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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Injury Report - Week 1
Philip Gentles
September 5, 2008
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QUARTERBACKS

Derek Anderson, CLE - Concussion

Browns' QB Derek Anderson, who was recovering from a mild concussion, is no longer listed on the team's injury report and the team expects him to start this weekend against the Cowboys. Anderson was reportedly dealing with headaches up to late last week and he was having trouble with light sensitivity. But he appears to be healthy and he has been cleared by the medical staff for contact.

Kyle Boller, BAL - Torn Shoulder Labrum and Torn Biceps Tendon

Ravens' QB Kyle Boller has been placed on Injured Reserve and he will miss the entire 2008 season because of a torn shoulder labrum and biceps tendon that he suffered earlier in the preseason. According to reports Boller is scheduled to undergo surgery to repair the damage in his shoulder and the team expects him to make a full recovery in time for the off-season next year. But he will be a free agent and the Ravens will likely allow him to move on. Troy Smith is still recovering from a severe tonsil infection so look for rookie Joe Flacco to get the start on Sunday against the Bengals.

Tom Brady, NE - Undisclosed Foot Injury

Patriots' QB Tom Brady has been removed from the team's injury report and he will be in the starting lineup on Sunday against the Chiefs. Brady, who has been limited during the preseason because of an undisclosed foot injury that was causing localized soreness and inflammation, was a full participant in practice on Thursday and he told reporters that he was finally healthy and that his foot would be an non-issue this weekend. Expect him to have a big game against the Chiefs in Week 1.

Tavaris Jackson, MIN - Sprained MCL

Vikings' QB Tavaris Jackson, who missed the team's final three preseason games because of a sprained MCL in his right knee, took part in every team drill in practice on Thursday and it appears that he will be in the starting lineup on Monday night against the Packers. Jackson's rehab and recovery has reportedly gone as planned and the team's medical staff is confident that his knee is now strong enough for him to play in a game. Jackson admitted that he still wasn't completely healthy but he did say that his knee was feeling "better each day" and barring a setback he should be the Vikings' starting QB in Week 1.

Peyton Manning, IND - Surgery to Remove Bursa Sac

Colts' head coach Tony Dungy recently indicated that Peyton Manning's knee was completely healthy and after practicing with the first team offense on Wednesday and Thursday it looks like he will be in the starting lineup on Sunday. Manning returned to practice last week and he has been a full participant in team drills during practice this week. According to reports Manning has impressed the coaching staff since returning to the practice field, and although he missed all four of the team's preseason games Dungy believes that he is ready for the regular season.

RUNNING BACKS

Ronnie Brown, MIA - Recovering from ACL Surgery and Sprained Thumb

Dolphins' RB Ronnie Brown will play in this weekend's game against the Jets, however Ricky Williams will get the start and he will likely get a majority of the carries. Head Coach Tony Sparano recently told reporters that Brown had regained a little "life in his legs" and that he has noticed a "little more burst" when he carries the ball. However Sparano will rely on Williams early in the regular season while Brown works himself back into form.

Ryan Grant, GB - Strained Hamstring

Packers' RB Ryan Grant has been limited throughout the preseason because of a strained hamstring. But after returning to the practice field on Thursday it looks like he will be active on Monday night against the Vikings. According to reports Grant's hamstring is still not completely healthy and there is a chance that he will split carries with other Packer running backs in Week 1. A decision on how much he will play will be made on gameday, but at this point the team still expects him to start.

Jamal Lewis, CLE - Strained Hamstring

Browns' RB Jamal Lewis , who has been limited in practice over the last couple of weeks because of a sore hamstring, has still not taken part in a full practice however the team expects him to start this weekend. Lewis was reportedly held out of specific team drills on Wednesday and Thursday as a precaution but team officials expect to participate in every drill in practice on Friday. If that happens look for his official status for Week 1 to be upgraded. Check back with The Huddle on Sunday for a final update on his availability.

Willis McGahee, BAL - Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

RB Willis McGahee's status for Week 1 of the regular season remains questionable as he continues to work himself back from arthroscopic knee surgery. Ravens' offensive coordinator Cam Cameron told reporters that McGahee is "getting close" to making his return and that he could end up being a game-time decision on Sunday. He remains limited in practice and if he doesn't take part in team drills today (Friday) there is little chance that he will be active against the Bengals. Rookie RB Ray Rice has taken a majority of the snaps with the first-team offense this week and he would get the start if McGahee is inactive.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Bernard Berrian, MIN - Sprained Toe

Vikings' WR Bernard Berrian, who has been limited during the preseason because of a sprained big toe, told reporters that he would be playing in Monday night's game despite not being 100%. According to reports Berrian continues to complain of pain and discomfort in his toe, but he is prepared to deal with the problems to start the regular season. In a recent interview Berrian said "I wish we had a little bit more time to get it perfect, but we don't, so I'll be playing." It doesn't look like he will be at full speed anytime soon so hopefully he will find a way to play through the pain and remain productive.

Deion Branch, SEA - Recovering from ACL Surgery

According to reports Seahawks' WR Deion Branch will test his surgically repaired knee in practice today and if all goes well he could be cleared to play in this weekend's regular season opener against the Bills. Branch, who is recovering from reconstructive knee surgery, has returned to practice however he remains limited to individual drills. Head coach Mike Holmgren has said that Branch will be cleared to play during the early part of the regular season, but he did not want to commit to Week 1. We'll know more about his status tomorrow.

Reggie Brown, PHI - Strained Hamstring

Eagles' WR Reggie Brown, who is being listed as day-to-day because of a hamstring strain, did not practice on Wednesday and Thursday and his status for Week 1 up in the air. Brown was limit for a large portion of the preseason because of leg problems and it appears that he is at least a couple weeks away from returning to 100%. Head coach Andy Reid indicated that Brown could still play even if he wasn't completely healthy, but he did say that if Brown is active his playing time would likely be limited. Hank Baskett and DeSean Jackson will likely get the start at WR on Sunday.

Joey Galloway, TB - Strained Groin

Bucs' WR Joey Galloway missed the entire preseason because of a groin strain and although he was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday he feels that he is ready to play and there is a chance that could take part in team drills today and play in Sunday's game. Galloway recently said that he was "ready to go" but said that the final decision would come down to head coach Jon Gruden. Gruden indicated that Galloway could start this weekend, however he said that he wanted to see how he did in practice over the next couple of days before he made a decision. It looks like this could come down to a game-time decision so make sure check with The Huddle on Sunday for an update.

D.J. Hackett, CAR - Sprained Toe

Panthers WR DJ Hackett, who has been limited because of a toe injury, was able to practice without limitations on Wednesday and Thursday and it looks like he will be in the starting lineup on Sunday. Hackett said that his toe will not prevent him from playing and if he makes it through practice today the team will officially clear him to play.

Chad Johnson, CIN - Partially Torn Labrum

Chad Ocho Cinco aka Chad Johnson practiced with the first time offense on Wednesday and Thursday and according to Marvin Lewis he will start in Sunday's game. Johnson, who has been diagnosed with a partial labrum tear, has been fitted for a protective harness that will help keep his shoulder in place. Johnson told reporters that he doesn't even notice his shoulder when he plays and that he expects to have a great season. Lewis has said that the team has done everything they can to get him ready for the start of the season and he hopes that Johnson's shoulder holds up through contact. As I've said on a couple of occasions, he's a risky player to have in your starting lineup because there is no way of knowing if and when he will aggravate the injury.

James Jones, GB - Sprained Knee

Packers' WR James Jones missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday and according to reports he will not be active for this weekend's game. Jones, who is recovering from a sprained knee, has shown signs of improvement. Unfortunately not enough to practice with teammates or play in this Sunday's game. The medical staff is confident that he will be ready to play soon, but they aren't sure if he will be back in time for Week 2 or Week 3.

Jerry Porter, JAX - Recovering from Hamstring Surgery

Jaguars' WR Jerry Porter, who made his return to practice late last week after missing all of training camp and the preseason because of hamstring surgery, missed half of practice on Thursday and there are reports that he may have suffered a setback in his recovery. Head coach Jack Del Rio has not commented on this situation yet, but him being unable to make it through a full practice is a bit concerning. Del Rio already indicated that Porter would be inactive for Week 1 of the regular season, but if he did suffer a setback his status for Week 2 and beyond would now be in question.

Reggie Williams, JAX - Hamstring Soreness / Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

Jaguars' WR Reggie Williams, who has recovered from arthroscopic knee surgery, missed practice on Wednesday because of a sore hamstring. However he returned to the practice field on Thursday and the team expects him to play in this weekend's game against the Titans. Head coach Jack Del Rio indicated that the team would see how he does in practice today and during pregame warm-ups on Sunday before deciding if he will play. However it appears that he will be in the starting lineup.

Jaguars' wide receiver Reggie Williams returned to practice Thursday, after missing Wednesday's practice because of a sore hamstring, according to the AP.
If Williams plays in Week 1 he could end up being the Jaguars best target with Jerry Porter still nursing his sore hamstring. Consider Williams more of a fantasy back-up than a starter for Week 1.

TIGHT ENDS

Antonio Gates, SD - Dislocated Big Toe / Off-Season Surgery

The San Diego Chargers plan on working TE Antonio Gates back slowly during the early parts of the regular season and despite participating in every team drill this week Gates will not start this weekend against the Panthers. According to reports Gates is still not completely healed and the medical staff is concerned that he could aggravate it if he has a full load this weekend. Gates will take the field during key situations however his playing time will be limited. The Chargers expect him to be at full strength soon, but it appears that he is at least one more week away from being allowed to play in an entire game.

Todd Heap, BAL - Strained Calf

Ravens' TE Todd Heap was slowed during the preseason because of a nagging calf injury and while he remains limited in practice the team still expects him to start on Sunday. Heap is reportedly being held to a snap count in practice as a precaution, however the medical staff is optimistic that his calf will hold up during the game. If he isn't completely healthy he could aggravate the problem at any time so keep that in mind when you are deciding whether or not to start him. Hopefully he will be allowed to take part in a full practice today, but if he doesn't it could mean that his leg is still not 100%. An official word on his status probably won't come until about an hour before kickoff.

Jeremy Shockey, NO - Strained Hamstring / Recovering from Ankle Surgery

Saints' TE Jeremy Shockey, who has been recovering from a strained hamstring and surgery to repair a fractured bone in his ankle, is not on the team's injury report and he will likely get the starting nod on Sunday against the Bucs. Shockey missed the team's entire preseason as a precaution, however the medical staff feels that his legs are back to full strength and they expect him to be at full speed for the start of the regular season.

Ben Watson, NE - Undisclosed Knee Injury

According to reports Patriots' TE Ben Watson has not practiced this week because of an undisclosed knee injury and his status for Week 1 remains questionable. Watson recently told reporters that he was feeling "fine" but he did not say what or how severe his injury was. As expected the Patriots' aren't saying much about his status, however it appears that a decision on his availability will be made after the medical staff sees how he does during pregame warm-ups. So check with The Huddle on Sunday for an update.

IDPs

Angelo Crowell, LB, BUF - Undisclosed Knee Injury

Bills' LB Angelo Crowell will miss the entire 2008 season after routine exploratory surgery revealed undisclosed damage that will require season-ending surgery. Crowell has reportedly complained of soreness and swelling in his knee since the start of training camp but the team's medical staff believed that he would be out only 2 - 4 weeks after the joint was surgically cleaned. Unfortunately a severe undisclosed problem has been discovered and Crowell will spend the remainder of the year resting and recovering.

Antwan Peek, LB, CLE

Browns' LB Antwan Peek will miss the season after tearing the patella tendon in his knee during practice on Wednesday. According to reports Peek has already undergone corrective surgery and he has since been placed on Injured Reserve. The medical staff expects him to make a full recovery in time for the start of the 2009 season, but his 2008 season is over before it even started.

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