Galloway out, Graham unlikely
December, 29, 2007
By Stephania Bell | ESPN.com
Due to the late Friday blog issue, today we'll keep the conversation brief, looking only at those players who did NOT appear in Friday's report or those who have updates since Friday's report.
Joey Galloway, WR, Buccaneers: Galloway is listed as out due to a team decision. According to the Tampa Tribune, Galloway suffered a bruised shoulder in Week 16 against the 49ers. It is not thought to be a major injury, but Galloway was kept out of practice Thursday and Friday and is no doubt being preserved for the playoffs.
Eddie Kennison, WR, Chiefs: Kennison has a rib injury and will not play during the Chiefs' final week of the season. He has dealt with an injury-plagued season in 2007, first a significant hamstring tear, then a rib injury. He missed so much action that he likely isn't on your fantasy team, but just in case, we are making sure you're not thinking of using him in Week 17.
Todd Heap, TE, Ravens: The Ravens placed Heap on injured reserve, formally ending his season, which informally ended about five weeks ago for fantasy owners. The rest is much needed for Heap's chronic hamstring problem and hopefully he will be able to enter the 2008 season healthy.
Daniel Wilcox and Quinn Sypniewski, TE, Ravens: OK. These two are not on injured reserve. But with the tight ends behind Todd Heap out with a concussion (Wilcox) and a thigh strain (Sypniewski), the tight end duties will fall to Lee Vickers, according to a report in the Carroll County Times. Vickers began the season as a defensive end on the Philadelphia Eagles' practice squad, so don't look to him for your fantasy points.
Here's what we know so far about other players with injury concerns heading into Saturday and Sunday.
Earnest Graham and Michael Pittman, Buccaneers: Graham has been dealing with a nagging but minor ankle injury for several weeks. The Buccaneers have already indicated that they plan to rest their key starters for the playoffs. Graham (questionable) is expected to be one of them, meaning he will not likely play. Pittman meanwhile is returning to health after missing extended time with his high ankle sprain. He suited up in Week 16 and is expected to play Sunday as well, potentially seeing significant action with Graham resting.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Ike Hilliard, Buccaneers: Hilliard (questionable) does not really have a specific injury but has been banged up across the season with ailments ranging from an upper back injury to a calf strain to a sore knee. He was not able to practice either Thursday or Friday and his questionable status appears to be exactly that. With Galloway out, Hilliard would normally be called upon, but given his aches and pains, his playing time is bound to be limited, even if he goes.
Brandon Stokley and Javon Walker, Broncos: Stokley has been bothered by a knee injury and was unable to suit up for the Broncos' Monday night game. Sunday does not appear to be much different as Stokley did not practice at all, making the likelihood of him playing even slimmer. Teammate Javon Walker, who has not been 100 percent since his most recent knee surgery, practiced fully Thursday and Friday, is listed as probable and is expected to play. Don't count on Walker for fantasy production however, as his targets have been limited in the past few weeks.
Daniel Graham, Broncos: Graham is listed as questionable with an ankle injury that has kept him at bay for the past two weeks. He aggravated the ankle during Monday night's game and is questionable for Week 17. Expect Tony Scheffler to continue to be the go-to tight end for Cutler.
Michael Jenkins, Falcons: Jenkins (questionable) has a quadriceps strain that kept him out of practice the entire week. Jenkins clearly does not have the value of Roddy White, but nonetheless has made it into the end zone in recent weeks. Not this time. Jenkins appears very unlikely to play, so if you were considering him for a flex option, look elsewhere.
Individual Defensive Players
Charles Woodson, CB, Packers: Woodson is listed as doubtful because of the toe injury. After practicing on a limited basis Wednesday and Thursday, Woodson was held out of practice Friday. Do not expect to see him until the playoffs.
Antoine Winfield, CB, Vikings: Winfield (questionable) has a shoulder injury according to the injury report, but in actuality it is a strained pectoral muscle. The risk of him aggravating the injury is fairly high if he reaches out to make a tackle with his left arm extended and it gets pulled back. Winfield told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that he will test the arm during pregame warm-ups but will not put himself at risk. He is a risky fantasy play.
Troy Polamalu, S, Steelers: Polamalu (doubtful) is still having some trouble with the knee he sprained several weeks ago and is very unlikely to play. The Steelers need his services in the playoffs so the rest makes sense.
Ray Lewis, LB, Ravens: Lewis (questionable) suffered a dislocated finger two weeks ago that held him out of the Week 16 contest and it looks as if it will keep him out Sunday as well. The Carroll County Times reports that coach Brian Billick said of Lewis' chances for playing, "It's not looking that good." Do not expect Lewis on the field against the Steelers.
Best of luck in Week 17! Be sure to check our inactive updates on Sunday morning at ESPN.com. Or stop by our chats before the game to get last-minute fantasy roster advice.
Congratulations on making it to Week 17! The injury blog will continue, although a little less frequently, until the baseball season picks up. In the interim I will highlight key basketball injuries as well as preseason baseball and postseason football injury-related news. Happy New Year to everyone and thank you to all of you for reading.