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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Week 2 Injury Update #2
Philip Gentles
September 15, 2006

Mike Bell, RB, DEN
Displaced Fracture

Huddle Up: Broncos' RB Mike Bell, who suffered a displaced fracture in his finger during last weekend's game, was back at practice on Wednesday and according to reports he made it through the team drills without any problems. Bell's finger was taped but it didn't appear to affect his catching or ball carrying ability. There has been discussion about the possibility of Bell undergoing surgery to repair the damage to his finger, but he will attempt to play this weekend and the remainder of the season without it. He's currently listed as probable on the team's official injury report but head coach Mike Shanahan expects him to be a big part of the offensive on Sunday.

Chris Brown, RB, TEN
Turf Toe

Huddle Up: Titans' RB Chris Brown is once again dealing with a case of turf toe, and while it isn't as bad as Travis Henry's, it will likely affect his mobility and in turn his production this upcoming weekend against the Chargers. Brown missed the last 5 games of the 2004 regular season and played the entire 2005 season through a lingering case of turf toe. Brown did not complain of any issues in his toe during training camp and the preseason so the team felt that his toe problems were a thing of the past. Unfortunately they've become a problem again. The team's medical staff is hoping that Brown's toe won't become a season-long issue, but with his history this is definitely something to keep an eye on. He will start this weekend, but he won't be at this best.

Vernon Davis, TE, SF
Hip Contusion

Huddle Up: 49ers' rookie TE Vernon Davis, who suffered a hip contusion in last Sunday's game against the Cardinals, was held out of practice on Wednesday. But the team isn't very concerned about Davis' injury. He has worked with the athletic training staff everyday this week and according to reports he has improved. Davis is currently listed as probable on the official injury report and team expects him to be ready for their Week 2 game.

Trent Green, QB, KC
Severe Concussion

Huddle Up: Chiefs' QB Trent Green, who was knocked out of last week's game with a severe concussion, was finally released from the hospital on Tuesday. Unfortunately he has already been ruled out of this Sunday's game against the Broncos and it doesn't look like he will be back anytime soon. Green is still experiencing headaches and bouts of dizziness and it could take him at least 2 more weeks before the symptoms have subsided. Damon Huard will get the start while Green is out.

Todd Heap, TE, BAL
Back Soreness

Huddle Up: According to reports Ravens' TE Todd Heap woke up with a sore back on Monday. He hasn't missed a practice this week, but he has been added to the team's injury report and since he is still experiencing discomfort in his back the Ravens' have listed his official status for Week 2 as questionable. It's unusual for an injured player to practice for two straight days without his status being upgraded. But there is no need to worry. Team officials expect Heap to start on Sunday against the Raiders, and if he practices today (Friday) you can expect him to start as well.

Travis Henry, RB, TEN
Turf Toe

Huddle Up: Titans' RB Travis Henry has been diagnosed with turf toe and remains questionable for Week 2's game against the Chargers. Henry, who dealt with a case of turf toe last season, was fitted for a protective-walking boot on Tuesday. The boot was removed on Thursday and according to head coach Jeff Fisher Henry was doing "significantly better," but he did not practice and Fisher isn't sure if he will be able to return to the practice field before Sunday's game. Henry will be a game-time decision but with Chris Brown starting and rookie LenDale White making his debut, even if he is active he doesn't stand a good chance of being productive.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh, WR, CIN
Bruised Heel

Huddle Up: Bengals' WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who is dealing with lingering heel injury, is listed as probable for this weekend's game against the Browns. And despite being held out of practice on Wednesday and Thursday team officials believe that there is a good chance that he will be cleared to play. Houshmandzadeh warmed up a few hours prior to last Sunday's game but he just wasn't comfortable moving around and the team's medical staff decided to hold him out. The Bengals are calling this injury a bruise but clearly there is more to this than what is being reported. Team officials are optimistic about his chances of playing this weekend, which indicates that the injury has improved. However a decision on his availability for the game probably won't be made until the team see how he does in pregame warm-ups.

Joe Jurevicius, WR, CLE
Rib Injury

Huddle Up: Browns' head coach Romeo Crennel recently revealed to the media that WR Joe Jurevicius did not not have broken ribs. Apparently X-rays in the locker room during last Sunday's game were inconclusive and further examination after the game revealed damage to his ribs other than broken bones that would knock him out for several weeks. Crennel did not say what the damage was but there is speculation that Jurevicius suffered torn rib cartilage. He has already been ruled out of this weekend's game against the Bengals and he could be out until sometime in October.

Clinton Portis, RB, WAS
Shoulder Subluxation

Huddle Up: Redskins' RB Clinton Portis missed his second straight practice on Thursday, but according to reports Portis will once again be active for this weekend's game and he should see an increase in his workload. Portis played in last Monday night's game with the aid of a shoulder harness and he looked pretty good. He's been able to work in the weight room but the team's medical staff has decided to limit him to individual drills in practice this week as a precaution. He could resume team drills today or tomorrow and the Redskins expect him be more involved in the offense on Sunday night against the Cowboys.

Ben Roethlisberger, QB, PIT
Appendectomy

Huddle Up: Steelers' QB Ben Roethlisberger, who missed last week's game against the Dolphins after undergoing emergency surgery to remove an inflamed appendix, was cleared to practice with the team on Wednesday. According to reports Roethlisberger's teammates were happy with what they saw from him and after a successful practice on Thursday it looks like he will be ready to play on Monday night against the Jags. The Steelers' still have him listed as questionable on their official injury report and they really don't want to rush him back, but if he practices today (Friday) he will probably be upgraded to probable increasing his chance of playing in Week 2.

Jeremy Shockey, TE, NYG
Sprained Ankle

Huddle Up: According to reports Giants' TE Jeremy Shockey suffered a sprained ankle last Sunday night, and while he was able to finish the game, he was very sore on Monday and was held out of practice on Wednesday. The good news is that the injury is considered minor and Shockey was able to return to practice on Thursday. He's currently listed as probable for Week 2 and unless he suffers a setback in practice over the next couple of days he will be in the starting lineup for the Giants on Sunday.

Steve Smith, WR, CAR
Strained Hamstring

Huddle Up: Panthers' WR Steve Smith, who missed last Sunday's regular season opener with a strained right hamstring, has not returned to practice and he remains questionable for this weekend's Week 2 game against the Vikings. According to several online publications Smith's hamstring injury is more serious than what the team has been reporting and he could be out for at least another week. The Panthers' continue to say that there is a chance that Smith will be ready to play this weekend, but if he doesn't practice today (Friday) or tomorrow (Saturday) don't expect him to be active on Sunday.

Brandon Stokley, WR, IND
High Ankle Sprain

Huddle Up: Colts' WR Brandon Stokley has not practiced this week and has not been able to work with the team since suffering a high ankle sprain before the start of the regular season. Head coach Tony Dungy was hoping that Stokley would be ready for Week 2 but he's currently listed as doubtful on the team's official injury report and it looks like miss he second straight game.

Hines Ward, WR, PIT
Hamstring Strain

Huddle Up: Steelers' WR Hines Ward was limited during training camp and the preseason because of a strained hamstring and although he was cleared to start in Week 1 Ward wasn't completely healthy and he reportedly felt very sore following the game. Ward worked with the medical staff on Tuesday and was held out of team practice on Wednesday as a precaution. But he was able to practice on Thursday and according to reports he will be back in the starting lineup on Monday night against the Jaguars. Ward recently admitted to reporters that he wasn't quite 100%, but he felt that he was very close to being completely healthy and that he expects his production and performance to improve as the season goes on.

Brian Westbrook, RB, PHI
Swollen Knee

Huddle Up: Eagles' RB Brian Westbrook left practice 15 minutes early on Thursday after complaining of discomfort in his knee. The medical staff examined him on the field on noticed that his knee was a bit swollen. The team has not said what caused the knee to swell but Westbrook is listed as probable on the official injury report and at this point it looks like he will be the starter this weekend against the Giants. The Eagles aren't openly concerned about this, but it wouldn't surprise me if this turned out to be more serious than what is currently being reported. Knees just don't swell for no reason. We'll keep you posted

LenDale White, RB, TEN
Sprained Ankle

Huddle Up: According to reports Titans' rookie RB LenDale White, who was inactive for last Sunday's game, is still listed as questionable on the team's official injury report but after practicing with the team on Thursday it looks like White is ready to make his pro debut this weekend. White was limited in training camp and the preseason because a sprained ankle. White was apparently healthy and physically ready to play in last week's game but head coach Jeff Fisher told reporters he didn't want to activate him until he got a few more practices in. Fisher hasn't made an official announcement but if White practices today he will likely be activated for Sunday's game.

Roddy White, WR, ATL
Strained Hamstring

Huddle Up: Falcons' WR Roddy White complained of soreness in his hamstring following last weekend's game against the Panthers. White was diagnosed with a minor hamstring strain and he was held out of practice earlier in the week as a precaution. But he has returned to the practice field, is listed a probable on the team's official injury report and he's expected to play in this Sunday's game against the Bucs.

Carnell "Cadillac" Williams, RB, TB
Back Spasms

Huddle Up: Bucs' RB Cadillac Williams was held out of practice on Thursday while he attempts to recover from back spasms, but he is still listed as probable and the team expects him to start on Sunday against the Falcons. Cadillac told reporters that his current back problems aren't related to the back spasms he had during training camp. He went on to say that he should be fine for Week 2 but that he still expects to have stiffness and discomfort in his back during and after the game. So while it looks like he will start, it might be a good idea to keep him on your bench (assuming you have a decent replacement).