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Saturday, September 15, 2012
Fantasy injury updates for Week 2


Adrian Peterson
Fantasy owners shouldn't have any concern over Adrian Peterson's health going forward.

Welcome to Week 2, everyone! Of course there were injury additions after Week 1, but there are also some players who haven't yet made their season debut -- and those debuts could happen this week. Here's what we know as of Saturday morning:

Quarterbacks

Jake Locker, Tennessee Titans, shoulder (Q): Locker separated his non-throwing shoulder while trying to make a tackle in Week 1. Fortunately, it has not presented much of a barrier to his returning to practice, which he did Thursday. After a couple of good sessions Thursday and Friday, the expectation is that he will play Sunday.

John Skelton, Arizona Cardinals, ankle (D): Skelton might as well be ruled out for this game. Carted off last week with what some feared was a fracture or a high ankle sprain, Skelton had neither. The traditional lateral ankle sprain he did suffer was enough to keep him out of practice and is expected to keep him out of the game, as well. Kevin Kolb has already been named the starter.

Running backs

Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings, knee (P): He's probable all right, as in probable to run all over his (and your) opponent. Peterson came out of Week 1 having more carries than originally planned and, more importantly, feeling good. He acknowledged some tightness in his patellar tendon, not uncommon when returning to high-level activity after this type of surgery. In other words, there were no red flags, no indicators that he would need to be scaled back. If anything, he and the team can feel more comfortable about increasing his work.

The Vikings will continue to monitor his response to activity, but, in the absence of something unexpected, Peterson should be good moving forward. The team says he's not quite ready for 25 carries a week, but last year he averaged fewer than 18 carries a game and still did plenty of damage. Last week, Peterson carried the ball 17 times, so it appears his estimation that he's 95 percent recovered is pretty accurate.

Arian Foster, Houston Texans, illness, back (P): Foster was another running back with a question mark next to his name heading into Week 1 who quickly put any concerns to rest. He's on the injury report again this week -- for different issues -- but there appears to be little worry about his status. Foster was ill Wednesday and was limited in practice. He returned to full practice Thursday and Friday and despite "back" being added to his injury tag, the designation as probable tells us he'll play.

Ryan Mathews, San Diego Chargers, shoulder (Q): Mathews was given a four- to six-week timetable when he originally broke his collarbone. Now at five weeks, Mathews was just given the green light for contact Thursday. He returned to limited practice and did participate in some team drills, but whether he's ready for competition yet is still a bit of a mystery. Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune summed it up well, suggesting Mathews' limited practice time might be enough reason for the Chargers to sit him one more week.

From an injury standpoint, the issue has always been around the bone healing. Medical clearance to absorb contact was a huge hurdle to overcome, as it signified confidence from team physicians about the recovery of Mathews' clavicle. Coach Norv Turner has repeatedly praised Mathews for his intense efforts at maintaining his conditioning and doing everything in his power to accelerate the process. Still, there is really nothing like engaging in team practice for game preparation, something Mathews has been unable to do until late this week. So, despite being cleared for contact, Mathews might not be ready for competition just yet.

Mathews officially will be a dreaded late game-time decision Sunday.

Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks, back (P): Lynch's status is in far less doubt than it was last week at this time. Although the back spasms remain a potential concern to flare up at any time, Lynch did practice every day this week (limited Wednesday, full Thursday and Friday). At probable, he is expected to play.

Trent Richardson, Cleveland Browns, knee (P): Richardson managed to get through Week 1 without incident, then turned in a full practice every day this week. He is expected to start again for the Browns in Week 2.

Jonathan Stewart, Carolina Panthers, ankle (Q): Stewart was a full participant in practice Wednesday and Thursday, and coach Ron Rivera noted Stewart's increased ease of movement on the ankle. Stewart was listed as limited Friday, however, making his status a bit more questionable, just as the official tag implies. The Charlotte Observer reports that Rivera is hopeful Stewart will be available Sunday.

This is an early game Sunday, so fantasy owners should have time to adjust once inactives are released.

Chris "Beanie" Wells, knee (P), and Ryan Williams, knee (P), Arizona Cardinals: Wells isn't off the injury report just yet, but he did practice fully each day and is expected to play. Williams also practiced daily but is still working his way back from offseason surgery to repair a torn patellar tendon. Both should see playing time against New England on Sunday.

Rashard Mendenhall, knee (D), and Jonathan Dwyer, foot (P), Pittsburgh Steelers: Mendenhall continues to participate in full practice every day, but the team is not ready for him to participate in games just yet. Dwyer got some rest Wednesday but was back in full practice Thursday and Friday. He could see an increased role this week as the Steelers host the Jets.

Shane Vereen, New England Patriots, foot (Q): Vereen's foot injury continues to limit him in practice, although he does appear to be making progress. Whether Vereen plays or not, Stevan Ridley should see the majority of the work again this week.

Brandon Jacobs, San Francisco 49ers, knee (Q): Jacobs sprained his left knee in mid-August and still has not returned to practice. The 49ers continue to list him as questionable, but this is a Sunday night game and there is a lot of risk in counting on him.

Wide receivers

Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions, foot (P): Johnson did not practice Wednesday to rest a sore foot. He practiced fully Thursday and Friday and is expected to play. Carry on.

Jeremy Maclin, hip, and DeSean Jackson, hamstring, Philadelphia Eagles (Q): Maclin and Jackson's injury concerns were outlined Thursday, and, at that time, the big question was whether they would return to practice Friday. In fact, both receivers did return, on a limited basis, to the practice field Friday, but the team still lists them as questionable to play. According to the Philadelphia Daily News, Maclin said he did not feel any pain after practice, noting, "Right now, everything's a go."

Both receivers are game-time decisions, so fantasy owners should check their status prior to kickoff.

Pierre Garcon
Pierre Garcon's status for Sunday is unclear.

Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins, foot (Q): Garcon might be one of the toughest decisions for fantasy owners this week. His foot injury has been described only in vague terms and his very limited participation Thursday and Friday has everyone rightfully concerned. Coach Mike Shanahan said Garcon is a game-time decision, a decision that comes down to how much the pain affects his ability to perform, according to the Washington Examiner. "If he can live with the pain and can go full speed, then you let him go," Shanahan said.

It sounds as if the Skins will truly test Garcon on the field Sunday before making that determination. The harder part to predict will be just how effective Garcon can be if he takes the field. Complicating matters is the fact this is a late game Sunday.

Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants, foot (Q): Nicks not practicing Wednesday or Friday, along with a questionable tag, might scare fantasy owners, but coach Tom Coughlin told reporters Friday that he expects Nicks to play. Nicks has been very candid about the fact his foot is still sore at times, but he will play through it. The Giants have demonstrated in the past that they will rest some of their key players during the week to give them a better chance of being able to perform Sunday.

Although Nicks had only a few catches in Week 1, it's important to remember that he missed the bulk of the preseason while recovering from foot surgery. His role should increase as the weeks progress and his foot continues to heal.

Austin Collie, Indianapolis Colts, head (D): Collie practiced fully Wednesday but then did not practice at all Thursday or Friday. He is clearly not ready to return.

Steve Smith, Carolina Panthers, foot (Q): Smith was limited in practice this week because of soreness in his knee. Despite the questionable tag, the prevailing feeling in Carolina, including that of coach Rivera, is that he will play Sunday.

Nate Washington, calf, and Kenny Britt, knee, Tennessee Titans (Q): This is expected to be Britt's season debut despite the questionable tag. Britt is returning from multiple knee surgeries (primarily a reconstructed ACL) and a one-game league-imposed suspension. It is hard to know just what to expect from him after so much time away. Even the team has indicated that it will be cautious, given Britt's recent knee surgeries and prior multiple soft tissue injuries (hamstring, quadriceps). According to the Tennessean, coach Mike Munchak says the Titans will ease Britt back into the lineup with a planned 15-25 snaps.

In the meantime, Washington, who is listed on the injury report with a calf injury, has not practiced all week and appears unlikely to play. If he does play, his role could be limited, as well. To round out the nightmare for fantasy owners, the Titans play in a late game in San Diego this week.

Miles Austin, Dallas Cowboys, hamstring (P): Austin has been listed as a full participant in practice every day. After he played in Week 1 with no apparent setback, there is no reason to think he'd miss Week 2.

Sidney Rice, Seattle Seahawks, knee (P): He's on the report with a new ailment this week (sore knee), but, after a couple of days of rest, Rice was back in practice Friday. The probable tag indicates the Seahawks are confident he will play against the Cowboys.

Denarius Moore, Oakland Raiders, hamstring (P): Sitting out Monday night was probably a good idea for Moore, as he was still working on getting in football shape this past week. He reportedly looked sharp in practice, particularly as the week progressed. Although he was listed as limited each day, the probable tag indicates the Raiders expect him to play this week.

Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons, groin (no designation yet): White was held to limited practice Thursday and Friday because of a groin ailment. The Falcons play Monday night, so there is no official team designation yet, but, as of now, there seems to be little worry that White is in danger of missing the game.

Tight ends

Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers, ribs (Q): Gates has sore ribs after Monday night's game, but he did manage to return to limited practice Friday. Despite the questionable tag, we all know about his toughness. It's hard to imagine Gates sitting on the sideline.

Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys, abdomen (P): If he didn't miss the first game, there is no way Witten is sitting in Week 2. If anything, Witten is in better shape after having some time to get back in the rhythm of regular practice. He's been out there every day, as expected, and he will be out on the field against the Seahawks.

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 this week's game.

Fred Jackson, RB, Buffalo Bills, knee: Jackson sprained his lateral collateral ligament Sunday and is expected to miss at least a month. More work for C.J. Spiller.

Daniel Thomas, RB, Miami Dolphins, concussion: Thomas suffered a concussion Sunday and did not practice at all this week. He will continue to rest.

Rashad Jennings, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars, knee: Jennings left Sunday's game early with an unspecified knee injury but did not practice all week. It looks as if Maurice Jones-Drew is the Jags' unquestioned starter this week.

Devery Henderson, WR, New Orleans Saints, concussion: Henderson did not practice all week after suffering a concussion in Week 1, so this comes as little surprise.

Dustin Keller, TE, New York Jets, hamstring: Keller, who injured his hamstring in the Jets' final preseason game, did not practice Wednesday but returned to limited practices Thursday and Friday. According to ESPN New York, coach Rex Ryan is optimistic he will play based on how he looked in Friday's practice session. "[Dustin] looked good. I think he's ready to roll," Ryan said.

Jacoby Ford, WR, Oakland Raiders, foot: Ford underwent surgery this week to repair a Lisfranc injury in his left foot, the same foot he injured last season. We wish him well in his recovery. Ford is a likely candidate for IR, according to the Contra Costa Times, perhaps opening the door for a bigger role for Rod Streater.

Darrelle Revis, CB, New York Jets, concussion: Revis did not even make the trip with the Jets, so there was no room for wrangling before game time. Revis did return to very light practice Friday, an encouraging sign, but will still need to gain medical clearance before returning to full practice and eventual play.

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