by Will Overton
It’s time again to take a look at the league’s injury report heading into this weekend’s games. Granted a lot can change in the next 24 hours, but it’s important to keep tabs on these guys status leading up to game time. You never know what’ll happen tomorrow morning that might prevent you from making changes so it’s best to stay on top of things now.
You also want to be able to know what positions you may need to pickup a guy as a just in case situation. Bye weeks are starting and benches are getting more thin so you need to know what guys you are going to need to replace.
Here is the latest injury news on a handful of fantasy playmakers:
Buffalo Bills Running Backs: Both Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller are listed as questionable for this week’s game against the Patriots. Word out of Buffalo is that Spiller is more questionable than Jackson. If things continue as they have Jackson should see the field Sunday I am hearing in reports. If Jackson plays, and especially if Spiller doesn’t, he’s at least a flex play. Do keep in mind that both guys are coming back sooner than expected from their injuries and may not be at full strength. The Pats are a nice matchup, so like I said, I’d plug Jackson in at flex if he’s ready, but don’t get too high for this.
Matt Forte – RB, Chicago Bears: At practice yesterday Forte was limited. That’s not encouraging, but his game isn’t until Monday Night so don’t get too discouraged. While he is listed as questionable, the Bears are hopeful that he plays and Forte is fully expecting to play. The question is how effective can he be. If it still looks like he’s a go tomorrow I would plan on using him. Dallas has struggled against the run so far and I can see Chicago wanting to control some clock and grind it out with the way Cutler has been performing. I’d slot him in as a flex option so you can use a WR at the last minute if need be on Monday, but I like his odds of playing and contributing.
Matthew Stafford – QB, Detroit Lions: The hamstring is looking good for Matthew Stafford and he should be ready to go barring a setback. Stafford has practiced two days in a row without a problem. The hamstring shouldn’t be a major issue for Stafford as he isn’t overly reliant on his legs. Every indication is that he’ll play and if the Lions O-Line can keep him up right I expect a big game against the Vikings.
Miekl Leshoure – RB, Detroit Lions: Many believe the Lions listing of Leshoure as questionable is overly cautious. His groin has been acting up, but he has been practicing all week and he looked awfully good last week toting the rock for 100 yards. The Lions seem committed to establishing a more balanced offense and as long as Leshoure gets the all clear he makes a nice number two RB or flex spot play.
Dwayne Bowe – WR, Kansas City Chiefs: As of right now Bowe is still listed as questionable. He has practiced the last two days, but was limited in both practices. Bowe is dealing with a groin injury which can be a nagging one and can hamper a receiver’s production. He is optimistic that he’ll play, but it looks a lot like a game time decision right now. If he goes you probably have to play him, but the Chargers have been tough on wideouts thus far. Someone who might be a sneaky play this week is Jon Baldwin as three Chiefs receivers are listed as questionable this week, so Baldwin could see a lot of playing time.
Reggie Bush – RB, Miami Dolphins: This is another one that’ll likely come right down to the wire. Bush’s knee isn’t as bad as first thought, but he’s still questionable this week. And on a bum knee against a staunch Arizona defense, the going might be a bit rough. If he goes it’ll be tough to sit him out, but there is still a lot of questions as to whether he’ll go as he has yet to practice fully this week.
Rob Gronkowski – TE, New England Patriots: Here is an injury that came out of nowhere. Gronkowski showed up on injury reports just yesterday and was limited in practice with an apparent hip injury. There is no way in the world that you sit Gronk if he suits up for this game, and I believe, as do others, that he will suit up. However, if you don’t carry a backup TE, it might be precautionary to grab one just in case tomorrow rolls around and he ends up inactive.
Hakeem Nicks – WR, New York Giants: It seemed as if Hakeem Nicks was all set to go for this week despite his toe injury. Than out of nowhere today he’s listed as doubtful and apparently has swelling on his knee. Nicks didn’t practice at all yesterday and looks to be a no go this week. Nicks injury history keeps growing and the worries of his fantasy owners are growing along with it. Ramses Barden looks like he might make a nice WR2 or WR3 play this week.
Steven Jackson – RB, St. Louis Rams: Much like last week, whether or not Jackson plays will likely be determined right prior to kickoff on Sunday. He ended up playing last week and carried the ball 11 times, but was largely unproductive. This week even if he does play he is playing Seattle who is giving up less than 60 rushing yards per game so far. I’d stay away from Jackson or any other Rams RB this week.
Kenny Britt – WR, Tennessee Titans: After going against the Lions last Sunday and looking pretty good, it is a surprise to see Britt sit out three straight practices this week and be listed as questionable. According to Britt himself the ankle injury is still nagging him and he doesn’t want to go out on the field if he can’t go 100%. The Titans are still holding out hope, but it’s not looking good for him playing right now.
Pierre Garcon – WR, Washington Redskins: We’re still waiting to see what the Robert Griffin III – Pierre Garcon connection can do in a full game. Garcon who was injured in week one was thought to have been ready to return before this, but he’s healing slow and still questionable. He did practice this week, but was limited in each practice. If he can go on Sunday, and we likely won’t know until Sunday, he still makes a strong play. You just have to keep an eye out for whether or not he can play.