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News and Notes 10-25-12

Bye Weeks: Baltimore, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Houston


Quarterbacks

*-Blaine Gabbert practiced in full today and will start week 8 for Jacksonville despite having a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder. I sincerely hope you have better options though.


Running Backs

*-Trent Richardson practiced in limited fashion today and appears to be on track to start week 8 despite his ribs injury. I still wonder if this is the smartest move for both team and player, but it appears you'll be able to consider Richardson as a risky RB2 this week. I still won't be surprised if it's close to an even split between him and Montario Hardesty in terms of carries though.

*-Rashard Mendenhall was unable to practice again today and reports out of Pittsburgh say that he is not expected to play week 8 because of his Achilles injury. While Isaac Redman was able to put in a limited practice today, he is not expected to be used much because of his ankle injury. Jonathan Dwyer is tentatively expected to start and be the primary RB again for the Steelers this week against Washington.

*-Ahmad Bradshaw didn't practice again today because of his foot injury. He is expected to return to at least a limited practice tomorrow, but if he doesn't, it could mean he won't play this week. There's a very good chance Bradshaw and Andre Brown have a pretty even split in carries this week,

*-Felix Jones returned to practice today and while he was limited with his knee issue, he is fully expected to start this week for Dallas with DeMarco Murray out.

*-Donald Brown practiced again today, this time putting in a full practice. This is excellent news for his availability to play week 8. Brown is only 3 weeks removed from having a knee scope so he may not be ready for a full complement of snaps, but he's likely to play and be involved in a split with Vick Ballard. Unfortunately, this makes neither player a particularly strong fantasy option.

*-Brandon Bolden missed practice again today because of his knee injury and it's expected that he will not play week 8. Shane Vereen will be the top backup again to Stevan Ridley and as I've said before this week: Vereen is likely to usurp Bolden as the top backup going forward.

*-James Starks missed practice today with an illness. While players usually play thru being sick, Starks is clearly behind Alex Green. Green could actually be a solid fantasy option this week. Starks is sick, John Kuhn has been unable to practice this week because of a hamstring injury, and with injuries at WR, maybe the Packers will rely more on their rushing attack this week against a very beatable Jacksonville Jaguars team.


Wide Receivers

*-Greg Jennings has opted to have surgery to repair a torn abdominal muscle. He will be out at least 4 weeks, and likely 6-8 weeks. James Jones solidifies his spot as a starter for the Packers for as long as Jennings is out.

*-Jordy Nelson is now considered very questionable for week 8 after suffering a hamstring injury in practice. Nelson didn't practice today and won't practice tomorrow. He is likely heading for the dreaded game time decision tag and even if active, I would expect Nelson to be very limited as hamstring injuries and WR's are a bad combo. Expect to see a lot of Donald Driver this week for the Packers in Nelson's place and the WR desperate are encouraged to take a flier on Driver. Driver may not have a lot left to offer in terms of upside, but he's still capable of putting up good fantasy numbers with an increased role.

*-Calvin Johnson was limited in practice today because of minor knee soreness. Megatron is in no danger of missing week 8.

*-The Saints will be without #4 WR Joseph Morgan week 8. Morgan has a chest injury and has been ruled OUT this week.

*-Wes Welker was limited again today in practice. The Patriots limit everyone it seems, but while Welker likely will again be listed as Questionable for week 8 like he has been the last few weeks, he's also likely to play thru it without any issues at all.

*-Eddie Royal popped up on the injury report today as being limited with a hamstring injury. It's unknown if this is an aggravation of a previous injury or a new one that happened in practice today. Either way, Royal isn't someone you should be counting on for fantasy production.


Tight Ends

*-Jimmy Graham continued to be severely limited in practice today because of his ankle sprain. He is very questionable for week 8 and will likely be a game time decision unless he can put in a full practice tomorrow. I'm not holding my breath on that.

*-Aaron Hernandez did not practice today. This is a bit of a surprise as he was limited yesterday and there's been no word about him having suffered any setbacks in practice on his still not fully recovered ankle injury. Maybe it was sore and the Patriots are doing the smart thing giving him a day of rest? Maybe it's more serious than expected. Either way, unless he practices tomorrow, I'd have to expect Hernandez will be considered a game time decision for week 8. Be sure to check out my Saturday team by team news and notes for the latest on Hernandez, the other 45 Patriots players likely to be listed as Questionable with some ailment or other, and the rest of the injuries on the other NFL teams.

*-As expected, Rob Gronkowski was limited in practice again today. While he'll likely be listed as Questionable for a 3rd or 4th week in a row, he'll also likely play over 90% of the offensive snaps and be one of fantasy's top 3 TE's again week 8.

*-Jermichael Finley was limited in practice again today and while he is fully expected to play week 8, he is also likely to be limited some with his lingering shoulder injury.

*-Washington has said it isn't just giving the starting TE job to recently re-signed Chris Cooley. It will be a platoon system between Cooley and Logan Paulsen, with Paulsen likely to start. Just stay away from this situation.


Kickers

*-Pittsburgh's Shaun Suisham has been limited in practices this week because of a minor ankle injury. But he's fully expected to be fine to kick week 8.