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Hi Folks,

Welcome to Thursday. We've got the news and notes you need so let's get to it.

J


OAK - RB Darren McFadden still not ready - ANG Newspapers - Steve Corkran

Oakland Raiders head coach Hue Jackson said Wednesday, Dec. 28, that RB Darren McFadden (foot) is still not ready to return to the practice field. 'He's not ready yet,' Jackson said. The head coach said the expression from the training staff tells him that there is hope McFadden will play again this season. 'That expression's much better, but it's just not where it needs to be. It's not that, 'Here we go.' But we're getting there, though. And he is more confident. So we're getting closer, but we're not there yet.'

Link to full story

Footballguys' view: It doesn't even sound like McFadden is likely to play if the Raiders host a playoff game in two weeks.


DET - WR Calvin Johnson held out as precaution - MLive.com - Anwar Richardson

Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson (Achilles') was held out of practice Wednesday, Dec. 28, as a precaution. He stretched with the team before practice.

Link to full story

Footballguys' view: Johnson is a candidate to be rested if the Lions can open up a lead in Lambeau, or if his achilles issue is not just a minor bump and bruise. Still, even if he only plays a quarter, that could be enough to be one of the top fantasy WRs of the week. If he's active, he needs to be week 17 lineups.


MIN - Christian Ponder expected to start - The Associated Press - Jon Krawczynski

Minnesota Vikings QB Christian Ponder (concussion) is expected to start in Week 17 against the Chicago Bears after returning to practice Wednesday, Dec. 28. Head coach Leslie Frazier said Ponder remains the No. 1 quarterback over QB Joe Webb.

Link to full story

Footballguys' view: We'd like to see more from Webb. He performed well last week in relief of Ponder and is a dual threat QB who can use his legs in addition to his arm.


WAS - Roy Helu expects to play - The Washington Post - Mike Jones

Washington Redskins RB Roy Helu Jr. (knee, toe) said he fully expects to play Week 17 after sitting out Week 16 with knee and toe injuries. Helu said both injuries are feeling a lot better than they did last week.

Link to full story

Footballguys' view: With Helu back in the lineup it will be interesting to see how Mike Shanahan splits the carries. Rookie Evan Royster filled in for Helu last week and had a monster game. Looking forward to 2012 this looks like Washington's RBBC, and we'll be monitoring the split of touches between the two.


NYG - WR Hakeem Nicks expects to play - ESPNNewYork.com - Ohm Youngmisuk

New York Giants WR Hakeem Nicks (hamstring) fully expects to play in Week 17 against the Dallas Cowboys despite missing practice Wednesday, Dec. 28. 'I wouldn't say it is as bad (as it was earlier in the season) but it is definitely there and I can't really dig like I want to right now,' Nicks said. 'Honestly, it took away my deep part of my game. It affected some of my releases off the line but I wanted to stay out there because I know that even my presence out there still helps us out.'

Link to full story

Footballguys' view: This still makes it a little tougher to play Nicks as a WR1 coming off of his poor game vs. the Jets. Perhaps it was just the matchup, but Nicks wasn't a threat to do much last week, and the hamstring could be a big reason why. We still wouldn't bench Nicks, but he is probably the second best fantasy WR on his team right now.


STL - QB Sam Bradford hoping to play - St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Jeff Gordon

St. Louis Rams QB Sam Bradford (ankle), who hasn't been cleared to practice, is still hoping to return to practice later this week and play in Week 17 against the San Francisco 49ers. 'It just hasn't reacted,' head coach Steve Spagnuolo said. 'We're still optimistic that maybe we can get it there. It's only Wednesday and the game is Sunday.' QB Kellen Clemens is taking first-team repetitions in practice with QB A.J. Feeley (thumb) also out.

Link to full story

Footballguys' view: Bradford has had a rough sophomore season, but should be able to bounce back next year.


PHI - RB LeSean McCoy not practicing - Philadelphia Inquirer - Jonathan Tamari

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy (ankle) is not practicing Wednesday, Dec. 28, after he sprained his ankle in Week 16. Head coach Andy Reid did not say whether McCoy has a shot at playing in Week 17.

Link to full story

Footballguys' view: McCoy could get shut down this week and open the door for rookie RB Dion Lewis.


NE - QB Tom Brady misses practice - Patriots.com

Updating a previous report, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady (undisclosed) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Dec. 28.

Link to full story

Footballguys' view: Brady is still one of the very best QB plays this weekend with the Patriots making a push for home field advantage throughout the playoffs.


HOU - WR Andre Johnson practices on limited basis - KFFL.com

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson (hamstring) took part in practice on a limited basis Wednesday, Dec. 28.

Link to full story

Footballguys' view: Johnson should get a handful of snaps to knock off the rust and build some chemistry with new QB TJ Yates heading into the playoffs, but he might not be much of fantasy factor.


HOU - TE Owen Daniels listed as limited participant - KFFL.com

Houston Texans TE Owen Daniels (knee) was listed as a limited participant in practice Wednesday, Dec. 28.

Link to full story

Footballguys' view: Daniels should be rested for the most part on Sunday to get him as healthy as possible for the Texans first-ever playoff game in two weeks.


SD - RB Ryan Mathews misses practice - KFFL.com

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (calf) did not practice Wednesday, Dec. 28.

Link to full story

Footballguys' view: Mathews has never been a quick healer or one to play well through injuries, so his owners will have to monitor this situation closely.


SD - WR Vincent Jackson misses practice - KFFL.com

San Diego Chargers WR Vincent Jackson (groin) did not practice Wednesday, Dec. 28.

Link to full story

Footballguys' view: Jackson was a non-factor last week for the most part, so it will be hard to trust him this week without a full practice and vote of confidence before the game vs. the Raiders.


IND - QB Dan Orlovsky update - The Associated Press

Updating a previous item, Indianapolis Colts QB Dan Orlovsky (personal) missed practice Wednesday, Dec. 28, to be with his wife Tiffany, who delivered triplets. Orlovsky is expected to be back at practice Thursday, Dec. 29.

Link to full story

Footballguys' view: Congrats to Orlovsky, who currently has more newborns than wins as a starter in the NFL.


NYG - RB Ahmad Bradshaw expected to play - ESPNNewYork.com - Ohm Youngmisuk

New York Giants RB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) is expected to play in the team's Week 17 game. He sat out of practice Wednesday, Dec. 28, as part of the team's weekly plan for him.

Link to full story

Footballguys' view: Bradshaw should be considered a strong RB2 with the Giants playing at home for the division.


ARI - No QB starter named - The Seattle Times - Danny O'Neil

Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt has refused to name a starting quarterback between QBs Kevin Kolb (concussion) and John Skelton for the Week 17 matchup. Kolb's status for the game is in doubt with him experiencing recurring concussion symptoms.

Link to full story

Footballguys' view: We'll name a starter. John Skelton should be in vs. the Seahawks to try to push the Cards to an 8-8 finish after a 1-6 start.


CHI - RB Marion Barber misses practice - ChicagoBears.com

Chicago Bears RB Marion Barber III (calf) did not practice Wednesday, Dec. 28.

Link to full story

Footballguys' view: Barber was barely worked more than a backup for most of this season and he still struggled with injuries.


MIA - WR Brandon Marshall limited - KFFL.com

Miami Dolphins WR Brandon Marshall (knee) was limited in practice Wednesday, Dec. 28.

Link to full story

Footballguys' view: Marshall has the toughest matchup in the league for WRs, but he is still going to be hard to bench this weekend.


MIA - RB Reggie Bush misses practice - KFFL.com

Miami Dolphins RB Reggie Bush (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Dec. 28.

Link to full story

Footballguys' view: Bush downplayed his injury after the Patriots game, but he might not be able to go vs. the Jets if he can't practice this weekend. Daniel Thomas might end up being a decent play if Bush is inactive.


IND - TE Dallas Clark practices - KFFL.com

Indianapolis Colts TE Dallas Clark (neck) practiced in full Wednesday, Dec. 28.

Link to full story

Footballguys' view: Clark should play this weekend and the Jags did just give up a massive game to TE Jared Cook, but the one-time stud fantasy TE is only a desperation play.


ATL - TE Tony Gonzalez limited - KFFL.com

Atlanta Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez (rest) was limited in practice Wednesday, Dec. 28.

Link to full story

Footballguys' view: The Falcons may know by the time their game starts with the Bucs that they have nothing to gain in terms of playing seed - that is, that the Lions beat the Packers. If so, Gonzalez and the rest of the vets should get at least part of the game off.


CLE - RB Peyton Hillis limited - ClevelandBrowns.com

Cleveland Browns RB Peyton Hillis (elbow) was limited during practice Wednesday, Dec. 28.

Link to full story

Footballguys' view: Hillis should get his full workload vs. the Steelers, but he probably won't put up RB1 numbers. Still, he's worth playing even in a tough matchup because of the elusive nature of predicting week 17 performances.


DET - RB Kevin Smith practices - KFFL.com

Detroit Lions RB Kevin Smith (ankle) practiced in full Wednesday, Dec. 28.

Link to full story

Footballguys' view: The Lions are going to the playoffs, but still have something to play for in terms of playoff seeding. They'll go all out to win this weekend, but may decide to limit Smith in order to keep him fresh for the playoffs.


CLE - QB Colt McCoy not expected to play - The Associated Press - Tom Withers

Cleveland Browns QB Colt McCoy (concussion) is not expected to play in Week 17 versus the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, head coach Pat Shurmur said McCoy was 'much better' and has increased his activities. QB Seneca Wallace is expected to start his third straight game.

Link to full story

Footballguys' view: There's no need for the Browns to rush McCoy back to the lineup. Several changes are coming in Cleveland and we think there could be a new starting QB for the team in 2012.


That'll do it for today, Folks. Thanks for reading and we'll see you tomorrow with the update.

Peace,

J