Matt Hasselbeck, SEA - Bulging Disc / Knee Weakness and Instability
Seahawks' QB Matt Hasselbeck, who has been out since Week 6 because of a bulging disc in his back compressed a nerve and caused weakness and instability in his knee, is no longer listed on the Seahawks' injury report and he is scheduled to make his return to the starting lineup this weekend. According to reports Hasselbeck has looked sharp in practice this week and head coach Mike Holmgren has been happy with what he has seen. If everything goes as planned in today's practice Holmgren will officially announce him as the team's Week 11 starting QB.
Carson Palmer, CIN - Torn Elbow Ligament
Bengals' QB Carson Palmer has already been ruled out for Week 11, but team officials are hoping that he can make his return to the field within the next 2 - 3 weeks. Palmer, who hasn't played since Week 5, has told reporters that his elbow has improved and that he is "getting closer" to being able to play. The Bengals are still officially calling the injury elbow inflammation and the team continues to deny that he has a torn ligament in his elbow that will require Tommy John Surgery to fix. Palmer has been dealing with this injury for nearly two months so it's obviously more than just elbow inflammation. But if we are to believe the Bengals it looks like Palmer's elbow is healing and he could in fact be back as early as Week 13. I'm not sure why the team would want him to return since they have no shot at making the playoffs. Ryan Fitzpatrick will continue to start while Palmer is out.
Tony Romo, DAL - Fractured Pinkie Finger
Cowboys' QB Tony Romo spoke with reporters this week and he said that his finger is feeling a lot better and that he is finally ready to play. Romo has been out since Week 6 with a fractured pinkie, but after returning to practice last week and practicing without limitations on Thursday head coach Wade Phillips is confident that Romo will be in the starting lineup. According to Phillips Romo threw the ball "with more zip" in practice this week and he said that Romo appeared to be "more comfortable" taking snaps and making hand-offs. Romo is scheduled to go through another full practice today and he should be active on Sunday against the Redskins.
JaMarcus Russell, OAK - Knee Tendinitis / Bone Contusion
Raiders' coach Tom Cable recently revealed that QB JaMarcus Russell was inactive last week because of discomfort in his knee as a result of tendinitis and a bone contusion. However after being limited in practice on Wednesday Russell took most of the snaps with the first-team offense on Thursday and Cable expects him start this weekend against the Dolphins. According to reports Russell's knee is still bothering him. He has spent a lot of time before and after practice this week getting treatment on the ailing joint. But his knee has shown signs of improvement and it is healthy enough for him to play. Andrew Walter, who started for Russell last week, has been diagnosed with a high ankle sprain and he will miss at least two weeks so look for Marques Tuiasosopo to be Russell's backup.
Matt Schaub, HOU - Partially Torn MCL
As expected Texans' QB Matt Schaub will not play this weekend against the Colts and he is still at least two weeks away from making his return. Head coach Gary Kubiak recently spoke with reporters about Schaub's progress and he said that Schaub was making strides in his recovery but that the medical staff wouldn't know when he would be ready to play "for another week or two." Team officials are hoping that he will be cleared to play by Week 13, but they are preparing for him to be out until Week 14 or 15. Sage Rosenfels will continue to start while he is out.
Reggie Bush, NO - Arthroscopic Knee Surgery
Saints' RB Reggie Bush took part in a limited practice on Wednesday and there was optimism that he would be ready to make his return to the starting lineup this weekend. But after missing practice on Thursday his status for Week 11 is now in question. Bush hasn't played in a game since tearing cartilage in his knee in Week 7. He underwent arthroscopic knee surgery to repair the damage and he spent the last month recovering. According to reports Bush made his return to the practice field on Wednesday but took part in a limited amount of drills because the medical staff didn't want to expose him to a full load right away. He did not practice on Thursday and head coach Sean Payton claims that he didn't suffer a setback. But he was supposed to see an increase in workload on Thursday so his absence from practice is a concern. It is unclear if he will practice today but if he doesn't then there is little chance that he will be cleared to play against the Chiefs. Check back on Sunday for an update.
Jamaal Charles, KC - Sprained Ankle
Chiefs' RB Jamaal Charles aggravated a previous ankle injury in last week's game, but with the return of starting running back Larry Johnson Charles' role in the offense will be limited on Sunday regardless of his health. Charles' sprained ankle continues to limit his mobility and he was limited in practice on Thursday as a result. If Charles takes part in a full practice today he could be active against the Chiefs, however Johnson will get a majority of the carries and Charles would likely end up being the third-down back. If Charles is inactive look for Dantrell Savage to fill that role.
Frank Gore, SF - Strained Neck
It was initially reported that 49ers' RB Frank Gore suffered a concussion at the end of Monday night's game against the Cardinals. However head coach Mike Singletary denied the report and after saying that he was concussed Gore changed his story and said that he suffered a neck strain. Gore, who has not practiced this week, initially told reporters that suffered a concussion against the Cardinals but he later said that he in fact has a neck strain. During Singletary's Thursday press conference he said that Gore's injury feels like a concussion which is why he was confused but that it was in fact a strain of a muscle in his neck. The injury is not considered serious and Singletary believes that Gore will practice today and play on Sunday. Let's just hope that the 49ers aren't covering up a more serious injury so that their best weapon on offense can play. Check back on Sunday for an update on his status.
Steven Jackson, STL - Strained Quadriceps
Rams' RB Steven Jackson continues to have problems with his injured quadriceps and after another setback it looks like he will be inactive for this weekend's game. Jackson took part in practice on Wednesday and he reportedly took half the snaps with the first-team offense. Head coach Jim Haslett mentioned that he looked good and that he expected him to take more snaps with the starting offense on Thursday. Unfortunately Jackson said that he woke up on Thursday morning and his thigh was tight and sore. So he sat out practice on Thursday and there is a chance that he will miss practice today and the game on Sunday. Jackson indicated that he might just miss the next couple of games as a precaution so that his injured quad has an opportunity to completely heal. Antonio Pittman's injured leg and hamstring have progressed well and if Jackson is inactive he would get the start for the Rams on Sunday.
Darren McFadden, OAK - Bilateral Turf Toe
Raiders' rookie RB Darren McFadden hasn't played since Week 7 because of turf toe on both feet, but he has taken part in practice this week and he has been cleared to play this weekend. McFadden declared himself "ready to do" earlier this week" and he said that he didn't experience pain or discomfort in either foot during or after practice on Wednesday and Thursday. Justin Fargas will likely be the starting running back but team officials expect Fargas to split carries with McFadden on Sunday.
Willie Parker, PIT - Subluxed Shoulder
Steelers' RB Willie Parker, who reportedly tore the labrum in his shoulder a couple of weeks ago, is not on the team's injury report and he will be active against the Chargers on Sunday. Parker has denied reports that he is suffering from a torn labrum in his shoulder that will eventually require surgery. Head coach Mike Tomlin has actually classified the injury as a "shoulder subluxation," however a subluxation is just the mechanism and not the injury. In fact during a shoulder subluxation (partial dislocation) the labrum is often damaged. According to reports Parker took park in practice on Wednesday and Thursday while wearing a protective harness on his shoulder and he will wear the same harness when he plays this weekend. But Mewelde Moore has played extremely well with Parker out and Tomlin has indicated that Parker will split playing with Moore this weekend.
Clinton Portis, WAS - Partially Torn MCL
The Redskins' recently revealed that RB Clinton Portis partially tore the medial collateral ligament in his left knee during the team's Week 9 game against the Steelers and head coach Jim Zorn told reporters on Thursday that Portis has not progressed as quickly as the team had hoped and he indicated that he would probably be inactive for this weekend's game against the Cowboys. Portis was held out of practice during the team's Week 10 bye and he missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday this week as well. Zorn still considers Portis "questionable" and he hopes that he can take the field with teammates today. But he is preparing to play without him. Partially torn MCLs typically require up to 4 weeks to heal so there is a chance that Portis could be out until Week 12 of 13. Ladell Betts, who has missed the last three games with a sprained knee, took part in practice on Thursday and Zorn said that there was a good chance that he will be active. So if Portis is out, look for Betts and Shaun Alexander to split the carries.
Selvin Young, DEN - Strained Groin
Broncos' RB Selvin Young continues to be bothered by a sore groin and according to reports Peyton Hillis and the newly signed Tatum Bell will get a majority of the carries this weekend against the Falcons. Young was held out of practice on Wednesday and Thursday and team officials aren't expecting him to be available. But with Michael Pittman and rookie Ryan Torrain both out for the remainder of the season because of injuries the Broncos are forced to split the carries between full back Hillis and former Bronco and Lion cast-off Bell. Hillis had 7 catches for 116 yards and a touchdown in Week 9 so he is capable of producing and Bell was productive in this offense on a number of occasions during his first stint with the team. So the Broncos' running game isn't exactly in bad shape.
Deion Branch, SEA - Heel Contusion
Seahawks' WR Deion Branch, who hasn't played since Week 5 because of a heel contusion, remains limited in practice however team officials believe that he could finally make his return to the starting lineup on Sunday. Branch has suffered a couple of setbacks in his recovery but according to reports his heel is close to 100%. So why was he limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday? Branch reinjured his heel during practice prior to his scheduled return a couple of weeks ago. So the medical staff doesn't want to risk another setback. The Seahawks recently released Keary Colbert and several media outlets have reported that his release indicates that Branch is finally ready to play.
Matt Jones, JAX - Quadriceps Contusion
Jaguars' WR Matt Jones is still recovering from a quad contusion that he suffered in last week's game, however head coach Jack Del Rio expects him to play this weekend against the Titans. Jones left last week's game after getting hit in the thigh and Del Rio said after the game that Jones could have returned but since the team was winning by a large margin the medical staff decided to keep him out. He did not practice on Wednesday and he spent a lot of time in the training room getting treatment. However he took part in some passing drills on Thursday and he should be more involved in practice today. Barring a setback he should be active against the Titans on Sunday.
Derrick Mason, BAL - Dislocated Shoulder
Ravens' WR Derrick Mason has said that he expects to play this weekend despite missing practice on Wednesday and Thursday with a dislocated shoulder. However head coach John Harbaugh isn't sure if Mason will be healthy enough to play and he says that he will be a game-time decision on Sunday. Harbaugh indicated that Mason will miss practice again today and that unless his shoulder dramatically improves over the weekend he will likely me inactive against the Giants. If Mason is out look for Yamon Figurs to get the start in his place.
Javon Walker, OAK - Severe Ankle and Foot Injury
Raiders' WR Javon Walker confirmed this week that he would miss the remainder of the season after suffering what is being described a severe injury to his left ankle and foot during last week's game. The exact nature of his injury has not been disclosed however Walker told a reporter that his injury would require surgery and that "they've got to put some screws in" to help repair the damage. His foot is currently in a protective boot and he has been fitted for crutches. He is scheduled to undergo surgery and be placed on Injured Reserve soon.
Jeremy Shockey, NO - Minor Ankle Sprain
Saints' TE Jeremy Shockey, who left last week's game after spraining his ankle, has taken part in practice this week and he is not listed on the team's official injury report. Shockey told reporters that his ankle was feeling a lot better and according to reports he practiced without a problem on Wednesday and Thursday. Billy Miller has played well in Shockey's place this season and there are reports that suggest that the Saints' organization is getting tired of Shockey's behavior. Don't be surprised if Miller remains a big part of the offense, which would affect Shockey's production.
Jason Witten, DAL - Fractured Ribs
Cowboys' TE Jason Witten, who was held without a catch in Week 9 because of sore ribs, has been limited in practice this week. However the team expects him to start and be more productive against the Redskins this weekend. Witten fractured his ribs in Week 8 and the medical staff initially said that he would be out for the next 2 - 3 weeks. But he Witten told reporters that he wanted to play and after taking painkillers he was cleared to play in the team's Week 9 game. Unfortunately his injured ribs prevented him from being effective and he was held without a catch. According to reports Witten did not practice during the team's Week 10 bye. His ribs have shown signs of improvement however they still haven't completely healed and he has been limited in practice this week as a precaution. Head coach Wade Phillips expects him to do more in practice today and he should be active this weekend.