News and Notes 12-22-11


*-Pittsburgh calls Ben Roethlisberger a game time decision this week, but after he missed practice again today I doubt he will play. Charlie Batch is tentatively expected to start for the Steelers against the Rams.

*-Matt Hasselbeck put in a full practice today and will start this week for Tennessee over Jake Locker. But if he is ineffective early, don't be surprised if the Titans have a quick hook with him.

*-Kevin Kolb will be a game time decision for the Cardinals this week. Kolb has been able to practice some this week and the Cardinals are playing it very close to the vest. Considering that Kolb has been practicing, and has been cleared to play, it's kind of surprising they won't name him the starter. I get the feeling John Skelton is going to end up getting the start this week but that's not a sure thing.

*-Colt McCoy will be ruled OUT for week 16 with his continued problem with concussion like symptoms. Seneca Wallace will start in his place.  

*-As expected, neither Sam Bradford nor A.J. Feeley has been able to practice. Bradford is dealing an ankle injury while Feeley has a broken thumb on his throwing hand. Kellen Clemens will start week 16 and probably week 17 as well.

Running Backs

*-Chris Johnson was able to practice again today and while he is likely to be limited some because of his ankle injury, he is expected to start for Tennessee this week. Don't be surprised if he doesn't have as many carries as he normally would if he were healthy though.

*-Felix Jones was unable to practice again today because of his hamstring injury and his status for week 16 is very questionable. While it's expected that he will be active, it could be that he's active but only to be used in an emergency situation. Dallas is expected to promote Chauncey Washington from their practice squad tomorrow and have him available for this week. Sammy Morris could be in line for the bulk of the load this week.

*-Willis McGahee practiced in full again today and he will start this week for Denver. McGahee was considered an injury risk earlier in the week but back to back full practices have quieted many concerns about McGahee this week in a sweet matchup against a poor Buffalo run defense.

*-It's not official, but after not practicing again today Darren McFadden is expected to be ruled OUT week 16. He may not play next week either because of his foot injury. Michael Bush will again be the feature RB despite having a minor shoulder injury.

*-James Starks practiced in full and will play this week for Green Bay. But with the game possibly not going to mean much, it's very unlikely he gets a ton of carries this week. Expect a time share between him and Ryan Grant.

*-Mark Ingram has been unable to practice because of his lingering toe injury and it's expected the Saints will hold him out Monday night. That means Chris Ivory is likely to be active again and handle most of the rushing down work.

*-Kahlil Bell is picking up steam as a potential desperation play for fantasy owners who have no other quality options. Marion Barber was held out of practice again today because of a calf injury and while he is expected to play, it may be in a limited capacity behind Bell. But be mindful that Bell is far, very far, from a proven commodity and could just as easily be 15 carries for 35 yards as 20 carries for 80 yards and a TD. I've seen a lot of undeserved love given to Bell by fantasy owners and betting on that over other quality options you may have is one of those moves that owners end up regretting more often than not. Especially in fantasy championship games.

*-Roy Helu has been able to practice some this week and while he is expected to start week 16, he is a big risk with his knee and foot injuries. A time share between Helu and Evan Royster is a real possibility this week making neither a desirable option.

*-Amongst RB's who were either held out of practice or practiced in limited fashion but are fully expected to be fine to play this week are Jacksonville's Maurice Jones-Drew (ankle), Atlanta's Michael Turner (groin), the Giants Ahmad Bradshaw (foot), the Patriots BenJarvus Green-Ellis (illness), and Arizona's Beanie Wells (knee).

Wide Receivers

*-Anquan Boldin will miss the rest of the regular season after it was announced he will require surgery to repair some minor meniscus damage. While Boldin will miss weeks 16 and 17, he is expected to be able to return for the NFL playoffs. Boldin will be replaced by Lee Evans in the starting lineup.

*-Vincent Jackson was held out of practice again today. While this does raise some red flags with him considering his injury history, he's still currently expected to be okay and it's thought the Chargers are just resting him as much as they can since this is a shorter than normal week for all but 4 NFL teams.

*-A.J. Green was able to practice in limited fashion again today and he appears to be fine for this week, but he is a risk with a sprained shoulder as you just have to wonder how well he'll handle landing on it if he lays out for a pass.

*-Mario Manningham was held out practice today because of some problems with that knee injury that caused him to miss some time earlier this season. His status for week 16 is likely to be questionable and you may want to play it safe and keep him on the bench.

*-Deion Branch was limited in practice again today and he's likely to be listed as Questionable and considered a game time decision because of a groin injury. Branch was limited all last week in practices and then made inactive on game day so he is no sure thing to play this week either and makes a very risky start in fantasy leagues.

*-Doug Baldwin was held out of practice today because of an ankle injury. While he is expected to be okay to play this week he becomes a higher risk with this news.

*-Jacoby Ford is expected to be ruled OUT for week 16 after he's been unable to practice this week.

*-Cleveland's Jordan Norwood has been ruled OUT for week 16 because of a concussion.

*-Amongst WR's who were either held out of practice or limited but are fully expected to be fine for this week are the Patriots Wes Welker (knee), Buffalo's Steve Johnson (groin), the Jets Santonio Holmes (hip), Dallas' Laurent Robinson (shoulder), and the Rams Brandon Lloyd (illness).

Tight Ends

*-Miami's Anthony Fasano has been diagnosed with a mild concussion and his status for week 16 is very uncertain.

*-Jake Ballard of the Giants has been ruled OUT for week 16 because of a knee injury.