News and Notes 10-03-12


*-Arizona's John Skelton has returned to full practices and appears on track to be active for the first time since injuring his ankle in week 1. But with Kevin Kolb having led the Cardinals to a 4-0 start including impressive victories over the Patriots and Eagles, and a game tying 4th and 10 TD pass last week to send that game into overtime, Skelton will need Kolb to flop to get a chance to reclaim the starting job.

*-New England's Tom Brady was limited in practice today with shoulder soreness. It's not a big deal and Brady will be fine for week 5.

*-Minnesota's Christian Ponder was limited today because of a minor knee issue. It's believed to be very minor and not something that puts his status for week 5 in any question.

Running Backs

*-Despite being listed as Questionable for Thursday night's game, Steven Jackson is fully expected to start and be fine.

*-San Diego continues to make fantasy owners wary about Ryan Mathews. The team's official depth chart lists Jackie Battle as the #1 RB and Ryan Mathews as the #2. I'm not buying it though. Battle is a plodding power type RB while Mathews has near elite skills. It's speculated that this was done to reflect that Battle started week 4 over Mathews and is not an indication that Battle will start week 5. Last week Battle had 39 yards on 15 carries while Mathews had 61 yards on 14 so it's pretty clear who the better RB is. Like I said yesterday, Battle may carve out a role as a goal line RB and occasionally spell Mathews, but I fully expect Mathews to be the lead RB going forward. Personally, in a sweet matchup this week against the Saints 31st ranked fantasy run defense, I expect Mathews to be a solid fantasy RB1 and Battle a consideration as a fantasy RB3 or flex play.

*-Cardinals backup RB La'Rod Stephens-Howling is Questionable and considered a game time decision for Thursday night because of a hip injury. If he can't play, William Powell will again be the top backup to Ryan Williams.

*-Peyton Hillis has been unable to practice still because of his ankle injury. Unless he can practice by Friday I'd say Hillis is likely to miss week 5. In that case Shaun Draughn will again be the backup to Jamaal Charles for the Chiefs.

*-Green Bay is hoping to have James Starks active for the first time this season in week 5. Starks has been dealing with a turf toe injury since preseason and even if active, would only serve as an occasional change of pace spelling Cedric Benson.

*-As expected, Philadelphia's LeSean McCoy was able to practice today despite having a minor knee issue. He's fully expected to be fine for week 5.

*-Also as expected, Buffalo's RB tandem of Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller were able to practice today. But how the split will work in game situations between the 2 is a major question mark and with a road matchup against a 49ers run defense that has allowed an average of only 79.5 rushing yards per game, and only 1 rushing TD thru 4 games, neither makes it beyond fantasy RB3 or flex status this week.

*-Miami's Reggie Bush was limited in practice today because of a hip issue. It may have been reported incorrectly as it was the knee that was the issue heading into week 4, but the Dolphins official website lists him with a hip issue. It's not believed to be any real concern though and Bush should be fine to start week 5.

*-Patriots RB's Brandon Bolden (knee) and Shane Vereen (foot) were both limited in practice today, but neither is considered to be in any danger of missing week 5. Bolden very well may have solidified the top backup spot to Stevan Ridley with a solid week 4 performance while Vereen was active week 4 for the first time all season and played sparingly.

Wide Receivers

*-Santonio Holmes was placed on injured reserve today because of his foot injury. His season is done. With Stephen Hill's status for week 5 undetermined because of a hamstring injury, Chaz Schilens and Jeremy Kerley are the likely Jets starters at WR this week. Also on the roster is Clyde Gates and they also signed Jason Hill earlier today.

*-Ramses Barden suffered a concussion week 4 but wasn't diagnosed until this morning. His status for week 5 is questionable at this point. Domenik Hixon will likely start this week opposite Victor Cruz if Hakeem Nicks can't play because of his knee and foot injuries and if Barden can't play, rookie Reuben Randle likely steps in as the #3 WR this week.

*-Julio Jones was a full participant in practice today. It's been speculated that that hand laceration he suffered in week 3 hindered him in week 4, but it's not supposed to be an issue going forward.

*-Torrey Smith practiced today. Smith injured his ankle last Thursday night against Cleveland and it appears the extra time off has done him enough good to where he should be fine for week 5's tasty matchup against Kansas City.

*-Pierre Garcon practiced in full today and appears to have put his foot injury behind him. He may not be 100% for week 5 but should be able to play without too many issues.

*-Greg Jennings didn't practice today and if the Packers are true to their word, Jennings won't practice or play until his lingering groin injury heals up. While not officially ruled out for week 5 yet, I doubt Jennings plays this week or next.

*-Lance Moore was held out Saints practice today to rest what is believed to be a minor hamstring injury. Currently, Moore is expected to be fine for week 5.

*-Tennessee's Kenny Britt was unable to practice today and he is still considered very questionable to play week 5 because of his ankle injury.

*-Buffalo's Donald Jones was able to practice today and it's now believed he didn't suffer a concussion week 4 after taking a blow to the head. Jones is not a recommended WR play though.

*-Jonathan Baldwin was held out of practice for the Chiefs today because of a hamstring injury. He was finally starting to push Steve Breaston for the starting job opposite Dwayne Bowe but this is a setback. No word if it's really anything to worry about but Baldwin would be a weak start anyway. If Baldwin can't play, Dexter McCluster would likely be the 3rd WR. McCluster suffered an elbow injury a couple of weeks ago but was able to play thru it week 4.

*-New England's Julian Edelman missed practice today. Edelman has a hand injury and didn't play week 4. While the Patriots haven't revealed the exact nature of the injury, it's speculated to be a bone break and if so, Edelman shouldn't be expected to play any time soon.

*-Cleveland's Mohamed Massaquoi didn't practice today. Massaquoi has a hamstring injury and shouldn't be considered for fantasy lineups. He's barely worth a roster spot in the deepest of leagues.

Tight Ends

*-Rob Gronkowski was held out of practice today. Probably it's got something to do with the minor hip ailment that made him Questionable on last week's injury report. Gronkowski played thru it week 4 and looked just fine so I am not expecting this to be of any real concern for week 5.

*-Todd Heap is Questionable for Thursday night's game and considered a game time decision. I wouldn't recommend Heap as a fantasy play this week anyway.

*-Kansas City's Kevin Boss was placed on injured reserve earlier today. Boss suffered a serious concussion a few games ago and since he has a history of them, it was decided to shut him down. Tony Moeaki steps up as the Chiefs starting TE, but he's yet to reclaim any of the potential he showed as a rookie back in 2010.

*-Dustin Keller is still having issues stemming from a preseason hamstring injury and is considered questionable for week 5. As I've said many times now this season, until Keller can either get thru a week of full practices, or a game, I recommend just keeping him planted squarely on fantasy benches and waiver wires.

*-It appears Buffalo's Scott Chandler avoided a concussion as he was able to practice today. Chandler took a blow to the head week 4 and there was concern, but he should be okay for week 5.

*-Coby Fleener appeared on the practice report injury list today as limited with a head injury. The Colts are coming off a bye and there's been no word whether this was a practice injury or something that lingered through the week off. Hopefully we know more tomorrow.