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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Training Room Injury Update - Wildcard Week
Philip Gentles
January 4, 2007

QUARTERBACKS

Jason Campbell, QB
Dislocated Kneecap - The Redskins' will be without QB Jason Campbell tomorrow against the Seahawks as Campbell continues to recover from a dislocated kneecap. Campbell, who has been out since Week 14, reportedly suffered a setback in his recovery and the medical staff has been trying to find a way to control the swelling in his knee. Campbell has throw passes on the side while his teammates practiced this week, but head coach Joe Gibbs told reporters that "he's still got quite a long ways to go" indicating that he probably wouldn't play before the NFC title game. Todd Collins will get the start for the Skins tomorrow and if he can guide the team deep into the playoffs I can't imagine Gibbs switching back to Campbell even if Campbell is healthy enough to play.

Jeff Garcia, QB
Bruised Lower Back - Bucs' QB Jeff Garcia, who was held out of last week's game as a precaution, told reporters on Wednesday that he feels "restless" and "over-rested" but that he is healthy and ready for this weekend's playoff game. Garcia has been dealing with lower back injury and while he has reportedly made a full recovery head coach Jon Gruden decided to save his starting QB and keep him out of the second half of their Week 16 game and out of the entire game last week. Garcia has taken part in all phases of practice this week and by all accounts his back is no longer an issue. So look for Garcia to be active against the Giants.

Matt Hasselbeck, QB
Bruised Wrist - Seahawks' QB Matt Hasselbeck, who injured his wrist in last week's game, threw the ball in practice on Tuesday, practiced with the team on Wednesday and Thursday and according to ream officials he will start this weekend against the Skins. Hasselbeck's bruised wrist has been wrapped prior to each practice and it looks like he will have it wrapped tomorrow as a precaution. So unless he suffers a setback he will be in the starting lineup for the start of the playoffs.

Ben Roethlisberger, PIT
Sprained Ankle - Steelers' QB Ben Roethlisberger has had plenty of time to recover and according to head coach Mike Tomlin Roethlisberger's ankle is "fine" and he'll be in the starting lineup this weekend against the Jaguars. Roethlisberger, who was held out of last week's regular season finale so that he could rest his injured ankle, practiced with the team on Wednesday and Thursday and he reportedly looked OK. The team expects him to take part in the walk-through tomorrow and if all goes well he will be active tomorrow.

Vince Young, QB
Strained Quadriceps - Titans' QB Vince Young, who left last week's game with a strained quadriceps, has been limited in practice this week and while team is officially listing his status as questionable it looks like they expect him to start against the Chargers on Sunday. Young has reportedly been running at half speed and the medical staff does not want him to practice at full speed so that he can avoid aggravating the injury. Head coach Jeff Fisher said that he is encouraged by Young's progress but that he wants to see how he does over the next couple of days before making a decision on who will start. Kerry Collins has taken snaps with the first-team offense in practice this week, but team officials believe that Young will be healthy enough to start on Sunday.

RUNNING BACKS

Chris Brown, RB
Lower Back Stiffness - Titans' RB Chris Brown, who is dealing with lower back stiffness associated with a muscle strain, was held out of practice on Wednesday and while he took part in some team drills in practice on Thursday the team is calling his status for this weekend's playoff game questionable. Brown was unable to practice on Tuesday and Wednesday because his back became stiff when he ran. So he spent most of his time in the training room getting treatment. His back responded well to the treatment and he was able to take part in certain team drills on Thursday. Head coach Jeff Fisher is optimistic that Brown will be able to play, but he wants to see how his back responds to Thursday's practice and workouts today before he updates his status. This will probably come down to a game-time decision so don't expect to hear anything definitive until gameday.

Ernest Graham, RB
Sprained Ankle - Bucs' RB Ernest Graham, who has been dealing with a minor ankle sprain, sat out last week's regular season finale as a precaution. However he has practiced with the team this week and head coach Jon Gruden indicated that Graham would be the team's starting running back this weekend against the Giants. According to reports Graham has been bothered by a nagging ankle injury, so with nothing to play for last week the medical staff decided to keep him out of the regular season finale so that he was as healthy as possible for the start of the playoffs. It looks like the Bucs did the right thing, as Graham was looking fresh and agile in practice on Thursday. He's a big piece of their offense so if he's healthy it definitely increases their chance to advance.

Lorenzo Neal, SD
Fractured Fibula - Chargers' FB Lorenzo Neal, who has been out since Week 14 with a fractured fibula, is still recovering from corrective surgery and he will not play in this weekend's game against the Titans. According to reports Neal could start doing light work as early as today, however he is still at least a week away from being able to play.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Deion Branch, WR
Strained Calf - Seahawks' WR Deion Branch hasn't done much in practice this week because of a strained calf and while head coach Mike Holmgren is "concerned" about the injury he believes that there is a chance that he will play against the Redskins tomorrow. Branch, who is reportedly dealing with hip and lower back problems as well, was held out of practice on Tuesday and Wednesday and spent a lot of time in the training room undergoing rehab and receiving treatment. He actually ran in practice on Thursday but did not take part in any team drills and at this point the team isn't sure if he will be healthy enough to play against the Skins. But Holmgren said that they will see how his calf holds up in practice today and during pre game warm-ups tomorrow so don't expect a decision on his availability to come until moments before kickoff.

Plaxico Burress, NYG
Severely Sprained Ankle - Giants' WR Plaxico Burress, who has been dealing with a severely sprained and swollen ankle all season, was reportedly feeling sore after last week's game against the Patriots and as expected he's been limited in practice as he prepares for Sunday's game against the Bucs. Burress remains upbeat and he's confident that his ankle will be fine for the start of the playoffs. But the truth is his ankle is not even close to full strength and there is no way to predict how he will perform.

Joey Galloway, WR
Sore Shoulder - Bucs' WR Joey Galloway is reportedly suffering from lingering soreness in his shoulder and despite his limited involvement in practice this week team officials still expect him to start on Sunday against the Giants. Galloway was inactive for last week's game and while head coach Jon Gruden says that his shoulder is not an issue, clearly it is a concern as he was limited in practice on Wednesday and held out of all drills on Thursday. Gruden will have an update on his status after practice today, but at this point the team believes that he will be active and starting this weekend.

Hines Ward, PIT
Knee Inflammation - Steelers' veteran WR Hines Ward missed practiced on Wednesday because of lingering knee problems but he was back on the field on Thursday and the team expects him to start in this weekend's playoff game. Ward was surprisingly deactivated for last week's game against the Ravens and it was later reported that he has been dealing with knee discomfort and inflammation for some time. The Steelers held him out of practice on Tuesday and Wednesday as a precaution, but he took part in team drills on Thursday and the team expects him to practice today and play tomorrow night against the Jags.

Roydell Williams, WR
Fractured Ankle - Titans' WR Roydell Williams will miss the entire playoffs after fracturing his ankle in practice on Wednesday. The team did not say how the injury occurred, however an X-ray on his ankle in the team's medical facility revealed a broken bone and according to reports Williams underwent surgery on Thursday to repair the damage. With Williams out look for Justin Gage and veteran Eric Moulds to get the start at WR this weekend against the Chargers.

TIGHT ENDS

Bo Scaife, TE
Lacerated Liver - The Titans have placed TE Bo Scaife on Injured Reserve after tests on his aching body revealed a lacerated liver. Scaife was reportedly hurt during last week's game and while the injury will not require surgery the medical staff has informed Scaife that he will have to avoid contact for at least 6 weeks. The playoffs will be over by then so the team had no choice but to place him on seasoning-ending IR. Ben Troupe, who really hasn't been much of a factor this season, will now be a bigger part of the offense.

KICKERS

Nate Kaeding, SD
Bruised Leg - According to reports Chargers' KIK Nate Kaeding continues to deal with soreness in his bruised leg and the team may be forced to use Dave Rayner on kickoffs this weekend. Kaeding, who was injured back in Week 16, was reportedly in pain after last week's game and he's been limited in practice this week as a result. In fact he was held out of practice completely on Thursday. The team's medical staff is confident that he will be able to handle field goals and extra points but they are preparing Rayner to take over in case Kaeding aggravates the problem during the game. An official decision on Kaeding's availability won't be made until gameday, but at this point it looks like he will be active.

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