Jock to Doc take: Neither Blackmon nor Cecil Shorts practiced Thursday, according to the Jaguars’ official team website. While nothing has suggested the wideouts’ statuses are in any jeopardy, their workload Friday should clarify whether or not they will be on the field this weekend.
Health Rating: Justin Blackmon @ 55%
Seattle Seahawks at Chicago Bears
Bears RB Matt Forte (ankle)
Jock to Doc take: Despite being limited during Wednesday and Thursday sessions (Bears’ team website), Forte looked “fine,” according to Bears OC Mike Tice. Matt Forte should be starting Sunday against a tough Seahawks front.
Health Rating: Matt Forte @ 65%
Indianapolis Colts at Detroit Lions
Lions RB Mikel Leshoure (ankle)
Jock to Doc take: The Detroit Free Press reports that Leshoure returned to practice Thursday after being held out during Wednesday’s session. His presence on the field should eliminate doubts from fantasy owners, and he should be a safe start this week.
Health Rating: Mikel Leshoure @ 65%
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers
Vikings WR Percy Harvin (ankle)
Jock to Doc take: Harvin’s status looks grim this week, for ESPN reported that he could barely jog Thursday. He also wasn’t on the field for the start of Friday’s practice. It is possible that he suffered a setback. Barring a miraculous recovery, owners should not rely on Harvin this week
Packers WR Greg Jennings (groin)
Jock to Doc take: Greg Jennings participated in practice this week and, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, looked good cutting and running routes during the media access portion of Thursday’s practice. While the outlook for him is very optimistic, Jennings admitted Wednesday that he may be limited Sunday. He should be in Aaron Rodgers’ arsenal this week, but the Packers will likely be conservative with him until he is completely healed.
Health Rating: Percy Harvin @ 45%, Greg Jennings @ 57%
Carolina Panthers at Kansas City Chiefs
Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart (ankle)
Jock to Doc take: Stewart did not practice Thursday due to a high-ankle sprain following their win against the Eagles on Monday night, according to the Charlotte Observer. Coach Ron Rivera mentioned that Stewart was “day-to-day,” and it wouldn’t surprise me if his ankle issue kept him sidelined this Sunday.
Health Rating: Jonathan Stewart @ 52%
New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins
Patriots WR Aaron Hernandez (ankle)
Jock to Doc take: Hernandez was limited during Thursday’s practice, according to the team’s official website, and this is likely due to lingering effects from his ankle injury earlier this season. Expect Hernandez to be a solid target this week for Tom Brady, whose opponent is a Dolphins defense ranked 26th in passing YPG allowed.
Health Rating: Aaron Hernandez @ 75%
Arizona Cardinals at New York Jets
Jets WR Jeremy Kerley (hamstring/heel/illness)
Jock to Doc take: Despite his long list of ailments and his limitation from practice, Kerley will start Sunday against the Cardinals, according to ESPN New York. Kerley should be Mark Sanchez’s top option this week, which isn’t saying much to fantasy owners considering the Jets’ sub-par offense as of late.
Health Rating: Jeremy Kerley @ 67%
San Francisco 49ers at St. Louis Rams
Rams WR Danny Amendola (foot)
Jock to Doc take: Danny Amendola sat out of the second half of Sunday’s game due to foot soreness, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that he has been sporting a walking boot this week. Owners should not rely on Amendola; Coach Jeff Fisher implied he may not be near full health or some time. Even if he somehow suits up, the Rams are facing one of the top defenses in the NFL this week.
Health Rating: Danny Amendola @ 47%
Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans
Texans DE J.J. Watt (illness)
Jock to Doc take: Watt left practice Wednesday for an unspecified illness, but the issue does not seem concerning; Watt will be present on the field to swat away some of Jake Locker’s passes this week.
Health Rating: J.J Watt @ 70%
Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens
Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (ribs/shoulder)
Jock to Doc take: Big Ben was ruled out for Week 13 after sitting out practice all week. The main obstacle at this point in his recovery is arm strength, and this is a very concerning matter. Considering both the magnitude of the game – as the Steelers fight for a playoff position against their heated rivals – and Big Ben’s history of playing through extreme physical discomfort, it speaks to the magnitude of his injury.
Health Rating: Ben Roethlisberger @ 0%
Cleveland Browns at Oakland Raiders
Raiders RB Darren McFadden (ankle)
Jock to Doc take: McFadden practiced Wednesday and Thursday and is on track to suit up for Sunday’s game against the Browns, according to CSN Bay Area. Unfortunately for fantasy owners, the Raiders are expected to start Marcel Reece and ease McFadden back into action, so he will likely get a limited number of touches. The Browns have only allowed 98 rushing YPG in their last 6 games, so McFadden seems like a very risky start this week.
Health Rating: Darren McFadden @ 55%
Cincinnati Bengals at San Diego Chargers
Benglas WR Mohamed Sanu (foot)
Jock to Doc take: The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Sanu suffered a foot injury during Thursday’s practice and will be evaluated by the team’s doctors on Friday morning. This news severely clouds his status for Sunday. If he doesn’t play, Brandon Tate and Marvin Jones are next in line.
Health Rating: Mohamed Sanu @ 56%
Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys
Eagles QB Michael Vick (concussion)
Jock to Doc take: Vick has yet to practice since he suffered a concussion during Week 10. The Eagles’ official site reports that he hasn’t passed the league’s concussion protocol and he has been ruled out for Sunday night. Backup Nick Foles will get the start.
Eagles RB LeSean McCoy (concussion)
Jock to Doc take: Eagles trainer Rick Burkholder noted that McCoy is still in stage 1 of recovery, CSN Philly reports. The Eagles refuse to rush him back and are holding him out. Rookie Bryce Brown will get his second straight start.
Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (foot)
Jock to Doc take: Cowboys OC Bill Callahan noted he’s “very hopeful” about having Murray ready Sunday night, NFL.com reports. He has been practicing this week and is trending in the right direction to start against the Eagles during prime time.
Cowboys WR Miles Austin (hip)
Jock to Doc take: Austin was seen rehabbing during practices Wednesday and Thursday, but he still participated in drills, the team’s official website reports. As he tries to bounce back from a strained hip flexor he suffered Sunday, his status is certainly optimistic this week.
Health Rating: Michael Vick @ 0%, LeSean McCoy @ 0%, DeMarco Murray @ 63%, Miles Austin @ 55%
New York Giants at Washington Redskins
Giants RB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot)
Jock to Doc take: Bradshaw was held out of New York’s Thursday practice but was spotted exercising on the stationary bike. Since this is the back’s typical weekly routine, owners should not worry about his availability during the Giants’ prime time game against the Redskins.
Health Rating: Ahmad Bradshaw @ 65%
Health Ratings: So what do the numbers mean?
100-85% = NFL players are tough and despite injuries still perform at a high level. Let’s be honest, when is an NFL athlete really physically 100%…practically never. With a rating in this range expect players to perform at peak levels.
70-85% = In this range a players performance will be affected but they can still get the job done.
55-70% = Players with a rating this low will require assistance to do their jobs. The team might be better served by placing these warriors on the inactive list. Only some All-Pro’s can get the job done when rated this poorly.
40-55% = These players need some more time to heal. Unlikely to be active unless miraculous healing occurs or my rating was based on erroneous information.
25-40% = Players will not play but show signs of recovery opening the door for a return to the active roster the following week.
< 25% = Players will not play and there is concern that additional games may be missed.