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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Week 11 Injury Update #2
Philip Gentles
November 17, 2006

Shaun Alexander, RB, SEA
Fractured Foot

Huddle Up: Despite reports that Seahawks' RB Shaun Alexander still has a crack in the fourth metatarsal of his foot, he was cleared to practice with the team on Wednesday and according to head coach Mike Holmgren there is a chance that he will make his return to the starting lineup this weekend against the 49ers. Alexander has apparently been running pain-free for two weeks and he's worked really hard to get himself ready to play. But what I can't understand is if the fracture has not completely healed why would the Seahawks risk making the problem worse by rushing him back? This is definitely something to keep an eye on guys. Holmgren said earlier in the week that if Alexander plays he would split carries with Maurice Morris, but even that is putting him at risk for further injury. We'll keep you posted.

Tatum Bell, RB, DEN
Bilateral Turf Toe

Huddle Up: Broncos' RB Tatum Bell continues to be bothered by turf toe injuries in both feet and according to reports his status for Week 11 remains a question mark. Bell took part in full practice on Wednesday but he apparently aggravated one of his injured toes and he was limited in practice on Thursday. Unfortunately this is going to be a problem for the remainder of the season so don't be be surprised if he is in and out of practice. As for this week it appears that Bell is headed for another game-time decision so check with The Huddle on Sunday for an update.

Bernard Berrian, WR, CHI
Bruised Ribs

Huddle Up: After missing last week's game because of bruised ribs Bears' WR Bernard Berrian moved a step closer to playing in Week 11 by taking part in full practice on Wednesday and Thursday. Berrian is still being listed as questionable on the team's official injury report but if he makes it through practice today (Friday) without a problem he could be upgraded to probable. The only thing the medical staff is concerned about is his ability to take a hit, but outside of that they have been pleased with his recovery and it looks there is a chance that he will be able to play this weekend. An official decision on his availability might not be made until gameday so make sure that you check with The Huddle on Sunday for an update.

Aaron Brooks, QB, OAK
Partially Torn Pectoralis Major

Huddle Up: Raiders' QB Aaron Brooks has completely recovered from a partially torn pec muscle, but he is currently splitting first team snaps in practice with Andrew Walter and head coach Art Shell told reporters that he will not announce the starting quarterback until sometime on Sunday. Brooks has not played since injuring his chest in Week 2, however he is reportedly healthy and ready to regain his starting job. Walter hasn't played in place of Brooks this season and his recent comments about the offense really upset Shell. So don't be surprised if Brooks is back in the starting lineup this weekend.

David Carr, QB, HOU
Bruised Shoulder

Huddle Up: Texans' QB David Carr left last week's game after bruising his shoulder. But the injury is not considered serious and after making it through full practice on Wednesday and Thursday he was upgraded to probable on the official injury report and the team expects him to be back in the starting lineup this weekend against the Bills. Carr has reportedly been receiving treatment on his shoulder twice a day and according to reports it has responded extremely well. He was able to throw deep balls in practice on Thursday without a problem so it appears that he will be ready to go this weekend.

Daunte Culpepper, QB, MIA
Recovery from Major Knee Surgery

Huddle Up: Dolphins' QB Daunte Culpepper will once again miss this weekend's game while he continues to rehab his surgically repaired and he finally admitted to reporters that there was a chance that he will miss the remainder of the 2006 season. According to reports Culpepper has shown signs of improvement, however he still experiences pain and discomfort in his knee when he pushes off and it looks like the medical staff is more concerned about getting him ready to play in 2007. Head coach Nick Saban wants to see how he progresses over the next couple of weeks before he makes a decision on his availability for the remainder of the season, but it doesn't look like he will be back on the field this year. Joey Harrington will continue to start while Culpepper is out.

Vernon Davis, TE, SF
Fractured Fibula

Huddle Up: 49ers' rookie TE Vernon Davis, who hasn't played since Week 3 because of a fractured fibula,
Finally returned to practice on Wednesday. But he was limited to individual drills and according to reports he may still be a week away from being cleared to play in a game. Davis is no longer experiencing soreness in his leg and he's now running and cutting at full speed. But if he doesn't practice with the team today (Friday) there is a good chance that he will be inactive for Sunday's game against the Seahawks. So keep an eye on the practice reports and check back on Sunday for an update.

Bobby Engram, WR, SEA
Grave's Disease

Huddle Up: Seahawks' veteran WR Bobby Engram, who is still trying to recovery from a thyroid condition, has still not been cleared to practice with the regular team and according to reports he will probably be inactive for this weekend's game against the 49ers. Engram has taken part in drills with the scout team for over two weeks but the medical staff isn't ready to give him full clearance. He's still at least a week away from getting that clearance so don't expect him to play in Week 11.

Terry Glenn, WR, DAL
Chondromalacia Patella

Huddle Up: Cowboys' WR Terry Glenn, who is suffering from a "bone-on-bone" condition in his knee called chondromalacia patella, was able to practice on Wednesday and Thursday and according to reports he's looking good. Chondromalacia patella is a chronic condition in which the cartilage that lines the underneath of the kneecap (patella) degenerates resulting in inflammation and pain. Several media outlets have compared this injury to the one that has ended RB Curtis Martin's season. However Glenn's condition is different and a lot less severe. Over the last couple of weeks the Cowboys' medical staff has worked on trying to improve his quadriceps strength and hamstring flexibility. And since Glenn is now back on the field and practicing without much of a problem you would have to say that the medical staff has done a good job in managing the injury. This will probably be a concern for the remainder of the season and there is a chance that he could aggravate the problem at any moment, but for now it looks like he will be ready to play this weekend. Check back on Sunday for an update just to be sure.

Tony Gonzalez, TE, KC
Sprained Shoulder

Huddle Up: Chiefs' TE Tony Gonzalez has not practiced this week because of a sprained shoulder and he's already been ruled out for this weekend's game against the Raiders. According to reports Gonzalez is still at least 2 weeks away from making his return to the practice field, which means he will likely miss at least one more game. Jason Dunn will get the start in his place.

Frank Gore, RB, SF
Concussion

Huddle Up: Despite being held out of practice on Wednesday and Thursday because of a concussion the 49ers still expect RB Frank Gore to play this weekend against the Seahawks. Gore set a team record for rushing yards in a half during last week's game, but he was forced to leave after suffering what the medical staff called a minor concussion. He was reportedly feeling dizzy after the game and he woke up on Monday with a headache. According to reports Gore has improved but the medical staff has kept him off the field as a precaution. Head coach Mike Nolan told reporters that he expects him to practice today (Friday) and play this weekend, but he will likely be a game-time decision. So make sure you check with The Huddle on Sunday for an update.

Trent Green, QB, KC
Severe Concussion

Huddle Up: The Chiefs' medical staff have finally cleared QB Trent Green to play and according to reports he has already regained the starting job and he will start this weekend against the Raiders. Green has not played since suffering a severe concussion in Week 1. He returned to practice three weeks ago but he was finally allowed to participate in all drills without restrictions this week and he reportedly looked very good. Head coach Herman Edwards told reporters after Thursday's practice that he was pleased with Green's progress and while he believed that Green would be anxious this weekend he expects him to make a successful return. It might take him a couple of games to shake off the rust, but it looks like Green will be the Chiefs' starting QB for the remainder of the season.

Matt Hasselbeck, QB, SEA
Sprained MCL

Huddle Up: Seahawks' QB Matt Hasselbeck, who has missed the last three games because of a sprained MCL in his knee, returned to practice this week. However he worked with scout team and was limited to just 25 plays on Wednesday before limping off the field. He was back on the field on Thursday and he reportedly looked a lot better but he was still favoring his knee. Head coach Mike Holmgren told reporters that he will announce this weekend's starting QB after today's (Friday's ) practice, but it looks like Seneca Wallace will once again get the start. Hasselbeck might actually be active as the number 2 QB, but he's still at least a week away from being cleared to practice with the first team.

Todd Heap, TE, BAL
Sprained Ankle

Huddle Up: Ravens' TE Todd Heap is listed as questionable for Week 11 because of a sprained ankle and according to reports he will likely be a game-time decision. Heap did not practice on Wednesday and Thursday and team officials are reportedly concerned that he will not be able to recover in time for Sunday's game. He will attempt to practice today (Friday), but if he can't then there is a good chance that he will be inactive for this weekend's game against the Falcons. Check back on Sunday for an update on his status.

Joe Horn, WR, NO
Strained Groin

Huddle Up: Saints' WR Joe Horn, who has missed the last two games because of a strained groin, was able to take part in team drills during practice on Wednesday and Thursday and he has now been upgraded to probable on the team's official Week 11 injury report. According to reports Horn could have returned last week but the medical staff didn't want to rush him back and risk having the injury becoming a lingering problem. Horn is apparently very close to full strength and his solid performance in Thursday's practice indicates that he is ready to play. We probably won't know what his actual gameday status will be until sometime on Sunday, but unless he suffers a setback it looks like he will be back in the starting lineup.

Byron Leftwich, QB, JAX
Lingering Ankle Soreness

Huddle Up: Jaguars' QB Byron Leftwich continues to be bothered by soreness in his left ankle and according to reports if it doesn't start healing soon the medical staff could decide to send him for season-ending surgery. Leftwich, who has missed the last three games, has not practiced this week and it looks like he will miss Monday night's game against the Giants. Leftwich apparently visited orthopedic specialist Dr. James Andrews earlier in the week and while he wouldn't say what was discussed head coach Jack Del Rio told reporters that Leftwich would probably have to rest for at least another week or two. And if he hasn't shown signs of improvement by then there is speculation that he will have to undergo season-ending surgery to correct the problem. David Garrard hasn't played well but he will once again get the start if Leftwich is inactive.

Ray Lewis, LB, BAL
Minor Back Surgery

Huddle Up: Ravens' LB Ray Lewis, who was inactive for last week's game because of a lower back contusion, had a pocket of blood drained from the injured area through a minor surgical procedure and his status for Week 11 appears to be in doubt. According to reports the swelling in the bruised area of his lower back had not subsided and the medical staff felt that it was necessary to remove it. Head coach Brian Billick told reporters that he wasn't prepared to rule him out for this weekend's game against the Falcons and that he wanted to see how he progressed over the next couple of days before he made a decision on his availability. Unfortunately he didn't sound very optimistic and it appears that the team is preparing to play without him.

Derrick Mason, WR, BAL
Strained Calf

Huddle Up: Ravens' WR Derrick Mason, who complained of soreness in his calf following last week's game, has not practiced with the team this week and according to reports his status for Week 11 remains questionable. Mason told reporters earlier in the week that his injury wasn't a big deal. However the medical staff has decided to treat his injury cautiously and hold him out of practice. The medical staff isn't very concerned about this injury and they expect him to practice with the team today (Friday). But if he doesn't it would certainly put his status for Sunday's game in doubt. We will keep you posted on his progress.

Willis McGahee, RB, BUF
Fractured Ribs

Huddle Up: Bills' RB Willis McGahee, who was inactive last week because of 3 broken ribs, has not practiced this week and he's already been ruled out of this weekend's game against the Texans. According to reports McGahee is still at least two weeks away from making his return and team officials are optimistic that he will be back on the field prior to Week 13. Anthony Thomas will once again start in his place.

Vernand Morency, RB, GB
Lower Back Strain

Huddle Up: Packers' rookie RB Vernand Morency took part in team drills on Wednesday and Thursday and according to reports he could be active this weekend against the Patriots. Morency missed the last two games because of a lower back injury but he has practiced this week without a problem and unless he suffers a setback it looks like he will be on the field on Sunday. Unfortunately team officials have been very pleased with Noah Herron's performance over the last couple of weeks so if Morency is active he will likely be limited to a few carries and kick off returns.

Santana Moss, WR, WAS
Strained Hamstring

Huddle Up: After missing two games with a strained hamstring Redskins' WR Santana Moss made his return to the starting lineup last week against the Eagles. However he did not play well and he complained of soreness in his hamstring after the game. According to reports his leg was feeling stiff on Monday morning and even after being held out of practice on Wednesday while receiving additional treatment he reported soreness in his hamstring on Thursday morning. Moss will attempt to practice today (Friday), but if he doesn't then there is a good chance that he will be unable to play this weekend. So keep an eye on today's practice report and check back on Sunday for an update.

Clinton Portis, RB, WAS
Torn Shoulder Labrum and Fractured Hand

Huddle Up: Redskins' RB Clinton Portis, who was already out 3 - 4 weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a fractured hand, will now miss the remainder of the season after the team's medical staff decided that his injured shoulder need to be repaired as well. Portis apparently tore his labrum when he partially dislocated his shoulder during the preseason and he has played the regular season through pain and discomfort. He will likely undergo shoulder surgery sometime over the next couple of weeks and according to reports he faces four to five months of rehabilitation and recovery. If all goes well the Redskins expect him to be ready for minicamps in May. Ladell Betts will take over the team's featured back and according to head coach Joe Gibbs T.J. Duckett will start to get carries as well.

Josh Reed, WR, BUF
Bruised Kidney

Huddle Up: Bills' WR Josh Reed, who was inactive for last Sunday's game because of a bruised kidney, has not been cleared to practice and according to reports he's already been ruled out for Week 11. Reed is making steady progress in his recovery and the medical staff believes that he will be able to play again at some point this season. However he is still at least 2 weeks away from making his return to the field so don't expect him to return anytime soon.

Marcus Robinson, WR, MIN
Undisclosed Lower Back Injury

Huddle Up: Vikings' WR Marcus Robinson made his return to practice on Wednesday after missing the last three games with a undisclosed back injury. However he was limited to individual drills and his status for Week 11 remains a question mark. Although the Vikings have not detailed the nature of Robinson's injury there is speculation that he is dealing with a herniated disc. According to reports his back has improved and he's now able to run at full speed without a problem, but if he doesn't practice with the team today (Friday) there is a good chance that he will be deactivated for Sunday's game against the Dolphins.