FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Early Injury Report - Week 17
Philip Gentles
December 29, 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 Practice & Injury 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.

RUNNING BACKS

Earnest Graham, TB - Torn Toe Ligament

Bucs’ RB Earnest Graham has been placed on injured reserve and he will miss the team’s final game of the season after tearing a ligament in his big toe during Sunday’s game. Graham, who was hurt in the first quarter, was seen limping in the locker room after the game and an MRI on Monday confirmed that there was a torn ligament. He was used primarily as a blocking back and as a result he was fantasy non-factor this season carrying the ball just 14 times.

Shonn Greene, RB, NYJ - Bruised Shoulder

Jets’ rookie RB Shonn Greene, who hurt his shoulder in the fourth quarter on Sunday, has reportedly been diagnosed with a bruise and head coach Rex Ryan indicated that Greene would be fine. Green injured his shoulder on a carry late in the game and missed several plays but he was able to return. He was sore after the game and he could miss some practice time this week while he recovers but the injury is not serious and team officials expect him to play in Week 17.

Steven Jackson, RB, STL - Herniated Disk

Rams’ RB Steven Jackson, who was inactive for Week 16 because of complications related to the herniated disc in his lower back, told reporters on Monday that he plans on playing in the team’s final game of the season. Jackson has been dealing with pain and stiffness in his back for a number of weeks and he has still found a way to play and be productive, but he reportedly experienced a new set of problems last week associated with his back injury and he was deactivated on Sunday as a precaution. Jackson has said that his injury will not require surgery and that playing won’t aggravate the issue. The exact nature of these “new problems” have not been made public, but obviously those problems would have to be eliminated or controlled for him to be cleared. We’ll keep you posted.

Brandon Jacobs, NYG - Damaged Knee Cartilage

Giants’ RB Brandon Jacobs continues to have problems with his knee and his status for Week 17 is currently unknown. Jacobs, who was limited to just 1 yard on six carries, said in an interview after the game that his knee became stiff and began bothering him as he stood on the sideline watching the offense run plays from the shotgun formation. When he was on the field his knee prevented him from being effective and he eventually pulled himself from the game. Head coach Tom Coughlin told reporters on Monday that Jacobs’ knee was sore and swollen after the game and that confirmed that it was the same knee that had been giving him problems all season. Team officials have not disclosed the nature of his problem, but it is believed that he is dealing with torn knee cartilage. He’ll likely miss some practice time this week and his status for Week 17 won’t be determined until the weekend.

Julius Jones, RB, SEA - Bruised Ribs, Sprained Ankle

Seahawks’ RB Julius Jones aggravated his rib and ankle injuries during Sunday’s game and his status for Week 17 is considered questionable. Jones split carries with Justin Forsett against the Packers but it still didn’t prevent him from re injuring his bruised ribs and sprained ankle. Neither injury knocked him out of the game but he was reportedly seen getting treatment for both in the locker room afterwards. Team officials have already indicated that Jones will miss practice time this week, but it is still too early to tell if he will be healthy enough to play in the team’s regular season finale. Forsett would start and get a majority of the carries if Jones is inactive.

Pierre Thomas, NO - Bruised Ribs

X-rays on RB Pierre Thomas injured ribs have come back negative, however his status for Week 17 remains questionable. Thomas was hurt and forced out of the game when he was hit hard in the second quarter. He briefly returned to the field but he remained on the sideline during the third and fourth quarters. According to reports Thomas has been diagnosed with bruised ribs and as expected he was feeling sore on Monday. With the Vikings loss to the Bears on Monday night the Saints have clinched the number one seed so don’t be surprised if Thomas is inactive for Week 17 even if he is healthy enough to play. 

Ricky Williams, MIA - Undisclosed Shoulder Injury

Dolphins’ RB Ricky Williams suffered an undisclosed shoulder injury during Sunday’s game against the Texans and his status for Week 17 is unknown. Williams was injured on a 1-yard carry in the third quarter and he appeared to be in pain while on the sideline. He remained out until late in the fourth quarter when he came in and made a short reception. He appeared to aggravate the injury on the play and he did not return to the game. The exact nature and severity of the injury has not been made public, however Williams told a reporter after the game that he expects to be OK. We won’t know more about his status until later in the week.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Miles Austin, DAL - Sprained Thumb

Cowboys’ WR Miles Austin played the entire second half with a sprained left thumb but it didn’t appear to bother him and he should be fine for the team’s Week 17 game against the Eagles. Austin reportedly injured his thumb at the end of the first half and he was taped at halftime and he was back on the field for the start of the third quarter. According to reports X-rays on his thumb came back negative although it isn’t clear if the X-rays were done at halftime or after the game. He might be limited in practice this week but it looks like he will be ready for the team’s regular season finale. 

Donnie Avery, STL - Quadriceps Strain

Rams’ WR Donnie Avery is dealing with yet another injury. This time it is to his quadriceps and according to reports an MRI on his injured thigh revealed a minor strain. Avery, who was limited to just 2 catches and 24 yards on Sunday, was hurt during the game against the Cardinals and he was seen with an ice bag on his thigh in the locker room. It appears that Avery is not seriously hurt and he will likely be active in Week 17. However he’s been a major disappointment this season and the only thing he has shown us this year is that he is the league’s least durable wide receiver. Keep him out of your lineups.

Torry Holt, JAC - Undisclosed Finger Injury

Jaguars’ WR Torry Holt left Sunday’s game and did not return after jamming his finger in the third quarter, however head coach Jack Del Rio believes there is a chance that he could play in the team’s final regular season game. X-rays were done in the locker room after Holt was hurt and he was seen with his hand wrapped and his finger secured to a splint after the game. But it isn’t clear what the injury is and Del Rio did not reveal the nature or severity of the problem during his Monday press conference, Keep an eye on the team’s practice reports and check with The Huddle throughout the week for updates on his status.

Steve Smith, CAR - Fractured Radius

Panthers’ WR Steve Smith will not play in the team’s Week 17 game after X-rays on his injured left forearm confirmed that he broke a bone. Smith was hurt when he was hit hard at the end of his 27-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter. He immediately grabbed his wrist and he was quickly carted to the locker room where X-rays revealed a fractured radius. Smith was scheduled to undergo surgery to repair the damage on Monday and if all goes well he should be 100% in time for the team’s off-season conditioning program.

Hines Ward, PIT - Strained Hamstring

According to reports Steelers’ WR Hines Ward aggravated his hamstring on Sunday against the Ravens but he told reporters that he will do his best to play in Week 17. Ward said his hamstring began bothering him during the fourth quarter and he pulled himself out because he didn’t want to seriously damage the muscle. He went on to say that he planned on returning to game had his team really needed him. Head coach Mike Tomlin said that Ward was “beat up” on Monday and that the medical staff will work hard to get him ready for their final regular season game against the Dolphins. We’ll keep you posted on his recovery.

TIGHT ENDS

Tony Gonzalez, ATL - Strained Calf

Falcons’ TE Tony Gonzalez limped off the field after pulling his right calf in the first half of Sunday’s game and his status for Week 17 is questionable. Gonzalez was taken to the locker room prior to halftime where he was examined and treated. Unfortunately he was unable to return and he watched the game from the sideline in the second half. The severity of the strain has not been made public, however he was seen moving with a slight limp on Monday and he was reportedly feeling sore and stiff. He’ll likely be limited in practice this week and he could end up being a game-time decision.

Marcedes Lewis, JAC - Fractured Face Bone and Concussion

Jaguars’ TE Marcedes Lewis, who was knocked out of Sunday’s game after breaking as bone in his face and suffering a concussion, complained of a headache on Monday morning and head coach Jack Del Rio said that he would probably miss the team‘s Week 17 game. Lewis, who was hurt after taking a shot to the head in the first quarter, underwent testing on Monday and he is scheduled to meet with specialists and undergo additional testing on Tuesday. He will not practice with the team this week and he’ll likely be inactive for the team’s final regular season game.

INDIVIDUAL DEFENSIVE PLAYERS

Channing Crowder, LB, MIA - Severe Midfoot Injury

Dolphins’ LB Channing Crowder, who was hurt in the first quarter of Sunday’s game, will miss Week 17 and the playoffs (if Miami makes it that far) after suffering what the team is calling a severe midfoot injury. According to reports an MRI was done on Crowder’s right foot and while the results have not been made public there are a number of unconfirmed reports that say he tore his Lisfranc ligament. Surgery appears to be an option but Crowder is reportedly seeking additional medical opinions.

Brian Cushing, LB, HOU - Fractured Pinky

Texans’ rookie LB Brian Cushing, who is already dealing with a lingering foot injury and a rib injury, reportedly fractured the pinky finger on his left hand during Sunday’s game against the Dolphins. Cushing was hurt as he stiff-armed a Dolphin player as he returned an interception in the first half. X-rays in the locker room confirmed that his finger was broken, however his finger was taped and he was back on the field for the start of the second half. Head coach Gary Kubiak indicated that Cushing would likely miss practice this week (like he has done for much of the season) to rest his various ailments but he still expects him to play in Week 17 against the Patriots.

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