Jock to Doc take: After being carted off the field during Week 5’s matchup against Denver, the wideout fully participated in Wednesday’s and Thursday’s practices and expects to be ready in Atlanta this Sunday, CSN Bay Area reports. Fantasy owners can start him with confidence this week.
Health Rating: Darrius Heyward-Bey @ 85%
Dallas Cowboys at Baltimore Ravens
Cowboys WR Miles Austin (hamstring)
Jock to Doc take: Although Austin reportedly has been dealing with hamstring issues since training camp, he has been a factor in all four Cowboys games thus far. He practiced fully Wednesday and Thursday, according to the official Cowboys website, and is expected to start this week against the Ravens.
Health Rating: Miles Austin @ 80%
Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns
Browns WR Jordan Norwood (foot)
Jock to Doc take: Norwood has not practiced all week and according to the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram, he was walking around the Browns’ locker room Thursday on crutches and in a boot. He is not expected to participate in Sunday’s matchup against the Bengals.
Browns WRs Travis Benjamin and Mohamed Massaquoi (hamstring)
Jock to Doc take: Neither of the Browns receivers practiced Thursday, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Owners should monitor their status this week because if one practices Friday and is available Sunday, he will likely be targeted more due to Norwood’s absence.
Health Rating: Jordan Norwood @ 30%, Travis Benjamin @ 55%, Mohamed Massaquoi @ 55%
St. Louis Rams at Miami Dolphins
Dolphins RB Daniel Thomas (concussion)
Jock to Doc take: Thomas suffered his second concussion of the season and is unlikely to play Sunday, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Because he has not practiced all week and because it was his second in a small amount of time, Reggie Bush will likely get a large majority of the workload at runningback this week.
Health Rating: Daniel Thomas @ 0%
Indianapolis Colts at New York Jets
Colts RB Donald Brown (knee)
Jock to Doc take: The Indianapolis Star reports that Brown is expected to miss 2-3 weeks due to surgery to repair torn knee cartilage. In the meantime, expect backups Vick Ballard and Mewelde Moore to carry the workload on the ground in New York.
Jets WR Stephen Hill (hamstring)
Jock to Doc take: While Hill was limited during practice this week, coach Rex Ryan stated that he believes Hill will play against the Colts on Sunday, according to New York Daily News. If the wideout shows he is even a little bit ready, I expect Rex Ryan to use him to assist New York’s struggling passing attack.
Health Rating: Donald Brown @ 0%, Stephen Hill @ 65%
Detroit Lions at Philadelphia Eagles
Lions RB Jahvid Best (concussion)
Jock to Doc take: Although Best has been inactive all season, he reportedly took concussion tests Monday and will receive results on Friday. Fantasy owners should check these results, for they should give him either a go or a return timetable. He is expected to return soon.
Health Rating: Jahvid Best @ 0%
Kansas City Chiefs at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Chiefs QB Matt Cassel (concussion)
Jock to Doc take: Matt Cassel, who got knocked out during Sunday’s game against Baltimore, has been ruled out for Chiefs’ matchup against the Bucs. Meanwhile, backup Brady Quinn will start against a Tampa Bay defense that has allowed a league-high 345.3 yards per game.
Health Rating: Matt Cassel @ 0%
Buffalo Bills at Arizona Cardinals
Cardinals QB John Skelton (ankle)
Jock to Doc take: According to AZCentral Sports, Skelton estimated he is at 90% and could play “if need be.” No decision has made whether he or Kevin Kolb will start, but Skelton may have the backseat until Kolb starts losing games.
Health Rating: John Skelton @ 75%
New England Patriots at Seattle Seahawks
Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez (ankle)
Jock to Doc take: Hernandez participated in practice this week, according to the Boston Herald. Although he has missed three consecutive games, he practiced three consecutive times. His outlook is very optimistic; he should be available for Sunday’s game.
Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch (back)
Jock to Doc take: According to 710 ESPN Seattle, Lynch was limited in practice this week due to a sore back. I don’t believe his status is in any danger, for he has been limited in practice the past few weeks. Lynch will most likely continue to run like he usually does despite an ailing back.
Health Rating: Aaron Hernandez @ 75%, Marshawn Lynch @ 70%
New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers
Giants TE Martellus Bennet (knee)
Jock to Doc take: Bennet was limited in practice this week, according to the Newark Star-Ledger. While his status is up in the air, his workload Friday will show whether he will be ready against San Francisco on Sunday.
Giants WR Hakeem Nicks (knee)
Jock to Doc take: Nicks participated in individual drills on Thursday, according to the New York Daily News, and coach Tom Coughlin stated that he hopes to see Nicks at practice Friday. It seems Nicks is in the same boat as teammate Martellus Bennet. If he is able to cut and perform during Friday’s practice, he should be on the field Sunday against a tough 49ers defense.
Giants RB Andre Brown (concussion)
Jock to Doc take: Brown has not practiced this week following a Week 5 concussion, according to the New York Daily News. Brown is not expected to play Sunday, for he was not even seen at Thursday’s practice, so expect Ahmad Bradshaw to carry the rushing workload.
Health Rating: Martellus Bennet @ 60%, Hakeem Nicks @ 55%, Andre Brown @ 20%
Minnesota Vikings at Washington Redskins
Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (concussion)
Jock to Doc take: Coach Mike Shanahan said that RGIII had no issues or setbacks after he participated in Thursday’s practice, according to the Washington Post). While the rookie has not been cleared for Sunday’s game, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan stated that he expects his starter to be a go.
Vikings RB Adrian Peterson (ankle)
Jock to Doc take: Peterson was limited during Minnesota’s Thursday practice after sitting out Wednesday, according to ESPN 1500 Twin Cities. His absence seems only to be a day off, for his status is not in any danger this week.
Health Rating: Robert Griffin III @ 80%, Adrian Peterson @ 80%
Green Bay Packers at Houston Texans
Texans RB Ben Tate (toe)
Jock to Doc take: The official Texans website reports that head coach Gary Kubiak said Tate had a “good practice” and that he is ready for Sunday. Expect Tate to relieve starter Arian Foster multiple times Sunday night.
Packers WR Greg Jennings (groin)
Jock to Doc take: Jennings has yet to give running at full speed a go, according to the Milwaukee Jounal-Sentinel. There is a good chance Jennings may remain on the sideline this week, for he indicated that he won’t return until he is able to fully open up his stride.
Packers TE Jermichael Finley (shoulder)
Jock to Doc take: Finley suffered a dislocated AC joint during Week 5’s loss against the Colts and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that he is not expected to practice until Friday. Although Finley still seemed confident that he can suit up, it seems like it will be a game-time decision.
Health Rating: Ben Tate @ 85%, Greg Jennings @ 60%, Jermichael Finley @ 65%
Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers
Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas (hip)
Jock to Doc take: The Denver Post reported that Thomas was held out of some drills during Thursday’s practice. Although he is listed as questionable, his status does not appear to be in danger. A Monday night game also gives him an extra day to rest, so he will be on the field Sunday.
Health Rating: Demaryius Thomas @ 80%
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.