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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Week 3 Injury Update #1
Philip Gentles
September 19, 2006

Tiki Barber, RB, NYG
Bruised Forearm and Knee

Huddle Up: According to reports Giants' RB Tiki Barber suffered bruises to his forearm and his right knee during Sunday's overtime game against the Eagles. Barber was reportedly seen limping in the locker room after the game and he was seen with his right knee wrapped on Monday. He also had his left forearm X-rayed as a precaution, and while the results have not been made public team officials didn't believe that it was more than just a bruise. We will know more about his injuries and status for Week 3 today or tomorrow so keep an eye on the news wire for an update.

Aaron Brooks, QB, OAK
Strained Pectoral Muscle

Huddle Up: Raiders' QB Aaron Brooks will miss the next 2 - 4 weeks after an MRI on Monday revealed a strained pectoral muscle in his right (throwing) shoulder. Brooks was hurt while trying to recover his second fumble in the first quarter of Sunday's game against the Chargers. The team's medical staff initially thought that he had suffered damage to his rotator cuff, which would have knocked him out for significant portion of the season. But the MRI revealed a small tear in the Pectoralis muscle in his shoulder. The Raiders' have a bye in Week 3 but it looks like Andrew Walter will be the starter when the team plays in Week 4. Brooks might be ready to return by Week 5 but despite what head coach Art Shell has told reporters if Walter is playing well Brooks might not get back the starting job.

Drew Carter, WR, CAR
Fractured Finger

Huddle Up: Panthers' WR Drew Carter was seen wearing a soft cast on his right hand on Monday after breaking a finger during Sunday's game against the Vikings. The team did not say how the injury occurred but head coach John Fox told reporters that Carter's finger was swollen but that it wouldn't required surgery. He said that the team will continue to evaluate the receiver and that he would have an update for the media tomorrow (Wednesday). Team officials don't appear to be concerned about this, but there is a chance that this could keep him out of Week 3 action. Check back on Friday for an update.

Chad Johnson, WR, CIN
Bruised Shoulder, Mild Concussion and Chin Laceration

Huddle Up: Bengals' WR Chad Johnson was battered and bruised in Sunday's game against the Browns, but he told reporters on Monday that he feels OK and that he expects to play in Week 3. Johnson first bruised his right shoulder on his touchdown catch in the first quarter. He continued to play and in his own words he was "knocked out" late in the fourth quarter after being leveled by Browns safety Brian Russell. Not only did Johnson suffer a concussion on the play but he also lacerated his chin. The chin laceration required stitches in the training room after the game. The Bengals will likely keep him out of contact drills this week and his status for Week 3 will be determined closer to game-time.

Jevon Kearse, DL, PHI
LCL, MCL and PCL Tears in his Knee

Huddle Up: The Eagles have lost DL Jevon Kearse for the season after an MRI performed on Monday revealed multiple tears to ligaments in his left knee. According to reports Kearse tore the Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL), the Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) and the Posterior Collateral ligament when his knee collided with a teammate while tackling QB Eli Manning in overtime. Kearse immediately grabbed his left knee, and after being helped off the field and examined on the sideline he was carted to the locker room for further evaluation. An MRI on Monday revealed the extent of the damage, and while the team's medical staff hasn't decided if and when he will require surgery, he will not be able to play again this season.

Itula Mili, TE, SEA
Knee Injury

Huddle Up: Seahawks' TE Itula Mili left Sunday's game with a knee injury and according to head coach Mike Holmgren he could be out for Week 3. Holmgren told reporters that the team's medical staff thought that Mili's injury was severe but that an MRI performed on Monday revealed that the injury was not as bad as they had feared. The results of the MRI have not been released, but it appears that his status for Week 3 is in doubt. We should know more about his injury later today.

Terrell Owens, WR, DAL
Surgery to Repair Fractured Metacarpal

Huddle Up: Cowboys' WR Terrell Owens will miss the next 2 - 4 weeks after having a plate surgically inserted into his hand to help stabilize the fractured fourth (ring finger) carpal in his right hand. According to reports Owens was hurt while trying to block in the first quarter against the Redskins. He tried to play through the pain and made a couple of catches after the injury but his finger just got worse and he was taken to the locker room in the fourth quarter for X-rays. The X-ray revealed a bad fracture, one that required physicians to insert three screws and a metal plate into his hand to help stabilize the fracture site and speed up his recovery. Head coach Bill Parcells told reporters that if Owens recovers quickly he could be back in time for their Week 4 game against the Titans. That might be pushing it a bit, but with a big Week 5 game against the Eagles I think it is safe to assume that T.O. will do everything in his power to be ready to play against his former team.

David Pollack, LB, CIN
Fractured Cervical Vertebra

Huddle Up: According to reports Bengals' LB David Pollack will miss the remainder of season after breaking his neck during Sunday's game against the Browns. Pollack was hurt while trying to tackle RB Reuben Droughns and after being examined by the team's medical staff on the field he was placed in a halo neck brace and was carted off the field. He was taken to a local hospital where tests revealed a fractured cervical vertebra. The good news is that his spinal chord did not suffer any damage and he was able to move his arms and legs in the hospital. It's still a bit early to be sure but it looks like Pollack avoided any serious long-term problems and the team's medical staff believes that he could recover in time to play football next year.

Clinton Portis, RB, WAS
Shoulder Subluxation and Bruised Rotator Cuff

Huddle Up: Redskins' RB Clinton Portis, who was limited in Week 1 because of a subluxed left shoulder, was inactive for Week 2 because of a completely different injury. Portis told reporters that he "jammed" his right rotator cuff back in Week 1, and while he wanted to play head coach Joe Gibbs consulted with the medical staff and they decided it wasn't a good idea to play Portis while he had two bad shoulders. Gibbs told reporters that the latest shoulder injury was just a bruise, but clearly it was enough to keep him inactive. Portis expects to practice this week and play in the team's next game, but based on the first couple of weeks nothing is a lock so check back on Friday for an injury update.

Jeremy Shockey, TE, NYG
Sprained Ankle

Huddle Up: Giants' TE Jeremy Shockey, who has been dealing with a sprained right ankle for several weeks, aggravated the injury in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game against the Eagles and he was unable to play in the overtime session. Shockey's ankle was reportedly very sore and swollen after the game and he will probably be held out of practice on Wednesday and limited in practice on Thursday and Friday. Head coach Tom Coughlin told reporters that Shockey's ankle was feeling the exact same way after their Week 1 game and that it improved over the course of the week. But even if he does improve this week he won't be 100% in time for the Giants' Week 3 game. There is already speculation that Shockey might be held out of a couple weeks so that his ankle is given a chance to heal. That might not happen now, but if he continues to have problems with his ankle it is only a matter of time before he is held out of a couple of games.

L.J. Smith, TE, PHI
Sprained AC Joint

Huddle Up: According to reports Eagles' TE L.J. Smith sprained the Acromioclavicular joint in his shoulder during Sunday's loss to the Giants, but the injury isn't considered serious and should be ready to play in time for the team's Week 3 game. Smith was hurt in the first half against the Giants but he was able to play through the injury and he went on to have a big game. He was reportedly sore on Monday and he will probably be held out of practice for a couple of days but team officials aren't concerned about this and they expect him to make a full recovery soon.

Rod Smith, WR, DEN
Mild Concussion

Huddle Up: Broncos' veteran WR Rod Smith was knocked from Sunday's game against the Chiefs with a mild concussion and his status for Week 4 remains a question mark. According to reports Smith absorbed hard hits in the first and fourth quarter and was diagnosed with a mild concussion after the game. He told reporters on Monday that he was feeling "fine," but this is his third concussion in less than a year so don't be surprised if the team's medical staff is extremely cautious with this injury. Smith will likely be held out of practice this week and there is a chance that he will not be allowed to play in Week 3. We will keep you posted.

Brandon Stokley, WR, IND
High Ankle Sprain

Huddle Up: Colts' WR Brandon Stokley, who did not play in Week 1 because of a high ankle sprain, made his 2006 regular season debut on Sunday against the Texans and scored on 10-yard touchdown reception. However Stokley aggravated his ankle injury on the touchdown catch and was unable to finish the game. Stokley was seen limping in the locker room after the game and according to reports he will be limited in practice this week. His status for the Colts' next game is in question and he will probably end up being a game-time decision.

Brian Westbrook, RB, PHI
Knee Inflammation

Huddle Up: Eagles' RB Brian Westbrook was active on Sunday and had a productive game against the Giants despite leaving practice last Thursday with a swollen knee. Westbrook was held out of practice on Friday and Saturday, but he looked mobile during pregame warm-ups and was cleared to play. He went on to have a productive game, but complained of discomfort and swelling in his knee after the game. While it appears good that he was able to play through the injury, this is something to be concerned about. Something is causing his knee to swell and unless he is given time to heal this could become a season-long problem. We'll let you know how he is doing as the week progresses.

Adam Vinatieri, PK, IND
Strained Groin

Huddle Up: Colts' kicker Adam Vinatieri suffered a strained groin in Sunday's game against the Texans and his status for Week 3 is currently unknown. Vinatieri was hurt late in the fourth quarter and was unable to kick the team's final extra point of the game. An MRI was performed on Monday and the results will be made public sometime today. It's been a rough start to the 2006 season for Vinatieri. He sprained his ankle in Week 1 and now has a strained groin to contend with. Let's just hope that this latest injury doesn't keep him out of the Colts' lineup this upcoming weekend.