Reggie BushAP Photo/Duane BurlesonReggie Bush has struggled with an ankle injury most of the season.
Happy Thanksgiving! There are three games on the docket spread throughout the day and evening: The Chicago Bears visit the Detroit Lions to kick things off. The Dallas Cowboys play host to the Philadelphia Eagles to follow. The final game of the evening belongs to the NFC West as the Seattle Seahawks visit the San Francisco 49ers. For many fantasy owners on the bubble, this is the week that can make or break a playoff opportunity. Injuries are always a concern, as is remembering to set your lineup in advance of the three Thursday games this week. Here are the injury outlooks for key fantasy players heading into the Thanksgiving Day matchups.

Chicago Bears-Detroit Lions

Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears, WR, ankle (P): Marshall has been dealing with an ankle injury for several weeks now and it hasn't kept him from playing. The Bears might have their share of challenges, but being without Marshall won't be one of them this week. After participating in limited practices earlier this week, he comes in listed as probable and will play.

Reggie Bush, Detroit Lions, RB, ankle, (Q): The only real consistency when it comes to talking about Bush's ankle is that it has caused him to appear on the injury report since Week 5. Although he returned to play in two games since suffering the original injury, he has struggled in those outings, especially late.

A desire to return to play at an improved level might be the reason his absence has been more protracted since he last aggravated the ankle in Week 10. After limited practice sessions throughout the week, the expectation is that Bush will return to the field, but until he can get through an entire game without a setback, he remains a risky play.

Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions, WR, ankle, (P): Johnson also had an ankle injury that hampered his performance in the early stages of the season until he gave it the necessary recovery time. He returned with a bang in Week 10, and while his numbers haven't been consistent since then, there are more factors in play than just his health. Listed at probable, Johnson is expected to play.

Philadelphia Eagles-Dallas Cowboys

Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia Eagles, WR, knee, (P): Matthews was on the injury report last week with the knee issue and played through it, remaining productive in terms of receptions and yardage despite not seeing the end zone for the first time in a month. After practicing fully each day in this short week, Matthews, at probable, is expected to play.

Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys, QB, back, (P): It’s almost hard to remember the images of the stiff and sore Romo after he suffered two transverse process fractures in his back, which was just over a month ago. Since that time he has played some very solid football, made that much more impressive knowing his bones were still healing. In fact, the fractures still are in the process of healing, but the pain diminishes with each passing week. If Romo could be effective just two weeks after the injury, he should theoretically only improve in that regard. And he has, performing at a top level in the two outings since his return from injury. He maintains his usual routine of taking one day off to rest, then returns to practice. Listed as probable, Romo is fully expected to play.

Terrance Williams, Dallas Cowboys, WR, finger, (P): Williams has been one of Romo’s key targets, making some amazing receptions that call to mind the talents of his teammate, Dez Bryant. The question this week is whether Williams’ ability to make those types of catches will be hindered at all by the broken fingertip he suffered last week. The good news is that the small fracture of his left index finger was not an injury that required surgery, and he was able to practice both Tuesday (limited) and Wednesday (full). Don’t expect Williams to let the finger be an excuse of any type, even if it’s uncomfortable. He will be on the field Thursday.

Seattle Seahawks-San Francisco 49ers

Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks, RB, back, (P): Lynch’s back has had him on the injury report intermittently throughout the season. Last week, he was listed as questionable after a flare-up in the previous week's game but still managed to play. There is little doubt that Lynch will take the field in this critical divisional matchup. The larger question is whether the back will be a factor as he faces a tough run defense in San Francisco. Not that Lynch will be vocal about it; he'll show up for work as he always does, and, if history repeats itself, he'll have success against the Niners.

Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers, RB, knee, (P): Gore has had some struggles, including uncharacteristic fumbles in back-to-back weeks, but he is not one to miss time. He appears on the injury report again this week with a knee ailment, but he was a full participant in Tuesday and Wednesday practices after being limited Monday. At probable, he is fully expected to play.

Brandon Lloyd, San Francisco 49ers, WR, quadriceps, (P): Lloyd has played through the injury once and should do so again this week. More limiting for fantasy owners, however, are the few targets he sees. Expect him to play, but don't count on significant productivity.

Video: Reggie Bush's status

November, 25, 2014
Nov 25
4:54
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videoStephania Bell discusses Reggie Bush's status for Thursday's game.

Key fantasy injuries for Week 12

November, 22, 2014
Nov 22
5:07
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Arian FosterThomas B. Shea/Getty ImagesAlthough RB Arian Foster didn't practice on Thursday, coach Bill O'Brien said there was no setback.
Welcome to Week 12! This marks the final bye week, and only two teams are off, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Carolina Panthers. As always, there will be game-time decisions, but the final injury reports give some guidance as to who’s in and who’s out, and a number of key players have already been ruled out. Additionally, because of the massive snowstorm in Buffalo, the Buffalo Bills-New York Jets game has been postponed and relocated. Originally scheduled for a 1 p.m. ET Sunday kickoff, the divisional matchup will instead take place Monday at 7 p.m. ET at Ford Field in Detroit.

As a reminder, each week in the Saturday blog, we run down a list of key fantasy players, by position, who appear in the Friday injury report along with the injured body part as listed on the report, player status and any relevant developments or insight. The primary fantasy positions are covered (quarterback, running back, wide receiver and tight end). At the end, key fantasy players listed Friday as "Out" for that week's games will appear as a group. Teams playing on Monday night do not have to issue their designations until Saturday. The explanation for each designation is as follows.

Out: This is the easy one; the guy is definitely not playing Sunday. As painful as it might be to see this designation next to a player on your fantasy roster, at least you know in advance of the game that he's sitting out, and you can plan accordingly.

Probable (P): This designation indicates that a player has a greater than 50 percent chance of playing. Most players listed here are expected to play, barring a setback between the final injury report and kickoff.

Questionable (Q): This is the fantasy owner's most dreaded player designation, yet it manages to be the one most frequently used by teams (often to keep everyone guessing). It means a player's status is on the fence; there is a 50-50 chance that he'll be on the field come game time, although as many fantasy owners have come to learn, many teams use the questionable designation for any player with a hint of injury. Whether a player ends up active or inactive often is a game-time decision based on how he performs during warm-ups. It is important for fantasy owners to check status reports leading up to the game.

Doubtful (D): The doubtful designation means a player has theoretically less than a 25 percent chance of playing that week. Rarely does a player labeled as doubtful end up playing, unless he experiences a major turnaround before game time. Fantasy owners who need to make roster adjustments beforehand can feel fairly confident about sitting a player listed as doubtful.

Good luck in Week 11, everyone! May your players stay healthy and win for you.

Quarterbacks

Ryan Mallett, Houston Texans, chest (P): Mallett appears on the injury report, but it’s not a threat to his status. After full practices every day this week, he is on track to start at home against the Bengals.

Tom Brady, New England Patriots, ankle (P): Brady likely will remain on the injury report throughout the season. He’ll also continue to show up and do what he does on Sundays. He'll start against the Lions at Gillette Stadium.

Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys, back (P): It seems like ages ago when Romo sustained two transverse process fractures in his spine, but it’s actually been less than four weeks since the injury. Fractures take more than a month to heal and there’s undoubtedly still some discomfort, so it’s no surprise he’s still on the injury report, taking Wednesdays off as a matter of routine. Of course he’ll still play, too.

Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins, left shoulder (P): Tannehill has been a bit beat-up of late, but this injury to his nonthrowing shoulder won't sideline him. His limited practices daily are a means of preserving his health for Sunday, and this will be a big one against the Denver Broncos at Mile High Stadium.

Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers, chest (P): After his teammate Antonio Gates referenced a severe rib injury for his quarterback, the team was forced to address it. While coach Mike McCoy denied that Rivers had an injury, Rivers’ name does now appear on the injury report. For his part, Rivers indicated he was no worse off physically than any of his teammates at this point in the season. He’s not missing any practice sessions or, as of now, any games.

Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars, left wrist (P): The injury to Bortles’ nonthrowing wrist hasn’t presented any issue that would keep him off the field. Expect him to get another start Sunday, this time against the Colts.

Running backs

Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans, groin (Q): If there was ever a player who brought equal parts joy and frustration to fantasy owners, Foster is it. When he’s healthy, he is as much of a sure thing as there is in the NFL, an uncontested feature back who can single-handedly carry an NFL run game and the fantasy points that go with it. When he’s injured -- a loosely defined term that might be phrased better as "not fully healthy" -- the uncertainty of whether he will suit up on any given Sunday is the opposite of a sure thing. The latter appears to be what fantasy owners are dealing with this week. Foster was close enough to playing late last week for coach Bill O’Brien to refer to him as a game-time decision. The plan was to work him out pregame, then determine his ultimate playing status. Except Foster didn’t make the trip to Cleveland. Apparently Foster indicated he wasn’t quite ready to play, so there was no need to take the decision all the way out of state and to pregame warm-ups. Certainly another week would allow him to be ready for game action, though, right?

Wrong. Foster returned to a limited-practice status Wednesday, and it appeared things were in order for a Sunday return, until Foster did not practice Thursday. A setback, perhaps? Not according to O’Brien. Maybe it was just a day of rest for the back who has rushed for over 100 yards in six of the eight games he has played this season. After all, this was the first practice for Foster in a while, and O’Brien did say he was day-to-day.

But when Foster failed to practice Friday, the signs started pointing in the negative direction for his Sunday availability. Yet again O’Brien is referring to him as a game-time decision, and he is again listed as questionable, although he is anything BUT a sure thing for Week 12. Fantasy owners won’t get the decision a day early this week because the Texans host the Bengals at home, but they should consider themselves sufficiently warned that they should have a backup -- just like the Texans have Alfred Blue -- at the ready.

Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals, hip (P): After being away from practice since he injured his hip in Week 8, Bernard returned this week, much to the delight of his coaches, teammates and fantasy owners. He worked his way up to full activity gradually, doing more each day and allowing everyone to breathe a sigh of relief that he was able to participate on three consecutive days.

It’s worth noting that Bernard is not yet 100 percent healthy. His hip has been problematic, and he has been dealing with a shoulder/clavicle injury at the same time. Bernard was not shy about telling ESPN.com’s Coley Harvey why the injuries kept him sidelined. "The reason I was sitting out is because I felt like crap," Bernard said of the hip and clavicle issues that sidelined him, both the result of hard hits. "I'm just recovering from some of those hits.” Although Bernard is clearly in line to play after being listed as probable and is expected to be named the starter, there will be plenty of work for Jeremy Hill, who has proved his abilities during Bernard’s absence. Given that the team has been cautious with Bernard’s return to practice, it only makes sense that the team will be equally cautious with his return to the field, watching to see how his body responds not only to the speed of the game but also to big hits similar to the ones that sidelined him in the first place.

The Bengals could soon have a problem they would welcome, also known as a fantasy nightmare, where they have to sort out the workload between two capable, versatile backs. For now, they will just be happy to get both through a game healthy.

Reggie Bush, ankle (Q) and Joique Bell, ankle (P), Detroit Lions: Bush sat out last week’s game thanks to lingering issues with his sprained ankle but confidently told reporters earlier this week that he planned to play Sunday against the Patriots. The questionable tag next to his name inspires anything but confidence, however. Bush was on the practice field every day, participating on a limited basis, but it appears that wasn’t enough to assure the likelihood of him playing at greater than 50 percent. If Bush does play, he’ll likely play behind teammate Bell, who, despite being listed on the injury report because of an ankle ailment, practiced Thursday (limited) and Friday (full). At probable, there is every expectation Bell will lead the running back pack this weekend.

Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks, back (P): Lynch keeps on plugging away regardless of where his injuries are and how much they may be bothering him. A calf ailment had him on the injury report the past two weeks (he even entered last week’s contest listed as "questionable"), yet he rushed for 140 and 124 yards, respectively. After he missed practice Wednesday and Thursday this week, there was some concern about Lynch’s health. But he returned Friday to a full practice, and coach Pete Carroll declared him ready to play. He's back to his standard listing as probable, and there is no reason to doubt his availability.

Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins, shoulder/knee (Q): Miller has played the past two games since suffering an AC sprain in his left shoulder in Week 9, so the expectation would be that he should take the field again Sunday. But Miller had a new injury next to his name this week (knee) and was listed as a limited participant late in the week. The second injury and the questionable tag are enough to make fantasy owners nervous about his status, especially given that this is a late game against the Broncos. Miller is an important factor in the Dolphins’ offense, and based on his history of playing even at less than 100 percent, it appears he will play. The Miami Herald also cites a source confirming Miller will play. Fantasy owners are advised to have a backup plan, but it does appear that Miller will be active.

Trent Richardson, Indianapolis Colts, illness (P): With Ahmad Bradshaw now on injured reserve with a fractured fibula, the Colts need Richardson and teammate Dan Herron to step up. Richardson missed practice Wednesday because of illness but returned to full participation Thursday and Friday. At probable, he is expected to play.

Andre Ellington, Arizona Cardinals, hip/foot (P): Ellington remains on the injury report because of both his hip and his foot, but he also remains probable, as in, he will play. He faces a tough matchup against the division-rival Seahawks, but after a full practice Friday, Ellington is indeed expected to be on the field.

Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota Vikings, back (P): Offensive coordinator Norv Turner made it clear this week when the Vikings signed Ben Tate that McKinnon remained No. 1 back. With Asiata sidelined with a concussion, the door is open for McKinnon ... but his health could be a factor. The probable tag indicates the Vikings fully expect McKinnon to play, just as he did last week after his back strain surfaced, but his production last week was limited. It appears McKinnon will be first in line on Sunday, but Tate could see some opportunities alongside him.

Steven Jackson, Atlanta Falcons, illness (P): The illness that forced a few Falcons from practice this week kept Jackson away on Thursday. He returned to a full practice Friday and is expected to play Sunday against the Browns.

Doug Martin, ankle and Charles Sims, ankle, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Q): Martin returned to limited practice last week after missing time since injuring his ankle in Week 8. This week he continued his limited practices daily, and it appears he has a chance to be active. One factor may be the status of Sims, who cropped up on the injury report Thursday because of his ankle. After Sims was limited for two days and is now listed as questionable, his status is of concern, especially considering he only emerged from the IR/designated-for-return list in Week 10. The IR designation followed ankle surgery in August, so this development raises eyebrows. It could also simply represent some scaling back of practice time in an effort to ensure Sims doesn’t overdo it on the ankle too soon. With Bobby Rainey still in the mix, the division of the workload if all three backs are healthy is still unclear, although it appears Sims is the favorite to touch the ball most frequently.

Juwan Thompson, Denver Broncos, knee (P): Thompson has been on the injury report, but there are far bigger injury concerns in the backfield, notably those of Ronnie Hillman and Montee Ball. C.J. Anderson remains the starter, and Thompson, at probable, is expected to be available as well.

Fred Jackson, Buffalo Bills, groin (Q): Jackson is improving from his groin injury but missed Week 11, largely because the game was played on a Thursday night just four days after his return from injury. With a short recovery time so soon after he played in his first game in three weeks, the wise decision was to rest him. After a snowstorm in Buffalo prevented the team from practicing until Friday, Jackson got some extra rest and said he “felt good” after Friday’s workout in Detroit. With an extra day until kickoff, Jackson gets the benefit of 15 days between games played. Expect him to take the field, at Ford Field, as the Bills face the Jets in Detroit on Monday night.

Chris Ivory, shoulder and Chris Johnson, knee, Jets (P): Both backs practiced fully each day this week coming off a bye in Week 11. Although the game with the Bills will be delayed until Monday night, there is little doubt that both Ivory and Johnson will be available Monday night.

Mark Ingram, shoulder, Pierre Thomas, rib/shoulder, Travaris Cadet, hamstring, New Orleans Saints (P): It appears the Saints will have three of their four running backs available Monday night to face the Ravens. Khiry Robinson is the only injured back who has already been ruled out. Ingram has been carrying the load and has been a full participant in practice throughout the week despite the shoulder ailment. He is likely to retain that role based on his performance thus far, although depending what happens with Robinson down the road, things could shift. For now it would appear that Ingram’s rushing responsibilities will not change much. Cadet had a hamstring injury, which resulted in a day off Thursday, but he was upgraded to limited practice Friday and Saturday. Thomas, out since Week 7 with a shoulder injury, was back in limited practices this week. The probable tag suggests the Saints are confident enough in what Cadet and Thomas have shown to plan on their availability this week. Thomas presumably regains some of the screen-passing looks Cadet absorbed while he was injured, thus devaluing Cadet’s role somewhat, as long as Thomas can stay on the field.

Wide receivers

Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals, knee, (Q): Fitzgerald suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament (MCL) of his left knee, reportedly of moderate severity (Grade 2). It’s difficult to imagine a wide receiver being able to take the field just one week later, but this is not just any wide receiver. Fitzgerald has not missed a game in six consecutive seasons, including 2012 when he played through an MCL sprain of his right knee despite struggling to be effective initially. In fact, he returned to play this past Sunday after sustaining the injury, even making a key catch late in the game to help seal the Cardinals’ ninth victory. The aftereffects, however, likely have him stiff and sore this week, and he has not practiced. That alone would not be enough to sideline him, particularly in a key matchup against a tough divisional opponent. But Fitzgerald and the team have to be confident enough in his ability to function -- even if to simply draw coverage -- without risking further injury that could compromise his health deeper into the season (and postseason), to allow him to play. That decision is not likely to come until just before game time, which has a late start (4:25 p.m. ET) in Seattle. If Fitzgerald does play, he cannot be expected to be at full strength.

Calvin Johnson, ankle and Golden Tate, hip, Detroit Lions, (P): Johnson has had two weeks with no reported setbacks of his ankle, which is good news for fans and fantasy owners. He continues to get a midweek day of rest and limited work Thursday and Friday but is fully expected to play Sunday against the Patriots. His fellow wide receiver Tate appeared on the injury report Friday with a hip ailment, worth noting because of how late in the week it surfaced. Tate was limited in Friday’s practice, but the probable tag suggests there is no reason to doubt his status for Sunday.

Brandon Marshall, ankle and Alshon Jeffery, hamstring, Chicago Bears, (P): Marshall got the day off Wednesday, then returned to limited practice Thursday and Friday. Jeffery appeared on the injury report Wednesday, when he did not practice, but was upgraded to limited Thursday and a full practice Friday. The Bears are clearly confident -- as indicated by labeling both their receivers probable -- in their availability for Sunday.

Emmanuel Sanders, Denver Broncos, concussion, (P): Perhaps one of the bigger surprises headed into Sunday is the outlook for Sanders’ availability. He suffered a concussion after absorbing a big hit in the second half of Sunday’s game and immediately entered into the team protocol. Sanders returned to some light conditioning Thursday, then a full practice Friday. His case is a reminder that some of the bigger hits don’t necessarily result in the most profound or the most protracted signs and symptoms. As ESPN.com’s Jeff Legwold reported, Sanders said he felt good “five minutes after the hit was over.” Of course there is more to recovery than feeling good, hence the protocol, which involves neurocognitive testing and a graded return to activity. Still, the overriding positive is that Sanders passed all the required tests, signaling his recovery. Sanders says he expects to face the Dolphins on Sunday.

Julio Jones, illness, and Harry Douglas, foot, Atlanta Falcons, (P): The Falcons need all hands on deck as they attempt to improve their subpar record. Douglas has been dealing with a foot injury for the greater part of the season, but he has played the past two weeks without incident. Jones was ill early in the week but was able to return to a full practice Friday. Both receivers are expected to be available.

Julian Edelman, New England Patriots, thigh, (P): Edelman’s body absorbed some punishment in Week 11, but he played through the bruising, although he was on the field for fewer total snaps than usual. Nonetheless he was held to limited practices throughout the week to aid in his recovery before facing the Lions. The probable tag suggests the Patriots plan on having him on the field Sunday, although it remains to be seen whether the thigh issue will hamper his usage in any way.

Mike Wallace, Miami Dolphins, calf, (P): Wallace appeared on the injury report with a calf issue but participated in practice each day, albeit on a limited basis. The Dolphins expect to have him available Sunday in Denver.

Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia Eagles, knee, (P): Although he appears on the injury report, Matthews did not miss a practice. In fact, he wasn’t even limited in any way. He will be an available target for Mark Sanchez on Sunday against the Titans.

Justin Hunter, Tennessee Titans, knee, (Q): Hunter doesn’t appear to be in great danger of missing this one despite the questionable tag. He was limited Wednesday but completed full practices both Thursday and Friday, suggesting he should be able to play. Still, given the designation, fantasy owners should check pregame inactives, and fortunately, this is an early game.

Greg Jennings, Minnesota Vikings, rib, (Q): Jennings has a rib injury that forced a brief exit from Sunday’s game. He was held out of practice both Wednesday and Thursday but was able to return to full work on Friday. Barring a setback after his Friday practice, Jennings appears likely to suit up.

Sammy Watkins, Buffalo Bills, groin, (P): Watkins is another Bills player who may have benefited from no practice early in the week because of the snowstorm. He was a full participant Friday in Detroit, where the team will play the Jets on Monday night. He is fully expected to play.

Tight ends

Julius Thomas, Denver Broncos, ankle, (Q): Thomas injured his ankle in this past Sunday’s game, and while it does not appear to be as serious as initially thought, his status for Sunday remains very much in question. Although he dressed for practice for the first time on Friday, Thomas did very little other than light stretching -- so little, in fact, that he continued to be listed as a nonparticipant. Coach John Fox explained his status to reporters afterward. “We could have said limited, but it was probably closer to did not participate," Fox said. “But he still is questionable." In other words, the Broncos are retaining some hope that Thomas will be able to go when the game tips off at 4:25 p.m. ET. Fantasy owners should not count on his availability given the murky status and the late game situation.

Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings, abdomen, groin, (P): Rudolph returned to the field last week but was clearly held to a controlled amount of activity. Perhaps the team was just being cautious after Rudolph’s return from abdominal surgery. This week he has been a full participant in practice each day and would appear on track to see some additional work.

Charles Clay, Miami Dolphins, knee, (D): Clay’s appearance on the injury report has been so routine that this downturn could easily be overlooked, but it shouldn’t be. After a limited practice Wednesday, Clay did not return for the remainder of the week, and the outlook for him has not been positive. The team is indicating as much by labeling him doubtful for the game against the Broncos, and he appears likely to sit this one out.

Jared Cook, St. Louis Rams, back, (Q): Cook appeared on the injury report with a back issue this week and did not practice at all on Wednesday. He managed limited practices Thursday and Friday, but the questionable tag reflects uncertainty. Fantasy owners should also be aware that this is a late game against the Chargers.

Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans, concussion, (P): Walker was very close to returning last week, but the Titans opted to hold him out. According to ESPN.com’s Paul Kuharsky, it was a team decision as opposed to a late setback and one that took Walker’s concussion history into account. The good news is that Walker has now cleared all tests and, listed as probable, is expected to play.

Out

This space is intended for a list of key players, not including those who have been moved to injured reserve status, who are officially listed as "Out" for the upcoming game.

Nick Foles, QB, Philadelphia Eagles, collarbone: Foles is out for multiple weeks with a clavicle fracture. Mark Sanchez continues to be the starter.

Ronnie Hillman, foot, and Montee Ball, groin, RBs, Denver Broncos: As of now, the only certainty with regard to Hillman and Ball is that neither will play this week. C.J. Anderson and Juwan Thompson will carry the load.

Matt Asiata, RB, Minnesota Vikings, concussion: After he didn't practice all week, it hardly came as a surprise that Asiata would sit. The Vikings added insurance in the form of Ben Tate this week (after Tate was released from the Cleveland Browns), but they have made it clear Jerick McKinnon is their starter.

Jordan Cameron, TE, Cleveland Browns, concussion: Cameron returned to practice for the first time since suffering a concussion in Week 8. It was just a limited workout, but it is the most encouraging sign of his progress to date. As is the case with these types of injuries, there remains no specific timetable for his return.

Dwayne Allen, TE, Indianapolis Colts, ankle: Allen injured his ankle last week, and after he was absent from practice each day, the decision to hold him out was not unexpected.

Jordan Reed, TE, Washington, hamstring: Reed injured the opposite hamstring earlier this season and missed multiple weeks. Washington hopes it will not be nearly as long this time, but he won’t be on the field this week.

Khiry Robinson, RB, New Orleans Saints, forearm: Robinson has missed multiple weeks, so this really comes as no surprise.

Be sure to check out "Fantasy Football Now," Sundays on ESPN2 at 11 a.m. ET, for last-minute inactives, rankings, injury impact and more!

Video: Larry Fitzgerald update

November, 21, 2014
Nov 21
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Stephania Bell discusses WR Larry Fitzgerald's status for Sunday.
In many years, the Kansas City Chiefs visiting the Oakland Raiders would have been a big AFC West divisional matchup. Instead, the 7-3 Chiefs -- who are tied for the division lead with the Denver Broncos -- face a winless Raiders group, and many are simply hoping for a good game. Or at least a good fantasy game.

With that in mind, the only fantasy-relevant injury news for the Thursday night contest is at the Chiefs’ tight end position:

Travis Kelce, ribs/shoulder (P), and Anthony Fasano, knee (Q): Fasano missed the team’s Week 11 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks with a bruised knee but did return to limited practice this week. His status for Thursday night is up in the air, not that it should significantly impact the role of Kelce, who remains the better pass-catching tight end option for the Chiefs.

Kelce’s listing on the injury report this week with both rib and shoulder ailments reflects the wear and tear of a long season. He injured his rib cartilage in Week 7 against the San Diego Chargers but hasn’t missed any time. His game status is not in jeopardy. Listed as a full participant in practice each day and entering the game as probable, Kelce will be on the field Thursday night.

Video: Giovani Bernard's status

November, 18, 2014
Nov 18
2:32
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Stephania Bell discusses whether Bengals RB Giovani Bernard will return this week.

Video: Larry Fitzgerald's knee

November, 18, 2014
Nov 18
2:21
PM ET
Stephania Bell discusses Larry Fitzgerald's knee injury.

Video: Julius Thomas' ankle

November, 18, 2014
Nov 18
1:39
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Stephania Bell has the latest updates on Julius Thomas' ankle injury.

Key fantasy injuries for Week 11

November, 15, 2014
Nov 15
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Rashad JenningsJeff Skopin/ESPNRashad Jennings is poised to make a comeback this week.
Welcome to Week 11! This marks the eighth of the bye weeks, and four teams are on bye -- the Dallas Cowboys, New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens. As always, there will be game-time decisions but the final injury reports give some guidance as to who’s in and who’s out.

As a reminder, each week in the Saturday blog, we run down a list of key fantasy players, by position, who appear in the Friday injury report along with the injured body part as listed on the report, player status and any relevant developments or insight. The primary fantasy positions are covered (quarterback, running back, wide receiver and tight end). At the end, key fantasy players listed Friday as "Out" for that week's games will appear as a group. Teams playing Monday night do not have to issue their designations until Saturday. The explanation for each designation is as follows.

Out: This is the easy one; the guy's definitely not playing Sunday. As painful as it might be to see this designation next to a player on your fantasy roster, at least you know in advance of the game that he's sitting out and you can plan accordingly.

Probable (P): This designation indicates that a player has a greater than 50 percent chance of playing. Most players listed here are expected to play, barring a setback between the final injury report and kickoff.

Questionable (Q): This is the fantasy owner's most dreaded player designation yet it's the one most frequently used by teams (often to keep everyone guessing). It means a player's status is on the fence; there is a 50-50 chance that he'll be on the field come game time, although, as many fantasy owners have come to learn, many teams use the "questionable" designation for any player with a hint of injury. Whether a player ends up active or inactive often comes down to a game-time decision based on how he performs in warm-ups. It is important for fantasy owners to check status reports leading up to the game.

Doubtful (D): The "doubtful" designation theoretically means a player has less than a 25 percent chance of playing that week. Rarely does a player labeled as doubtful end up playing, unless he experiences a major turnaround before game time. Fantasy owners who need to make roster adjustments beforehand can feel fairly confident about sitting a player listed as doubtful.

Good luck in Week 11, everyone! May your players stay healthy and win for you.

Quarterbacks

Tom Brady, New England Patriots, ankle (P): Brady rolled his ankle earlier this season, and he remains on the injury report. But Brady doesn’t miss practice and he certainly doesn’t miss games. He will face the Colts in Indianapolis on Sunday night.

Robert Griffin III, Washington, ankle (P): Griffin is still listed on the injury report because of his ankle, but he continues to participate in full practice sessions. There is no reason to believe he won’t be on the field Sunday.

Josh McCown, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, back (P): It’s no surprise that McCown is sore after returning to competition Sunday in his first game in seven weeks. He has managed to be a full participant in practice throughout the week, however, and is expected to start.

Running backs

Montee Ball, RB, Denver Broncos, groin (P): It looked as if Ball had a chance to return last week from the groin injury suffered in Week 5, but perhaps waiting an extra week was well worth it. Teammate Ronnie Hillman is now sidelined with a midfoot injury, and the Broncos could use Ball’s contribution. After participating fully in practices throughout the week, Ball has inspired more confidence in his readiness to return. Ball will be part of the running back rotation, but how will that work be divided? ESPN.com’s Jeff Legwold writes about how the Broncos’ approach to the utilization of their backs during the game can make that division of work hard to predict. Although C.J. Anderson is expected to get the start Sunday, Ball will be suited up and on the field -- still, how much action he'll see in his first game back is uncertain.

Rashad Jennings, New York Giants, knee (P): The uptick in Jennings’ status from doubtful to probable indicates how the Giants are feeling about the likelihood of him taking the field. Jennings has been out since spraining his MCL in Week 5 but has made increasing progress in practice the past few weeks. Although he is still a limited participant each day, the expectation is that he will play, although his workload is unknown. Andre Williams remains a complement to Jennings, but, if Jennings is running strong and does not appear limited by the knee, he could still see double-digit carries.

Ryan Mathews, San Diego Chargers, knee (P): Mathews has been out since Week 2 with a sprained MCL and a four- to five-week projected absence has morphed into eight (seven games missed plus the bye week). That might be the best thing in the long run for Mathews, a back who has struggled to stay healthy throughout his career. The opportunity to gain some extra healing time along with extra conditioning work and practice (Mathews was a full participant all week) should have him feeling more confident in his knee. Michael Gehlken of The San Diego Union-Tribune writes that Mathews is expected to see approximately 15 touches but that that number could change depending on the flow of the game. The Chargers now have three healthy backs (Mathews, Branden Oliver and Donald Brown), but it appears Mathews will take the lead.

Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs, shoulder, elbow (P): Charles has two ailing body parts (shoulder and elbow) that might be related, considering it was reported in the Week 10 game that he suffered a stinger. Charles did return and finish out the game, including a big fourth-quarter touchdown, indicating the injury wasn’t serious. He practiced fully every day, and there seem to be no worries about Charles heading into Sunday.

Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers, hip (P): Gore was listed here with the same ailment last week. He then ran for 81 yards and a touchdown against the Saints. Fantasy owners are hoping for a similar outcome this week as Gore is fully expected to start against the Giants.

Reggie Bush, Detroit Lions, ankle (Q): Bush’s ankle ups and downs are following a similar pattern to that of teammate Calvin Johnson’s ankle earlier this season. Now the question is whether Bush will follow in Johnson’s footsteps and take some extended time to recover. Earlier in the week, coach Jim Caldwell acknowledged that was a possibility but also left open the chance Bush could suit up this week. After Bush didn't practice at all this week, it certainly appears less likely that the choice will be for him to play. Still, the "questionable" tag leaves fantasy owners uncertain. Another option at running back is probably a wise choice for fantasy owners, given that Bush would clearly not be at full strength even if he does suit up.

Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints, shoulder (P): Last week Ingram was questionable after injuring his shoulder the week before. But with Pierre Thomas and Khiry Robinson out, Ingram was once again the feature back, managing the heavy load on his own. He was limited in practice throughout the week, perhaps as much to ensure his recovery between games as anything else. The Saints will again be without Thomas and Robinson, and Ingram, who comes into Sunday’s game at a more confident “probable,” will continue to be the primary ball carrier.

Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks, calf (Q): Last week Lynch was listed as probable after the calf injury cropped up in practice. Then he ran and ran some more to the tune of 140 yards and four(!) touchdowns. It should come as no surprise, then, that the workload might have taxed his lower extremities. Lynch was listed as a full participant in Friday’s practice, but he comes into this Sunday’s game with the dubious "questionable" tag. He is expected to suit up, but fantasy owners will want to double-check the inactives. Fortunately, this is an early game for Seattle as the Seahawks travel to play the Chiefs at Arrowhead.

Jonathan Stewart, ankle and DeAngelo Williams, foot, Carolina Panthers (P): Just when it looked as if the Panthers’ backfield was healthy, their top tandem of Stewart and Williams resurfaced on the injury report. Williams did not practice Wednesday or Thursday, and Stewart was limited. Both backs were listed as full participants Friday, however, and the team was confident enough in their health to list them both as probable for Sunday’s game against Atlanta.

Andre Ellington, foot/hip and Stepfan Taylor, calf, Arizona Cardinals (P): Ellington is on the injury report weekly; the only change this week is that there is another body part listed (hip) besides the foot. Despite being held to limited practices throughout the week, his status for Sunday is not in jeopardy, given the "probable" designation. Expect Ellington to be available Sunday, but he will have some additional reinforcement. Taylor has missed some time with a calf injury but has made significant progress -- including a full practice Friday -- and is now listed at probable.

Jerrick McKinnon, Minnesota Vikings, back (P): McKinnon cropped up on the Vikings’ injury report Thursday with a back ailment but put any concerns to rest by returning to a full practice Friday. Listed as probable, he is expected to play.

Wide receivers

Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions, ankle (P): Johnson had a fantastic day in his return from injury in Week 10. Better yet, his ankle is no worse for the wear. He got a day of rest Wednesday but was back in practice Thursday and Friday. He will be on the field Sunday against the Cardinals.

Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears, ankle (P): The "probable" tag is a bit surprising given that Marshall practiced on only a limited basis Thursday and Friday after a day off Wednesday to rest his ankle. This is the opposite ankle of the one Marshall injured earlier in the season, but it certainly looked as if it could have been a significant injury when it happened. Marshall’s lower leg was wrapped up in a tackle with the weight of the defender falling on him, and he appeared to get his foot rotated outward in the process. Marshall is actually lucky his heel was off the ground, or it might have resulted in a season-altering knee injury. Instead, it appears Marshall will be taking the field for the Bears this weekend. There has been no indication the team expects him to be limited, but it’s hard to know just how effective he will be from a mobility standpoint until we see him in game action.

Andrew Hawkins, Cleveland Browns, thigh, knee (P): Hawkins sat out Week 10, but that was largely the result of it being a Thursday night game. A few more days of recovery and Hawkins likely would have taken the field. Now he has had an additional 10 days to recuperate, and Hawkins was back in practice each day this week (limited Wednesday and Thursday, full on Friday). At "probable," he is expected to play as the Browns host the Texans.

Harry Douglas, Atlanta Falcons, foot (Q): Douglas was held out of practice Wednesday but returned to limited work Thursday and Friday. Douglas played last week after being listed as questionable, and it appears he is in line to do so again this week.

Tight ends

Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings, abdomen, groin (P): Rudolph is expecting to make his return to the field after missing multiple weeks with a core muscle injury (sports hernia) and surgery. He has been gradually increasing his activity in practice, working up to full participation Thursday and Friday, and the extra time off could enhance his level of function upon return. The Vikings have been looking forward to his return, and, although coach Mike Zimmer indicated Rudolph might not see a full load out of the gate, he is expected to see plenty of action.

Martellus Bennett, Chicago Bears, ribs (P): After suffering a rib injury in practice last week, Bennett came into the game listed as questionable but played. He had only two catches, however, on six targets. One week of healing later, Bennett appears to be improving. He was held out of practice Wednesday and was limited Thursday but returned to full practice Friday. At "probable," he is expected to play and likely is feeling better heading into this Sunday’s matchup against the Vikings.

Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans, concussion (Q): Walker practiced on a limited basis Saturday, and according to ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky, Walker has to pass one more medical test in order to play Monday night. It's not clear when that decision will be made, so fantasy owners are advised to have a backup plan if holding out hope for Walker's return.

Out:

This space is intended for a list of key players, not including those who have been moved to injured reserve status, who are officially listed as "Out" for the upcoming game.

Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans, groin: The most talked about will-he-or-won’t-he player during the week was officially downgraded to "out" Saturday. Go Alfred Blue.

Nick Foles, QB, Philadelphia Eagles, collarbone: Foles is out for multiple weeks with a clavicle fracture. Mark Sanchez continues to be the starter.

Khiry Robinson, forearm and Pierre Thomas, rib/shoulder, RBs, New Orleans Saints: The Saints continue to be without the duo of Robinson and Thomas. Mark Ingram remains the primary back for New Orleans.

Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals, hip: The doubt surrounding Bernard’s status increased as the week went on when he failed to return to practice. There has been no timetable for his return offered by the team. Jeremy Hill carries the rock again this week.

Ronnie Hillman, RB, Denver Broncos, foot: Hillman is reported to be sidelined at least two to three weeks with a midfoot injury. The Broncos get Montee Ball back this week, but it will remain a running back rotation.

Jordan Cameron, TE, Cleveland Browns, concussion: Cameron remains out of practice as he recovers from his most recent concussion.

Peyton Hillis, RB, New York Giants, concussion: Hillis had an increased role while Rashad Jennings was sidelined. Hillis is now out with a concussion, and the team has placed him on injured reserve; Jennings makes his return, though.

Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, ankle: Martin returned to limited practice late in the week but isn’t going to be returning to the playing field this week.

Be sure to check out "Fantasy Football Now," Sundays on ESPN2 at 11 a.m. ET for last-minute inactives, rankings, injury impact and more!

Bills-Dolphins injury updates

November, 13, 2014
Nov 13
12:53
PM ET

Fred Jackson and Lamar Miller Getty ImagesNeither Fred Jackson nor Lamar Miller looks like a good option on Thursday night.
It’s the battle for second place in the AFC East as the Bills travel to Sun Life Stadium to face the Dolphins in this week’s Thursday night matchup. Both teams are 5-4, and the winner moves to within 1½ games (at least for the time being) of the division-leading New England Patriots. Many fantasy teams are on the bubble of making the playoffs, as well, turning every sit/start decision into a hand-wringing experience. A few of the players on the injury report coming into tonight’s matchup aren’t making those decisions any easier. Here are the biggest injury concerns heading into Thursday night’s game.

Buffalo Bills

Fred Jackson, RB, groin (questionable): Here’s a fun fact, courtesy of the Bills' media guide: Jackson has more rushing yards against the Dolphins (508) than any other active NFL player. Too bad he won’t likely be adding to that total Thursday night. Jackson comes into the game listed as questionable, just four days removed from his early return from a groin injury. When Jackson originally sustained the injury in Week 7, he described feeling a “pop” where he tore his adductor longus (groin) muscle and said he was told it was about a four-week injury. Not that these injuries ever have a definitive timetable, but groin injuries can be among the trickier soft-tissue ailments to predict. Even after the pain is gone and the player is able to move well in all directions, when that extra burst is called upon during a game or when an athlete is dragging would-be tacklers like heavy weights around his lower half, it can be taxing to recovering soft tissue. Even if there are no setbacks (and there have been no reports to suggest Jackson had an actual setback), the recovery time to return and do it all over again is a factor. Four days apparently just aren’t enough, at least not enough to potentially risk the remainder of what the Bills hope to be a season that extends beyond 17 weeks. With C.J. Spiller already on IR/designated for return, it appears the Bills would prefer to have Jackson available down the stretch without fear of regression.

Jackson was listed as limited on the biggest day (Tuesday) of an already limited practice week, understandable given the short turnaround time but also suggestive of a possible absence Thursday. Coach Doug Marrone’s comments to reporters Tuesday after practice did nothing to inspire confidence that Jackson would be given the green light.

“What's difficult is the limited players -- the players that are limited -- you never really practice at a level to know whether they can go in and play the amount that you want them to play," Marrone said.

Perhaps the team feels comfortable enough in sharing the workload evenly between Anthony Dixon and Bryce Brown. After all, Jackson had only three carries in the Bills' loss to the Chiefs on Sunday (when all three running backs were involved). The announcement of Jackson’s status could come down to a game-time call, and the ultracompetitive Jackson has certainly made known his desire to be on the field. He has also said in the past, however, that he will listen to the words of the medical and coaching staffs and, as of now, it appears that will translate to some additional recovery time before his next outing.

Sammy Watkins, WR, groin (probable): Sometimes a groin tweak really is minor, and that appears to be the case with Watkins, who left practice early last week with the ailment. He underwent what was termed a precautionary MRI, but later in the week said he wasn’t even aware of the results. Whether that was entirely accurate or not doesn’t matter; the point is that if the results were significant, there’s no doubt he would be very aware of them. Watkins was listed as a full participant throughout this week’s practice, and the "probable" tag adds to the confidence that he'll play.

Miami Dolphins

Lamar Miller, RB, shoulder (probable): Miller played Sunday just one week after spraining his left AC joint. While the workload was shared among Miller and fellow backs Daniel Thomas and Damien Williams in what appeared to be a very controlled outing, Miller came out of the game saying he felt “good.” Still, he carried the ball only four times and, more notably, was on the field for only 11 offensive snaps. Maybe he’s not feeling quite as good as he claims. According to ESPN.com’s James Walker, who has the opportunity to watch Miller on an ongoing basis, that’s a reasonable assessment. “Miller didn’t run with the same physicality Sunday against Detroit,” Walker said. “His shoulder is clearly hurting him, but he’s trying to tough it out.” Walker’s advice for fantasy owners is to avoid Miller in Week 11, suggesting he’ll be a better play in Week 12 after an additional 10 days of rest. In other words, while the "probable" tag means Miller is expected to play, how much and how effectively remains questionable.

Ryan Tannehill, QB, shoulder/ankle (probable): Tannehill comes into this short week a bit banged up, not the ideal situation with only four days' rest. Also not ideal is the loss of left tackle Branden Albert, who went down with a torn ACL/MCL in Week 10. While Tannehill insists he’s ready to play, a sore ankle could make him a little less mobile, and a sore shoulder could render him less effective, especially if he is continually harassed by the Bills’ pass rush tonight. Expect Tannehill to play, but the big question is whether he will be protected well enough to be as effective as he has been in recent weeks.

Charles Clay, TE, knee (questionable): Clay has been a mainstay on the injury report with his knee, often listed as "questionable" but showing up at game time and playing nonetheless. Clay was a limited participant in the team’s light practices this week and is again expected to play.


Montee Ball Elsa/Getty ImagesWill Montee Ball suit up Sunday against the Oakland Raiders?
Welcome to Week 10! This marks the seventh of the bye weeks, and, once again, six teams are on bye. It’s another tough week for fantasy owners looking for replacements, many of whom continue to vie for a playoff spot. Getting a reprieve this week are the Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, San Diego Chargers, Houston Texans and Washington. As always, there will be game-time decisions but the final injury reports give some guidance as to who’s in and who’s out.

As a reminder, each week in the Saturday blog, we run down a list of key fantasy players, by position, who appear in the Friday injury report along with the injured body part as listed on the report, player status, and any relevant developments or insight. The primary fantasy positions are covered (quarterback, running back, wide receiver and tight end). At the end, key fantasy players listed Friday as "Out" for that week's games will appear as a group. Teams playing on Monday night do not have to issue their designations until Saturday. The explanation for each designation is as follows.

Out: This is the easy one; the guy's definitely not playing Sunday. As painful as it might be to see this designation next to a player on your fantasy roster, at least you know in advance of the game that he's sitting out and you can plan accordingly.

Probable (P): This designation indicates that a player has a greater than 50 percent chance of playing. Most players listed here are expected to play, barring a setback between the final injury report and kickoff.

Questionable (Q): This is the fantasy owner's most dreaded player designation, yet it also is most frequently used by teams (often to keep everyone guessing). It means a player's status is on the fence; there is a 50-50 chance that he'll be on the field come game time, although, as many fantasy owners have come to learn, many teams use the "questionable" designation for any player with a hint of injury. Whether a player ends up active or inactive often comes down to a game-time decision based on how he performs during warm-ups. It is important for fantasy owners to check status reports leading up to the game.

Doubtful (D): The "doubtful" designation means a player theoretically has less than a 25 percent chance of playing that week. Rarely does a player labeled as doubtful end up playing, unless he experiences a major turnaround before game time. Fantasy owners who need to make roster adjustments beforehand can feel fairly confident about sitting a player listed as doubtful.

Good luck in Week 10, everyone! May your players stay healthy and win for you.

Quarterbacks

Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys, back, (P): The "probable" tag on Romo pretty much sums up what the Cowboys have been saying all week: Romo is expected to play. The description of the injury he suffered in Week 8 certainly makes it seem as if it would be nearly impossible to take the field so soon, but the fact is he would not be the first. Transverse process fractures are painful but structurally nonthreatening, thus the issue comes down to whether he can move well enough to protect himself from other injuries and whether he can perform at the level to which he and the Cowboys are accustomed.

After participating in two days of light practice in England, where the Cowboys will face the Jaguars this week, Romo must have shown enough to inspire the confidence that comes with a "probable" designation. The bigger question beyond taking the field Sunday will be how well he can perform and for how long. It is likely to get more challenging as the game progresses, and downfield or hard cross-body throws might be, at the very least, uncomfortable. The Cowboys likely would not expose Romo to a playing situation if they didn’t plan on him being the quarterback for the entire game, or at least the majority of it. There are no guarantees when it comes to playing with an injury, but at least in Romo’s case he has had prior success under similar circumstances (broken ribs, back pain).

Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars, left wrist, (P): Bortles had his wrist examined after injuring it this past Sunday and told reporters he was fine. Apparently he was fine enough to take in full practices each day while the team was in London. He is expected to start against the Cowboys on Sunday.

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers, hamstring (P): Rodgers tweaked his hamstring in the Week 8 game, conveniently right before the Packers went on bye. His mobility was clearly limited in the game after the injury, although he did manage to play through it. Rodgers returned from the bye reportedly feeling better (or, as he told ESPN.com’s Rob Demovsky when asked how his hamstring was doing, “fine”), supported by his full participation in practice throughout the week. Whether he’s 100 percent recovered or not, as long as Rodgers is mobile enough to make the occasional scrambling play and evade defenders, he should be able to lead his team just “fine.”

Michael Vick, foot and Geno Smith, right shoulder, New York Jets (P): Both quarterbacks were full participants in practice throughout the week. According to ESPN.com’s Jane McManus, Smith will be available to back up Vick on Sunday but the starter role remains in Vick’s hands. For now.

Running backs

Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, ankle (D): The designation might be a "doubtful" tag, but there is little doubt Martin is expected to be sidelined Sunday. Bobby Rainey would then get another start in his place. Third-round draft pick Charles Sims is also expected to see the field for his first professional football action, although his snaps could be limited. Sims missed the start of the season after undergoing ankle surgery, and the Buccaneers activated him just last week. Deemed not quite ready for competition this past Sunday, Sims participated in limited practices throughout this week in anticipation of his debut. Rainey is expected to get the bulk of the work this week, but Sims’ share could increase as the team gains confidence.

Montee Ball, RB, Denver Broncos, groin, (Q): It appears Ball has a decent chance to test his recovery and his lighter frame this Sunday after participating in daily practice this week. Out since Week 5 with a groin injury, Ball returned to practice lighter (down to 212 pounds from 224) and apparently impressed his coaches in the process.

“He’s worked very hard … he looks good," coach John Fox observed after Ball’s return to practice.

Ball was reportedly moving well in practice without any apparent limitation in lateral movement and with some increased burst to the holes, perhaps a reflection of his new weight combined with his injury recovery. Although Ball acknowledged that teammate Ronnie Hillman deserved to be the starter, it’s clear Ball would like to earn his way back to the top spot. He should have a chance to start chipping away at that opportunity although the amount of work he is expected to see in his first game back is uncertain.

Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins, shoulder (Q): Miller sprained his left shoulder at the acromioclavicular (AC) joint in last week’s game. Despite any residual soreness he might be experiencing, Miller was out on the practice field at the start of the week claiming he expected to play Sunday. Indeed, Miller practiced daily on a limited basis; whether that was a reflection of how much the shoulder was bothering him or preservation for this week’s contest -- or both -- is unclear. An AC sprain might present less of a challenge from a functional standpoint for a running back when carrying the ball as opposed to having to reach overhead to catch passes. There is still the risk of aggravation from contact either via a direct hit to the shoulder from an opponent or the ground, but, depending on the grade of injury and the level of discomfort, it’s possible Miller could play and still be effective. Fantasy owners will need to check pregame inactives. If Miller can’t go, it will be Daniel Thomas and Damien Williams sharing the load, according to ESPN.com’s James Walker.

Rashad Jennings, New York Giants, knee (D): Jennings has been out since spraining his MCL in Week 5 but has finally returned to practice on a limited basis. Although that’s an encouraging sign as far as his overall progress, it is not enough to put him back on the playing field just yet. The "doubtful" tag indicates the Giants don’t expect to have him. ESPN.com’s Dan Graziano has indicated Jennings and the Giants likely are targeting a Week 11 return.

Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers, hip (P): Gore’s body takes a beating when he’s on the field thanks to his hard, physical running, but he rarely is a threat to miss time. Once again, Gore is expected to play, but how the 49ers will choose to use him is a different question.

Reggie Bush, Detroit Lions, ankle (P): After sitting out the game two weeks ago with lingering soreness from an ankle injury, Bush is fully expected to play this week. Last week’s bye came at a good time for the Lions, and Bush, the only Detroit running back even listed on the injury report, was able to return to full practices daily this week. The "probable" tag means no second-guessing Bush’s status Sunday.

Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints, shoulder (Q): Ingram’s status might be listed as questionable, but that’s an improvement over his two teammates who have already been ruled out (Pierre Thomas and Khiry Robinson, see note below). Ingram appeared uncomfortable at times last week after taking some bruising hits to the shoulder but continued to produce. He was kept to limited practice throughout the week, perhaps as much to preserve him for this week as to rest his shoulder. It appears he is likely to play, but fantasy owners will want to check pregame inactives to verify his status.

Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks, calf (P): Despite missing practice Thursday and causing a mild panic among fantasy owners, Lynch was at it again Friday. Listed as a full participant and designated "probable," Lynch is expected to start. This is something to monitor going forward, though, as a minor calf issue can easily become more serious for a running back, especially with a heavy workload.

Fred Jackson, Buffalo Bills, groin (Q): Jackson returned to practice this week after sitting out the past two games with an adductor (groin) pull. Now, three weeks removed from what he understands to be a four-week injury, Jackson has made progress, but it would seem not quite enough to get back to the playing field. On two consecutive days, coach Doug Marrone indicated Jackson wasn’t quite where he needed to be to play. Still, he left the door ajar for Jackson’s return, hinting at the possibility of him suiting up if he were to make more progress between Friday’s practice and Sunday. As Jackson said, “There’s always a chance.” This will be a game-time decision, but, if Jackson cannot go, look for Anthony Dixon and Bryce Brown to fill the gap.

Andre Ellington, Arizona Cardinals, foot (P): Ellington remains on the injury report, but the "probable" tag indicates there are no worries for fantasy owners. His limited practices throughout the week help ensure his availability for game day. Stepfan Taylor remains out with a calf strain, so Marion Grice again serves as Ellington’s primary backup.

Chris Johnson, New York Jets, ankle (P): Johnson remains on the injury report, but the "probable" tag indicates the team plans on him being available Sunday.

Wide receivers

Sammy Watkins, groin (Q) and Robert Woods, back (P), Buffalo Bills: Watkins tweaked a groin muscle in Wednesday’s practice, resulting in him leaving the field early. He was then held out of practice Thursday and Friday as a result, casting doubt on his availability for Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Coach Doug Marrone expressed concern about Watkins' time away from practice with the injury. Watkins seemed to be in the dark as to whether he legitimately has a shot to play Sunday.

“That's the coach's decision about whether I should play,” Watkins said. “It's a long season, so I'm really clueless right now. I don't know.”

It’s true that it is a long season; the Bills would like their season to extend beyond the Week 17 regular-season finale. With that in mind, along with the freshness of the injury and the potential to easily aggravate it, it seems unlikely Watkins will play. If he were to miss, the Bills would lean on Robert Woods (probable and expected to play) and Chris Hogan.

Harry Douglas, Atlanta Falcons, foot (Q): Douglas was away from competition for four weeks with a foot injury before he returned in Week 8. He managed three catches for 42 yards but, more importantly, suffered no setbacks. He then got a week to rest as the team was on bye. Douglas returned to limited practices early in the week but was listed as a full participant Friday. Although he has a "questionable" tag next to his name, Douglas is expected to play, barring a setback.

Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions, ankle (P): He said he would come back when he could play at an elite level, the level to which he -- and, frankly, the rest of us -- has become accustomed over his career. That time appears to be now. Johnson did not enjoy the role of the decoy his body forced him to play shortly after his high ankle sprain, but there is reason to believe his performance will be much improved this week. Fresh off a bye and several weeks of rehab, Johnson was a full participant in practice each day, and both he and coach Jim Caldwell expect him to be on the field Sunday.

Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, knee (Q): Jackson has often been on the injury report listed as questionable and played through whatever ailment is nagging at him. For several weeks this season, he has been playing through rib soreness; this week, it is his knee. Although the team has offered no specifics, it’s encouraging that Jackson was recorded as a full participant Friday after working on a limited basis Thursday. One difference this Sunday is that Josh McCown will be throwing to Jackson after coach Lovie Smith announced a quarterback change earlier this week.

Wes Welker, Denver Broncos, back (P): Welker was a full participant each day despite being listed on the injury report with a back issue, the result of a hard hit in the game against the Patriots that forced his exit in the third quarter. If he’s still sore, he’s not acknowledging it. Given the "probable" tag, Welker is expected to play.

Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks, groin (P): Baldwin sat out Wednesday’s practice because of a groin injury but returned Thursday to a limited practice. He was upgraded to full participation Friday and, listed as probable, is expected to play.

Percy Harvin, New York Jets, heel (P): Harvin took a cleat to his heel in Wednesday’s practice, resulting in a cut he described as “down to the white meat.” Although it sounds dreadful, it wasn’t the injury that was as much a concern as the risk of infection that comes with any open wound. His practice was cut short that day to get the wound cleaned and dressed, but he returned for full sessions Thursday and Friday. Harvin is expected to play without limitation.

Kenny Stills, thigh (P) and Robert Meachem, ankle (Q), New Orleans Saints: The Saints are beset with injuries, but overall their wide receiver corps is faring better than their running backs. Stills has dealt with soft tissue injuries since the start of the season and had to exit last week’s game briefly to deal with what was termed a groin injury at the time. His ability to practice, even on a limited basis, each day and the "probable" designation suggest he will play. Meachem has an ankle injury that caused him to miss Thursday and Friday practices, and his status might come down to game time.

Cecil Shorts III, Jacksonville Jaguars, hamstring (P): Shorts was given a day off to rest his hamstring Thursday after a limited session Wednesday. He was able to return Friday and was listed as a full participant. Coach Gus Bradley indicated earlier in the week that he expected Shorts to play against Dallas, so there should be little to worry about here.

Nate Washington, Tennessee Titans, shoulder (Q): Washington went from limited practices Wednesday and Thursday to a full session Friday but still comes into Sunday with uncertainty about his status. The injury happened in Week 8, before the Titans went on bye, when Washington landed hard on his shoulder and sprained his AC joint. Other pass-catchers have often struggled in the early weeks after this type of injury, so Washington might not be at his best even if he plays.

Tight Ends

Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints, shoulder (P): Graham has been playing despite the shoulder injury, so his availability for the game isn’t really in doubt. But there are encouraging signs that he is improving. Not only has he increased the number of offensive snaps he is seeing since his initial game post-injury but Graham is now a weeklong full participant in practice.

Charles Clay, Miami Dolphins, knee (P): Clay makes his regular appearance on the injury report but again comes into the weekend as probable. Expect him to play.

Martellus Bennett, Chicago Bears, ribs (Q): Bennett suffered a rib injury in practice making a move coach Marc Trestman described as “kind of awkward on the practice field.” He was then held out of Friday’s practice, leaving him questionable to play Sunday. Trestman sounded uncertain, but hopeful, about Bennett’s status.

“We’ll see. We really don’t know right now,” Trestman said. “He’s been inside getting treatment. We’re hopeful he’ll play.”

According to ESPN.com’s Michael C. Wright, if Bennett can’t go it will be Dante Rosario in his place.

Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs, ribs (P): Kelce has been on the injury report for several weeks with a rib ailment but has played each week. At "probable," expect him to do so again.

Joseph Fauria, ankle (Q); Brandon Pettigrew, foot (Q); Eric Ebron, hamstring (D), Detroit Lions: The Lions have multiple injuries at tight end, but it appears they are making some progress on the healing front. Ebron continues to nurse a sore hamstring, and, although he practiced on a limited basis Thursday and Friday, the "doubtful" designation indicates he is not ready to return to play. Fauria is back practicing on a limited basis for the first time since injuring his ankle (a non-football injury, blamed on a puppy that got underfoot), and, after he missed five straight games, this week could mark his return. Pettigrew did not practice Wednesday because of his foot injury but returned to limited practices Thursday and Friday. The only healthy tight end is Kellen Davis, but whether Fauria or Pettigrew (or both) is available to join him likely will be determined pregame.

Out:

This space is intended for a list of key players, not including those who have been moved to injured reserve status, who are officially listed as "Out" for the upcoming game.

Nick Foles, QB, Philadelphia Eagles, collarbone: As coach Chip Kelly said Monday, Foles has a “cracked clavicle” on his non-throwing (left) side. He is expected to miss approximately six to eight weeks. Mark Sanchez gets the start for "Monday Night Football."

Khiry Robinson, forearm and Pierre Thomas, rib/shoulder, RBs, New Orleans Saints: The Saints are beat up at running back as these two will sit out again. Even Mark Ingram comes into the week as questionable, but at least the status of Robinson and Thomas is already predetermined.

Stepfan Taylor, RB, Arizona Cardinals, calf: Taylor continues in his recovery from his strained calf and will sit out again in Week 10.

Be sure to check out "Fantasy Football Now," Sundays on ESPN2 at 11:00 a.m. ET for last-minute inactives, rankings, injury impact and more!

Video: Buffalo Bills injuries

November, 7, 2014
Nov 7
2:49
PM ET
Stephania Bell discusses the latest on injuries to the Buffalo Bills' Sammy Watkins and Fred Jackson.

Video: Calvin Johnson update

November, 7, 2014
Nov 7
2:47
PM ET
Stephania Bell discusses expectations for Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson, who is returning from injury this week.
John Clayton, Stephania Bell and Matthew Berry discuss the latest on Tony Romo and the Buccaneers' backfield.
Jeremy HillAP Photo/David KohlWith Giovani Bernard out of action, Thursday could be another big outing for Jeremy Hill.
The Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns face off in an in-state rivalry game Thursday. Neither team will be fully healthy, as several players will be sidelined due to injury.

The most glaring part of the injury report, however, may be who is missing from it. Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green returned last week after missing the prior three games with a toe injury.

Green's snaps were limited, but he still managed to find the end zone. More importantly, he emerged from the game without any setbacks and expects to see more playing time Thursday night.

Here are the latest projections heading into the Thursday game:

Bengals

Giovanni Bernard, RB, hip (D): Coach Marvin Lewis said in a SiriusXM NFL appearance Thursday that Bernard is officially out for the game. This comes as no great surprise, given that the team listed him as doubtful on Wednesday’s injury report. Even before the formal designation, it wasn’t looking as if Bernard had much chance of suiting up. He missed Week 9 with a hip injury after not practicing all week and has yet to return to the practice field.

Bernard has been banged up throughout the first half of the season, fighting hip and clavicle injuries recently as well as bruised ribs along the way. With 10 days between now and their next matchup (against the New Orleans Saints), the Bengals’ hope is that Bernard will be able to make his return at that time, but it is not a lock. In the meantime, it will be more of the Jeremy Hill show.

Jermaine Gresham, TE, knee (P): Gresham’s status is not really in doubt given the probable tag, but his level of involvement might be. His practice this week consisted of a limited outing Wednesday, but it was enough to suggest that he could face game action one day later. His production -- including his targets -- has been up in recent weeks, but with Green’s increased presence, Gresham's role could change. Still, he remains an option as long as he is on the field, which is expected to be the case Thursday night.

Browns

Jordan Cameron, TE, concussion (out): Cameron has not yet been cleared to return to practice since suffering a concussion in Week 8. All concussions are concerning, but this one is even more so because it is Cameron’s third in three years. He will need to progress his way through the team’s concussion protocol and will be evaluated on an ongoing basis. This will be Cameron’s third missed game this season; he missed one game early in the season due to an AC sprain suffered in the preseason. While Cameron is out, tight end duties will continue to be handled by Gary Barnidge and Jim Dray.

Andrew Hawkins, WR, thigh/knee (Q): After not practicing Monday or Tuesday due to a thigh and knee injury, it initially appeared Hawkins was set to sit this one out. But he was able to turn in a limited practice Wednesday, leaving the door open for him to play against his former team. Hawkins was injured on the first play of the second half of Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers on a hard tackle and caught only one pass thereafter. He has been quarterback Brian Hoyer's favorite target, perhaps even more so with all of Cameron’s missed time due to injury and the continued absence of Josh Gordon via suspension.

With only four days between games, the challenge for Hawkins will be balancing whether he can be effective with the risk of further injury should he play. Coach Mike Pettine said Hawkins would be a game-time decision, likely dependent on how he responds to Wednesday’s practice and how he functions in warm-ups, so fantasy owners will want to check the pregame inactives. It is worth noting that Hoyer found Hawkins’ teammate Taylor Gabriel for five catches and a score last week. Gabriel is listed as probable with a shoulder injury, but he practiced in full each day and is expected to play.

Brian Hoyer, QB, glute (P): Despite Hoyer’s presence on the injury report with a strained glute, he has been able to put in full practices throughout the week leading up to Thursday’s game. If Hoyer were a super mobile quarterback, his injury might be more worrisome, but as long as he can move well enough to protect himself (especially considering he is coming off ACL surgery), then he should be fine, just as the probable tag indicates.

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