Fantasy Football Injury News and Player Notes 12-11-12


Quarterbacks

*-Robert Griffin III is uncertain to play week 15 because of a sprained LCL he suffered week 14. If you saw the injury, it looked a lot more serious than that at the time and it's amazing he managed to avoid a serious knee injury. If RG3 can't go Kirk Cousins would start in his place. Hopefully we know more by Thursday. RG3 says he wants to try to play thru it.

*-Jay Cutler appears to be okay for week 15, but it's not a sure thing yet. Cutler suffered a neck injury and he too is lucky to have avoided something more serious. As long as Cutler can practice later this week he'll be okay to start. If he can't play, Jason Campbell would start in his place.

*-No word yet on who the Arizona Cardinals plan to start at QB week 15. They claimed Brian Hoyer off waivers yesterday, but it's very unlikely he'll be ready to start that quickly. The choice will either be John Skelton, who looked as bad as bad gets week 14, or Ryan Lindley, who looked awful himself in 2 starts weeks 12 and 13. My guess is that it will be Lindley, but that's just a guess. Do yourself a favor and just Arizona QB's this week. Make it a better favor to yourself and just bench all Cardinals players as none of them can be trusted.


Running Backs

*-The Colts placed Donald Brown on injured reserve today because of the ankle injury that prevented him playing week 14. Vick Ballard has a stranglehold on the featured RB gig now. Backup Colts RB Delone Carter suffered an ankle injury this past week and his status for week 15 is uncertain. The Colts signed Deji Karim to provide depth at the position as they have no other RB's on the roster.

*-Buffalo placed Fred Jackson on injured reserve today. Jackson suffered a sprained MCL and he was going to miss 3-4 weeks so this makes sense. C.J. Spiller gets the featured gig handed to him and we could see some of Tashard Choice as well.

*-Baltimore's Ray Rice suffered a hip injury week 14 and while it's believed to be minor, I'll feel a lot better about recommending him for a start in week 15 if he can get thru practices this week. For now, pencil him into starting lineups, but be ready to pull him out if he doesn't practice. We'll know more about Rice's status later in the week. Bernard Pierce is his backup and makes a smart handcuff for Rice owners.

*-Ahmad Bradshaw suffered a knee injury week 14 and his status for week 15 is uncertain. David Wilson came in and looked lights out. Even if Bradshaw is able to play this week, don't be surprised if we see a lot of Wilson as well. Wilson should be acquired by Bradshaw owners as insurance, and those without Wilson should go grab him in case he gets to be the featured RB.

*-While LeSean McCoy has been cleared to return to practices, he hasn't been cleared to return to game action yet. McCoy will not play Thursday night for the Eagles, but could be back in week 16. Bryce Brown will start again Thursday night and be the Eagles featured RB. Fantasy owners who got burned by Brown in week 14 now know that there are dangers associated with unknown RB's.

*-Pittsburgh has said they are sticking with Jonathan Dwyer as their featured RB. Rashard Mendenhall was suspended one game by the Steelers for conduct detrimental to the team today. He probably isn't taking his being inactive on game day's well and said, posted, or tweeted something the team didn't like. Don't be surprised if Mendenhall is inactive the rest of the regular season.

*-Jacksonville is likely to be without both Maurice Jones-Drew and Rashad Jennings again in week 15. While neither has been ruled out as of yet, MJD is still bothered by his foot injury and Jennings by a concussion. While there's been no official word about either player by the team, it speaks for itself that the Jaguars signed RB Keith Toston today. Expect Montell Owens to start again with Richard Murphy and Jordan Todman as the backups.

*-Concerns about Darren McFadden having suffered another ankle injury can be put to rest. McFadden is fine and will start week 15 without any issues.

*-Although it's early in the week, it does not sound like Jonathan Stewart will be able to play this week. Stewart is still bothered by injuries to both ankles. Barring an unexpected return to practices this week, I expect DeAngelo Williams to be the Panthers starting RB again week 15.

*-The Patriots backup RB situation appears to have cleared up some last night. Shane Vereen appeared to be the top backup to Stevan Ridley even though Brandon Bolden did play a little.


Wide Receivers

*-No official word yet on whether Dez Bryant will be able to play week 15 or not. Bryant himself vows to play despite having a finger injury. Some reports say it's ligament damage, and others say it's a fracture. Either way, Bryant would have to wear a special splint to protect it from further damage and whether that would impede his ability to catch the football is uncertain. Here's how I see it coming down: I think Bryant will play this week with a splint. If he proves he can catch the ball without issues, he'll play out the season. If he has troubles catching the ball, I expect he'll go to injured reserve and undergo surgery. Bryant has been on a tear in recent games, but this downgrades him fro must start status.

*-Dwayne Bowe is expected to go on injured reserve this week because of broken ribs. It hasn't happened yet but could happen at any moment. All the Chiefs have said is that Bowe is already ruled out for week 15. Jonathan Baldwin and Terrence Copper are likely to finish the season as the starting WR's unless Steve Breaston can get back into the good graces of the coaching staff. Breaston has been inactive the last few weeks.

*-Hakeem Nicks aggravated his knee injury week 14, but it's believed to not be serious and Nicks is tentatively expected to be okay for week 15.

*-Proving that "the idiots in charge" really don't mind name calling, the Jets signed Braylon Edwards today. It's an act of total desperation by the Jets, but considering they may be without Stephen Hill the rest of the season because of a knee injury, they needed the help. Actually, in New York, Edwards becomes their second best WR. That doesn't mean he'll have fantasy value though.

*-Too early in the week to know whether the Packers will have Jordy Nelson back this week or not. Nelson missed week 14 with a hamstring injury.

*-Also too early in the week to know whether the Jaguars will have Cecil Shorts back in week 15 or not. Shorts missed this past weekend because of a concussion.

*-Jeremy Maclin is expected to be okay for Thursday night despite having suffered a minor groin injury.

*-It's unknown if the 49ers will get back Mario Manningham this week or not. Manningham missed week 14 with a shoulder injury.

*-In the "one and done" category, the Patriots placed Donte Stallworth on injured reserve today with an ankle injury he apparently suffered last night. They will re-sign Deion Branch to take his spot.


Tight Ends

*-Brent Celek has been ruled OUT for Thursday night's game because of a concussion. It's believed to be a minor concussion, but with it being a short week for the Eagles, he isn't going to play.

*-Jared Cook was placed on injured reserve after suffering a shoulder injury week 14. His season is done. Craig Stevens takes over as the starting TE for Tennessee.

*-It's unknown if Brandon Pettigrew will be able to play week 14 or not. Pettigrew suffered an ankle injury week 14 and right now he'd have to be considered questionable. Tony Scheffler could be in line for a big increase in value if Pettigrew can't play this week.

*-New England waived Visanthe Shiancoe today. Hewas irrelevant for fantasy purposes anyway. But this does make one wonder if Rob Gronkowski will be back sooner than the NFL playoffs. No word on Gronkowski though.


Kickers

*-Chicago placed Robbie Gould on injured reserve today because of a calf injury he suffered in pre-game warmups before week 14's game. Olindo Mare was signed and will finish the season as the Bears kicker.

*-While nothing has been announced by the Bengals yet, it's expected that Mike Nugent won't be able to return from his own calf injury in time to kick Thursday night. Unless he makes a surprising recovery in the next day, I expect Josh Brown will kick again for Cincinnati Thursday night.