Carson Palmer, CIN - Elbow Inflammation
Bengals' QB Carson Palmer has done some light throwing on the side during practice this week, however he has not taken part in team drills and it appears that the team will be without him for Week 5. Palmer, who was inactive for last week's game because of inflammation in his throwing elbow, continues to tell reporters that he will be ready for Sunday's game. But a source close to the team has told ESPN that Palmer will do more damage to his elbow if he takes part in a full team practice and there have been unconfirmed reports that he will need Tommy John Surgery at some point to repair the injury. Head coach Marvin Lewis indicated that Palmer could still take part in a portion of practice today (Friday) but a decision on his availability won't be made until sometime this weekend. At this point it doesn't look like he will be play.
Aaron Rodgers, GB - Sprained Shoulder
Packers' QB Aaron Rodgers, who suffered what the team has classified as a sprained shoulder in last week's game, has not practiced this week and the team is preparing to play in Week 5 without him. Rodgers is reportedly working hard in an attempt to get ready for this weekend's game against the Falcons and he has said that he is willing play through the pain and discomfort. His biggest concern is the lack of strength he currently has in his arm and shoulder but he feels that he can make it through an entire game as soon as his strength returns. Team officials aren't sure if he will be ready in time for Sunday's game so they have split the first-team snaps between Matt Flynn and Brian Brohm. Rodgers would like to play, but it's going to take something dramatic for him to be cleared by the medical staff. So don't expect him to be active.
Ben Roethlisberger, PIT - Sprained AC Joint (Separated Shoulder)
Steelers' QB Ben Roethlisberger was held out of practice on Wednesday and missed practice on Thursday while getting a pain-relieving injection in his injured shoulder, however team officials expect him to play this weekend against the Jaguars. Roethlisberger continues to deal with pain associated with a sprained AC joint (separated shoulder) that occurred several weeks ago. Head coach Mike Tomlin told reporters that the injury has improved but the medical staff still does not want to risk aggravating the problem by having him take part in practice. Roethlisberger could still take the field with teammates today but even if he is limited Tomlin has said that he still expects him to start on Sunday.
Vince Young, TEN - Partially Torn MCL
According to reports Titans' QB Vince Young has made his return to practice and it looks like he will be active for this weekend's game. But head coach Jeff Fisher has said that Kerry Collins will remain as the team's starting QB regardless of Young's health. Young has missed the last couple of games because of an injury to the medial collateral ligament in his knee. Fisher told reporters that Young's knee has healed and that the injury is no longer a major concern. He's reportedly looked good in practice this week and he will probably pass Chris Simms and be the team's number 2 QB this weekend. But Fisher has made it clear that Collins will be the starter as long as the team keeps winning.
Willis McGahee, BAL - Bruised Ribs
Ravens' RB Willis McGahee, who left Monday night's game with bruised ribs, has been limited in practice this week but the team has indicated that will play this weekend against the Titans. McGahee was held out of contact drills on Wednesday and Thursday and according to reports his bruised ribs are still sore. But offensive coordinator Cam Cameron told reporters that McGahee looked like he was running at "full speed" and that he was "ready to play." Head coach John Harbaugh wasn't as optimistic and he said that he would see how McGahee does in practice today before he decides what he wants to do on Sunday. LeRon McClain has been very impressive so far this season and he could get a lot of playing time if Harbaugh decides that McGahee isn't ready for a full workload. Check with The Huddle on Sunday for an update.
Maurice Morris, SEA - Sprained Knee
Seahawks' RB Maurice Morris will be a game-time decision after being limited in practice this week. Morris, was has missed the team's last two game because of sprained knee, took part in individual drills on Wednesday and Thursday. It looks like he may still be about a week away from returning to full speed and with Julius Jones running the ball well head coach Mike Holmgren will likely keep him out until Week 6.
Willie Parker, PIT - Sprained Knee
The Steelers' have already ruled starting RB Willie Parker out for Week 5 because of a sprained knee. Parker, who was inactive last weekend, will not practice until sometime next week and head coach Mike Tomlin indicated that when he returns he will do so on a limited basis so there are no guarantees that he will play in Week 6. The exact nature of Parker's sprain is unknown, but there are reports that his knee is swollen and he has been seen wearing a brace. Rookie RB Rashard Mendenhall is out for the season because of a fractured shoulder so look for Mewelde Moore to get a majority of the carries on Sunday and don't be surprised if Tomlin works Gary Russell and newly signed Najeh Davenport into the gameplan as well.
Brian Westbrook, PHI - Strained Ankle
Eagles' RB Brian Westbrook, who was inactive for last week's game because of an ankle strain, has still not taken part in a full practice and his status for Sunday's game remains uncertain. According to reports Westbrook was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday and head coach Andy Reid indicated that while they plan on increasing his reps today he could still be held out of certain drills. The team's biggest concern is that he could aggravate the injury before it heals and there is a chance that it could linger for weeks. The good news it that he wasn't able to cut on his ankle last week and he has been seen doing some light cutting and change of direction drills this week. A decision on his availability won't be made until the medical staff sees how his ankle looks during pregame warm-ups, so check back on Sunday for an update.
LenDale White, TEN - Shoulder Soreness
Titans' RB LenDale White continues to deal with soreness in his shoulder and the team is concerned enough that he may be limited this weekend against the Ravens. White originally hurt his shoulder in Week 3 and he was limited in practice last week as a result, but he was still able to play against the Vikings. Unfortunately his shoulder was once again sore on Monday morning and he has been held out of practice this week while he recovers. Head coach Jeff Fisher indicated that White could practice on Friday and said that he could play on Sunday, however he expects rookie Chris Johnson to get a significant amount of the carries in Week 5. The exact nature of White's injury is currently unknown, but as long as he is hurt Johnson will continue to see an increase in his workload.
Anquan Boldin, ARI - Concussion / Fractured Sinus Membrane /Lip Laceration / Swollen Jaw
Cardinals' WR Anquan Boldin has not practiced this week as he continues to recover from the hard shot he took during last week's game. Amazingly despite all of his injuries the team has still not officially ruled him out for Week 5. Boldin told reporters that he fractured a sinus membrane in his head and had stitches to close a laceration on his lip as a result of the helmet-to-helmet hit. He was also seen with a swollen jaw earlier this week. Boldin's father told a reporter that a CT scan came back negative and the team has not classified his injury as a concussion. But a source close to the medical staff has told The Huddle that Boldin definitely suffered a concussion and that the team would like to keep the diagnosis quiet. As we all saw he was knocked unconscious following the hit last week so it's going to be pretty hard for the team to deny that he was concussed. I would be shocked if the medical staff clears Boldin for this weekend's game because it would be medically irresponsible to let a player play this early following a concussion, however he remains hopeful that he will be allowed to suit up. Check back on Sunday for an update.
Deion Branch, SEA - Recovering from Torn ACL
Seahawks' WR Deion Branch, who has now recovered from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee, is no longer listed on the team's official injury report and head coach Mike Holmgren expects him to make his 2008 debut this weekend against the Giants. Branch returned to a full practice on Wednesday and he reportedly looked agile and "explosive." He did not favor his leg and he appeared to be one the fastest players on the field. Everything went well again on Thursday and it looks like he will in the starting lineup on Sunday. There is a chance that will still split playing time with Billy McMullen because the medical staff would prefer to work him back slowly. But the Seahawks don't have a lot of healthy options at wide receiver so that could force them to keep Branch on the field longer than they would like.
Kevin Curtis, PHI - Recovering from Sports' Hernia Surgery
Eagles' WR Kevin Curtis returned to limited practice this week and while there is a chance that he will be active this weekend team officials do not expect him to play in a major part in the offense. Curtis has not played in a regular season game because he has been recovering from sports hernia surgery. According to reports he has made a complete recovery from the procedure, however he is still trying to work himself into playing shape. His practice time was limited on Wednesday and Thursday but he did look healthy while running and cutting during individual drills. Head coach Andy Reid said that if things go well on Friday then Curtis would be activated, but he cautioned that even if played that he would have a limited role against the Redskins.
Bobby Engram, SEA - Fractured Shoulder
Seahawks' WR Bobby Engram will make his return to the starting lineup after missing the team's first three games with a fractured shoulder. Engram returned to the practice field on Monday and he reportedly looked great in practice on Wednesday and Thursday. Head coach Mike Holmgren has already said that he expects Engram to start so look for him to be the team's primary receiver on Sunday against the Giants.
Brandon Lloyd, CHI - Sprained Knee
Bears' WR Brandon Lloyd, who left last week's game because of an injury to his left knee, has been diagnosed with a sprained ligament and it appears that he will be inactive to this weekend's game. The exact nature and severity of the injury has not been made public but there are reports that Lloyd is dealing with swelling within the joint and there is concern that he could be out longer than a week. He has been listed as "out " on the team's official injury report this week but that has referred to his participation in practice. But if he doesn't take the field today then the team will likely deactivate him for Week 5.
David Patten, NO - Strained Groin
The Saints' have already ruled WR David Patten out for Monday night's game against the Vikings because of a nagging groin injury. Patten originally pulled his groin in Week 3 and he aggravated the injury last weekend against the 49ers. He hasn't responded well to treatment and his leg remains stiff and sore. With Patten out and top WR Marques Colston still about a week or two away from returning look for Lance Moore and Robert Meachem to start and get a lot of passes thrown their way on Monday.
Laurent Robinson, ATL - Sprained Knee
Falcons' WR Laurent Robinson, who was inactive for last week's game because a sprained left knee, has not been able to practice this week and he is in danger of missing his second straight game. According to reports Robinson's knee has improved over the last week but not enough to allow him to take the field. Team officials still believe that he could participate in practice today but they aren't expecting him to be healthy enough to play this weekend.