Gameday Injury Expectations: Week 12

What to expect from this week's injured offensive players

UNDERSTANDING THE NFL'S INJURY REPORT

The injury report released by the NFL is actually two reports. The first is the Practice Participation report, which lists which injured players were able to practice and how much. It also includes players who rested or missed practice for non-injury related reasons. The second is the Game Status Report, which gives the probability a player will play, i.e. Questionable, Doubtful, Out. The Practice Participation Report is released every day of the week (Monday through Saturday). The Game Status Report is released with the Friday participation report (Wednesday for Thursday games, Saturday for Monday games).

The NFL has made the practice participation report more complicated this season. Teams are no longer allowed to declare players "probable" to play. The current designations are Questionable (Uncertain to Play), Doubtful (Unlikely to Play), and Out. In our Monday Injury Rounds column, we'll often review how these changes are impacting the injury reports.

In this feature, I'll include the Game Status Listing, my expectation of their likelihood to play, and the player's practice participation throughout the week.

Key:

PLAYER | INJURY | GAME STATUS LISTING | FOOTBALLGUYS EXPECTATION

Practice Participation Listing by Day

* = playing on Monday night

I'll also include a table at the bottom of the article for easy reference.

Here's the latest on every relevant injured offensive player on the practice participation and game status report this week:


QUARTERBACK

Tom Brady | Knee | Questionable | Expected to Play

Practice Participation: Wed - DNP | Thurs - DNP | Fri - Limited

Bill Belichick told reporters Brady would be listed on the injury report as the Patriots always have and refused to answer questions about his availability. Brady wouldn't say much more but was available to the media on Friday as usual and classified the injury as part of the "normal bumps and bruises" of the season. He's expected to play and should not be limited.

Others of note: Russell Wilson (knee), Carson Palmer (not injury related), Andy Dalton (shoulder), Tyrod Taylor (shoulder), Blake Bortles (shoulder), Ryan Fitzpatrick (knee) and Trevor Siemian (shoulder) all returned to a full Friday practice and none are listed on their teams' game status report. Jay Cutler (shoulder) is doubtful and unlikely to play. Cody Kessler (concussion) has been declared out. I'll update return to play expectations on Monday.


RUNNING BACK

LeSean McCoy | Thumb | Questionable | Active

Practice Participation: Wed - Limited | Thurs - Limited | Fri - Limited

McCoy had surgery to reduce a dislocation of his small thumb joint on Monday. He's been practicing all week while working to get used to a sizable thumb splint. The Bills have been optimistic about McCoy and all media reports suggest he'll play. With Mike Gillislee ruled out with a hamstring strain, McCoy should see his usual workload. The concern with McCoy this week is ball security and dropped passes. Though his injury isn't to the larger joint at the base of the thumb, the splint may affect his ability to handle the ball. I don't expect McCoy to fumble multiple times or drop multiple passes, but it's worth noting. Hopefully, the Bills and McCoy will be comfortable with a smaller wrap on gameday.

Mark Ingram | Concussion | Questionable | Active

Practice Participation: Wed - Limited | Thurs - Limited | Fri - Limited

Ingram has been adamant he'll return to play. A full Friday practice with contact would have been most reassuring but wasn't absolutely necessary to gain clearance from an independent neurologist. There's been no report yet about whether Ingram has been cleared to play. We should hear about his status in the Sunday morning tweet dump from Ian Rapoport and Adam Schefter -- if not sooner. I expect Ingram to be ready for his usual workload.

Sunday AM Update: Adam Schefter reports Ingram is expected to play.

Latavius Murray | Ankle | Questionable | Expected to Play

Practice Participation: Wed - Limited | Thurs - Limited | Fri - Limited

Murray has played through this injury in past weeks, didn't miss any practice time, and there are no published concerns about his readiness from local media. I expect him to see his usual workload.

Todd Gurley | Illness | Not Listed | Active

Practice Participation: Wed - Not Listed | Thurs - Not Listed | Fri - DNP

Gurley missed practice with an illness on Friday and was a late add to the participation report. The Rams did not list him on the game status report and he should be ready on gameday.

*Darren Sproles | Rib | Not lIsted | Expected to Play

Practice Participation: Thurs - Full | Fri - Full | Sat - Full

The Eagles were optimistic immediately after last week's game and there have been no reports otherwise this week. Sproles has a rib fracture but the severity and location are reassuring. There will be a risk of aggravation during the game but Kevlar padding and pain-killing injections should help Sproles finish the game with minimal limitation.

*Ryan Mathews | Knee | Declared Out | Inactive

Practice Participation: Thurs - DNP | Fri - DNP | Sat - DNP

Mathews was called day-to-day early this week. It's rare for running backs to return quickly from an MCL sprain, even a low-grade injury. It's possible Mathews could return to a limited practice on Saturday and be termed a game-time decision by Philadelphia but I don't think we'll see him return until next week, if not later.

Saturday Update: Mathews did not practice on Saturday and has been declared out.

Jacquizz Rodgers | Foot | Questionable | Game-time Decision

Practice Participation: Wed - Limited | Thurs - Limited | Fri - Full

Rodgers was back to a limited practice by the end of last week and gradually increased his practice participation this week. Video of individual drills showed Rodgers moving well but it's not yet know whether the Buccaneers will be comfortable activating him on gameday. I'd lean toward him returning and playing a limited role.

T.J. Yeldon | Ankle | Questionable | active

Practice Participation: Wed - DNP | Thurs - DNP | Fri - DNP

There are no angles that show Yeldon's ankle injury. The best All-22 angle was obscured by Blake Bortles. Yeldon did not practice this week and local media members were discussing the possibility of Denard Robinson seeing more playing time by midweek. Yeldon has a history of missing multiple weeks with ankle injuries. I don't believe he'll be active.

Sunday AM Update: Despite not practicing all week, Ian Rapoport tweeted Yeldon will be active today. Gus Bradley told reporters on Friday that Yeldon had a chance to play but every other report was negative this week. The Jaguars will need a pass-catching back in their game plan today but it's hard to see Yeldon healthy enough to see extended playing time.

Others of note: DeMarco Murray (foot), Lamar Miller (ankle/ribs), Matt Forte (knee), Tevin Coleman (hamstring), Jeremy Langford (illness), and Charcandrick West (concussion) have practiced, are not listed on the game status report, and expected to see their usual workloads. C.J. Prosise (shoulder), Mike Gillislee (hamstring), Alfred Blue (calf), and Tyler Ervin (ribs) have been declared out. I'll update return to play expectations in Monday's column.


WIDE RECEIVER

Sammy Watkins | Foot | Questionable | Active / Limited

Practice Participation: Wed - Limited | Thurs - Limited | Fri - Limited

There is a ton of optimism surrounding Watkins right now. In locker room interviews, Watkins seemed to be almost giddy toward the end of the week. On Friday, local writers were taking video of individual drills and Watkins was recorded asking them if they got his work on tape. Rex Ryan told reporters they expect to get Watkins back.

I'm still not convinced.

Watkins was just cleared to return to practice on Tuesday. He's been slowly rehabbing a foot that gave him trouble for five months after surgery. Prior to this week's three limited practices, Watkins had done little football-related activity in about ten weeks. There's no way he's in football condition. His offensive coordinator, Anthony Lynn, said much the same on Friday and has been the only one to pump the brakes on Watkins' availability.

I'm hopeful Watkins has fully recovered from the soreness that required extended rehab. But I don't see him taking 50-60 snaps and running 20+ routes this week. Look for Watkins to see 20-30 snaps and, if he feels good early next week, progress quickly from there.

Saturday Update: Watkins was activated from injured reserve today and will play on Sunday.

Sunday AM Update: Both Ian Rapoport and Adam Schefter expect Watkins to play but have his snaps limited as the team monitors his conditioning and effectiveness.

Julian Edelman | Foot | Questionable | Expected to Play

Practice Participation: Wed - Limited | Thurs - Limited | Fri - Limited

Edelman has been listed questionable on the game status report after three limited practices for many weeks now and performed well on game day. This week's local reports do not include any concerns on Edelman and he should be available for his usual workload.

Michael Crabtree | Ankle | Questionable | Likely to Play

Practice Participation: Wed - Limited | Thurs - Limited | Fri - Limited

Crabtree was limited all week with an ankle injury and is listed questionable. There has been nothing actionable in the local media this week. In this case, I think no news is good news. Crabtree has played when questionable in the past and will likely do so again. Watch the Sunday reports for surprises.

Sunday AM Update: Rapoport and Schefter tweeted that Crabtree is expected to play.

Jarvis Landry | Shoulder | Questionable | Active

Practice Participation: Wed - Limited | Thurs - Limited | Fri - Limited

Landry has been on the injury report for two weeks as questionable with a shoulder injury and continues to play through the injury. There were no missed practices this week and no concerns from the local media. He is expected to play.

Travis Benjamin | Knee | Questionable | Active

Practice Participation: Wed - Full | Thurs - Full | Fri - Full

Local reporters were impressed with how well Benjamin was moving early this week and the team allowed him to fully practice. Prior to the bye week, Benjamin's practice reps were being carefully managed and he seemed to be more limited with each week until sitting out Week 10. The Chargers listed him questionable but Benjamin looks ready to see his pre-injury workload this week.

Michael Floyd | Hamstring | Questionable | Active

Practice Participation: Wed - Not Listed | Thurs - DNP | Fri - DNP

Floyd has not returned to practice since a mid-week hamstring strain. On Friday, Bruce Arians told reporters Floyd would be a game-time decision. He's likely much closer to doubtful than probable. If he plays, expect his usage to be limited.

Sunday AM Update: Floyd worked out before the game with trainers and told Britt McHenry he will be active today. Downfield receivers who are not fully recovered from hamstring injuries often have difficulty getting separation on their usual routes. Floyd may see 2-4 targets today downfield and around the red zone and has a high variance expectation.

Eddie Royal | Toe | Questionable | Active

Practice Participation: Wed - DNP | Thurs - DNP | Fri - DNP

The Bears list Royal questionable but he didn't practice all week. Earlier this year, Royal played limited snaps after missing practice all week with a muscle strain. However, toe injuries are different and Royal missed multiple weeks with this injury before returning.

Torrey Smith | Back | Questionable | Active

Practice Participation: Wed - Limited | Thurs - Limited | Fri - Limited

Smith was not able to play through his back injury last week and continued to be limited in practice this week. He may be closer to playing this week but there are no local reports of note. I expect Smith to be included in the Schefter-Rapoport Sunday AM tweet dump. 

Chris Hogan | Back | Questionable | Likely to Play

Practice Participation: Wed - Limited | Thurs - Limited | Fri - Limited

After playing two weeks ago when local writers felt he was doubtful at best, Hogan did not make the trip with the team to San Francisco last week. Limited again all week, there's seems to be more optimism that Hogan will travel to New Jersey and play this week.

Others of note: Julio Jones (shoulder), Larry Fitzgerald (not injury related), Brandon Marshall (foot), Quincy Enunwa (neck), Will Fuller (knee), Brandon LaFell (knee), and Marquess Wilson (foot) are not listed and expected to play. A.J. Green (hamstring), Jeremy Maclin (groin), and Robert Woods (knee) have been declared out. I'll update return to play expectations in Monday's column.


TIGHT END

Jordan Reed left Thursday's game with a shoulder separation. He was seen wearing a sling and looked to be ruled out, then came out in pads after halftime and played effectively. On Friday, Washington said Reed suffered a Grade 3 AC sprain. That's a significant injury, involving multiple ligaments necessary to stabilize the end of the collarbone near the shoulder joint. Though Reed played through the injury well on Thursday, he'll be dealing with pain, swelling, weakness, and loss of range of motion. He'll have an extra three days to get treatment and recover. And he will need them. Though Thursday's play suggests Reed will do whatever he can to go in Week 13, he's likely to be limited in practice and should be considered questionable for next week. More in Monday's column.

ROB GRONKOWSKI | CHEST | Questionable | Game-time Decision

Practice Participation: Wed - Limited | Thurs - Limited | Fri - Limited

Gronkowski's official status remains unknown. The team has remained cautious with him and still hadn't cleared him for contact on Friday. It's possible Gronkowski's early week imaging studies showed that his lung had reinflated and his exam was reassuring and the team decided to limit his contact to minimize any risk of recurrence. It's also possible the Patriots are allowing Gronkowski to practice and maintain as much conditioning as he can with the plan to return him to contact later. We'll know more this weekend. I expect multiple media updates through Sunday morning.

Saturday Update: Dianna Russini, who tweeted earlier this week that sources told her the Patriots had planned to hold Gronkowski out this week, tweeted Saturday that Gronkowski has progressed well and is now considered a game-time decision.

Sunday AM Update: Adam Schefter and Ian Rapoport tweeted that Gronkowski is expected to return today. Schefter reported there was "bleeding and bruising" in his chest. If Gronkowski is cleared to play, he should see his usual workload.

Martellus Bennett | Ankle / Shoulder | Questionable | Expected to Play

Practice Participation: Wed - Limited | Thurs - Limited | Fri - Limited

The Patriots added a shoulder concern to Bennett's practice participation report on Thursday. Allowed to speak with the media throughout the week, Bennett continued to reiterate how important it is to him to play through minor injuries for his team. I expect him to be active but it's difficult to project how effective he can be without knowing more about the injury.

Charles Clay | Knee | Questionable | Active

Practice Participation: Wed - DNP | Thurs - Limited | Fri - Limited

Clay has been limited for weeks by his knee injury. He's again listed questionable but has yet to miss a game this year. I expect him to be active and see his usual workload.

Others of note: Jimmy Graham (knee), C.J. Fiedorowicz (shoulder), and Ryan Griffin (neck) are not listed on the game status report and will play. Julius Thomas (back) has been declared out. I'll update return to play expectations in Monday's column.

 

*Note: Monday night players with asterisk practice Thursday/Friday/Saturday




Quarterbacks
Player Injury Practice Participation Game Status FBGs Expects
Wednesday Thursday Friday
Tom Brady Knee DNP DNP Limited Questionable Expected to Play
Russell Wilson Knee Full Full Full Not Listed Expected to Play
Carson Palmer Not Injury Related DNP Full Full Not Listed Active
Andy Dalton Shoulder Limited Full Full Not Listed Active
Tyrod Taylor Shoulder Full Full Full Not Listed Active
Blake Bortles Shoulder Full Full Full Not Listed Active
Ryan Fitzpatrick Knee Full Full Full Not Listed Expected to Play
Trevor Siemian Shoulder Full Full Full Not Listed Expected to Play
Jay Cutler Shoulder DNP DNP DNP Doubtful Inactive
Cody Kessler Concussion DNP DNP DNP Declared Out Inactive

Running Backs
Player Injury Practice Participation Game Status FBGs Expects
Wednesday Thursday Friday
DeMarco Murray Foot DNP Full Full Not Listed Active
LeSean McCoy Thumb Limited Limited Limited Questionable Active
Lamar Miller Ankle/Ribs Limited Limited Limited Not Listed Active
Matt Forte Knee Full Full Full Not Listed Expected to Play
Mark Ingram Concussion Limited Limited Limited Questionable Active
Latavius Murray Ankle Limited Limited Limited Questionable Expected to Play
Todd Gurley Illness Not Listed Not Listed DNP Not Listed Active
C.J. Prosise Shoulder DNP DNP DNP Declared Out Inactive
*Darren Sproles Rib *Full *Full *Full Not Listed Expected to Play
*Ryan Mathews Knee *DNP *DNP *DNP Declared Out Inactive
Tevin Coleman Hamstring Full Full Full Not Listed Active
Jacquizz Rodgers Foot Limited Limited Full Questionable Game-time Decision
Jeremy Langford Illness DNP Full Full Not Listed Active
T.J. Yeldon Ankle DNP DNP DNP Questionable Active
Mike Gillislee Hamstring Limited DNP DNP Declared Out Inactive
Alfred Blue Calf DNP DNP DNP Declared Out Inactive
Charcandrick West Concussion DNP Full Full Not Listed Expected to Play
Tyler Ervin Ribs DNP DNP DNP Declared Out Inactive

Wide Receivers
Player Injury Practice Participation Game Status FBGs Expects
Wednesday Thursday Friday
Julio Jones Shoulder Limited Full Full Not Listed Active
A.J. Green Hamstring DNP DNP DNP Declared Out Inactive
Larry Fitzgerald Not Injury Related DNP Full Full Not Listed Active
Brandon Marshall Foot Not Listed Limited Full Not Listed Active
Sammy Watkins Foot Limited Limited Limited Questionable Active / Limited
Julian Edelman Foot Limited Limited Limited Questionable Expected to Play
Michael Crabtree Ankle Limited Limited Limited Questionable Likely to Play
Jarvis Landry Shoulder Limited Limited Limited Questionable Active
Travis Benjamin Knee Full Full Full Questionable Active
Jeremy Maclin Groin DNP DNP DNP Declared Out Inactive
Michael Floyd Hamstring Not Listed DNP DNP Questionable Active
Quincy Enunwa Neck Limited Full Full Not Listed Active
Eddie Royal Toe DNP  DNP DNP Questionable Active
Will Fuller Knee Limited Limited Full Not Listed Active
Torrey Smith Back Limited Limited Limited Questionable Active
Chris Hogan Back Limited Limited Limited Questionable Likely to Play
Robert Woods Knee DNP DNP DNP Declared Out Inactive
Marquess Wilson Foot Limited Limited Full Not Listed Active
Brandon LaFell Knee DNP Full Full Not Listed Active

Tight Ends
Player Injury Practice Participation Game Status FBGs Expects
Wednesday Thursday Friday
Rob Gronkowski Chest Limited Limited Limited Questionable Likely to Play
Jimmy Graham Knee DNP Full Full Not Listed Expected to Play
Martellus Bennett Ankle / Shoulder Limited DNP Limited Questionable Expected to Play
Julius Thomas Back DNP DNP DNP Declared Out Inactive
Charles Clay Knee DNP Limited Limited Questionable Active
C.J. Fiedorowicz Shoulder Limited Limited Full Not Listed Active
Ryan Griffin Neck Limited Limited Full Not Listed Active

*Note: Monday night players with asterisk practice Thursday/Friday/Saturday

Follow me on Twitter @JeneBramel for breaking injury news and analysis throughout the week.