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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Week 1 Injury Update #2
Philip Gentles
September 8, 2006

Cedric Benson, RB, CHI
Dislocated Shoulder

Huddle Up: Bears' RB Cedric Benson practiced with the team on Wednesday and Thursday and although he remains listed as questionable on the team's official injury report it looks like he will active for Sunday's game against the Packers. Benson missed three weeks during the preseason after dislocating his shoulder in practice. According to reports his recovery has gone well and he actually told reporters earlier this week that his shoulder was completely healthy. But he's still being listed on the team's injury report so clearly he isn't 100%. He is healthy enough to practice so he'll probably be upgraded soon and activated for the Bears' regular season opener. Thomas Jones has already been named the starting RB so don't expect Benson to see a lot of action.

Braylon Edwards, CLE
Recovering from Surgery to Repair Torn ACL

Huddle Up: The Browns' medical staff wasn't expecting WR Braylon Edwards, who is recovering from ACL surgery, to be ready to play until sometime in October. However Edwards has made a surprisingly quick recovery and he's been cleared to play in the team's regular season opener. The fact that he's been cleared this soon is remarkable, but don't get overly excited just yet. Edwards looked great at times during the preseason, but he was relatively inconsistent and he will likely fight inconsistency all season. Remember guys it takes anywhere from 12 to 18 months for an athlete to make a full physical and mental recovery from ACL surgery so Edwards still has some time to go before he's back to 100%.

Torry Holt, WR, STL
Bruised Sternum

Huddle Up: Rams' WR Torry Holt did not play in the team's final preseason game because of a bruised sternum. However Holt is not listed on the team's official injury list and according to head coach Scott Linehan he is completely healthy and ready to start. Holt has taken part in every practice this week and he has reportedly looked good. Nothing to worry about here guys.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh, WR, CIN
Bruised Heel

Huddle Up: After missing practice on Wednesday and Thursday with a bruised heel Bengals' WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh was downgraded to questionable on the team's official injury report and the medical staff isn't sure of he will be able to play against the Chiefs. According to reports Houshmandzadeh did some individual work with the team trainers on Thursday. A final decision on his status probably won't be made until Sunday so check back with us then for an update.

Darrell Jackson, WR, SEA
Recovering from Off-season Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

Huddle Up: Seahawks' WR Darrell Jackson, who is officially listed as probable, practiced with the team on Monday for the first time since having off-season arthroscopic knee surgery and according to reports he looks ready for the start of the regular season. Jackson did a lot of individual work during training camp but the team's medical staff decided to keep him out of team drills as a precaution. According to reports Jackson has really impressed the coaching staff in practice this week. Head coach Mike Holmgren has not officially named him as a starter but it looks like he will be in the starting lineup on Sunday.

Erron Kinney, TE, TEN
Recovering from Arthroscopic Surgery

Huddle Up: Titans' TE Erron Kinney has already been ruled out of Sunday's game against the Jets and his status for Week 2 remains in question after having torn cartilage in his right knee surgically repaired in early August. Kinney, who had the same knee scoped during the off-season, has not recovered as quickly as the team's medical staff had expected. Ben Troupe has already been named the starter so even when Kinney returns his fantasy value will be limited.

Jamal Lewis, RB, BAL
Strained Hip Flexor

Huddle Up: Ravens' RB Jamal Lewis has been dealing with a strained hip flexor since before the start of training camp and it forced him to miss the final two exhibition games. But despite being listed as questionable for the team's Week 1 game Lewis was able to practice on Thursday and he will likely start on Sunday against the Bucs. Lewis told reporters that his hip flexor felt fine and team officials expect him to be the starter. However even if starts he will likely split carries with Musa Smith and Mike Anderson.

Itula Mili, TE, SEA
Sprained Knee

Huddle Up: After missing nearly two weeks of practice with a sprained knee Seahawks' TE Itula Mili was finally back at practice on Wednesday and according to reports he is expected to start on Sunday against the Lions. Mili hurt his knee during the team's preseason game against the Chargers on August 27 and the medical staff initially feared that he would miss at least one week of the regular season. But he has recovered well and looked very sharp in his return to the practice field on Wednesday. He isn't even listed on the Seahawks' official injury report so look for him the start this weekend.

Terrell Owens, WR, SF
Strained Hamstring

Huddle Up: After missing a good portion of training camp and the preseason with what he called a bad hamstring strain Cowboys' WR Terrell Owens is not even listed on the team's injury report for Week 1, which means he is healthy and ready for the team's regular season opener. Owens sat out several weeks of practice with an apparent hamstring injury but two separate MRI's done by the team's medical staff showed no structural damage. Well he's practiced with the team every day this week and everything appears to be fine now. T.O. will start for the Cowboys on Sunday night.

Clinton Portis, RB, WAS
Shoulder Subluxation

Huddle Up: Redskins' RB Clinton Portis remains questionable on the team's official injury report for Monday night's game against the Vikings because of a shoulder injury. But based on comments he made to a reporter on Thursday it doesn't look like he will be playing. Portis suffered a shoulder subluxation (partial dislocation) during the exhibition game against the Bengals and missed the remainder of the preseason. He has been lifting weights and running on his own for several weeks but he still hasn't been cleared to practice with the team. In an interview on Thursday when asked if he will be ready to play in Week 1 Portis told a reporter that "…we've got to look at the long run. We've got to look at the overall season instead of trying to jump back early and play in this game and then miss the key games we've got coming up behind it." That certainly doesn't sound like a player getting ready to play. Now Portis hasn't been ruled out yet, but don't expect him to be active.

Steve Smith, WR, CAR
Strained Hamstring

Huddle Up: Panthers' WR Steve Smith, who was sidelined for a good portion of training camp and the preseason with a strained left hamstring and an ingrown toenail, strained his right hamstring in practice on Tuesday. Smith was held out of practice on Wednesday and Thursday and his status for Sunday's game is in question. Head coach John Fox told reporters after Thursday's practice that Smith will be a gameday decision, which means we won't know if he will be active or inactive until Sunday. His teammates remain optimistic about his chances of playing, but at this point there are no guarantees. If Smith does not play look for Keary Colbert and Drew Carter to share time on the field opposite Keyshawn Johnson.

Jeremy Stevens, TE, SEA
Arthroscopic Surgery to Repair Torn Knee Cartilage

Huddle Up: Seahawks' WR Jeremy Stevens has already been ruled out for Week 1 and he's still at least a month away from making his return after undergoing another arthroscopic procedure three weeks ago to repair more cartilage damage in his left knee. Stevens had surgery to repair torn cartilage in the same during the off-season and he reportedly made a complete recovery. Unfortunately he re-injured his knee during practice and an MRI confirmed that there were several tears in his meniscus and that he required more surgery. The team's medical isn't sure when Stevens will be ready to make his return, but he isn't expected back until sometime in October. Itula Mili will start while he is out.

Brandon Stokley, WR, IND
High Ankle Sprain

Huddle Up: Colts' WR Brandon Stokley, who has been sidelined since suffering a high ankle sprain in practice on August 14, could return to practice today (Friday) and head coach Tony Dungy believes that he could be active for Sunday night's game. Stokley is officially listed as questionable for Week 1 and the team's medical staff didn't think he would be able to play until Week 2. But if he does practice today it would certainly increase his chances of playing on Sunday night.

Mike Vanderjagt, PK, DAL
Strained Groin

Huddle Up: Cowboys' head coach Bill Parcell's isn't sure if Mike Vanderjagt will be available to kick on Sunday against the Jaguars. But Parcell's isn't just worried Vanderjagt's lingering groin injury and his fear of re-injury He has told reporters several times over the last couple of weeks that he wasn't pleased with Vanderjagt's kicking performance in the preseason. According to reports Vanderjagt was able to kick in practice on Wednesday and Thursday, but Parcells isn't ready to declare him the kicker for Sunday's game. This will probably come down to a game-time decision so check back with us on Sunday for an update.

Adam Vinatieri, PK, IND
Sprained Ligament and Bone Chip in Ankle.

Huddle Up: Colts' kicker Adam Vinatieri is listed as questionable for the team's Week 1 game against the Giants because of a sprained ligament and bone chip in his left ankle. However Vinatieri kicked in practice on Wednesday and Thursday and team officials expect him to be active for their regular season opener. There was some speculation that Vinatieri was dealing with a broken foot, but a foot specialist who was treating him told reporters that he had a sprained ligament and a free floating bone chip in his ankle. Vinatieri continues to receive treatment but his ankle has improved and if all goes well over the next couple of days he will be kicking for the Colts on Sunday night against the Giants.

Brian Westbrook, RB, PHI
Sprained Foot

Huddle Up: Eagles' RB Brian Westbrook, who missed a majority of the preseason with sprained left foot, is not listed on the team's official Week 1 injury report and head coach Andy Reid told reporters that he will be in the starting lineup on Sunday against the Texans. Westbrook returned to practice last week and he appears ready to play. But he isn't 100% yet and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said that Correll Buckhalter will get a lot of carries as well.

LenDale White, RB, TEN
Sprained Ankle

Huddle Up: After missing practice on Wednesday with a sprained ankle Titans' rookie RB LenDale White returned to practice on Thursday and his chances of playing in Week 1 against the Jets have improved. However White remains questionable on the team's official injury report and head coach Jeff Fisher told reporters that if he doesn't show any improvement in today's practice he will be held out of Sunday's game. We'll know a lot more about his status after today's practice.

Kellen Winslow Jr., TE, CLE
Recovering from Surgery To Repair Torn ACL

Huddle Up: According to reports Browns' WR Kellen Winslow Jr., who missed the entire 2005 season with a torn ACL (among other injuries), has made a complete recovery and he appears ready for the start of the regular season. Winslow really worked hard during training camp and the preseason and team officials expect him to be a factor on offense as their starting tight end.