Keenan Allen (ankle, P): Allen practice in full all week and did not appear to be limited at all. Allen and coach Mike McCoy both stated early in the week that Allen would absolutely play and it looks like they weren’t kidding. Expect Allen to have full health heading into a brutal matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Hakeem Nicks (abdominal strain, Q): Nicks missed practice Wednesday and was a limited participant on Thursday and Friday, leading many to believe that he’ll play at less than 100% against the Dallas Cowboys. Abdominal strains are very painful and difficult to play through because every time you twist your trunk, reach overhead to catch the ball, or engage with a defender on a block, your core will activate. I mean, in all honesty, you can’t do much of anything without contracting your abdominal musculature. Expect Nicks to be active and play, but also expect him to be playing in pain and with limitation. He’s a risky go this week.
Peyton Manning (high ankle sprain, P): Manning got through Week 11 unscathed, which is a great sign for him moving forward. While the Broncos will have to manage this injury week in and week out for the rest of the season, expect his practice participation to look just like it did this week: Rest, Full practice, Full practice. He’ll be just fine moving forward and is in line for a big game this Sunday.
Christian Ponder (left shoulder dislocation, P): Ponder played last week with a harness on his left shoulder to help improve the stability of his compromised shoulder. Ponder looked fine moving around and didn’t seem to be limited much by this injury, which is expected considering it’s his non-throwing shoulder. He practiced in full all week and should be ready to go for Week 12.
Nate Burleson (forearm fracture, P): Hide your pizza boxes folks, it looks like Burleson is ready to make his triumphant return (too dramatic?). Burleson was able to practice in full all week and is officially listed as probable. He was recently cleared for full contact and it looks like Megatron gets his #2 receiver back this week. Look for him to be eased into things, but he’s a nice sleeper for the rest of the year on a dynamic offense coming off an upper body injury, which should make for a much smoother transition back.
Miles Austin (hamstring, P): Austin appears to be on track to make his return this week coming off his 17th hamstring strain (all numbers are estimated) of his career. I don’t really know how you can fully trust this guy going into this week’s big game against the Giants. Could he have a big return? Absolutely. Could he leave in the first quarter with a reaggravation of the hammy strain? Without a doubt. You just don’t know what you’re going to get with this guy? If it’s me, I stash him for this week if I’m WR-needy and see what he can do, then employ him next week if he looks good and avoids any setbacks.
Michael Floyd (AC joint sprain, P): Floyd showed he could definitely play through this injury and not miss a beat. He had a monster game last week and was able to bump up his practice participation this week to full by Friday. He’ll be a full go on Sunday. My only concern with these types of injuries is the threat of being driven into the ground shoulder-first. His shoulder is a bit more vulnerable than normal, so keep an eye on him throughout the game to make sure he doesn’t suffer any setbacks. But that likelihood isn’t super high, so you should be just fine playing him as normal.
Joique Bell (Achilles tendonitis, Q): Bell fessed up that he has been dealing with some tendonitis in his “leg” for weeks now, as he had to leave last week’s game early because of it. He was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday, but practiced fully on Friday, which means he will play on Sunday. When someone deals with a tendonitis-type injury for longer than a few weeks, it ends up becoming a tendinosis, which basically means the previously-acute injury has become chronic. Once an injury becomes chronic, it is increasingly more difficult to shed the symptoms and limitations associated with an injury, causing a ton of lingering issues. Bell will be managed each week to give him the best opportunity to play, but expect sporadic production from him from here on out.
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