Who's starting and who's sitting in NFL Week 17 with postseason positions on the line?
By Dr. Mark AdickesFoxSports
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons
Falcons WR Roddy White (knee)
Jock to Doc take: White did not practice Thursday, and while his knee issue does not seem like a big deal, the Falcons have already secured the NFC’s top seed. He will likely be severely limited or scratched altogether.
Jock to Doc take: Boldin was limited this week in practice due to an ailing shoulder, the team’s official website reports. The Ravens have very little to play for, but because Boldin’s injury is just a shoulder bruise, there is a chance he will be on the field with a reduced role.
Bengals RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis (illness)
Jock to Doc take: Green-Ellis did not practice Thursday, the team’s website reports. While we don’t expect an illness to keep him sidelined, the Bengals have already locked into the AFC’s sixth seed. Coach Marvin Lewis noted that the team is going to play to win, so we still may see Green-Ellis as the Bengals’ starter.
Health Rating: Anquan Boldin @ 65%, BenJarvus Green-Ellis @ 70%
Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions
Bears RB Matt Forte (ankle)
Jock to Doc take: Forte was limited during Thursday’s practice, according to the team’s website. This is an upgrade in his activity level from Wednesday, and with a playoff berth on the line we will know doubt see Forte as the Bears’ starting running back on Sunday.
Lions TE Brandon Pettigrew (ankle)
Jock to Doc take: Pettigrew was absent from Thursday’s session, the Lions’ official site reports. We will know more Friday, but at this point, his status looks very iffy for Sunday’s game.
Health Rating: Matt Forte @ 69%, Brandon Pettigrew @ 60%
Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts
Texans WR Owen Daniels (hamstring)
Jock to Doc take: Daniels was held out of practice Thursday due to hamstring tightness, the Houston Chronicle reports. However, Coach Gary Kubiak noted that he expects his tight end to play. It is likely the Texans may limit him, but with the Texans fighting for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, he will no doubt be on the field.
Colts WR Donnie Avery (shoulder)
Jock to Doc take: Avery was limited during Thursday’s practice, the Colts’ official website reports. He practiced fully Wednesday, so while this is concerning, there has been nothing to suggest he will be absent during the Colts’ regular-season finale.
Health Rating: Owen Daniels @ 55%, Donnie Avery @ 70%
Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints
Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart (ankle)
Jock to Doc take: Stewart suffered a setback with his ankle injury given his absence from Thursday’s practice, the Panthers’ official website reports. This leaves the door open for DeAngelo Williams to get another start.
Health Rating: Jonathan Stewart @ 55%
Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants
Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin (knee)
Jock to Doc take: We suspect that Maclin won’t play given his absence from practice this week. With the Eagles out of the playoff picture, he won’t be pushed to play Sunday seeing that this knee issue forced him out of the Eagles’ Wednesday session, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Giants WR Hakeem Nicks (knee)
Jock to Doc take: According to head coach Tom Coughlin, Nicks didn’t do a whole lot at practice Thursday, the Newark Star-Ledger reports. Next up for targets in that offense, if he has to sit, are Rueben Randle and Domenik Hixon.
Health Rating: Jeremy Maclin @ 45%, Hakeem Nicks @ 57%
Jock to Doc take: Weeden did not practice Thursday, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. He has not been ruled out, but because the Browns are not in the playoff picture, backup Thaddeus Lewis looks to be on track to make his first NFL start on Sunday.
Browns RB Trent Richardson (ankle)
Jock to Doc take: Richardson did not practice Thursday, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. He has not been ruled out of Sunday’s game, but coach Pat Shurmur noted that the team won’t make a decision until game time. He will likely sit out, leaving backup Montario Hardesty to take his place in the backfield.
Steelers WR Mike Wallace (hip)
Jock to Doc take: Wallace did not practice Thursday, the Beaver County Times reports. Because the Steelers are out of the playoff picture, it looks like there is a good chance that he will sit out of the finale against the Browns.
Health Rating: Brandon Weeden @ 50%, Trent Richardson @ 50%, Mike Wallace @ 50%
Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans
Titans RB Chris Johnson (ankle)
Jock to Doc take: Despite an apparent sprained ankle, Johnson is adamant about finishing strong, the Tennessean reports. “It is a situation where I know it is our last game and I know we are not going to the playoffs or anything like that, but I still want to go out there and fight with my teammates,” he said Thursday.
Jock to Doc take: Charles returned to a full practice Thursday due to an unspecified illness, the Chiefs’ official site reports. He will be on the field to carry their offensive load against Denver’s tough run defense.
Jock to Doc take: Nelson fully participated in practice for a second consecutive day, and the Packers have listed him as probable; barring a setback he should make his return from missing time because of his hamstring.
Packers WR Randall Cobb (ankle/knee)
Jock to Doc take: Cobb tested his ankle and knee in front of the team’s medical staff Friday, and coach Mike McCarthy was pleased with what he saw. It remains possible the Packers may rest Cobb, seeing that Jordy Nelson is back in the lineup.
Health Rating: Jordy Nelson @ 70%, Randall Cobb @ 55%
Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots
Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (forearm)
Jock to Doc take: Gronk was limited as practice according to the team’s official website, and it seems like he is iffy at best. Because they are playing the Dolphins in Foxborough, we probably won’t know his status until right before the kickoff. It seems likely the Patriots will rest him, but we could see him get a limited number of snaps to prepare him for the playoffs.
Health Rating: Rob Gronkowski @ 60%
Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers
Raiders QB Carson Palmer (ribs)
Jock to Doc take: According to the Contra Costa Times, Palmer suffered broken ribs and a bruised lung in Week 16’s loss to Carolina. He will not play Sunday against the Chargers, and Raiders head coach Dennis Allen said Monday that both Matt Leinart and Terrelle Pryor are being considered to fill in for Palmer.
Health Rating: Carson Palmer @ 35%
St. Louis Rams at Seattle Seahawks
Seahawks WR Sidney Rice (knee)
Jock to Doc take: Rice practiced fully Thursday after sitting out of Wednesday’s session, the Seahawks’ official website reports. He looks good to go for Sunday’s matchup with St. Louis as the Seahawks attempt to continue their solid play.
Jock to Doc take: Davis received clearance on Thursday from an independent neurologist to begin non-contact football activity, CSN Bay Area reports. Although he will have a "questionable" designation going into Sunday’s game, it is likely that the team will rest him as they prepare for the playoffs.
Health Rating: Vernon Davis @ 55%
Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins
Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (knee)
Jock to Doc take: Griffin said during a news conference Wednesday that his right knee is “fine,” the Redskins’ official Twitter account reports. “I’ll be able to do more against the Cowboys than I was against Philly,” he promised as he prepares for a winner-take-all scenario and the biggest game of his young career.
Health Rating: Robert Griffin III @ 70%
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.