Vikings-Packers injury preview

October, 2, 2014
Oct 2
11:54
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[+] EnlargeTeddy Bridgewater
Ann Heisenfelt/AP PhotoTeddy Bridgewater's ankle injury isn't serious, but the short period of time between Sunday and Thursday may keep him out.
Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Minnesota Vikings, ankle (Q): Bridgewater suffered a left ankle injury in Sunday’s game that required him to be carted to the locker room during the fourth quarter. It didn’t take long, however, for the news to turn positive. Initial X-rays were negative, indicating there were no fractures. Bridgewater even appeared at the podium (without crutches) to answer questions postgame, suggesting he was not in major distress. A subsequent MRI turned up nothing of significance. Both Bridgewater and Vikings coach Mike Zimmer expressed early optimism about his condition. All things combined, it appeared this would not be the type of ankle sprain that would sideline Bridgewater for an extended period.

Still, the challenge in Week 5 is that the Vikings’ matchup comes just four days after Bridgewater’s injury. Even in the instance of a mild sprain, that's a quick turnaround time to be able to perform at the level of an NFL quarterback. Of primary concern is whether Bridgewater can be mobile enough to protect himself, escape a pass rush or get out of bounds when necessary. Secondary concerns include whether he can function effectively at quarterback by making dropbacks, pivoting to hand off the ball, step into his throws to deliver the ball accurately, and move well enough in and out of the pocket to lead the team. After resting Tuesday, Bridgewater was able to get some limited work in Wednesday and is officially listed as questionable. The team may want to see how his ankle responds before making an official decision. It would not be surprising if Bridgewater is held out this week to allow him another 10 days of recovery before the Vikings’ next game. If Bridgewater does not suit up, Christian Ponder will be in line to take the reins, which could trigger roster moves Thursday afternoon, according to ESPN.com’s Ben Goessling. In other words, Bridgewater’s questionable status should start to clear up well in advance of game time.

Jerick McKinnon, RB, Minnesota Vikings, ankle (P): McKinnon saw a sharp increase in activity in Week 4, carrying the ball 18 times for 135 yards. Prior to last week’s game, the rookie third round draft pick had a total of just five carries on the year totaling just 7 yards. Did all the extra work land him on the injury report? Perhaps, but thankfully this doesn't appear to be anything serious. McKinnon was listed because of his ankle but put in full practices and at probable, is expected to play Thursday night.

Jarrett Boykin, WR, Green Bay Packers, groin (OUT): The news that the Packers will be without Boykin this week does not come as a huge surprise. Boykin missed last Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears after suffering a groin strain in practice earlier in the week. He had appeared to be on the mend from a knee ailment prior to the groin injury, which ultimately sidelined him. The concern for the Packers is that his absence may extend beyond this week, even with 10 days before the next game. As Coach Mike McCarthy told reporters, “I don’t know if he’s going to be ready for Miami.” Groin injuries are a challenge for any position, but particularly for receivers in terms of their overall ability to generate power and explosiveness, in addition to the difficulties with lateral mobility. Like hamstring strains, groin injuries can be susceptible to setbacks, extending the overall recovery time. Expect the Packers to err on the side of caution with Boykin as Week 6 approaches, which could mean more looks for rookie Davante Adams.

videoStephania Bell discusses the news that the MRI on Minnesota Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater's left ankle came back negative and what to expect from him Thursday against the Green Bay Packers.

Video: Vernon Davis' status

September, 29, 2014
Sep 29
3:14
PM ET
videoStephania Bell discusses her expectations for Vernon Davis' recovery from a back injury.

Key fantasy injuries for Week 4

September, 27, 2014
Sep 27
4:35
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Jamaal CharlesBrad Mills/USA TODAY SportsChiefs running back Jamaal Charles was a limited participant during practice this week.
Welcome to Week 4! This marks the first of the bye weeks, and six teams are getting some rest. Off this week are the Arizona Cardinals, Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos, St. Louis Rams and the Seattle Seahawks. With so many teams on bye, coupled with the significant number of injuries, replacements for fantasy lineups can be tricky. The sooner fantasy owners have an idea of who will be in and who will be out for teams that are taking the field this week, the better, especially with alternatives being in short supply. There are still some game-time decisions for Week 4, but the final injury reports offer some insight as to how rosters are shaping up.

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 manages to be the one most frequently utilized 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's on the field come game time, although as many fantasy owners have come to learn, many teams utilize 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 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 4, everyone! May your players stay healthy and win for you.

Quarterbacks

Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys, back, (P): Last week, Romo took his first day off since the start of the regular season. He used Wednesday as a recovery day then returned to full practices Thursday and Friday. Apparently it worked out well for Romo and the Cowboys, certainly the results on Sunday -- a 34-31 victory over the St. Louis Rams -- seemed to indicate that was the case. Romo followed the same pattern this week, sitting out practice Wednesday but returning to full participation for the remainder of the week. At probable, Romo is expected to start against the Saints on Sunday night.

Jake Locker, Tennessee Titans, wrist, (Q): Locker injured his right wrist last week and was held out of practice until Friday when he did only limited work. Although Locker’s improvement over the week is encouraging, it was Charlie Whitehurst who got the bulk of the first team reps. ESPN.com’s Paul Kuharsky expects Whitehurst to get the start against the Colts, as well. The combination of any lingering pain and swelling in the wrist of a quarterback could spell problems not only for throwing but also for basic ballhandling, increasing the risk for turnovers (not to mention further injury). Coach Ken Whisenhunt originally indicated the decision would not be made until Saturday, so fantasy owners are advised to verify status before kickoff.

Josh McCown, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, thumb, (D): There isn’t really any doubt that Mike Glennon will get the start this week, as McCown is dealing with a thumb sprain sustained in Week 3. That said, McCown believes he is progressing well and will not need surgery. His status remains uncertain.

EJ Manuel, Buffalo Bills, abdomen, (P): Manuel may appear on the injury report, but his full participation in practice each day, and his listing at probable, indicate the team expects him to play.

Running Backs

Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs, ankle, (no designation yet): Despite the fact there is no official designation for Charles at the time of this writing since the Chiefs don’t suit up until Monday night, there is reason to be encouraged. Charles was a limited participant in practice throughout the week, which is not surprising given his recent injury. Keep in mind, however, that Charles surprised everyone by returning to practice last Thursday, just days after suffering a reported left high ankle sprain. He was allowed to test the ankle prior to last Sunday’s game. Although he ultimately remained on the sidelines in Week 3, his rate of progress would certainly hint at his availability eight days later for "Monday Night Football." It appears Charles is likely to play, barring a setback, but it will be interesting to see how the Chiefs list his status late Saturday.

Arian Foster, Houston Texans, hamstring, (Q): Foster is expected to be a game-time decision yet again this week after putting in limited practices daily, just like last week. The advantage coming into this Sunday is that Foster has had another week to recover from the league-leading workload he amassed during the first two weeks of the season. Still, there are no guarantees when it comes to hamstrings, and the Texans do not want to see Foster suffer a setback. At least this game gets underway at 1 p.m. ET, so the decision will come early.

Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, knee, (P): Martin missed the last two games with a knee injury he suffered in Week 1 when another player rolled up on his leg. Not only has he been a full participant in practices throughout the week, according to ESPN.com’s Pat Yasinskas, Martin is also eager to prove he’s still got what everyone saw in 2012 when he lit up the field his rookie season. "I just want to go out there and prove that I'm that same 'back I was my rookie year,” Martin said. Fantasy owners would welcome that type of performance. Expect Martin to be on the field Sunday.

Bernard Pierce, Baltimore Ravens, thigh, (P): Pierce made improvement late last week from his injury, but the Ravens opted to hold him out. This week he has practiced fully each day, and at probable, he is expected to play.

Maurice Jones-Drew, Oakland Raiders, hand, (P): After missing the last two games with a hand injury, Jones-Drew will return to action this weekend in London as the Raiders face the Miami Dolphins. He was able to practice each day, including two full practices back-to-back Thursday and Friday. Even the normally guarded coach Dennis Allen said signs are pointing to Jones-Drew’s return. The Raiders are hoping he can help them to their first win.

Joique Bell, Detroit Lions, knee, (P): Bell was listed as probable last week with the same condition and played. It is expected he will do the same again after practicing fully late in the week.

Jonathan Stewart, knee, (Q) and DeAngelo Williams, thigh, (P), Carolina Panthers: It was surprising, to say the least, to see Stewart listed as even a possibility to play Sunday. Last week, Stewart exited the game with what was later referred to as a “severely sprained knee,” suggesting a multiweek injury. No specifics were offered as to what specific ligament(s) were sprained, but Stewart, no stranger to lower extremity injuries, sounded as if he might be sidelined for a while. Yet there he was Friday, participating in practice on a limited basis. Given his history and his very limited participation this week, it appears unlikely Stewart will play.

The Panthers have already demonstrated patience with another of their running backs dealing with injury. DeAngelo Williams was not on the field in Week 3, despite making improvements late in the week that suggested he might be available. That decision is looking good this week after the loss of Mike Tolbert to a fracture (now on IR/designated for return) and Stewart. Expect Williams to return to the playing field this Sunday against the Ravens after putting in full practices each day, and expect Stewart to stay sidelined to get a little bit healthier.

C.J. Spiller, Buffalo Bills, chest, (P): Spiller was added to the team’s injury report Thursday but was still listed as a full participant. Coach Doug Marrone offered an explanation to reporters. "It didn't happen in practice. I think it's more like the EJ [Manuel] situation, where he came in and said, 'Hey, I'm a little tight,' or whatever," Marrone said. As ESPN.com’s Mike Rodak reported, Marrone had no concerns about Spiller’s availability for Sunday.

Toby Gerhart, Jacksonville Jaguars, ankle, (P): Gerhart hasn’t missed a game since injuring his ankle in the season opener; unfortunately, his time on the field hasn’t been particularly productive. The good news is Gerhart is not limited at all in practice. While he is not 100 percent recovered from the injury, he is not letting it get in the way of his preparation or his Sunday availability. Until it translates to some bigger ground gains, however, it’s hard to get excited about having Gerhart in your lineup.

Chris Johnson, New York Jets, ankle, (P): Despite the short week, Johnson was able to practice fully each day with his sore ankle. He is expected to play Sunday as the Jets host the Lions.

Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers, back, (P): Gore turned up on the team’s injury report this week with back soreness, but he didn’t skip a beat in practice, going full bore each day. Gore is expected to play Sunday when the Niners host the Eagles.

Wide Receivers

Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions, ankle, (Q): Johnson’s return to practice Friday laid the groundwork for his availability Sunday, presuming his ankle did not take a turn for the worse as a result. Johnson has said he plans to play against the Jets this week, but fantasy owners are advised to double-check his status before kickoff.

Roddy White, hamstring, (P); Devin Hester, ankle, (P); Harry Douglas, foot, (Q); Atlanta Falcons: White’s increased activity in practice this week (daily work, including a full practice Friday), along with the probable tag, indicates the Falcons expect him to play after sitting out Week 3. Falcons coach Mike Smith didn’t leave a doubt, declaring that White would indeed be available Sunday. His teammate Hester had a record-breaking performance in Week 3 but was limited at times by cramps. He was then listed on the injury report with an ankle ailment, but it never appeared serious given his full participation in practice throughout the week.

Hester is also expected to play. The status of Douglas, however, is a bit more in question. Douglas left the Week 3 contest early with a left foot injury. After full practices Wednesday and Thursday, he was limited Friday and is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game. “He didn't practice at the level that he practiced on Thursday, so he'll be listed as questionable," coach Smith said. Fantasy owners should be sure to have an alternate plan in place for Douglas. Note this is a late kickoff (4:25 p.m. ET).

Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears, ankle, (Q): Entering the Bears’ Monday night game in Week 3, it appeared there was more reason to be encouraged about Marshall’s ankle. After all, he played in Week 2, and while he couldn’t run full speed, Marshall was able to outmuscle the 49ers in the red zone to the tune of three touchdowns. But he took an inadvertent kick to the ankle in the first half of Monday night’s game, clearly aggravating the injury and forcing a brief exit for evaluation. Marshall did return to the game, but the setback clearly affected him. With the short week leading up to this Sunday’s game against the Packers, Marshall has not practiced at all. He is expected to be a game-time decision.

Sammy Watkins, ribs and Robert Woods, ankle, Buffalo Bills, (P): Both players were listed on the injury report last week and played. Watkins has steadily been improving with the rib injury, and Woods appeared no worse for the wear with regards to his ankle. Both receivers practiced fully every day this week and are expected to play against the Texans.

Andre Johnson, Houston Texans, ankle, (P): Johnson remains on the injury report, but he also shows up on the field each week. After a limited day Wednesday, Johnson had full practices Thursday and Friday. He is again expected to play this week.

Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, wrist, (P): Jackson suffered a hairline fracture in his wrist in Week 3, but it’s not going to keep him from taking the field Sunday. Jackson will need to wear a protective brace, but he has done enough in three full practices this week to show that he can indeed play through this injury.

Mike Wallace, Miami Dolphins, hamstring, (P): Wallace put in full practices each day, and there is no real concern as far as his status for Sunday’s game. He is expected to play in London against the Raiders.
Michael Crabtree, San Francisco 49ers, quadriceps, (P): Crabtree tends to pop up on the injury reports with various soft tissue ailments, but unlike the hamstring earlier this season that threatened his game-day status, this appears far less concerning. Crabtree practiced fully both Thursday and Friday, and at probable, he is expected to play.

Eric Decker, New York Jets, hamstring, (Q): Anyone who watched Decker’s performance Monday night could tell he was not himself. The sore hamstring forced an early exit after just 12 snaps. Decker later said while he didn’t believe it was a setback, he could not get the muscle to loosen up and did not want the injury to worsen. What then is a fantasy owner to expect if Decker plays on a short week? Not much, given the pattern. The problem is there is no way to effectively predict just how freely Decker will be able to run should he play.

According to ESPN.com’s Jane McManus, Decker offered his assessment and claims there is a vast improvement in the last few days. "Got out there, finally got to practice, definitely night and day from last week,” Decker said. “Happy with the way I’ve progressed and looking forward to getting out there Sunday." That sounds nice, but Decker only practiced on a limited basis Friday and presumably was not running at game speed. Even coach Rex Ryan indicated he expects Decker to play, although he could be limited. It appears the questionable tag then is not so much about whether Decker will take the field against the Lions, but more about whether he’ll get through four quarters when he does.

T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts, ankle, (P): Hilton was able to play last week after appearing on the injury report with a groin injury. This week it’s an ankle ailment that has him on the report, but Hilton returned to full practice Thursday and Friday. The probable tag indicates the team expects to have him Sunday when they host the Titans.

Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys, shoulder, (P): Bryant insisted he would play last week and did. There is no reason to suspect anything different this week. Although he remained limited in practice each day, the probable tag is an upgrade from last week. Expect Bryant to suit up Sunday night against the Saints.

Jerricho Cotchery, Carolina Panthers, thigh, (P): After being listed as questionable heading into last week’s game and sitting that one out, Cotchery upgrades to probable this week. He did practice fully last week and is expected to be available.

Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers, groin, (P): Allen was a late addition to the injury report last week but did manage to play. He was held to just two catches, however, and the groin ailment may have played a role. The good news this week is that Allen’s practice activity increased this week, and his designation as probable inspires more confidence in his health. Allen is expected to play when the Chargers host the Jaguars on Sunday.

Allen Hurns, Jacksonville Jaguars, ankle, (P): Hurns injured his ankle in the second week of the season but played in Week 3 (with 63 yards receiving and a touchdown) and had no apparent setbacks. After a light practice Wednesday, Hurns returned to full practices both Thursday and Friday, and at probable, he is expected to play Sunday.

Tight Ends

Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers, ankle/knee, (Q): The 49ers made it sound last week as if Davis’ status came down to game time, but there were hints earlier in the week that he wasn’t close. He was on crutches the first half of the week and continued to limp toward the weekend. One week later he has made significant improvements -- including daily limited practices -- but the question remains whether he is healthy enough to risk taking the field.

Throughout the week, coach Jim Harbaugh has expressed optimism about the potential availability of Davis for Sunday’s contest against the Eagles, something he reiterated Friday when speaking to reporters. Despite being encouraged by his progress, Harbaugh was unable to commit to Davis playing. “I think we’re still going to have to be closer to game time to know for sure,” Harbaugh said. This, of course, presents a challenge for fantasy owners since the game is a late afternoon (4:25 pm ET) start. It appears things are leaning in the direction of Davis taking the field, but backup plans are a must, especially given the late kickoff.

Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots, knee, (no designation yet): It’s hard to imagine Gronkowski will get listed at anything less than probable, the designation he has held every week of the season thus far. If anything, Gronkowski has given hints that he expects his activity in games to increase as he continues to progress following ACL/MCL surgery. He will take the field as usual Monday night against the Chiefs.

Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans, shoulder, (Q): Walker was able to participate on a limited basis both Thursday and Friday and looks as if he will be able to take the field Sunday, barring a setback.

Charles Clay, Miami Dolphins, knee, (Q): Probable to questionable to probable again. That has been Clay’s journey on the injury report. Clay hasn’t missed a game yet, and he’s expected to play again this Sunday in London. His contributions have been limited thus far. If his knee is a contributing factor, the team’s upcoming bye in Week 5 should help.

Antonio Gates, hamstring, (P) and Ladarius Green, hamstring, (Q), San Diego Chargers: Gates has been on the injury report since the first week of the season, but he has also been one of the most productive tight ends in the league each week. He continues to practice fully and is again expected to play Sunday.

When the season began, it appeared Green might become a bigger factor, especially when Gates was ailing. So far that has not been the case and his late addition to the injury report this week makes a breakout performance even less likely. Green was limited Thursday with a hamstring injury and did not practice at all Friday. His status for Sunday’s game is in question.

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.

Ryan Mathews, RB, San Diego Chargers, knee: Mathews sprained the MCL in his right knee in Week 2 and is projected to miss four to five games.

Mark Ingram, RB, New Orleans Saints, hand: Ingram remains out with a broken hand sustained in Week 2.

Knowshon Moreno, RB, Miami Dolphins, elbow: Moreno remains out with an elbow injury he suffered in Week 2. He has yet to return to practice.

Marqise Lee, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars, hamstring: Lee missed the Week 3 contest with his hamstring ailment and will again sit on the sidelines after not practicing all week.

Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings, abdomen/groin: Rudolph sustained the injury in Week 3 and is expected to miss more than a month.

Rod Streater, WR, Oakland Raiders, foot: Streater fractured his foot in Week 3 and is expected to miss more than a month.

Joseph Fauria, TE, Detroit Lions, ankle: Fauria injured his ankle in Week 3 and was not able to practice this week.

Off the Injury Report

Cecil Shorts III, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars, hamstring: After injuries to both hamstrings delayed Shorts’ season, his debut in Week 3 was successful, not because he found the end zone, but because he came out of the game healthy! Shorts does not appear on the Jaguars’ injury report this week, a refreshing change for him and his fantasy owners.

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: Calvin Johnson injury update

September, 26, 2014
Sep 26
12:33
PM ET
Stephania Bell discusses the latest on Calvin Johnson's ankle injury.

Video: Falcons WRs injury update

September, 26, 2014
Sep 26
12:30
PM ET
Stephania Bell discusses the latest on the injuries to Atlanta Falcons wide receivers Roddy White, Harry Douglas and Devin Hester.

Alfred MorrisAP Photo/Matt RourkeAlfred Morris briefly left Sunday's game with a knee injury but is in good shape for Thursday.
Notable injuries for Thursday night's Washington-New York Giants game.

Washington

Alfred Morris, RB, knee (P): Morris never seemed to be in doubt of missing this game, but it’s nice to have the probable tag as reassurance. He did leave last week’s game briefly to have his knee evaluated but was able to return and finish the game. He was listed as a full participant in practice each day this week. Even though Monday’s practice was just a walk-through, the designation is significant because it indicates the team would have been comfortable putting him through an entire workout the day after the purported injury. Morris is expected to play Thursday night.

DeSean Jackson, WR, shoulder (Q): Jackson entered last week’s game with a questionable designation but ultimately played, seemingly without any setback. Jackson suffered an AC sprain in Week 2, and on Tuesday I wrote about the issues potentially facing him with that injury and the decision to let him play. With the short break between games, one of the primary objectives for Jackson this week was rest. His limited practices each day were a factor in ensuring he would be ready to go against the Giants. Despite the questionable tag, Jackson is expected to play.

Jordan Reed, TE, hamstring (O): Reed will miss his third straight game with a hamstring injury. He has not participated in practice since suffering the injury in Week 1. The team will have 11 days until its next contest, a Monday night game, but Jordan is no lock to return in Week 5.

Giants

Odell Beckham Jr., WR, hamstring (O): Considering some of the injury issues other teams are facing, the Giants have been remarkably fortunate when it comes to the health of their key skill position players. One player they have yet to see in action is Beckham, who will miss his fourth straight week with a hamstring injury. Before the season, coach Tom Coughlin indicated that repeated setbacks with the hamstring injury that sidelined Beckham early in camp would likely keep him out a few weeks. There is a glimmer of hope, though. Beckham did return to limited practices Tuesday and Wednesday. If he is able to increase his activity over the next week, it’s possible Beckham could make a debut in Week 5, a game he is targeting according to ESPN’s Dan Graziano. Given how up and down Beckham’s hamstring situation has been, it remains to be seen if that target will be met.

Key Washington injuries for Week 4

September, 23, 2014
Sep 23
1:49
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DeSean Jackson AP Photo/Michael PerezDeSean Jackson's shoulder looked to be just fine as he racked up 117 yards and a touchdown in Week 3.
The Washington Redskins have certainly had their share of significant injuries this year. Quarterback Robert Griffin III dislocated his left ankle in Week 2 and is sidelined for at least six weeks. In Week 3, cornerback DeAngelo Hall tore his Achilles tendon, and he is done for the year. At least the team knows they have to replace those players for an extended time. Perhaps the bigger challenges come in evaluating the week-to-week or day-to-day injuries, where not knowing whether a player is available runs right up until game time. This week is not made any easier since Washington faces the New York Giants on Thursday night.

Here's a look at some key players currently battling injuries:

DeSean Jackson, WR: Last week, Washington faced uncertainty with Jackson, who was questionable with an AC sprain in his left shoulder suffered in Week 2. With an AC sprain, one of the more difficult tasks soon after the injury is getting the arm overhead; this is an important requirement for a receiver. AC injuries are also easily aggravated by a fall on the point of the shoulder, a fairly common occurrence in the skill positions, especially for a receiver.

At issue in deciding whether to return any player to action is determining how functional he can be, and whether he can get through the game without suffering a setback. Apparently, Jackson was convincing enough in his recovery throughout the week for the team to allow him to play, and he promptly put both questions to rest. Jackson tallied 100-plus yards on five receptions and emerged from the game no worse off than when he started. That bodes well for him suiting up again this week, despite the short break. ESPN.com’s John Keim noted Jackson was limited in practice Monday, and it wouldn’t come as a surprise if he retains that status until Thursday.

Alfred Morris, RB: Despite being listed on Monday’s injury report with a knee injury, Morris was rated a full participant (it should be noted the team conducted only a walk-through, so this is an estimate). Morris exited Sunday’s game briefly to have his knee examined, but ultimately returned to the game; that's always an encouraging sign. There seems to be little doubt as to his availability for the matchup against the Giants.

Jordan Reed, TE:Perhaps the trickiest status is that of Reed, who injured his left hamstring in the season opener and has yet to return to practice. Coach Jay Gruden has indicated at several points that Reed’s status is day-to-day, and he remains constantly under evaluation. However, his failure to participate at any level in practice does not bode well.

The biggest concern with any hamstring strain -- even a mild one, as Reed’s was initially reported to be -- is the susceptibility to reinjury, which often translates into a more significant injury with delayed recovery. It’s hard to imagine Washington utilizing Reed in Thursday's game, when there will be 11 days until their next contest (they host Seattle on "Monday Night Football" in Week 5). As of now, it appears that Niles Paul will get another start at the tight end position for Washington.

Key fantasy injuries for Week 3

September, 20, 2014
Sep 20
5:26
PM ET
Hannah Foslien/Getty ImagesWill Jordan Cameron suit up on Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens?
Welcome to Week 3! 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 manages to be the one most frequently utilized 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's on the field come game time, although as many fantasy owners have come to learn, many teams utilize 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 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 3, everyone! May your players stay healthy and win for you.

Quarterbacks

Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys, back, (P): Romo had not taken a day off of practice since the regular season started ... until this week. He did not practice Wednesday with what was described as “tightness” in his low back but maintains it was a routine day of rest. Romo returned to full practice Thursday and repeated the effort Friday. He is expected to start in St. Louis.

Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals, right shoulder, (Q): Last Saturday I expressed concern about the health of Palmer after coach Bruce Arians indicated he was dealing with a “nerve thing.” That concern turned out to be justified as the “nerve thing,” now defined as a bruised nerve, not only kept Palmer from playing last Sunday, but also continues to keep Palmer from being able to throw. Since throwing is a critical component of the role of a quarterback, the Cardinals have already determined that Drew Stanton will again start in place of Palmer. If Palmer’s condition should progress to the point where he is able to play, he will serve as Stanton’s backup. If the team determines he is not yet able to play -- which seems more likely -- Logan Thomas will be the backup, and Palmer will look to continue his progress over the next week.

Shaun Hill, St. Louis Rams, thigh, (Q): Hill missed Week 2 because of a quad strain and appears as if he could miss a second consecutive week. Hill was held to limited work in practice throughout the week, and it was Austin Davis who took most of the reps with the first team. Although coach Jeff Fisher indicated Hill would be a game-time decision, it appears Davis is in line for another start.

Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers, back, (P): Kaepernick took some big hits Sunday night, in addition to the loss. He was listed on this week’s injury report starting Thursday because of his back, but he remained a full participant throughout the week and was reportedly moving well. His bigger concern might be the potential absence of one of his top receiving targets, tight end Vernon Davis, as the 49ers square off against the division-rival Cardinals.

Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens, illness, (P): After being sidelined for Wednesday’s practice because of a head cold, Flacco returned to full work Thursday and Friday. He is expected to start Sunday against the Browns.



Running Backs

Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs, ankle, (Q): Of all the question marks heading into Sunday’s games, Charles might be the one who is being most closely watched. Charles left last Sunday’s game with a left high ankle sprain, and it was widely presumed he would miss at least one game, despite coach Andy Reid’s comments that the sprain did not appear to be severe. After all, high ankle sprains can present a challenging recovery, depending on the degree of injury and even the mild versions typically sideline players for at least one or two weeks. Charles did not practice Wednesday and no one blinked, already expecting backup Knile Davis to be in line for a Sunday start. On Thursday, Charles got everyone’s attention, however, when he showed up on the practice field for some running back drills. According to ESPN.com’s Adam Teicher, Charles even did some cone-cutting drills -- the relevance being his participation in an activity requiring more than just linear movement -- and didn’t appear to be heavily favoring the ankle. Charles turned in another limited practice Friday and is now listed as questionable, leaving everyone to wonder whether he will suit up Week 3 in Miami and how much he might play if he does. Coach Reid indicated Charles “moved around and did a decent job,” but after noting Charles still appeared a little sore, he added, “If he can’t go, he can’t go. The other guys have practiced.”

This has the feel (emphasizing the word “feel”) of positive progress for Charles (back on the practice field, running some soft routes, doing drills, getting some football work), but not quite game-ready status. It’s a long season and no one, especially the Chiefs, wants to see Charles suffer a setback that could result in a more extended absence. But Charles is a tough player who does not have a history of missing much time. With the exception of the 2011 season when Charles suffered a torn ACL in Week 2 and missed the remainder of the year, Charles has only missed two games in five complete seasons, a remarkable track record for a running back. His efforts this week, if nothing else, demonstrate his commitment to returning to action as soon as possible. If the team does greenlight him to return to play, it’s entirely possible he could see limited work, perhaps even as an offset to Davis.

The only certainty at this point is the time of kickoff, which, unfortunately for fantasy owners, is not until 4:25 pm ET.

Arian Foster, Houston Texans, hamstring, (Q): What started out as logical rationale for Foster’s limited practice early in the week, (Surely the Texans want to rest their veteran almost-every-down back to help ensure his availability for Sunday!) is turning into legitimate concern as his participation remained limited at the end of the week. Coach Bill O’Brien noted midweek that it was important to keep an eye on his veteran players’ workload in practice to protect them for game day, including wide receiver Andre Johnson alongside Foster in that discussion. Still, the combination of Foster’s number of carries thus far in a two-game period (55, a league high as noted by ESPN.com’s Tania Ganguli), his history of hamstring issues in the past, his limited participation throughout training camp and his questionable designation do suggest there is at least the possibility of his status against the Giants being in jeopardy. Fantasy owners will want to confirm his status before kickoff.

Bernard Pierce, Baltimore Ravens, thigh, (Q): Pierce showed up on Thursday’s injury report as a limited participant with a thigh injury but did register as a full participant Friday. The questionable tag indicates there is still some uncertainty as to his availability for Sunday, and the team may want to see how he fares during pregame warm-ups.

Maurice Jones-Drew, Oakland Raiders, hand, (Q): Jones-Drew made a return to the practice field Thursday after missing all of last week -- including Sunday’s game -- with a swollen right hand following a “minor procedure.” Jones-Drew had hinted that he might miss the Week 2 game, citing the need to be able to not only carry the ball effectively, but also to be able to block and catch in order to play. His return to practice is the best sign that he is truly progressing toward game action. Jones-Drew participated on a limited basis both Thursday and Friday, and it looks as if he could be available Sunday. The questionable tag is a reminder to verify his status Sunday before kickoff.

Shane Vereen, New England Patriots, shoulder, (Q): One never knows who will get the bulk of the work in a game when all the Patriots running backs are healthy. It becomes even more of a challenge when trying to establish whether a back who appears on the injury report will indeed be well enough to even suit up Sunday. The good news is, there was no word of a major injury to Vereen, and he did practice on a limited basis each day. He also spoke with reporters after practice Friday, another positive in New England. ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss does not anticipate Vereen missing this one. Until he is officially declared active Sunday however, fantasy owners should have insurance in place.

Andre Ellington, Arizona Cardinals, foot, (P): Ellington is going to be a fixture on the injury report for the foreseeable future with the strained tendon in his left foot. He used Wednesday to rest his foot this week then returned to limited practices Thursday and Friday. The team obviously feels more comfortable that he will play since they list him as probable to face the 49ers.

Joique Bell, Detroit Lions, knee, (P): Last week it was Bell’s teammate Reggie Bush who appeared on the injury report. This week the two have swapped places, perhaps, in part, due to the workload Bell has been experiencing. It is Bell who has had the higher number of carries through the first two weeks of the season. No reason to worry about his status for Week 3, as he participated on a limited basis each day. Expect Bell on the field against the Packers on Sunday.

DeAngelo Williams, Carolina Panthers, thigh, (Q): Williams’ hamstring injury forced him to sit out in Week 2, and he is not a lock for Week 3, although there are encouraging signs. Williams attempted his first practice work Friday, and even though he was limited, he did work with the first team. According to ESPN.com’s David Newton, Williams is expected to play, barring a setback prior to Sunday night. Knowing how hamstring injuries can behave, fantasy owners are advised to have an alternate plan in place should Williams be forced to sit this one out.

Toby Gerhart, Jacksonville Jaguars, foot, (P): Gerhart played in Week 2, just seven days removed from an injury sustained in the season opener. Given that he has already played since the injury, there is little doubt he will suit up again, but he is not yet 100 percent. Gerhart got Wednesday off to rest, did limited work Thursday, then returned to a full practice Friday. Expect him to play Sunday when the Jaguars host the Colts.

Chris Johnson, New York Jets, ankle, (P): The Jets play Monday night, which gives Johnson an additional day off between games. He did not miss any practice this week, rather, he was just kept to limited work, so it appears he will be available Monday when the Jets host the Bears.

Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers, calf, (P): Hyde appears on the 49ers' injury list this week, but his presence there doesn’t raise much concern. Hyde participated fully in practice each day this week and should be available Sunday against the Cardinals, as the probable tag indicates.

Marshawn Lynch, back, and Christine Michael, hamstring, Seattle Seahawks, (P): Lynch is listed on this week’s injury report with a back issue, but the probable tag and his full practices Thursday and Friday tell us not to worry … yet. Longtime fantasy owners will recall that back problems have cropped up intermittently for Lynch in the past, but with the exception of one immediate pregame scratch, he has played through them. This does not appear to be an issue this week but is something to keep an eye on going forward. Lynch’s teammate Michael has been sidelined with a hamstring injury since late in the preseason, but clearly his status is improving. Michael was limited in practice Wednesday and Thursday but was a full participant Friday. At probable, he is expected to be available Sunday, but it is unclear just how much the Seahawks might utilize him, especially if Lynch is healthy.

Wide receivers

Brandon Marshall, ankle, and Alshon Jeffery, hamstring, Chicago Bears, (Q): For fantasy owners who thought the Bears’ questionable status posed a challenge in Week 2 given they played on a Sunday night, this week is no better. Both Marshall and Jeffery remain listed as questionable this week, and the Bears play in the Monday night game.

But there are reasons to feel a bit more confident about the likelihood both will suit up.

First, both receivers did end up active Sunday night, although Marshall was far more active from a productivity perspective than Jeffery. It was clear that neither was at full health in terms of their ability to move downfield (although Marshall appeared healthier every time he was in the end zone scoring), but both managed to create a visible threat to the San Francisco defense by their mere presence. After that test proved successful, why wouldn’t the Bears repeat it a week later, even if their stars aren’t running at full capacity?

Secondly, the two have had an additional week to recover. Marshall didn’t practice at all until Saturday, but the time spent resting his ankle seems justifiable. Jeffery participated on a limited basis daily, also understandable if the team wanted to evaluate how he responded to light-to-moderate work on back-to-back days.

It’s worth noting the Bears do have some additional insurance this week, as wide receiver Josh Morgan likely returns from a groin injury that caused him to miss last Sunday night’s game. Morgan practiced fully each day and is listed as probable. And the Bears have Santonio Holmes who hasn’t factored into the receiving game much but at least provides another option. The Bears just happen to be playing the Jets, Holmes’ former team, Monday night.

Ultimately, the hints that the Bears’ top two receivers should be on the field this week are much stronger than they were last Sunday. ESPN.com’s Michael C. Wright also reports both receivers are expected to play. The main question for fantasy owners will be how effective they can be despite their injuries. Marshall has already demonstrated the ankle will not prevent him from making spectacular catches. There are more questions about whether Jeffery will be able to run full-stride at top speed -- and do so without suffering a setback.

A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals, foot, (P): Isn’t it nice of the Bengals to list Green as probable in advance of this week’s game so fantasy owners have less to agonize over Sunday morning? Now the questions aren’t about whether Green will be out on the field, rather, they center on whether he can stay on the field. After last week’s quick exit, the result of an aggravation of an injury he originally suffered in Week 1, the concern about whether Green and his injured right big toe will get through a full game is understandable. His progression through the week is encouraging, however, and should inspire a certain level of confidence that he is at least entering the game feeling much better. Fantasy owners should stay tuned to ESPN.com’s Coley Harvey’s pregame reports, however; he will be keeping a close eye on Green during warm-ups Sunday morning, as that is when the foot began to bother him last week.

Sammy Watkins, ribs and Robert Woods, ankle, Buffalo Bills, (P): Watkins remains on the report because of his still-healing ribs, but his involvement in game action and full practices are a sign of his improvement. His teammate Woods initially looked as if he might miss this game, especially when he did not practice Thursday following a limited workout Wednesday. Woods surprised everyone Friday, though, when he not only returned to limited practice but impressed the staff enough to be upgraded to probable. It appears Woods will be starting in tandem with Watkins as the Bills host the Chargers.

Andre Johnson, Houston Texans, ankle, (P): Johnson may remain on the injury report because of his ankle, but he practiced in full each day this week. There is no real concern about his status for Sunday’s game against the Giants.

Hakeem Nicks, illness, (Q) and T.Y. Hilton, groin, (P), Indianapolis Colts: Fantasy owners will want to check on Nicks’ status prior to Sunday kickoff. He missed practice both Thursday and Friday because of illness, and the team has listed him as questionable to play against the Jaguars. Hilton makes an appearance on the injury report with a groin injury that caused him to be limited in practice Wednesday. He returned to full practice Thursday and repeated the effort Friday. At probable, he is expected to play.

Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota Vikings, chest, (P): No one likes to see a top receiver added to the Thursday injury report. The matter does not appear serious, however, since Patterson was back at full practice Friday, and the team has him listed as probable for Sunday.

Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys, shoulder, (Q): For his part, Bryant insists he will be on the field Sunday. There’s not really any reason to discount his declaration. After all, the Cowboys want him out there, and after a day off Wednesday, Bryant was back on the practice field, albeit in limited fashion, on Thursday and Friday. Perhaps more importantly, Bryant suffered the injury in the first quarter of last week’s game, but after a brief exit to get some additional protective cushion, Bryant returned to finish out the game. Expect him to play.

Kelvin Benjamin, knee, (P); Jason Avant, thigh, and Jerricho Cotchery, thigh, (Q); Carolina Panthers: The best news here is that Benjamin is expected to play. Given that the Panthers do not play until Sunday night, the more reassurances there are in advance, the better. Benjamin had Wednesday off but practiced fully both Thursday and Friday. As for Avant and Cotchery, they might be legitimate game-time decisions. Avant was not able to get through Wednesday practice but limited work Friday may have been enough. Cotchery’s practice participation went in a negative direction as he was held out completely Friday. Both have a shot to play since they are listed as questionable, but it would be tough to rely on either receiver.

Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers, groin, (Q): Allen has been listed on past injury reports with a rib injury, but he now makes an appearance with a groin ailment. The injury popped up on the Thursday practice report, and Allen remained limited Friday. It’s unclear whether this is the type of injury where Allen felt something mild in practice and they limited him proactively to ensure his Sunday availability or whether this is something bigger. Fantasy owners will definitely want to confirm his pregame status. Thankfully this is a rare 1 p.m. ET start for the Chargers as they travel to Buffalo to face the Bills.

Eric Decker, New York Jets, hamstring, (Q): After suffering a setback with his previously injured hamstring in last week’s game, Decker did not appear in practice until Saturday, and even that was limited. The Jets do not play until Monday night, making him a risky start, especially following a hamstring flare-up.

Rod Streater, Oakland Raiders, hip, (Q): Streater appeared on the injury report this week with a hip ailment and did not practice at all Wednesday or Thursday. He did turn in a limited practice Friday, and the questionable tag hints at a game-time decision. The Raiders have an early kickoff (1 pm ET) this week as they travel to New England.

Julian Edelman, New England Patriots, back, (P): Despite his presence on the injury report because of a back issue, Edelman’s listing as probable to play indicates fantasy owners shouldn’t be overly concerned. As long as there are no setbacks, he should play Sunday.

Martavis Bryant, shoulder, and Lance Moore, groin, Pittsburgh Steelers, (P): The good news is that both receivers are listed as probable, indicating the Steelers expect to have them available Sunday night. Former New Orleans Saints receiver Moore has yet to make an appearance for the Steelers after being sidelined the first two games of the season with a groin injury. After posting full practices this week, Moore stated he expects to play.

Cecil Shorts, hamstring, (P) and Allen Hurns, ankle, (P), Jacksonville Jaguars: Finally! It appears Jaguars’ wide receiver Shorts will make his season debut this Sunday when the Jaguars host the Colts. Shorts has been hampered by hamstrings, first one side, then the other, since training camp. This week he practiced three days in a row -- a big plus -- notching a full practice Friday after two consecutive limited workouts. The Jaguars are looking forward to Shorts starting Sunday, barring any setbacks beforehand. He will be accompanied by Hurns, who is returning from a sprained ankle suffered in Week 2. Hurns’ status looked a little tenuous Thursday when he had not yet practiced, but he returned Friday and looked “pretty good,” according to head coach Gus Bradley. With Marqise Lee sidelined by a hamstring, the third wide receiver behind Shorts and Hurns is expected to be Allen Robinson. Robinson had his own hamstring issues in August and early September, but he appears to be healthy now as he is off the injury report.

Tight Ends

Jordan Cameron, Cleveland Browns, shoulder, (Q): There is no doubt as to Cameron’s value as a member of the Browns’ pass-catching corps, a trait which makes him equally valuable to fantasy owners. Consequently, everyone would like to see him back on the field in Week 3. Of course, no one, especially Cameron, wants to see him sustain another aggravation of an AC injury that originated in the preseason. One more week without Cameron might be beneficial in the big picture, considering the Browns head into a bye in Week 4 that would grant him additional rest. So, which is it going to be?

The answer remains elusive. Just look at the “50-50” questionable status. One could argue the benefits of Cameron playing AND the benefits of him resting an additional week. Two more weeks off the field doesn’t guarantee against him suffering a setback in Week 5; the time between his initial injury and the first setback was just more than five weeks. Not playing, however, would guarantee against a second setback coming just two weeks after the first (potentially a more serious threat), and it would provide Cameron with additional healing time and the opportunity to work on any residual range of motion issues.

If Cameron does play, expect him to approach the game as he normally would. He has already said if he plays, he doesn’t expect opponents not to hit him; perhaps that is why he also said he didn’t want to return until he felt assured he wouldn’t suffer a setback. Given that as of Thursday, Cameron’s participation was being described as “extremely limited” by OC Kyle Shanahan, it may be too much to expect him to be ready for competition by Sunday. But the questionable tag reflects the fact the team has not yet made up its mind. According to ESPN.com’s Pat McManamon, the Browns will wait until pregame warm-ups Sunday to make the final decision. Fantasy owners are advised to have a backup plan in place.

Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers, ankle/knee, (Q): Sunday night’s game against the Chicago Bears did not end well for the 49ers, and it wasn’t just because of the loss. Tight end Vernon Davis left the game with what appeared to be an ankle injury, an injury serious enough to warrant crutches after the game. It was later reported that Davis sustained a “deep bruise” to the ankle (suggesting a bone bruise), and his status throughout the week has been murky at best. Davis was still using crutches as of Wednesday. Even when spotted without crutches Thursday, he was still observed to be “limping badly” in the locker room. No practice all week and a persistent limp hint at the 49ers going without Davis in their divisional matchup against the Arizona Cardinals. Of note, tight end Vance McDonald is dealing with a knee injury that could keep him out of the lineup, as well, in which case third-string tight end Derek Carrier would get the nod.

Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots, knee, (P): The probable tag indicates Gronkowski is expected to play, just as he has in Weeks 1 and 2. Gronkowski’s time on the playing field has been controlled thus far, not surprising, given his recent ACL/MCL surgery. He remains a consistent threat any time he is on the field, however, a fact certainly not lost on the Raiders, the team the Patriots face this week.

Charles Clay, Miami Dolphins, knee, (Q): Last week, Clay appeared on the injury report because of his knee, but the probable tag assured fantasy owners he would take the field. No such assurances this week. Clay’s status is downgraded to questionable despite the fact his practice status is just as it was last week, limited daily. ESPN.com’s James Walker does not include Clay on his projected inactive list for the Dolphins. Fantasy owners should verify his status in advance of Sunday’s game nonetheless, but note this is a 4:25 pm ET start.

Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings, abdomen, (P): An abdominal strain limited Rudolph in practice all week, but the Vikings are apparently not too concerned. Rudolph is expected to play Sunday.

Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles, knee, (P): Ertz is listed here because of his knee, but he practiced fully every day. The probable designation indicates he will play Sunday.

Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers, calf, (P): Olsen has a mild calf issue, but it does not present any threat to his Sunday night status. After a limited practice Wednesday, Olsen was a full participant Thursday and Friday. Listed as probable, he is expected to play when the Panthers host the Steelers. Considering all the injuries to the Panthers’ wide receiver corps, Olsen’s presence has to be reassuring to his quarterback.

Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers, hamstring, (P): Gates may be 34 years old, and he may have been on the injury report since Week 1 with a hamstring injury, but that hasn’t stopped him from posting the second-most fantasy points by a tight end so far this season. For what it’s worth, Gates trails Broncos tight end Julius Thomas by only two points and leads the Saints’ Jimmy Graham by four. All of which is to make the point that Gates’ continued presence on the injury report should not alarm anyone, especially given that he returned to full practice Friday and is listed as probable against Buffalo.

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.

Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington, ankle: Griffin dislocated his left ankle in the first quarter of last Sunday’s game, and it appeared his season was in jeopardy. After tests revealed no fracture the team announced Griffin would wear a cast for ten days after which he would be re-evaluated. The team is currently projecting a return timetable of 6-8 weeks but that remains fluid.

Ben Tate, RB, Cleveland Browns, knee: Tate sat out Week 2, and after not yet participating in practice, he was not expected to return this week. The Browns have a bye in Week 4, and the expectation is that Tate will return to action the following Sunday.

Jordan Reed, TE, Washington, hamstring: Reed is still in recovery mode after straining his left hamstring in Week 1. He has not yet returned to practice and will sit out again this week.

Ryan Mathews, RB, San Diego Chargers, knee: Mathews sprained the MCL in his right knee in Week 2 and is projected to miss four to five games.

Mark Ingram, RB, New Orleans Saints, hand: Ingram suffered a broken hand in Week 2 and had surgery to insert stabilizing hardware this week. According to ESPN.com’s Mike Triplett, coach Sean Payton described Ingram’s status as week-to-week, suggesting the door is open for him to return earlier than the original four-week projected absence.

Knowshon Moreno, RB, Miami Dolphins, elbow: The Dolphins have yet to offer much detail regarding Moreno’s dislocated elbow, an injury he suffered in Week 2. Moreno has been projected to miss at least a month.

Marqise Lee, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars, hamstring: Lee’s injury is an example of when “tightness” in a muscle turns into something a bit more significant. After attempting limited practice Wednesday, Lee did not practice Thursday or Friday and was ruled out for Week 3.

Odell Beckham, WR, New York Giants, hamstring: Beckham remains out of practice and on the injury report.

Marvin Jones, WR, Cincinnati Bengals, foot: Jones is still recovering from foot surgery and remains out this week.

Off the injury report:

Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers, ribs: The ribs may still be healing internally, but outwardly, Newton looked strong in his Week 2 debut. He no longer appears on the injury report.

Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay Packers, concussion: Lacy showed no recurrence of any concussion-related symptoms either prior to or post-Week 2. He was not on the injury report this week.

Terrance Williams, WR, Dallas Cowboys, back: Williams was on the injury report the first two weeks of the season because of his back, yet played each week without incident. He has progressed to being removed entirely from the injury report.

Kenny Stills, WR, New Orleans Saints, quadriceps: Stills returned to action in Week 2 after missing the first week because of yet another setback with his strained quad. He appears to have emerged from that game unscathed, as he is no longer on the injury report, although it’s too soon to say he’s completely out of the woods as far as any potential aggravation. The more weeks that go by without a setback, the better it looks for Stills going forward.

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.
Stephania Bell discusses the latest on A.J. Green's toe injury.

Video: Masahiro Tanaka's return

September, 19, 2014
Sep 19
5:33
PM ET
Stephania Bell discusses the expectations for Masahiro Tanaka for his return on Sunday.

Video: Charles' ankle sprain

September, 18, 2014
Sep 18
2:36
PM ET
Stephania Bell explains the difference between a regular ankle sprain and a high ankle sprain, especially at it applies to Jamaal Charles.

Thursday night injury roundup

September, 18, 2014
Sep 18
9:59
AM ET
Doug MartinAP Photo/Brian BlancoDoug Martin has nine yards on nine rushing attempts thus far in 2014.
The 0-2 Tampa Bay Buccaneers travel to the Peach State to take on the 1-1 Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night. Each team has some injuries to fantasy-relevant players that I've been monitoring all week, and here's the latest:

Buccaneers

Doug Martin, RB, knee (Q): Martin injured his knee in the first game of the season and sat out last Sunday’s contest. With the team’s third game coming only four days later, it’s not clear whether he is quite ready to return to action. There have been no details released as to the nature of Martin’s injury, but he was able to participate in practice on a limited basis this week. It should be noted Martin was able to practice, albeit in limited fashion, last Thursday and Friday, but he still ended up on the sideline.

According to ESPN.com’s Pat Yasinskas, coach Lovie Smith did little to clarify Martin’s status. If anything, he indicated his preference would be to share the workload in any given week, if everyone is healthy. Everyone includes most notably, Bobby Rainey, who got the Week 2 start in Martin’s absence, rushing for 144 yards on 22 carries and catching three passes.

“We want to play more than one running back, two, maybe three," Smith said, per Yasinskas. They may get their wish if Martin is able to go. It appears he has a decent chance of doing so, although how much work he would get is unclear.

Falcons

Julio Jones, WR, ankle, (P): Jones appeared on the Falcons’ injury report this week because of an ankle issue. This ailment appears to be relatively minor and never seemed to threaten Jones’ status for the week. More importantly, his recently surgically repaired foot appears to be doing just fine. Jones was able to fully participate each day in practice during the shortened week and, listed probable, is expected to play.

Roddy White, WR, knee, (Q): White may not have practiced this week because of a hamstring ailment, but his teammates don’t seem too concerned about his availability for Thursday night. According to ESPN.com’s Vaughn McClure, White said he was “good” after injuring his hamstring in last Sunday’s matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals. After all, the injury wasn’t serious enough for him to miss any offensive snaps.

Given the shortened week leading up to Thursday’s game, the nonparticipation in practice may be more about managing a veteran in order to ensure his availability while hopefully guarding against a setback. Entering Week 2, White was on the injury report because of his left knee. He had the knee drained during the offseason, and coach Mike Smith indicated White’s in-season practice preparation would be tempered at times to preserve him for game day.

So far, White hasn’t been restricted in games, and it is presumed he will take the field tonight. But there is at least a little concern when it comes to even minor hamstring injuries, given their propensity for being easily aggravated. The hope is White will survive the night without a setback, then take advantage of the 10-day break before the Falcons face the Minnesota Vikings. Given the questionable tag, fantasy owners should verify White’s status before kickoff.

Video: Jamaal Charles update

September, 16, 2014
Sep 16
2:36
PM ET
Stephania Bell discusses the latest on Jamaal Charles' ankle injury.

Video: Knowshon Moreno's status

September, 16, 2014
Sep 16
2:34
PM ET
Stephania Bell discusses the latest on Knowshon Moreno's elbow injury.

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