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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Week 8 Injury Update #2
Philip Gentles
October 27, 2006

Shaun Alexander, RB, SEA
Fractured Foot

Huddle Up: According to reports Seahawks' RB Shaun Alexander has started running this week for the first time since fracturing a bone in his left foot about a month ago, and while he's been been ruled out for this weekend's game against the Chiefs head coach Mike Holmgren believes there is a chance that he will be ready to play in Week 9 against the Raiders. Alexander ran on a treadmill on Tuesday and Wednesday without a problem but he will likely undergo tests on his foot next week to see if the fracture has healed prior to being cleared to practice with the team. We will continue to monitor his progress. In the meantime Maurice Morris will once again get the start this weekend and he will remain in the starting lineup while Alexander is out.

Aaron Brooks, QB, OAK
Partially Torn Pectoral Major

Huddle Up: Raiders' QB Aaron Brooks has not been able to practice this week because he is still recovering from a partially torn pectoral muscle and he has already been ruled out for this weekend's game against the Steelers. Brooks recently addressed the media and said that he would be back with the team "very soon." However a timetable for his return has not been set and head coach Art Shell said earlier this week that a healthy Andrew Walter would remain in the starting lineup regardless of Brooks' injury status. We will keep you posted.

Laveranues Coles, WR, NYJ
Strained Calf

Huddle Up: Jets' WR Laveanues Coles continues to deal with a lingering calf strain and he was once again held out of team drills in practice on Wednesday and Thursday as a precaution. If we follow this season's pattern we can expect Coles to practice today and play this weekend against the Browns. It is clear that this injury is never going to heal so the medical staff's job now is to manage the problem and get Coles to and through each game. He's put up big numbers this season but there are two things you need to be concerned about. The first is that if he aggravates the injury during a game it could keep him sidelined for at least a couple of weeks. The second is that as soon as the Jets are eliminated from the playoff run there will be no reason to play him if he isn't completely healthy.

Vernon Davis, TE, SF
Fractured Fibula

Huddle Up: Rookie TE Vernon Davis' recovery from a fractured fibula as taken longer than the 49ers' medical staff had originally anticipated and according to head coach Mike Nolan he probably won't be back for at least another two weeks. Davis spoke with reporters on Wednesday and told them that he has started to run on his own and that he feels confident that he will be cleared to practice at some point next week. However he is still experiencing soreness in his leg after he works out and Nolan doesn't expect him to be ready to play by Week 9. Eric Johnson will continue to start while Davis is out.

Bobby Engram, WR, SEA
Graves' Disease

Huddle Up: Seahawks' WR Bobby Engram, who has missed the last two games because of Graves Disease, has not been able to practice with the team. And while his official status for Week 8 is questionable, it doesn't look like he will be cleared to play this weekend. Graves' Disease is an autoimmune condition usually involving an overactive thyroid in which the body's immune system produces antibodies that attack the body's tissue instead of protecting it. In Engram's case the condition resulted in fatigue, muscle weakness and an accelerated heartbeat and he has reportedly lost 10 pounds because of it. Holmgren told reporters that Engram was working his way back and that he would practice with the scout team at some point this week. He hopes that Engram will be cleared to practice with the regular team next week but it doesn't look like he will be active for Sunday's game against the Chiefs.

Larry Fitzgerald, WR, ARI
Partially Torn Hamstring

Huddle Up: Cardinals' WR Larry Fitzgerald is making steady progress in his recovery from a partially torn hamstring and while he's started to run it doesn't look like he will be ready to play until after the team's Week 9 bye. Fitzgerald, who is listed as doubtful, was seen doing some light running and individual drills under the supervision of the medical staff on Thursday. But he has not been cleared to practice with the team and it looks like he will be inactive for Sunday's game against the Packers. The Cards have a bye in Week 9 so if all goes well over the next couple of weeks there is a decent chance that Fitzgerald could be back by Week 10.

Ahman Green, RB, GB
Bruised Knee

Huddle Up: Packers' RB Ahman Green, who reportedly suffered a bruised knee in last Sunday's game against the Dolphins, was limited in practice on Wednesday. However he was able to take part in all team drills on Thursday and the team's medical staff expects him to be ready for this weekend's game. Green will continue to receive treatment on his knee before and after practice but it looks like this injury is a non-issue.

Trent Green, QB, KC
Severe Concussion

Huddle Up: Chiefs' QB Trent Green, who hasn't played since Week 1 because of a severe concussion, was finally cleared to start working out on his own. However he is still at least two weeks away from being cleared to play in a game. Green took part in individual drills on Wednesday and Thursday and according to reports he looked pretty good. Unfortunately he has not been cleared to practice with the team and he has already been ruled out for this weekend's game against the Seahawks. Green will reportedly visit with a head-trauma specialist sometime next week and even if he is cleared to practice with the team the Chiefs' aren't expecting him back in the starting lineup until at least Week 10. A healthy Damon Huard will continue to start in his place, but it now appears that Huard has injury concerns of his own. See his report below.

Damon Huard, QB, KC
Strained Groin

Huddle Up: According to reports Chiefs' QB Damon Huard left Thursday's practice after straining his groin muscle and his status for this weekend's game against the Seahawks. The Chiefs have not commented on Huard's injury, however rookie Brodie Croyle finished Thursday's practice with the first team offense and it looks like he will be take all the snaps with the first team today. We should know more about this situation over the next couple of days so check back on Sunday for an update.

Byron Leftwich, QB, JAC
Sore Ankle

Huddle Up: Jaguars' QB Byron Leftwich continues to be bothered by a sore left ankle and according to reports it looks like David Garrard will be in the starting lineup this weekend against the Colts. Leftwich first complained of swelling and soreness in his left ankle last Friday morning and he was immediately placed in a protective boot. An MRI reportedly showed nothing serious and the team's medical staff has said that his ankle was structurally OK. However Leftwich continues to experience soreness in his ankle and he's been unable to practice with the team this week. So what is causing this problem? Head coach Jack Del Rio isn't saying but it is clear that he won't play Leftwich if he isn't completely healthy. This is something to keep a close eye on. Leftwich broke the same ankle last year so let's just hope that his currently problems aren't related to that. In the meantime Garrard, who has take all the snaps with the first team this week, will likely be the Jags' Week 8 starter.

Greg Jennings, WR, GB
Sprained Ankle

Huddle Up: Packers' rookie WR Greg Jennings is no longer using crutches however he did not practice on Wednesday and Thursday and he is currently listed as doubtful for Sunday's game against the Cardinals. Jennings sprained his ankle during last Sunday's game and while he has made progress in his recovery the team's medical staff doesn't expect him to recovery in time for this weekend's game. Jennings will attempt to practice today but if he doesn't don't expect him to be active. Ruvell Martin will start opposite Donald Driver if Jennings is unable to play.

Matt Jones, WR, JAC
Strained Hamstring

Huddle Up: According to reports Jaguars' WR Matt Jones was able to practice on Wednesday and Thursday, however his hamstring is still not completely healed and his status for Week 8 remains a question mark. With Jags on a bye last week Jones had an extra week to rest and recover and his ankle is reportedly back to full strength. But he continues to work with the medical staff on his hamstring and there is a chance that he will be held out of this weekend's game so that he has one more week to get healthy. Head coach Jack Del Rio is reportedly tired of dealing with players who aren't healthy so don't be surprised if Jones is held out until his hamstring has completely healed.

LaMont Jordan, RB, OAK
Lower Back Strain

Huddle Up: At this point Raiders' RB LaMont Jordan is a game-time decision because of a lower back strain but he could be ruled out if he is unable to practice today. Jordan reportedly strained his lower back during practice last week and after aggravating the injury during pre game warm-ups he was held out of last Sunday's game. An MRI done on his back did not reveal any significant damage however he continues to suffer from lower back pain and stiffness. Jordan has not practiced this week and if he is held out again today he will likely be deactivated on Sunday. Justin Fargas will get the start if Jordan is out.

Deuce McAllister, RB, NO
Strained Hamstring

Huddle Up: Saints' RB Deuce McAllister was limited in practice last week because of a strained hamstring. However McAllister was able to practice with the team on Wednesday and Thursday and he will be back in the starting lineup this weekend against the Ravens. He's still being listed on the team's injury report but his hamstring is no longer being considered a problem so expect him to be a full strength this weekend.

Donovan McNabb, QB, PHI
Bruised Hand

Huddle Up: Eagles' QB Donovan McNabb, who bruised his left hand during last Sunday's game, is not listed on the team's injury report and he will be back in the starting lineup this weekend against the Jaguars. X-rays on McNabb's injured hand reportedly came back negative and he's been able to practice this week without a problem. So with nothing to worry about make sure McNabb is in your starting lineups.

Steve McNair, QB, BAL
Concussion

Huddle Up: Ravens' QB Steve McNair was knocked from the team's Week 6 game because of a concussion. But with the team out last week because of a bye McNair had an extra week to recover and according to reports he has made a full recovery. He is still being listed as questionable on the injury report but he was able to practice with the team on Wednesday and Thursday and the team's medical staff expects him to start this weekend against the Saints.

Marcus Robinson, WR, MIN
Lower Back Contusion

Huddle Up: Vikings' WR Marcus Robinson, who suffered what the team is calling a lower back contusion in last Sunday'' game, was not at practice on Thursday because he was in Chicago getting a second opinion about his injury from a back specialist. According to reports Robinson will not play this week and a team official told reporters that the injury would not require surgery. Last time I checked bruises never required surgery so clearly there is more to this injury than what is being reported. We'll keep you posted.

Ben Roethlisberger, QB, PIT
Concussion

Huddle Up: Steelers' QB Ben Roethlisberger, who was knocked unconscious during last week's game, was surprisingly cleared to take part in practice on Thursday and according to reports he took nearly all of the snaps with the first-team. Roethlisberger was diagnosed with a concussion, his second in four months, and in most cases if an athlete loses consciousness he is held out of activity for at least a week. Head coach Bill Cowher told reporters that he was "very encouraged" with how Big Ben feels and it appears that he will be cleared to play in this weekend's game. It seems like they are rushing him back and I wouldn't be surprised if he ended up being inactive so check back with The Huddle on Sunday for a final update.

Donte Stallworth, WR, PHI
Strained Hamstring

Huddle Up: After practicing with the team on Wednesday and Thursday it looks like Eagles' WR Donte Stallworth will finally make his return from a strained hamstring this weekend against the Jags. Stallworth has missed 4 of the team's last 5 games because of a lingering hamstring injury but according to reports he's running at full speed and it appears that he has completely healed. The team won't know for sure until they see him in game action, but he is expected back in the starting lineup on Sunday.

Brandon Stokley, WR, IND
Sprained Knee

Huddle Up: Colts' WR Brandon Stokley is still not recovered from a sprained knee and after missing practice on Wednesday and Thursday head coach Tony Dungy told reporters that Stokley was out for this weekend's game against the Broncos. Stokley has only played in one game this season because of injury and it doesn't look like he will be ready to play anytime soon. At this point there is no reason to have him on your roster

Andrew Walter, QB, OAK
Strained Hamstring

Huddle Up: As expected Raiders' QB Andrew Walter has been cleared to play this weekend against the Steelers and according to head coach Art Shell he will be back in the starting lineup. Walter left in the third quarter of last week's game with a strained hamstring. However the injury was diagnosed as a minor strain and he's since made his return the practice field. Walter is reportedly looking very mobile and the team no longer considers the injury a problem.

Brian Westbrook, RB, PHI
Knee Cartilage Problems

Huddle Up: Eagles' RB Brian Westbrook was able to practice with team on Wednesday and Thursday for first time since suffering cartilage damage in his knee and according to reports he has improved and he will be starting this weekend against the Jags. Westbrook is reportedly still dealing with swelling in his knee and he will likely have to deal with that for the remainder of the season. But the team's medical staff is doing a great job managing this injury and it looks like he will be able to play through it for the remainder of the season. The only problem is the potential for re-injury, but if he can avoid aggravating the problem he should be fine.

Troy Williamson, WR, MIN
Concussion

Huddle Up: Vikings' WR Troy Williamson, who left last Sunday's game with a concussion, was able to practice on Wednesday but after being held out of practice on Thursday he was downgraded to questionable on the official injury report. According to reports Williamson suffered a setback in practice on Wednesday. The team isn't ready to rule him of their Week 8 game but at this point they don't know if he will be ready to play. Travis Taylor, who also suffered a minor concussion in Week 7, was able to practice on Wednesday and Thursday and he will start if Williamson is unable to play.