Adrian Peterson, Julius Thomas lead Week 12 injury report

Jamie Squire

A trio of super star running backs and Peyton Manning's favorite red zone target are all dealing with injuries this week. Which players will be available, and how will their status change their role in the game? SB Nation's medical expert explains.

This weekend's NFL injury report features a number of key players with nagging injuries as we approach game time, headed by Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson. Here are some key injuries, and their impact, for Week 12.

Running backs

Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings, groin

MIN (2-8) @ GB (5-5), 1:00 p.m.

The reigning MVP has vowed not to sit today against the Packers despite being hampered by an injured groin that limited his effectiveness in last week's loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Peterson has been dealing with pain and limited range of motion and has missed most of the team's practices this week. While it would be difficult for fantasy owners to bench Peterson anytime he is well enough to take the field, groin strains are particularly prone to reinjury if tested before fully healed, which means backup Toby Gerhart may be in line for more carries than usual this afternoon.

Joique Bell, Detroit Lions, Achilles

DET (6-4) vs. TB (2-8), 1:00 p.m.

Bell left in the second half of Detroit's loss to the Steelers last week with a right lower leg injury that has since been officially diagnosed as an Achilles tendon injury. The Lions' RB suffered the injury after being tackled by the Steelers Cameron Heyward and Troy Polamalu, following which he experienced pain making it difficult to apply pressure to the leg. With a mild Achilles injury that doesn't involve tearing of the tendon, the usual treatment is conservative, including rest and anti-inflammatory medications, with through the pain associated with the condition being the biggest obstacle. Bell is officially listed as questionable on the Lions' injury report, which may mean a heavier workload for Reggie Bush against the Buccaneers today.

Trent Richardson, Indianapolis Colts, calf

IND (7-3) @ ARI (6-4), 4:05 p.m.

Richardson has been limited in practice this week due to a calf injury and is listed as questionable for today's game against the Cardinals. The Colts RB, acquired in a blockbuster trade with Cleveland early in the season, was less effective in last week's victory over Houston than backup Donald Brown, who figures to get significant playing time even if Richardson is completely healthy by game time.

Tight ends

Julius Thomas, Denver Broncos, knee

DEN (9-1) @ NE (7-3), 8:30pm

Thomas suffered what the Broncos have described as a knee strain in last Sunday night's win over Kansas City and has been limited in practice all week. The Denver TE, a favorite target of Peyton Manning's in the red zone this season, returned to the game briefly after suffering the injury last week but was unable to finish the contest when the injury flared up. Thomas is not expected to play Sunday night, so backup TEs Joel Dreesen and Jacob Tamme would split time in the Denver lineup.

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