Cedric Benson, RB, CHI
Huddle Up: Bears' RB Cedric Benson, who was held out of last Friday's pre-season game while he recovers from a dislocated shoulder, remains questionable for the team's final pre-season game. However Benson returned to contact drills last week and according to team officials he should be ready to play in Week 1. Thomas Jones hasn't done much in Benson's absence so don't be surprised if Benson becomes the featured RB early in the season.
Alge Crumpler, TE, ATL
Recovering from Off-Season Knee and Shoulder Surgeries / Bruised and Cut Knee
Huddle Up: Falcons' TE Alge Crumpler, who made his return to practice last week after being held out earlier in training camp while he recovered from off-season knee and shoulder surgery, played in the teams' pre-season game this past weekend and according to reports his debut went well. Crumpler appeared to move without a problem and he looked sharp in his first game back. He did leave the game with a cut and minor bruise on his knee but neither injury is considered serious. Head coach Jim Mora has told reporters that he expects Crumpler to be at full speed when the regular season begins so look for him to be in the Falcons' starting lineup in Week 1.
Domanick Davis, RB, HOU
Recovering from Off-Season Arthroscopic Knee Surgery
Huddle Up: According to reports things have gone so bad for RB Domanick Davis in his recovery from off-season knee surgery that he is danger of being cut by the Houston Texans. Davis hasn't practiced since the second day of training camp and he apparently continues to deal with swelling and lingering soreness in his troublesome knee. A team official has gone on record and called the injury a bruise, however this is obviously a lot more than just a bruise. And if you need more convincing Texans' head coach Gary Kubiak recently told reporters that he was "very concerned" about Davis and that he wasn't sure when he would be ready to play. It doesn't look like Davis will be playing anytime soon.
Ahman Green, RB, GB
Recovering from a Torn Quadriceps
Huddle Up: Packers' RB Ahman Green, who is recovering from a torn quadriceps, made his 2006 pre-season debut on Monday night and while he didn't put up big numbers his leg certainly appeared to be OK. Green returned to practice with the team a couple of weeks ago but was held out of the Packers' pre-season game against Falcons last week as a precaution. Green had made steady progress in his recovery it looks like he will be the team's starting RB in Week 1.
Priest Holmes, RB, KC
Spinal Column Bruise / Stenosis
Huddle Up: As expected the Kansas City Chiefs have placed veteran RB Priest Holmes on the Reserve PUP list, which means that he will miss at least the first six games of the regular season. Holmes has not practiced or played since injuring his spinal column last year and according to reports specialists have advised him to retire from the NFL. Dr. Robert Watkins, a spinal column specialist who has been treating Holmes, has warned him that further damage to his neck or back could result in serious long-term problems. The Chiefs are still hoping that he will be ready to play at some point this season, but there is little reason for you to be as optimistic. Keep him off your cheat sheets.
Torry Holt, WR, STL
Huddle Up: Rams' WR Torry Holt, who was held out of this past weekend's pre-season game because of an injury to his sternum, underwent an MRI on his chest on Monday because the injury hasn't healed as quickly as the team's medical staff expected. Holt was hurt in the second quarter of the exhibition game against the Texans when the point of the ball jammed the middle of his chest after being tackled from behind following a reception. The Rams' expected him to return to practice last week but he continued to experience soreness in his chest. Team officials are calling Monday's MRI "precautionary" and they don't believe that the injury is more than a bruise. But we should know more about his status for the remainder of the pre-season and the start of the regular season once the MRI results have been made public.
Greg Jones, RB, JAC
Torn ACL, MCL
Huddle Up: Jaguars' FB/RB Greg Jones will miss the entire 2006 season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and medial collateral ligament (MCL) in his left knee during this past weekend's pre-season game. Jones was hurt when his knee was hit while being tackled in the third quarter. He immediately fell to the ground holding his leg and had to be helped off the field by team trainers. Jones was initially diagnosed with a sprained MCL after a preliminary examination was performed on his knee in the locker room. Unfortunately an MRI the next morning revealed serious damage to the ACL and MCL. He's already been placed on Injured Reserve and he is scheduled to undergo major knee surgery as soon as the swelling subsides. LaBrandon Toefield will likely replace Jones as the Jaguars' goal line and short-yardage running back.
Itula Mili, TE, SEA
Huddle Up: With Jerramy Stevens out for at least another month the Seattle Seahawks really couldn't afford to lose backup TE Itula Mili for a long time because of injury as well. And for a several hours following Saturday's pre-season game the team's medical staff thought the Mili was in fact out for a while with a bad knee sprain. But an MRI done on his knee on Sunday revealed that the damage was not as bad as the team had originally feared. The Seahawks have not released the results of the MRI, but team officials believe that Mili could be back in time for Week 1 of the regular season. We will keep you posted.
Carson Palmer, QB, CIN
Recovering from Surgery to Repair Torn ACL, MCL and Medial Meniscus
Huddle Up: Bengals' QB Carson Palmer made his 2006 debut on Monday night against the Packers, and what a debut it was. In less than a half of football Palmer completed 9 of his 14 passes for 140 yards and 3 touchdowns. But his most impressive play came in the first quarter when he scrambled 11 yards for a first down. Palmer didn't look fast but the fact that he took off running showed that he had confidence in his knee, something he appeared to lack at the start of training camp. Things couldn't have gone any better and I'm sure those of you who drafted him are rejoicing. However don't get too excited. Palmer is still only 8 months removed from major knee surgery and he's still at least 4 months away from being 100%. The Bengals organization has taken a huge risk bringing him back this early. It appears that he will be the starter in Week 1, but expect inconsistency to start the season.
Clinton Portis, RB, WAS
Huddle Up: Redskins' RB Clinton Portis is reportedly making strides in his recovery from a shoulder subluxation, however he will not play again this pre-season and his status for Week 1 of the regular season remains questionable. According to reports Portis began conditioning work last week and he was able to stretch and jog without a sling. He has added some active and resistive range of motion exercises to his rehab and no longer requires the assistance of the training staff to move his shoulder. The goal is to have him ready for the start of the regular season. And while things appear to be going well the Redskins' medical staff just isn't sure if he will be cleared prior to the team's Week 1 game.
Steve Smith, WR, CAR
Strained Hamstring / Ingrown Toenail
Huddle Up: Panthers' WR Steve Smith, who missed a significant amount of practice time and hasn't played this pre-season because of a nagging hamstring injury, finally made his return to the practice field Sunday. Nor only has Smith been dealing with a bad hammy, but according to reports he had an ingrown toenail removed early last week as well. The good news is that everything appears to be OK now, and while he might be held out of the Panthers' final exhibition game as a precaution, he should be ready to go when the Panthers' start the regular season.
Brandon Stokley, WR, IND
High Ankle Sprain
Huddle Up: Colts' WR Brandon Stokley, who hasn't practiced since suffering a high ankle sprain two weeks ago, will not play in the team's final pre-season game. However it looks like Stokley is making a quick recovery and he could be back in time for the start of the regular season. He continues to wear a brace on his ankle and he reportedly gets treatment at least twice a day, but he's already jogging on his own and team believes that he will be cleared to play in Week 1.