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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Playoff Injury Report - Wildcard Weekend
Philip Gentles
January 5, 2006

Carolina Panthers

DeShaun Foster, RB
Turf Toe

Huddle Up: Panthers' RB DeShaun Foster is listed as questionable for Sunday's playoff game because of sprained ligaments in his big toe (turf toe) but team officials are confident that he will be able to play. Foster injured his toe during Week 16 and was limited in practice the following week. But he played through the injury in Week 17 and was able to put up monster numbers against the Falcons. According to reports Foster's toe is still a bit sore and he was held out of practice on Tuesday and Wednesday while he got treatment. The team expects him to return to the practice field either today or tomorrow and if all goes well over the next couple of days he should be in the Panthers' starting lineup this weekend against the Giants.

Dan Morgan, LB
Shoulder Strain

Huddle Up: Panthers' LB Dan Morgan, who missed last week's game with a lingering shoulder strain, returned to practice on Wednesday and according to reports it looks like he will be ready for this weekend's playoff game against the Giants. Morgan's shoulder has been an issue for a while and it appears that he won't be completely healthy until the off-season. But he continues to improve and the team's medical staff is confident that he will be able to play during the playoffs.

Chicago Bears

Muhsin Muhammad, WR
Strained Calf

Huddle Up: Bears' WR Muhsin Muhammad suffered a strained calf during Week 16 and was inactive for Week 17 while he recovered. According to reports Muhammad could have played in the game but since the result didn't matter the team's medical staff decided to hold him out in order to give him additional time to heal. Head coach Lovie Smith told reporters that the injury is not considered a problem and while he might be limited in practice this week he expects Muhammad to take part in full practice next week and be ready for their first playoff game.

Cincinnati Bengals

Deltha O'Neal, DB
Bruised Knee

Huddle Up: Bengals' DB Deltha O'Neal, who was inactive for last week's game with a bruised knee, did not practice on Wednesday but he has been upgraded to probable and the team's medical staff expects him to play this weekend. O'Neal was held out of practice as a precaution but team officials told reporters that the medical staff saw enough of him during supervised workouts that it convinced them that he was very close to being ready to play. At this point it looks like he will play but we might not know for sure until sometime prior to kickoff.

Chris Perry, RB
High Ankle Sprain

Huddle Up: Bengals' RB Chris Perry missed two games after suffering a high ankle sprain during Week 14, but he was able to return to the active roster in Week 17 and he should be at full strength for this weekend's playoff game. Perry has reportedly look sharp in practice displaying quickness and speed. He still gets his ankle taped prior to practice as a precaution but the team officials don't expect his ankle to be an issue against the Steelers.

Denver Broncos

Mike Anderson, RB
Sprained Ankle

Huddle Up: Broncos' RB Mike Anderson, who was inactive for last week's game with a sprained ankle, will be limited in practice this week but head coach Mike Shanahan expects him to be at full strength for the team's first playoff game. According to reports Anderson could have played in the regular season finale but with nothing to play for the Broncos decided to give him an extra week off. Anderson still gets treatment every day and continues to have his ankle tape but the team's medical staff doesn't expect the injury to be an issue during the post-season.

Indianapolis Colts

Marvin Harrison, WR
Broken Hand

Huddle Up: Colts' WR Marvin Harrison continues to wear a protective brace while he recovers from a broken hand, but team officials expect him to be in the starting lineup when the team plays it's first playoff game in little over a week. Harrison returned to the starting lineup last weekend and while his playing time was limited he did enough during the game to test the brace on his hand. According to head coach Tony Dungy the brace did not affect Harrison's ability to catch the ball so he doesn't expect it to be an issue during the post-season.

Bob Sanders, DB
Lower back strain

Huddle Up: The Colts were without Pro-Bowl safety Bob Sanders for their last two regular season games because Sanders was trying to recover from a strained back that occurred in Week 15 against the Chargers. According to Sanders he could have played in those two games but after consulting with the medical staff he felt it was best to give the injury time to heal so that he would be ready for the post-season. The good news is that Sanders is no longer experiencing muscle spasms and while it remains a little bit sore he was able to practice with the team on Wednesday. So if he doesn't suffer any setbacks he will be back as the team's third receiver for the playoffs.

Brandon Stokley, WR
Bruised Knee

Huddle Up: Colts' WR Brandon Stokley, who was inactive for last week's game because of a bruised knee, is not expected back at practice until sometime next week but the team's medical staff is confident that he will be ready to play in their first playoff game. According to reports Stokley is trying to recover from a bruise that has resulted in localized swelling and pain. He has responded well to treatment but the Colts' don't want him aggravating the injury so they have decided to hold him out of their shortened practices during the bye week. The team's medical staff is very cautious right now but Stokley will be fine so expect him to play.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Greg Jones, RB
Strained Neck

Huddle Up: Jaguars' RB Greg Jones, who hasn't played since Week 15 because of inflammation in his strained neck, was able to practice on Tuesday and Wednesday without a problem and the team expects him to play in this weekend's playoff game. According to reports Jones still experiences soreness in his neck but he has improved and the team's medical staff expects him to be ready to play.

Byron Leftwich, QB, JAX
Fractured Ankle

Huddle Up: After missing five weeks with a fractured ankle Jaguars' QB Byron Leftwich will be back in the starting lineup for this weekend's playoff game against the Patriots. Leftwich returned to practice last week but was held out of the regular season finale as a precaution. He took most of the snaps with the first team offense in practice on Tuesday and Wednesday and according to reports his ankle has held up OK. He has reportedly shaken off the rust and regained all of his mobility and if he doesn't suffer any setbacks he will make his return to the starting lineup on Saturday.

Mike Peterson, LB, JAX
Sprained Wrist

Huddle Up: Jaguars' LB Mike Peterson continues to recover from a sprained wrist and his status for this weekend's playoff game against the Patriots remains questionable. Peterson was held out of practice on Tuesday and Wednesday while he received treatment on his wrist. The team's medical staff hopes that he will be able to practice at some point over the next couple of days but they don't know if he will be ready to play or not. Peterson told reporters that he plans on playing and I'm sure that the medical staff will be able to fashion some sore of protective device that will allow him to give it a go. But the team might not make a decision on his availability until they see him in pre-game warm-ups so don't be surprised if we don't hear anything official until gameday.

New England Patriots

Tedy Bruschi, LB
Strained Calf

Huddle Up: Patriots' LB Tedy Bruschi, who is still trying to recover from a strained calf, was limited to individual drills in practice on Tuesday and Wednesday. And while his status for this Saturday's playoff game against the Jaguars remains questionable team officials expect Bruschi to play. According to reports, Bruschi has looked OK running drills in practice this week but he apparently continues to experience soreness in his calf after bouts of activity. Patriots' officials appear optimistic about his chances of playing but with New England you never know. It looks like this will come down to a game-time decision.

Corey Dillon, RB, NE
Strained Calf / Sprained Ankle

Huddle Up: Patriots' RB Corey Dillon has been limited all season because of injuries to his calf and ankle and he was deactivated last week to give his injuries and extra week to heal. But despite being held out team drills in practice this week his official status for Saturday's game remains probable and the team expects him to be in the starting lineup. Again we are dealing with the Patriots so we probably won't know what his availability for this weekend's game will be until sometime prior to kickoff, but even if he plays he won't be a full strength and probably won't have a great game.

New York Giants

Tiki Barber, RB
Sprained Ankle

Huddle Up: After experiencing soreness in his sprained left ankle on Monday morning it appears that Giants' RB Tiki Barber will be fine for the start of the playoffs. Barber suffered a minor ankle sprain in last week's game and complained of stiffness and soreness two days later. However Tiki, who is not listed on the team's official injury report, responded extremely well to treatment, took part in a full, unrestricted practice on Wednesday and will be in the starting lineup for the Giants on Sunday.

Jeremy Shockey, TE
High Ankle Sprain

Huddle Up: Giants' TE Jeremy Shockey returned to practice on Wednesday for the first time since suffering a high ankle sprain back in Week 16 but his status for this weekend's game remains. Shockey was inactive for last week's game because he continued to experience pain and weakness in his ankle. With rest the injury has improved and he is now strong enough to practice but the team's medical staff will wait to see how his ankle responds over the next couple of days before they make a decision on his availability for Sunday's game. High ankle sprains generally take 2 - 4 weeks to heal so there is a chance that he won't be 100% for at least a couple more weeks. But if he continues to improve he may be allowed to play this weekend.

Pittsburgh Steelers

DeShea Townsend, DB, PIT
Knee Injury

Huddle Up: Steelers' DB DeShea Townsend has not completely recovered from his knee injury but he continues to battle through the discomfort and he should be active for this weekend's playoff game. According to reports Townsend, who is being listed as probable, practiced with the team on Wednesday but he had to stay after practice to get treatment on his ailing knee. Team officials expect him to play and don't believe the injury will affect his performance but that remains to be seen.

Seattle Seahawks

Andre Dyson, DB
High Ankle Sprain

Huddle Up: Seahawks' DB Andre Dyson, who missed the team's final four regular season games with a sprained ankle, will be limited in practice during the team's bye week. But according to reports his should be available to play in their first playoff game, which will be in less than two weeks. Dyson has been able to run without a problem for nearly a week and the team's medical staff expects him to take part in full practice at some point next week.

Darrell Jackson, WR, SEA
Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

Huddle Up: Seahawks' WR Darrell Jackson continues to be bothered by soreness in his surgically repaired knee but still expects him to start in their first playoff game. Jackson will be limited to individual work this week however the team's medical staff believes that he will be able to practice at full speed starting next week. What concerns me is that he is still having problems with his knee after having what the team called a routine arthroscopic procedure three months ago. This is going bother Jackson throughout the playoffs so don't expect him to be at his best.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Michael Clayton, WR
Severe Turf Toe

Huddle Up: Bucs' WR Michael Clayton, who suffered severe ligament damage in his big toe during Week 16, was inactive for last week's regular season finale and he has already been declared out for this weekend's Wild Card playoff game against the Redskins. Clayton is still having trouble putting pressure on his toe and according to head coach Jon Gruden there is a good chance that he will not be able to play at any point during the playoffs (should the Bucs advance). Veteran Ike Hilliard started for Clayton last week and he will continue to start opposite Joey Galloway while Clayton is sidelined.

Washington Redskins

Mark Brunell, QB
Sprained MCL

Huddle Up: Redskins' QB Mark Brunell, who sprained the MCL in his right knee in Week 16, was able to play in the team's regular season finale but according to reports his knee kept him from planting properly and it affected his mobility. The good news is that he didn't suffer any setbacks during the game, he has practiced with the team and without restrictions over the last couple of days and the team's medical staff expects him to be back in the starting lineup for the Skins' playoff game this weekend.

Chris Cooley, TE
Strained Groin

Huddle Up: Redskins' TE Chris Cooley suffered a strained groin during last Sunday's game but he was able to remain on the field on the finish the contest. According to reports Cooley's groin, which was a little sore on Monday, has improved and it shouldn't be an issue for this weekend's Wild Card playoff game.

Shawn Springs, DB
Strained Groin

Huddle Up: An MRI done on Shawn Springs' injured groin did not reveal any muscle tears or the presence of a sports hernia, but it did show inflammation in his groin and lower abdomen and it could still keep him out of the Redskins' playoff game this upcoming weekend. Springs has been dealing with a strained groin for several weeks but he aggravated the injury during last week's game against the Eagles. Springs complained of pain in his lower abdomen as well as his groin so the team's medical staff feared that he had either suffered a groin tear or a sports hernia. But the Redskins' Director of Sports Medicine Bubba Tyer told reporters that the affected muscle attaches near the lower abdomen and that explains why he was having pain a in both his groin area and stomach. Tyer believes that if things go well with Springs' treatment that he could be back on the field in time for the team's opening round playoff game. However team officials don't expect him to practice and they don't think he will be able to play until at least next week.

Clinton Portis, RB, WAS
Sprained Wrist / Stinger

Huddle Up: According to reports Redskins' RB Clinton Portis suffered a shoulder stinger and aggravated his wrist injury during last week's game but the team's medical staff doesn't consider his injuries to be serious and they expect him to be ready for this weekend's playoff game. Portis has been dealing with a sprained wrist for over a month but he has it wrapped prior to games and he's been able to stay productive despite the injury. Portis was limited in practice earlier in the week but he will practice without restriction over the next couple of days and he will be in the starting lineup for the Redskins this weekend.