game but head coach Bill Parcells doesn't expect the injury to affect his production.

Marvin Harrison, WR, IND
Broken Hand

Huddle Up: Colts' WR Marvin Harrison has already been ruled out of the Colts' final regular season game, however the team's medical staff believes that he will be able to play during the playoffs. According to reports Harrison will have his injured hand reevaluated several times between now and the post-season but he will probably have to wear the cast when the Colts play in their first playoff game in two weeks.

Darrell Jackson, WR, SEA
Lingering Knee Soreness

Huddle Up: Seahawks WR Darrell Jackson continues to be bothered by soreness in his knee related to the arthroscopic surgery he had earlier in the season and his playing time will likely be limited this weekend against the Packers. Jackson has been limited in practice this week and has not taken part in team drills but the team's medical staff still expects him to be active on Sunday. But they are very concerned about his knee and they aren't sure if he will be back to full strength in time for the playoffs. Even though he is being listed a probable for Week 17 it wouldn't surprise me if he were a last-second scratch.

Steven Jackson, RB, STL
Hip Contusion

Huddle Up: Rams' RB Steven Jackson is listed as probable on the team's official injury report for Week 17 and the team expects him to start against the Cowboys. But he doesn't expect his injured hip to be completely healed in time for the game and it will likely affect his production. Jackson, who was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday, told reporters that his hip was still bothering him. The team's medical staff is confident that the injury is nothing more than just a contusion, but they have had a hard time controlling the pain and swelling. So while Jackson will start on Sunday he won't be at his best so look for him to split the carries with veteran Marshall Faulk.

Greg Jones, RB, JAX
Strained Neck

Huddle Up: Jaguars' RB Greg Jones, who was held out of last week's game with inflammation in his neck resulting from a strained muscle, returned to practice on Wednesday and according to reports he made it through practice on Thursday without much of a problem. Jones is still being listed as questionable on the team's official injury report but if he makes it through practice today don't be surprised if he is upgraded to probable. Jones likely be game-time decision for Sunday's game but at this point it looks like there is a decent chance that he will be active. If he does play he will share carries with starting RB Fred Taylor.

Kevin Jones, RB, DET
Sprained Elbow

Huddle Up: Lions' RB Kevin Jones has not played since spraining ligaments in his elbow in Week 14. But Jones was able to practice on Wednesday and Thursday and according to reports there is a good chance that he will be back in the starting lineup this weekend against the Steelers. Jones' elbow has improved and he has reportedly regained his full range of motion and is very close to regaining all of his strength. That being said even if he does play what's to say that he won't aggravate the problem or suffer some other type of injury? Jones is one of the least durable players in the league and since he faces a tough Steelers' defense this week I recommend you keep him out of your fantasy lineup.

LaMont Jordan, RB, OAK
Sprained Toe

Huddle Up: Raiders' RB LaMont Jordan, who missed last week's game with sprained ligaments in his toe (acute turf toe), has already been ruled out of tomorrow's game against the Giants. Jordan is no longer experiencing pain when he walks but he still can't run at full speed. The team's medical staff expects Jordan to make a full recovery in a couple of months. Zack Crockett and Justin Fargas will split the carries in his place.

Byron Leftwich, QB, JAX
Broken Ankle

Huddle Up: Jaguars' QB Byron Leftwich hasn't played in a game since breaking his ankle in Week 12 but he was cleared to return to practice on Wednesday and after making it through practice on Thursday there is a chance that he will be activated for Sunday's game against the Titans. Leftwich split snaps with David Garrard on Thursday and according to reports he looked a bit rusty. But he told reporters that his timing and accuracy have improved and he feels that he will be ready to play this weekend. Head coach Jack Del Rio hasn't decided on a starter and don't be surprised if he doesn't announce the starting QB until sometime on gameday.

Steve McNair, QB, TEN
Strained Pectoral Muscle

Huddle Up: Titans' QB Steve McNair is listed as questionable for Sunday's game because of strained pectoral muscle but he will attempt to throw during practice today and how he performs will determine if he will play this weekend or not. McNair did not practice on Wednesday and Thursday and according to reports his chest and shoulder is still a bit sore. If things don't go well today look for Matt Mauck, who has gotten a majority of the snaps with the first team offense this week, to get the start over Billy Volek in his place.

Carson Palmer, QB, CIN
Strained Groin

Huddle Up: Bengals' QB Carson Palmer, who left last week's game with a strained groin, has been limited in practice this week but he is being listed as probable on the team's official injury report for Week 17 and according to head coach Marvin Lewis he will be back in the starting lineup on Sunday against the Chiefs. Palmer is still not completely recovered and after being held out of practice on Wednesday he was limited in practice on Thursday as a precaution. The team's medical staff doesn't want Palmer aggravating the injury prior to the game but with Bengals already through to the playoffs they don't want him aggravating the injury during the game either so don't expect him to play for longer than a half. Jon Kitna will likely come in and play a significant amount of time.

Jeremy Shockey, TE, NYG
Sprained Ankle

Huddle Up: Jeremy Shockey's status for tomorrow's game against the Raiders remains in question after the Giants' TE missed his third straight practice on Thursday with a sprained ankle. Shockey sprained his ankle in last week's game against the Redskins and according to reports it was stiff and bit swollen on Monday. He has shown signs of improvements but not enough to allow him to practice with the team. At this point it looks like he will be a game-time decision so if things don't go well for him during pre-game warm-ups don't be surprised if he is deactivated.

Brandon Stokley, WR, IND
Bruised Knee

Huddle Up: Colts' WR Brandon Stokley is still trying to recover from a bruised knee and according to reports the team doesn't expect him to play in their Week 17 game. Stokley, who is listed as questionable, has not practiced with the team this week. He has done some running and individual work related to his rehab but with nothing to play for this weekend the team's medical staff is seriously considering holding him out as a precaution. An official decision on his availability could come over the next couple of days so if he is ruled out look for Troy Walters to get the start in his place and Aaron Moorehead to be the Colts' number 3 receiver.

LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, SD
Rib Injury

Huddle Up: Chargers' RB LaDainian Tomlinson admitted to reporters earlier this week that his ribs were more than just bruised and that he wouldn't elaborate on the exact nature of his injury until after the season. Well if his ribs aren't bruised than that leaves two painful alternatives: cracked ribs or torn rib cartilage. Tomlinson has been a shell of himself since suffering the injury so this latest development shouldn't come as a surprise. He is not listed on the team's injury report this week and team officials expect him to start but with nothing to play for look for LT's playing time to be limited.

Jonathan Wells, RB, HOU
Quadriceps Contusion

Huddle Up: According to reports Texans' RB Jonathan Wells has not practiced with the team this week because of a bruised quadriceps but he is still being listed as probable on the team's official injury report and the team still expects him to play this weekend against the 49ers. Wells has been dealing with the injury for a couple of weeks now but with Domanick Davis dealing with a knee injury of his own the Texans' couldn't afford to give Wells the rest he needs. Wells won't be completely healthy in time for the game but team officials still expect him to start.