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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Training Room Injury Update - Week 7
Philip Gentles
October 19, 2007

QUARTERBACKS

Marc Bulger, STL
Fractured Ribs - Rams' QB Marc Bulger, who has been held out of the team's last two games while he recovers from two fractured ribs, practiced with the team on Wednesday and Thursday and according to reports he will be back in the starting lineup this weekend against the Seahawks. Bulger's ribs are reportedly feeling a lot better and the team believes that he is ready to lead the offense. An official decision on his availability probably won't be made until after practice today, however the team is expecting him back in the starting lineup on Sunday.

Alex Smith, SF
Separated Shoulder - Despite returning to practice this week 49ers' QB Alex Smith will not play this weekend against the Giants. Smith, who separated his shoulder three weeks ago, returned to practice on Wednesday and his shoulder is reportedly feeling a lot better. Bur after watching Smith and Trent Dilfer in practiced on Thursday head coach Mike Nolan felt that Smith was still about a week a way from being completely healthy and he decided to stick with Dilfer as his starting QB for one more game. Smith told reporters that he was disappointed with Nolan's decision, but he appeared confident that he would regain the starting job in Week 8.

Tony Romo, DAL
Strained Rotator Cuff - Cowboys' QB Tony Romo is not listed on the team's official injury report which indicates that his injured shoulder is a non-issue and that he will be back in the starting lineup this weekend against the Vikings. Romo reportedly strained the rotator cuff in his left (non-throwing) shoulder in last week's game. However the injury has not prevented him from practicing and according to reports the medical staff does not expect his shoulder to affect his performance on Sunday.

Kurt Warner, ARI
Torn Elbow Ligament - After taking some snaps with the first-team offense for the second straight day it appears that Cardinals' veteran QB Kurt Warner has a good chance of playing this weekend against the Redskins. According to reports Warner tore at least one ligament in his left elbow in last week's game and the team originally thought that he would be out for at least one week. But after several exams the team's medical staff told Warner that he could not aggravate his elbow if it was properly protected. So he was fitted for a brace and was cleared to practice on Wednesday. He reportedly had trouble handing the ball off but the injury did not affect his ability to throw. Things went smoothly in practice yesterday and head coach Ken Whisenhunt told reporters that Warner was making good progress and that his elbow was not affecting his ability to throw. Whisenhunt would not say if he expected Warner to play this weekend but several media outlets are reporting that if things go well in practice today that he will be in the starting lineup for the team's Week 7 game.

Vince Young, TEN
Strained Quadriceps - Titans' QB Vince Young has not practiced with the team this week and his status for this weekend's game remains a question mark. Young, who is recovering from a strained right quadriceps, did some light passing on the side yesterday but he was held out of practice on Wednesday and Thursday and head coach Jeff Fisher confirmed that Young has yet to test his injured leg. Fisher went on to say that Young could practice today but that a decision on his availability for Week 7 probably wouldn't be made until gameday. Keep an eye on the team's practice report and check back on Sunday for a final update.

RUNNING BACKS

Joseph Addai, IND
Bruised Shoulder - Colts' RB Joseph Addai took part in several drills in practice on Wednesday, returned to full-unrestricted practice on Thursday and appears ready to make his return to the starting lineup on Monday night against the Jaguars after missing the team's last game with a bruised shoulder. According to reports Addai's shoulder is no longer an issue and unless he suffers a setback he will be active for the team's Week 7 game.

Chris Brown, TEN
Sprained Ankle - Titans' RB Chris Brown, who left last week's game with a sprained ankle, has not practiced this week and it appears that he will be a game-time decision for this weekend's game against the Texans. Brown's ankle was reportedly very sore on Monday and while the team does not believe that his injury is serious it has not recovered as quickly as the medical staff had hoped. He was held out of practice on Wednesday and Thursday while he rehabbed and received additional treatment. Head coach Jeff Fisher told reporters that he wasn't sure if Brown would be able to play this weekend, but if he doesn't practice today then there is little chance that he will be active for Sunday's game.

Priest Holmes, KC
Spinal Stenosis - Chiefs' veteran RB Priest Holmes, who hasn't played in an NFL game in nearly 2 years because of problems with his neck, continues to impress the coaching staff and it looks like he will be activated a lot sooner than many anticipated. Holmes returned to practice on Wednesday and according to reports he looked really good. He broke a couple of long runs and bounced right up after a particularly big hit. The team remained cautious but Holmes has not reported any soreness or problems and head coach Herman Edwards said that he looked "fresh" during practice on Thursday. Edwards did not say whether the team would activate him this week or not, but if things go well in practice today he may play as early as this weekend against the Raiders. Larry Johnson will remain as the team's starting RB regardless of what happens, but it will be interesting to see how Edwards uses Holmes if he is in uniform this weekend.

Steven Jackson, STL
Partially Torn Groin - Rams' RB Steven Jackson has not been officially ruled out of this weekend's game, but he did very little in practice this week and it looks like he is still at least one more week away from playing. Jackson, who is recovering from a significant tear in his groin, took part in some individual drills in practice on Wednesday and Thursday. However he hasn't done enough to be cleared and there are reports that he may not return until after the team's Week 9 bye. Barring a miracle look for rookie Brian Leonard to make another start this weekend.

Laurence Maroney, NE
Strained Groin - There is a lot of confusion regarding the status of Patriots' RB Laurence Maroney. However he remains limited in practice and we won't know if he'll be available this weekend until moments before kickoff. Maroney, who has missed several games this season because of a lingering groin strain, is reportedly feeling a lot better. However he has not taken part in a full practice regardless of what happens in practice today we won't know if he will play until gameday. It does appear that he is closer to making his return, but there are no guarantees that he will make it in Week 7. So check with The Huddle on Sunday for an update.

Sammy Morris, NE
Sternoclavicular Sprain - According to reports Patriots' RB Sammy Morris will miss at least one week and could miss up to month after suffering damage to the sternoclavicular joint (SC) in his chest during last week's game. The Patriots have been very quiet regarding Morris' injury however local newspapers are reporting that his "chest injury" is actually damage to the area connecting the sternum to his clavicle. Obviously the team is not saying when Morris will be able to play, but he hasn't practiced this week and they are preparing to face the Dolphins without him.

Fred Taylor, RB, JAX
Strained Groin - According to reports Jaguars' RB Fred Taylor has been limited in practice this week as a precaution, but the team expects him to start on Monday night against the Colts. Taylor, who has been dealing with a strained groin, aggravated the injury in last week's game and he was reportedly feeling sore on Monday and Tuesday. The medical staff doesn't want him run at full speed until practice on Saturday, so if all goes well this weekend he should be active against the Colts.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Drew Bennett, STL
Strained Hamstring - Rams' WR Drew Bennett, who left last week's game with a strained hamstring, was held out of practice on Wednesday and even after returning to limited practice on Thursday it doesn't look like he will play this weekend against the Seahawks. Bennett took part in some individual drills in practice yesterday, however the medical staff believes that he is still about a week away from practicing at full speed. An official decision on his availability probably won't be made until gameday, but don't expect him to be active.

Anquan Boldin, ARI
Strained Hip Flexor - Cardinals' WR Anquan Boldin appears ready to make his return from a strained hip flexor and if all goes well in practice today he'll be back in the starting lineup on Sunday against the Redskins. Boldin, who has missed the team's last three games, practiced with the team without restriction on Wednesday and Thursday and according to reports he looked terrific. The Cardinals want to see him in practice today before they make any official decisions, but it looks like his hip is healthy and he should be active for this weekend's game.

Deion Branch, SEA
Sprained Foot - As expected the Seahawks have already ruled WR Deion Branch out for Week 7. Branch, who was inactive for last week's game because of a sprained foot, could return to practice next week but with the Seahawks on a bye we won't see him on the field until Week 9.

Isaac Bruce, STL
Strained Hamstring - Rams' WR Isaac Bruce, who hasn't played since Week 4 because of a strained hamstring, took part in a full practice on Thursday and he expects to practice with the team today and return to the starting lineup this weekend. Bruce told reporters that his hamstring was feeling a lot better and that he would be ready to face the Seahawks. See how he does in practice today, but unless he suffers a setback he should be active on Sunday.

Marvin Harrison, IND
Sprained Knee - Colts' WR Marvin Harrison, who missed the team's last game because of a sprained knee, has had two weeks to recover however he remains limited in practice and his status for Week 7 is questionable. Harrison told reporters that he was preparing to play on Monday night, but head coach Tony Dungy said that he wasn't sure if Harrison would be available. We'll know a lot more about his status after practice today and tomorrow, but right now it's still too early to tell.

Santonio Holmes, PIT
Strained Hamstring - Steelers' WR Santonio Holmes, who missed the team's last game after straining his hamstring during pre game warm-ups, returned to team practice this week and head coach Mike Tomlin said that he will be in the starting lineup this weekend against the Broncos. Holmes told reporters that his injured hamstring had healed and that it wouldn't be an issue on Sunday.

Andre Johnson, HOU
Sprained MCL and PCL - Texans' WR Andre Johnson has not been ruled out of this weekend's game but he is still about a week or two away from being able to play. Johnson, who is recovering from an MCL and PCL sprain in his knee, began running last week and has shown signs of improvement. He was seen cutting and jumping on Wednesday and Thursday, but he still hasn't been cleared to practice with the team. Johnson spoke with reporters earlier this week and said that he wasn't sure when he would be ready to play.

Javon Walker, DEN
Arthroscopic Knee Surgery - According to reports Broncos' WR Javon Walker, who has missed the last two games because of swelling and discomfort in his right knee, is scheduled to undergo arthroscopic surgery today and he'll be sidelined until at least Week 9 while he recovers. Walker had the ACL in his right knee surgically repaired back in 2005 and he reportedly began to have trouble in the same knee during training camp this year. He was in and out of practice during the pre season and ended up missing several regular season games as a result of the problem as well. Walker was showing signs of improvement and actually returned to practice on Wednesday. However his knee began bothering him after the practice and he was sent for an MRI on Thursday. Head coach Mike Shanahan confirmed with reporters that Walker would have his knee scoped today and the medical staff believes that by removing the problematic scar tissue that his knee would make a quick recovery. We'll keep you posted on his recovery.

Hines Ward, WR, PIT
Sprained Knee - Steelers' veteran WR Hines Ward, who hasn't played since spraining his knee in Week 3, returned to practice on Wednesday and head coach Mike Tomlin told reporters that he would be in the starting lineup this weekend against the Broncos. According to reports Ward looked healthy in practice on Wednesday and Thursday and he appears to be running at full speed.

TIGHT ENDS

Vernon Davis, SF
Partially Torn MCL - 49ers' TE Vernon Davis, who hasn't played since partially tearing the MCL in his knee in Week 3, returned to unlimited practice on Thursday and according to reports the team expects him to start this weekend against the Giants. Davis tested his knee on Wednesday and he was cleared to take part in all drills on Thursday. By all accounts he is running hard and looks healthy. So he should be active on Sunday if all goes well in practice today.

Todd Heap, BAL
Strained Hamstring - Ravens' TE Todd Heap, who is recovering from a strained hamstring, has not practiced this week and head coach Brian Billick told reporters following practice yesterday that he didn't expect Heap to play in Week 7. Heap has been dealing with this problem for several weeks, and since the team has a bye in Week 8 it looks like the medical staff will keep him out on Sunday so that his injured leg has time to completely heal.

Alex Smith, TB
Sprained Ankle - Bucs' TE Alex Smith, who left last week's game with a sprained ankle, has not practiced this week and it looks like he will not play this weekend against the Lions. According to reports Smith's ankle remains sore and swollen and the medical staff seems prepared to hold him out until next week.

L.J. Smith, PHI
Strained Groin - Eagles' TE L.J. Smith continues to experience soreness in his injured groin and if he is active this weekend don't expect him to be productive. Smith made his return to the starting lineup last week after missing a couple of games while recovering from groin surgery. Unfortunately he reported soreness in his groin after the game and the soreness has lingered. So much so that he has been held out of practice this week as a precaution. His official status for Week 7 remains uncertain, but even if he is cleared to play he probably won't get a lot of playing time.

Ben Watson, NE
Sprained Ankle - According to reports Patriots' TE Ben Watson will miss at least one week and probably two with what is being described as a sprained ankle. Watson, who was hurt in last week's game, has not practiced this week and it looks like he won't be ready to play until at least Week 8. As expected the Patriots aren't saying a lot about his status, but it appears that he will be out on Sunday.

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