Matt Flynn took the first-team reps during Thursday's practice.
Aaron Rodgers (collarbone) took snaps from the practice squad center and then watched as Flynn and Scott Tolzien rotated in with the starters. It's yet another sign that Rodgers isn't going to make his return this week even though the Packers can clinch a playoff berth with two wins in the final two games. Expect an official announcement from the Packers following practice.
Ray Rice (thigh) returned to practice Thursday.
Rice has been battling through nagging injuries all season long, playing a part in his one 100-yard game and brutal 3.07 YPC mark. He'll be a low-end RB2 type against the Patriots Sunday.
Victor Cruz (knee, concussion) is not practicing again Thursday, as expected.
We'd expect the Giants to formally rule Cruz out of Week 16 (and possibly Week 17 as well) shortly. Not only is he not cleared from his concussion, but his knee is a problem as well. Rueben Randle is going to be an every-down player against the Lions Sunday, with Jerrel Jernigan coming into the slot for three-wide sets.
Jerrel Jernigan (knee) returned to practice Thursday.
Jernigan is on track to handle the slot in three-wide formations against the Lions Sunday. Rueben Randle and Hakeem Nicks will be the receivers in two-wide sets. Although Jernigan posted a 6/67/0 line last week, he'd be a Hail Mary fantasy play as part of the struggling Giants pass game.
Donald Brown (stinger) is practicing again Thursday.
Brown has been fully cleared and is ready to rock. Unfortunately, he has a tough spot at Kansas City and will be sharing reps with Trent Richardson. Fantasy owners in Super Bowls should be reaching higher.
Chiefs re-signed DT Jerrell Powe.
Powe was cut last week so the Chiefs could bring in Chad Hall. Now that Dexter McCluster (ankle) is healthy, Powe gets his roster spot back.
Chiefs waived WR Chad Hall.
It's a sign the Chiefs expect Dexter McCluster (ankle) to return for Week 16. Hall, an old favorite of Andy Reid, has been doing the roster dance with Kansas City all season.
The Texans have interviewed Lovie Smith for their vacant head coaching position.
As expected, Lovie gets the first interview in Houston. He was out of the league this year after getting fired in Chicago following the 2012 season, but would bring a ton of NFL experience to a team that has stated its desire for just that. During nine seasons with the Bears, the defensive-minded Smith went 81-63, made the playoffs three times and lost to the Colts in Super Bowl XLI. The Texans are also expected to pursue Penn State's Bill O'Brien, Chargers OC Ken Whisenhunt and possibly Texas A&M's Kevin Sumlin.