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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Week 14 Injury Update #2
Philip Gentles
December 8, 2006

Ronnie Brown, RB, MIA
Surgery to Repair Fractured Hand

Huddle Up: Dolphins' RB Ronnie Brown, who continues to recover from hand surgery, has not practiced this week and according to reports he has already been ruled out for this weekend's game against the Patriots. Brown fractured his hand on Thanksgiving Day against the Lions and he was inactive for last week's game. Head coach Nick Saban told reporters that Brown has made steady progress in his recovery and that he expects him back for Week 15. Sammy Morris will get the start this weekend in his place.

Marc Bulger, QB, STL
Bruised Rib

Huddle Up: Rams' QB Marc Bulger continues to be bothered by a lingering rib injury but despite aggravating the problem in last week's game a precautionary MRI performed earlier in the week did not show any additional damage and according to reports the team expects him to start on Monday night against the Bears. Bulger admitted to reporters that his ribs were still very sore and that he needs treatment twice a day. However he was able to practice with the team on Wednesday and Thursday, which indicates that he should be healthy enough to play in Week 14.

Michael Clayton, WR, TB
Partially Torn MCL

Huddle Up: Bucs' WR Michael Clayton will miss the remainder of the season after being placed on Injured Reserve with a partially torn medial collateral ligament in his knee. Clayton, who was hurt in last week's game, will not require surgery however he faces at least 4 weeks of treatment and rehabilitation. The Bucs' medical staff expects him to make a full recovery in time for the team's off-season conditioning program. Ike Hilliard will take his place in the lineup.

Marques Colston, WR, NO
High Ankle Sprain

Huddle Up: Saints' rookie WR Marques Colston, who has been inactive for the last 2 games because of a high ankle sprain, is still having difficulty running and he will reportedly be a game-time decision this weekend. Colston has not practiced with the team this week and while the team says that he is making steady progress in his recovery he didn't look very comfortable running on Thursday. According to reports he still experiences pain in his ankle and leg when he tries to push off and cut raising serious questions about his availability for Sunday's game. Colston will likely go through pre game warm-ups prior to kick off but don't be surprised if he misses his third straight game.

Jake Delhomme, QB, CAR
Sprained Thumb

Huddle Up: According to reports Panthers' QB Jake Delhomme will probably miss this weekend's game against the Giants because a sprained right thumb. Delhomme was hurt in Monday night's game when his throwing hand hit the helmet of an Eagles' defender while he threw his 9-yard touchdown pass to Steve Smith. He was able to stay in the game but he admitted to reporters that his thumb became increasingly tight and painful. Delhomme has not been able to practice this week as a result of the injury and his status for Week 14 isn't looking good. Both Delhomme and head coach John Fox remain optimistic but if he doesn't practice with the team today then there is no reason to think that he will be ready in time for Sunday. Chris Weinke has taken all the snaps with the first team this week and he would get the start if Delhomme is inactive.

Bobby Engram, WR, SEA
Grave's Disease

Huddle Up: Seahawks' WR Bobby Engram, who hasn't played since October 1st, continues to practice with the team and according to reports his heart rate has returned to normal and he is no longer taking medication. However head coach Mike Holmgren told reporters that he doesn't expect Engram to play this week but that he believes he will be ready to play "pretty soon." According to reports Engram has looked pretty sharp in practice this week but the medical staff continues to be cautious. Don't expect him to play this weekend but it looks like he is very close to getting full clearance.

Jason Elam, PK, DEN
Strained Hamstring

Huddle Up: According to reports Broncos' PK Jason Elam has been limited in practice this week but the medical staff remains optimistic about his chances of kicking this weekend against the Chargers. Elam pulled his plant-leg hamstring on a fake field goal in last week's game and while he had trouble moving around he was able to kick an extra point and a field goal. Elam has been seen jogging and doing leg work during practice but he hasn't kicked a ball. The Broncos have not brought in any other kickers but they already have Paul Ernster on roster and he would handle all the kicking duties if Elam is deactivated. We probably won't know something concrete until gameday so check with The Huddle for an update on his status.

Brett Favre, QB, GB
Ankle Bone Spurs

Huddle Up: Packers' veteran QB Brett Favre recently revealed to the public that his left ankle has been bothering him for a long time and that he will probably have arthroscopic surgery after the season to remove the bone spurs that are causing the problem. According to reports Favre had a similar problem surgically corrected in the same ankle back in 1996 and he said that while he has been able to play through the discomfort there are times when his ankle becomes extremely sore making it hard for him to move or run. The good news is that the injury has not kept him out of any games and he will continue to play despite the problem.

DeShaun Foster, RB, CAR
Hyperextended Elbow

Huddle Up: Panthers' RB DeShaun Foster, who has not played since Week 11 because of an injury to his elbow, returned to practice with the team on Wednesday and according to reports he will be back in the starting lineup on Sunday against the Giants. Foster reportedly looked good in practice on Thursday and he didn't appear to be favoring his injured elbow. Head coach John Fox has been pleased with Foster's recover, but he will likely split the carries between Foster and DeAngelo Williams on Sunday,

Antonio Gates, TE, SD
Strained Hamstring

Huddle Up: According to reports Chargers' TE Antonio Gates left Thursday's practice early after feeling what is being described as a "twinge" in his hamstring while he ran routes. The medical staff doesn't believe that the injury is serious but keep an eye on the Chargers' practice report today and check back with us on Sunday for an update.

Joe Horn, WR, NO
Strained Groin

Huddle Up: Saints' WR Joe Horn, who aggravated a lingering groin injury in last week's win over the 49ers, has been limited in practice this week and according to reports his status for Week 14 remains questionable. The medical staff isn't sure if Horn will be healthy enough to play this weekend. Horn will attempt to practice today and they expect him to be involved in Saturday's walkthrough. However a decision on his availability might not come until they see how he does in pre game warm-ups so check back with The Huddle on Sunday for a final update.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh, WR, CIN
Lower Back Stiffness

Huddle Up: T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who has played hurt all season, has been held out of team drills in practice this week because of stiffness in his lower back. However team officials don't consider the injury to be serious and they expect him to practice today and play on Sunday against the Raiders. According to reports Houshmandzadeh could have practiced with the team on Wednesday and Thursday but the medical staff wanted to give him as much rest and treatment as possible. He's been on the injury report and missed practice time nearly every week this season because of a variety of injuries but he's found to play in every game since Week 3. So unless he suffers a setback in practice today (Friday) you can expect him to suit up for this weekend's game against the Raiders.

Eric Johnson, TE, SF
Partially Torn MCL

Huddle Up: 49ers' veteran TE Eric Johnson has already been ruled out for this week's game and according to reports he will likely miss the remainder of the season with a partially torn MCL in his knee. Johnson was originally supposed to miss 2 - 3 weeks but a local newspaper in San Francisco is reporting that Johnson's season is probably over. Rookie Vernon Davis will continue to start and should see more passes thrown his way with Johnson out.

Laurence Maroney, RB, NE
Undisclosed Neck Injury

Huddle Up: As expected the Patriots have been very tight lipped about Laurence Maroney's injury and while his official status for Week 14 is listed as questionable his actual status is unknown and we probably won't know much until just hours before kickoff. The Patriots initially said that Maroney had the "wind knocked out of him" in last week's game but then several local newspapers reported that he was hurt on a helmet-to-helmet hit and that he may have suffered a concussion. Well Maroney is listed on the injury report with a neck injury and according to recent reports the problem is believed to be muscle stiffness. He's been unable to practice with the team this week but if he can't practice today (Friday) don't expect him to play against the Dolphins. Corey Dillon would likely get all redzone carries but look for Kevin Faulk to be more involved in the offense as well.

Willis McGahee, RB, BUF
Sprained Ankle and Cracked Ribs

Huddle Up: Not only is McGahee dealing with sore ribs but according to reports he is also recovering from a sprained ankle. McGahee apparently injured his ankle in last week's game and he was fitted for a protective boot that he wore up until yesterday. The boot was removed prior to Thursday's practice but he did not participate in any team or individual drills and his status for Week 14 remains questionable. According to reports the Bills remain optimistic about his chances of playing but this looks like it will come down to a game-time decision. Even if he does play he won't be anywhere near 100% so if you have another option this weekend I suggest you use.

Chester Taylor, RB, MIN
Bruised Ribs

Huddle Up: Vikings' RB Chester Taylor is listed as doubtful for Week 14 on the team's official injury report because of bruised ribs and it appears that he won't be active for Sunday's game against the Lions. Taylor, who was hurt in last week's game, has not practiced this week and according to reports his ribs remain point-tender and very sore. The medical staff believes that he could play through the pain but they are concerned that contact would aggravate and worsen the problem. The Vikings are hoping that he will make a quick recovery but they are preparing to play without him, so maybe you should do the same. Ciatrick Fason would likely get the start in his place and Mewelde Moore would come in on passing downs.

Brian Westbrook, RB, PHI
Sprained Toe / Knee Inflammation

Huddle Up: Eagles' RB Brian Westbrook reportedly sprained his big toe during Monday night's game against the Panthers but the injury has not kept him out of practice and the medical staff doesn't expect it to be a problem this weekend against the Redskins. Head coach Any Reid told reporters earlier in the week that Westbrook's toe injury was minor but that his knee continues to be an issue. According to reports Westbrook's knee was swollen following Monday night's game but after receiving treatment on Monday and Tuesday he was back on the practice field on Wednesday and he looks ready to go. The medical staff appears to have his knee injury under control, however they will definitely address the cartilage damage in the joint as soon as the season is over.

Jermaine Wiggins, TE, MIN
Sprained MCL

Huddle Up: Vikings' TE Jermaine Wiggins hasn't fully recovered from a sprained medial collateral ligament in his knee but he is listed as probable on the official injury report and the team expects him to start in Sunday's game. Wiggins was hurt back in Week 12 and he was able to play last weekend catching 3 passes for 30 yards. Wiggins did not practice on Wednesday and was limited in practice on Thursday but team officials expect him to take part in team drills today and they believe that he will be back in the starting lineup this weekend against the Lions.