Chet Gresham

Last Minute Decisions

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Injury Questions: Week 17

Saturday, December 28, 2013


Welcome to the final week of the NFL regular season. It’s a sad day to be sure. Give me a second. . . . Ok. Below I have the key fantasy injuries, the playoff scenarios and the weather report for each game. Take a look-see and good luck!

 

Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-week $8,000 Fantasy Football league for Week 17. It's $25 to join and first prize is $1,600. Starts Sunday at 1pm ET. Here's the FanDuel link.

1 PM GAMES

 

 

Browns at Steelers

 

The Browns have nothing to play for, but the Steelers still have a glimmer of hope to capture a wildcard spot. They need to beat the Browns, San Diego must lose to Kansas City, Baltimore must lose to the Bengals and Miami must lose to the N.Y. Jets.

 

* Jordan Cameron (concussion) still needs clearance from an independent neurologist to play this week. He has been cleared to practice, but the Browns likely won't decide his Week 17 availability until Saturday or Sunday morning. With nothing to play for -- and draft slotting to gain with a loss -- it's entirely possible Cleveland will err on the side of caution and hold Cameron out of Sunday's finale.

 

* Emmanuel Sanders (knee) will be a game-time decision. He practiced on Friday, but considers himself "50-50" to play Sunday and doesn't expect the Steelers to finalize his availability until "shortly before kickoff."

 

 

 

Redskins at Giants

 

Neither team has any playoff aspirations to play for in this matchup.

 

* Andre Brown (concussion) is listed as probable. He will start and as an unrestricted free agent he will want to finish the season well.

 

* Rueben Randle (knee) is listed as questionable and Louis Murphy took most of his reps in practice.  Coach Tom Coughlin said Randle was still sore. This is a situation to avoid.

 

 

Ravens at Bengals

 

Baltimore has a few scenarios that get them into the playoffs. If they win they still need either the Chargers to lose to Kansas City OR Miami to lose to the NY Jets. They can still get in if they lose and Miami, San Diego and Pittsburgh all lose as well.

 

Cincinnati already has clinched a playoff spot, but a win could give them a first round bye if New England were to lose to Buffalo.

 

* Ray Rice (thigh) is listed as questionable but is expected to play in this must win game.

 

* Torrey Smith (hamstring) is listed as questionable but is also on track to play.

 

* Tyler Eifert (shoulder) is listed as doubtful and will not play.

 

* Jermaine Gresham (hamstring) is listed as questionable and beat writer Joe Reedy is guessing Gresham won't play "unless he feels 100 percent." That would leave the Bengals tight end duties to blocker Alex Smith.

 

 

 

Texans at Titans

 

Neither team has any playoff aspirations to play for in this matchup.

 

* Dennis Johnson (hip) is listed as questionable. He didn't practice at all this week, which most likely means he won’t be available. Jonathan Grimes will probably get the start for the Texans after Deji Karim broke his collarbone last week.

 

* Case Keenum practiced on a limited basis Friday, but is listed as questionable with a thumb injury.  He will be a game-time decision. Matt Schaub will start again if Keenum cannot.

 

* Garrett Graham (hamstring) has been placed on I.R. and Ryan Griffin will once again get the start.

 

 

 

Jaguars at Colts

 

Jacksonville is out of the playoffs, but Indianapolis still has a slim chance for a first round bye if they win, Baltimore beats Cincinnati and Buffalo beats New England.

 

* Maurice Jones-Drew (hamstring) is listed as probable and is expected to start Sunday's finale against the Colts.

 

 

 

Jets at Dolphins

 

The Jets are out of the playoffs, but Miami can get in if they win and Cincinnati defeats Baltimore OR San Diego defeats Kansas City.

 

* Ryan Tannehill (knee) practiced in full this week. He briefly left last Sunday's loss to the Bills, but will start this week in a must win game.

 

* Daniel Thomas (ankle) is listed as questionable, but played through the questionable tag last week.

 

 

 

Lions at Vikings

 

Neither team has any playoff aspirations to play for in this matchup.

 

* Calvin Johnson (knee) is listed as questionable and didn't participate in practice at all this week. He most likely won’t play in this meaningless game.

 

* Joique Bell (knee) is listed as probable and will play.

 

* Brandon Pettigrew was placed on I.R. Wednesday with a high ankle sprain. Joseph Fauria will see more work.

 

* Adrian Peterson (foot) is listed as doubtful and Toby Gerhart (hamstring) has been ruled out, leaving backfield duties to some combination of Joe Banyard and Matt Asiata.

 

 

 

Panthers at Falcons

 

Atlanta is out of the playoffs but Carolina would clinch the NFC South and a first round bye with a win or a New Orleans loss. They also have a shot at getting the number one seed if the win, Seattle loses to St. Louis and San Francisco defeats Arizona.

 

* Steve Smith (knee) has been ruled out after not practicing at all this week. Ted Ginn will start opposite Brandon LaFell, with Domenik Hixon filling in as the No. 3 receiver. The Panthers want Smith to rest up and be ready for the playoffs.

 

* Jonathan Stewart (knee) is not practicing this week and won’t play.

 

 

 

 

4 PM GAMES

 


Buccaneers at Saints

 

Tampa Bay is out of the playoffs but the Saints get into the playoffs with a win or an Arizona loss to San Francisco.

 

* No Notable Fantasy Injuries

 

 

 

Bills at Patriots

 

Buffalo is out of the playoffs but New England would clinch a first round bye with a win or if Cincinnati lost to Baltimore AND Indianapolis lost to Jacksonville. They also could become the number one seed if they won and Denver lost to Oakland.

 

* E.J. Manuel (knee) has been ruled out and Thad Lewis will make his fifth start of the season.

 

* Stevie Johnson (personal) will not play this week. He has been back home in California for the past two weeks, grieving the loss of his mother

 

* Fred Jackson (ribs) is listed as probable and will play against the Patriots on Sunday.

 

* Shane Vereen (groin) was limited in Friday's practice and is shaping up as a game-time decision. He is listed as questionable and practiced on a limited basis every day this week, but with the Patriots it is impossible to get a good read on the situation.

 

* Aaron Dobson (foot) was limited in Patriots practice Friday and is listed as questionable. With Josh Boyce ruled out and Kenbrell Thompkins still battling through a hip injury, look for Dobson to start at X receiver against the Bills on Sunday.

 

 

 

Rams at Seahawks

 

St. Louis is out of the playoffs, but Seattle very much needs to win this game to hold onto the number one seed and home-field advantage. If they do lose they could still get the number one seed if San Francisco loses to Arizona.

 

* Tavon Austin (ankle) will be a game-time decision. Coach Jeff Fisher is "optimistic" about Austin's chances after a return to limited practice Friday.

 

 

 

Packers at Bears

 

This game is for all the marbles. The winner wins the NFC North and a playoff spot.

 

* Aaron Rodgers (collarbone) has been named the Packers' starter.

 

* Eddie Lacy (ankle) is listed as probable, but acknowledged Friday that his ankle sprain "still hurts," and feels "about the same as it has." There is a chance he leaves this game due to aggravating the injury, but could have 100 yards rushing and a touchdown by the second quarter.

 

* According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Randall Cobb (leg) looked like "a guy who might be playing sooner, rather than later" at Friday's practice. He practiced with the Packers' offense, seeming to "to run and cut on a dime with relative ease." Cobb is not expected to play a full complement of snaps, but could make an impact on limited playing time.

 

* Earl Bennett (personal) looks like he’ll miss Week 17 against the Packers. Coach Marc Trestman has described the personal matter as a "family issue back home." Bennett didn't practice Thursday or Friday. The Bears signed Chris Williams off the Saints' practice squad this week, indicating they were preparing to be short one receiver.

 

 

 

49ers at Cardinals

 

San Francisco has clinched a playoff spot, but still has a shot to win the NFC West and receive a first round bye if they beat Arizona and Seattle loses to St. Louis. They could also become the number one seed if that scenario took place and Carolina were to lose to Atlanta. 

 

Arizona still has a chance to make the playoffs if they beat San Francisco and New Orleans loses to Tampa Bay.

 

* 49ers placed WR Mario Manningham (knee) on injured reserve, ending his season. Look for rookie Quinton Patton to get a long look for San Francisco's third receiver role this week.  

 

* Rob Housler (groin) is listed as probable and will play.

 

 

 

Broncos at Raiders

 

Oakland is out of the playoffs, but Denver needs to win this game to keep the number one seed and home field advantage. They could lose and still keep that seeding if New England lost to Buffalo.

 

* Wes Welker (concussion) has been ruled out for Week 17. He has progressed and is practicing. The bye should get him ready for the playoffs.

 

 

 

Chiefs at Chargers

 

Kansas City has the number five seed wrapped up and can’t move from that spot no matter the outcome of this game. Don’t expect them to play their starters for the whole game if at all.

 

San Diego still has a chance to make the playoffs if they win this game and Baltimore loses to Cincinnati and Miami loses to the N.Y. Jets.

 

* Dwayne Bowe (concussion) has been ruled out for Week 17. He will return for the first round of the playoffs.

 

* Ryan Mathews (ankle) is listed as probable after he returned to practice Friday. He is fully expected to start Sunday's finale.

 

 

 

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

 

 

Eagles at Cowboys

 

Just like the Chicago/Green Bay game, this game decides who wins the division and who gets into the playoffs.

 

* Tony Romo underwent back surgery Friday morning and is officially out for the remainder of the season. Kyle Orton will get the start.  

 

* Dez Bryant (back) is practicing Friday. His back flared up on him Wednesday, but he was never in danger of missing the crucial Week 17 tilt with the Eagles. He's locked in as a WR1.

 

 

 

 

Weather From NOAA

 

 

Browns at Steelers: Rain, mainly before 4pm. High near 40. South wind around 6 mph becoming calm. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

 

Redskins at Giants: Rain, mainly after noon. High near 46. Light and variable wind becoming east 8 to 13 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New precipitation amounts between three quarters and one inch possible.

 

Ravens at Bengals: Rain likely, mainly before 11am. Cloudy, with a high near 45. South wind 6 to 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

 

Texans at Titans: A 50 percent chance of rain before noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 53. West northwest wind 5 to 10 mph.

 

Jaguars at Colts: Dome

 

Jets at Dolphins: A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 81. Southeast wind 9 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.

 

Lions at Vikings: Dome

 

Panthers at Falcons: Dome

 

Buccaneers at Saints: Dome

 

Bills at Patriots: Showers, mainly after 4pm. High near 42. Light and variable wind becoming south 5 to 7 mph in the morning. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

 

Rams at Seahawks: Areas of fog. Otherwise, partly sunny, with a high near 45. Light and variable wind.

 

Packers at Bears: Snow likely, mainly between noon and 3pm. Cloudy, with a high near 33. Breezy, with a west wind 10 to 15 mph becoming north northwest 15 to 20 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

 

49ers at Cardinals: Retractable Roof

 

Broncos at Raiders: Sunny, with a high near 67. Light and variable wind becoming northeast 6 to 11 mph in the morning.

 

Chiefs at Chargers: Sunny, with a high near 73. Northeast wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the morning.

 

Eagles at Cowboys: Retractable Roof



Chet Gresham writes Target Watch and The Morning After for Rotoworld.com and is the founder of The Fake Football. Chet can be found on Twitter .
Email :Chet Gresham



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