Jock to Doc take: Forte suffered a sprained ankle and did not practice Wednesday or Thursday, according to the Chicago Tribune. Because Forte is a staple on many fantasy rosters, it is important for owners to monitor his workload (or lack thereof) during Friday’s practice. His absence during Thursday’s practice indicates that Michael Bush may lead the Bears’ rushing attack this week.
Rams RB Stephen Jackson (groin)
Jock to Doc take: Jackson missed practice Wednesday and Thursday, but he is hopeful he will play against the Bears this weekend, the Rams’ official website reports. Coach Jeff Fisher explained that he will see how Jackson’s groin injury responds in the next few days before he makes a decision, so it is likely it will be a game-time decision. Fantasy owners with Jackson in their lineup should monitor his workload during St. Louis’ Friday practice.
Health Rating: Matt Forte @ 65%
Stephen Jackson @ 70%
Buffalo Bills at Cleveland Browns
Bills RB Fred Jackson (knee)
Jock to Doc take: According to The Buffalo News, the ligament involved in Jackson’s right knee sprain is not torn and will not require surgery. Fantasy owners should anticipate a return perhaps in Week 5 by Jackson, but if C.J. Spiller continues to have stellar games, Jackson well may be a second-string back moving forward.
Health Rating: Fred Jackson @ 0%
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Dallas Cowboys
Cowboys WR Miles Austin (hamstring)
Jock to Doc take: Austin participated fully in practice on Wednesday and Thursday, according to the Cowboys’ official website, and although he has been listed on the injury report during each of the first two weeks, Austin recorded 136 yards and two touchdowns in the first two games combined. Austin will be ready to play on Sunday barring any setback.
Health Rating: Miles Austin @ 80%
Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts
Jaguars QB Blaine Gabbert (glute)
Jock to Doc take: The Jags’ starting quarterback left Sunday’s game in Houston with a minor gluteal muscle injury. Coach Mike Mularkey more than likely pulled Gabbert so the Texans defense would not seriously injure his starter. He was a full participant during Jacksonville’s Wednesday and Thursday practices, the Jaguars’ official site reports, and he is expected to start on Sunday against a surging Colts team.
Health Rating: Blaine Gabbert @ 80%
New York Jets at Miami Dolphins
Jets QB Mark Sanchez (back)
Jock to Doc take: Sanchez received treatment for lower back tightness but was a full participant during both Wednesday’s and Thursday’s practices. Though it is probable that Sanchez will start, we will continue to monitor his progress during Friday’s practice given the tricky nature of back injuries.
Health Rating: Mark Sanchez @ 85%
San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings
Vikings RB Adrian Peterson (knee)
Jock to Doc take: Though Peterson received knee surgery during the offseason, coach Leslie Frazier stated that Peterson is responding very well to the treatment. Though he has played well the past couple of weeks, fantasy owners should keep in mind that Peterson will likely get an increased workload from week to week as he regains his strength and confidence.
Health Rating: Adrian Peterson @ 85%
Kansas City Chiefs at New Orleans Saints
Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles (knee)
Jock to Doc take: Charles practiced in full on Wednesday and Thursday after suffering a bruised knee last week, according to the Chiefs’ official website. Although he suffered the bruise on his surgically repaired knee, his participation in practice reinforces the notion that he will receive a normal workload this week in New Orleans. This injury to his surgically repaired knee will actually aid him in his recovery, as now he knows he can take a shot without reinjuring his ligament.
Health Rating: Jamaal Charles @ 80%
Detroit Lions at Tennessee Titans
Lions WR Calvin Johnson (foot)
Jock to Doc take: The Lions’ star sat out Wednesday’s practice with a sore foot but returned to practice on Thursday, according to the Detroit Free Press, but there is little doubt Johnson will be ready against Tennessee on Sunday. It is unlikely his ailing foot will affect his fantasy stats against a shaky Titans defense.
Health Rating: Calvin Johnson @ 85%
Cincinnati Bengals at Washington Redskins
Redskins WR Pierce Garcon (foot)
Jock to Doc take: Garcon was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday, according to the Redskins’ official site, and coach Mike Shanahan acknowledged that Garcon’s injury is “nagging a little more than (he) thought it would,” according to 106.7 The Fan D.C. Shanahan’s statement makes Garcon’s status for Week 3 a bit more questionable. It is likely that even if Garcon plays, he will get a light workload this week.
Health Rating: Pierce Garcon @ 69%
Philadelphia Eagles at Arizona Cardinals
Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin (hip)
Jock to Doc take: Maclin did not do much during Thursday’s practice, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. What he does during Friday’s practice should tell us whether he will be available in Arizona on Sunday. This is a reinjury of a hip pointer, which is very painful and leaves a player quite stiff. I expect to see him on the field, but his snaps may be affected.
Health Rating: Jeremy Maclin @ 65%
Atlanta Falcons at San Diego Chargers
Chargers RB Ryan Matthews (clavicle)
Jock to Doc take: Matthews was a full participant during the Chargers’ Thursday practice, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. It seems as if Matthews will finally see the field after sitting out the first two weeks, but Matthews owners should keep in mind that he may have a light workload this week.
Chargers TE Antonio Gates (ribs)
Jock to Doc take: According to the Union-Tribune, Gates practiced in full Thursday after recovering from a rib injury. This bodes well for his availability on Sunday against a hot Falcons team.
Health Rating: Ryan Matthews @ 70%
Antonio Gates @ 85%
Pittsburgh Steelers at Oakland Raiders
Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall (knee)
Jock to Doc take: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that Mendenhall “continues to inch toward a return to game action.” Although Mendenhall tore his ACL last January, he has not been ruled out for Sunday’s game. Even if he is physically able to perform, it would not surprise me if the Steelers kept Mendenhall in preparation mode until after the Steelers’ bye week next week. I do not expect to see him on the field this week.
Health Rating: Rashard Mendenhall @ 55%
New England Patriots at Baltimore Ravens
Patriots WR Brandon Lloyd (thigh)
Jock to Doc take: Lloyd was limited during Wednesday’s and Thursday’s practice because of a sore thigh, but there have not been any indications that Lloyd will miss Sunday night’s game in Baltimore. I expect Coach Bill Belichick to use all his weapons against the Ravens to avoid falling to 1-2.
Health Rating: Brandon Lloyd @ 75%
Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks
Packers WR Greg Jennings (groin)
Jock to Doc take: Packers coach Mike McCarthy noted Thursday that Jennings was not where the Packers hoped he would be regarding his injured groin, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. It seems as if the receiver suffered a setback this week in practice, and it is unclear whether his fantasy stats will be affected by his apparent soreness. His workload may be decreased this week if he suits up.
Health Rating: Greg Jennings @ 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 percent? 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 he still can 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.