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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Playoff Injury Report - Conference Championships
Philip Gentles
January 19, 2006

Carolina Panthers

DeShaun Foster, RB
Broken Ankle

Huddle Up: Panthers' RB DeShaun Foster, who broke his ankle in last weekend's playoff game, has been placed on Injured Reserve officially ending his 2005 season. According to reports Foster is scheduled to undergo surgery to repair the damage in his leg but the team expects him to be at full speed for the start of training camp. Nick Goings will now take over as the Panthers' featured running back for the remainder of the post-season.

Brad Hoover, FB
Concussion / Ankle Sprain

Huddle Up: Panthers FB Brad Hoover was held out of practice on Wednesday and is listed as questionable for this weekend's NFC Championship game after suffering a concussion and aggravating his ankle injury during last week's playoff game. The Panthers have not spoken about Hoover's concussion and according to local reports he did not practice because of his ankle. But replays of the carry in which he go hurt show that he in fact lost consciousness and by definition that means he suffered some kind of concussion. Team officials aren't sure when he will be ready to practice but they remain optimistic about his chances of playing against the Seahawks.

Dan Morgan, LB
Sprained Shoulder

Huddle Up: According to reports Panthers' LB Dan Morgan was briefly sidelined during last week's playoff game after he aggravated his shoulder injury but he was able to return and finish the contest. Morgan has reportedly been dealing with a AC joint sprain in his shoulder (commonly called a separated shoulder) since early November but he has tried to play through the injury. Morgan, who continues to receive treatment on his shoulder twice a day, was able to practice with the team on Wednesday and team officials expect him to play this weekend but he won't be completely healthy and they don't think he will have a chance to heal until after the playoffs.

Julius Peppers, LB
Shoulder Injury

Huddle Up: The status Seahawks' DE Julius Pepper's remains questionable for this weekend's game after a shoulder injury that he suffered in last Sunday's playoff game against the Bears kept him out of practice on Wednesday. The Seahawks have not provided the public with the nature and severity of Pepper's injury. But team officials believe that he will be able to return to practice either today (Thursday) or tomorrow (Friday) and even if he isn't completely healthy they believe that he will be available to play in Sunday's NFC title game. Teams tend to be very guarded about injury information during the playoffs so the lack of definitive news shouldn't surprise you, but keep an eye on this situation over the next couple of days in case and update on his status becomes available.

Denver Broncos

Darrent Williams, DB
Strained Groin

Huddle Up: As promised Broncos' DB Darrent Williams made his return to playing field last weekend against the Patriots after missing over a month with a severely strained groin muscle. Williams, who told reporters that he was at about 80% for the game, played but was limited in the third quarter and was held out of the fourth quarter after complaining of increased soreness and discomfort. Williams was held out of practice on Monday and Tuesday but he was able to practice on Wednesday and he is listed as probable for this weekend's AFC Championship game. Williams won't be a full strength but barring a setback he should be able to play against the Steelers.

Pittsburgh Steelers

James Harrison, LB
High Ankle Sprain

Huddle Up: Steelers' LB James Harrison is listed doubtful on the official injury report because of a high ankle sprain and according to reports the team's medical staff doesn't expect him to be ready for at least another week. Harrison has worked with the training staff over the last couple of days but he hasn't practiced with the team and he probably won't be able to run at full speed until next week. Don't expect him to be active.

Ben Roethlisberger, QB, PIT
Arm Contusion / Fractured Thumb

Huddle Up: Steelers' RB Ben Roethlisberger, who suffered an arm contusion against the Colts, was able to practice with the team on Wednesday and according to head coach Bill Cowher he is listed as probable for this weekend's AFC title game. Several media members reported seeing a contusion on Roethlisberger's arm while he was being examined on the sideline during last weekend's game but Cowher refuses to elaborate on the injury. The only thing he has spoken about is Roethlisberger's fractured finger but according to Cowher neither injury will be an issue against the Broncos.

Seattle Seahawks

Shaun Alexander, RB
Concussion

Huddle Up: Seahawks' RB Shaun Alexander, who left last week's game with a concussion, has been cleared by the team's medical staff to resume unrestricted activity which means he will be back in the starting lineup on Sunday against the Panthers. Alexander underwent several neurological tests on Monday and Tuesday and according to reports he passed with flying colors. Head coach Mike Holmgren told reporters that he was pleased with Alexander's recovery and that he expected him to be at full speed for the NFC title game.

Bobby Engram, WR
Back Soreness

Huddle Up: According to local reports Seahawks WR Bobby Engram did not practice on Wednesday because of soreness in his lower back. Team officials have not said if the injury occurred during last week's game but they did say that he was kept out of practice as precaution and that they expect him to be ready in time for this weekend's big playoff game against the Panthers. A back injury won't keep Engram out. Look for the medical staff to do everything they can to get him ready to play.

Darrell Jackson, WR
Knee Inflammation / Sore Back / Sore Jaw

Huddle Up: Seahawks' WR Darrell Jackson, who suffered several minor injuries in last week's game, has not practiced with the team this week and his official status for the NFC Championship game is questionable. However the team's medical staff believes that Jackson should be able to practice either today or tomorrow and they expect him to play against the Panthers. Jackson is still dealing with inflammation in his knee related to the arthroscopic procedure he had 3 months ago as well as soreness in his back and jaw. His back and jaw have reportedly improved but his knee remains a problem. But Jackson had a big day against the Redskins last week so he has proven that he can produce even when he isn't 100% so look for him to be a big part of the Seahawks' offense this weekend.