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The Washington Redskins will be without rookie running back Roy Helu for their Week 16 game against the Minnesota Vikings. The team announced that Helu was on their inactive list for the game on Saturday morning. Helu is dealing with toe and ankle injuries following last week’s win over the New York Giants.
The news came as a bit of a surprise. Helu practiced, albeit in a limited capacity, on Thursday and Friday this week. Two consecutive days of practicing made many think that Helu would play this week.
Helu has been one of the league’s top running backs since taking over the lead role in Washington in Week 12. He topped the 100-yard mark in three of his last four games. He has two touchdowns over that same span.
Evan Royster is expected to start in place of Helu for this week’s game. He will share carries with Ryan Torain.
For more on the Redskins, check out Hogs Haven.
St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford is inactive versus the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 16. The team made the news official on Sunday morning when they announced their inactives for the game. Kellen Clemens will start in Bradford’s place for the second consecutive week.
Bradford is dealing with a high ankle sprain he originally suffered in October against the Green Bay Packers. He re-aggravated the injury in Week 14 against the Seattle Seahawks. This will be the fifth game Bradford has missed this season.
Ben Roethlisberger is not starting in this game. He is dealing with the same type of injury as Bradford, a high ankle sprain.
Kellen Clemens was added to the roster two weeks ago, as the Rams looked for answers at quarterback with Bradford hurting and A.J. Feeley no available because of a broken thumb. Clemens started last week against Cincinnati, completing 25 of 36 passes for 229 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions.
For more on the Rams, check out Turf Show Times.
Felix Jones is listed as questionable, but whether or not the Dallas Cowboys running back even attempts to play against the Philadelphia Eagles will depend on what happens earlier in the day. According to a report at NFL.com, Jones will not play a single snap if the New York Jets defeat the New York Giants earlier in the day. If the Giants are able to win that game, Jones' questionable status will hold up. He's 50-50 to play if the Giants win.
The Cowboys' running game has been sporadic at best when Jones has not been in the lineup. They're dealing with an injury to Demarco Murray as well, so there will be a lot of pressure on Tony Romo to perform regardless of whether or not the Giants win and Jones can play. With Murray and Jones both healthy, the Cowboys' two-headed rushing attack is tough to slow down. With both of them hurt? The Eagles won't put eight in the box on a single down.
Released by the Baltimore Ravens for salary cap purposes after the lockout, McGahee has six 100-yard games this season and is 10 yards away from his first 1,000-yard season since 2007, his first season with the Ravens that resulted in his lone appearance in a Pro Bowl.
A 2003 first-round pick by the Bills, McGahee ran for 3,365 yards and 24 touchdowns in 46 games during his tenure in Western New York. Oddly enough, the 30-year-old Miami native misses playing in the wintry weather in Buffalo, Tom Kensler of The Denver Post reports.
"I’m looking forward to playing in the snow," McGahee said of Saturday’s game in Buffalo. "I haven’t played in the snow in a long time. It’ll be nice to have a snowy game."
For more on the Broncos, visit Mile High Report.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's Grade 1 sprain of his left ankle kept him from practicing all week and has him listed as "Questionable" for Saturday's game against the St. Louis Rams.
Veteran quarterback Charlie Batch will get the start, but Roethlisberger may dress and be available in case of an emergency.
Roethlisberger sustained the injury in the first half of a December 8 win over the Cleveland Browns, but was able to finish that game and played through the injury in Monday night's 20-3 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Roethlisberger was a game-time decision against the 49ers, and appeared to struggle in pregame warmups, but made the start anyway. Roethlisberger completed 25-of-44 pass attempts for 330 yards, but was intercepted three times, including twice in or near the end zone, in the loss.
The Steelers have already clinched a spot in the AFC Playoffs, and are currently tied with the Baltimore Ravens atop the AFC North.
For more on the Steelers and their quarterback situation heading into the playoffs, be sure to visit Behind The Steel Curtain.
Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden has been ruled "Out" for Sunday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs, meaning the fourth-year running back will miss an eighth consecutive game with a right foot injury he sustained in the first meeting with the Chiefs.
McFadden had led the Raiders with 113 carries for 614 yards and four touchdowns before the injury, which occurred in the early stages of the Raiders' 28-0 loss to the Chiefs in Week 7.
According to Steve Corkran of the Bay Area News Group, McFadden has undergone a battery of tests on the foot, including CT scans, MRIs and X-rays, but it's becoming increasingly clear that the 2008 first-round pick out of Arkansas will only play again in 2008 if the Raiders remain in playoff contention entering the final week of the season.
With McFadden out, Michael Bush has emerged as the feature back. In 14 games this season, the free agent-to-be has 841 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. In six career games against the Chiefs, Bush has 497 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
For more on the Raiders, visit Silver And Black Pride.
After missing four weeks with a foot/toe injury, Kolb had a triumphant return in the Cardinals' overtime win over the Dallas Cowboys in Week 13. Kolb suffered his injury early the following week against the San Francisco 49ers, giving way to second-year quarterback John Skelton, who would make the start if Kolb is unable to play.
"We'll see when we get there," Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt said according to The Arizona Republic on Friday. "We'll make that decision after we travel. We've got to see how he (Kolb) responds after the flight today."
In his first season with the Cardinals, Kolb has completed 57.7 percent of 253 pass attempts for 1,955 yards with nine touchdowns and eight interceptions.
For more on the Cardinals, be sure to check out Revenge Of The Birds.
Johnson is officially listed as "Questionable" with an ankle injury.
"I think he was being careful, no doubt," Titans head coach Mike Munchak said of Johnson missing Wednesday's practice. "But he did a lot more than he did and looked pretty decent in what he did. We would assume he is ready to play on Saturday."
After a slow start to the season, Johnson is 70 yards away from a fourth consecutive 1,000-yard season, though he's struggled in the last two weeks, gaining just 78 yards on 26 carries in losses to the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts.
Johnson will be facing a Jaguars defense that ranks14th against the run, but has allowed an average of 115.3 rushing yards per game over the last three weeks.
For more on the Titans, check out Music City Miracles.
Green, the fourth overall pick of the 2011 NFL Draft, injured his shoulder in last week's win over the St. Louis Rams. The injury had him as a limited participant in practice on Wednesday and Thursday, but Green was able to participate fully on Friday and is listed as "Probable" on the final injury report of the week.
Green leads all rookie receivers with 61 receptions, 1,006 yards and seven touchdowns. With the Bengals still alive in the AFC Playoffs hunt, Green was not going to let the sprained AC joint keep him out of the lineup.
"I had it before and it’s nothing serious. I’m definitely not going to miss these last two games for nothing," Green said earlier this week according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
For more on the Bengals, visit Cincy Jungle.
The 2011 first-round pick has missed the last two weeks with a toe injury, causing him to fall behind Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas on the team's rushing yardage list. Ingram has 474 yards and a team-high five touchdowns, despite four games with various injuries this season. Ingram has not practiced since Week 13.
With Ingram out, second-year running back Chris Ivory, who led the Saints in rushing last season, has 31 carries for 127 yards while Sproles and Thomas have combined for 27 carries, 132 and a touchdown (by Thomas last week against the Minnesota Vikings).
The Saints are facing a Falcons defense that ranks fourth in the NFL against the run, allowing an average of 96.6 yards per game.
For more on the Saints, visit Canal Street Chronicles.
Since regaining the primary back duties after the season-ending injury to rookie DeMarco Murray, Jones has 38 carries for 214 yards, but his hamstring tightened up during last Saturday night's win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Jones' hamstring could keep him out of or reduce his role against the Eagles' 17th-ranked run defense.
To account for a possible increased workload for veteran Sammy Morris, who was signed last week, the Cowboys have signed running back Chauncey Washington off the practice squad. Washington has just four carries for nine yards in his career, but if active, he would fulfill many of the special teams duties that Morris has filled as the No. 2 back behind Jones.
For more on the Cowboys running back situation, check out Blogging The Boys.
Despite battling various injuries, Jackson has not missed a game this season and leads the Chargers with 56 receptions for 1,036 yards and eight touchdowns. Jackson has been a key cog in a revitalized Chargers offense that has averaged 405 yards per game over the last three weeks, helping keep the team alive in the AFC West.
If Jackson is unable to play on Saturday, the Lions defense would be able to focus more attention on Chargers tight end Antonio Gates and wide receiver Malcom Floyd, who have returned to health in December, combining for 26 receptions for 402 yards and four touchdowns during the team's current three-game winning streak.
For more on the Chargers, check out Bolts From The Blue.
We break down the final injury report for week 16 of the 2011 NFL season. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams.
The Pittsburgh Steelers will start Charlie Batch this Saturday as Ben Roethlisberger will rest his ankle for at least one week. Roethlisberger sat out practice on Wednesday and Thursday and the Steelers confirmed he will sit via a retweet of @SteelersDigest.
Roethlisberger suffered a high ankle sprain two weeks ago against the Cleveland Browns. He played on Monday Night Football against the San Francisco 49ers, but the Steelers quarterback was extremely limited in his movement and struggled in virtually ever facet of the game. If the Steelers lose this one and drop a game back of the Ravens, Roethlisberger could sit out until the first round of the playoffs.
Charlie Batch will make his first start of the season against a Rams defense that has been moderately solid against the pass. This creates a lot of question marks for the Steelers and also fantasy owners. It is tough to tell what kind of game plan the Steelers will implement with Batch getting the start. He has been taking most of the first team snaps the last two weeks and should have some manner of comfort with his receivers.
We break down the Thursday practice participation report for week 17 of the 2011 NFL season. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams.
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson made his return to the field last week against the New Orleans Saints in spite of reportedly being at 85%. This week, Peterson believes his ankle is much closer to 100%. Peterson put together 60 yards on ten rushes last week against the Saints. While Peterson was not 100%, he obviously is bouncing back to a certain degree.
This week the Vikings travel to Washington to face the Redskins. Washington has a middle of the road rushing defense, presenting a very solid matchup for Adrian Peterson. When AP is starting, as he is this weekend, he remains a must-start every week. The Vikings have nothing to play for, but Peterson has indicated he wants to play for his teammates and also meet some personal statistical goals. Given the Vikings struggles, there is not much else on the table.
The Seattle Seahawks got in their second practice of the week and they had a notable participation report. Wide receiver Doug Baldwin was limited in practice on Wednesday, but sat out practice on Thursday. Baldwin is dealing with an ankle injury after a poor performance against the Chicago Bears and it could cost him some time this Saturday against the 49ers.
Baldwin has been a bit inconsistent times in his rookie season, but he has shown some serious upside. He is coming off a one catch game against Chicago, but for the season he leads the Seahawks with 46 receptions, 731 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Seahawks have dealt with numerous injuries at wide receiver and questionable quarterback play, but he has still managed solid numbers.
The Seahawks face a 49ers defense that is dominant against the run, but can give up a decent amount of passing yards. They lock down in the red zone, but give up a lot of yards between the 20s, which could benefit Baldwin if he is able to play on Saturday.
Chicago Bears running back Marion Barber was held out for a second straight day of practice and would seem to be questionable for Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers. Barber has been dealing with a calf injury this week after getting only two carries in the second half of their Week 15 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
Kahlil Bell took over the carries in the second half and will likely get the start this Sunday against the Packers. Matt Forte remains sidelined with an MCL sprain and does not sound like he will be back for a couple weeks at least, assuming the Bears are playing then. For the purposes of single season fantasy football leagues, he is worth dropping if you need a roster spot for your championship game.
Bell faces a Packers defense that has struggled against the run. The Bears will look to establish the run to prevent the Packers from getting to crazy in the pass game. It could be a nice under-the-radar matchup if you are looking for a running back/flex option.
We break down the Wednesday practice participation report for week 16 of the 2011 NFL season, including final injury reports for Thursday's Texans-Colts game. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams.
The Cincinnati Bengals held off the St. Louis Rams on Sunday for a 20-13 victory, but they suffered a tough injury in victory. Wide receiver A.J. Green landed awkwardly on his right shoulder and had to leave for a stretch of play. Green returned and finished with an impressive 115 yards receiving. During the game he was diagnosed with a grade three shoulder sprain, but he took a pain killer and finished the game strong.
After the game, Green said it was an injury he has dealt with before and he was optimistic he would not miss the games. Green indicated he suffered a similar injury in college and played through it. This followed word from an LA-based orthopedic surgeon who said Green could play through the pain if needed. Although it is a short week leading up to Saturday's Christmas Eve game against the Arizona Cardinals, Green should be good to go.
Green's 115-yard performance was enough to put him over 1,000 yards in his rookie season. He now has 61 receptions for 1,0006 yards and seven touchdowns. For more on Green and the Bengals, check out Cincy Jungle.
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