FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Early Injury Report - Week 14
Philip Gentles
December 8, 2009
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This early injury report will provide in-depth injury information on key fantasy players that suffered injuries in the previous weekend's games. All player injuries will be tracked during the week via our Mid-Week Injury Tracker Report which is published on Thursdays and updated on Fridays. Be sure you check out our Priority News often during the week as all breaking player news will be posted there.

QUARTERBACKS

Tom Brady, NE - Bruised Finger and Undisclosed Arm/Shoulder Injury

Patriots’ QB Tom Brady played through a couple of injuries on Sunday and they may have affected his fourth quarter performance against the Dolphins. Brady, who reportedly bruised the ring finger on his right (throwing) hand during practice on Friday, had issues with the finger during pre-game warm-ups and it appears he suffered a separate injury to his arm or shoulder after being knocked to the ground after throwing as long TD pass to Randy Moss in the first quarter. Brady left the field in some discomfort and he jogged to the locker room with trainers. He quickly returned to the sideline and he was having some trouble catching the ball while he warmed up passing. But he still re-entered the game on the next offensive series and he appeared to be OK. A close-up on Brady’s injured finger showed that it was swollen and discolored and although he finished the game with solid numbers his injuries might be the reason for his inconsistent and inaccurate play in the fourth quarter. As expected the Patriots have not commented on Brady’s health and it would be surprising if we heard anything specific during the regular season. Brady will likely be limited in practice this week but you should still expect him to play in Week 14.

Jay Cutler, CHI - Bruised Hand

Bears’ QB Jay Cutler suffered what team officials are calling a minor right hand bruise on Sunday against the Rams and it looks like he will be able to play in Week 14 against the Packers. Cutler was injured when he was tackled hard by Rams’ DL Leonard Little in the second quarter and he got up shaking his hand. Cutler stayed in the game but he admitted to reporters on Monday that the injury affected his ability to throw the ball and as a result more running plays were called. He will probably miss some practice time this week while he recovers but head coach Lovie Smith said on Monday that he expected Cutler to start in Week 14.

Matt Schaub, HOU - Dislocated Shoulder

According to reports Texans’ QB Matt Schaub dislocated his left (non-throwing) shoulder during Sunday’s game but head coach Gary Kubiak told reporters on Monday that there is a “good chance” that he will play in Week 14 against the Seahawks. Schaub was injured in the first quarter and he was escorted to the locker room where the dislocation was reduced, given a pain-killer and fitted for a protective harness. He returned to the game in the second quarter and he appeared to be fine. The good news is that he was able to finish the game and it looks like it is an injury he can play through. The bad news is that an MRI revealed that it is the exact same injury to the left shoulder that eventually required surgery back in 2007. As of Monday night it appears that this injury does not need to be immediately repaired so if he can tolerate the pain and discomfort (the medical staff will help with that) he should be able to play in Week 14.

Matthew Stafford, DET - Dislocated Shoulder

Lions’ QB Matthew Stafford, who entered Sunday’s game with injuries to his left (non-throwing) shoulder, aggravated his shoulder problems in the fourth quarter on Sunday and he told reporters afterwards that he wasn’t sure if he will be able to play in Week 14. Stafford left the game late after being hit on an incomplete fourth-down pass and he appeared to be in some pain while on the sideline. He dislocated the joint several weeks ago and according to reports he suffered ligament and muscle damage as a result. Head coach Jim Schwartz said on Monday that he did not believe that any additional damage was done. However he admitted that he wasn’t sure if or when Stafford will be able to practice or play. We’ll keep you posted on his status.

Kurt Warner, ARI - Hip Pointer

Cardinals’ QB Kurt Warner is reportedly going to be fine after he injured his hip during Sunday’s game. Warner suffered a right hip pointer (contusion) after he was hit late in the fourth quarter and he was seen limping in the locker room after the game. As expected there was some initial concern regarding his status for Week 14, however he was feeling a lot better on Monday morning and according to reports he was able to workout in the afternoon. The injury is not related to his off-season left hip surgery and head coach Ken Whisenhunt does not expect it to be a problem moving forward. Baring a setback he should be in the starting lineup against the 49ers this upcoming weekend.

RUNNING BACKS

Jamaal Charles, KC - Chronically Dislocating Shoulder

Chiefs’ RB Jamaal Charles left Sunday’s game after dislocating his shoulder but the injury not considered serious and he was able to return and finish the game. Charles told reporters afterwards that he has a chronically dislocating shoulder that pops in and out all the time. His shoulder had to be reduced by the medical staff and he was fitted for a brace, however he said that he has been dealing with this since high school and he’s found a way to deal with it when it happens. As expected Charles was feeling sore on Monday, however team officials expect to take part in portions of practice this week and start next weekend against the Bills.

Matt Forte, CHI - Sprained Hand

Bears’ RB Matt Forte sprained his left hand during Sunday’s game, however the injury does not appear to be serious and he should be ready to play in Week 14. It isn’t clear when the injury occurred but backup Kahlil Bell was the main ball carrier for several series indicating that the injury to Forte was a bit of a problem for a portion of the game. Forte was able to recover and he carried the ball a lot late in the game so the injury is probably not serious. We’ll keep you posted on his status, however it looks like he we will ready for the game against the Packers.

Rashard Mendenhall, PIT - Sprained Ankle

Steelers’ RB Rashard Mendenhall had a big game on Sunday running for over 100 yards and a touchdown. But according to head coach Mike Tomlin he suffered an ankle injury during the game and he will be limited in practice this week as the team prepares for their next game on Thursday. Mendenhall’s ankle was reportedly sore on Monday and he missed practice while getting treatment. The injury is not considered serious and Tomlin expects him to start against the Browns. An official decision on his availability probably won’t be made until the team sees him in pre-game warm-ups but at this point the team believes he will be fine.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Donnie Avery, STL - Shoulder Subluxation

Rams’ WR Donnie Avery suffered a shoulder subluxation (partial dislocation) during Sunday’s game against the Bears and his status for the team’s next game is questionable. Avery, who missed several plays while being fitted for a brace, was able to return and finish the game but he wasn’t very effective and according to reports he was in a lot of discomfort in the locker room afterwards. He underwent an MRI on Monday and while the results have not been made public the damage is serious enough that Avery will have to wear a brace on his shoulder for the remainder of the year. Avery said he plans on playing through the injury, but he will be limited in practice this week and the team won’t know what his status for Week 14 will be until game day.

Devin Hester, CHI - Strained Calf

Bears’ WR Devin Hester, who left Sunday’s game with a strained calf, did not undergo an MRI on his leg on Monday and according to reports he should be healthy enough to play in Week 14. Hester limped off the field in the third quarter after landing awkwardly on his leg. The medical staff tried working on the injury on the sideline however he could not push off the injured leg and he was eventually declared out for the remainder of the game. Hester told reporters that his calf was “really sore” but head coach Lovie Smith said on Monday that an MRI was not needed and that the medical staff expected him to practice this week and play next Sunday against the Packers.

Antwaan Randle El, WAS - Shoulder Separation

Redskins’ WR Antwaan Randle El left Sunday’s game after suffering what team officials are calling a slight shoulder separation and according to reports additional testing revealed minor damage. Randle El was injured when he came down hard on his shoulder at the end of a 44-yard reception in the second half. Head coach Jim Zorn told reporters on Monday that the medical staff believes that Randle El will be fine and it appears that the team expects him to play in Week 14.

Hines Ward, PIT - Strained Hamstring

Steelers’ head coach Mike Tomlin told reporters on Monday that veteran WR Hines Ward is “very questionable” for Thursday’s game because of a strained hamstring. Ward apparently pulled his hamstring late in fourth quarter on Sunday against the Raiders and according to reports he found it hard to move around in the locker room afterwards. Ward was sore on Monday and he spent a lot of time with the medical staff getting treatment. Tomlin wasn’t prepared to rule him out, but he said that “it’s not favorable” for him to play in Week 14. He won’t practice before Thursday and he’ll likely be a game-time decision if he isn’t deactivated before then.

INDIVIDUAL DEFENSIVE PLAYERS

O.J. Atogwe, DB, STL - Dislocated Shoulder

Rams’ FS O.J. Atogwe, the team’s franchise player, dislocated his shoulder on Sunday and according to reports the damage could end his season. Atogwe, who was hurt while making a tackle on RB Matt Forte at the end of the first half, tore the labrum in his shoulder and will require surgery to repair it. Atogwe wants to continue to play, however he has been advised by the Rams’ medical staff to have the surgery as soon as possible. If he does play he will have to wear a shoulder harness and he won’t be able to raise his arm and hand above shoulder level making it difficult for him to defend against high passes. The Rams will not be making the playoffs so there is no reason for him to postpone the surgical procedure.

William Gay, DB, PIT - Concussion

Steelers’ CB William Gay is doubtful for Thursday’s Week 14 game against the Browns after leaving Sunday’s game with a concussion. Head coach Mike Tomlin wasn’t prepared to rule him out but he told reporters on Monday that the medical staff will monitor his recovery this week and he indicated that the team will prepare to play without him. As expected Gay had a headache on Monday morning and the coaching staff does not expect him to practice this week. He’ll likely be a game-time decision, but don’t expect him to be active. Rookie Joe Burnett would get the start if Gay is inactive.

Albert Haynesworth, DL, WAS - Sprained Ankle

Redskins’ DT Albert Haynesworth was pulled from Sunday’s game after complaining of soreness in his sprained left ankle. Haynesworth missed the team’s previous two games because of an injured ankle and he was cleared to play in Sunday’s game. Unfortunately he aggravated the injury and it forced him out of the game. According to reports his ankle was swollen afterwards and his status for Week 14 is considered questionable. We’ll keep you posted.

E.J. Henderson, LB, MIN - Fractured Femur

Vikings’ MLB E.J. Henderson will miss the remainder of the season after severely fracturing his leg during Sunday’s game against the Cardinals. Henderson was injured in the fourth quarter when he collided with a teammate while trying to chase down and tackle RB Tim Hightower. Henderson was flipped in the air after the collision and his he fell is was obvious that something was wrong with his leg. He immediately grabbed his thigh and he stayed on the ground for several minutes until his leg was immobilized. He was eventually carted off the field and transported to a local hospital where he underwent surgery to repair the damage. He remained in the intensive care unit overnight and although the surgery reportedly went well team officials say it’s too early to tell if he will be able to resume his football career.

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