Today, we’ll take all the information we’ve collected from the week and update each player’s status for this week and beyond. The injury designations are as follows:
Questionable (Q): The most ambiguous of all the designations, this essentially means that a player is uncertain to play in the coming week. This can be interpreted in a multitude of ways, but there is no scale or percentage likelihood that a guy will suit up. Because the league decided to get rid of the Probable tag, any player who has uncertainty about their availability will fall into this category, which muddies the waters a bit for us.
Doubtful (D): This means that the player is unlikely to play. This should not change much from how it was used in the past, as players who were listed her typically did not end up playing on Sunday or Monday.
Out (O): Pretty straightforward: he’s not playing.
This is going to be a short one this week, so I’ll break them down into categories to give you a better idea of their expectation to play this week.
Good luck this week!
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers (torn meniscus, Q): Well look who was back on the practice field taking first team reps this week? Big Ben appears to be trending toward returning to the field after just having surgery 3 weeks ago to remove a torn meniscus. The training staff has been monitoring the knee’s reaction to his return, looking for changes in swelling, pain levels, compensatory patterns of motion, and his ability to run/cut. This appears to be a decision that will be made on Sunday morning, so checking the inactive report prior to kickoff is required. However, it’s hard to fault you for playing him if he happens to be active, regardless of the perceived risks associated with such a quick return to sport. RISK METER: MODERATE
LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills (hamstring, Q): After missing week 8, McCoy was a limited participant in practice all week and is a game time decision heading into Monday night’s game. Coach Ryan and McCoy himself were extremely positive by week’s end, which leads many to believe that McCoy will suit up this week. However, there’s still a ton of time between now and Monday, and any minor setback could hold him out of the game, especially when you consider the Bills have their bye next week, which could buy McCoy another week of recovery without missing another game. My guess is he plays, but your guess is as good as mine in regards to how effective he’ll be and whether he actually finishes the game, something he did not do in Week 7. RISK METER: MODERATE-HIGH
Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay Packers (hamstring, Q): Cobb was a limited participant all week. No word yet on his status for Sunday officially, but rumbles seem to point to the fact that he’s still not 100% yet. If this remains the case come Sunday, the expectation would be that he’d sit, not risking further injury. However, this is truly a game time decision, so monitor his status pior to kick off. RISK METER: LOW-MODERATE
Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco 49ers (AC joint sprain, Q): Another true gametime decision, Hyde was able to put in limited practice all week, although he wore the non-contact jersey the entire week. Part of this is just smart management by the team, but he made statements during the week that he still doesn’t quite feel confident in the shoulder yet, worrying about landing the shoulder, taking hits, and having the pile on top of him after runs. There remains a chance that he will play, but nothing is set in stone yet. Expect this to come down to the wire and have a backup available just in case. RISK METER: MODERATE
Jerick McKinnon, RB, Minnesota Vikings (ankle injury, Q): Despite putting in only limited practices all week, there is optimism that McKinnon will suit up this week against the Lions. He’s been dealing with this injury for a couple weeks now and it’s difficult to expect a running back to be dynamic and explosive with any instability or lingering pain in their ankle/foot complex. This is another decision that will likely be tested pre-game, see how he moves around in warmups, and go from there. Expect this decision to be made shortly before kickoff. RISK METER: LOW-MODERATE
Steve Smith, WR, Baltimore Ravens (ankle sprain, Q): After finally returning to practice this week, he was able to get in full participation on Friday. He has not played in 3 weeks, which means one day of full practice is essentially the only full speed type movements he’s been able to do in a competitive environment. While he appears very likely to play this Sunday, expectations should be tempered as it’s hard to imagine he’s absolutely 100% after such little practice over the last 3 weeks. RISK METER: LOW-MODERATE
Robert Woods, WR, Buffalo Bills (foot, Q): He made his return to the field last week and was able to come out of it unscathed and without reported setbacks. Despite the quesitonable tag, expect him to be out there on Monday. RISK METER: LOW
Dwayne Allen, TE, Indianapolis Colts (ankle, Q): Allen got in a limited practice on Thursday, full practice on Friday, which increases the likelihood that he plays on Sunday. He is more than likely still going to be hobbled by this injury that’s kept him out for multiple weeks, but expect him to return to the field in some capacity this week. One interesting note: this likely puts a small dent in the expected production of Jack Doyle, who will likely lose some snaps with Allen’s potential return to the lineup. RISK METER: LOW-MODERATE
Likely to Play:
Jeremy Maclin, WR, Kansas City Chiefs (groin, Q): Maclin complained on groin pain mid week, was rested Thursday, then back at a limited practice on Friday. Coach Reid was optimistic that Maclin would suit up on Sunday and that his symptoms were nothing more than soreness. Expect him to play. RISK METER: LOW
Travis Benjamin, WR, San Diego Chargers (knee, Q): Benjamin appears to be on the probable side of the questionable tag, as he was able to practice on a limited basis all week in order to manage reps. He’s expected to play. RISK METER: LOW-MODERATE
Tyrell Williams, WR, San Diego Chargers (knee, Q): Similar to Benjamin above, Williams is fully expected to play after being banged up over the last few weeks. One interesting note is that Williams has hit 100+ yards in 2 of the last 4 weeks, and both of the weeks he missed that number came at the hands of the Broncos. RISK METER: LOW
Hunter Henry, TE, San Diego Chargers (knee)
Alex Smith, QB, Kansas City Chiefs (concussion)
Spencer Ware, RB, Kansas City Chiefs (concussion)
Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City Chiefs (knee swelling/soreness, O): Charles will miss at least 8 weeks after being placed on IR
C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver Broncos (meniscus tear): After making the decision to have his meniscus repaired and not removed, Anderson’s season is over. He will likely be out 3-4 months minimum, which will give him more than enough time to be ready for 2017. One thing to note: this was absolutely the correct decision to make in regards to his long term health. Repairing the meniscus will decrease the likelihood of early onset arthritis and allow him to maintain his shock absorbing structures in the knee for years to come.