Jock to Doc take: Jackson confirmed on Monday after his MRI that his ligament was sprained and not torn. He also revealed that the team will re-evaluate the injury in a week so the doctors can give him a more accurate timetable based on how fast it is healing. Nonetheless, according to the official Buffalo Bills website, Jackson says he will be “back in four weeks … without a doubt.”
Health Rating: Fred Jackson @ 0%
New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers
Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart (sprained ankle)
Jock to Doc take: According to the Charlotte Observer, Coach Ron Rivera said that Stewart was cutting and moving much more decisively during Thursday’s practice than he was during Wednesday’s practice. It seems as if Rivera expects Stewart to play, and after the Buccaneer defense’s domination of Carolina’s rushing attack, it would make sense. I expect to see him split time with DeAngelo Williams against the Saints this Sunday.
Health Rating: Jonathan Stewart @ 70%
Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals
Browns RB Trent Richardson (knee)
Jock to Doc take: The rookie said his knee has responded well since his NFL debut Sunday, the Akron Beacon Journal reports. He has practiced fully this week. Richardson will be on the field Sunday, and although fantasy owners might have been disappointed in his 19 carries for 39 yards, Richardson will rush against a defense that gave up 122 rushing yards to the Ravens last week.
Health Rating: Trent Richardson @ 85%
Minnesota Vikings at Indianapolis Colts
Colts WR Austin Collie (concussion)
Jock to Doc take: Collie did not practice Thursday, according to the team’s official website. Earlier Thursday, however, Colts offensive coordinater Bruce Arians told Indianapolis Fox 59 that the wideout will start as an outside receiver and play as a slot receiver as well. Given that he practiced fully Wednesday and his coach fully expects him on the field, I will be shocked if a serious setback has occurred that the Colts are keeping under wraps.
Health Rating: Austin Collie @ 90%
Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars
Texans RB Arian Foster (sick)
Jock to Doc take: Foster left the field early during Wednesday’s practice because he wasn’t feeling well, according to the Texans official site. However, Foster was back on the field participating fully in practice on Thursday. Additionally, Gary Kubiak said that Foster’s ailment Wednesday would not affect his status for Sunday’s game against the Jaguars. Arian Foster will be full speed this week to lead Houston’s powerful rushing attack.
Health Rating: Arian Foster @ 90%
Oakland Raiders at Miami Dolphins
Raiders WR Denarius Moore (hamstring)
Jock to Doc take: Denarius Moore says he’s “ready to rock” after missing Oakland’s Monday night season opener, the Sacramento Bee reports. Moore could have played last week, but the team held him until this next game so he would be 100%. “He looked like Denarius of old,” Carson Palmer said after seeing him practice Wednesday.
Health Rating: Denarius Moore 95%
Arizona Cardinals at New England Patriots
Cardinals QB John Skelton (sprained ankle)
Jock to Doc take: Although believed to have suffered a high ankle sprain, John Skelton reportedly suffered a low ankle sprain instead, according to the Cardinal’s official website. Although low ankle sprains have faster recovery times than those of high ankle sprains, he did not practice on Thursday and is not expected to start after Kevin Kolb’s clutch finish last week.
Health Rating: John Skelton @ 60%
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Giants
Giants WR Hakeem Nicks (foot)
Jock to Doc take: Nicks missed practice Wednesday to rest his foot but was back at Thursday’s practice in a limited manner, the New York Daily News reports. It does not seem Nicks is worried about some residual soreness in the foot, so I expect to see him play through the injury with little difficulty.
Health Rating: Hakeem Nicks @ 80%
Baltimore Ravens at Philadelphia Eagles
Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin (hip)
Jock to Doc take: CSN reported that Jeremy Maclin sat out of Thursday’s practice but said he was feeling better than he did Wednesday. Maclin’s hip injury is a strain of the hip flexor which may very well affect his speed. He should play through this soreness, but with DeSean Jackson also sitting out, Philadelphia may have to rely on LeSean McCoy and the Eagle rushing game more this week than normal.
Health Rating: Jeremy Maclin @ 75%
Dallas Cowboys at Seattle Seahawks
Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch (back)
Jock to Doc take: Lynch is listed as questionable and was limited in practice Wednesday according to ESPN Seattle. Good news for the Seahawks, though, as he returned to practice fully on Thursday. Despite his back issues, he rushed the ball 21 times for 85 yards last week, and I expect him to be on the field carrying the load against Dallas as well this Sunday. I would not be surprised if he misses practices regularly throughout the season.
Health Rating: Marshawn Lynch @ 80%
Washington Redskins at St. Louis Rams
Redskins WR Pierre Garcon (foot)
Jock to Doc take: According to Coach Mike Shanahan, Garcon was very limited during Thursday’s practice, and Redskins coaches do not know if he will be ready or not Sunday, the Washington Post reports. Garcon seems very questionable this week and Shanahan may start Aldrick Robinson over him to give him rest for the coming weeks. This is bad news for rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III as he looks to continue his excellent play against an improved Ram defense.
Health Rating: Pierre Garcon @ 60%
New York Jets at Pittsburgh Steelers
Jets WR Stephen Hill (calf)
Jock to Doc take: Hill was limited this week in practice, according to the team’s official site. However, fantasy owners and those who picked him up after his performance in Week One should not worry. I expect to see him on the field Sunday in Pittsburgh to solidify his position as Sanchez’s go-to guy in the redzone.
Health Rating: Stephen Hill @ 84%
Tennessee Titans at San Diego Chargers
Titans QB Jake Locker (left shoulder)
Jock to Doc take: The Titans starter, who separated his left (non-throwing) shoulder, practiced in a limited manner for a second straight day Thursday, the Tennessean reports. Coach Mike Munchak is confident that Locker will be able to play and will give him an increasing workload as the week goes on.
Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (clavicle)
Jock to Doc take: According to NBC San Diego, Mathews noted Thursday that, in regard to his injury, he is “right where (he wants) to be.” Mathews is trending in the right direction and may play on Sunday after being in full pads for the first time Thursday. Coach Norv Turner should may play him after he rested him Monday night against Oakland but I expect the staff to err on the side of caution and sit him another week.
Chargers TE Antonio Gates (ribs)
Jock to Doc take: Charger Head Coach Norv Turner told the San Diego Union-Tribune that Gates did not participate in Thursday’s practice and added that “hopefully (Gates) will go” at practice Friday. These less-than-confident words from Coach Turner might make some fantasy owners worry. I think Antonio will be a gametime decision and make it onto the field.
Health Rating: Jake Locker @ 78%; Ryan Mathews @ 60%; Antonio Gates @ 70%
Detroit Lions at San Francisco 49ers
Lions WR Calvin Johnson (foot)
Jock to Doc take: Detroit’s all-star returned to practice Thursday, the Detroit News reports. His presence at practice indicates there is no need to worry for fantasy owners. Since he was able to practice, his foot injury appears minor. Lion’s QB Matt Stafford has to be relieved that Megatron will be on the field against arguably the best defense in the league.
Health Rating: Calvin Johnson @ 80%
Denver Broncos at Atlanta Falcons
Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas (shoulder)
Jock to Doc take: Thomas is listed as probable on the Broncos injury report because of a minor shoulder injury, according to the Denver Post. Since he practiced fully during Thursday’s practice, the young and talented receiver is expected to play, especially since a Monday night game means a day of extra rest.
Health Rating: Demaryius Thomas @ 83%
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 player’s 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.