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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Injury Report - Week 14
Philip Gentles
December 5, 2008
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QUARTERBACKS

Trent Edwards, BUF – Strained Groin

It looks like the Bills will be going with J.P. Losman as their starting QB this weekend. Trent Edwards, who left last week’s game with a strained groin, has not practiced this week and according to reports he is still walking with a limp. Head coach Dick Jauron told reporters that Edwards has spent a “significant” amount of time in rehab this week and he said that Edwards remains “pretty sore.” Edwards continues to say that he will play, but it doesn’t appear that he is healthy enough to start. Jauron indicated that Edwards’ status won’t be determined until moments before kickoff.

Carson Palmer, CIN – Torn Elbow Tendon and Ligament

Bengals’ QB Carson Palmer, who has already been ruled out for Week 14, is scheduled to start throwing real footballs at the end of this week and his status for the remainder of the season will be based on how his injured elbow responds. Palmer told reporters that he isn’t sure if his elbow will require surgery, however if it bothers him after he tests it out then he will have it checked out and he says he will do whatever specialists tell him to do. Palmer has confirmed that he is dealing with a torn and detached ligament and tendon in his elbow, which will definitely require surgery to repair (despite what head coach Marvin Lewis and Palmer have said). There is nothing to gain by rushing Palmer back on the field this late in the season. So don’t be surprised if the team keeps him sidelined for the remainder of the season.

Ben Roethlisberger, PIT – Undisclosed Knee Injury

According to reports Steelers’ QB Ben Roethlisberger left Wednesday’s practice after “tweaking” his knee. But he was back on the field on Thursday and team officials expect him to start in Week 14 against the Cowboys. Roethlisberger apparently slipped in some mud and he immediately began to experience pain and inflammation in his knee. Head coach Mike Tomlin said that the injury isn’t serious, but he did get treatment on his knee after getting hurt on Wednesday and before and after practice on Thursday. It doesn’t look like this injury will prevent him from playing on Sunday, but keep an eye on today’s practice report just in case the injury prevents him from participating in a full workout.

JaMarcus Russell, OAK – Undisclosed Ankle Injury

Raiders’ QB JaMarcus Russell was carted off the field after hurting his ankle during Thursday night’s game against the Chargers and he did not return. Russell was hurt when he was hit while throwing an interception in the second quarter. His ankle appeared to bend awkwardly and he was in a lot of pain while lying on the field. He was taken to the locker room for X-rays and additional testing. The X-rays came back negative, but he could not put weight on his leg and he did not return to the game. The severity of the injury and his status for Week 15 are currently unknown.

Matt Schaub, HOU – Sprained MCL

Texans’ head coach Gary Kubiak told reporters a couple of weeks ago that QB Matt Schaub’s progress hadn’t gone as smoothly as the team had hoped and said there was a chance that he could be out until Week 16 or 17. However the good news is that Schaub returned to practice last week and although he didn’t start he was still active against the Jags in Week 13 and according to reports he will be back in the starting lineup this weekend against the Packers. Schaub, who has missed the last 4 games with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his knee, has reportedly looked good in practice this week. He has worn a brace on Wednesday and Thursday, but he has still moved around at full speed and without a problem. Kubiak is happy with what he has seen this week and he indicated that Schaub will start in Week 14 is all goes well in practice today.

RUNNING BACKS

Marion Barber, DAL – Dislocated Small Toe

Head coach Wade Phillips told reporters after Thursday’s practice that Marion Barber is “more doubtful” to play in Week 14 against the Steelers after the running back missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday. Barber, who is recovering from a dislocated small toe, said that he will do everything he can to get ready for Sunday’s big game. However Phillips said that Barber would have to take part in practice today to have a chance of playing on this weekend. Tashard Choice would get the start if Barber is inactive.

Correll Buckhalter, PHI – Sprained MCL

Eagles’ backup RB Correll Buckhalter, who missed last week’s game with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his knee, has not practiced this week and the team does not expect him to play until Week 15 at the earliest. Buckhalter’s knee has reportedly shown signs of improvement. However he has not been cleared to practice with teammates and he’ll likely be inactive this weekend.

Ryan Grant, GB – Sprained Thumb

Packers’ RB Ryan Grant has been a full participant in practice this week and he will be in the team’s starting lineup this weekend against the Texans. Grant sprained his thumb during last week’s game, and he was fitted for a protective splint on Monday and he looked comfortable in practice on Wednesday and Thursday. Brandon Jackson, who has been recovering from a thigh injury, returned to full practice on Thursday and it looks like he will be active on Sunday as well. However if Grant makes it through practice today without an issue he will be the featured back in Week 14.

Clinton Portis, WAS – Neck Stiffness, Sprained Knee, Strained Hip and Sprained Ankle

According to reports the Redskins are considering Portis a game-time decision as he continues to have problems with his injured neck. Portis, who jammed his neck in last week’s games, has been getting double daily doses of treatment in hopes that the stiffness and discomfort in his neck subsides. Head coach Jim Zorn acknowledged that Portis took “a pretty good bash in the head” last week and that “he’s still trying to loosen up his stiff neck. As expected he has been held out of practice this week and he may be out again today. The Redskins will allow him to warm-up with the team on Sunday and the medical staff will make a decision on his availability after they see how he does during the pre-game drills. Don’t forget Portis is also dealing with a sore hip, sprained knee and sprained ankle so he is far from healthy. The Redskins face the Ravens on Sunday so it might be a good idea to keep Portis on your bench this week, and hopefully the Skins will do the same thing so that it gives him much needed time to heal.

Brian Westbrook, PHI – Knee and Ankle Soreness

RB Brian Westbrook, who took part in practice on Wednesday, told reporters that he was feeling as good as he has felt all season, however he was held out of practice on Thursday and his status for Week 14 is uncertain. Westbrook is reportedly dealing with a lingering high ankle sprain and cartilage problems in his knee but he had a monster game last week so he is capable of performing at a high level despite playing at less than 100%. The biggest question right now is did he suffer a setback in practice?! Westbrook practiced in full on Wednesday but he was held out on Thursday. Team officials have indicated that he did not practice as a precaution, but there is speculation that something happened that prevented him from taking the field. We’ll know more about his Week 14 status after practice today so check with The Huddle later today for an update.

WIDE RECEIVERS

T.J. Houshmandzadeh, CIN – Mild Concussion / Lower Back Stiffness

Bengals’ head coach Marvin Lewis revealed earlier this week that WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh suffered a mild concussion during last week’s game. However Houshmandzadeh has been cleared by the medical staff and he will start in Week 14 against the Colts. As expected he was held out of practice on Wednesday. He’s still dealing with a lower back problem so he spent time on Wednesday getting treatment for it. But his concussion symptoms subsided late Wednesday and after passing a neurological test early Thursday he was cleared to take part in contact drills. By all accounts he looked fine during Thursday’s practice and if all goes well in practice today he will be active this weekend.

Josh Morgan, SF – Strained Groin

49ers’ rookie WR Josh Morgan has made progress in his recovery from a severely strained groin, however his status for Week 14 remains uncertain. Morgan returned to the field this week but he remained limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday. Team officials aren’t sure if he will be healthy enough to play this weekend and they believe that he will have to take part in a full practice today to have a chance of being active. As it looks right now Morgan will be a game-time decision and the 49ers are preparing to play on Sunday without him. Bryant Johnson would get the start opposite Isaac Bruce if Morgan doesn’t play.

Wes Welker, NE – Undisclosed Head Trauma

Patriots’ WR Wes Welker is not on the team’s injury report and he will be active this weekend against the Seahawks. Welker was knocked out of last week’s game after taking a big hit on a tipped pass. As expected the Patriots have not said a thing regarding Welker’s health however there is speculation that he suffered a minor concussion. The good news is that Welker addressed the media on Wednesday and he appeared to be doing OK and team officials expect him to start this weekend.

TIGHT ENDS

Kellen Winslow Jr., CLE – High Ankle Sprain

Browns’ TE Kellen Winslow Jr. will miss at least one week and possibly the remainder of the season after an MRI on his injured leg revealed a high ankle sprain. Winslow’s ankle remains in a protective boot and he won’t attempt to practice until next week at the earliest. There is concern that the injury could keep him out for the next four weeks so there is a chance that he could end up on Injured Reserve. Steve Heiden will start in Winslow’s place.

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