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 the upcoming week's game. Click here to view Jene's Week 3 injury video conference.
Russell Wilson (ankle), Andrew Luck (arm/shoulder), Andy Dalton (ankle) - All are expected to play and all should be trusted for your lineup. Russell Wilson is in that window where he could suffer a setback to his high ankle sprain, but as far as him participating at a high level, he should be fine this week at home vs San Francisco.
Jay Cutler (thumb) - Cutler is lobbying to play this week, but all indications suggest he will sit. He is a clear fade in the game at Dallas and possibly longer. We'll see how he progresses next week.
C.J. Anderson (ribs), Matt Forte (knee), Rashad Jennings (thumb) - C.J. Anderson has been practicing fully this week and despite being on the injury report, he is expected to play this week at Cincinnati. Matt Forte and Rashad Jennings have practiced on a limited basis, but are expected to play. Jennings and his thumb sprain could be a liability with ball security, but we do expect to see him suit up and play. Is he the best matchup to use this week? Perhaps not, but the injury shouldn't keep you adding him to your lineup.
Thomas Rawls (leg contusion) - Reports are saying that Rawls is expected to play in Week 3 vs. San Francisco, however the number of reps he'll receive is another story. Per Jene, the contusion (bruise) is a fairly deep one that could limit his involvement. There's also the threat of splitting carries with Christine Michael, which further drops Rawls down on the list of players to fully rely on in this week's slate of possibilities. Look eleswhere.
Jamaal Charles (knee) - Fade him until we see marked improvement coming from the Chiefs. He is expected to sit again this week, making the decision to target him a quick one - stay away.
Julio Jones (calf), Demaryius Thomas (hip), Doug Baldwin (knee) - All are expected to play this week. Julio Jones and Demaryius Thomas have seen a drop off in targets compared to seasons prior, so factor that into your thoughts, but both have been known to play through their limiting injuries.
Brandon Marshall (foot/knee), Eric Decker (shoulder) - Marshall is dealing with a foot injury in addition to the knee scare he suffered in last Thursday's game. The extra time to heal is definitely in his favor, however he did not practice Thursday. Indications suggest he will be able to play this week at Kansas City, but definitely keep a watch on him. Perhaps fade him for Thursday linepups and take a look to see how he is later for Sunday lineups. Eric Decker did not practice Wednesday, but he did have a limited practice on Thursday. Like Marshall, Decker has been known to play with pain and should be someone you can trust to play this Sunday. The needle is pointing up a bit more for Decker over Marshall this week in terms of playing likelihood and if either takes a step back, consider Quincy Enunwa as someone who could rise to the occasion.
Result: Trust (fade Marshall for Thursday lineups)
Sammy Watkins (foot) - Watkins seems like a genuine fade this week after not practicing on Thursday. The continued uncertainty with no improvement to speak of is generating talk of Bills possibly holding Watkins out for a few weeks to heal. If he practices on Friday expect him to be active for the game against Arizona this week, but he's difficult to trust at this point, especially for any Thursday night lineups. If the Bills continue to struggle in the win/loss column, they may lean more towards shutting him down for a period to get him healed.
Alshon Jeffery (knee) Be wary of Jeffery this week. He did not practice on Thursday and had some limited practices earlier in the week. There's uncertainty surrounding his effectiveness and availability. Like Watkins, if he practices on Friday expect him to have a greater chance of being active, but he's not someone you want to trust this week.
Willie Snead IV (toe injury) This doesn't seem like an injury that will affect him too much. He does have until Monday night to heal up, but all indications suggest he'll be fine.
Rob Gronkowski (hamstring) - The signs are trending to him suiting up tonight, but don't expect him to be fully involved in the offense with a high number of snaps. We've seen him perform well in a limited basis, coming into the game in the red zone or on critical pass plays. However, that was with Tom Brady and not third string quarterback Jacoby Brissett. Indications suggest he'll see around 20-25 snaps, if he's active.
Tyler Eifert (ankle) Tyler Eifert practiced on a limited basis on Wednesday and Thursday but he is probably not going to play this week against Denver. Look for the Bengals to target his return for next Thursday. That would give him a full 10 days of rest after his first game back. He's not someone to trust this week.
Antonio Gates (hamstring), Zach Ertz (rib) - Both players are not expected to play this week. Antonio Gates has not practiced at all this week and is considered unlikely to play. Zach Ertz is still recovering from his rib injury and the Eagles aren't in any rush to get back on the field, especially with Trey Burton filling in well in his absence. Keep in mind, the Eagles bye week is coming up in Week 4. There's no need to rush him back.
Result: Fade both
Delanie Walker (hamstring) Per Walker "there's not a chance I'm missing this game against Oakland." Barring any setback, expect Walker to play this week and be an effective asset to Marcus Mariota in a plus matchup for the passing game.
Jonathan Cyprien (knee/triceps) - Dr. Jene thinks he won't be able to go, despite fully participating in practice on Thursday. He has struggled to play through pain in the past and may be a defensive liability if he can't play effectively.
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