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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Training Room Injury Update - Week 9
Philip Gentles
November 2, 2007

QUARTERBACKS

Trent Edwards, BUF
Sprained Wrist - Bills' rookie QB Trent Edwards, who left last week's game with a sprained wrist, missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday and it looks like he will be inactive for this weekend's game against the Bengals. Edwards indicated that he wrist was feeling better. However he is still at least a week away from being able to play. Head coach Dick Jauron has already announced that J.P. Losman will be the team's starting QB in Week 9 and Gibran Hamdan will likely be listed as the backup.

Kelly Holcomb, MIN
Bruised Cervical Vertebrae - Vikings' QB Kelly Holcomb is not expected to play this weekend after he bruised vertebrae in his neck in last week's game. Head coach Brad Childress told reporters that Holcomb's neck was "extremely sore" and he said that he didn't expect him to practice today or play on Sunday. Tavaris Jackson could be back in the starting lineup, but if he isn't cleared to start look for Brooks Bollinger to get the start.

Tavaris Jackson, MIN
Avulsion Fracture of Index Finger - Vikings' QB Tavaris Jackson took snaps with the first-team offense in practice on Wednesday and Thursday and it looks like he will be active on Sunday against the Chargers. Jackson, who was inactive for last week's game because of an avulsion fracture to his index finger, told reporters that his finger was sore after practice on Wednesday. However he felt good passing the ball and that he expects to start this weekend. Head coach Brad Childress will wait to see how he does in practice on Friday before he makes a decision, but unless he suffers a setback he should be in the starting lineup.

Josh McCown, OAK
Fractured Toe - According to reports Raiders' QB Josh McCown will make his return to the starting lineup this weekend for the first time since breaking his toe in Week 3. McCown actually took part in team drills last week however the team decided to keep him out as a precaution. But with Daunte Culpepper failing to impress the Raiders have decided to get their Week 1 starter back into the starting lineup. According to reports McCown's toe is no longer an issue and he will be completely healthy when he faces the Texans on Sunday.

Steve McNair, BAL
Strained Groin and Strained Lower Back - Ravens' veteran QB Steve McNair, who was inactive for the team's last two games because of injuries to his groin and lower back, returned to practice on Monday and according to reports he will be back on the starting lineup on Monday night against the Steelers. McNair told reporters following practice on Thursday that he feels good. Head coach Brian Billick said that McNair looked terrific in practice and that he looked fresh and ready to play. He looks healthy and appears to be injury-free so if you need him this week feel free to start him.

Matt Schaub, HOU
Concussion - Texans' head coach Gary Kubiak has announced that QB Matt Schaub will not play this weekend because of a concussion and he will be replaced by Sage Rosenfels. Schaub suffered a concussion after a helmet-to-helmet collision in last week's game and according to reports Schaub is still complaining of headaches. He has shown signs of improvement, however the medical staff has not seen enough improvement to clear him. Rosenfels has taken all the snaps with the first-team offense this week and he will be in the starting lineup on Sunday against the Raiders.

Vinny Testaverde, CAR
Achilles' Tendinitis - According to reports Panthers' veteran QB Vinny Testaverde was dealing with tendinitis in his Achilles' prior to last week's game and he was forced from the game after aggravating the injury. Testaverde has not taken part in practice this week however head coach John Fox has not made a decision on his status. It looks like David Carr will be in the starting lineup, but keep an eye on Friday's practice report to see if Vinny makes his return to the field or not.

RUNNING BACKS

Chris Brown, TEN
High Ankle Sprain - The Tennessee Titans revealed this week that RB Chris Brown, who has missed the last two games, has been recovering from a high ankle sprain and his status for this weekend's game appears to be in question. Brown took part in a limited practice on Wednesday and was held out of practice on Thursday indicating that his ankle is still not completely healed. Head coach Jeff Fisher hasn't ruled him out yet, but if he doesn't take part in a full practice today there is little chance that he will play on Sunday. LenDale White will continue to get a majority of the carries for the Titans.

Reggie Bush, NO
Bruised Ribs - Saints' RB Reggie Bush, who left last week's game with bruised ribs, took part in a full practice on Wednesday and the team expects him to start on Sunday against the Jaguars. Bush is not listed on the team's official injury report and he told reporters that his ribs were feeling fine. Baring a setback Bush will be active this weekend.

Frank Gore, SF
Sprained Ankle - Despite aggravating his injured ankle in last week's game 49ers' RB Frank Gore is not listed on the team's injury report and head coach Mike Nolan expects him to start on Sunday against the Falcons. Gore was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday however Nolan told reporters that he plans on using him a lot this weekend. The team expects him to be more involved in practice today and if all goes well he should be active this weekend.

Ahman Green, HOU
Lingering Knee Soreness - Texans' RB Ahman Green, who has missed three games this season because of lingering problems with his knee, returned to limited practice on Thursday. However his status for Week 9 remains a question mark and a decision on his availability probably won't be made until gameday. Head coach Gary Kubiak admitted earlier this week that the team was concerned about Green's knee and that it is not improving. Kubiak told reporters that he looked good in practice on Thursday, however he indicated that he wasn't sure if Green would be able to play. Green isn't going to get healthy anytime soon. Don't expect him to play on Sunday or be productive anytime soon.

Travis Henry, DEN
Bruised Ribs - Broncos' RB Travis Henry, who was inactive for Monday's game because of bruised ribs, returned to practice on Wednesday and according to reports the team expects him to start this weekend against the Lions. Henry reportedly looked good in practice running and jumping without a problem. He made it through another practice on Thursday without a problem and unless he suffers a setback in practice today he should be back in the starting lineup on Sunday.

Rudi Johnson, CIN
Strained Hamstring - Bengals' RB Rudi Johnson appears ready to make his return to field, however head coach Marvin Lewis said that he will share carries with Kenny Watson because he is concerned that Johnson will get fatigued during the game. Johnson, who missed three of the last four games, practiced with the team on Wednesday and Thursday and reportedly looked healthy. Watson, who suffered a minor concussion last week, has made a quick recovery and took part in practice on Thursday as well. Both backs seem healthy and should be active this weekend.

DeShawn Wynn, GB
Undisclosed Neck and Shoulder Injury - Packers' RB DeShawn Wynn left Monday night's game against the Broncos will what appeared to be a routine stinger. However after several tests and examinations the team's medical staff has determined that his injury is so severe that will not be able to play again this season. The extent and severity of Wynn's injury has not been released, however he's already been placed on Injured Reserve indicating that something serious happened. Ryan Grant played well in his place on Monday and will get the start in Week 9.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Deion Branch, SEA
Sprained Foot - Seahawks' WR Deion Branch, who has been out since spraining his foot in Week 5, has still not return to practice and his status for Week 9 now appears to be in question. Head coach Mike Holmgren told reporters last week that he was optimistic about Branch's chance of playing in Week 9. Unfortunately he hasn't been cleared by the medical staff to practice with the team and Holmgren said on Wednesday that Branch had a "50-50" chance of returning this weekend. Branch hasn't practiced in nearly a month and it looks like his availability for Week 9 will come down to his participation (or lack there of) in practice today.

Laveranues Coles, NYJ
Concussion - The Jets continue to hold WR Laveranues Coles, who left last week's game with a concussion, out of practice and his status for Sunday's game appears to be in doubt. Coles told reporters that he is feeling a lot better and that he would be practicing if it were his call. However the medical staff has decided to keep him out as a precaution and it looks like they are preparing to hold him out of the team's Week 9 game. We'll know a lot more following practice today, so if he doesn't take part in team drills don't expect him to be active.

Andre Davis, HOU
Bruised Ribs - Texans' WR Andre Davis, who left last week's game with bruised ribs, was held out of contact drills in practice on Wednesday and Thursday and his status for this weekend's game against the Raiders is questionable. According to reports Davis wore a protective vest underneath his pads while taking part in limited practice this week and if he is active he will wear the vest as a precaution. However isn't sure if he will be ready to play and a decision on his availability probably won't be made until gameday.

D.J. Hackett, SEA
High Ankle Sprain - According to reports Seahawks WR DJ Hackett will make his return to the field this weekend for the first time since suffering a severe high ankle sprain back in Week 1. Hackett, who is not on the team's official injury report, took part in every team drill in practice on Wednesday and Thursday and he reportedly made several "impressive catches" as well. Deion Branch's status if still up in the air so Hackett could end up being the team's number one receiver this weekend, making him a decent play this week.

Marvin Harrison, IND
Sprained Knee - Colts' veteran WR Marvin Harrison continues to have problems with his injured knee and his status for this weekend's big game against the Patriots is now in doubt. Head coach Tony Dungy told reporters last week that he was pleased with Harrison's progress and even after missing a couple of practices he indicated that he would be ready to play. Unfortunately he suffered a setback and he was held out of last week's game against the Panthers. Dungy spoke with reporters prior to Thursday's practice and said that if he didn't practice that his status would be "doubtful." As it turns out Harrison was not cleared to practice on Thursday and the team is now preparing to play without him. It really wouldn't surprise me if he were activated on Sunday. However even if he does surprise everyone and plays I don't expect him to be much of a factor.

Andre Johnson, HOU
Sprained ACL and MCL - Texans' WR Andre Johnson told reporters that his injured knee was about "85 percent" recovered and that if he had to play this weekend he would. However there are reports that the Texans will keep him out for one more game and clear him to play when they return from their Week 10 bye. Johnson took part in all team drills on Wednesday and Thursday and head coach Gary Kubiak indicated that Johnson might play on Sunday against the Raiders. However as Johnson said he is still not completely healthy so it would surprise me if Kubiak rushes him back especially with the bye week and an additional week's rest right around the corner. This is going to come down to a game-time decision so check with The Huddle on Sunday for an update.

Calvin Johnson, DET
Lower Back Stiffness - Lions' rookie WR Calvin Johnson, who reaggravated his lower back injury in last week's game against the Bears, took part in a full practice on Thursday and it looks like there is a decent chance that he will play this weekend. Johnson was limited in practice on Wednesday and offensive coordinator Mike Martz said that the team was concerned about Johnson and that his status for Week 9 was unknown. However the medical staff cleared Johnson on Thursday morning and after making it through a full practice head coach Rod Marinelli said that he was fine. An official decision on his availability probably won't be made until gameday but if he practices today expect him to play.

Bobby Wade, MIN
Bone Bruise - Vikings' WR Bobby Wade has not practiced this week because of a bone bruise in his knee and according to reports the team does not expect him to play this weekend. Wade, who hyperextended his knee in last week's game, told reporters earlier in the week that his knee was very sore and it looks like he is about a week or two away from being able to play. The team wants to see how his knee responds to rest and treatment and won't make a decision on his status until after tomorrow's practice. So if he doesn't take the field look for the Vikings to declare him out for the game.

TIGHT ENDS

Alge Crumpler, ATL
Lingering Knee Soreness - Falcons' TE Alge Crumpler continues to deal with lingering soreness in his knee, the same he had off-season surgery on, and his status for Week 9 appears to be in doubt. Crumpler did not practice on Wednesday and Thursday and hasn't taken the field with teammates in two weeks. The team's medical staff said last week that Crumpler would probably be ready to play this weekend, unfortunately his knee remains sore and if he doesn't practice today he'll likely be inactive on Sunday. Check with us on Sunday for an update.

Owen Daniels, HOU
High Ankle Sprain - Texans' TE Owen Daniels, who suffered a high ankle sprain during last week's game, is feeling a lot better and after taking part in several drills in practice on Thursday the team indicated that Daniels would play on Sunday against the Raiders. Daniels did not practice on Wednesday but returned to limited practice on Thursday. According to reports Daniels moved well for much of the practice however he was seen favoring his ankle after a couple of passing drills. The team was initially concerned that the ankle injury would keep Daniels out for several weeks. But the good news is that an MRI showed very little damage in his ankle and leg and if all goes well in practice today the Texans expect him to play on Sunday. He won't be completely healthy and his ankle will likely limit his productivity, so keep that in mind this weekend.

Bubba Franks, GB
Sprained Knee - Packers' head coach Mike McCarthy told reporters earlier this week that TE Bubba Franks will not play this weekend and said that he was still "at least a couple of weeks away" from making his return. Franks, who hasn't played since spraining his knee in Week 5, did not practice on Wednesday and Thursday and McCarthy indicated that he probably wouldn't start practicing with the team until sometime next week. Donald Lee will continue to get a lot of playing time while he is out.

Todd Heap, BAL
Strained Hamstring - Ravens' TE Todd Heap, who has missed the team's last two games because of a strained hamstring, was limited in practice on Thursday however the team is confident that he will be ready for their Monday night game against the Steelers. According to reports Heap used the team's Week 8 bye to rest and recover. He spent a lot of time in the team's training room and weight room receiving treatment and undergoing rehab on his inured leg. Heap is apparently feeling a lot better but the medical staff will continue to limit his participation in practice as a precaution. Heap continues to be optimistic about his chances of playing so it looks like he might make his return to the lineup. However the team won't make an official announcement about his status for the game until moments before kickoff so if you have another solid option at TE I suggest you use it.

Ben Watson, NE
High Ankle Sprain - Patriots' TE Ben Watson took part in team drills during practice for the first time since suffering a high ankle sprain in Week 6 and it looks like there is a chance that he will be active this weekend against the Colts. Watson did not take part in contact drills on Wednesday and was limited again on Thursday, however he was reportedly moving well in practice and he did not appear to favoring his injured leg. As expected team officials aren't saying very much about Watson's recovery or his status for this weekend's game. So while things appear to be going well it looks like it will come down to a game-time decision.

IDP's

John Lynch, DB, DEN
Pinched Nerve - The status of Broncos' DB John Lynch for Week 9 is uncertain as he continues to recover from a pinched nerve in his neck. Lynch was injured in Monday night's game against the Packers and according to reports he was dealing with neck pain as well numbness and loss of strength in his arms and hands associated with the pinched nerve. The team has indicated that Lynch has shown signs of improvement, however head coach Mike Shanahan said that he won't be cleared until all of his symptoms have subsided. It looks like this will come down to a game-time decision, but don't be surprised if he is inactive.

Brian Urlacher, LB, CHI
Back Arthritis - According to reports Bears' linebacker Brian Urlacher has been playing with an arthritic condition in his back and with "no clear-cut solution" he will have to continue to play through the pain and discomfort. In an interview with reporters Urlacher admitted that he has been dealing with arthritis for some time now and he said that it was affecting his performance. He went on to say that he has become increasingly frustrated and that he has no choice but to deal with it. So what does this mean for you Urlacher owners? For starters there is no reason to believe that he will turn things around in the second half of the season. Arthritis is a degenerative condition that will only get worse over time. His fantasy value has definitely taken a hit since the release of his news, so you probably won't get a lot for him in a trade right now. My suggestion is that you hold onto him in hopes that he has one big game and then trade him when his perceived value is higher.

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