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Week 3 Injury Report: Tony Romo, Michael Vick Expected To Play

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 11: Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys runs with the ball against the New York Jets during their NFL Season Opening Game at MetLife Stadium on September 11, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

With just hours to go before today’s NFL slate kicks off, a number of key players have already been ruled out of action, including tight end Antonio Gates and wide receivers Miles Austin and Mario Manningham. SB Nation Medical Expert Dr. Ali Mohamadi runs down other significant injuries affecting this weekend’s games and discusses how they might affect your fantasy rosters.

Quarterbacks 

Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys (ribs)
DAL vs. WAS, Monday Night

Romo suffered a fractured rib and punctured lung on the third play of the Cowboys’ 27-24 overtime win over the 49ers, leaving the game briefly at the start of the second half before returning to rally his team to victory. Although at first blush the punctured lung sounded like the more serious concern, a repeat CT scan showed that this has healed, and at this point it's the pain associated with the fractured rib that will determine whether Romo takes the field Monday night. If he plays -- and indications are positive given his return to limited practice yesterday -- Romo could receive an injection at the site of the injury before the game to control the pain (and may require another during the game). He also will wear a protective, kevlar-containing vest to prevent re-injury. This may limit his range of motion somewhat, but it should not adversely affect his ability to throw the football.

Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles (concussion)
PHI vs. NYG, 1 p.m.

After being cleared to play by the Eagles’ medical staff earlier in the week, Vick was back at practice on Friday, showing no lingering effects from the concussion that knocked him out of last Sunday’s loss to Atlanta. There should be no significant impact on Vick’s level of play this afternoon.

Running Backs

Arian Foster, Houston Texans (hamstring)
HOU @ NO, 1 p.m.

Foster Watch continues without much having changed from last week. The Houston RB was limited to just 10 carries in the Texans’ 23-13 win over Miami last week, ceding much of the workload to Ben Tate, and reading the tea leaves from head coach Gary Kubiak’s press conferences this week, there is reason to believe the distribution of carries will be similar this week. (UpdateFoster will reportedly miss Week 3


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Peyton Hillis, Cleveland Browns (fever, strep throat)
CLE vs. MIA, 1 p.m.

Hillis developed a fever on Friday and has missed practice since, having been diagnosed with strep throat. The symptoms of strep throat, which include sore throat, fever, and swelling of the lymph nodes of the neck, typically last 2-5 days, with patients no longer contagious after 24 hours of treatment with antibiotics. As with any febrile illness, the key will be Hillis’s ability to control the fever and avoid dehydration. One would expect he should be able to take the field this afternoon, but keep a close eye on his status as game-time approaches.

Steven Jackson, St. Louis Rams (quadriceps)
StL vs BAL, 4:05 p.m.

The reeling Rams could desperately use a healthy Jackson, who left the team’s Week 1 loss with a strained right quadriceps and was held out of last week’s game against the Giants. Jackson, who is listed as questionable for today’s game against Baltimore, did not practice this week until Thursday, and his participation has been limited. To make matters worse, backup Cadillac Williams has also been limited in practice due to a hamstring injury. Either way, it's not an inspiring picture for the Rams or fantasy owners of these two running backs.

Felix Jones, Dallas Cowboys (shoulder)
DAL vs. WAS, Monday night

Jones suffered a separated shoulder in the first quarter of the win over the 49ers, but it appears to have been a mild separation (Type I, without ligament tearing), which is being treated conservatively. Jones is listed as questionable on the team’s injury list, but he returned to practice late this week, wearing a shoulder harness to stabilize the shoulder. Contact to the shoulder, which is all but unavoidable for a running back, could cause significant pain or aggravation/worsening of the underlying injury. While it is certainly conceivable Jones could play, it would be reasonable to expect backups DeMarco Murray and Tashard Choice may handle a significant share of the workload at running back on Monday.

Knowshon Moreno, Denver Broncos (hamstring)
DEN @ TEN, 1 p.m.

Moreno missed last week’s victory over Cincinnati with a hamstring injury and has been limited in practice week. This is an improvement from the previous week, when he didn’t practice at all, and he is officially listed as questionable for today’s game. Similar to Foster, fantasy owners should expect a slow recovery for Moreno, and backup RB Willis McGahee proved himself a capable fill-in last week, with his first 100-yard rushing day since 2009.

Beanie Wells, Arizona Cardinals (hamstring)
ARI @ SEA, 4:15 p.m.

Wells strained his hamstring in practice this past Thursday, and participated sparingly in practice the rest of the week. Wells has gone on the record as saying he’ll be fine for today’s divisional matchup at Seattle, but as with any hamstring concern, the bigger concern is not if Wells will be able to start, but whether the injury flares up during the game.

Wide Receivers

Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys (quadriceps)
DAL vs. WAS, Monday Night

The second-year Cowboys’ receiver injured a quadriceps muscle late in the Cowboys’ Week 1 loss to the New York Jets and didn’t take the field last week against San Francisco. However, Bryant returned to practice late this week and seems ready to go against Washington on Monday night despite officially being listed as questionable on the team’s injury list. Injuries to muscles of the upper leg are often nagging ailments that can easily be re-aggravated, and for this reason it is possible Bryant’s injury may flare up over the season. That said, Bryant’s presence on the field would be a welcome sign for Cowboys fans, especially considering that Miles Austin has been ruled out for Monday Night Football.

Malcom Floyd, San Diego Chargers (groin)
SD vs. KC, 4:05 p.m.

Floyd has missed the entire week of practice with a groin injury and is listed as doubtful for today’s game against Kansas City. Injuries to the groin, much like the hamstring, can easily be re-aggravated even after a period of recovery. Fantasy owners will need to keep a close eye on Floyd’s status throughout the season and consider bolstering their WR corps early in the campaign in case the injury fails to heal or flares up in weeks to come.

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