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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Week 4 Injury Update #1
Philip Gentles
September 26, 2006

Shaun Alexander, RB, SEA
Fractured Foot

Huddle Up: According to reports Seahawks RB Shaun Alexander will miss the next 4 - 6 weeks after a bone scan revealed a fractured bone in his left foot. Alexander suffered bone bruise in his foot during the team's Week 1 game and he played with the injury in Week 2. Unfortunately the bone bruise got worse during Sunday's game against the Giants and it developed into a small, non-displaced fracture. The good news is that the injured bone is a non-weight bearing bone, which means that it will heal faster and be easier to recover from. Head coach Mike Holmgren told reporters that there is a chance that Alexander could return in "a few weeks," but realistically he'll probably be out for at least a month. Maurice Morris will get a majority of the carries while Alexander is out.

Mark Brunell, QB, WAS
Elbow Laceration

Huddle Up: Redskins' veteran QB Mark Brunell needed several stitches to close a laceration on his left elbow that occurred in the second half of Sunday's game. According to reports the laceration is not considered serious. Brunell is not expected to miss any practice time and he will be back in the starting lineup next Sunday against the Jaguars.

Plaxico Burress, WR, NYG
Lower Back Strain

Huddle Up: After missing several days of practice because of a lower back strain Giants' WR Plaxico Burress was cleared to start in Sunday's game against the Seahawks. However he did not play well and he was eventually benched in the second half by head coach Tom Coughlin. Burress told reporters that his back began to bother him early in the game and it contributed to his poor performance. Coughlin wasn't ready to let him off the hook and said that Burress was healthy enough to play so he should have been healthy enough to produce. According to reports he was feeling very stiff and sore on Monday, but the Giants have a bye in Week 4 so it should give him extra time to rest and recover.

Desmond Clark, TE, CHI
Sprained Foot

Huddle Up: Bears' TE Desmond Clark suffered what the team is calling a sprained left foot during Sunday's game against the Vikings and his status for Week 4 remains a big question mark. Clark, who was carted off the field and into the lock room after being hurt on the first possession of the third quarter, was seen wearing a walking boot after the game. Clark spoke with reporters on Monday and said that he was fine, but when asked about Clark's injury during an interview QB Rex Grossman replied ''We're definitely going to miss him, but we've got guys who can step up and fill his spot." The Bears' medical staff want to see how Clark's foot responds to rest and treatment before they determine how much time (if any) he will have to miss, but based on Grossman's remarks it appears that he could be out for a while. We will keep you posted.

Vernon Davis, TE, SF
Fractured Fibula

Huddle Up: 49ers' rookie TE Vernon Davis will be out for the next 4 - 6 weeks after fracturing the fibula in his right leg during Sunday's game against the Eagles. Davis told reporters that he began to experience pain and soreness in the first quarter but didn't think it was big deal and kept on playing. But while he ran after an Eagles' DL Mike Peterson following Frank Gore's fumble in the third quarter Davis said he felt something weird in his leg and he just went down. He was helped off the field by the medical staff and carted to the lock room where X-rays revealed a hairline fracture in his fibula. Davis was seen on crutches on Monday and according to team officials he could be back on the field in 4 weeks. Veteran Eric Johnson will get the start while he is out.

Corey Dillon, RB, NE
Undisclosed Arm Injury

Huddle Up: As expected the Patriots have remained tightlipped about RB Corey Dillon's arm injury, but according to reports Dillon was seen on Monday without a sling. Dillon left Sunday night's game in the second quarter following a hard hit. He was seen holding his right arm on the sideline and he was eventually taken to the locker room for an evaluation. The team did not say what the injury was but it prevented him from playing in the second half. Because the Patriots have refused to talk about the injury there is concern that it could keep Dillon out of the lineup in Week 4. The fact that he was seen without a sling is promising, but it certainly doesn't guarantee that he will be available for next Sunday's game against the Bengals. Check back on Friday for an update.

Frank Gore, RB, SF
Bruised Ribs

Huddle Up: 49ers' RB Frank Gore suffered bruised ribs during Sunday's loss to the Eagles but according to reports he should be healthy enough to play in Week 4 against the Chiefs. Gore was hurt in the third quarter while trying to reach for the goal line at the end of a run. The team initially called the injury a strained abdominal muscle, but he was taken to the hospital after the game where he was diagnosed with bruised ribs. Gore told reporters on Monday that he was feeling sore, but that he expected to play in next weekend's game. He'll probably be held out of contact drills this week, but the 49ers believe that he will be ready to play against the Chiefs.

Maurice Hicks, RB, SF
Sprained Ankle

Huddle Up: 49ers' RB Maurice Hicks, who sprained his ankle during Sunday's game against the Eagles, should be ready to play in time for Week 4 against the Chiefs. According to reports Hicks has been diagnosed with a minor ankle sprain and while he might be held out of practice on Wednesday as a precaution he should be back on the field on Thursday and he's expected to play next weekend.

Chris Simms, QB, TB
Surgery to Remove a Ruptured Spleen

Huddle Up: Bucs' QB Chris Simms is out indefinitely and could be out for the remainder of the season after undergoing emergency surgery to remove a ruptured spleen. Simms was hurt during Sunday's game against the Panthers. According to head coach Jon Gruden, Simms began having difficulty breathing following a series of hits in the first half. He also began to suffer from dehydration. Gruden said that the medical staff performed thorough evaluation on Simms and they saw no sign or symptom of a spleen injury. He was given IV fluids to help treat his dehydration and was cleared to play in the second half. According to reports Gruden believes that Simms was hurt in the fourth quarter when he was hit by a Panthers' defender during a pass play. Simms reportedly began to complain stomach pain after the game and he was rushed to a local hospital where doctors discovered a ruptured spleen. The spleen was successfully removed in surgery and he's apparently doing fine in his recovery. Gruden told reporters that Simms will be able to resume his football career at some point and that he wasn't prepared to rule him out for the remainder of the season. But he's definitely out for an extended period of time and he may not play again until the 2007 season. Rookie Bruce Gradkowski will get the start in his place when the team returns from their bye in Week 5.

L.J. Smith, TE, PHI
Acromioclavicular Sprain

Huddle Up: According to reports Eagles' TE L.J. Smith had problems with his injured shoulder during Sunday's game against the 49ers, but he was able to fight through the pain and discomfort and he went on to score his first touchdown of the 2006 season. Smith sprained the AC joint in his shoulder back in Week 2, however after practicing on Friday and Saturday without a problem he was cleared to play in Week 3. He apparently aggravated the injury early in the first half but stayed in the game. Head coach Andy Reid confirmed with reporters that Smith's shoulder was an issue throughout the game. The Eagles don't practice until Thursday, which gives him additional time to heal. But he'll probably end up on the team's official injury report and his availability for Week 4 won't be determined until later on in the week.

Brian Westbrook, RB, PHI
Knee Inflammation

Huddle Up: Maybe RB Brian Westbrook should play hurt all the time. Westbrook, who has been dealing with inflammation in his knee for 2 weeks, was held out of practice on Wednesday and Thursday. But he returned to practice on Friday and had a huge game against the 49ers. Westbrook was feeling sore on Monday but according to head coach Andy Reid he was feeling better than he did following their Week 2 game. This certainly doesn't mean that we should forget about or begin to ignore his knee problem. But this is definitely a step in the right direction.