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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Training Room Injury Update - Week 5
Philip Gentles
October 5, 2007

QUARTERBACKS

Marc Bulger, STL
Fractured Ribs - According to reports the Rams have decided to bench QB Marc Bulger in favor of Gus Frerotte this week as Bulger's performance continues to be affected by his broken ribs. Head coach Scott Linehan admitted to reporters last week that Bulger had been playing with broken ribs and after last Sunday's poor performance the team decided to pull him from the starting lineup so that his body could heal. Linehan told reporters that Bulger will sit for a couple of weeks and as soon as he is healthy he will be given his starting job back. But until then Frerotte will be the team's number one QB and hopefully he can help jump-start the Rams' offense.

Jake Delhomme, CAR
Strained Elbow - Panthers' QB Jake Delhomme, who was inactive for last week's game because of a strained muscle in his right elbow, continues to be held out of practice and it looks like David Carr will make his second straight start this weekend against the Saints. The Panthers continue to publicly downplay this injury, but according to reports Delhomme's elbow could end up requiring surgery. The team's medical staff will probably wait at least another couple of weeks to see how he recovers before they decide to operate, but it appears that he won't be back in the starting lineup for at least Week 8.

J.P. Losman, BUF
Partially Torn MCL - Bills' head coach Dick Jauron has already ruled out QB JP Losman for Monday night's game against the Cowboys and according to reports if rookie Trent Edwards continues to play well while Losman is out he could remain in the starting lineup even when Losman is healthy. Losman, who partially tore the MCL in his knee back in Week 3, has not practiced since getting hurt and he will not ready until at least Week 7.

Alex Smith, SF
Severely Separated Shoulder - 49ers' QB Alex Smith has already been ruled out for Week 5 and according to reports he could be sidelined for up to 6 weeks because of a severely separated shoulder. According to reports Dr. James Andrews confirmed the team's diagnosis of completely torn Acromioclavicular and Coracoclavicular ligaments and injury classification of a third-degree shoulder separation and he also agreed that Smith would not need surgery to repair the damage. A timetable for his return has not been set, but Smith told reporters that he is trying to make it back in time for their Week 7 game against the Giants. Trent Dilfer will start in his place.

RUNNING BACKS

Joseph Addai, IND
Bruised Shoulder - Head coach Tony Dungy told reporters that he will see how Addai does in practice today before he makes a decision in his status for Week 5. Addai, who left last Sunday's game with a bruised shoulder, has not practiced this week but according to reports the team does not consider his injury to be serious. That being said Dungy seems prepared to keep him out for a game if he isn't completely healthy. But we'll know a lot more sometime later today or tonight. If Addai is inactive look for Kenton Keith to start in his place.

Ahman Green, HOU
Sprained Knee - Texans' veteran RB Ahman Green has not taken part in a full practice this week and he remains a game-time decision for this weekend's game. Green, who was inactive for last week's game because of a sprained ligament in his knee, was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday and reportedly did a lot of individual work with the athletic training staff. Head coach Gary Kubiak told reporters that he was "encouraged"with what he has seen from Green this week, but he did not know if Green would be available for Sunday's game against the Dolphins. Kubiak also told reporters that Green might miss Week 5 because of death in the family. We'll know a lot more about his status after practice today but at this point it looks like the team is getting ready to go with Ron Dayne as their starting tailback.

Travis Henry, DEN
Sprained Knee and Ankle - According to reports an MRI on RB Travis Henry's injured knee revealed very little damage, however his status for Week 5 remains a question mark and it looks like he will be a game-time decision on Sunday. Henry has not practiced this week and head coach Mike Shanahan admitted that he wasn't sure if he would be ready to play. And to complicate things Henry has reportedly tested positive for marijuana and faces a suspension under the NFL's substance abuse policy. Henry has taken action to block the positive test result, but his status for Week 5 is unknown and now his status for the remainder of the season is up in the air. If Henry is inactive this weekend look for Selvin Young to start.

Brandon Jackson, GB
Undisclosed Shin Injury - Packers' rookie RB Brandon Jackson has not practiced this week because of shin injury and he is doubtful for Sunday's game against Bears. Jackson's injury has been reported as a strain but the Packers have not released any specific information regarding the nature or severity of the injury so there is no way of telling what Jackson is dealing with. The only thing that is clear is that the injury is preventing him from practicing and it looks like it will keep him out of action for the second-straight week.

Steven Jackson, STL
Partially Torn Groin - Rams' RB Steven Jackson, who has a significant tear in his groin muscle, did not play in last week's game and he will be out for at least one more week and potentially a lot more. Jackson continues to recover from what is being reported as a 40 percent tear in his groin muscle, and while the team appears to optimistic about him making a return to the field soon, it looks like he will be out for a while to come. Rookie Brian Leonard will once again get the start this weekend and will continue to get a lot of playing time while Jackson is out.

Brandon Jacobs, NYG
Partially Torn MCL - Giants' RB Brandon Jacobs, who has not played since partially tearing the medial collateral ligament in his knee in Week 1, has been removed from the team's injury report and will be active this weekend against the Jets. According to reports Jacobs practiced without restrictions on Wednesday and Thursday and appears to be healthy and ready to play. But the emergence of Derrick Ward means that Jacobs could be splitting carries with Ward for the remainder of the season.

Laurence Maroney, NE
Strained Groin - Patriots' RB Laurence Maroney, who strained his groin back in Week 3, was deactivated for last Monday night's game even after several high profile websites reported that he was going to start and after being limited in practice this week it looks like Maroney owners will be playing a guessing game this week as well. Maroney's groin is reportedly getting better, however he was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday. As expected the Patriots' haven't said a word about Maroney's injury or his status, but no matter what happens in practice on Friday he will probably be a game-time decision on Sunday. So check back with The Huddle prior to kickoff for an update.

Clinton Portis, WAS
Minor Knee Sprain - Redskins' RB Clinton Portis, who was held out of practice last week and earlier this week while he received treatment on his sprained knee, took part in every drill on Thursday and the team expects him to start this weekend against the Lions. According to reports Portis suffered a minor sprain and a bruise to his right knee during the team's Week 3 game and while it was initially being called an aggravation of his previous injury (tendinitis) the medical staff later explained that it was a new injury. Portis was reportedly held out of practice last week and limited in practice on Wednesday as a precaution. But he practiced without restrictions on Thursday and he later told reporters that he was running at "full speed" and that his knee felt "good." He went on to say that he was ready for the team's next game, and based on his performance in practice on Thursday I'm inclined to believed him. He's scheduled to practice again today and if all goes well he'll be the team's starting RB on Sunday.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Anquan Boldin, ARI
Strained Hip - The Cardinals originally reported WR Anquan Boldin's injury as a minor strain, but after missing practice on Wednesday and Thursday he is in danger of missing his second-straight game this weekend. Boldin, who was inactive against the Steelers last week, has not practiced this week. Head coach Ken Whisenhunt indicated that a decision on his availability won't be made until gameday, but if does not take the field with the team today he will probably be inactive on Sunday. If he doesn't play look for Bryant Johnson to start in his place.

Isaac Bruce, STL
Strained Hamstring - Rams' WR Isaac Bruce left last Sunday's game with a strained hamstring and after missing practice on Wednesday and Thursday his status for Week 5 appears to be in question. According to reports Bruce was seen jogging on Thursday but he did not take part in practice and the team doesn't know if he will be able to practice today. If he does practice, then expect him to play on Sunday. But if he remains on the sideline then there is a good chance that he will be inactive.

Marvin Harrison, IND
Sprained Knee - Colts' WR Marvin Harrison has not practiced this week because of a sprained knee that occurred in last Sunday's game and it looks like he will be a game-time decision for this weekend's game against the Bucs. Harrison was held out of practice on Wednesday and Thursday and according to reports his knee could keep him out of practice today as well. Head coach Tony Dungy remains optimistic and hopes that Harrison can take part in some team drills today, but we won't know if Harrison will play until right before kickoff. Even if he plays, he won't be a full speed so there is a good chance that he won't be very productive. Check back on Sunday for an update,

Eddie Kennison, KC
Partially Torn Hamstring - Chiefs' WR Eddie Kennison, who has not played since partially tearing his hamstring in Week 1, is no longer listed on the team's injury report and he will make his return to the starting lineup this weekend against the Jaguars. There were reports that Kennison would be out for at least another week but he made significant strides in his recovery over the last couple of weeks and he was cleared to practice with the team and without restrictions on Wednesday. According to reports he looked sharp in practice yesterday and he looks ready to play.

Andre Johnson, HOU
Sprained MCL and PCL - The Texans will be without leading receiver Andre Johnson for the second-straight week as he continues to recover from sprained medial collateral and posterior cruciate ligaments in his knee. According to reports Johnson had fluid drained from his injured knee last weekend and while the medical staff has controlled the swelling within the joint he has not practiced since getting hurt and he will be out for at least another week. Andre' Davis will get the start in his place and and with rookie Jacoby Jones still a question mark look for Kevin Walter to get a lot of playing time as well.

Calvin Johnson, DET
Bruised Lower Back - Lions' rookie WR Calvin Johnson returned to practice on Wednesday for the first time since suffering a lower back injury in Week 3 and if all goes well in practice on Friday and should be active for this weekend's game against the Redskins. Johnson took part in several team drills on Wednesday and Thursday but he was held out of others as a precaution. It appears that Johnson will attempt to take part in a full practice today and if he does then he should be ready to play this weekend. But check back with us on Sunday for an update.

Jacoby Jones, HOU
Separated Shoulder - Rookie WR Jacoby Jones, who did not play in last week's game because of a separated shoulder, returned to practice on Wednesday. However he has not practiced with the team and the Texans are preparing to play without him on Sunday. According to reports Jones' shoulder has significantly improved and it appears that he is close to making his return. But he has not been cleared for contact and unless something dramatic happens today he will probably be inactive this weekend. With Johnson out look for Andre Davis and Kevin Walter to be the team's starting wide receivers against the Dolphins.

Santana Moss, WAS
Strained Groin - Although the Redskins have not made an official announcement regarding WR Santana Moss' availability for Week 5 it appears that Moss will not play this weekend and according to reports he may be out until at least Week 7. Moss strained his groin during the team's Week 3 game against the Giants and he hasn't practiced with the team since. He attempted to go through a workout on Wednesday but stopped after a few minutes and appeared to limp off the field. He was back on the practice field again on Thursday and he was limited to individual drills. His groin apparently felt better following yesterday's workout but he's still several weeks away from being at full strength. Head coach Joe Gibbs continues to say that Moss could be active on Sunday, but based on his involvement (or lack there of) in practice he'll probably be deactivated.

Javon Walker, DEN
Knee Inflammation - Broncos' WR Javon Walker continues to deal with inflammation and discomfort in his right knee, the same knee he had reconstructive surgery on back in 2005, and it looks like he will be a game-time decision on Sunday. Walker began complaining for problems in his knee during training camp, but after missing 2 weeks of practice it appeared that the medical staff had the problems under control. Unfortunately he experienced swelling in his knee following practice last week and after missing two practices he was deactivated for last Sunday's game. He hasn't practiced this week and unless he takes the field with the team in practice today he may be inactive for the second straight week. An official decision probably won't be made until Sunday, but if Walker is out look for Brandon Stokley to get a lot of playing time in his place.

Hines Ward, PIT
Sprained Knee - Steelers' WR Hines Ward did not play in last week's game because of a minor knee sprain and according to reports his status for Week 5 remains up in the air. Ward, who has not practiced this week since hurting his knee back in Week 3, had an MRI on his injured knee on Wednesday and according to reports it revealed fluid within the joint. It also showed that the ligament was healing and there is a chance that he will be allowed to practice today. Obviously his status for this weekend's game depends on what happens in practice. So if the medical staff keeps him out of team drills today then that should indicate that the team will likely be without him on Sunday.

TIGHT ENDS

Vernon Davis, SF
Partially Torn MCL - According to reports 49ers' TE Vernon Davis has been ruled out for Week 5 because of a sprained MCL in his knee, but the team expects him to make his return following their Week 6 bye. Davis, who sprained his knee two weeks ago, did not return to practice this week. However the team's medical staff believes that he will take part in light workouts starting next week and if all goes well he should be cleared to practice with the team in a couple of weeks.

Todd Heap, BAL
Strained Hamstring - Ravens' TE Todd Heap has not practiced this week and it appears that he will be a game-time decision this weekend against the 49ers. Heap strained his hamstring in last week's game and according to reports he was sore earlier in the week and was held out of practice on Wednesday and Thursday while he received treatment from the medical staff. Heap will probably test his hamstring prior to today's practice to see if he is healthy enough to participate in team drills. If he doesn't practice then there is a good chance that he will be downgraded and eventually deactivated for Sunday's game. But keep an eye on the team's practice report for an update on his status.

Kellen Winslow Jr., CLE
Shoulder Subluxation - According to reports Kellen Winslow Jr. will be bothered by his injured shoulder all season but head coach Romeo Crennel indicated that Winslow will continue to play as long as he can tolerate the pain and discomfort. As expected Winslow has been limited in practice this week but he told reporters that he intends to play this weekend and he will do whatever it takes to get on the field each week. Obviously this is something we are going to monitor. It looks like he will be on the field in Week 5, but he could aggravate the injury at any point during the game.

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