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Early Injury Report - Week 17
Philip Gentles
December 23, 2008
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This in-depth early week injury report runs down the key fantasy injuries from the past weekend's games. A more complete list of key injured players can be found in our Mid-Week Injury Tracker Report on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Be sure you check out our Priority News often during the week as all breaking news will be posted there.

QUARTERBACKS

Ken Dorsey, CLE – Mild Concussion and Bruised Ribs

Browns’ QB Ken Dorsey was taken to the locker room in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game after hurting his ribs and suffering minor head trauma and he did not return. According to reports Dorsey was diagnosed with a mild concussion and bruised ribs and head coach Romeo Crennel told reporters on Monday that the team would likely be without Dorsey for Week 17. His status is still officially questionable, but it looks like the team is preparing to play without him. Crennel went on to say that WR Josh Cribbs would likely move to quarterback and take snaps with the first-team offense this week. Cribbs doesn’t have much of an arm, but his athleticism and mobility could make things interesting for the Browns’ offense in their final game of the year.

RUNNING BACKS

Steven Jackson, RB, STL – Quadriceps and Hamstring Soreness

Not only did Rams’ RB Steven Jackson re-injure his quadriceps during Sunday’s game he also pulled his hamstring and his status for the final game of the regular season is uncertain. Jackson reportedly aggravated his quad injury in the second quarter and he received treatment for it in the locker room at halftime. But he was back on the field for the start of the third quarter and he finished the game with 32 carries and over 100 yards rushing. Jackson later revealed that he suffered a light hamstring pull because he was “overcompensating for the other leg.” Head coach Jim Haslett said that Jackson was “doing OK” on Monday and indicated that he could play in Week 17. But he will miss practice time as the team prepares for the Falcons and we won’t know much about his status until later on in the week.

Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, JAX – Knee Contusion

Jaguars’ RB Maurice Jones-Drew suffered what is being called a mild knee contusion during last Thursday’s game against the Colts and although he hasn’t practiced since getting hurt team officials expect him to play next weekend against the Ravens. Jones-Drew was hurt when he was tackled hard on a reception in the 4th quarter. He stayed down for a few moments but he eventually limped off the field. The injury was initially called a knee sprain, but MJD told reporters that he bruised his knee and that he should be fine. The Jaguars practiced on Sunday and Monday however Jones-Drew was held out and he reportedly spent a lot of time in the training room getting treatment. Head coach Jack Del Rio said that he will have an update on MJD’s status on Wednesday.

Marshawn Lynch, RB, BUF – Shoulder Soreness

Bills’ RB Marshawn Lynch aggravated a previous shoulder injury on Sunday against the Broncos and his status for Week 17 is uncertain. Lynch, who suffered an undisclosed injury to his shoulder during the team’s Week 15 game, was limited in practice last week because of soreness and discomfort associated with the injury. He appeared to aggravate the problem when he was hammered by Broncos’ DB Vernon Fox on a tackle late in the second quarter. He did take the field for the start of the third quarter and Fred Jackson took over as the featured back for the remainder of the game. According to reports Lynch’s shoulder is sore however team officials remain cautiously optimistic about his chances of playing in their final game of the year. He’ll definitely miss some practice time this week and we should know more about his status on Friday.

Clinton Portis, RB, WAS – Sprained Wrist, Strained Calf and Bi-lateral Stingers

Four sprained ligaments, three strained muscles, two shoulder stingers and a partridge in a pear tree. Redskins’ RB Clinton Portis might be the most banged up player in the history of the NFL. Portis entered Sunday’s game after being limited in practice last week because of lingering soreness and discomfort related to a previous hip strain, knee and ankle sprains and a jammed neck. And it only got worse as he briefly left the game with a sprained wrist and he reportedly played through a calf strain and shoulder stingers in both shoulders, injuries that occurred on the field against the Eagles. The severities of his new injuries have not been made public but head coach Jim Zorn told reporters that he expected Portis to be fine and he indicated that Portis will be healthy enough to play in Week 17. The Redskins have officially been eliminated from the playoffs so even if he is healthy enough to take the field there is nothing to be gained by forcing him back on the field when he is less than 100%. He’ll definitely miss practice this week and despite what Zorn told reporters I would be stunned if he plays in the team’s final regular season game.

Jonathan Stewart, RB, CAR – Undisclosed Head Injury

Panthers’ RB Jonathan Stewart left Sunday’s game after suffering a head injury in the second quarter, but he was able to return to the game in the third quarter and he should be active in Week 17 against the Saints. The exact nature of Stewart’s head injury is still unknown, but there are reports that he was feeling fine on Monday and he might take part in a full practice as early as Wednesday.

Selvin Young, RB, DEN – Ruptured Cervical Disc

Broncos’ RB Selvin Young will miss the remainder of the season after he was placed on Injured Reserve with a ruptured disc in his neck. Young was hurt on a carry and he apparently complained of pain running down his neck while on the sideline. The injury was initially reported as just a pinched nerve but an MRI on Monday morning showed that a disc in his neck had ruptured. According to reports Young may need surgery to repair the damaged disc, but the medical staff will wait a few weeks to see if a surgical procedure is necessary. Needless to say he will not play again this season. RB P.J. Pope was also placed on IR after he tore his hamstring against the Bills on Sunday. That brings the total of Broncos’ running backs out for the season to seven.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Bernard Berrian, WR, MIN – Sprained Ankle

According to reports Vikings’ WR Bernard Berrian sprained his ankle during Sunday’s game and although he returned he was ineffective and unproductive. Berrian twisted his ankle while making a block in the third quarter and he limped off the field. He was examined and taped on the sideline and cleared to return. However the ankle bothered him for the remainder of the game. Head coach Brad Childress confirmed on Monday that Berrian was dealing with an ankle sprain and he wasn’t sure if he would play in Week 17. Berrian will likely miss practice time or be limited while he recovers.

DeSean Jackson, RB, PHI – Bruised Ribs

Eagles’ rookie WR DeSean Jackson left Sunday’s game against the Redskins after hurting his ribs but he later returned and he appears to be OK. Jackson, who was hurt when he was hit hard by LaRon Landry while trying to make a catch in the third quarter, was taken to the locker room where he was X-rayed and examined. He was diagnosed with bruised ribs and the medical staff allowed him to return to the game. Head coach Andy Reid said that Jackson was sore on Monday however he expects Jackson to play in Week 17. Jackson might be limited in practice as a precaution but look for him to start against the Cowboys.

Calvin Johnson, WR, DET – Knee Contusion

Lions’ WR Calvin Johnson will be limited in practice this week after being held out of the fourth quarter on Sunday with a bruised knee. However team officials expect him to start in their final regular season game next weekend. The Lions initially said that Johnson missed a portion of the third quarter and the entire fourth quarter because of a “coach’s decision.” But after the game head coach Rod Marinelli told reporters that Johnson was out because of a leg injury and Johnson confirmed late Sunday that he suffered a bruised knee. He was examined on Monday and although the results have not been made public the good news is that the injury appears to be minor and he should be good to go against the Packers.

Derrick Mason, WR, BAL – Dislocated Shoulder

Ravens’ WR Derrick Mason aggravated his injured shoulder early against the Cowboys but he found a way to deal with the discomfort and played a majority of the game. Mason hurt his shoulder while making a catch in the first quarter and he appeared to be in a lot of pain while on the sideline. He did his best to gut it out but he was taken back to the locker room just before halftime for treatment. He returned to the field at the start of the third quarter but he was seen grimacing in pain on a few more occasions as a he left the field following receptions. Mason will not practice this week however team officials expect him to play in the team’s regular season finale.

TIGHT ENDS

Jeremy Shockey, NO – Sprained Ankle

Saints’ TE Jeremy Shockey left Sunday’s game with an ankle sprain and there is a chance that he will be ready in time for the team’s final game of the season. Shockey twisted his right ankle in the third quarter and he was escorted to the locker room where he was examined and he was quickly declared out for the remainder of the game. Head coach Sean Payton told reporters on Monday that Shockey was diagnosed with a “classic ankle sprain” and he wasn’t sure if he would be able to play next weekend. There is a good chance that he will miss some practice time this week but we should know more about his Week 17 status by Friday.

Jason Witten, DAL – Sprained Ankle

Cowboys’ head coach Wade Phillips told reporters on Monday that TE Jason Witten aggravated his sprained ankle on Saturday against the Ravens and he said that he is “concerned” about his status for Week 17. Witten has been dealing with a lingering ankle problem for several weeks and he appeared to re-injure it on his touchdown catch in the fourth quarter. According to reports Witten was having a hard time moving around in the locker room after the game and he was seen getting treatment on it in the locker room on Monday. Phillips does not expect him to practice on Wednesday or Thursday however team officials hope that he can take the field on Friday on play next weekend against the Eagles. The Cowboys will clinch a playoff spot with a win in their final regular season game so the medical staff will do everything they can to get him ready to play. The fact that Phillips isn’t optimistic about Witten’s chances of being active for the game this early in the week isn’t a good sign. We’ll keep you posted on his recovery.

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