RotoWire Partners

Injury Analysis: 2007 NFL Weekly Injury Report-Week 14

Will Carroll

Will Carroll writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

RotoWire Injury Report

Will Carroll
RotoWire Injury Expert

From aboard the Windsong, just off the coast of Tampa Bay, via iPhone, here's this week's injuries. You gotta love modern technology:

Donovan McNabb took the worst of the damage in yesterday's game, an early thumb injury and a later ankle injury that pushed him from the game. X-rays on both came back negative, though the swelling in the ankle is far more significant. Still, McNabb isn't as reliant on his mobility any more, but he'll need to have the ability to grib and guide the ball to be effective, so the thumb injury is more concerning. Watch to make sure that McNabb is practicing by Friday without problem. Speaking of "no problem" that's what Brian Westbrook had on Sunday. No problems with the Dolphins defense and no problem with the swelling in his knee. I expected that Westbrook would be just limited enough to keep him from putting up solid fantasy numbers, but instead he had 30-plus touches, played deep into the game and showed no signs of the knee problem that made him a game-time decision. Chalk up another one for the Eagles medical staff.

The Colts are grumbling about Tony Dungy. Not his coaching but the way he's dealing with injuries. Dungy is being about three notches more than conservative, and the players are noticing as they play shorthanded, trying to keep up with the Pats and Steelers in the quest for the AFC bye. Marvin Harrison is still in that grey zone of "if it were a playoff game, he'd play." Noting that the Chiefs aren't a playoff game -- or even a playoff team -- and that the Falcons game on Thursday night won't be one either, it's unlikely that Harrison will play. If Dungy sticks to plan, Harrison will have to complete a full week's prep without pain, something we're not even sure is possible in a short week. Given the 10 days the Colts get after the Thanksgiving special, it would surprise me -- and a lot of Colts players -- if Dungy lets Harrison into the lineup.

The same is true for Anthony Gonzalez, but for different reasons. The thumb is still swollen, and while he was active on Sunday, it was due to the Colts roster running out of inactive space rather than an ability to play. There's still some potential for off-season surgery to correct the injury, though Gonzalez is currently a possibility for Thursday's game if he can show that he can still make catches. It's much less clear what the situation is for Adam Vinatieri. Steve Tasker seemed to know more on the CBS telecast, indicating Vinatieri had a plant foot problem. This wasn't on the official injury report, and the league takes a dim view of outright gaming with the report. The Colts insist there's nothing wrong with Vinatieri, so for now, keep a close eye on that plant foot. You can be sure the league will be.

Last week, Dr. Vernon Williams, one of the leading neurosurgeons in the country, noted that concussion problems go beyond just the head. Players that are post-concussive might not "fire right, getting their muscles out of sequence," he said. That could be an issue with someone like Laveranues Coles. Just after coming back from a concussion, Coles left Sunday's game with a high ankle sprain. Coles figures to be out at least a couple games, but remember that injuries like this have a tendency to linger. Coles' strength is his route-running, so any effect on his lateral movement and burst quickness has to be a major downgrade even if he does come back for the season's final few games.

Adrian Peterson is running. Okay, it's in a pool, but it's a nice first step. It could be later this week when we see him running on land, which of course is one of those things that running backs are asked to do in a game. Peterson's still a longshot to play this weekend, thought it's possible. When you see him in pads, the last test will be how he adjusts to the brace. It's unclear if there will be any real effect on his game, but after seeing Chester Taylor running wild, we should all be wondering if a lot of what we've credited to Peterson is actually due to the offensive line play.

Like Peterson, Marshawn Lynch is getting better. Lynch is out of his immobilizer, but the Bills still aren't sure if he'll be ready for Sunday's game. The ankle figures to be a problem whether or not he's in the lineup, as we're still not sure how much the sprain will affect his dynamic lateral movement and burst. The early guess is that Lynch won't be ready for the Jacksonville game, but the Bills aren't ruling him out yet. That gives him the chance to continue to heal and prove himself ready. All reports are that the Bills medical staff is working overtime on this one.

Ryan Grant picked a bad time to sprain his ankle. With only three days between games, it's not clear yet whether he has time to get healthy. The Packers could play this right up to game time, and with the long rest after, they can afford to be a bit more risky with Grant. With the right taping, Grant should be able to avoid exacerbating the injury too much. The question is whether Grant can be effective at whatever level of limitation he's at come Thursday. (Just a tip, turducken is not an anti-inflammatory.)

Can Brandon Jacobs stay healthy as a feature back? It's too early in his career to make any real judgement on this, though the early results aren't good. He left Sunday's game with a hamstring strain, another in a series of leg injuries that have held the big back ... well, back. Jacobs was walking well after the game, and he reported that it was a mild strain and that he left the game only as a precaution. Assuming that Jacobs is back at practice by mid-week, there's no reason to think that he won't be ready to go by Sunday.

Bumps and Bruises: Mike Peterson's broken hand will keep him out for a month, a very costly injury for the contending Jags ... I'm done with Ahman Green. His knees are so bad at this stage that just writing about them might make them swell ... Alex Smith headed to Birmingham for a second opinion, but if you've been paying attention, Jim Andrews isn't a fast track to surgery. He's just a comfort to athletes that are questioning their situation, no matter the answer... Think that LenDale White is missing some push due to his foot injury? Yeah, his YPC thinks so too... Brian Griese is telling the Bears he'll be ready to play this weekend. They'll be deciding soon if they'd rather have him or Rex Grossman under center... Laurence Maroney left Sunday night's blowout early, but denies he has a foot problem as has been reported. Watch this one.

Article first appeared 11/20/07