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 will happen tomorrow morning that might prevent you from making changes so it’s best to stay on top of things now. The playoffs are right around the corner and you need to be at full strength right now more than ever.
You also want to be able to know what positions you may need to pickup a guy as a just in case situation. This week is the super bye week, with six teams sitting out, 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:
Stevie Johnson – WR, Buffalo Bills: The injury report yesterday listed Johnson as questionable with his injury. He sat out Wednesday’s practice, but he was a full participant the last two days. Johnson is not 100% and probably won’t be on Sunday, but he says he’s going to play and I have to assume that’s the truth. Johnson has struggled some this season, and last time out against the Pats he only had 2 catches for 23 yards, but that’s a bad secondary in New England and Buffalo will be playing from behind. Even not at 100% Johnson might be worth plugging in this week hopes that he has his breakout.
Calvin Johnson – WR, Detroit Lions: Yesterday was the first time Johnson has practiced all week. In fact it was the first time he has participated in a practice in two weeks. Back in week four Johnson says he experienced nerve damage in his knee which the team is saying was actually just a stinger. Don’t be too worried about Johnson’s not practicing though. He didn’t practice at all last week and played the whole games against the Jags finishing with 7 catches and 129 yards. There’s no way you can bench Johnson unless he’s not playing.
Owen Daniels – TE, Houston Texans: After not practicing all week, Owen Daniels was a limited participant yesterday. That’s a pretty good sign, but Daniels is still really sore and he’ll be a game time decision based on how his back feels. Daniels has scored in five of his last six games now and so if he is playing you should play him, but you’ll want to have a backup ready to go just in case. You probably won’t know for sure his status until close to kickoff.
Percy Harvin – WR, Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings were really hopeful that Harvin was going to be back to practice yesterday, but it didn’t happen. In the end he ended up being listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game because of his badly sprained ankle. I have a feeling Harvin will do everything he can to be on the field in a big time division rival game, but it’s not looking good. The Lions secondary is in rough shape so Jerome Simpson could have some sleeper value, assuming Christian Ponder is able to do anything.
Ahmad Bradshaw – RB, New York Giants: It’s been an up and down week for the Giants running back. Bradshaw sat out on Wednesday, was limited on Thursday and than had to sit out of practice again yesterday. This foot issue has been nagging at Bradshaw for a while now and it has him back as questionable for another game. Bradshaw struggled to get anything going last week with the foot injury bothering him, but the Steelers run defense is a lot better than the Bengals. If he’s ready to go on Sunday he’s worth playing, but it is a risky situation right now.
Aaron Hernandez – TE, New England Patriots: After not even being active to play last Sunday it was a good sign that Hernandez participated at least partially in every practice this week. Still he admitted to the media that he’s still likely a game time decision with his ankle injury. A lot was expected from Hernandez this season, but he just can’t stay healthy, and the ankle injury seems to fluctuate a lot. If he can go you should play him against the Bills, but you need to have a backup and are probably best off assuming Hernandez won’t play unless you hear otherwise.
Antonio Brown – WR, Pittsburgh Steelers: Ankle injuries seem to be going around the NFL these days, and Brown is another one who has been bitten by the ankle bug. Brown did not practice all week long and while the injury report says he is questionable, it’s a lot closer to doubtful than questionable. Brown hasn’t caught a TD since week 3 and he’s struggled to maintain consistent performance all season. That coupled with the injury and the fact that he’s playing on Monday Night, I’d stay away from using him at all this week.