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The Green Bay Packers continued their run of dominance, improving to 10-0 with a 35-26 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Packers grabbed the win without much in the way of a rushing attack as they relied on Aaron Rodgers arm for much of the game. Running back James Starks got eleven carries on the day but was forced out of action in the fourth quarter with what head coach Mike McCarthy believed to be a knee sprain.
The Packers have made it through the first ten games of the season relying primarily on their passing attack to carry the offense. Their rushing attack has dealt with a mix of ineffective play and injuries. Ryan Grant opened the year as the starter but has been surpassed on the depth chart by Starks. Grant has dealt with injuries as well and that has pushed him further down.
The Packers face a short week as they travel to face the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving. There is nothing to indicate Starks will not be able to go on Thanksgiving, but if he is inactive, Ryan Grant would take his place in the starting lineup. Of course, when John Kuhn and B.J. Raji are getting goal line carries for the Packers, the fantasy options grow more and more slim.
The Chicago Bears have been on a strong run lately as they have ridden a five-game winning streak into firm playoff positioning in the wild card race. Unfortunately, their wild card hopes may have taken a tough hit on Sunday. Quarterback Jay Cutler reportedly suffered a broken thumb that some Bears officials fear might cost him the season. Cutler finished the game but was extremely limited in passing the ball.
Barring unexpectedly good news, the Bears will likely go to Caleb Hanie at quarterback for their week 12 contest at the Oakland Raiders. Hanie is not a fantasy prospect, but the important fantasy implications relate to guys like Matt Forte and Devin Hester. Although the Bears will likely rely even more heavily on Forte, until Hanie proves he can make plays, the opposition will likely stack the box against Forte.
For now, this is a situation to monitor. Forte remains a must-start, but consider the potential impact on opposing defenses with Cutler likely out for an extended period of time.
Oakland Raiders wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey was involved in a serious situation during Sunday's Raiders-Vikings game as he took a hit to the head and had to be taken off the field on a stretcher. DHB was down for several minutes as trainers immobilized his neck. He had leg and arm movement, which was an excellent sign, but there were concerns when he left the field.
Thankfully, it sounds like he is on the road to recover. After being checked out at a nearby hospital, DHB was deemed healthy enough to fly home with the team that evening. How do we know he could fly? Well, teammate Louis Murphy took a photo of DHB giving the thumbs up in a neck brace on the plane. That is most definitely a good sign.
There is no word on the implications of the injury moving forward. Raiders head coach Hue Jackson will address the media on Monday, at which point he will likely have more to say regarding Darrius Heyward-Bey. DHB had struggled the last few weeks with Carson Palmer at the helm, but had four catches for 43 yards on Sunday before the injury.
The Minnesota Vikings suffered a tough home loss to the Oakland Raiders on Sunday and had a scary moment when Adrian Peterson went down with a lower leg injury in the first quarter. Peterson had a player roll up on his ankle and he had to take a cart to the locker room to get checked out. X-rays came back negative, but Peterson did not return to the field. He spent the second half on the sideline without coming close to returning.
Peterson will undergo an MRI on the ankle on Monday, but he does not think the injury will cost him any time. The MRI will tell us more, including whether it's a more serious high ankle sprain. Peterson was putting some weight on the ankle on the sideline, so there is some reason for optimism. Monday will tell us plenty more.
Adrian Peterson still goes near the top of nearly every fantasy draft. But the Minnesota Vikings' superstar may be on the shelf or diminished in the near future, thanks to an ankle injury sustained in Week 11.
The injury came early in Minnesota's 27-21 loss to Oakland. Peterson hurt his ankle on a seemingly normal tackle, and left the game. He wouldn't return, but X-rays of the ankle were negative, leaving Peterson's status up in the air for the rest of Minnesota's schedule.
Peterson had touchdowns in all but two of the Vikings' games entering Week 11, and had three 100-yard games. His six carries for 26 yards against the Raiders, though, were both season lows.
For more on Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings, visit SB Nation's Vikings blog Daily Norseman. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams. Follow @sbnationfantasy on Twitter for up-to-the-minute injury information and start/sit advice.
The Cincinnati Bengals' quarterback, rookie Andy Dalton, will be without his favorite wide receiver in fellow rookie A.J. Green for the team's monumental matchup against division rivals the Baltimore Ravens, as the team has officially declared Green inactive. The receiver had been listed as doubtful, but reports surfaced Sunday morning that he wanted to play through his knee injury, but team doctors have apparently decided he is incapable of doing so.
Green will be replaced in the starting lineup by Andre Caldwell, so if owners are desperate, Caldwell could be a nice speculative play. He doesn't provide nearly the upside Green does as he's four inches shorter, but Caldwell relies on his speed to beat defenses. If Dalton can lead him into some open space, he can do some damage. Tight end Jermaine Gresham and wide receiver Jerome Simpson will likely receive more looks without Green playing, but against the Ravens, all Bengals are risky plays.
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin won't play Sunday night against the New York Giants, the team announced Sunday morning. With the concurrent injury to quarterback Michael Vick, Maclin's fantasy value would have been diminished regardless, but this is still a blow to fantasy owners who have depended on Maclin's borderline WR1 numbers all season long.
Maclin has been battling shoulder and hamstring injuries for weeks, and they've apparently gotten to the point where he can no longer play through them. It sounds like a strangely appropriate metaphor for the Eagles season, I know, but it's also true. Riley Cooper will start in place of Maclin opposite DeSean Jackson, which I guess means Andy Reid really doesn't trust Steve Smith. With Vince Young at quarterback, don't anticipate a very productive fantasy outing from Cooper. Try to replace Maclin with someone else, if possible.
For more on the Eagles and their injuries, visit Bleeding Green Nation.
When the news came out earlier in the week that Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick revealed he had broken two ribs in their loss to the Arizona Cardinals last week, it was unclear if Vick would play in Week 11. According to an AP report, everything is cleared up now: Vick will not play, and Vince Young will receive the start.
Vick didn't practice all week, and Eagles head coach Andy Reid said that he'd never played without practicing the week before, so this news wasn't exactly a shocker. Young took all the reps on Thursday, and considering how awful third-string Mike Kafka looked when filling in for Vick early in the season, that news doesn't exactly come as a huge surprise either.
For fantasy purposes, all Eagles look like a solid downgrade, especially WR Jeremy Maclin, who will also miss the Giants game. Perhaps only LeSean McCoy will not have a drop-off in production, but chances are there will be a few more linebackers and safeties in the box against him without the threat of Vick taking snaps.
For more on Vick and the Eagles, visit Bleeding Green Nation.
Lewis is suffering from a toe injury that kept him out of practice this week.The Ravens have a short week this week, hosting the San Francisco 49ers on Thanksgiving. Perhaps keeping Lewis out of this game will allow him to heal in time for Thursday.
Known for his toughness, Lewis has 68 tackles - 49 of them solo - this season with two sacks. The Ravens will miss the captain of their team and key to their defense against the rival Bengals, who, like the Ravens, enter the game at 6-3. The winning team will take control of the tight AFC North.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green wants to play through his knee injury, but team doctors will make the final call about whether or not he plays against the Baltimore Ravens Sunday, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Green injured his knee in last week's loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Green actually injured himself while coming down with a touchdown pass and hyperextended his knee in the process. After last week's game, Green did not think that the injury was too serious, but he did not practice this week and was listed as doubtful on the Bengal's official injury report.
Green has 33 receptions for 516 yards and five touchdowns for Cincinnati this season. If the doctors decide to let him play, it can only help the Bengals against the Ravens. Both Cincinnati and Baltimore are 6-3 and a win will put one of them in control of the tight AFC North division.
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford played last Sunday with a broken right index finger, but he was a full participant in practice this week and is probable for Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers. Stafford played earlier in the season with an ankle injury.
Stafford was shaky in last week's game against the Chicago Bears. He threw 63 passes and completed 33 of them for 329 yards, but he also threw four interceptions. But that was his one bad performance of the season so far. In his previous eight games, Stafford threw at least two touchdowns in seven of those contests.
Stafford does have a good matchup against the Panthers this week and, if his finger really isn't bothering him, could be in for a big day. Just don't be alarmed by the gloves he will be wearing. He's been using them in practice all week.
For more on the Lions, visit Pride of Detroit.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Tarvaris Jackson is expected to start against the St. Louis Rams despite playing with pain in his pectoral area. He was limited in practice on Friday, but he was listed as probable for the game when the final report came out.
Jackson was injured in the Seahawks' Oct. 9 victory over the New York Giants and then missed the next game (which came after the bye week) against the Cleveland Browns. Charlie Whitehurst took over for that game and saw his team lose, 6-3. Jackson came back in the next game and has played decently, but nowhere near a good level.
He's thrown four interceptions, including three in one game, since his return from injury but has yet to throw a touchdown pass. He's improved his completion percentage over those games, reaching 63 percent last week against the Ravens. He could be in for a good day against the Rams.
For more on Jackson and the Seahawks, visit the Field Gulls.
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder had his left hand stepped on during last week's game against the Green Bay Packers. However, that is his non-throwing hand and it didn't change his participation in practice this week. He is probable for Sunday's game against the Oakland Raiders.
Ponder has put up a typical rookie performance since he took over for Donovan McNabb in Week 6. But to be fair, two of his three starts have come against the Packers. He's completed less than 50 percent of his passes in those two games, but against the Carolina Panthers he completed 18-of-28 passes for 236 yards and one touchdown.
Ponder faces Oakland's No. 22-ranked pass defense on Sunday and that could go a long way to help him build up his confidence in the league. Results similar to what he put up against the Panthers could be expected.
For more on Ponder and the Vikings, check out the Daily Norseman.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman has been dealing with a sore right thumb for several weeks now and the results reflect that injury. However, Freeman is listed as probable on the team's injury report and will attempt to pull off the upset against the Green Bay Packers.
Freeman reached a peak when he threw for 303 yards and two touchdowns against the New Orleans Saints before injuring his thumb the following week against the Chicago Bears. He threw four interceptions against the guys from the Windy City. After another decent game against the Saints, Freeman regressed last week when he went up against the Houston Texans. He completed just 45.5 percent of his passes and threw three interceptions.
Freeman will need to have a strong day passing when he goes up against the Packers. A quick-scoring Green Bay could force the Bucs to have Freeman throw early and often.
For more on Freeman and the Buccaneers, visit Bucs Nation.
A native of Mesa, Arizona and a 2001 first-round pick out of Arizona State by the Baltimore Ravens, Heap returned to his hometown team on a two-year, $5.5 million contract to provide the Cardinals with a receiving presence from the tight end position that has been lacking under head coach Ken Whisenhunt.
Heap had 13 receptions for 150 yards over the first four weeks of the season, but missed three games with a hamstring injury before returning in Week 9. Heap aggravated the injury against the Rams and was inactive last week against the Philadelphia Eagles.
While Heap has been out, Jeff King has emerged as the top receiving tight end for the Cardinals, catching 18 passes for 200 yards. In addition to Heap, Cardinals rookie tight end Rob Housler has been out with a groin injury.
For more on the Cardinals, check out Revenge of the Birds.
Shiancoe ranks third on the Vikings with 24 receptions and 274 receiving yards and ranks second with a pair of touchdown receptions, including the first touchdown pass of first-round quarterback Christian Ponder's NFL career. Shiancoe will be a free agent in the offseason and could see his role in offense reduce as the club looks to get 2011 second-round tight end Kyle Rudolph more involved in the offense.
Rudolph caught three passes for 37 yards in Monday night's 45-7 loss to the Green Bay Packers.
"I'm trying to put trust in the coaches that I'll make plays when my opportunity's called," Rudolph told the Pioneer Press earlier this week. "I just try to go each week by learning my assignments and be as prepared as possible."
For more on the Vikings, visit the Daily Norseman.
Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson was able to practice on a limited basis late in the week and has a "decent chance" to play against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, head coach Chan Gailey said on Friday.
Johnson is officially listed as "Questionable" with his left shoulder injury and should be regarded as being a game-time decision.
Johnson has a team-high 44 receptions for 531 yards and four touchdowns on the season, but had just two receptions for eight yards before exiting last Sunday's 44-7 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth quarter. If Johnson is unable to play against the Dolphins, whose defense ranks 25th against the pass, second-year receiver David Nelson would start opposite Donald Jones.
Nelson has 16 receptions for 176 yards and two touchdowns over the last four weeks and 39 receptions for 433 yards and four touchdowns on the season.
For more on the Bills, check out Buffalo Rumblings.
The sixth overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, Jones missed two games last month with a left hamstring injury before returning to catch three passes for 131 yards and two touchdowns in a Week 9 win over the Indianapolis Colts. Jones caught two passes for nine yards in last Sunday's loss to the New Orleans Saints before leaving the game in the second quarter.
Jones will be a game-time decision on Sunday.
With Jones out of the game, fourth-year wide receiver Harry Douglas stepped up from his normal role as No. 3 wideout to catch eight passes for 133 yards. Douglas, who missed 2009 with a torn ACL, has established career-highs with 25 receptions for 332 yards in his contract year.
For more on the Falcons, visit The Falcoholic.
Wells has been bothered by a knee injury that head coach Ken Whisenhunt expects will require managing throughout the season.
"I respect Beanie because this isn't easy and he's fighting through it," Whisenhunt said on Thursday according to The Arizona Republic. "You know that we're going to have to manage it just so he can go on Sundays."
Wells has a team-high 588 yards and seven touchdowns on the season, but faces a tough challenge against the NFL's No.1-ranked run defense, which is allowing just 73.2 yards per game and hasn't allowed a 100-yard rusher in 31 consecutive games.
"And I'm excited to face them because of that," Wells said. "They're a good football team and I want to go out there and give them my best. When you go against a good defense like that, you always want to step your game up a little bit more."
For more Cardinals coverage, check out Revenge of the Birds.
Acquired from the Buffalo Bills in August, Evans, who was expected to stretch the field for the Ravens offense, has not played since September 18. Prior to his injury, Evans caught two passes for 45 yards.
The Bengals boast the league's fifth-ranked defense, ranking tenth against the pass. Cincinnati's secondary will be short-staffed this week, having lost starting cornerback Leon Hall to a torn Achilles in last week's loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Kelly Jennings, a 2006 first-round pick of the Seattle Seahawks, will start opposite Nate Clements.
If Evans cannot play, 2011 second-round pick Torrey Smith is expected to continue to start opposite Anquan Boldin. Smith has 23 receptions for 425 yards and four touchdowns. The Ravens also frequently employ two-tight end sets, with Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson combining for 65 catches, 600 yards and three touchdowns.
For more on the Ravens, be sure to check out Baltimore Beat Down.
Though he was limited throughout the week, Dallas Cowboys running back Felix Jones is listed as "Questionable" on the team's final injury report and is expected to play against the Washington Redskins on Sunday.
Jones has missed the last four games with a high left ankle sprain. During that stretch, rookie running back DeMarco Murray has burst onto the scene, rushing for 601 yards and a pair of touchdowns, laying claim to the No. 1 spot on the Dallas' running back depth chart.
What role Jones will play on Sunday is unclear. Jones had 14 receptions prior to his injury and could be used on third downs. Jones may also be the Cowboys' primary kick returner, a role he has not filled since 2009. Over his first two seasons in the league, Jones averaged 24.2 yards on 46 kick returns, bringing one return back 98 yards for a touchdown.
For more on the Cowboys, check out Blogging The Boys.
Already playing on a sore left ankle, Gore suffered the right knee injury in the second quarter of the 49ers' 27-20 win over the New York Giants last Sunday. Despite gaining zero yards on six attempts last week, Gore ranks seventh in the NFL with 782 yards and is tied for 10th with five rushing touchdowns on the season. One of the league's more complete running backs, Gore has just 14 receptions for 86 yards in 2011.
If Gore is unable to go or finish the Cardinals game, 2011 fourth-round pick Kendall Hunter would get the carries. Hunter has run for 257 yards and two touchdowns this season, including six carries for 40 yards and a touchdown against the Giants.
For more on the 49ers, visit Niners Nation.
Out the last two weeks with a calf injury, Cleveland Browns running back Montario Hardesty returned to practice on a limited basis on Friday and is "Questionable" for Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
A 2010 second-round pick out of Tennessee, Hardesty still leads the Browns with 244 rushing yards this season. While Hardesty practiced, he did not participate in team drills and is expected to be a game-time decision, though it's unlikely that he'll play against the Jaguars.
The Browns' ground game is averaging just 80 yards per game, which ranks 30th entering Week 11 action. Without Hardesty and 2010 leading rusher, the Browns are expected to start Chris Ogbonnaya, who has only been with the team for a month. Ogbonnaya ran for 90 yards last week against the St. Louis Rams, the team that had selected him in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft.
Wide receiver Josh Cribbs had 21 rushing yards on three carries last week and may also factor in the offensive game plan in a ball-carrying role against Jacksonville.
For more Browns coverage, check out Dawgs By Nature.
After missing two weeks with a painful turf toe injury, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb was able to practice on a limited basis this week and is listed as "Questionable" on the team's final injury report of the week.
Kolb took snaps from center and was able to throw, but was reported to be moving "gingerly" and will not start against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, and could spent a third straight game on the inactive list, with Richard Bartel serving as the No. 2.
Starting duties will once again fall to second-year quarterback John Skelton, who has led the previously 1-6 Cardinals on a two-game winning streak. A 2010 fifth-round pick out of Fordham who completed less than 50 percent of his pass attempts in five appearances as a rookie, Skelton has completed 41-of-75 pass attempts for 537 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions during his opportunity to prove that he's a legitimate NFL starting quarterback.
For more on the Cardinals quarterback situation, check out Revenge of the Birds.
A pair of broken ribs kept Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick from participating in any of the team's practices last week. Vick is listed as "Questionable", but has never started a game after not practicing the week before and Sunday night's game against the New York Giants is not expected to be an exception.
Without Vick, the Eagles turn to Vince Young, the third overall pick of the 2006 NFL Draft who will be making his first start as a member of the Eagles. Young has appeared in two games this season, throwing an interception on his lone pass attempt.
For his career, Young has started 47 games in his six-year career, throwing for 8,098 yards with 42 touchdowns and 43 interceptions. Like Vick, the 6-foot-5, 230-pound Young is adept at using his legs to make plays, running for 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns.
With the Tennessee Titans last season, Young completed 10-of-16 pass attempts for 118 yards and a touchdown against the Giants last September. The Titans churned out 161 yards on the ground, a strategy that the Eagles could employ with Vick and Jeremy Maclin questionable.
For more on the Eagles, check out Bleeding Green Nation.
We break down the final NFL injury report for week 11 of the 2011 NFL season. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams.
We break down the Thursday practice participation report for week 11 of the 2011 NFL season. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams.
New York Jets running back Shonn Greene was knocked out of the Jets Thursday Night Football contest with the Denver Broncos after suffering a rib injury in the first quarter. Greene was helped back to the locker room and underwent x-rays. They came up negative and he was on the sideline with his helmet looking ready to go in. The Jets stuck with Joe McKnight the rest of the game rather than risk aggravating the injury.
Greene said he is ready to go for next week against the Bills. He gets a few extra days of rest thanks to the early game, so odds are good he will be fine next week. He might make an appearance on the practice participation report, but it would be surprising if he could not go in week 12 against the Bills. Greene has struggled to get things going this season, but the Bills provide a sufficiently struggling rush defense that he might finally be able to take a step forward.
San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore has been dealing with ankle and knee injuries the last couple weeks and missed practice Sunday reportedly because of the knee issue. Thursday before practice, Gore told the media that his day off from practice was strictly for rest, and not related to a knee he hyperextended against the Giants. He plans to practice Thursday and Friday and play like normal on Sunday.
The 49ers face the Arizona Cardinals in week eleven and will look to exploit a weak Cardinals rush defense. Kendall Hunter is the primary backup running back and received a healthy dose of carries when Gore left Sunday's game against the New York Giants.
If the 49ers are able to grab an early lead against the Cardinals, it would not be at all surprising to see Hunter get some additional carries. While Gore likes to get his touches, he has also acknowledged a willingness to give up some carries if it helps the team win. Gore claims he was just resting, but the knee bothered him enough for the 49ers to keep him on the sideline for much of the second half this past Sunday. I suspect they'll be careful with him this week as well.
For more on the 49ers, check out Niners Nation.
We break down the Wednesday practice participation report for week 11 of the 2011 NFL season. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams.
Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak revealed in his Monday press conference that quarterback Matt Schaub suffered a significant foot injury at the end of the first half of the Texans victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The details are still sketchy, but "significant" is never a good sign for a quarterback.
The Texans head into a bye and then face the Jacksonville Jaguars in week twelve. Matt Leinart will get the start against Jacksonville and it is actually a fairly intriguing matchup for the now-journeyman quarterback. The entire league will be through their bye weeks, so Leinart is not a guy you would start right off the bat, even if Andre Johnson is back in the lineup.
Rather, Leinart is a guy to modestly consider stashing on your bench. There are plenty of better backup options, but in deeper leagues, Leinart is worth a grab. Leinart hasn't thrown a pass in a game since 2009 and really hasn't been "the guy" since 2007. I'm not holding my breath for much of anything from Matt Leinart, but if you have an open roster spot, I suppose he's worth modest consideration.
Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid told the media Monday morning that quarterback Michael Vick suffered a pair of broken ribs in Sunday's loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Reid said it was on the second play of the game. If this is accurate, it would explain why later in the game Vick was hurting on this hit. More importantly, it might help explain why Vick struggled to one of his worst performances in recent memory, completing 16 of 34 passes for 128 yards and throwing two interceptions with no touchdowns.
Reid did not clarify Vick's status for week eleven. He will likely take some time off from practice, but it is hard to tell how much time off he would need beyond that. If he can go on Sunday he would likely wear some kind of flak jacket, along with getting his ribs taped up. This could slow him down and impact his passing. If you have a backup QB, this might be a good week to consider that alternative, even if Vick plays.
Philadelphia travels to face the New York Giants who own one of the top pass rushes in the league. They got physical with him the last time these two teams met, so it will be interesting to see how the Eagles handle Vick knowing the matchup they face this coming weekend. Consider your alternatives.
For more on the Eagles, check out Bleeding Green Nation.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel was knocked out of Sunday's loss to the Denver Broncos after suffering a couple of injuries. Cassel was reportedly dealing with a shoulder injury, although there was not much confirmation of a shoulder specifically. The only real confirmed injury was too his hand as he was seen leaving the game wearing a cast on his throwing hand, with his index and middle fingers immobilized.
Cassel reportedly was simply too banged up to finish up the game and so the Chiefs went with Tyler Palko to finish out the game. Cassel indicated he would be ready for his homecoming against the New England Patriots next week on Monday night Football. Nonetheless, a cast is never a good sign. Todd Haley will likely chat with the press tomorrow and we should get some kind of update then.
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