During the season, I will transcribe Jene Bramel's Thursday injury video conference and provide you with his thoughts on which players to trust or fade for your lineups in the upcoming week's schedule of games. Click here to view Jene's Week 11 injury video conference.
THURSDAY UPDATE (New Orleans at Carolina)
Jonathan Stewart, CAR (hamstring) Stewart practiced in full on Wednesday and is not listed on the injury report. He should see his usual workload against New Orleans.
A slight variation of the format this week as there's three main injury concerns that make up the list of offensive skill positions.
3 big injury concerns
Thomas Rawls, SEA (ankle) - Pete Carroll once said that when Rawls is back he'll see considerable touches. The expectation is that he will be eased back into the role, perhaps receiving 10-15 touches this week. Depending on how the game goes, we could see more Rawls than C.J. Prosise. Don't expect Rawls to see an immediate box score that includes 20-25 touches. That just doesn't fit the situation with him right now, especially with Prosise playing well. It may not be a bad decision to hold off on inserting Rawls into your lineup this week. Wait and see how he's used and go from there.
Result: Fade (or a possible gamble in deep GPPs)
Dion Lewis, NE (knee) - Lewis was a scratch last week after speculation that he would make his season debut. There is uncertainty in the air surrounding Lewis' availability, and also how many touches he'll receive once he is active. How much will Rob Gronkowski's absence affect Bill Belichick's game plan? James White is healthy, LeGarrette Blount looks very good. It's possible that we won't see Lewis that much this week, the thinking is 8-10 touches will be his ceiling against San Francisco. Like Rawls, we need to see the workload he gets before relying on him for production.
Rob Gronkowski, NE (chest) - It was initially mentioned by Ian Rapoport that Rob Gronkowski suffered a punctured lung. This was likely said to Rapoport, and that implies that there's a rib fracture and a penetrating lung injury where's there's a collapse associated with it. That's probably not what happened, but I do think there's a lung situation there. He has not been cleared to travel, which probably won't happen by the end of the week. As of Thursday, he has not been cleared for contact, which makes his chances of playing very low. We may not know until the early part of next week if he'll be able to play in Week 12. It's extremely unlikely that he will travel with the team and play this week.
Larry Fitzgerald, ARI (knee/ankle) - The expectation is that he will play this week at Minnesota. It sounds like he is dealing with lingering effects of the MCL sprain he suffered in the preseason with an ankle sprain on top of it. He has played through similar injuries in the past, which is an indication that he will probably be active and play this week and not be all that limited. Bruce Arians spoke in the early part of the week and the way the conversation went, sounded like he expects Fitzgerald to play. He may be limited in practice this week and still be OK to play. Now, if he misses Thursday practice and doesn't practice on Friday, then we may need to reset expectations. Knowing Fitzgerald and his past history with similar situations, the expectation is that he will play through it.
QUATERBACK injury news
Nearly everyone with an injury concern is practicing (some limited and some full participants). All are expected to play. That includes Russell Wilson (knee), Carson Palmer (non-injury related) and Andy Dalton (shoulder).
RUNNING BACk injury news
Doug Martin, TB (hamstring) Martin is not on the injury report at all. Consider him to be active and playing his regular workload, which could be plentiful.
Jordan Howard, CHI (ankle) The injury to Howard was suffered on an awkward looking tackle, but it is not as serious as originally thought. There was a possibility that he was dealing with an Achilles injury or a multi-week ankle sprain. He is back and fully practicing and is expected to play this week.
Jacquizz Rodgers, TB (foot) Rodgers is out of his walking boot, but he is at least a week away from returning. With Doug Martin back in the fold, expect Rodgers' load to be reduced when he does return.
WIDE RECEIVER injury news
Maclin - Unless there is a very positive Thursday practice, don't expect him to play this week.
Fuller - Fuller himself seems to be optimistic about returning this week. He was back to practice on Thursday. Remember, he has a game in Mexico City with high altitude (approx 2,000 feet higher than Denver). His conditioning may be a factor after missing multiple weeks.
Jackson - There's some optimism with Jackson, but when they let him sit out earlier, it seemed like a 2-4 week rehab situation. It doesn't sound like he will be ready to play this week. He has played through AC sprains in the past, but this is a rotator cuff strain that is a little different. The possibility is there for him to return after two weeks, but not likely.
TIGHT END injury news
Tyler Eifert, CIN (knee) - He was back to a full practice on Thursday. He should be a go this week.
Jimmy Graham, SEA (knee) - Graham should be back to a full practice by the end of the week. This has been the case with him all season. Shouldn't be an issue there.
Martellus Bennett, NE (ankle) - He has been holding up pretty well in practice this week. He should be OK this week and is someone who could see significant involvement, if Gronkowski doesn't play.
Zach Ertz, PHI (hamstring) - Ertz did not practice on Thursday after a limited practice on Wednesday. It's possible that his hamstring did not respond well after practice. We'll know more Friday in the Eagles post-practice press conference. The needle is pointing down on him, especially if he's unable to practice on Friday.
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