Gameday Injury Expectations: Week 5

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.

Here's the Key:

PLAYER | INJURY | GAME STATUS LISTING | FOOTBALLGUYS EXPECTATION

Practice Participation Listing by Day

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

Cam Newton | Concussion | Declared Out | Inactive

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

There was room for a little optimism after Newton missed Thursday's first official practice of the week. But Friday's DNP means Newton had not reached the middle stages of exercise portion of the return to play protocol -- sport-specific activity. And that means the Panthers have kept Newton in one of the earlier stages for more than 24 hours. With multiple stages still to clear before contact is allowed, it's highly unlikely that Newton is sent to the independent neurologist this weekend for formal clearance. Saturday's practice participation has not been released yet. But I don't expect Newton to play on Monday night.

Saturday Update: Still waiting on the official game status report but multiple writers are reporting Newton missed practice today. If confirmed, the slim chance Newton had to play Monday night is gone.

Saturday Update: Newton was declared out on the Panthers' game status report.

Trevor Siemian | Shoulder | Questionable | Inactive

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

Reports on Siemian have been all over the place this week. There was concern after the missed practice on Wednesday, optimism after a promising return on Thursday, then more worry on Friday. Currently, the plan is to ask Siemian to do more than usual in the team's Saturday walkthrough and see how his shoulder has progressed. As Cecil Lammey told us on Thursday night, Paxton Lynch is healthy and ready to play and the Broncos can avoid any brewing quarterback controversy by having Lynch replace Siemian because of the shoulder injury. I'll update the status of the Denver quarterbacks soon.

Sunday Update: Siemian will not start today and will likely be inactive. Paxton Lynch will start.

Others of note: Andrew Luck (shoulder) continues to hang around the injury report like a moth to a street light but he's yet to show any evidence of arm soreness or fatigue and is fully expected to play again this week. Jay Cutler (thumb), Josh McCown (shoulder), and Tony Romo (back) have all been declared out. With Jacoby Brissett (thumb) on injured reserve after surgery this week, Jimmy Garoppolo (shoulder) should be ready to serve as backup behind Tom Brady.


RUNNING BACK

LeGarrette Blount | Hip | Questionable | Active

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

It's always difficult to read Bill Belichick's injury report and Blount's hip problems in the past are notable. But there hasn't been concern from any local or national writer on Blount yet this week and Jeff Howe added "Blount's injury is not a concern" to his Friday injury review. I'll be monitoring the early Sunday morning notes from Adam Schefter and Ian Rapoport for additional details.

LeSean McCoy | Hand | Questionable | Active

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

McCoy was added to Friday's injury report with a hand injury after hitting his hand on a helmet during practice. Rex Ryan refused to elaborate on the injury in his post-practice comments. McCoy was allowed to talk to the media, however, and told reporters he would not miss the game and dismissed the injury as "something small." Mike Garafolo tweeted that the injury "sounds like it could've been worse than it was" which would imply McCoy had a negative x-ray and is dealing with a bruise only. Ball security could be an issue here and there's always a risk of McCoy taking another hit to the same area, but there's no indication he'll see limited usage this week.

Matt Forte | Knee / Ribs | Not Listed | Active

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

The Jets have been limited Forte's practice reps for a couple of weeks now and there was enough concern with Forte's ribs after last week's game to cart him from the locker room for x-rays. Two full practices this week is reassuring and Forte was not listed on the team's game status report. You should still expect the Jets to use Bilal Powell more often but Forte will be active this week.

Charles Sims | Knee | Doubtful | Game-time Decision

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

Tampa Bay offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter called Sims a game-time decision -- on Friday, well before the team's final practice of the week. That's generally not a good sign. If the Buccaneers had a better depth chart behind Sims, an offense that required practice reps for game plan success, and didn't play on Monday night, I'd mark Sims as unlikely to play. However, Sims has an extra day to receive treatment, likely doesn't need much practice time to be active, and the Bucs will have to rely on Jacquizz Rodgers if Sims is out. I still think a Saturday DNP and Doubtful tag is the most likely outcome here, but I'll leave Sims as a Game-time Decision until we know for certain. If Sims does play, he's likely to see limited usage.

Saturday Update: Beat reporters on Twitter did not see Charles Sims at practice today. He's clearly trending toward a doubtful tag or worse.

Rashad Jennings | Thumb | Questionable | Likely Inactive

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

Jennings went through another week of limited practice this week. Until the Giants feel he's ready for a full week of practice, it's become clear that Jennings will be rested to avoid setbacks and ensure there are no ball security concerns. Multiple beat writers tweeted sourced reports on Saturday saying Jennings will be out again this week.

Jeremy Hill | Chest | Not Listed | Active

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

The Bengals say very little about player injuries during the wee. Thankfully, their injury report is usually an easy read. For all the obsfucation, Cincinnati lists players who don't practice and won't play doubtful or out. This year, they've not listed those who fully practice on Friday as questionable. Whatever is ailing Hill was not enough to keep him from a full Friday practice. He's not listed on the game status report and will play.

Frank Gore | Chest | Not Listed | Active

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

Gore has regularly been rested early in the week. Earlier in the season, his missed practices were officially "not injury related." This week, he's listed with a chest injury. But he fully practiced on both Thursday and Friday, is not listed on the game status report, and is expected to see his usual workload this week.

Arian Foster | Hamstring | Doubtful | Inactive

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

I'm still not certain why Foster's injury listing changed from groin to hamstring. It may well have been a hamstring injury all along -- that's what he was on the injury report with the week before leaving the game with this multi-week injury. Foster was able to do limited individual work all week long and reportedly looked very good late in the week. The Dolphins know Foster's history of aggravations and are aware that the prime window for aggravations is the 7-10 days after returning to sport-related activity. Foster is listed doubtful and caution will rule the day this week.

Ryan Mathews | Ankle | Not Listed | Active

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

Mathews had an extra week for treatment on the ankle injury that nagged him through Week 3. He fully practiced and is not listed on the game status report. Despite his improved health, it's difficult to predict Mathews' usage. The Eagles have used four different running backs in various ways through the first three games.

Latavius Murray | Toe | Declared Out | Inactive

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

Murray was in a walking boot for presumed turf toe early this week. The Raiders experimented with different foot orthotics to allow Murray a chance to practice. None of the options were successful. Murray was declared out on the end of the week game status report. The question now becomes whether he'll be available in Week 6. More on that in Monday's column.

Kenneth Dixon | Knee | Questionable | Active

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

Dixon is listed questionable but has now fully practiced since last Friday. The Ravens are not going to give Dixon many carries this week but are expected to activate him and get his feet wet in a small, supportive role.

Others of note: Doug Martin (hamstring), Jonathan Stewart (hamstring), and Jeremy Langford (ankle) are all out this week. I'll have updated return to play projections for all three on Monday. Dewayne Washington (ankle) and Lance Dunbar (knee) didn't practice all week and is unlikely to play.


WIDE RECEIVER

DEZ BRYANT | KNEE | QUESTIONABLE | Inactive

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

Bryant isn't going to play until he's cleared to practice. There's still no clarity on Bryant's injury -- though his weight-bearing status argues strongly against a 4-6 week injury -- but the Cowboys have not yet allowed him to run at speed. Now two weeks removed from the injury, conditioning becomes a concern. More on Bryant in Monday's column.

Brandon Marshall | Foot | Not Listed | Active

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

Marshall fully practiced again this week and is not listed on the game status report. There is no evidence of any injury setback after last week's strong performance against Seattle and Marshall should see his usual workload this week.

Marvin Jones | Foot | Questionable | Active

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

I was cautious mid-week on Jones, who didn't practice with a previously unreported foot injury. Jones reassuringly increased his practice participation this week and is likely well to the probable side of questionable. Watch for any surprising Sunday morning notes on Jones, but he reportedly looked good on Thursday before the full Friday practice and should be good to go.

Alshon Jeffery | Knee | Questionable | Active

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

Jeffery has played in each of the past two weeks after limited practice and a questionable tag on the game status report. He's expected to play again this week. However, Jeffery hasn't been quite himself and hasn't seen his past number of targets. We'll find out this week whether that's due to a change in the offensive structure, a lack of confidence from Brian Hoyer (who showed better rapport with now-injured Kevin White and now-limited Zach Miller), or an inability to separate due to his knee injury. 

Julian Edelman | Foot | Questionable | Active

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

Edelman was added to the injury report on Thursday with a foot condition. It's not known whether it's of any significance or related to his offseason surgery. Like he did in the preseason, Edelman returned to practice the following day and was seen to be moving well. But he wasn't in the locker room after practice. There's no concern from the multiple beat writers around the team about Edelman's availability but I always feel better when the team allows a player to talk to the media on Friday afternoon. This is Bill Belichick, however, so all bets are off. I expect Edelman to play but we may not get confirmation until the run of Schefter/Rapoport/Garafolo tweets on Sunday morning.

Demaryius Thomas | Hip | Not Listed | Active

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

Thomas was limited again this week by his ongoing hip condition but was cleared to fully practice on Friday and is not listed on the injury report. The need for mid-week rest leaves open the possibility for an in-game aggravation, but Thomas has been managing the hip soreness well since the preseason and should see his usual workload this week.

Stefon Diggs | Groin | Doubtful | Inactive

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

Diggs has been on the injury report for three weeks with a groin strain. In past weeks, he's missed a spare practice and not been listed on the game status report. This week, he was unable to practice and is listed doubtful. There was no obvious aggravation noted last week, when he played 93% of the Vikings' offensive snaps. But the short week following Monday night football and the upcoming Week 6 bye likely pushed the Vikings to give Diggs extra time to aggressively rehab his injury.

Eric Decker | Shoulder | Declared Out | Inactive

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

There was some optimism Decker would return this week but he didn't practice on Friday and was declared out on the game status report. I'll update his return to play projection on Monday.

Eddie Royal | Calf | Questionable | Active

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

Though the Bears commonly list players who don't participate in practice, they have made more liberal use of the doubtful tag this year. The Bears listed Royal questionable on the game status report which leaves the door open for him to play. But his calf injury kept him from practice this week and John Fox said the team would decide "if we're better with him than without him" and "we have up to an hour-and-a-half before kickoff." I'd expect nothing less from Fox. Consider Royal on the doubtful side of questionable.

Sunday Update: The Bears tested Royal during warmups and decided he was healthy enough to add to the active roster. Beat writers noted Royal stretching on the sideline but provided no other updates. I still expect Royal to be limited today.

Quincy Enunwa | Knee | Questionable | Active

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

The Jets twitter account noted Enunwa as "sore knee" when tweeting Friday injury updates. At least one beat writer tweeted Enunwa's injury was "not serious" and "should be fine" for Sunday. Late week practice participation report adds are worrisome but Enunwa's limited practice was likely maintenance rather than injury concern. The Jets have no reason to risk Enunwa's availability with Eric Decker out with a shoulder injury.

Devin Funchess | Foot | Not Listed | Expected to Play

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

Ted Ginn | Foot | Not Listed | Expected to play

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

I'm awaiting the Panthers Saturday injury update but both Ginn and Funchess fully practiced on Friday and will likely do so again on Saturday

Kenny Britt | Thigh | Questionable | Active

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

Britt was limited in practice last week and played. The full Friday practice is likely more informative than the questionable tag. Though limited by the thigh most of the week, Britt looks likely to play.

Braxton Miller | Hamstring | Not Listed | Active

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

Miller will return this week in a supporting role in multiple wide receiver sets.

Others of note: Kevin White (ankle), Donte Moncrief (shoulder), Corey Coleman (hand), and Josh Doctson (Achilles) have all been declared out. I'll have updated return to play projections for all four receivers on Monday. Mohamed Sanu (ankle) is not listed on the game status report and will play.


TIGHT END

ROB GRONKOWSKI | HAMSTRING | QUESTIONABLE | Active

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

Gronkowski continues to admit he's still not fully recovered from his hamstring injury. And, while he more than doubled his share of the offensive snaps last week, the Patriots continued to limit the number of routes they asked Gronkowski to run. That could change this week, with Tom Brady returned and Gronkowski more optimistic in his comments to the media as he's been all season. We're probably still 1-2 weeks away from a near full strength Gronkowski, but I expect him to be more involved in the offense this week.

Tyler Eifert | Back / Ankle | Declared Out | Inactive

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

Eifert didn't practice this week after suffering a back injury on Monday. He's been declared out. More on Eifert on Monday, but the short version is this: Marvin Lewis tried to minimize concern on Friday but his comments included multiple red flags.

Zach Ertz | Rib | Not Listed | Active

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

Ertz will meet his expected return to play timetable this week. He fully practiced, is not listed on the game status report, and is ready to play. There's minimal risk of an in-game aggravation and the nature of his injury did not prevent Ertz from staying in condition. He should see his pre-injury workload immediately.

Zach Miller | Ribs | Questionable | Active

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

Miller was able to return to consecutive limited practices on Thursday and Friday and is expected to play. The Bears didn't update the severity of Miller's condition this week. We may get more information on Sunday morning, but I expect Miller to be able to play effectively this week.

Antonio Gates | Hamstring | Questionable | Active / Limited

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

It's rare for a player to not practice for more than a week after a muscle strain then return with only one week of practice. Gates' full Friday practice makes it likely he'll play this week -- assuming no weekend setbacks after the full late-week practice -- but I don't expect him to be ready for a full workload. Hunter Henry's strong play in Gates' absence will also make it easier for San Diego to ease Gates in slowly.

Kyle Rudolph | Rib | Not Listed | Active

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

The Vikings listed Rudolph with a clavicle injury on Wednesday. That's an unusual injury to play through. They didn't include that note on Thursday or Friday and I wonder if something got lost in translation while Rudolph was with his wife for the birth of their child early in the week. The full Friday practice is reassuring and Rudolph isn't listed on the game status report. He's good to go.

Eric Ebron | Ankle / Knee | Declared Out | Inactive

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

Ebron did not practice this week and has been declared out.

Clive Walford | Knee | Questionable | Inactive

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

Walford was confident about his status despite missing practice Wednesday then was able to consecutively practice on Thursday and Friday. He's a hopeful game-time decision.

Larry Donnell | Concussion | Declared Out | Inactive

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

Donnell has been ruled out with a concussion. Will Tye will see a bigger workload this week.

Virgil Green | Calf | Questionable | Inactive

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

Green said the training staff plans to watch film of his practices and let him know if he's cleared to play. With a Thursday game next week, returning to play this week doesn't sound like a likely scenario.

Others of Note: Charles Clay (knee) and Jacob Tamme (hip) are on the game status report this week but both are likely to play. Jared Cook (ankle) and Jordan Cameron (concussion) have been ruled out.


PRACTICE PARTICIPATION and Game status Report

The final injury report of the week includes the game status (questionable, doubtful, or out) of each player on the participation report.

RED = DOWNGRADE
GREEN = UPGRADE 

 

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



Quarterbacks
Player Injury Practice Participation Game Status FBGs Expects
Wednesday Thursday Friday
Cam Newton* Concussion DNP* DNP* DNP* Declared Out Inactive
Andrew Luck Shoulder Not Listed Limited Full Not Listed Active
Jay Cutler Thumb DNP DNP DNP Doubtful Inactive
Trevor Siemian Shoulder DNP Limited Limited Questionable Inactive
Josh McCown Shoulder DNP DNP DNP Declared Out Inactive
Jacoby Brissett Thumb Limited Limited DNP Declared Out Injured Reserve
Jimmy Garoppolo Shoulder Limited Limited Limited Questionable Active (Backup)
Tony Romo Back DNP DNP DNP Declared Out Inactive


Running Backs
Player Injury Practice Participation Game Status FBGs Expects
Wednesday Thursday Friday
LeGarrette Blount Hip Limited Limited Limited Questionable Active
LeSean McCoy Hand Not Listed Not Listed Limited Questionable Active
Matt Forte Knee / Ribs Limited Full  Full Not Listed Active
Arian Foster Hamstring Limited Limited Limited Doubtful Inactive
Ryan Mathews Ankle Full Full Full Not Listed Active
Latavius Murray Toe DNP DNP DNP Declared Out Inactive
Charles Sims* Knee DNP* DNP* DNP* Doubtful Likely Inactive
Jeremy Hill Chest Limited Limited  Full Not Listed Active
Doug Martin* Hamstring DNP* DNP* DNP* Doubtful Inactive
Jonathan Stewart* Hamstring DNP* DNP* DNP* Declared Out Inactive
Rashad Jennings Thumb Limited Limited Limited Questionable Likely Inactive
DeAngelo Williams Not Injury Related DNP Not Listed Not Listed Not Listed Active
Jeremy Langford Ankle DNP DNP DNP Doubtful Inactive
Frank Gore Chest DNP Full Full Not Listed Active
Kenneth Dixon Knee Full Full Full Questionable Active
Dewayne Washington Ankle DNP DNP DNP Doubtful Inactive
Lance Dunbar Knee DNP DNP DNP Questionable Likely Inactive
Ka'Deem Carey Hamstring Limited Limited Limited Questionable Active


Wide Receivers
Player Injury Practice Participation Game Status FBGs Expects
Wednesday Thursday Friday
Dez Bryant Knee DNP DNP DNP Questionable Inactive
Brandon Marshall Foot Full Full Full Not Listed Active
Marvin Jones Foot DNP Limited Full Questionable Active
Alshon Jeffery Knee Limited Limited Limited Questionable Active
Julian Edelman Foot Not Listed Limited Limited Questionable Active
Demaryius Thomas Hip Limited Limited Full Not Listed Active
Stefon Diggs Groin DNP DNP DNP Doubtful Inactive
Eric Decker Shoulder DNP DNP DNP Declared Out Inactive
Kevin White Ankle DNP DNP DNP Declared Out Injured Reserve
Eddie Royal Calf DNP DNP DNP Questionable Active
Quincy Enunwa Knee Not Listed Not Listed DNP Questionable Active
Donte Moncrief Shoulder DNP DNP DNP Declared Out Inactive
Corey Coleman Hand DNP DNP DNP Declared Out Inactive
Mohamed Sanu Shoulder Limited Limited Full Not Listed Active
Devin Funchess* Foot Limited* Full* Pending* Pending Expected to Play
Ted Ginn* Foot Limited* Full* Pending* Pending Expected to Play
Kenny Britt Thigh DNP DNP Full Questionable Active
Josh Doctson Achilles DNP DNP DNP Declared Out Inactive
Darrius Heyward-Bey Shoulder Full Full Full Not Listed Active
Eli Rogers Toe DNP DNP DNP Declared Out Inactive
Braxton Miller Hamstring Limited Full Full Not Listed Active


Tight Ends
Player Injury Practice Participation Game Status FBGs Expects
Wednesday Thursday Friday
Rob Gronkowski Hamstring Limited Limited Limited Questionable Active
Tyler Eifert Ankle / Back DNP DNP DNP Declared Out Inactive
Zach Ertz Rib Full Full Full Not Listed Active
Zach Miller Ribs DNP Limited Limited Questionable Active
Antonio Gates Hamstring Limited Limited Full Questionable Active / Limited
Kyle Rudolph Rib DNP Limited Full Not Listed Active
Eric Ebron Ankle / Knee DNP DNP DNP Declared Out Inactive
Jared Cook Ankle DNP DNP DNP Declared Out Inactive
Clive Walford Knee DNP Limited Limited Questionable Inactive
Jordan Cameron Concussion DNP DNP DNP Declared Out Inactive
Charles Clay Knee DNP Limited Limited Questionable Active
Jacob Tamme Hip Limited Full Full Not Listed Active
Larry Donnell Concussion DNP DNP DNP Declared Out Inactive
Virgil Green Calf Limited  Limited Limited Questionable Inactive

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