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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Training Room Injury Update - Week 4
Philip Gentles
September 25, 2007

Shaun Alexander, RB, SEA - Fractured Wrist
In a press conference on Monday Seahawks' head coach Mike Holmgren told reporters that starting RB Shaun Alexander had a fractured bone in his left wrist but that the injury would not prevent him from playing in the team's Week 4 game. Alexander, who has been practicing and playing with a protective cast on his left wrist since suffering what was called a sprained ligament in the team's Week 1 game, left Sunday's game after aggravating the injury in the second quarter. Holmgren said that X-rays were taken in the locker room but after fitting him with a larger cast the medical staff cleared him to return to the game. Holmgren has not said when the injury actually occurred or if he has been dealing with the fractured bone since the first game of the regular season, but team officials are a bit concerned because the injury is affecting the way he carries and catches the ball and the way he braces himself when he falls on the ground or takes a hit. The Seahawks believe that Alexander will still be able to function as their featured back but they aren't sure when the bone will heal and when he will be back to 100%.

Anquan Boldin, WR, ARI - Minor Hip Strain
According to reports Cardinals' WR Anquan Boldin suffered a minor hip strain in the third quarter of Sunday's game. But after he was stretched on sideline he was able to return to the field and he went on to have a monster game catching 14 balls for 181 yards and two touchdowns. Boldin was reportedly sore on Monday and was seen walking with a slight limp. But the Cardinals don't appear to be concerned. He might be limited in practice on Wednesday however head coach Ken Whisenhunt expects him to practice with the team later on in the week and play in their Week 4 game.

Isaac Bruce, WR, STL - Minor Concussion
Rams' veteran WR Isaac Bruce appears to be OK after he suffered what is being reported as minor concussion in Sunday's game against the Bucs. Bruce was hurt when Bucs' DB Jermain Phillips hit him in the head following a catch in the second quarter. He was taken to the locker room where he was examined and allowed to recover. Bruce was eventually cleared and he return to the field in the third quarter. The medical staff will evaluate him on daily basis as a precaution, but they aren't concerned about the injury and they expect him to play in the Rams next game.

Marc Bulger, QB, STL - Fractured Ribs
According to reports Rams' head coach Scott Linehan admitted on Monday that starting QB Marc Bulger has been playing with two broken ribs since Week 1. However Linehan went on to say that Bulger will start in Week 4 against the Cowboys and that he will continue to play as long as he con tolerate the pain and discomfort. There was no indication as to when the injury occurred but Bulger has been hit hard and often this season so this really shouldn't come as a surprise. The problem with this injury is that he could aggravate the problem at any point during the game, which means there is chance he could leave any game he starts early. We need to keep a close eye on this situation. If the Rams continue to lose, they will find themselves out of the playoff picture And with nothing to play for the medical staff wouldn't hesitate to rest Bulger until he is completely healthy.

Jay Cutler, QB, DEN - Sprained Ankle
According to reports an MRI on QB Jay Cutler's injured ankle confirmed that it was a mild sprain and the team expects him to take part in practice starting on Wednesday and play in Week 4. Cutler was reportedly hurt late in the fourth quarter and was seen limping in the locker room after the game. Head coach Mike Shanahan said that the injury was a concern but with the MRI revealing very little damage it looks like he's going to be OK. We'll know more about his status later on in the week but at this point it looks like Cutler is going to try and play.

Vernon Davis, TE, SF - Sprained MCL
49ers' starting TE Vernon Davis will miss at least two weeks of practice and could be out until Week 7 after he sprained the medial collateral ligament (MCL) in his right knee during Sunday's game against the Steelers. Davis was injured when landed awkwardly on his knee while attempting to catch a pass in the third quarter. He was examined on the sideline and did not return to the game. An MRI on his knee on Monday revealed a sprained MCL. And while the injury will not require surgery, he will have to sit for at least two weeks. The 49ers have their bye in Week 6 so Davis will likely miss two games and return for the team's Week 7 game against the Giants.

Jake Delhomme, QB, CAR - Elbow Strain
Panthers' QB Jake Delhomme is being listed as "day-to-day" after he suffered a strained muscle in his elbow during Sunday's game against the Falcons. According to reports Delhomme was initially hurt when he was sacked in third quarter. He stayed in the game and threw a touchdown pass but he later told the medical staff that his elbow didn't feel right. He threw passes on the sideline while the defense was on the field and decided to go back into the game. Then in the fourth quarter Delhomme felt a "sharp pain" in his elbow after throwing short pass and he immediately grabbed his arm and walked off the field. He was replaced by David Carr who finished the game. Delhomme reportedly underwent an MRI on Monday and he was quick to point out that it revealed that surgery was not necessary to repair the damage but that there was still a chance that he could play in Week 4. Well, how bad is his elbow if the team thought that it might require surgery? Something tells me that the Panthers are downplaying this injury. Head coach John Fox will give the media an update on his status for Week 4 on Wednesday so we'll have a better feel for how he is doing then. But don't be surprised if Delhomme ends up missing at least one game because of this.

Antonio Gates, TE, SD - Minor Wrist Sprain
Chargers' TE Antonio Gates suffered a sprained wrist early in Sunday's game against the Packers. But he was able to return to the field and he put up big numbers catching 11 balls for 113 yards. It is not exactly know how he was hurt but Gates was seen on the sideline in the first half getting his wrist taped. But the injury did not appear to affect him during the game and it looks like it won't be an issue this upcoming week either. He has reportedly been diagnosed with a minor wrist sprain and the medical staff expects him to be fine for the team's Week 4 game.

Frank Gore, RB, SF - Hand Soreness
According to reports 49ers' RB Frank Gore, who fractured his right hand during training camp, complained of soreness in the same hand after Sunday's game against the Steelers and had it X-rayed as a precaution. The good news it that the X-rays came back negative. The medical staff will probably keep him out of contact drills until Friday but he's expected to start in Week 4 against the Seahawks.

Ahman Green, RB, HOU - Bruised Knee
Texans' RB Ahman Green suffered a bruised knee in the first half of Sunday's game against the Colts and his status for Week 4 is currently in question. Green originally injured his knee in the first quarter but left the game after aggravating it on a run early in the second quarter. According to reports his knee immediately began to swell and he did not return to the game. The Texans were a bit concerned about his knee but an MRI on Monday revealed that the ligaments and cartilage in the joint were structurally fine. So the medical staff's job now is to control the pain and swelling and Green is scheduled to undergo treatment at least twice a day this week as they try and get him ready for Week 4. At this point it's too early to tell if he will play so check back on Friday for an update.

Steven Jackson, RB, STL - Partially Torn Groin
Rams' RB Steven Jackson has already been ruled out for Week 4 and could miss up to month after partially tearing his left groin muscle during Sunday's loss against the Bucs. According to reports Jackson was hurt while making a cut in the second half and tried to play through the discomfort but he was pulled from the game in the fourth quarter. Head coach Scott Linehan told reporters that the injury was "noticeable" but it didn't appear to be serious since Jackson was still able to play. Unfortunately an MRI on his leg revealed a partial tear in his groin muscle and the team's medical staff has said that he will be out for at least this week. Rookie Brian Leonard will get the start in his place

Calvin Johnson, WR, DET - Bruised Lower Back
A bruised lower back will probably keep rookie WR Calvin Johnson limited in practice this week but the team expects him to recover in time to play in Week 4 against the Bears. Johnson was hurt when he fell on his back after making a great 38-yard catch in traffic during the second quarter of Sunday's game against the Eagles. He stayed on the ground for several minutes but after being helped up he was able to walk off the field on his own. He was then carted to the locker room where he underwent precautionary X-rays and a thorough examination. He did not return to the game and the injury was later classified as a lower back bruise. Additional tests on Monday confirmed the initial diagnosis and Johnson is currently being listed as day-to-day. Johnson's back was reportedly stiff and bit sore on Monday but the team still expects him to be ready for their next game. We'll know more about his status later in the week.

Rudi Johnson, RB, CIN - Strained Hamstring
Bengals' RB Rudi Johnson was admittedly sore on Monday but he remained confident that his strained hamstring would not prevent him from playing against the Patriots next Monday night. Johnson left Sunday's game after straining his hamstring in the third quarter. He wasn't having a particularly good game to begin but the injury prevented him from planting and cutting so he was kept on the sideline until the end. Johnson was seen with ice wrapped around his leg and he told reporters after the game that the injury would not keep him from playing in Week 4. At this point it's still too early to tell if he will be active against the Pats, but don't be surprised if he is held out of practice on Wednesday and Thursday while he recovers. If he returns to practice on Friday he stands a good chance of playing, but if he remains on the sideline don't expect him to suit up on Monday night.

Jacoby Jones, WR, HOU - Sprained AC Joint
Texans' rookie WR Jacoby Jones, who left Sunday's game with a sprained Acromioclavicular (AC) joint in his shoulder, will miss the next 2 - 3 weeks while he recovers which means he won't be back on the field until at least Week 5. Jones was hurt when he was tackled at the end of a long punt return in the second half. He was taken to the locker room for an X-ray and while it was negative he was diagnosed with a separated shoulder and he was held out for the remainder of the game. According to reports an MRI on his shoulder revealed that the AC joint in his joint was damaged. But luckily the damage was not severe and they expect him to make a full recovery by Week 6.

Julius Jones, RB, DAL - Mild Concussion
According to the Cowboys' organization RB Julius Jones suffered his second concussion of the season on Sunday night and his status for Week 4 is currently unknown. Jones was hurt when he was hit hard by Bears' LB Brian Urlacher and he needed help getting off the field. Jones reportedly complained of dizziness on the sidelines and he was held out for the remainder of the game as a precaution. In an interview after the game Jones said that he was feeling fine and the Cowboys are officially calling the injury a "slight" concussion. But since this is his second concussion in three weeks the medical staff has no choice but to be careful with him. So don't be surprised if he is limited in practice all week. Marion Barber had another big game with Jones on the bench and he is getting closer to being named the official starting RB. A decision on Jones' availability for Week 4 won't come until the medical staff sees how he recovers from his latest concussion. But Barber will probably get a bulk of carries regardless of what happens.

Cedric Killings, DL, HOU - Fractured Neck
DL Cedric Killings' season is over and his NFL career is in doubt over after he fractured the C-4 vertebra in his neck during Sunday's game against the Colts. Killings was hurt after a headfirst collision with a Colts' receiver in the second quarter. The team's medical staff told reporters that he did not have movement in his arms and legs for a couple of minutes and showed only limited mobility and sensation after that. He was immobilized, carted off the field and immediately taken to a local hospital where an X-ray revealed a fracture to his C-4 vertebra. According to reports Killings has recovered well since being admitted to the hospital. He's regained some movement in his arms and legs, although he remains weak in both hands and in his left arm. The neurosurgeons who treated Killings are optimistic that he will be able to walk out of the hospital at some point, but they cautioned that it was still too early to tell if his NFL career was over. Needless to say he will not be able to play again this season.

J.P. Losman, QB, BUF - Sprained MCL
Bills' QB JP Losman will miss at least two weeks after he sprained the medial collateral ligament (MCL) in Sunday's game which means that rookie Trent Edwards will get his first NFL start this upcoming weekend against the Jets. Losman left the game in the first quarter after he was hit on the knee causing it to bend awkwardly. He was taken to the locker room where he was X-rayed and diagnosed with a sprained MCL. His knee was wrapped and he was later seen with crutches. According to reports Losman was in a great deal of pain following the game but the good news is that an MRI revealed a grade 1 sprain (minor) to the MCL and the team expects him to make a full recovery in time for their Week 6 game. There is a chance that he could play in Week 5, but the medical staff's biggest problem right now is controlling the swelling. We'll keep you posted on his recovery.

Deuce McAllister, RB, NO - Possible Torn ACL
Saints' RB Deuce McAllister, who missed a practice last week because of soreness in his surgically repaired knee, left Monday night's game after injuring the same knee. McAllister limped off the field and into the locker room after hurting his knee on a run in the second quarter. X-rays in the locker room were negative but he did not return to the game. According to ESPN's Ed Werder late Monday night, two Saints sources confirmed a preliminary diagnosis of a torn ACL. If true that would mean McAllister would miss the remainder of the season. An MRI has been scheduled for Tuesday to confirm the diagnosis. Officially the Saints are only saying at this point that Deuce has an undisclosed knee injury.

Josh McCown, QB, OAK - Undisclosed Foot Injury
Raiders' QB Josh McCown, who was already dealing with a sprained right foot, suffered an undisclosed injury to his left foot during Sunday's game against the Browns and his status for Week 4 remains uncertain. McCown injured his foot in the first half and was in and out of the lineup in the second quarter. But after being examined in the locker room the medical staff decided to keep him on the sideline for the remainder of the game. According to reports McCown appeared to be in pain on Monday but head coach Lane Kiffin said that he would not name a starter for Week 4 until they see how McCown's foot responds to treatment. The team has not said what the injury to his foot is, but it appears that the team is unsure if he will be able to play against the Dolphins. This is setting up nicely for Daunte Culpepper who could make his 2007 debut as a starter against the team that decided to get rid of him in the off season.

Steve McNair, QB, BAL - Strained Groin
Ravens' veteran QB Steve McNair, who was inactive for Week 2 because of a groin strain, was having a good game on Sunday in his return. Unfortunately he reaggravated his groin injury in the second half and was replaced by Kyle Boller who finished the game. McNair told reporters after the game that he could have continued playing but that the medical staff wanted him to rest his injury and the coaching staff wanted to see what Boller could do. According to reports McNair could return to practice as early as Wednesday but a starter for Week 4 will not be names until later in the week.

Paul Posluszny, LB, BUF - Fractured Forearm
Bills' rookie LB Paul Posluszny will miss the remainder of the season after he was placed on Injured Reserve with a fractured forearm. According to reports Posluszny was hurt when he attempted to tackle Patriots' RB Laurence Maroney. While making the tackle his arm was hit by teammate Kiwaukee Thomas and he immediately fell to the ground and grabbed his arm. The medical staff ran on the field and after a quick examination they decided to place his arm in an aircast. He was on the ground for nearly 10 minutes before he was carted off the field and into the locker room. Posluszny reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the damage and has since been placed on IR. The Bills expect him to make a full recovery in time for minicamps next year. John DiGiorgio will replace him in the lineup.

Derrick Ward, RB, NYG - Sprained Ankle
Giants' RB Derrick Ward, who is filling in for injured starter Brandon Jacobs, sprained his left ankle during Sunday's game against the Packers. But the injury was not serious and he was able to stay on the field and finish the game. According to reports Ward was complaining of soreness in his ankle on Monday, however a follow up exam confirmed that the ankle injury is minor. The team will likely keep him limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday but he should return to get a full load on Friday and he should be back in the starting lineup next weekend.

Hines Ward, WR, PIT - Bruised Knee
An X-ray and a follow up MRI on Monday confirmed that WR Hines Ward's injury was just a bone bruise and that he would probably be available for the Steelers' Week 4 game. Ward was hurt when he was hit hard on consecutive plays in the third quarter. He limped to the sideline after the second play and was taken to the locker room for precautionary X-rays. The X-rays were negative but he remained on the sidelines for the entire fourth quarter. According to report Ward appeared to moving around fine on Monday and he told reporters that he was feeling OK. He might be limited in practice on Wednesday but he should be fine for Week four.

Brian Westbrook, RB, PHI - Abdominal Strain / Sprained Knee
What was first being described as bruised ribs is now being called an abdominal strain and Brian Westbrook's status for Week 4 is now in question. Westbrook was reportedly hurt while making a move during a run in the third quarter. Head coach Andy Reid told reporters that Westbrook was not hit and that is was a "kind of a freak thing." X-rays in the locker room were negative and an MRI on Monday revealed no tears in his abdominal muscles. Westbrook was also seen limping on the sideline after the game and the team indicated that he slightly aggravated his sprained knee, but they don't consider his knee to be a problem. Reid said that Westbrook was feeling sore on Monday and he wasn't sure if he would be able to practice on Wednesday. The injury to his abdomen does not appear to be serious, but the team won't know what his Week 4 status is until they see him practice. So check back later in the week for an update.

Carnell Williams, RB, TB - Bruised Ribs
Bucs' RB Carnell Williams left Sunday's game against the Rams after aggravating his bruised ribs but according to head coach Jon Gruden he should be back in the starting lineup in Week 4. Cadillac re injured his ribs in the second half and was having a bit of trouble breathing. He told reporters that he could have continued playing, but with the team in control of the game the medical staff decided to hold him out as a precaution. Earnest Graham and Michael Pittman ran well with Williams out, but Gruden told reporters that Williams was still the featured back and that he would be the starter against the Panthers on Sunday.

Kellen Winslow, TE, CLE - Bruised Shoulder
Browns' TE Kellen Winslow Jr. left Sunday's game after bruising his shoulder, however the injury is not considered serious and he should be back in the starting lineup on Sunday against the Ravens. According to reports Winslow had his shoulder wrapped and was given electrical stim to help control the swelling and pain on the sideline. Winslow told reporters that his shoulder is sore, but that he plans on playing in Week 4. We'll know more about his status for the game after practice on Thursday and Friday.

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