Jay Cutler, DEN - Sprained Index Finger
Broncos' QB Jay Cutler, who sprained the index finger on his throwing hand in Week 7, has practiced with the team this week and it appears that he will play in this weekend's game against the Dolphins. There was some concern that the injury to Cutler's hand could keep him out for a while, but he was able to throw the ball in practice during the team's bye week and according to reports the swelling in his finger has been controlled and reduced. Cutler spoke with reporters on Wednesday and he said that his finger was no longer an issue. Barring a setback he should be in the starting lineup for the Broncos this weekend.
Matt Hasselbeck, SEA - Bulging Disc / Knee Weakness and Instability
Seahawks' QB Matt Hasselbeck has not been medically cleared to return and he has been ruled out for this weekend's game. Hasselbeck, who hasn't played since Week 5 because of a bulging disc in lower back that had pinched a nerve and caused weakness and instability in his knee, told reporters that he has regained some of his strength in the joint. Unfortunately he still has a "dead leg" feeling and he said that he was unable to walk on his heels when he was tested by a specialist earlier in the week. Seneca Wallace will once again get the start in his place.
Carson Palmer, CIN - Torn Elbow Ligament
Bengals' QB Carson Palmer has already been ruled out for Week 9 because of a torn ligament in his elbow, however he continues to dispute reports that he is headed for season-ending surgery. Head coach Marvin Lewis has said on several occasions this week that the team is not considering shutting Palmer down for the year and Palmer himself has said that he continues to rehab his inflamed elbow and that he intends to play at some point this season. We'll know more about his long-term status after the team's Week 10 bye. But at this point with the Bengals completely out of the playoff race if Palmer is dealing with a torn ligament in his elbow there would be no reason for the Bengals to rush him back this season. Ryan Fitzpatrick will continue to start while Palmer is out.
Joseph Addai, IND - Strained Hamstring
Colts' RB Joseph Addai, who hasn't played since pulling his hamstring in Week 6, has practiced with teammates this week however his status for Sunday's game against the Patriots remains in question. Head coach Tony Dungy told reporters that Addai's hamstring isn't 100 percent yet and team officials have indicated that he could be held out until he is completely healthy. According to reports Addai is feeling a lot better. He is no longer experiencing soreness in his hamstring after activity and he has said that he is ready to return. But Dungy will consult with the medical staff after practice on Friday and a decision might not be made until they see how he does during warm-ups on Sunday. If Addai is active he will likely split carries with Dominic Rhodes, so keep that in mind when setting your fantasy lineups.
Warrick Dunn, TB - Pinched Nerve
The status of Bucs' RB Warrick Dunn is currently unknown as he continues to recover from a pinched nerve in his neck and upper back. Dunn, who was originally hurt in Week 7, aggravated the injury in last week's game and he hasn't practiced this week while recovering. Head coach Jon Gruden told reporters on Thursday that "we think he's going to be OK," however he wasn't sure if would be able to play this weekend. He did say that the team would have a better feel for his status after practice today but don't be surprised if he ends up as a game-time decision.
Steven Jackson, STL - Strained Quadriceps
Rams' RB Steven Jackson has been limited in practice this week because of a strained quadriceps and according to head coach Jim Haslett he has a "50-50" chance of playing on Sunday. Team officials told reporters prior to last week's game that Jackson was going to play. Unfortunately he didn't look good in pregame warm-ups and he was deactivated. Jackson has reportedly taken part in about 40% of the practice this week and while he says that he is getting ready to play Haslett indicated that the team is preparing to play without him. He'll likely do more in practice today but he will probably be a game-time decision on Sunday. Antonio Pittman will be the featured back if Jackson is inactive.
Darren McFadden, OAK - Turf Toes
Raiders' rookie RB Darren McFadden is reportedly dealing with turf toe on both feet and it looks like won't be at full speed at any point this season. McFadden is reportedly blaming the Nike cleats that he wears for causing the problem. He says that the bottom of his cleats are too soft and that he was used to wearing Adidas cleats that have harder soles. The rookie has not practiced this week and he continues to wear a protective boot on his left foot.
He was inactive last week and if he doesn't practice with the team today he will likely miss his second straight game on Sunday.
Sammy Morris, NE - Sprained Knee
Patriots' RB Sammy Morris, who was inactive for last week's game because of a sprained knee, has not practiced this week and it looks like he will miss his second straight game on Sunday. When asked about his injury Morris told reporters that it wouldn't end his season and head coach Bill Belichick was just as vague about his status as he said that he expected Morris back "ASAP." Local newspapers reported last week that Morris would likely be out until Week 10. It looks like those reports are accurate so don't expect him to play. LaMont Jordan, who has been out nursing a calf injury, returned to practice this week and team officials are confident that he will be active against the Colts.
Willie Parker, PIT - Sprained MCL
Steelers' RB Willie Parker, who hasn't played since Week 3 because of a sprained medial collateral ligament in his knee, has made it through practice this week without a problem and if all goes well today and tomorrow he should be active on Monday night against the Redskins. Parker was supposed to make his return a couple of weeks ago and again last week but he suffered setbacks in practice on both occasions that prevented him from playing. Parker recently told reporters after Thursday's practice that it was still too early to tell if he could play on Monday. Considering what has happened to him over the last two weeks you can understand his uncertainty. Keep an eye on the practice reports over the next couple of days and check with The Huddle on Sunday for a final update on his status.
Clinton Portis, WAS - Sprained Ankle / Sore Hip-Flexor
As expected Redskins' RB Clinton Portis, who is recovering from a minor ankle sprain and hip soreness, has been held out of practice this week. But head coach Jim Zorn said that the team is just giving their top offensive weapon extra rest and that he will be in the starting lineup on Monday night against the Steelers. Portis has reportedly been dealing with a hip-flexor problem for several weeks and Zorn said that he probably wouldn't be completely healthy until after the team's Week 10 bye. Portis' sprained ankle has improved this week and it is considered a non-issue. He won't be completely healthy against the Steelers, but it hasn't mattered the last couple of weeks. Expect another big game.
Deion Branch, SEA - Bruised Heel
Seahawks' WR Deion Branch continues to have trouble with his bruised heel and the team has already ruled him out for their Week 9 game. Branch, who hasn't played since Week 6, reportedly suffered a setback in his recovery last week and it appears that the team will keep him out until he is completely healthy. Branch continues to be optimistic and he has said that he will be back soon, but he has been saying that for nearly a month now so there is a chance that he could be out for several more weeks.
Reggie Brown, PHI - Groin Strain
Eagles' WR Reggie Brown, who has been out for 3 weeks with a strained groin, took part in team drills on Wednesday and Thursday and it looks like he will be back on the field this Sunday against the the Seahawks. Brown has reportedly looked sharp in practice and he doesn't appear to be favoring his injured leg. Head coach Andy Reid indicated that Brown would be the team's number 3 receiver this weekend behind DeSean Jackson and Kevin Curtis if all goes well in practice today. Brown is a very talent receiver and if he stays healthy he will be productive even as the team's WR3.
Santana Moss, WAS - Strained Hamstring
Redskins' head coach Jim Zorn told reporters on Monday that he wasn't sure if WR Santana Moss, who was recovering from a strained hamstring, would be able to play in Week 9. But despite missing practice on Wednesday and Thursday Zorn said that he is "encouraged" with Moss' progress and that he expected him to be active on Monday night against the Steelers. According to reports Moss will attempt to practice today and he will see an increase in his reps on Saturday. An official decision on his availability might not be made until gameday so if you decide to start him this week you will be taking a bit of a chance.
Reggie Wayne, IND - Undisclosed Knee Injury
Colts' WR Reggie Wayne is coming off a disappointing performance last week against the Titans. And after missing practice on Wednesday and Thursday this week we now know why he wasn't productive. According to reports Wayne suffered an undisclosed knee injury during last week's game and he has been held out of practice this week as a result. Head coach Tony Dungy hasn't said what the injury is and as expected team officials are keeping the details private. Dungy doesn't appear to be concerned about Wayne's status, but we should know more about his Week 9 availability after practice today.
Tony Scheffler, DEN - Strained Groin
Broncos' TE Tony Scheffler, who has missed the team's last two games because of a strained groin, was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday and it appears that he will be a game-time decision for this weekend's game against the Dolphins. Scheffler said on Wednesday that he groin was feeling a lot better. However he was limited to individual drills in practice and it looks like he won't be at full strength on Sunday. Team officials aren't sure if he will be able to play and a decision on his availability probably won't be made until the medical staff sees how he does during pregame warm-ups
L.J. Smith, PHI - Concussion
According to reports Eagles' TE L.J. Smith continues to recover from a concussion that occurred in last week's game and team officials don't expect him to play in Week 9. Head coach Andy Reid spoke with reporters on Thursday and he indicated that the medical staff was leaning towards holding him out. Smith did not practice on Wednesday and Thursday and if he isn't cleared to practice with the team today don't expect him to be active on Sunday against the Seahawks.
Jason Witten, DAL - Fractured Rib
X-rays on TE Jason Witten's injured chest last Sunday did not reveal any problems however a CT scan and an MRI performed on Monday showed that he actually cracked a rib and his status for Week 9 appears to be in doubt. Team officials initially expected Witten to miss at least one game while he recovers but he told reporters that he wanted to try and play with the injury. But he hasn't practiced this week and in a recent interview he said that he wants rookie Martellus Bennett to be ready to play in his place. Witten will probably be a game-time decision so check back on Sunday for an update on his status.