Ken Dorsey, CLE – Mild Concussion and Bruised Ribs
Browns’ QB Ken Dorsey has been ruled out of the team’s final game of the season because of a concussion and bruised ribs and he has been placed on Injured Reserve so that another player can be signed and activated for Week 17. QB Bruce Gradkowski will be in the starting lineup on Sunday and WR Josh Cribbs will reportedly get a lot of playing as the QB in what the team calls “Flash” formations.
Matt Hasselbeck, SEA – Bulging Lumbar Disc
As expected, Seahawks’ QB Matt Hasselbeck will not play in the team’s Week 17 game against the Cardinals. Hasselbeck has missed the last three games because of complications associated with a bulging disc in his lower back. Head coach Mike Holmgren told reporters that Hasselbeck has shown signs of improvements the last couple of weeks but the medical staff didn’t want him to play unless he was 100%. Clearly he isn’t and as a result he will be on the sideline for the final game of the year. Seneca Wallace will once again get the start in his place.
Carson Palmer, CIN – Torn Elbow Ligament and Tendon
Bengals’ QB Carson Palmer will be inactive for the team’s final regular season game. However Palmer is now telling reporters that his elbow has improved so much that he thinks he won’t need Tommy John surgery to repair the damage. According to reports Palmer has practiced on a limited basis earlier in the week and head coach Marvin Lewis indicated that his reps and involvement in drills will probably increase in practice today. There are reports that the damaged ligament and tendon in his elbow have actually detached from the bone. If this is true then he has no choice but to undergo reconstructive surgery. We’ll know more about his long-term status at some point during the off-season.
Tony Romo, DAL – Flu
Cowboys’ QB Tony Romo missed practice on Wednesday because he was suffering from flu-like symptoms. But the good news is that he was feeling a lot on Thursday and after taking part in a full practice without a problem he should fine for the team’s Week 17 game against the Eagles. Head coach Wade Phillips told reporters that Romo looked good in practice on Thursday and Romo said that he feels “like 100 dollars.” There’s nothing to worry about here guys.
Marion Barber, DAL – Fractured Toe / Strained Calf
Cowboys’ RB Marion Barber, who has been slowed the last month because of a fractured toe and strained calf, has been limited in practice this week and according to reports he will be a game-time decision. Barber split reps with Tashard Choice on Thursday and head coach Wade Phillips indicated that even if Barber is active he will share carries with Choice on Sunday. At this point the team isn’t sure if he will be able to play, so check back on Sunday for an update.
Steven Jackson, RB, STL – Quadriceps and Hamstring Soreness
Rams’ RB Steven Jackson aggravated his lingering quad problem and pulled his hamstring in last week’s game. However head coach Jim Haslett is confident that Jackson will be healthy enough to start this weekend. Jackson has been limited in practice this week and he’ll likely be held out of certain drills in today’s practice as a precaution. But team officials not only expect him to start against the Falcons they believe that he will have over 25 carries again.
Brandon Jacobs, NYG – Bi-lateral Knee Sprains
According to reports Giants’ RB Brandon Jacobs is still recovering from sprains in both knees and with the Giants already locked in to the number 1 seed in the NFC he’ll only get a handful of carries against the Vikings, if he plays at all. Jacobs has been limited in practice this week and he will likely be limited again in practice today. Head coach Tom Coughlin told reporters that he would do what is in the best interest of the team in regards to active status and playing time on Sunday. He hasn’t specifically spoken about Jacobs, but common sense tells us that since he isn’t 100% Coughlin and the medical staff will give him as mush rest as possible. At this point he is a game-time decision, but even if he is active he won’t get a lot of playing time.
Maurice Jones-Drew, JAX – Knee Contusion
Jaguars’ RB Maurice Jones-Drew has missed practice this week because of a knee contusion and although the team claims that the injury is minor his status for Week 17 remains questionable. Jones-Drew recently spoke with reporters and he said that he was feeling fine. Head coach Jack Del Rio did not say if MJD would try and practice today, but he still expects him to play against the Colts. If he doesn’t practice today then there is a chance that he could miss the team’s final regular season game. So check back with The Huddle on Sunday for an update.
Marshawn Lynch, BUF – Shoulder Soreness
Bills’ RB Marshawn Lynch, who left last week’s game after aggravating a previous shoulder injury, returned to the practice field on Thursday but his status for Week 17 remains uncertain. Head coach Dick Jauron told reporters that Lynch was feeling better on Thursday, however he said that “there’s no way to really tell” right now if Lynch would be healthy enough to play. We’ll know more about his status after practice today but don’t be surprised if he ends up being a game-time decision. Fred Jackson would get the start ff Lynch is inactive.
Clinton Portis, RB, WAS – Multiple Injuries
The Washington Redskins have nothing to play for this weekend and their starting RB Clinton Portis has seemingly suffered injuries to every part of his body this season and yet head coach Jim Zorn continues to tell reporters that Portis will play in Week 17. Portis has taken part in limited practice this week but according to reports his wrist, calf, shoulder and knee remains sore and he spends a lot of time before and after practice getting treatment. Zorn insists that Portis is healthy enough to play, but even if he is why would the Redskins risk additional injury to their best offensive player? Check back on Sunday for an update on his status, but I’m still expecting the team to do the right thing and keep him out.
Dominic Rhodes, IND – Bruised Ribs
Colts’ head coach Tony Dungy told reporters earlier this week that the injury to RB Dominic Rhodes is not serious. However since the team is already locked into the number 5 seed in the AFC Dungy has decided to keep Rhodes out of their final regular season game. Rhodes, who complained of soreness in his ribs following last week’s game, has not practiced this week and he will likely spend additional time next week resting in preparation for the team’s opening playoff game. Starting RB Joseph Addai will probably be active but Dungy indicated that he wouldn’t play very much. Look for Chad Simpson and Najeh Davenport to get a majority of the carries in Week 17.
Pierre Thomas, NO – Lower Back Stiffness
Saints’ starting RB Pierre Thomas has missed both practices this week because of stiffness and soreness in his lower back and his status for Week 17 remains uncertain. According to reports Thomas complained of lower back pain after last week’s game and he spent all day Wednesday and Thursday getting treatment in the training room. We’ll know more about his status after practice today. There is a good chance that the medical staff was keeping him out of practice the last two days so that his back has as much time to recover as possible. But if he doesn’t take the field today then he would probably end up being a game-time decision.
Bernard Berrian, MIN – Sprained Ankle
Vikings’ WR Bernard Berrian has missed practice this week because of a sprained ankle and although he may still be active for Sunday’s game he definitely won’t be at full speed. Head coach Brad Childress told reporters that Berrian was given time off this week to rest, get treatment and recover. He said that Berrian will attempt to practice today and he believes that Berrian will be active against the Giants. However it looks like Berrian will not be 100% on Sunday and he’ll have difficulty being productive.
Kevin Curtis, PHI – Strained Calf
Eagles’ WR Kevin Curtis was surprisingly inactive for the team’s Week 16 game because of a calf injury that reportedly occurred late in practice last week, but it looks like he is feeling better and according to reports he is getting ready to play in Week 17. Curtis practiced in full on Wednesday and Thursday and head coach Andy Reid has said that Curtis was looking better. If all goes well in practice today he should be active on Sunday against the Cowboys.
Calvin Johnson, WR, DET – Knee Contusion
As expected Lions’ WR Calvin Johnson has been limited in practice this week because of a bruised knee that occurred in last week’s game. But the good news is that the injury is minor, it is showing signs of improvement and team officials expect him to start on Sunday. Johnson has said on a couple of occasions this week that his knee was fine and that it would be a non-issue this weekend. Team officials expect him to do more in practice today and start in Week 17 against the Packers.
Chad “Ocho Cinco” Johnson, CIN – Strained Hamstring
According to reports Bengals’ WR Chad Johnson will likely miss the team’s final regular season game because of a strained hamstring. Johnson, who was inactive for last week’s game, told reporters that he doesn’t want to aggravate the problem in this weekend’s game as it could result in long-term damage. He hasn’t officially been ruled out of Sunday’s game, but after missing practice on Wednesday and Thursday it looks he will not be ready in time to play.
Derrick Mason, WR, BAL – Dislocated Shoulder
Ravens’ WR Derrick Mason aggravated his shoulder problem in last week’s game and his status for Week 17 will come down to the team’s playoff situation. Mason, who seriously damaged his shoulder when he dislocated it several weeks ago, has not practiced this week and he has spent a lot of time in the training room trying to reduce the pain and inflammation. He will probably miss practice again today, but he will be active if the Patriots beat the Bills in an early game. If the Bills upset the Patriots it means that the Ravens, who play at later game, will have already secured a playoff spot and Mason would not have to play. Unfortunately you won’t have the opportunity to adjust the lineup since the Ravens’ play a later game so you’re probably better off keeping him on your fantasy bench.
Jeremy Shockey, NO – Sprained Ankle
Saints’ TE Jeremy Shockey, who left last week’s game with a sprained ankle, has not practiced this week and team officials aren’t sure if he will be able to play on Sunday. Shockey was seen working with the training staff on Thursday and according to reports he was seen jogging with a slight limp. He definitely won’t be 100% in time for Sunday’s game, and at this point the Saints might just decide to keep him out of their regular season finale. Check back on Sunday for an update.
Jason Witten, DAL – Sprained Ankle
According to reports Cowboys’ TE Jason Witten is still having problems with his injured ankle however team officials still expect him to play in their big game this weekend against the Eagles. Witten missed practice on Wednesday and he was reportedly favoring his leg in practice on Thursday. Needless to say he missed nearly all of the team drills. He could take part in more drills today but he won’t be at full speed on Sunday. There is speculation that the Cowboys will deactivate him so that he is healthy for the playoffs. But they first have to make the playoffs and I’m not sure they can do it without him.