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 starting as soon as next week for leagues and being at full strength is essential.
Here is the latest injury news on a number of fantasy playmakers to monitor:
LaRod Stephens-Howling – RB, Arizona Cardinals: There is more than obstacle being faced by Stephens-Howling this week. For starters, he has been hampered all week by an injury to his ribs. The injury has had Stephens-Howling limited in practice all week long and he’s listed as questionable right now. The other problem is that Beanie Wells is slated to return this week. The fact that Stephens-Howling hasn’t been held out of practice is a good sign and indications are that he’ll play if he doesn’t experience a setback. In the long run Beanie might be a problem, but right now I don’t see him getting many touches. Stephens-Howling is coming off a big 127 yard performance last week and he’s taking on the Rams who struggle to stop the run. So long as Stephens-Howling has the green light to play he’s worth a flex play at least.
Julio Jones – WR, Atlanta Falcons: No practice for Jones on Wednesday may have raised a red flag to his owners. However he has practiced on a limited basis the last two days and we’re told he should be playing this week. And that comes from coach Mike Smith, not just Jones himself. Last week Jones missed some practice with the same ankle injury and played on Sunday, I expect the same this week. And in a matchup against the Bucs he should do pretty well.
Jay Cutler – QB, Chicago Bears: The dreaded concussion is taking its toll this week and Cutler is one of its victims. Cutler has been a limited participant the last two days in practice, but he can’t play without being cleared by a doctor independent of the team. We should know later today if Cutler passes his tests, I assume if he does pass the test he’ll play. However in a matchup against the Vikings he’s a tough play either way.
Greg Jennings – WR, Green Bay Packers: It’s been seven week since Jennings has played in a football game. And it’s been three weeks since Jennings had surgery to fix the groin/abdomen problems that have been ailing him. This week he was able to practice and reportedly feels good and is hopeful to play this week. Right now Jennings is listed as questionable, but we should know a whole lot more by the end of the day today after Jennings meets with his specialist. If he’s cleared to play he’s still a bit risky considering everything, but the matchup with the Giants and their weak pass defense is enticing.
Percy Harvin – WR, Minnesota Vikings: The status of Percy Harvin went from questionable to doubtful yesterday after a failed attempt to practice. Harvin sat out the first two days of practice earlier, and made an effort to go yesterday, but had to cut it short. Harvin was reportedly showing a clear limp even before practice started. Ankle injuries can linger for some time so you might be better off having Harvin sit out this week and hope to have him healthy for the playoffs.
Darren Sproles – RB, New Orleans Saints: We thought he might return last week, but instead Sproles missed his third straight game with his broken hand. This week looks like a lock though. Sproles has practiced all week long and appears to be mostly pain free. The matchup with the 49ers is not ideal, but Sproles big play potential and pass catching ability still makes him a fringe play in standard leagues and a must play in PPR leagues.
LeSean McCoy – RB, Philadelphia Eagles: This is another concussion victim. McCoy is recovering from a concussion suffered last week and has yet to practice all week this week. He was listed as questionable on the team’s injury report, but according to offensive coordinator Marty Morhinweg the Eagles are planning on not having McCoy active. The real downside is that McCoy doesn’t play until Monday Night. Chances are McCoy doesn’t even go through concussion testing until part way through the day on Sunday which creates a bit of a pickle. If you want to add Bryce Brown as a backup plan you could go that route as he should have some value against the Panthers. But if that’s not an option I wouldn’t plan on having McCoy on your team this week.