Matt Hasselbeck, SEA - Bulging Disc / Nerve Compression
Seahawks' QB Matt Hasselbeck, who has bulging disc in his lower back that is compressing a nerve that runs into his right knee, has been ruled out of Week 7 and according to team officials he is out indefinitely. Hasselbeck has not practiced this week and spent a lot of time in the training room undergoing treatment and rehab. Since his knee problem is directly associated with the bulging disc in his back the medical staff is focusing on strengthening his lower back and abdominal region. Head coach Mike Holmgren isn't sure when Hasselbeck will be ready to return. Seneca Wallace, who has been battling a strained calf, has been limited in practice this week however Holmgren still expects him to start in place of Hasselbeck this weekend.
Jon Kitna, DET - Bulging Disc
Lions' QB Jon Kitna has been placed on Injured Reserve and he will miss the remainder of the 2008 season after being diagnosed with a bulging disc in his lower back. Kitna, who was pulled from the team's Week 5 game because he complained of pain and tightness in his lower back, did not play last week and tests performed on him earlier this week confirmed that he was dealing with a bulging disc in his lumbar spine. Kitna spoke with reporters regarding the team's decision to place him on IR and indicated that he could have continued to play through his back problems. He said that there was "tension" between himself and team officials and that the Lions used the injury as a reason to make a change at the QB position. Not surprising Kitna has decided to treat his injury without the help of the team's medical staff. Dan Orlovsky will get the start in his place for the remainder of the season.
Tony Romo, DAL - Fractured Pinkie Finger
Cowboys' officials expected starting QB Tony Romo to miss 4 weeks with a fractured pinkie finger on his throwing hand, however Romo has decided to try and play through the injury and there is a chance that he will start on Sunday against the Rams. Romo, who hurt his hand during the overtime session last week, got a phone call from Brett Favre earlier this week and he was encouraged by Favre to play. Romo did not officially practice on Wednesday but he threw passes on the side while wearing a protective splint on his injured finger and according to reports he looked OK. He took the field on Thursday and threw passes to receivers, however he never handed off to running backs and backup Brady Johnson took a majority of the reps during passing drills. Head coach Wade Phillips told reporters that he would take a look at Romo during practice on Friday and make a decision on his availability for Week 7 before the end of the day. Phillips made it clear that he will not wait until gameday to decide if Romo will play. I certainly applaud Romo's efforts to play, but if he does start and he aggravates the injury it could potentially end his season. Let's just hope that he avoids getting hurt again.
Joseph Addai, IND - Strained Hamstring
It appears that Colts' RB Joseph Addai will miss this weekend's game because of a strained hamstring, and there is speculation that his hamstring is actually partially torn and that he could be out for up to a month while he recovers. Addai was injured in the last week's win over the Ravens and according to reports and was having a hard time moving around after the game. Head coach Tony Dungy initially told reporters that he believed that Addai would be OK, however a local newspaper released a report on Wednesday that said he was dealing with a partially torn hamstring and that he would be out 2 - 4 weeks. Dungy did not confirm the details within the report, but he did say that Addai's hamstring was "not feeling too good" and indicated that he would likely be inactive for Sunday's game. Needless to say he hasn't practiced this week and the team does not expect him to be on the field for practice today either. Rookie RB Mike Hart is out for the year after tearing the ACL in his right knee last week so Dominic Rhodes will get a majority of the carries in Addai's place.
Reggie Bush, NO - Knee Inflammation
According to reports Saints' RB Reggie Bush has been limited in practice this week because of inflammation and soreness in his left knee. However team officials expect him to do more in practice today and head coach Sean Payton believes that he will be active for Sunday's game against the Panthers. Bush, who dealt with knee pain throughout training camp, apparently aggravated the injury in Week 1 and once again this past weekend. The exact nature of the injury is currently unknown however there is speculation that he is dealing with cartilage problems. Bush has been limited to individual drills in practice this week and Payton said that he has been held out of team drills as a precaution. He went on to say that Bush would continue to have knee issues until after the team's Week 9 bye. There is no way of knowing how this injury will affect his performance since we don't know the specifics behind it. But the Saints are confident that he will be productive against the Panthers.
Darren McFadden, OAK - Turf Toe
Raiders' rookie RB Darren McFadden, who has been dealing with turf toe for several weeks, has practiced at full speed this week and he is no longer listed on the team's official injury report. McFadden's toe has shown signs of improvement over the last couple of weeks and while his playing time was limited last week against the Saints he did not need to wear a protective boot the next day, which is the first time he hasn't had to do that following a game since being hurt. Justin Fargas will likely get a share of the carries this weekend, but a healthy McFadden should see more playing time.
Willie Parker, PIT - Sprained MCL
Steelers' RB Willie Parker, who has been out since spraining the medical collateral ligament in his knee back in Week 3, had reportedly come close to a full recovery last week. However Parker aggravated the injury after stepping in a hole while working out on his own earlier this week and his status for Week 7 is now in doubt. According to reports Parker's knee is once again swollen and he was held out of practice on Wednesday and Thursday while receiving treatment. Head coach Mike Tomlin said that the team is "still hopeful toward Sunday" but acknowledged that his setback earlier in the week has raised some doubts about his availability. Team officials don't expect him to practice tomorrow and it looks like he will be a game-time decision on Sunday. Even if Parker is active look for Mewelde Moore to be big part of the running game.
Clinton Portis, WAS - Strained Hip Flexor
Redskins' RB Clinton Portis reportedly suffered a strained hip flexor during last week's game and while he hasn't practiced this week head coach Jim Zorn still expects him to start on Sunday. Portis apparently pulled his hip flexor in the second half against the Rams however he stayed on the field and finished the game. The injury was not considered a problem after the game but he complained of pain and tightness on Monday and Zorn acknowledged that "it was pretty bad" earlier in the week. Portis did not practice on Wednesday and Thursday and it looks like he will be held out today for the third straight day. But Zorn said that Portis will take part in the light practice and walkthrough on Saturday and if his hip flexor holds up during pregame warm-ups he will start of the Skins on Sunday. So Portis will be a game-time decision. If Portis doesn't play or he is limited look for Shaun Alexander, who was brought in to replace the injured Ladell Betts, to get a lot of carries.
Deion Branch, SEA - Heel Contusion
Seahawks' WR Deion Branch did not play in last week's game because of a heel contusion and after missing practice on Wednesday and Thursday he is in danger of missing his second straight game this weekend. According to reports Branch continues to have a difficult time running on his injured foot. The medical staff has told him that he could play and without the risk of making it worse if he deals with the pain. But the injury has proven to be too painful. Branch has not practiced this week and team officials aren't sure if he will be able to practice with the team today. Barring a sudden improvement look for Deion Branch to be inactive on Sunday.
Chris Chambers, SD - Sprained Ankle
Chargers' WR Chris Chambers, who missed last week's game with a sprained ankle, was supposed to make his return to the starting lineup this weekend. But after missing practice on Wednesday and Thursday his status for Sunday's game is now in question. According to reports Chambers is showing signs of improvement however his ankle still isn't 100% so even if he plays in Week 7 he won't be at full speed. Team officials hope that he will be able to take the field for practice today, but no matter what happens he will be a game-time decision on Sunday so check with The Huddle then for an update.
Marques Colston, NO - Thumb Surgery
Saints' WR Marques Colston appears ready to make his return after missing the last 5 weeks while recovering from thumb surgery. Colston took part in nearly every drill on Wednesday and Thursday and he reportedly looked comfortable. He did have a small plastic splint on his thumb but it didn't affect his ability to catch the ball. Colston spoke with reporters and said "it's just been really no issues with it at all" and that he "got a lot of good work in this week." Head coach Sean Payton said that Colston has looked good in practice and that if all goes well today that he would likely play against the Panthers. David Patten, who has missed the last three games with a strained groin, is no longer on the team's official injury report and team officials expect him to be available on Sunday.
T.J. Houshmandzadeh, CIN - Sprained Ankle
Bengals' WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who suffered a minor ankle sprain in last week's game, has not done a lot in practice this week. But team officials are confident that he will start on Sunday against the Steelers. According to reports Houshmandzadeh was held out of practice on Wednesday and was limited to the stretching portion of practice on Thursday. The medical staff does not consider the injury to be serious and he will probably take part in team drills today. If his ankle holds up look for him to play this weekend.
Joey Galloway, TB - Sprained Foot
Team officials originally expected Galloway to make his return last week, however his foot has not progressed as quickly as the medical staff had anticipated and head coach Jon Gruden puts his chance of playing this weekend at "50-50." Galloway was declared out for Week 6 last Saturday but he still took part in the team's pregame warm-up. According to reports his foot held up well and he's seen an increase in workload during practice on Wednesday and Thursday. But Gruden isn't sure if Galloway is ready contribute. He recently told a reporter that Galloway was "getting better" however he indicated that he might keep him sidelined until he is completely healthy. Galloway could end up being a game-time decision, but even if his activated I wouldn't expect him to have a major role on offense.
Calvin Johnson, DET - Concussion
Lions' WR Calvin Johnson, who suffered a minor concussion in last week's game, was held out of practice on Wednesday as a precaution. But he returned to practice on Thursday and team officials expect him to start on Sunday against the Texans. Johnson was reportedly dealing with headaches and had trouble seeing after last Sunday's game however he made a quick recovery and he told a reporter on Tuesday that he was feeling fine. Team officials are no longer concerned about his status and they expect him to be at full speed for the team's Week 7 game.
Muhsin Muhammad, CAR - Minor Knee Sprain
Panthers' WR Muhsin Muhammad suffered what the team called a minor knee sprain during last week's game. But after practicing with teammates on Thursday it looks like he will be able to play this weekend against the Saints. The Moose was held out of practice on Wednesday while receiving treatment on his sore knee. According to reports he wanted to practice but the medical staff decided to keep him sidelined as a precaution. The good news is that he was cleared to practice on Thursday and according to reports his knee held up well. If he takes part in another full practice today he should be active for this weekend's game.
Eddie Royal, DEN - Sprained Ankle
Broncos' rookie WR Eddie Royal, who was inactive for last week's game because of a sprained ankle, has practiced in full and it appears that his is ready to make his return. According to reports Royal's ankle is very close to full strength and he should be near full speed on Monday night. He'll likely have his ankle wrapped as a safeguard, but team officials expect him to be productive. Brandon Stokley, who suffered another concussion last week, has not practiced this week and he may not be cleared in time for this week's game.
Tony Scheffler, DEN - Strained Groin
Broncos' TE Tony Scheffler, who was inactive for last week's game because of a strained groin, has been limited in practice this week and his status for Monday night's game against the Patriots remains unknown. Scheffler did absolutely nothing in practice last week so his involvement this week is a step forward. However he did not practice at full speed and since he isn't completely healthy the team is concerned that he may aggravate the problem if he plays in Week 7. Head coach Mike Shanahan will update this status for Week 7 after practice today.
Jeremy Shockey, NO - Sports Hernia Surgery
Saints' TE Jeremy Shockey, who has been out recovering from sports hernia surgery, was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday and according to reports he appears healthy enough to play in this weekend's game. Head coach Sean Payton said that Shockey "looked good" in practice on Wednesday and he once again looked sharp during Thursday's workout. The most encouraging news is that his groin and abdominal region was not sore following Wednesday's or Thursday's practice so it looks like he is getting closer to full strength. His status for Week 7 remains up in the air, but if all goes well in practice today then there is a chance that he will be activated for Sunday's game against the Panthers. He's probably a week or two away from being able to play in a full game so you might want to keep him on your fantasy bench this weekend.
Kellen Winslow Jr., CLE - Undisclosed Illness
Browns' TE Kellen Winslow returned to the team's training complex on Thursday after spending the last week recovering from an undisclosed illness, however he has not been cleared to practice and it looks like he will miss his second straight game. Winslow and the Browns have kept the details regarding his illness private, but he was admitted to a Cleveland area hospital last week where he spent three days getting treatment. Head coach Romeo Crennel spoke with reporters on Thursday and said that Winslow could be cleared to practice as early as today but indicated that Winslow's status for Week 7 was unknown. If he doesn't take the field with teammates today then there is little chance that he will be active against the Redskins.