Gameday Injury Expectations: Week 9

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

* = 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

Ben Roethlisberger | Knee | Questionable | Expected to Play / Limited

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

Forget the more complicated than expected arthroscopic surgery. Forget the possible 4-6 week recovery timetable. Roethlisberger is not missing a matchup against the Ravens with the division title still in doubt. Roethlsiberger isn't fully recovered yet and could struggle to elude pass rushers if his knee isn't ready to return. I expect Roethlisberger to show some limitations in the pocket but he should play.

Saturday Update: Adam Schefter reported today that the Steelers haven't decided which quarterback will start on Sunday. Schefter has been warning about a longer timetable than the original expectation since last week and this report is consistent with his earlier tweets. I still think Roethlisberger plays but it's not yet a certainty.

Sunday AM Update: Ian Rapoport tweets Steelers believe Roethlisberger will play but will have him backup if there is any concern during pregame warmups.

*RUSSELL WILSON  | KNEE / PECTORAL | NOT LISTED | Expected to Play

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

Wilson has yet to prove he's healthy enough to move around the pocket or threaten the defense as a rushing option. But Wilson has been healthy enough to finish games and Pete Carroll believes his quarterback is making progress each week. I think Wilson will continue to be limited by the MCL sprain. More likely than not, we won't be able to predict when Wilson returns to full form -- we'll know when we see it.

Others of note: Andrew Luck (shoulder), Trevor Siemian (shoulder), and Cody Kessler (concussion) are not listed on the game status report and are all expected to start. Alex Smith (ear, head) and Tony Romo (back) have been declared out and will be inactive. I'll update return-to-play expectations on Monday.


RUNNING BACK

*LESEAN MCCOY | HAMSTRING | Questionable | Likely to Play

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

After a limited test practice on Thursday, McCoy felt good enough on Friday to put in another limited practice. Both McCoy and Rex Ryan felt good about the progress McCoy had made and it's looking more and more likely he'll play this week. With the Bills' bye week coming, I doubt the Bills would activate McCoy if he wasn't ready to see close to his usual workload. Still, we've seen McCoy aggravate his hamstring injury once already and he remains within the window for another aggravation this week. I'll update McCoy status after Buffalo's Saturday practice report.

Saturday Update: McCoy is officially questionable but practiced for a third consecutive day and Rex Ryan told reporters he was confident McCoy would play. It's not clear whether the team will trust him with a full workload, however. I doubt the Bills have game planned to give McCoy 15-20+ snaps -- there's no way they could have been sure he was ready for that kind of workload early in the week. But if McCoy looks fit and productive early he could convince the coaching staff to give him more touches as the game progresses.

DeMarco Murray | Toe | Not Listed | Expected to Play

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

Murray seemed to run more comfortably with every carry following his toe injury last week. He was able to return to practice on Wednesday then put in two consecutive full practices later in the week. The Titans did not list Murray on the game status report at all. These are all reassuring signs that Murray's injury was minor and the team expects to give him his usual workload this week.

Devontae Booker | Shoulder | Not Listed | Expected to Play

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

Booker returned to a full Friday practice and is not listed on Denver's game status report. Cecil Lammey told us Booker looked to be practicing without limitation this week and was not in a non-contact jersey at any point this week. Shoulder injuries are tough for running backs but Booker's condition appears to be low grade and there seems little concern for an aggravation.

Carlos Hyde | Shoulder | Questionable | Declared Out

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

The Niners did not clear Hyde for contact on Thursday -- the team's only padded practice of the week -- and he did not sound optimistic in the locker room after practice. There were no local reports about Hyde's limited Friday practice. Some observers give Hyde a chance to play, but we're three weeks from Hyde's AC sprain and it's clear he's not fully recovered yet. The team already showed caution with Hyde before their bye week. I think he's closer to doubtful than probable. I expect one of the national media members to give us more information on Hyde's status on Sunday morning.

Sunday AM Update: Both Ian Rapoport and Adam Schefter believe the Niners will give Hyde another week to recover. He isn't expected to play today.

Sunday AM Update: Ian Rapoport reporting that Carlos Hyde is out, with DuJuan Harris the starter over Shaun Draughn.

Theo Riddick | Ankle | Questionable | Expected to Play

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

Riddick didn't fully practice this week but the Lions have been consistent in limiting practice time for their injured players. Local observers expect Riddick to play and he should see close to his usual workload.

Jerick McKinnon | Ankle | Questionable | Expected to Play

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

There are conflicting practice participation reports on McKinnon. The official reports posted on the NFL communications site list McKinnon as DNP all week. Beat writer observation and practice reports provided to the local writers have McKinnon as limited on Thursday and Friday. McKinnon told reporters he expects to play. I'm watching McKinnon's status closely this weekend, but the majority of the evidence suggests he'll play.

Sunday AM Update: Ian Rapoport tweets the Vikings expect to have McKinnon "back on the field" today. Parsing the wording of that tweet carefully, it's possible McKinnon has his workload decreased. At minimum, the team likely wants to see how he responds after warmups and his first few carries.

Others of note: Matt Forte (knee), Jonathan Stewart (not injury related), Frank Gore (not injury related), and Ryan Mathews (tooth) are not listed on the game status report and are expected to play. Spencer Ware (concussion) and Thomas Rawls (fibula) have been declared out. I'll update return-to-play expectations on Monday.


WIDE RECEIVER

Antonio Brown | Quad | Not listed | Expected to Play

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

Brown fully practiced all week and is not listed on the Steelers' game status report. He's now two weeks removed from his quad injury and should see his usual workload this week.
 

Amari Cooper | Back | Questionable | Expected to Play

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

Local writers did not notice any strained movement during Cooper's individual work and there are no indications Cooper will miss this week's game. Back injuries can be tricky and act up at any time but Cooper can be expected to see his usual workload.
 
Sunday AM Update: Ian Rapoport tweeted the Raiders "expect no issues" for Cooper tonight.
 

Odell Beckham | Hip | Not Listed | Expected to Play

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

Beckham did not participate in a full practice this week but is not listed on the game status report. He likely continues to work through soreness due to the hip pointer but should again see his usual snap count and number of routes run.

 

DEZ BRYANT | KNEE | QUESTIONABLE | EXPECTED TO PLAY

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

Bryant fully practiced on Thursday and Friday -- something he did not do last week -- and looks to be fully recovered from his knee injury. Though listed questionable, Bryant should play without limitation.

Randall Cobb | Hamstring | Questionable | Unlikely to Play

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

Cobb again managed a full week of limited practice. But he was not convincing in the locker room on Friday, acknowledging he's not fully healthy and that he and the Packers are cognizant of the importance of avoiding a setback with the stretch run ahead. The Packers med staff held Cobb out last week and could well do the same this week.

Sunday AM Update: Both Adam Schefter and Ian Rapoport tweeted this morning that the Packers are likely to continue to be cautious with Cobb. He's now unlikely to play today.

Jeremy Maclin | Groin | Questionable | Likely to Play

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

Maclin suffered a midweek groin strain but returned to a limited Friday practice. Andy Reid told the media he expects Maclin to play. Barring an unexpected weekend twist, Maclin will be active.

Michael Thomas | Ankle | Not Listed | Expected to Play

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

Reports on Thomas' Friday status were all over the place. After not seeing Thomas on the field on Friday, beat writers tracked him down and he told them he had a stomach bug. The Saints listed him as having an ankle injury on the practice report, but didn't list him on the game status report. I believe Thomas has a minor ankle injury that isn't limiting him much and missed practice with illness. I expect him to be active and available for his usual workload but will be watching weekend reports for signs of concern.

Tyrell Williams | Knee | Questionable | Expected to Play

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

Williams increased his practice participation throughout the week. It's the same pattern Williams has kept to in recent weeks and played effectively. The Chargers have listed Williams questionable but the full Friday practice is reassuring that he'll again be able to play with his usual workload.

Ty Montgomery | Illness | Not Listed | Expected to Play

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

Montgomery is not listed on the Packers' game status report. Blood in urine due to sickle cell trait is worrisome but Montgomery looks to have had only a relatively minor complication. I think the Packers will check Montgomery again on Sunday but it's clear they don't expect further setbacks. Look for Montgomery to start and play without limitation.

Travis Benjamin | Knee | Questionable | Likely to Play

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

Despite a mid-grade PCL sprain that raised concern about Benjamin's availability this week, he increased his practice participation and returned to a full Friday practice. The Chargers listed Benjamin questionable and it's still possible they'll decide to rest him. However, the full Friday practice and the inability of Hunter Henry to recover in time to play this week suggests the team will activate Benjamin on game day.

Steve Smith | Ankle | Questionable | Likely to Play

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

On Wednesday, it appeared Smith's high ankle sprain would again keep him out this week and the limited Thursday practice wasn't much more reassuring. However, the full Friday practice changed the tone of all local reports -- though no one saw Smith during the media portion of the Friday practice -- and most local observers believe Smith will try to play. I think the team felt better about Smith than they expected on Thursday and ramped up his participation on Friday to be sure he was ready to play. I'll watch for Sunday morning notes on Smith's status.

Sunday AM Update: Smith remains a game-time decision. Adam Schefter tweeted this morning the Ravens have one game plan with Smith, one game plan without him. Multiple NFL network reporters note the Ravens "expected" to have Smith active as of last night.

Sunday AM Update: Smith tweeted this morning that he's going to play today. I'll update after inactives are official.

Corey Coleman | Hand | Not Listed | Expected to Play

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

Coleman will return to play this week. He's been cleared for contact and to catch passes and should see his pre-injury workload.

Others of note: Brandon Marshall (foot), T.Y. Hilton (hip), Terrelle Pryor (hamstring), Marvin Jones (not injury related), and Quincy Enunwa (foot/ankle) are not listed on the injury report as expected to see their usual workload. I'll update return-to-play expectations on Monday.


TIGHT END-

*Jimmy Graham | Knee | Not Listed | Expected to Play

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

Graham often sees fewer practice reps midweek. His Saturday participation is pending but I'm not worried about the "downgrade" on Friday yet. I'm expecting Graham to play and see his usual workload.

Delanie Walker | Groin | Questionable | Game-time Decision

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

Walker's media interviews after Friday's missed practice were a mixed bag. At times, Walker's tone suggested he'd play without question this week. Other statements weren't nearly as optimistic. Walker sounds like a player who's hopeful he'll feel good enough to play but isn't sure. Walker was in a similar spot earlier this season. After assuring reporters earlier in the week he'd play against the Raiders, Walker was not active on Sunday. Check back for more on Walker this weekend.

Sunday AM Update: Adam Schefter tweeted this morning the Titans expect to have Walker today.

Dwayne Allen | Ankle | Questionable | Expected to Play

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

The Colts listed Allen questionable but he fully practiced on Friday and expects to play. Allen may see fewer snaps than usual in his first week back from a high ankle sprain.

*Charles Clay | Knee | Questionable | Expected to Play

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

Clay has played in each of the past three weeks after limited snaps early in the week. Barring an unexpected Saturday DNP, I think Clay will be active again this week.

Others of Note: Julius Thomas (ankle) is not on the game status report and should see his usual workload. Hunter Henry (knee) and Jared Cook (ankle) have been declared out. I'll update return-to-play expectations on Monday.

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


Quarterbacks
Player Injury Practice Participation Game Status FBGs Expects
Wednesday Thursday Friday
Ben Roethlisberger Knee Limited Limited Limited Questionable Expected to Play / Limited
Andrew Luck Shoulder Not Listed Limited Full Not Listed Expected to Play
*Russell Wilson Knee / Pectoral *Full *Full *Full Not Listed Expected to Play
Alex Smith Head / Ear Limited Limited Limited Declared Out Inactive
Trevor Siemian Shoulder Full Full Full Not Listed Expected to Play
Cody Kessler Concussion Full Full Full Not Listed Expected to Play
Tony Romo Back DNP Limited Limited Declared Out Inactive

Running Backs
Player Injury Practice Participation Game Status FBGs Expects
Wednesday Thursday Friday
*LeSean McCoy Hamstring *Limited *Limited *Limited Questionable Expected to Play
DeMarco Murray Foot Limited Full Full Not Listed Expected to Play
Spencer Ware Concussion DNP DNP DNP Declared Out Inactive
Matt Forte Knee Limited Full Full Not Listed Expected to Play
Devontae Booker Shoulder Limited Limited Full Not Listed Expected to Play
Jonathan Stewart Not Injury Related DNP DNP Full Not Listed Expected to Play
Carlos Hyde Shoulder Limited Limited Limited Questionable Inactive
Frank Gore Not Injury Related DNP Full Full Not Listed Expected to Play
Theo Riddick Ankle Limited Limited Limited Questionable Expected to Play
Jerick McKinnon Ankle DNP DNP DNP Questionable Likely to Play
*Thomas Rawls Fibula *DNP *DNP *DNP Declared Out Inactive 
Ryan Mathews Tooth Limited Full Not Listed Not Listed Expected to Play 
Bobby Rainey Calf Limited Limited Limited Questionable Game-time Decision
DeAngelo Williams Knee Limited DNP Limited Questionable Unlikely to Play
James Starks Knee DNP Limited Limited Declared Out Inactive
Lance Dunbar Knee Full Full Full Questionable Expected to Play

Wide Receivers
Player Injury Practice Participation Game Status FBGs Expects
Wednesday Thursday Friday
Antonio Brown Quad Full Full Full Not Listed Expected to Play
T.Y. Hilton  Hamstring DNP Full Full Not Listed Expected to Play
Amari Cooper Back Limited Limited Limited Questionable Expected to Play
Odell Beckham  Hip Limited Limited Limited Not Listed Expected to Play
Brandon Marshall  Foot Full Full Full Not Listed Expected to Play
Dez Bryant  Knee / Back Limited Full Full Questionable Expected to Play
Randall Cobb  Hamstring Limited Limited Limited Questionable Unlikely to Play
Terrelle Pryor  Hamstring DNP Limited Full Not Listed Likely to Play
Marvin Jones  Foot Limited Full Full Not Listed Expected to Play
Jeremy Maclin Groin Not Listed DNP Limited Questionable Likely to Play
Michael Thomas Ankle Not Listed Not Listed Limited Not Listed Expected to Play
Tyrell Williams  Knee DNP  Limited Full Questionable Expected to Play
Quincy Enunwa  Ankle / Knee Full Full Full Not Listed Expected to Play
Travis Benjamin  Knee DNP Limited Full Questionable Likely to Play
Steve Smith  Ankle DNP Limited Full Questionable Likely to Play
Ty Montgomery Illness Limited Limited Limited Not Listed Expected to Play
Corey Coleman Hand Limited Full Full Not Listed Expected to Play
Phillip Dorsett Not Injury Related Not Listed DNP Full Not Listed Expected to Play
DeVante Parker Hamstring Full Full Full Questionable Expected to Play
*Marquise Goodwin Concussion *Limited *Full *Full Not Listed Expected to Play
Markus Wheaton Shoulder Full Full Full Not Listed Expected to Play

Tight Ends
Player Injury Practice Participation Game Status FBGs Expects
Wednesday Thursday Friday
*Jimmy Graham Knee *Full *Limited *Full Not Listed Expected to Play
Delanie Walker Groin Not Listed Limited DNP Questionable Game-time Decision
Dwayne Allen  Ankle Limited Limited Full Questionable Expected to Play / Limited
Julius Thomas  Ankle DNP Full Full Not Listed Expected to Play
Hunter Henry  Knee DNP DNP DNP Declared Out Inactive
*Charles Clay  Knee *Limited *Limited *Limited Questionable Expected to Play
Jared Cook  Ankle DNP Limited Limited Declared Out Inactive
Jordan Cameron  Concussion DNP DNP DNP Declared Out Inactive

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

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