Let's take a look at how things are shaping up in preparation for Week 6.
The other issue is where the fractures are and how significant the crack or break is in each rib. The ribs provide a protective cage around the lungs. One of the risks of playing a contact sport with a rib fracture is taking a hit that forces a splintered piece into a lung, which could lead to lung collapse. However, this a relatively rare occurrence, and not every rib poses such a risk, so whether this is a factor in Westbrook's case depends on where his injuries are, a detail that the team has not provided.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Westbrook was unable to sleep earlier in the week because of pain, a not uncommon side effect. However, Westbrook said that this episode was less painful than the rib fractures he suffered in 2004. (Incidentally, he missed a game as a result of that injury.) When healthy, Westbrook changes the Eagles' offense. He changes your fantasy team, too. Like the Eagles, be prepared to insert Correll Buckhalter into your lineup, as Westbrook will probably be limited, even if he does suit up.
Brian Griese, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Griese is apparently still suffering the ill effects of last Sunday's monster hit from Champ Bailey that left him with what was initially referred to as a bruised elbow. Rick Stroud of the St. Petersburg Times noted that Jeff Garcia took all the reps in practice Wednesday morning and it appears as if he will start. There have been no other specifics given by the team as to the severity of Griese's injury, so we will watch to see when he returns to practice.
Although Shockey's recovery from sports hernia surgery has reportedly gone well, the Times-Picayune reports that coach Sean Payton is still hinting at a Week 7 return date. It's possible he could be activated for this week's contest against the Oakland Raiders, but Shockey would have to practice with the team. Prior to this week, he has done only individual running on the side. As sports hernia surgeries go, this would still be an early return for Shockey, so the Oct. 19 date seems more likely. Nonetheless, keep an eye on the practice reports this week to see if his status changes.
Some other players to keep an eye on as the week progresses ...
Laurence Maroney did come back for the Patriots this past Sunday after missing Week 3 with a shoulder injury, but he didn't do much. There's no indication that it's an injury issue that's limiting him, and coach Bill Belichick consequently found himself coming to Maroney's defense. When prodded about Maroney's performance, Belichick told the Boston Herald, "I think he's a good back. He's played well, and I think he'll continue to play well." Not a lot of insight for fantasy owners, but you can't expect much from the notoriously evasive coach. Running backs Kevin Faulk and Sammy Morris will remain in the mix for this week's contest against the San Diego Chargers. Lamont Jordan, who left Sunday's game with a leg injury, is questionable at this point, but we will see if he can get back to practice.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck underwent an MRI earlier in the week and according to the Seattle Times, tests confirmed coach Mike Holmgren's diagnosis of a "tweak" in his knee. I'm not sure what that means medically speaking, but I do know that the team expects Hasselbeck will practice this week, which means he escaped any serious injury. The news is not as good for receiver Deion Branch, who suffered a bruised heel. The Seahawks likely will be more conservative in Branch's case because this injury was on his "good" side, as in the side that did not undergo ACL reconstruction eight months ago. Compromised status of his nonsurgical leg could potentially put his surgical leg at more risk. The newly injured heel will be required to absorb impact on landing while not forcing him to overload the surgical knee. If his heel is too painful to permit that, don't be surprised if Branch is absent this weekend. More catches for Bobby Engram.
As usual, practice throughout the week will give us a better hint as to what the final status of these players will be heading into Week 6. Remember there are bye weeks for Buffalo, Tennessee, Kansas City and Pittsburgh, so we will not get much information on player injury updates for those teams until next week (but I do expect Willie Parker back next Sunday).
See you Friday at the injury chat and we'll have the latest injury updates affecting Week 6 in the Saturday morning blog!