What's The Prognosis? Week 4 Injury Report (Friday Update)
By Rob Pallazola
Christian Ponder: Ponder revealed that he hurt his ribs in last week's loss against the Browns, but he did finish the game and has appeared to be able to throw during practice. Ponder seems like he could make the start this week, but the Vikings haven't given him an injury designation yet so that could change. Update:Ponder's rib injury is more serious than first reported, and it is now being called a fracture.
Prognosis: Matt Cassell will get his first Vikings start in London against the Steelers.
Terrelle Pryor: Pryor suffered a concussion towards the end of the game against the Broncos on Monday , but he has been cleared to resume physical activity (unfortunately that doesn't include practice yet). It does seem though, that Pryor is moving through the NFL concussion protocol and could be able to practice by Friday. Update: Pryor could be able to play this week if he passes the last test on Saturday to get cleared. Be sure he to check on Sunday, but he could be in line for a good game against a poor Redskins defense.
Prognosis: Pryor has been a nice fantasy option, but if he was your bye week fill-in for Aaron Rodgers or Cam Newton, then Jake Locker could be a nice substitute for Pryor this week.
Frank Gore: Gore showed up on the injury report with a left knee issue, but says he is ready to play in Thursday's game against the Rams. Gore has been limited to only 20 carries over the past two games due to the 49ers having to play from behind, but hopefully that will increase this week against a Rams defense that has struggled so far against running backs.
Prognosis: Gore needs to get the ball more to be effective, but should be a RB1 for this week.
C.J. Spiller: Spiller left Sunday's loss to the Jets early after what was originally thought to be a knee issue, but was just a quad strain that was minor enough that he should be able to go this week. The bad news is Spiller and the Bills are facing the Ravens this week and they are a Top Five defense against the run.
Prognosis: Spiller has almost an even split of carries with Fred Jackson thus far, and is facing a tough defense. He's no more than a high-end flex this week unfortunately.
LeSean McCoy: McCoy left last Thursday's game against the Chiefs after twisting his ankle pretty badly, but did return to play and didn't seem to be favoring the leg too much afterward. McCoy says the ankle is still sore, but he'll be starting Week 4 in the high altitude of Denver.
Prognosis: McCoy is a top running back and as long as he plays, he is an RB1
Chris Ivory: Ivory has not exactly been the model of health during his career, and he has had yet another setback after suffering a pulled hamstring last weekend. Ivory had been in a timeshare of sorts with Bilal Powell, but Powell will be the every-down back until Ivory's return (which is uncertain at the moment).
Prognosis: Powell is the running back to own here and is a RB3 this week.
Reggie Bush: Bush ended up not being able to play last week due to his ailing knee, but has returned to practicing this week and is in line to start against the Bears Sunday afternoon. Bush will still split touches with Joique Bell, but each has been productive in this system without it being too much of an issue yet.
Prognosis: As long as he plays, Bush is a high-end RB2/low-end flex this week.
Ray Rice: Rice was limited in practice on Wednesday, which is good news after missing last week with a hip pointer. He may be a game-time decision again for Sunday's game, and he still may be limited even if he does get the okay to play. Update: Rice will be a game-time decision so have a backup plan in place, and keep an eye on the injury list Sunday.
Prognosis: Rice is a RB1 if he does play this week.
Le’Veon Bell: Bell is expected to make his NFL debut in London, as long as he doesn't have any reoccurring issues with his foot. Bell is an unknown right now, but given the problems the Steelers have had running the ball thus far, he may be just what they needed.
Prognosis: Bell may end up as a RB2 this week, but I don't think it's worth the risk unless you're desperate.
Andre Johnson: Things aren't looking good for Johnson as he is dealing with pain in his shin. Johnson will likely be a game-time decision this week, and to add insult to injury this week, he will have to face a tough Seattle secondary if he can go at less than 100 percent. Update: Johnson says that he's “doing a whole lot better”, and that he'll “be ready to go.” This is good news, but he still has to face a tough and physical Seahawks secondary on a bum wheel.
Prognosis: Johnson may only be a WR3 this week if he plays, but it's not looking good.
Julio Jones: It appears as though the Falcons are going to continue to give Jones days off to rest during the week, and Wednesday was another of those days. Jones has been able to play through the pain so far, but it is still worth keeping an eye on as the weekend approaches.
Prognosis: Jones is likely to play, and if he does he is a WR1 with Roddy White mostly being used as a decoy.
Vincent Jackson: Jackson didn't break any ribs (which is always a good thing), but he was unable to return to the game against the Patriots in Week 3. Jackson also missed Wednesday’s practice, but he is still very likely to play against the Cardinals this Sunday.
Prognosis: Mike Glennon will get his first NFL start so temper expectations. Jackson is a solid WR2 this week.
Miles Austin: Austin has appeared to have re-injured the hamstring that ailed him most of last season, but the Cowboys are saying Austins current situation is not as bad as his previous pull. Austin has been limited to just 15 catches in three games this season and with the hamstring injury, he may continue to sputter along for the foreseeable future. Update: The Cowboys have opted to sit Austin this week, and Williams should be the starter in Austins place.
Prognosis: Terrance Williams steps in but is still just a WR5.
Nate Burleson: Burleson has broken his arm and may be placed on injured reserve soon. He has a team-leading 19 receptions, so his production will probably fall to Ryan Broyles and Patrick Edwards for now.
Prognosis: The Lions have been rumored to be looking to make a trade for another receiver, but right now, Broyles is a WR 5 for this week.
Danny Amendola: Amendola was limited on Wednesday, but he is unlikely to return to the Patriots lineup this week in Atlanta. Amendola is still trying to forgo surgery on his groin that has been hampering him since the preseason, but if things go as planned, he may be able to return for Week 5 in Cincinnati.
Prognosis: Hold on for another week.
Rob Gronkowski: Gronkowski, unlike his teammate, is likely to make the trip to Atlanta and has a good chance to make his season debut on Sunday night. Gronkowski has been working to come back from both back and forearm surgeries from the offseason, and though it is looking good so far this week, be sure to monitor the situation carefully. Update: Gronkowski's forearm issues are popping up again, but his status of questionable hasn't yet changed. Unless something changes between now and Sunday morning, then plan on him playing.
Prognosis: If Gronkowski can go, then he should be in your lineups.
Vernon Davis: Davis is listed as questionable for Thursday night's game against the Rams, but he has been able to practice leading up to this week's divisional clash. Davis rested his hamstring last week to be able to play on Thursday, but make sure he is definitely playing or you could get stuck with a big zero.
Prognosis: I see Davis as more of a TE2 this week.
Ahmad Bradshaw: Bradshaw has missed practice all week, and will sit out this weeks game against the Jaguars. With Bradshaw out of the lineup the Trent Richardson will be the every-down back this week.
Prognosis:Bradshaw played well last week, but with Richardson having a full week of practice under his belt he will likely relegate Bradshaw to full-time backup duties after Sunday.