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Doc Talk: Week 4 injury analysis
To learn about when's the best time for bye weeks, see the video above. Below, I give my Jock-to-Doc analysis on the key players who are hurt and how their performances will be affected.
Jock to Doc take: Wells has had issues with his knee dating back to the opener. Just recently it was reported that Wells had arthroscopic knee surgery nine days before the opener. He admits he had a torn meniscus, but has recovered well and played last week for the first time this season, carrying the ball 14 times for 75 yards. He had limited participation in practice Wednesday, which is not surprising given he is still recovering from his surgery and the team would not want his knee to become swollen and irritated. He practiced fully Thursday and should see his fair share of carries Sunday and play well. The concern is will his knee act up during the game and lead to an early exit?
Jock to Doc take: Rice did not practice Wednesday with reportedly a bruised knee suffered during last week’s game against the Browns. He did practice Thursday in a limited capacity but was moving well. Even if a banged up Rice plays, he will be going up against a Steelers defense that has allowed 59.7 yards a game on the ground. I expect him to play and be limited more by the opposing defense than by the bruised knee.
Jock to Doc take: This is a crucial injury to monitor as running back Reggie Bush will be inactive for Sunday’s game. Thomas did not practice Wednesday or Thursday and was said to be a game-time decision. He suffered the ankle injury in the fourth quarter of last week's game, but did re-enter the game later in overtime. Coach Sean Payton said Thomas is "a rare player that can miss practice and still play because of his intelligence."
Jock to Doc take: Cribbs' ankle injury has been a lingering issue. Last week he was downgraded from probable to questionable late in the week, but started last Sunday’s game. He had limited participation in practice Wednesday and Thursday. Although Cribbs is a return specialist, he has been used more extensively in the offense of late with eight catches in the past two weeks. This injury is significant to Cribbs because what makes him special is his ability to make cuts and rapidly accelerate. This will certainly affect his game. I expect him to play Sunday.
Jock to Doc take: Moreno did not practice Wednesday or Thursday because of this injury and it prevented him from playing in last week’s game against the Colts. "We’re just going to see," coach Josh McDaniels said of Moreno’s chances this weekend. "There is nothing definite at this point. This week we’re going to make sure that we’re smart about it and make the best decision that we can at the end of the week." I don’t expect to see him on the field this week.
Jock to Doc take: The Lions' first-round draft pick did not practice Wednesday or Thursday. Best said he was “going to give it a go” Friday in practice, and he is expected to play Sunday. It could be a short day, however, because these injuries can become aggravated during the game and make effective play impossible. This injury dates back to Detroit’s Week 1 loss to the Bears. Detroit also lost its starting quarterback Matthew Stafford to a mild shoulder separation that game.
Health Rating: Jahvid Best @ 66%
Jock to Doc take: The All-Pro wide receiver did not practice Wednesday or Thursday in what is reportedly a high ankle sprain. This was an injury that roots back to Week 2, but Johnson reaggravated it last week against the Cowboys. “Last week, it was kind of feeling the same as this week right now,” Johnson said in the Texans’ locker room Wednesday. “I can say it may be a little more sore this week ... but it all depends on how it’s feeling and how well it responds to the treatment. I’m just taking it day by day. Once I finish talking to you guys, I’ll be back in the training room.” The effects of high ankle sprains often can linger for several weeks, depending on their severity. This is obviously a mild high ankle sprain for him to play on it in Week 3. I expect him to play this week and be mildly affected. “They’re pretty nagging,” Johnson said. “It’s something that’s going to bother me until it just fully heals. After I reaggravated it last game, they told me that it hadn’t gotten any worse; it was just every time I take a hit on it or I’m tackled a certain way, I’m going to feel pain. The only thing I could do is just come out for a few plays, and if I’m able to go back and play, I can continue playing. That’s just pretty much how it’s going to be until it fully heals.”
Health Rating: Andre Johnson @ 80%
Jock to Doc take: Garcon did not practice Wednesday or Thursday and was also held out of last week's game against the Denver Broncos. The Colts have already said they won’t know the status of Garcon’s injury until the end of the week. Given that he did participate in Monday’s light workout, Garcon’s inability to practice the past two days does not bode well for this weekend’s contest against the Jags. I don’t believe he will be on the field this week. Austin Collie will be Manning’s primary target again this week.
Jock to Doc take: Revis was held out of last week’s Sunday night game against the Dolphins after tweaking his hamstring Week 2 against the Patriots. He did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday and won’t play this weekend. The NFL’s premiere shutdown cornerback is paying the price for missing training camp.
Jock to Doc take: The Falcons’ first-round draft pick did not practice Wednesday or Thursday. Last week he rode off the field on a cart with what was reported as cramps but turned out to be an ankle sprain. The Falcons have stated they don’t believe the injury is serious but are just holding him out as a precaution. Weatherspoon will be a game-time decision it appears.
Health Rating: Sean Weatherspoon @ 60%
Seattle Seahawks vs. St. Louis Rams
Rams RB Steven Jackson (groin)
Jock to Doc take: Jackson did not practice Wednesday or Thursday. On Tuesday he informed his Twitter audience that he had gone to acupuncture treatment, and it made his groin strain feel better. The Rams have said the All-Pro back is day to day. "Sunday we'll definitely go out before the game, warm up, see how I feel" Jackson said after Thursday's practice. "Ideally, I would like to get a practice in either tomorrow or Saturday. So we still have two days of practice that I could go out and try it, but, say, Friday or Saturday it doesn't happen, I will be there early Sunday seeing if I can run and cut, and seeing if I can go out there and give my team a lift."
Redskins LT Trent Williams (toe, knee)
Jock to Doc take: Williams had limited participation Wednesday and Thursday but finally got back on the practice field for the first time. “He looked OK," Shanahan said. "Still a little bit sore, but he did get a chance to practice, so that's a good sign." Williams originally suffered knee and toe injuries in a Sept. 19 loss against Houston, and was inactive in last Sunday's loss at St. Louis. His absence spurred some shuffling along the offensive line. An MRI of Williams's knee revealed no structural damage, but "I think the toe is more the problem," Williams said. "I can play through a knee, but the toe is really my foundation. It makes it a little bit hard sometimes." The Redskins rookie left tackle will be a game-time decision.
Health Rating: Trent Williams @ 70%
Chicago Bears vs. New York Giants
Giants WR Mario Manningham (concussion)
Jock to Doc take: Manningham did not practice Wednesday after sustaining a concussion last Sunday against the Titans. Manningham didn’t alert the medical staff until late Sunday evening. He was cleared to practice fully Thursday, and the initial diagnosis of concussion is now under question. "I am good. I practiced today, (will) practice tomorrow and (will be) ready to play Sunday," Manningham said Thursday. "I am good. I've never really got hit in my head like that. That's why I felt like that. I had a headache." Manningham will play this weekend and should perform at peak levels.
Health Rating: Mario Manningham @ 99%
Jock to Doc take: Odrick did not practice Wednesday or Thursday, but rode the exercise bike Wednesday. He has missed the past two games because of a hairline fracture in his right leg. He is unlikely to play with this fracture until entirely asymptomatic. He will probably miss another week or two before his hairline break heals sufficiently to allow full contact.
Health Rating: Jared Odrick @ 25%
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